What follows it he most recent translation of the chosen one prophecy, with careful selection of words by myself, Arthur son of Anthony. Text with commentary by Arthur son of Anthony, Tanya Fisher, Pascal Everhorn, Evelyn Tealark, Yancy of Heart’s Stone, Isaac of Clearwater
Text of the prophecy:
Into the world, riven with chaos, the chosen one shall come.
He will come into the world at the meeting of light and dark, he will bring radiance to the night and darken the day; he will walk the three ways and he will quit the world asunder and divided. In so doing the chosen one shall bring his fellows from the edge of annihilation and restore that which was shattered. The chosen one will repair the broken, and transcend division to lead his fellows to a new era of power.
He will remake unity, make three into one, weave a new era of triumph in a world ruled by defeat. He will be branded with the Mark, touched by the world, a sign of his ascendance, a token of his name. The Mark will be his proof, that which will cause his fellows to love him and the elect to tremble in their hubris.
The chosen one will invite justice to the world, and his fellows will reap the bounty of his words. He will arouse loyalty and fellowship, and they will follow him into prosperity. With strength of will, he will unite the powers; and with constancy of heart, he will restore the banner; and with conviction of body he will rejuvenate the world, and return to it an era of purity and power long forgotten and near lost.
Guided by the hand of his teacher, he will show others the way. A power long hidden, a truth deeply broken. By his hand the shattered future shall shed ruin and rise from decay, and a sundered past will be woven together in the light of the present, and the rightful powers of the world will return to their ordained place as its foundations.
His birth will be under the star of daylight, in the season of the horn, marked by all the omens and heralded by five sages, it will shake the land and render the sky aflame. The chosen one shall earn dominion over world but not keep it, for his eyes alight on naught but purity, and his teacher shall guide the renewed world to the era of its true life. And in this new era the name of the chosen one and his teacher shall ring hallowed in the halls of God, forevermore and unto the end.
Into the world, riven with chaos, the chosen one shall come.
The phrase “riven with chaos” is an adjective. A purer translation would be “the chaos-riven world.” The term tren’keit, which we translate as “chosen one,” as is well known, does not have a clear and obvious translation and appears to be a holdover from the prophecy’s original, lost language that was not translated into Dynese with the rest of the text. A.
One wonders if the word tren’keit remained untranslated because it carried some known connotation in Dynese. There may be fruitful grounds for linguistic study in the untranslated words in this prophecy. Further, the word ‘come’ connotes entrance rather than arrival, suggesting perhaps that he might already exist before the world enters a state considered ‘chaos-riven.’ T.
The opening sentence is more ambiguous in Dynese than Arthur presents. The adjective oskesh can be applied to the world, but could equally be applied to the tren’keit, because its declension into accusative is near-identical to its nominative form, and manuscripts disagree on the accent mark denoting gender. It might well be that the tren’keit is ‘chaos-riven.’ P.
If Tanya’s reading of the word ‘come’ is correct, that would suggest the chosen one is going to enter the world from somewhere outside of it, which is ludicrous. He is as human as the rest of us. E.
I must digress from your reading, alas—implying entrance does not mean the chosen one is pre-existent, merely that his coming heralds a particular event in his career, not his birth. Modern linguistic research tells us that southern Chez’n, the minority language of Ech’kent or the Fury Plateau, seems to have a similar term to tren’keit—ternkye, which translates as “storyteller.” This is interesting because, as Tanya will soon remind us, it is possible that the tren’keit will be telling tales. Obviously further research is needed to determine the original meaning of this enigmatic word. Y.
How do you know it didn’t originally meen “storyteller?” None of you say when we started using “chosen one” to translate tren’keit. I.
He will come into the world at the meeting of light and dark,
This could refer either to a solar eclipse or either dawn or dusk, the meaning is unclear. A.
The word minva for ‘meeting’ here generally implies a diplomatic meeting between military powers. ‘Summit’ might be a more appropriate translation. T.
It should also be noted that the ‘meeting of light and dark’ could mean something as simple as a shadow crossing a threshold. We must not read for the metaphoric meaning to the detriment of a possible literal interpretation. P.
