Twelve Words of Escalmanir Myth in Therrmordia | World Anvil

Twelve Words of Escalmanir

A list of prophesies attributed to Escalmanir, the Primordial of Illumination.

Origins

Escalmanir was the only being in Therrmordia's existence who was truly omniscient. While all other attempts at soothsaying and predicting the future produce either vague answers or possible futures, he knew with complete certainty what was going to happen. Escalmanir was very guarded with his knowledge, he did not want to reveal too much and knew that any utterances would analyzed for prophetic content. He normally spoke only when necessary and just enough to convey what had to be communicated; for this he is sometimes called the Quiet God. There are thus very few prophecies from the all knowing primordial. Among the existing examples are the Twelve Words, a dozen small collections of statements spoken by Escalmanir during the First Creation and preserved through the ages. The oldest copies of the Twelve Words date from the Era of Legends. Scholars have identified six sources from this ancient time.

Contents

As the name suggests, each prophecy of the Twelve Words centers around a specific word. The prophecies begin by stating the word, which is followed by a few sentences discussing a situation pertaining to the word. Despite the name, none of the Legendary sources of the Twelve Words list twelve words, instead containing eight to ten words. The sources also do not agree on the order of the words, or even which words belong on the list. Between the six versions are fourteen distinct words and descriptions. During the Historical Era scholars produced complete lists by combining multiple existing sources, but this also requires picking which words discard to make a set of twelve.    

Interpretations

Most believers in the prophesies believe the refer to specific events and study the past and current events to find matches for the situations described by the words. Due to the lack of specifics in the prophecies, they have been applied to a wide range of people, situations and events.    Other believers adhere to what is called the Primordial interpretation which holds that the name Twelve Words is a mistake, since the largest list from the legendary era only has ten words. They believe that the ten word list is the full list, and that each word applies to one of the primordials.   Finally, some people believe that the Twelve Words are not truly prophecies at all. They suggest that the statements are too vague for an omniscient being to intentionally provide as prophecies. Instead, they believe the words were created as proverbs, and were mistaken for prophecies because of who spoke them. Believers in the words as prophecies accept that the statements are phrased as proverbs, but counter that all proverbs are based on knowledge and experience, and since Escalmanir's knowledge extended through all time, he based the proverbs on specific situations he foresaw.   

Use in Scripture

While most wisdom literature attributed to a primordial would be considered scripture, Escalmanir is not adored as a god by any of the major religions of Therrmordia, so the Twelve Words are not viewed as scripture by Primordialists, Deuteromordialists, or Aspectionalists. Escalmanir is considered a god by some sects of Naturalists, but his words are still not considered scripture as Naturalism does not acknowledge the sayings of gods. Escalmanir is the many focus of worship for Star Cults, and the Twelve Words are considered important holy writings by almost all such cults.

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