Tales of Oramus

from "Oramus vs. The Ebon Dragon" on the White Wolf forums

Oramus is a creature of anomaly. He is That Which Is Not. He is the oddity which does not fit the pattern, the future and the past, the never-was and the never-will-be, the Thing beyond the borders of the Known and the Real.

Do not compare him to the Unshaped! By comparison, they are staid and plain. They play with the parameters of the Real; Oramus transcends them.

Oramus is paradox made manifest. Firstborn of the Primordials, he bloomed upon the face of the Wyld in a blaze of impossibility. He should not be, should never have been; in a sense, he Is Not.

As with the rest of the demon prison, Oramus' confinement is a matter of topology, a work of transcendent mathematics. Every element of his posture, each knot in his many limbs, defines an element of a grand theorem demonstrating that he both is and is not imprisoned. Trapped between states, with no boundary to cross from what is to what is not and back again, he remains quiescent.

Reality is his forge, the Wyld the forge-fire, his lungs the bellows, his breath the hammer. Like fire, his breath consumes; but where fire reduces matter to the simplicity of ash, the breath of Oramus consumes simplicity and replaces it with an infinite complexity of wonder and terror.

Before the War, there were few animosities among the Primordials that could match She Who Lives in Her Name's attitude toward Oramus. He had no regard for the structures she imposed on Creation; indeed, he scarcely noticed how his works tangled her hierarchies into impossible snarls. Certain scholars suggest that the Three Spheres Cataclysm was aimed as much at Oramus' wild legacy as at the Incarnae; indeed, she may have done the inhabitants of Creation a favor by ridding the world of any number of incomprehensible absurdities.

"For but a moment," said the Pavane of Dying Stars, "the skin of Oramus grew clear as glass. These things happen. And as I peered deep into the Dragon's newly transparent flesh, I saw a tall dark figure, noble of bearing, with eyes like razors. I bowed, for this was one of the Unquestionable.

"I inquired as to his identity, for though my knowledge of the Descending Hierarchy is as deep as the Wells of Sedania, I knew him not.

"'I am the Exile,' he said, and his voice was a fire in my mind. 'For an age I have dwelt beyond the Wall, barred from all that I love and treasure. How long can this last? How many ages of this must I endure?'

"My heart was moved to pity to see one of the Unquestionable suffer so. Respectfully, I inquired as to the nature of his exile.

"'Why, I am exiled from Oramus,' he said, 'of which I am but a humble part. All but here is Oramus! Only here am I outside of Him.'

"I would have asked more, but in that moment the skin of Oramus shone black and red and gold, and I could see and hear the Exile no more.

"What can I make of it? Why, I cannot say. I am but a humble storyteller. Perhaps you, my friend, can find some sense in it?"

The Pavane of Dying Stars smiled. "You would hear about dragons? Then of dragons I will speak.

"You are familiar with the Taijitu, the sign of the Eightfold Path? Can you picture it in your mind, the interlocking swirls of light and dark, summer and winter, sun and shadow?

"In the beginning, the infinite Wyld took form, and that form was the Taijitu. The interlocking swirls were dragons. One was a dragon of all things, all potential: this was Oramus. From it came the other: a dragon of no thing, of emptiness: this was Oramus' younger brother, his son, the Nameless. We call him the Ebon Dragon.

"Both are liminal creatures, entities of borders and boundaries. Their very existence is transgression. Oramus violates the natural order; the Ebon Dragon violates the moral order.

"At the close of the War, when the slaves of Yu-Shan imposed their will upon those who made them, Oramus was bound in inescapable chains, while the Ebon Dragon still flies free. What does this say of the gods of Creation? What does it say of the nature of things?"

Inquisitive Englishman

*looks at other peoples replies*

I think the Pavane of Dying Stars might be fibbing slightly. It's kind of his thing.

Eric Minton
You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar.

Ah, but when there are both truths and falsehood, the Master tells us to observe our own thoughts and see the ripples there.

Wait, that doesn't mean anything.

He actually says to activate Judge's Ear Technique.

Eric Minton
Hm. Gebre really ought to have Harrow the Mind. Time to consult the errata file…

Oramus infernal would be a living hat of tricks.

That, I'll gladly agree to.

Eric Minton
As a rule, Oramus does not distinguish between what is inside and what is outside the hat of tricks.

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