Literature in the Flanaess - Philosophy
Date: Sat, May 21, 2005
Topic: The Library
Philosophy is an uncommon topic within the literature of the Flanaess because too many are intoxicated by perfumed clouds of religion to imagine that the universe that surrounds them can be explained by anything other than a purported higher power. Authors who describe a rational philosophy can find their books banned and burned. They may count themselves lucky if they avoid a similar fate. For the religion of gods abhors any sentient being thinking outside the strict confines of faith. The true philosopher is then a lonely figure, carrying a light amidst dark clouds of pious ignorance. Herein are discussed the most noted of truly philosophical tracts. Get your copies before some religious fanatic burns them all.
Literature in the Flanaess - Philosophy
By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
Philosophy is an uncommon topic because too many are intoxicated by perfumed clouds of religion to imagine that the universe that surrounds them can be explained by anything other than a purported higher power. In glorifying their god, the devotees diminish their own natural talents and intellect. It is not surprising then to find that philosophical tracts that make no religious point are rare in the Flanaess.
Compounding matters, authors who describe a rational philosophy can find their books banned and burned. They may account themselves lucky if they avoid a similar fate. While the Church of Pholtus is best known for fanning the bonfires of ignorance, the Church of St. Cuthbert and other lawful churches are not far behind. The more circumspect wait until no one appears to be watching before lighting their fires.
Chaotic faiths are scarcely better. It is not a question of law or chaos, or good or evil. The religion of gods abhors any sentient being thinking outside the strict confines of faith. Such is a direct threat to the gods and their Oerthly hierarchies. Even the most supposedly learned of gods, Boccob and his lot, do not long tolerate philosophies that seek to explain matters without theology. The true philosopher is a lonely figure, carrying a light amidst dark clouds of pious ignorance. Only true druidism, that which worships nature without reference to godhead, appears at all tolerant of man thinking for himself.
The following two tracts are the finest philosophical works to see wide publication in the Flanaess. Most such works reach at best a regional audience, being produced for a patron who will see to publication despite public apathy and religious antipathy.
by Rottcher Baggett (3 Volumes)
1st Edition - 535 CY
Note - The first edition was published as a single, huge volume in very low numbers. Subsequent editions broke up the text into the more common three volumes.
Ordered Makedom begins with a simple premise - man is capable of understanding the universe through the application of his intellect and senses, without more. From this premise, which the author calls “science,” the author expounds upon all manner of phenomena. The writing is crisp and clear. While disapproved, or worse, by any number of churches and faiths, Ordered Makedom has survived and prospered because of the sheer utility of the text. The author’s insights into mathematics, geometry, architecture, engineering, alchemy, metallurgy, meteorology and his “methods” for building philosophic and scientific “models” have proven remarkably practical.
The author has, however, been forced to retire from public life, if he still lives. Hostility to his work borders on the fanatical in some instances. It is believed that he presently resides in the city of Willip under the protection of the Furyondian crown. Conspiracy theorists suggest that the amazing advances of the Furyondian navy are a direct result of Baggett paying back his benefactors for their protection. The truth of such matters is unknown. Rumors continue to make the rounds, however, concerning the publication of Baggett’s Notebooks. If such exist, they likely would surpass the contents of Ordered Makedom in utility and controversy.
The Doctrinal Commentary
by Dantean Allegrini (9 Volumes)
1st Edition - 380 CY
Note - There are nine variations, or sets of volumes, of the first edition, each covered in the skin of a creature from one of the outer-planes corresponding to one of the Nine Philosophies. Later editions are leather bound.
The Doctrinal Commentary is a work that is both lauded and decried by the religious. The work is a massive catalog of the outer-planes that describes the physical conditions, inhabitants and the planar mechanics of each plane. Upon its subject, it is authoritative. It does, however, take no philosophical, moral or religious stance with respect to its subject matter. It is uncompromisingly objective. While the general topic appeals to the religious, the author’s lack of bias is disapproved of. As a result, numerous “chapbook” copies of, or extracts from, one volume or more of the title have appeared. These chapbooks universally rewrite the text of The Doctrinal Commentary to promote the religious view or agenda of the particular ghost author.
It is rumored among collectors of the first edition volumes that the skin coverings of the nine bindings are more than decorative. One rumor is that if one assembles a complete first edition, all volumes having the same binding, certain magical properties of the books will be revealed. Another rumor has it that the first edition bindings signal a subtle emphasis in the actual text of the volumes, revealing more information on some planes than others. Still other rumors have it that to have a truly complete set, one must collect all nine volumes of the first edition in all nine bindings, making for 81 total volumes that reveal more than any lesser combination. The truth of such rumors is uncertain.