Spirit Wanes; Form Appears (Prelude)


The following is an excerpt from Victor Strife’s Lineal Champions of History, a book chronicling the known history of the Champions of Light and Dark, pieced together by the Vicars Salamander throughout the centuries…

Victor Strife’s Lineal Champions of History
Circa 11769-11827 Champions Era (1769-1827 AD)
Champion of Light #494: The Musician from modern-day Germany
Champion of Dark #494: The General from France

Few Champions in recent history were as consequential as these two. Interestingly, there was some time where those who followed the lives of both men thought that their Championship natures were reversed. In fact, it seems as though both men were not sure to which tribe they belonged. The Musician held The General in great esteem…for a time. Spirit vs Form: theirs was the most interesting relationship between Champions of the recent centuries.

The Musician’s gift – beyond mastery of musical instruments – was for tapping into the intangibles of existence. He communicated what could not be conveyed with the imperfect symbology of language. Second only perhaps to silence, his music revealed the essence of being human. It moved all who were fortunate enough to come into contact with it. This gift also led him toward deep dissatisfaction as his own emotions would swell within him, rising up through his esophagus and drowning his ability to label and identify them. So powerful was his wordlessness that it paralyzed his physical capacity to vocalize all but the most mundane of observations. His was the language of the unspeakable, and it was a captivity.

The General’s gift was for creating order wherever he pleased. He had full agency over language, man, and institution. The most popular person in any room, his will would become the motivating engine for those who followed him. Sometimes he used this power to build: he imagined new social structures to better people’s lives. Institutions and laws were reimagined in his image, increasing efficiency and justice. There were other times where his force was felt as cold steel through the chest. The men who would follow him into battle would kill – and be killed – with a fanaticism usually reserved for a prophet. He was more than that – he was a Champion.

So magnetic was The General that The Musician felt himself seduced by his charms. As opposing Champions, both men were vaguely aware of each other’s existence, even across a great distance. As their renown grew within their respective fields and kingdoms, they followed each other’s accomplishments from afar. Knowing their destinies were somehow linked, they felt a strange kinship. The Musician awed at The General’s ability to mold the world like clay, to harness more than the ephemeral waves that flowed from strings to eardrums. And The General respected the only person who could hold a room captive more than himself, to move them to tears, and to profoundly change the way they saw the world.

The Musician wrote a specific piece of music in honor of The General. It is unknown if this piece was meant as a respectful dedication or an incantation. Well-wishing or spell-casting? It served both potential purposes. Spurred on to further greatness, The General aspired to greater aims and endeavored to conquer all of Europe, perhaps en route to further still. This result sent The Musician into a rage that would isolate him further and eventually render him deaf, unable to hear his own creations and sentencing him to a lifetime of solitary confinement with his unceasing, formless, internal riotousness. Both would die having not completed all that they set out to do, but succeeded in leaving their mark on humanity.

As the spirit wanes
The form appears
To renew again
Seen through tears