The Dynese is not gendered—the tren’keit may well be a woman. E.
I would hesitate to assume that interpreting this to mean an eclipse is entirely metaphorical. From what we can reconstruct, a large number of societies both ancient and modern consider the sun and moon in personified terms, and often as estranged or separated lovers. The Dynese “Minva” is also often used to describe a meeting of estranged partners, as in Catlin’s Life, The Journey of the Red Heart, and The Joined Materials, to name texts from three distinct genres of literature. For this reason, I think it very reasonable to assume that an eclipse will herald the tren’keit’s birth. Y.
he will bring radiance to the night and darken the day;
“Night” and “Day” are likely metaphors here, suggesting the Pillars of Dark and Light, implying he will touch both, an unprecedented power that is surely something miraculous. A.
Also possible is that it is ‘radiance’ and ‘darken’ that are meant to be taken metaphorically, as in the chosen one will perform great acts at night and share dire news during the day. I am surprised at Tanya’s lack of comment that colett can also mean ‘brilliance’ in Dynese, not only ‘radiance,’ which can imply beauty, mystery or wealth. P.
We should resist the urge to classify the tren’keit’s activities as ‘miraculous.’ Unprecedented, yes, but most likely not of divine origin. Many scholars have felt that the tren’keit and the messiah are the same figure, but I remain unconvinced of this. E.
Though I do not close myself to the metaphorical reading of this line, I am inclined to read it somewhat literally, as that the tren’keit will in reality perform a feat that reverses the natural illuminatory cycle of night and day. I am similarly unconvinced of the messianic leanings of the tren’keit, but there is no question that he will have powers heretofore unseen and indeed, bringing light to the darkness or darkness to the day is hardly that challenging a feat for any mage. Finally, perhaps the largest reason why I cannot presume these two terms to be referencing the Pillars is the lack of mention of Shadow. Y.
Why can’t it just be like about the same thing as the last line? If the eclips is important, they could talk about it in two sentences, right? I.
he will walk the three ways and he will quit the world asunder and divided.
The three ways are the Pillars, of course. The second clause is ambiguous here—it can be read either as the tren’keit will die leaving the world torn apart, or more likely that he will end the divided nature of the current world, which likely means the current three-fold division of magecraft. The second reading is supported by later elements within the prophecy, and students should take caution not to fall into the trap of reading the more superficial first meaning. A.
The Dynese word gyet here should be translated as ‘move’ rather than ‘walk.’ I also introduce the well-known linguistic issue that the Dynese numeral djan can mean both ‘three’ and ‘twelve’ and though ‘three’ is the more obvious translation given the context, we should not dismiss out of hand that the tren’keit might be prophesied to touch something even beyond the Pillars. Perhaps he will come to show us something entirely new. T.
The ambiguity surrounding ‘asunder and divided’ extends to grammar as well, as both adjectives appear to be in the genitive case, which does not follow from any possessive or prepositional antecedent. The only reasonable genitive in this sentence is the ‘meeting of light and dark’ three clauses up. This is either a translation error or an issue of punctuation in Dynese that renders this challenging. P.
This ambiguity exists across all manuscripts of the prophecy that I have myself read, which come from at least three different translation lineages; I am therefore disinclined to believe that the genitive is an error. Once again taking modern research from Chez’n into account, I postulate that “hugel ‘n orhvik” is perhaps in reality a pair of nouns. Chez’n allows for adjectival nouns in rare cases, and these can very challenging to parse as they do not take on any new visual or aural characteristics, but notably, they must always be in the genitive case. Y.
In so doing the chosen one shall bring his fellows from the edge of annihilation and restore that which was shattered. The chosen one will repair the broken, and transcend division to lead his fellows to a new era of power.
This is the first instance of the word ‘fellows’ (k’ysem, or literally fellow-mages) in the prophecy. It indicates that not only will the tren’keit reunite the three Pillars, but that there will be a major travail prior to his coming, possibly threatening mages with extinction. A.
Interestingly, current research suggests that ysem has an older meaning of ‘spider.’ It is a curious case of linguistic drift that would cause this word to come to mean ‘mage’ (or more generally, magic practitioner), and I would be most curious to learn the origins of that. In any case, it is clear that Arthur is correct in assuming that the word is translatable as ‘fellows,’ as we can assume the tren’keit will not be followed by a festival parade of arachnids. T.
