There are six human groups in the Mysterion series. Of these, the most important are the Lethes.
In the early history of Mysterion, before the human races were divided, a group of people fell prey to the temptations of the Djinn. They became enemies of their fellow human beings and fought against them in the Battle of Mysterion.
Following the Battle, the human allies of the Djinn discovered that the Djinn had duped them. Now little more than slaves, they fell into a despondent, sleep-like state. Eventually, they forgot to wake up at all. This is why they are called ‘Lethes,’ from the Greek word for ‘forgetfulness.’
Over the centuries, the Lethes’ comatose bodies disintegrated, but their spirits flowed down to the base of Mysterion, and continued to live together in a shadowy dream, a partial memory of the waking world they left behind. That great Lethean philosopher Plato came close to grasping this condition when he envisioned the world as a cave in which the objects are just shadows projected onto the wall from the light outside.
How can the Lethes leave their shadowy dream-state, and return to the real world of Mysterion? There are two ways: the Lamp, and the pendant of the Djinn.
In the first way, the Lethes must learn to kindle the Lamp, which burns away their illusory view of the world, wakes them up, and restore them to life in Mysterion. This is a process known as ‘unburying,’ and it takes time, effort, and sacrifice. Those who are unburied join the People of the Wind among the races of Mysterion.
That brings us to the second way: the pendant of the Djinn. Unlike the difficult and painful tutelage that comes with learning how to kindle the Lamp, the Lethes can simply take hold of the pendant, and return to Mysterion. In exchange, however, the Lethes must make a pact with the Djinn, and allow themselves to be imprisoned in the Nightmare Tree, which drains them of their souls. They emerge barely human, and join the pirates among the races of Mysterion.
The Lethes symbolize the present state of our humanity and the two paths that we can follow from here. On the one hand, there is the easy, hedonistic path that leads to the complete loss of our humanity; on the other, is the harder path of honest struggle and suffering that leads to the restoration of our true selves. Which one will we choose?
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