The Triumvirate’s rebellion is what brought sin into the world.. When these creatures destroyed their Meaning to create a new Purpose they discarded their Divinity and allowed paths of wickedness to be walked. This was their childish, spiteful act against their creator- to lead Mankind astray and say “See! Your way isn’t perfect!” Were their acts not so destructive they might even be pitied as one might pity a child throwing a tantrum, but that time is long past and any sympathy for these creatures is merely the product of their twisted manipulations. Eons of stewing in their hatred and belief that they could not possibly be wrong have left them bereft of anything of value.
Regarding the nature of the damage they have inflicted, it would seem to me that sin exists in two intertwined, but separate ways. The first is the wound upon the soul of the person taking the sinful path, and the second is the wound inflicted upon the world. Here in Stragosa, I see people struggling with both and that highlights the need for wisdom, courage, and strong atonements for all.
The capacity for a person to sin is a product of the subversive Purpose that the Triumvirate have created. In the world as it was meant to be, God would test themself with all sorts of circumstances and in a world without sin, he would choose a sinless path every time. The most difficult conflicts would be solved and with each, God would grow and Meaning would be gained from the results. In the world that was wounded, we must guard ourselves for paths of darkness exist and they are tempting and easy. They draw us into Meaningless successes and Pyrrhic victories where nothing is truly learned, gained, or resolved and every man and woman looks upon what they have wrought and feels only anxiety or anguish. These paths can range from the venial like drawing you into conflicts and mistakes with too much alcohol, to the deadly of seeking to resolve a feud with an assassin’s blade. The lie that avoids conflict does not resolve it, and the lie will always be found out and make the eventual conflict harder. The Triumvirate have designed their wicked spiral to draw you in with the smallest missteps and you must be watchful to avoid them and right yourself swiftly when you stumble.
This is why atonement is so important. An appropriate atonement should include three parts. The first is the healing of the soul. The penitent should engage in an activity that’s purpose is to rehabilitate, not punish. The penitent should be shown, in this time of openness to the path of Meaning, that their sin is unnecessary and not as rewarding as taking the sinless path. The thief must be shown that their needs will be met by their community. The violent must be shown that conflict can resolved in other ways. The lustful and the gluttonous must be shown that fulfillment and happiness comes not from momentary, distracting pleasures, but from living a good life with good friends.
The second part of sin is that which damages the world, and an atonement must also help to heal the world. Sin manifests in the world as those monsters we call the Night Malefic. These are our sins made manifest.- our Divinity twisted and corrupted by unhealed sin and expressed as Acts upon the world. The world needs healing, too, and so our atonement must not just help ourselves, but our community and the world itself. All of our Acts must do this, but atonement especially is the time when you have most opened yourself to expanding God’s Meaning and are listening to his words in your heart. Therefore, protect yourself and others from the Malefic, but also work with those wise in the faith to resolve them. Give the orphan love and the soldier peace. And seek to right the wrongs of the living and help your neighbors so no more do they turn to sin.
The final part of atonement is simple, but also easily overlooked. Atonement may be difficult, but it must always be possible. There is no shame in seeking new guidance about an atonement to make peace with an enemy who has passed beyond your reach. Seek a path to healing in the wisdom of the clergy and trust them to help you.
Together we can find Meaning and become great- greater than any other race or deceptive creed. Together we are God. We are the Form God takes when poured into the world. Do not be taken in by the tantrums of the Triumvirate. Their paths have no Meaning and their rewards are false. Only the path of Divinity leads to a true victory.