It is curious that the prophecy should omit the object of restoration here—why is it ‘the shattered thing’ rather than the Pillars? For what reason did the writers choose to leave out this critical term? E.
Similarly curious to me is that “numior askeis” is a feminine singular, whereas “q’meil askeine” is a neuter plural, implying that “the shattered thing” and “the broken thing” are two different things—and of course that the broken thing is in fact multiple broken things. I also postulate that the “k’yesm” may perhaps be close friends of the tren’keit, rather than simply all mages, as we more typically see this term used throughout Dynese literature for friends rather than co-workers. Y.
Why didn’t we translate it to say “freinds,” then? Wouldn’t they have said that if they meant it? I.
He will remake unity, make three into one, weave a new era of triumph in a world ruled by defeat.
We know from other writings around this time that the three Pillars were once one, and the juxtaposition of triumph and defeat in this verse causes one to wonder if the sundering was the result of a war between the early mages and someone else, perhaps related to the Catechism Wars. We know nothing about this presumed conflict, but the prophecy suggests that the mages lost. A.
Dynese had no word for ‘unity’ that we know of. Elseng meant ‘united under one ruler,’ a word nearly always connoting tyranny—and often used to describe pre-Catechism rule under demonic powers. It is extremely curious that this word should be used here, but perhaps explainable by the simple fact that the required word did not exist in the lexicon, though the idea surely did. T.
It is most unusual to see sallat used as a common noun here. It has the structure of a Dynese proper noun, and I therefore feel this line might be better transcribed, ‘in a world ruled by Defeat,’ which leads one to wonder why defeat is a personified entity. P.
Mounting historical evidence, including the discovery of the Red Scrolls in Teown’s Sound, suggest mages did fight in the Catechism Wars, alongside other armies. The shattering of the Pillars is likely not a sign of our having lost, but of whomever we were fighting attempting to score a decisive blow against us. It remains unclear who would have had the ability to so damage us, but a coalition of other magic users seems most likely. Sorcerers could theoretically have this ability, presuming that the theory that their Forces are close to the Pillars is correct. E.
Further research has demonstrated that sorcerers do theoretically have the ability to apprehend the Pillars, and some sorcerers historically have pretended to be mages for a short time, though they are not able to use the Pillars, only acknowledge them. No modern sorcerer, as I understand it, is powerful enough to shatter an entire magical discipline, but perhaps the sorcerers also used to be more powerful than they are. Of course it is also notable that sorcerers have access to demonic power as well, so perhaps, presuming this theory bears fruit, that is how such a destruction was effected—and we do know that demons were among the enemies of everyone during the Catechism Wars, and though I know Evelyn would chide me for accepting a theological explanation, demons are known to exist, a fact which has been demonstrated repeatedly throughout our history. I myself was present for a demon summoning in Barnt many years ago. A most unpleasant experience. Y.
He will be branded with the Mark, touched by the world, a sign of his ascendance, a token of his name. The Mark will be his proof, that which will cause his fellows to love him and the elect to tremble in their hubris.
Many translations choose to use the word “marked” in place of “branded” here, but that creates the illusion of a relationship between that verb and the Mark, yetzt, which is semantically related to ysem, implying correlation with magic. In the famous Darkhome manuscript we find the only surviving representation of the Mark, which we assume the tren’keit will have on his body somewhere. Further, it is unclear who the “elect” are in this verse, but given the messianic connotations of the untranslatable word, it may well have some connection to the Catechism and its priests. A.
The literal term translates as ‘burnt,’ so ‘branded’ is a logical translation. Given my previous comments on the term ysem, I wonder if yetzt will transpire to have similarly arachnid connotations. The ‘elect’ or rh’elten do seem to be semantically related to the word rh’eyltn, which is translated as ‘messiah.’ The vowel shift normally indicates a plural in Dynese, but surely there are not multiple messiahs—and nor would the tren’keit have reason to oppose them. T.
