Summary: Little ficlet inspired by the idea of and my research into the gates of horn and ivory. It's also reminiscent of the Blood heirachy in Anne Bishop's 'The Black Jewels' series and the idea of cloisters gone bad. Written in 15 minutes, the first four lines are taken from a translation of Book 6 of Virgil's 'Aeneid'.
Word Count: 1007
Two gates the silent house of sleep adorn
Of polish’d ivory this, that of transparent horn
Through transparent horn true dreams arise
Through polish’d ivory pass deluding lies.
This law is everything and nothing. This is everything that can exist, will exist, this is everything that does and has existed. This is the truth of our world entirely.
Yet it is a lie.
We have Guardians of the Gates, the ones who found where on the physical plane most matched where the Gates were on the psychic plane, and who now serve and protect that land. We have Guiders of the Gates, those who preach to us, the masses, how to find the truth, to go purely through the gate of horn. And we have the Good of the Gates, these protect us from ourselves, and protect us from the gates. These three groups, together, are known as Dreamers. A Dreamer is in contact with the Gates, feels some affinity for the mystical portals of horn and ivory that control every aspect of our lives. This is common knowledge among the masses, that the Dreamers protect us from the Gates, that the Gates are the only way we live, that without them we would descend into madness.
This is also a lie.
The Dreamers feel less of an affinity for the Gates than the average person does. For the Gates have not created us, we have created them. Simply through the process of having sentient thought we have created the need for them to exist. There is no doubt that they do, everyone has seen them, everyone has felt them. Every action or thought needs to go through one of the two of these gates, the truth or the lie.
Animals, non-sentient beings, do not need the Gates. There is no cruelty, there is no truth, no falsity. There just is. They exist how they need to, with no thought or regard to if something should be. That is a concept made by us, and that is why, before we became sentient, there was no need for the Gates, and thus they did not exist.
Do you see now how the Dreamers physically have less to do with the Gates then the masses do?
The Dreamers are an army.
They say sheep follow blindly, making them ridiculously easy to herd. A sizable group of lemmings will follow a single over a cliffs edge, decimating their population. A group of people follow an idea or concept blindly, and in their blindness try to force others to revere and need that way of life. Truly a remarkable idea, to put the blind followers at the top, as close to our immortality as one can ever be.
Interestingly, less of the masses are becoming Dreamers. The Guiders mourn the fact we are further than ever from being a Population of the Gates. The Good are culling what they have labelled Freedom Fighters, the Guardians are expanding the land they serve and swelling their ranks.
I have not been to a shrine in near on seven moon cycles. Myself and mine are close to being labelled Freedom Fighters.
My mother wishes to become a Destroyer, my friend a Hazer, my cousin Bad. I wish to become a Woken. We wish not to be evil, or cruel, but to be opposite. The Dreamers are the opposite of what they say they are, we wish to be the opposite of what we say we are. Irony is rife.
On they physical plane, ivory is wanted more than horn, on the psychic Horn more than Ivory. We are told to have a distinction, that everything is only one, yet ideas, actions come through both and meet in the middle.
We live a lie.
I walk between the gates. I see everything. No, I don’t see everything. It is not physical sight that is important, but awakening. Awakening while you are dreaming. It is only through dreaming one can see the Gates. Through dreaming silently, without clutter. One who walks the Gates, who knows the Gates, that one needs to soften the clutter, so that others may be dreamers too. That is the role of the one who walks and knows, to enable others to see the grotesque beauty of the Gates.
After all, if one can’t know their mind, what can they know?
But we must only do that until we encounter another one who walks and knows. From there is their responsibility, their joy.
That is why the original of the ones who walked and knew were called Dreamers.
Because of the nature of Dreaming, while they Dreamed they were vulnerable. The Guardian was originally warrior family who would protect the Dreamer, the Guider a close one who would tell those on the physical plane the Dreamer would be there, and the Good family who would look after the other three. Dreamers followed their nature, they were nomadic, and the Guardian, Guider and Good would follow theirs and protect and serve.
I am not the only one, and neither are my mother, friend and cousin alone. I have met others, taught them the secrets the Gates burdened me with. They know now as I do, and they have taught theirs.
The Guardians of the Gates have declared our village to be close to the Gates. The Guiders were at the shrine last dark moon, to tell us the delightful news. Our village will now be under constant protection. No poisoned food or minds will come in, our minds will be close to the Gates, and will be protected here in this village. The Guardians’ powers don’t extend far enough to protect us if we move past the border of this sacred space. Minds unsalvageable may not stay here, but there will not be many. The Good will take care of them.
The borders of the ground the Guardians are serving have been closed for our safety.
We die for truth; the Destroyer, the Hazer, the Bad and the Woken.
The Good are here.