Immortality & ghost walking (the letters of the apprentice)


#1

Part 1

What is a god? A god is mightier than us but in ways that we can not comprehend. Our works are what demonstrate our worth to gods. Vanhier, the maker, is a chief example of the value of human works.

Are the gods immortal? Perhaps. They have certainly been around for hundreds of years & appear unchanged. If they are, then immortality is something that might be acquired, formalised, learned, or at least imitated. If not, then one whose works included the acquisition of immortality would be of great worth to a god such as Vanhier. Of course one who made immortals against the wishes of the gods would be foolish. Like in the tale of Jelmont - who stole the secret of slaying dragons from the gods & was punished for it. Thus any scholar or acolyte would have to keep their research into this a secret.

All is conjecture at best. I must hide these notes away until I am sure I have seized upon the solution.

Part 2

Life beyond death is impossible. Even those newts who emerge from ice after each winter are not really dead. Ideas though, can live beyond death and that seems to be a fruitful line of inquiry. Our thoughts are not ourselves. My mind is not equivalent to my body, & each of the set 2 entities has their own needs & each limits the other in specific ways. My mind is myself in as much as it could be said to exist anywhere. Meditation ,& other arcane practices of those who worship essences and dragons, stress that all limitations of the body can be transcended. By surpassing all these needs one could becomes what Rysser has called an “external body of thought”.

Part 3

Different leaders of thought have come to this conclusion from many diverse directions & While they disagree on how to proceed, this conclusion is philosophically inescapable. Simply put, it seems that what we need is to seperate the mind (or “self”) from the body. “Self” is mana, or personality, or belief, or most likely some combination of these 3. A self can be convinced of things, and stories tell of those who were able tp strengthen the self to such an extent that they surpassed the needs of their corporeal form & were able to attain this full actualisation as immortal beings.

Who are these people? Where are they now? If these are simply stories, who do they recur so frequently in all known cultures?

Enough theory! What is required now is some actual physical experimentation!

Part 4

I have come to the conclusion that immortality is possible, but only if the body can be jettisoned - the decay of the body typically has the effect of tying the self more closely to its corporeal form. Fear of death is usually linked to an awareness of physical degradation afterall. The ease with which the body can be abandoned is, it seems, a necessary step. A quandary occurs however: the only test to determine if you have successfully done this is to damage the body - a test that can presumably only be performed once.

Maybe it is possible to test this in some way. The apothecaries have written of what they call “ghost walking”, which allows the trained to temporarily leave the body behind & perform visitations as a spectre. The ability to do so could be a sign that the self is strong enough to obtain the power required for immortality & that the body & mind could withstand the duress this power brings.

I am treading into dangerous water & will need to secure my notes better. I will use the tapestry that hangs above the Sufrant forge as my next encryption tool.

Part 5

Research continues. I have discovered through extensive experimentation I can facilitate a sort of ghost walking experience through consuming an alchemical mixture. This mixture is not palatable, & the effect it gives differs in some slight ways from the ghost walking referred to in the archival materials, but the basic concept appears to be sound.

I began with the tincture of dracolum powder - refined to the fifth degree (which gave me some vague hallucinations but nothing more) - by boiling the powder with vennory & with the flowers of widows tear. I felt myself get stronger & the bonds between my body & my mind while still very much there became more elastic. I still believe that any damage to my physical body would cause the death of my self, because I have not trained myself to hold the power necessary. I shall need a conspirator to test this further. qqq