One wonders why the yetzt is a ‘sign of his ascendance,’ which is a quite literal translation of quval hem teyyoka. From where does the tren’keit ascend and why? P.
Following Arthur’s thought, I wonder if rh’elten’s obvious connection to rh’eyltn is meant to make us believe that the tren’keit and the Catechism will indeed be in conflict—they have a very particular view of history that does not always accord with the facts, and this prophecy hints at the mistaken nature of their claims in several places, including in the verse above. Perhaps the Catechism itself is due a reckoning. E.
In Ech’kent, there is a mountain known to us as Mount Saint Bernadette, which is known by the locals as Rh’eyltakak. No locals I spoke to could tell me the exact meaning of this name, but it is central to their native religion and cosmology, where it is believed to be related to the Gated Land. As near as I can tell, the mountain was deemed holy by the Catechism because its name was so similar to the untranslatable term for “messiah.” Takak seems to mean “mountain,” and the nearest I can reconstruct the first portion of the name is as “beginning” or perhaps “the beginner,” given that it seems to be possessive. If rh’elten and rh’eyltn are indeed related, their original meaning might be something similar—which would be in line with the Catechism’s interpretations, for God is often known as “the Beginning” in various scriptures. This does not explain why the tren’keit is going to cause them to tremble, but it does broaden whom this line might be referring to—the clearest translation might be “the Firsts,” which could also heavily imply political leadership, though we have no reasonable cause to assume that the ven Sancte monarchy and the tren’keit would come into conflict. Y.
Maybe it’s not about conflict? There are other ways to make someone tremble, if the prince would ever let me try them out on him. I.
The chosen one will invite justice to the world, and his fellows will reap the bounty of his words.
Why his words? It seems that at least some of the tren’keit’s prophetic mandate will include oration. A.
It may be notable that the Dynese tianot translates quite literally to ‘tales’ rather than ‘words,’ with it only having come to have this latter meaning some four hundred years after the prophecy was first recorded in Dynese. T.
It is scarcely realistic to say there is no justice in the world currently. And if there isn’t, from where is the tren’keit going to invite it? I wonder at the provenance of this verse, and its original translation into Dynese, which I suspect to be flawed. E.
Given the new potential storytelling connotations of the term tren’keit itself, I think Tanya’s observation here is vital. Second, in Chez’n, the verb h’yakk, “to invite,” can only be used in reference to living beings. Perhaps “ouvossk” is meant to be a proper noun referring to another heretofore unknown prophetic figure. Y.
Okay but do we really need more unknown prophetic figures? Don’t we already have like a million of those? I.
He will arouse loyalty and fellowship, and they will follow him into prosperity.
The tren’keit is clearly to become a leader among the mages, though perhaps not the archmage, given later verses. A.
The Dynese verb honvet is frequently translated as ‘arouse’ because it does have strong sexual connotations. Given the context, however, perhaps ‘inspire’ might be a cleaner translation, as we presume the chosen one will not be sexually arousing loyalty and fellowship. T.
This sentence is clearly a couplet with the previous one; the grammatical structures are identical and notably they rhyme in Dynese. It is odd to see this one example of poetic structure in such a document, and one wonders if the translators were being fanciful or if they were aware of something in the original language—I refer to Wendy Iceflower’s theory that the prophecy was originally a poem, of course. P.
The verb ‘seyelt,’ meaning ‘to follow,’ is used most commonly with dogs following humans after their training in Dynese literature. A curious turn of phrase to be sure, and one wonders about the connotations in the original. E.
Because the tren’keit is presumably going to train all mages to use magic in a new way, the connotations of the Dynese verb are not entirely surprising. One does wonder if the original language was intended to convey all the connotations that the translations do in this sentence, especially the first one. Either way, it does seem somewhat clear that the tren’keit is to be a leader of sorts. I do not feel that the remainder of the prophecy precludes him from becoming the archmage, which I shall elaborate on in the relevant verses. Y.
Did someone say sexual connotations? Suddenly I’m intersted in being the chosen one. Though not if I’m arousing a pack of dogs, that’s a bit wierd. I.
With strength of will, he will unite the powers; and with constancy of heart, he will restore the banner; and with conviction of body he will rejuvenate the world, and return to it an era of purity and power long forgotten and near lost.
