The Prophet Brutha left behind a wealth of correspondence after his death. Some of it would later be incorporated into the Book of Om, and studied for religious truth long after his death.
Some of it was... less consequential.
I. Let There Be Ten Thousand Voices?
“Far too many people have died over disagreements. The Quisition... All of that, it's because people like Vorbis were convinced that there's one true way to worship. What do the details matter to you, as long as people believe you exist?”
II. Better They Talk Each Other To Death, Rather Than Burn Each Other?
"Well, yes. But it's about people deciding for themselves how to live their lives, instead of being terrified of getting the wrong kind of attention all the time."
III. Oh, About That. Are You Really Sticking With The Democracy Idea?
"Yes, I intend to. I've written to the Tyrant of Ephebe for advice, actually."
IV. Ha! Most Of His Country Hates Him.
"Exactly. And after five years, they'll choose the next person to dislike. That way, people can at least pick someone they expect will be better."
V. And Then Realize He's The Next Dishonest, Power-Hungry Fool, As They Say.
(Excerpt from a letter from Brutha, Cenobiarch of the Omnian Church, to the Tyrant of Ephebe)
- and I was wondering whether you would have any advice in that regard. I would prefer to try democracy in Omnia and I have consulted the library on possible ways to implement it, but every single book insists its contents are the only correct to do... Well, anything, really. How did Ephebe's government come to be?
(Excerpt from a letter from the Tyrant of Ephebe to Brutha, Cenobiarch of the Omnian Church)
Ephebian democracy is a result of people getting angry enough to revolt, so I would say Omnia is on the right track. Our situation was different from yours; Ephebians were governed by arguing aristocratic families before our current system. Predictably, they would make whatever decisions would work in they and their families' favour, and after retiring from the chief magistrate's position they would join Senate. Power stayed with whoever had it in the first place.
The way we have things set up now, the ordinary citizens still hate the government, but at least they have the option to elect whoever they want and only realizing they're corrupt and out-of-touch when they enter their office. Now, to set this up practically speaking-
VI. So Instead Of Having People Complain About The Rich, You'd Like Them To Complain About Each Other?
"At least this way everyone is equally free to complain. Or be complained about."
I. Have You Still Not Finished Copying That Out?
"It was an entire library. And I did say I wanted two copies, one for our new library and one for Ephebe. It's the least we could do."
II. Still. You Could Have Gotten Some Underling To Help. People Would Volunteer.
"No, that doesn't seem right... I want to be sure that everything's copied out the way it was. Simony wanted to burn the Septateuch; who's to say what others might want to get rid of?"
III. You Have To Admit, Though, That Parts Are Weird. Some Of These People Must've Been On Unusual Desert Mushrooms, Is All I'm Saying.
"Maybe we're just not understanding them correctly? These were written by philosophers, after all."
IV. This Guy Just Used The Word Being Five Times In One Sentence. Sometimes Capitalized, Sometimes Not, And He Seems To Mean Something Different Every Time. I'm Sticking With The Mushroom Theory.
(Excerpt from a note from Brutha, Cenobiarch of the Omnian Church, to the philosopher Didactylos)
Here's another few dozen texts from the Library. I'm afraid some of them are rather unusual, however; I may have misunderstood, but one of them seems convinced we can't be sure anything is happening anywhere because time and space are all in our heads? In any case, there's also-
(Excerpt from a note from the philosopher Didactylos to Brutha, Cenobiarch of the Omnian Church)
Ha! Überwaldeans. It's those long winter nights, you know, and possibly all the beers they seem so fond of brewing. Keep them on hand in case anyone over there starts trouble, confusing people to death seems to fit with what you're trying to do. There's a few text here that would be interesting to read for-
I. What Is That Thing? A Giant Fishing Rod?
"A... hook on a pole? It seems to be able to tip over ships from land, somehow. Might have been the same person who came up with that mirror that burned ships...
II. What Do You Think? Will You Keep It?
"Destroying the plans would be worse than the alternative. I'll send a copy to Urn, I'm sure he'd find the mechanics interesting."
III. What Happened To His Steam Engine Thing, Anyway?
"He was considering doing what it was designed for - he's determined to make water flow uphill, apparently. I think the boat plan went south somehow."
VI. As Long As They Don't Explode. Again.
"He's assured me they won't - something about pressure release valves. We'll see."
(Excerpt from a note from Brutha, Cenobiarch of the Omnian Church, accompanying a set of sketches of a lever-like mechanism mounted on a wall, sent to Urn)
This appears to have been designed for warfare, but perhaps there's something more constructive you can do with the general principle?
On that note, how is your work on your steam devices? I hear using them to power boats isn't quite working out?
(Excerpt from a note from Urn to Brutha, Cenobiarch of the Omnian Church)
-and I'm certain this could be used to lift heavy objects and not break them, as well. Though perhaps I should test this out with a scale model first.
I fear using the steam engine at sea may be a dead end - you remember it got clogged by salt? Unless you'd take a lot of extra fresh water along to use in it, you'd get stranded every couple of hours. It's a shame, I was working on a boat that would work entirely underwater; there would be no need for sails, after all. Otherwise, I-
VII. Yes, That Seems Like An Excellent Idea. Let's Sit Underwater In A Box With A Device That Explodes.
"Apparently you can't have progress without things breaking or blowing up. It might be a metaphor somehow."
(Excerpt from a letter from Brutha, Cenobiarch of the Omnian Church, to Simony)
- and I am glad to hear the dismantling of the Inquisition has been successful without too much bloodshed. We're trying to change the way this country works, and light is more visible if you bring it into the dark places.
I. From What I Saw, The Inquisition Worked In Bright Light.
"You know what I meant."
II. Again With The Metaphors?
"They are useful in... explaining things that aren't easy to describe. If we're going to be using words instead of soldiers from now on, we should probably learn to be good at them."
III. Well, All The Philosophers Lurking In The Library Might Help With That.
"At the very least, people will get used to arguing with all of them here. Om?"
"Are you happy with the way things have turned out?
V. What? I'm A God. Beyond Having Believers, What Do I Care?
"What, not even slightly?"
VI. ...I Suppose Things Would Be Tedious Otherwise. Ever Been Up On Nob Hill? I Don't Recommend It. The Company Is Terrible.
"No, I think we should be able to avoid 'tedious' easily enough."
VII. What Are You Smiling At?
"Oh, nothing in particular. I've just got a good feeling about all this."
VIII. Famous Last Words If I Ever Heard Any.