In this article, Sham provides us with background into the Trinity, that much misunderstood and maligned section of Empyrean society.
You will all, I am sure, remember those cartoons you watched as children. There was often a recurring theme or...drama played out in many of the classics. The main character of the drama was presented with a moral dilemma; he or she could do good towards the secondary protagonist or, obversely, either do them harm or refuse to act. This conflict would be represented in whimsical fashion, of course.
On one shoulder stood a haloed version of the character, holding a harp and wearing a bedsheet; this character councilled restraint and good choices in dulcet tones.
On the other, a rough-voiced, red-skinned, be-horned and pitchfork wielding version of the character would try to get rid of the angel and tempt the character into less meritious behaviour.
Much hilarity would ensue, fisticuffs would be engaged in between angel and devil but good would prevail and the character would learn a fine lesson. Cue joy, twee musical interludes, dancing, and so forth.
That cartoon concept was one of my better ideas but the subtlety was lost in translation.
The most common manner in which we Trinity are described is this; an accidental creation of Ancients know who. An immortal being with often unsettling psionic abilities and in possession of a tripart soul made of an admixture of angel, demon, and human, all trapped together inside of a body none of them will allow to die.
That is partly correct; the conflict between our metaphorical angel on one shoulder and devil on the other is the dominant and leading theory as to why we trinity are immortal; neither of the invading souls wants to let the body die before their conflict is resolved and, seeing as this is never going to happen the Trinity is, in theory, never going to die. I have enjoyed close to six thousand years of life to date and, to be honest, am in no hurry to leave this Earthly plane any time soon. I agree with my other two thirds wholeheartedly!
It is not. however, the entire truth. You have all, I am sure, heart of demonic possession. Ugly girls, spinning their head around while spraying their family and a priest with pea soup, kind of thing, right? Have you heard of demonic binding or imprisonment? Any reader of epic fantasy fiction most surely has because there is alway some world ending demonic being about to be released from its prison somewhere or other.
Now, imagine that the prisoner has a jailer but the jailer is doing that job as a penance. It is alleged that not all of the supposed one third of Heaven that rebelled with Lucifer remained committed to the cause. Some returned, begging forgiveness and were offered penance; to be bound to a demon within a human shell and earn their forgiveness by turning this demon back toward the light through the unfortunate human participant. Unfortunately, our pentitants also swore a vow of silence, which they could only break upon their return to heaven. Now imagine being the piggy in the middle...this theory is, to my mind, a little too religious and dogmatic but I can see that, perhaps, it has its merits and truths within it.
There really is no other explanation for what we are and, possibly, why we are.
The Two Wolves
I am sure none of you are ignorant of that fine and popular Cherokee myth tale. That we each have two wolves that live within us; one embodying dispair, rage, hate, and jealousy. The other love, joy, happiness, and faith. The one we feed the most is that which dominates and defines who we are. Things is, like any other living creature, you can't just feed it into spherical proportions and then forget about it. You have to feed and nurture it every single day of your life or it will starve and, probably, be eaten by the other one.
It's like that little portable electronic pet thing that was popular for a while but with actual dangerus killing machines instead of cute Ipponese monster-thingies.
I have been alive and around for long enough to know with absolute certainty that no God or gods are dictating my footsteps, monitoring my progress or writing my destiny; none of them would have the patience or the focus to keep dealing with my disasters over such a long time; they'd have struck me down one way or another by now! If they have not, then I don't think I want to meet those gods because they need help if torturing poor old me for millennia is their idea of righteousness!
Much as I would like to get nihilistic and santimonious about all of this, I have also been around for much too long to be a fool; I know there is much in this world I do not know close to enough about; there are mysteries and enigmas I have next to no clue about. There are those that walk the Earth in human shape but are about as human as politicians are.
I have one such creature multiple times; first in my native India, then in Babylon, and on occasion since then, mostly recently in the guise of Nag, my little black snake friend with sapphire blue eyes. I am almost certain I have met at least one other, something which would explain both thoughts and events that have been bothering me for years, but we shall not talk about her now.
In essence, the idea is simple, feed the good and the good prospers, starve it and feed the bad and the opposite occurs. Very simple?
The Badly Guarded Prisoner
Imagine there are Universal Rules; rules which no being, no matter how powerful, can break. We used to think the Laws of Physics were like that and it took a lot of embarrassed scientists for that to change, in fact.; people really don't like change.
Ok, the Rules;
Free Will is inviolate; One can cajole, one can wheedle, one can manipulate but one can never force, not if one does not want forces coming down upon one's head like the metaphorical tonne of building materials.
The Customer Gets the Full Story; no tricky, sneaky, hidden lies in the the good old Soul Contract. The true consequences of any decision offered to any being must be presented to them, good and bad.