This poetic section builds as it moves forward, raising the stakes of the tren’keit’s mandate from simply the mages to the entire world. The point here is not that through his actions, mages will come to rule the world, but that with the return of our power to what it originally was, the world as a whole will be better off, for we shall use our restored power to better the lives of all. A.
It is well known that sovvar, translated here as ‘banner,’ has militaristic connotations, but it is worth noting that yomel, translated as ‘powers,’ has similar valence. Interestingly, yosma, translated as the singular ‘power,’ is a completely different word that appears to be linguistically related to ysem again, possibly indicating magical power, or, of course, spiders. T.
Recent historical discoveries suggest the existence of battle mages or companies of mage-soldiers during the time of the Catechism Wars. The dichotomy between the two types of ‘power’ here may be intended to reflect that. P.
It is indeed notable that the tren’keit will unite one type of powers—not claiming himself as part of them, perhaps—and then restore a different type of power, perhaps his own magecraft. “Yomel” generally refers to political and/or military powers, so perhaps he will unite the nations of Dolovai and Kyaine. That said, this is a reading that is centered on our own circumstances, and there exist many other nations as well that are largely inaccessible to us. Still, perhaps this political unity is what the tren’keit will accomplish, given the connotations of “elseng.” Y.
If you let me get every king in the world into one room I could probably get them to agree on a bunch of stuff. I.
Guided by the hand of his teacher, he will show others the way. A power long hidden, a truth deeply broken.
The teacher appears late in the prophecy, but is immediately an important figure—the one who will guide the tren’keit as he changes the world. The chosen one is not a lone entity but one who acts in accordance with those around him, a leader who is himself guided. It is for this reason that the tren’keit is unlikely to be the archmage—the teacher is most likely to be this individual, for who else to guide a prodigious mage? A.
Here I must disagree with Arthur and with the overwhelming majority of tren’keit scholarship. The word ‘untekel quite simply does not translate as ‘teacher’ to anyone proficient in Dynese. A survey of all available Dynese literature demonstrates a variety of usages of this term, and though some of them are didactic, never are they as a teacher in the conventional sense—an institution that very much did exist at the time of the prophecy’s translation, no matter what others will say. ‘Untekel means ‘master,’ it means ‘leader’ and it means ‘slavedriver,’ as well as a host of other controlling words. It stems from the verb yo’ntek, which means ‘to control,’ and is always, across scripture and all Dynese literature available to us, used to connote one person or entity commanding ultimate authority over another. Scripturally the word is often applied to God in his control over the angels, as in the Journey of St. Raoul. The ‘untekel is not the tren’keit’s teacher, but his master, and if this figure is to be the archmage, I shudder to think what their relationship will be like. I think it far more likely that this term refers to some otherworldly, likely angelic, figure who will guide the tren’keit, which would make the language far more appropriate. Please refer to my book on this subject, Teaching the Chosen One. T.
I am obliged to agree with Tanya that ‘untekel does not mean ‘teacher’ and does always connote mastery, but we do also see it used to refer to a ‘master’ as in a master to an apprentice, as in the Annals of George, so I hesitate to accept Tanya’s suppositions here, even after having read her book. P.
There is increasing evidence that many pre-Catechism Wars societies may have been slave-owning societies. The master/slave relationship may have been the most common way of explaining a relationship of service or mentorship for them, but they may have been using their terminology to explain something they didn’t understand in our time, such as the academy structure. E.
There is indeed no evidence of academies of magecraft prior to or even for some time after the Catechism Wars. Even if the ‘untekel will have these negative connotations, there is no indication that he will cause harm to the tren’keit. I do find Tanya’s reading very convincing, but I am in alignment with Evelyn in the presumption that this is a description of a relationship that ancient people simply did not apprehend. Further, here we must understand that even archmagi have teachers; there have in the past been many young archmagi who still required guidance. The tren’keit could easily be one of those. Y.
I’ve been wondering this for a while, but the tren’keit is supposed to do so many different things. Do we know for sure that it’s supposed to be one guy? Maybe there’s a reason there are three of us… I.
