From Exalted - Unofficial Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Diaries of Justicar Crystal Raven

From the writings of Foundation Apex, archivist to Ledaal Visaren of Tuchara:

Throughout the First Age, the Anathema wrought any number of vile and execrable acts, their worst tendencies only kept in check by the labors and sacrifices of their noble Dragon-Blooded lieutenants. The Oblation Period denotes the first high-water mark of Anathematic excesses, surpassed only by their final collective madness at the close of the First Age. When we must turn to examples of the foulness of Oblation era craft, there are few examples more apt than the Diaries of Justicar Crystal Raven.

According to Grey Bone’s The Rise and Fall of Minor Empires, the early Solar Deliberative assigned the Twilight Caste Crystal Raven to oversee the northeastern satrapy of Horizon as Justicar. Crystal Raven saw the need for advisors to aid him in his task, but in his pride, he refused to draw upon the wisdom of his fellow Exalted, as he did not wish for rivals in his own court. Likewise, he barred spirits and demons from his service, calling instead upon the wisest and most learned mortal sages in the First Realm.

Crystal Raven’s hubris grew with the passage of time. He found himself unable to stomach contradiction even from mortal counselors, and so, he devised a new stratagem by which to manage his court. With the aid of powerful sorceries, he devised a new sort of magical book. Once given to an adviser with a feather quill taken from the wings of the demon Haggith, each blank volume compelled its victim to write; and in writing, to instill their mind, body, spirit and soul into the book. Thus were the Diaries of Justicar Crystal Raven created, trapping the Essences of a thousand sages and barring them forever from rebirth.

Upon slaying Crystal Raven at the behest of the Deliberative, the Lunar assassin Grassblade brought the Diaries to Meru. They passed through many hands, including the One Mirror Society and the Brotherhood of Certain Fates, until finally being locked away in the cellars of the Academy of Silur. Many of the Diaries were destroyed in the overthrow of the Anathema, but a few are known to have survived. The Fire Chronicle states that Raikuru the First relied upon three of the Diaries in devising the legal code of the Shogunate, and at least three of the present-day Imperial Houses are rumored to secretly own one or more Diaries, despite the Empress' proscription against such ownership.

- Quendalon

Remismund, the Knight of Scrolls, writes:

My esteemed colleague, by some disaster of miseducation, seems to be unaware of the other Diaries of Justicar Crystal Raven, those that were unenchanted. Though the mystical Diaries are in themselves a historically significant corpus, and at times they shed light on the origin of the literary Diaries' tales, they are perhaps less illuminative of the culture than the mundane documents that surround them.

Crystal Raven was a Justicar in the service of the Eight Immortalities Fellowship, a mysterious body that were part of the Deliberative, but kept counsel amongst themselves as well. He kept a series of diaries recounting many fantastic events; in some Crystal Raven is the hero, and in others a mere witness of the drama the diaries recount. In every case, other literature of the time corroborates the events' occurrence, but it is debated whether the Raven was attendant at them all; often two happenings starring the Twilight actually occur simultaneously in other records. It is often the arcane Diaries that provide us with this chronological knowledge, though they, being more or less impressions to the soul of the writer, are often disorganized in their original forms, and translation and interpretation make it difficult to extract reliable meaning from them.

One major tale, recurring in the arcane Diaries and other sources, recounts the events surrounding the Banishment of Shadows, in a surprisingly hyperbolic manner that is uncharacteristic of the other stories in the mundane cycle. One suspects that it is either a late addition to the collection, or that this is evidence in support of the "Crystal Raven is fictitious" hypothesis, as it suggests that multiple authors collaborated on the work.

In some versions of the Diaries, a frame story connects the events; the standard scholarly text holds that they were written, not concurrent to the events, but while Crystal Raven was held prisoner by the god-king of {unreadable}, Incense Descending Crown, who was known not to have approved of the activities of the Fellowship.

- FourWillowsWeeping

See Also: