Speck in a Perfect Diamond
- The Strategists say the world is wrong. They armor themselves in the power of emptiness. They weave it into themselves. Then they come to our world to break it as a crime against the void. Mostly.
- They are sick — you understand — as those who wrestle with wrongness are always sick. They have splashed themselves, suffused themselves, or infused themselves with what they claim is our perversity.
- They have gone wrong as people go wrong.
- They have gone wrong as the world has gone wrong.
- They aren’t awesome like the Deceivers are and the Warmains can be. They are fucking twisted, and they pretend that that’s our fault.
- They’re dying. Every one of them is dying of something, every one of them is too far wrong to live, but when they do finally give up and die, they don’t stay dead. They fade into unbeing instead. They flail outwards into the Not. They armor themselves there in the power of emptiness. They weave it into them and it restores their life. Then they come back into our world to break it, for our crime against the void.
- They’re lethal too. Killing and destroying isn’t hard for them. It’s easier for them than for basically anybody else in the world because they don’t have to do anything to make it happen. They can just wave their hands and wish and things will go away. They can just deny things right out of existence, cause things to fall apart like reality’s unweaving, make anything — and not just physical things, but love, and greed, and waves, and words, and fate, and light, and understanding too — go away just by choosing that it ought.
- Textrix the Deacon fought a Power for seven days, using that ability — what the Nobilis call the World-Breaker’s Hand — as his principal weapon. The Dead Zone of Libya was the result. No plant grows there. No love lives there. The sun is never bright there, no nation claims it, no map shows it. The ground is arid. Sometimes it crumbles underfoot, opening onto the vastness of nothing underneath. No one of interest was ever born there. No wind ever blows there. Nobody goes there save by force; and even though you can break a person by chaining them there for a day or two, even though it’d be the kind of punishment any despot or cruel authority would love to inflict, it doesn’t even get used for that very often, because the thing that places have that make them easy to remember is a thing the Dead Zone no longer has. It was a place. It had qualities. It had stuff. It had things. They went away.