By his hand the shattered future shall shed ruin and rise from decay, and a sundered past will be woven together in the light of the present, and the rightful powers of the world will return to their ordained place as its foundations.
Most of this verse is prophetic fluff, collapsing past, present and future into the figure of the tren’keit. The assertion of the mages as the foundations of the world reinforces the previous comments that it is not political power we will achieve through the tren’keit’s actions but rather the ability to help as many people in the newly rejuvenated world as possible. A.
I agree that this passage contains little of interest, but do note that ‘powers’ here is again a different word, elsant, which bears relation to elseng above and makes me wonder if this is better translated as ‘rightful rulers.’ T.
I want to agree that ‘rulers’ is a better translations, but are the rightful rulers of the earth meant to live in its kogal? Surely we have better places to put kings than in the basement! P.
As a personal aside, I’m not entirely convinced that we do have anywhere better to put monarchs of all stripes. E.
Japes aside, I do not feel that translating “kogal” as “basement” is entirely accurate. The translation provided by Arthur here is far more correct, and it does make sense that the rulers of the world, in a mythic structure such as a prophecy, would appear at its foundations. One of the words for “lord” in Chez’n is “ka’gol,” which is assuredly a related term and seems to suggest the idea that their lords are the foundations upon which their society rests. If I may be permitted a personal aside of my own, this term in Chez’n is only ever applied to dragons, historically understood as gods in the plateau. As a lad, the absence of dragons in this prophecy—and indeed nearly all known prophecies—always somewhat disappointed me, so I was tickled by this connection, however distant. Y.
Wait, there are no dragons in prophecies? That’s so boaring. Could this technically meen that we’ll get to ride dragons? I.
His birth will be under the star of daylight, in the season of the horn, marked by all the omens and heralded by five sages, it will shake the land and render the sky aflame.
It is difficult to say what any of this originally meant. The Star of Daylight is an ambiguous prophetic figure in eschatological scripture, but it is not clear that this is meant to be an allusion to that figure. The season of the horn could be the autumn, but it is hard to be certain. “All the omens” and the “five sages” are too vague to interpret properly, and the earthquake and fiery sky may refer to specific earthly events at the time of the tren’keit’s birth. A.
Valletti is better translated as ‘supported’ rather than ‘heralded,’ and I would also posit that the five ollel are not people but things, given the nonsentient connotations there. ‘Wisdoms’ would a better translation. Perhaps five different types of magic? It is unclear what that distinction would mean. On the whole, I must agree with Arthur that this verse is very difficult if not impossible to parse. T.
I cannot help but wonder if the five ollel represent the fivefold division of magic somehow. Perhaps a coalition of magic-users will support the chosen one? If Tanya is correct about the k’ysem, that would explain both ambiguities together. P.
If my arguments about those who broke the Pillars being other magic-users are correct, it would be apropos for a coalition of other magic-users to support the tren’keit as they rebuild what was broken. History does not love irony as much as humans do, but prophecies certainly seem to. E.
In a class on prophecy recently, a student of mine by the name of Padraig made a discovery that in the minor prophecy The Rights of Seekers, which purports to be about the tren’keit’s birth, dick, a word that sounds unfortunately like a term for male genitals in Daolo, and which is frequently translated as “horn,” actually seems to mean “antlers” when one analyses the animals described in association with said term. Antlered animals are frequently used in various cultures to represent spring. For this reason, I now believe the “djyahok’ dick” in this prophecy indicates early or mid-spring, and intend to more closely analyse the remaining clauses for other clues pertaining to the tren’keit’s birth. Y.
I was born in the season of the dick. Finally, something in a prophecy that makes sense. I.
The chosen one shall earn dominion over world but not keep it, for his eyes alight on naught but purity, and his teacher shall guide the renewed world to the era of its true life.
More affirmation of my previous comments. The tren’keit is here not to rule the world, and perhaps briefly will do so, but will hand over that power to its rightful owners. Note that the teacher is not ruling the world either, merely guiding it. The ambiguity of this verse has long drawn criticism from outside the academy for fear that we were after political power. But the prophecy makes clear that this is not the case, and that the supportive role of mages will continue even after the coming of the tren’keit. A.