Nobody Gets Away with IT; the universe is all about balance; light and dark; good and evil; sweet and sour; salad and chocolate. Everyone has to watch which wolf they are giving a nice round belly to. Everyone. Muck too much with the balance and you might need to be removed in order to put things right again.
Good and Evil are not Mutually Exclusive; the balance again. Good cannot exist without evil, light without dark, chocolate without the hips.
Be aware, these are just the ones I've managed to figure out. Thing is even if you are not a religious man, like me, you cannot deny that certain themes have permeated every single human belief system that has been written about and probably those that predated writing too. Pick a time period, choose a location, select your diety and I bet your dogma and doctrine will contain all of those four rules there. Why? Search me, I'm just a very curious man with a awful lot of free time on his hands!
Now, this prisoner; you've probably guessed it already; the bound demon, or whatever you want to call it; fallen angel, psychopomp, avatar, anthropomorphic personification, whatever. Its not human and not bound by human mores and morality; immortals such as I do not, contrary to popular belief ever lose our fear of death. After a century or two we value our skin and continued existence a great deal more than we did when limited to our four-score and ten. Once you realise you actually have time to see everything as it were, and it experience it too, you start to value life even more and fear that sudden and abrupt disconnection deeper still. I am a coward and I always will be, at least I'm honest about it. Not this creature. It is, shall we say, of spirit and cannot die in any way we could understand the term. It is impervious to any physical force. It is deathless and can survive anything that would remove me from the game.
Now, I am not here to debate and hypothesise on the actual constitution of this being; where it is from, what it was and is. I am here to simply tell you that it, indeed, is. An ancient intelligence with no fear of death or suffering to temper its appetites, no avoidance of consequences in an eventual afterlife to scare it into behaving properly. It is intelligence without restraint and, in itself cannot, I think understand why physical beings such as I fear those things which it extracts pleasure from.
Now, its silent jailer is there to make sure it does not get out, no more, no less. it cannot speak, this custodian, it cannot rebuke or advise. it simply stands sentinal and emanates a sort of calming power.
Inside of Trinity circles, we have an event known as Awakening, that moment when the human soul of the Trinity-to-be realises what it is and what it contains within it. That moment the man or woman surrounding said soul becomes aware of the hidden world and takes that terrifying step into the darkness within themselves.
The first step is acknowledging it is there and always has been. Every dark desire, every secret nasty thought, every desire to do harm and hurt, it's in there, just like it is with most humans, but stronger and with a mind of its own.
The Council, as it became when it escaped my hands, spoke of a Trinity choosing Light or Dark when they awoke; of feeding one wolf or the other. This is one of their very dangerous oversimplifications which has led to the terrible state of affairs we now find ourselves in. The very second you throw even the slightest morsal towards the demon, you awaken a hunger that cannot be sated, desires which know no limit or notion of right and wrong. The rabid beast is kept within a cage for damn good reason. It is a creature probably older than time and it does not enjoy being told what to do by a little mortal upstart. It wishes to dominate and taste all the experiences you can provide it with.
There is a reason that all Trinity such as Gabriel and I are seen as haunted and wihdrawn individuals, a little unhealthy to look upon and slow to make friends, often preferring their own or very limited company. Many reasons in fact but the most important one is this; we are in cnstant conflict and battle daily to contain the beast.
Gabriel is a - haha - demon in combat, he can move with a speed and grace few can match. he will shrug off blows that would fell an ox and win through against superior numbers by what appears to be sheer rage alone. That is because the beast protects what is theirs. In his rage, Gabriel has, he tells me, come close to commiting murder, inflicting terrible pain and felt exultation as he did it, his blood singing to punch and punch even after the punching had done its job. Only he could remember only snatches of those events and was drained and shaky when it was over. He said he could feel his consciousness fading, drawing back as his rage built and he realised this rage, this wrath, was not his. Once Unity awoke him he soon discovered whose it was.
You see, it is not choosing Dark or Light. It is not about picking a side or identifying yourself with an insignia or style of clothing. It is about choosing whether you fight or you surrender. Remember the rules? The demon needs your permission, your willing participation. It can hint, it can make offers and show you things but it cannot force. It is not unknown for it to attempt to drive you crazy or make you believe in things that are not real, it might bend the rules as far as they will go. After all, if you believe traditional materials on the matter, it is in its current state because it was not at home with rules.
You are effectively possessed with a silent sentinal acting as the chains which keep the beast "tamed" ; it will fight you and look for any slack in those chains or weakening of its cage.
The thing is, though, that if you choose to fight, it is a fight you can never win and which never ends. It is a walk barefoot through a field of razors which will either turn you into a man or woman with feet of teak or a cripple. I have seen many more fail than succeed. I have seen what they became before they self-destructed, often spectacularily.
And Gabriel worries me. Since he suffered his most recent tragedy, that event which was meant to strengthen him appears to have loosened his grip on the chains that kept the beast subservient. I fear I may have pushed him too hard.