Let’s take a break from science to talk about culture. But don’t worry–science photobombs even this picture 🙂
On the back cover of Scribes’ Descent, you’ll find the line “People worship technology on Planet Daishon.” And the opening chapters are bulging with references to Radianism and its fanatical devotion to science. If you’ve ever wondered what that’s about, a closer look at their religion will explain:
Radianism is a half of a religion called Evetelism. (The other half is Ipraunism) Here’s a quote from a 2019 draft of Scribes’ Descent:
“Iprau and Radia were locked in a contest to rule the worlds. Everyone had to support one god or the other. The winner would kill the losing side, so choose with care. Mallory chose neither. Both sides were obsessive: Radians for achievement and Iprauns for charity.”
The goddess Radia demands her followers to constantly create new inventions, especially in the fields of space exploration and long-distance communications. But why? I can’t answer this without massive spoilers, so keep reading the Scribes Series to find out.
For now, here’s a deeper look at the extreme mindset of Radians (followers of Radia, not the unit of measurement for angles–I know what you mathematicians are thinking!) Their holy text is called Reality Two, and here are their favorite verses:
“You call me intense and oppressive. I deem you slothful and unfocused.”
“All of life is a contest, and all creatures are its contestants. Failure to accept this guarantees failure, for you must know you are in a contest before you can win it. Survival is not enough. Victory is the only thing worth living for, therefore pursue victory in all things, especially in the weighty things of life.”
“Others take their ease while we work until our bodies are callused and study until our head is throbbing. Only when our contest is won will we take our ease…”
“The scholar and the laborer accomplish much, and each one aids our cause. Never let your labors hinder your study, though, because study improves labor in the end. A scholar, when full grown, outworks a million laborers.”
“Whatever you purpose to do, think of what others before you have done, and how you will do it better.”
“Seek your comfort only in your merits, and not in consolations or blankets or lower expectations. Expect much more of yourself than others expect of you, and then exceed even that. Work so that time is a friend and not an enemy.”
“Make every instant contribute to your goals. When you sit upon the toilet, read a parchment. When you walk, recite scholarly facts. When you bathe at eventide, reflect on how you performed that day, and how you might do better tomorrow. When you lie in bed, assess your weaknesses and form a plan to fix them.”
“If pride spurs you on to greater merit, then let pride continue. If pride causes you to rest on your past feats, then let pride diminish. If anything in your life causes you to slack in your endeavors, remove it with all your strength and despise it, even if it is not a wicked thing in itself. For you, it is wickedness.”
“Merit over all.”
Hopefully these verses reveal why Mallory and her family rejected their society’s dominant religion. We’ll save Radianism customs and worship practices for another newsletter.
It’s cathartic to finally begin explaining this in more detail–I had to rip out most of that detail from Scribes’ Descent in order to preserve the book’s pace.
Writing update: I’m a few weeks away from sending out beta copies of Scribes Aflame! If you’d like to be a beta reader, just let me know 🙂
See you next month,