I take this verse with the previous one as more vague prophetic language that means little, though I do note that poinot, ‘alight,’ has strange consumptive connotations, where the more common verb wadelt would have made more sense. It is theorized that the Dynese translators likely inserted punctuation into the original, and I feel the last clause here was meant to be read on its own, not as a continuation of the first two. Given my interpretation of ‘untekel, it is interesting that this figure will be the one guiding the world. This supports my theory that it is an angelic figure—or perhaps a High Presbyter? T.
Tanya is correct—the last clause was meant to be read in conjunction with the following line, not the preceding sentence. ‘The era of its true life’ has apocalyptic connotations, bringing to mind the Scroll of Walls, and the concept of the afterlife as a rebirth of our world. P.
It is very important to remember that not all apocalypses require the world to end. An apocalypse is merely an unveiling, or a revelation. We know the tren’keit will reveal to us important knowledge, and in so doing change the world. I do not feel that there is any need to understand this verse too mythically. The prophetic language at play here is lending it a mythic structure that it may not necessarily have. Y.
And in this new era the name of the chosen one and his teacher shall ring hallowed in the halls of God, forevermore and unto the end.
In a prophecy otherwise largely devoid of religious imagery, the inclusion of this prayer at the end seems out of place. Perhaps this last verse is an addition by a later redactor, as many of the early transmitters of ancient texts were priests, monks or otherwise affiliated with the Catechism. A.
While Arthur is correct that this line is abrupt, if my previous theories about angelic attendance in the prophecy are correct, it makes more sense. The grammar and style of this line are identical to the rest of the document, so I don’t agree that it is a later addition. The singular ‘name’ is curious here, but it may just be a scribal error. T.
Though I agree that the grammar and style, as well as the word choices, suggest this section was not a later addition, it is also possible that the translator—who was responsible for the Dynese grammar and style—added it seamlessly enough as to not be noticeable. I remain undecided on this, but it is irrelevant either way—this line contributes nothing meaningful to the prophecy. P.
It contributes nothing meaningful and muddies the interpretive waters substantially, trapping centuries of interpretation in the scriptural mud. Regardless of whether these lines were originally in the prophecy, we’d be better off cutting them out. E.
On a recent voyage to Aergyre’s capital, I encountered a scroll that used a version of this same phrase “ring hallowed in the halls of God,” in reference to a non-Catechism deity. Because this is not a phrase that appears in normal Catechism liturgy and it does appear elsewhere, I wonder if it is in fact a relic of pre-Catechism Wars religious life. If that is the case, I think it very much worth studying, because it might tell us something about that culture, but understanding that culture might also tell us something about how this prophecy is meant to be read. Unfortunately, so few records from this time exist, but there must be other surviving fragments such as the one I encountered in Qoilivar, just waiting to be pieced together. Y.
It’s crazy though that there’s so much that we just don’t know what it meens. You guys all seem so smart and still it’s so confusing. Even I have to admit it was super cool to see how much you were all able to figure out just by being super smart, thogh. I.
22 thoughts on “Friday Lore Post: The Chosen One Prophecy and its Interpretations”
“If Tanya’s reading of the word ‘come’ is correct, that would suggest the chosen one is going to enter the world from somewhere outside of it, which is ludicrous”
Several thousand isekai novels would disagree with you.
I guess it’s just not a genre that Evelyn was familiar with. 😀
All the lines about restoring what was broken have an interesting ambiguity to them—mapping them to what’s been revealed thus far, one could interpret this as referring either to the shattered Web or to the lost and in many cases deliberately distorted history of the world. The latter of which maps well to the translation of “tren’keit” as “storyteller”, suggesting that a significant part of the Chosen One’s role may be not any specifically magical feat, but simply the rediscovery and dissemination of lost, hidden, and distorted knowledge. Much like how his reunification of the three branches of magecraft wasn’t any kind of magical working, but simply the revelation that all three Pillars had always been accessible to all mages.
That’s a very possible reading of the prophecy for sure! Given what we’ve seen of the of Isaac’s journey so far (presuming the prophecy does apply to him, of course), it would definitely make sense if his role were more revelatory/instructional than anything else. It’s a good reading, thank you!
