On an island in the middle of a lake is a squat cylinder of a building. Just based on that description, you might never guess the terrible evil it houses. Indeed, I am not particularly overwhelmed by such a description. But standing across the lake from that structure is a different matter entirely. The evil that saturates the Valley of the Dead, nestled in the Tors of Levenies, is palpable. It hangs in the air like an oppressive miasma.
There are, of course, objects and people that radiate evil the way a lantern radiates light. It is the blessing and the burden of the chosen of the gods to be able to perceive these things most clearly, but most folk can discern, without divine intervention, when things anathema appear before them. We are all aware, at some level, of our own light, and we know when it is dimmed – we feel despair or weariness, for evil acts as a paralytic to men and women of good conscience. It wants you to do nothing , to feel so overwhelmed by its presence that you sit down and let the darkness roll over you.
It is at these times that we need the Gods. There will be times when my own light is not enough. When we entered that foul tower, one-eyed zombies the size of tall trees assailed us from every direction. On my own, I would have been of little use to my comrades. With the light of Sarenrae guiding me, I was more than my sword or shield – I was an instrument of light. The Dawnflower transformed me into a lantern in the dark places of the world and, together with my friends, we have been enough to drive the darkness back.
We have hardly begun to plumb the darkness of this tower, which has squatted forgotten for millennia by men, and only dimly recalled by the centaurs who lives in the foothills beyond the Tors. No doubt the darkness will reach out to try and suffocate us again. Darkness wishes to smother us and put out our lights. Thanks be to the Everflame that our lights are more than the sum of our sparks.