…Is Isaac’s birthmark the cause of his ability to get into a statistically improbable number of pants?
Not at all! Isaac would have that ability regardless of what distinguishing marks he had, I have no doubt. 😀
Of course, I’d also argue that he’s actually been in a far smaller number of pants than most people his age; he so rarely wants to wear them.
“He will arouse loyalty and fellowship, and they will follow him into prosperity.”
Translation: He’s gonna fuck. A lot. And it will change lives for the better.
Which in this universe was pretty much a given even BEFORE we knew who the prophecy was about, I think. But especially so if it’s Isaac we’re talking about.
The bit about the Chosen One’s teacher/master explains why Klaus created Nicholas, and why he’s now so eager to have Isaac working for him—it’s a valid reading of the prophecy that the Chosen One will be the puppet of someone else, and Klaus wants that “someone else” to be him.
Yes, that bit is absolutely the reason why Klaus did all that—he has a view of prophecy as something malleable (which is fair), and figures if he sets up a certain set of circumstances, he can be the ‘untekel. It’s absolutely a reasonable reading that tren’keit is going to be someone else’s puppet, and Klaus is our resident puppetmaster, after all.
So the “rightful rulers” of the world will once again be its foundations…either this means the ziggurat-builders will return and take their planet back from all these Johnny-come-latelys, or it means the gods are going to be buried under the reconstructed Tower. I can get behind either one, honestly.
(Okay, it could mean a lot of other things, too, but I found these the most entertaining.)
😀 It’s definitely one of the lines of very ambiguous meaning (especially because it’s one of the harder lines to translate), but those are both perfectly reasonable readings, and very entertaining ones too! Thanks!
“ ‘in a world ruled by Defeat,’ which leads one to wonder why defeat is a personified entity”
Hmm…between this and the later possible personification of “justice”…
Defeat > Ruin > Entropy > Chaos?
Justice > Order?
Rawen and Nathen? Rawen is certainly enough of a loser to personify Defeat. Though he doesn’t seem to be ruling much of anything at the moment, much less the current era…
😀 That’s a very good interpretation of that line. Though yes, Rawen’s failure to rule much of anything does put a kink in it a little…but maybe the prophecy is referring to the near future with that line, who can say?
“he will bring radiance to the night and darken the day”
Tying into the theory that the chosen one is more of a revelator than a doer of great deeds, perhaps this simply means revealing the unknown and casting common knowledge into doubt?
It might mean that! We definitely shouldn’t be so fast to ignore the metaphorical reading there; the idea that it could just be a revelatory act (especially given the other connotations of ‘colett’) is definitely very reasonable. Thanks!
“‘alight,’ has strange consumptive connotations”
So one who aspires to “consume” purity? A deflowerer of virgins, perhaps? 😉
Very possibly 😉 In this world, that’s very likely, I think!
If Isaac is meant to reforge the shattered Web, that’s actually a pretty terrible outcome for humans, despite all the positivity of the “restoring what was once broken” imagery. Let’s hope it either means something else (restoring magic to the state it was in before the gods built the Tower, perhaps?) or that it will be altered so that spiders aren’t constantly at risk of exploding.
I think it was on Discord last night someone pointed out that perhaps Isaac will reforge the Web, then immediately realize it was a bad idea and then break it again. Nobody ever said it had to stay reforged, after all. 😀 But it could also mean something else and hopefully it does, because yes, reforging it to the state it was in just prior to its destruction the first time wouldn’t really be good for anyone, as Isaac himself can attest from personal experience.
“Most of this verse is prophetic fluff, collapsing past, present and future into the figure of the tren’keit.”
Given the heavy role time travel is playing in the plot, I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss anything that ‘collapses past, present, and future’ into one figure as mere fluff.
Yeah, there was a lot of agreement from all these guys that there wasn’t much to this verse or at least not much that could be readily interpreted. Of course, none of them know the Temporal Bureau is out there deal with various crises pertaining to time not functioning properly, so maybe if they did, they’d have something more to say about it.
Thanks so much for all the commentary! I’m never sure how many anons there are, but I assume a lot of these comments came from the same person, and it was really fun to read and good interpretations too!