The Deadly Cycle

The Deadly Cycle

As told by Philip Dream-Speaker

“In the old days, Native American children were not told what was right or wrong; instead they were shown through stories the consequences of the actions they had taken, or would take. This approach is similar to the white man requiring history lessons in higher education before the Coming of the Rifts. The whole point is that people should learn from their mistakes and the mistakes of others. With the violent return of magic to this, our Earth, much of the written histories have been lost, or in the case of the Coalition States, banned and burned, but our people have always maintained a tradition of oral history keeping. A tradition that continues to this day. Thus, we remember the way it was long ago before the devastating opening of the Rifts. Listen now child, no matter what race you belong to, and learn from the mistakes of the past.
“Nine hundred years ago, the North American continent was a vast untainted wilderness, much like it is now, but without the scattering of city ruins or roaming creatures from the Rifts. Across this game-filled paradise flourished my people, the Native Americans — the first people to walk upon this land. Our territories stretched as far north as the arctic and south into Mexico and the Yucatan. Living in harmony with the land, we hunted, farmed, and prospered. The animal and plant spirits shared their physical forms and spiritual advice with the people, providing sustenance and guidance. The Great Circle of Life went round with nothing to disturb it, but a century later the white man would arrive.
“Across the great ocean, the white man in Europe had forsaken the belief in magic and earth spirits in favor of his one God and the rapidly growing sciences and technology. What I tell you now is my personal theory, but I believe it has much merit and grave implications. I hope to one day offer it to other scholars of history or magic to test its validity. I believe Victor Lazlo coined the term “Nega-Psychic.” Whether he did or not, I will use it, because it is handy and appropriate. A Nega-Psychic is someone (with psionic abilities) who believes so strongly that the supernatural does not exist, that he/she can actually disrupt magical effects. Now, I will not say that the entire population of Europe had psionic abilities at the time, but it is quite possible that enough such people, with enough support, could have had a profound effect on their magical environment. In effect, the white man was able to suppress the magic so much in his disbelief that it simply began to ebb back into the Earth. This suppression and disappearance of magic and the creatures or forces associated with it, would follow the white man across the ocean. Only trace elements would remain in points of power until the return of magic with the eruption of the Rifts.
“In the 1500s, the white man began to arrive from across the great ocean. Our people viewed them as just another tribe, and they were dealt with in the ways we had always dealt with other tribes. Some of us welcomed them as neighbors and fellow men, and others killed them for being invaders of their tribal territory. It was during those early days that the Nunnehi spirits came to each of the tribes and clans to warn the people of the danger that the newcomers represented. Danger to both the people and the spirits all around them. Many had faith in the words of the spirits, but few had the conviction to follow their prescribed fasting and bidding to travel to the Spirit Realm. Those who stayed on Earth were not concerned by the presence of the white man, especially those tribes who had yet to encounter them directly. "The Native Americans who traveled into the spirit world would remain there, like Chief Many Horses, until the time after the Rifts. A time when the Nunnehi would return them to a reborn Earth. Those that remained behind would come to realize the truth in the warnings brought to them by the spirits. Over the next four centuries, the white man would expand into the continent, logging and building as he went, abusing the spirits of the land and forcing the spirit protectors to flee to the spirit caves. The white man also brought his God and technology. The influence of the white man and his rationality smothered the magic around him and forced the Great Earth Mother to hide the spirits in her protective embrace, just as she had done in the homelands of the whites. As the wars between the whites and natives grew in size and scope, our people found their spirit guides and companions to be either inaccessible or simply too weak to help them against the Europeans. Eventually, the spirits of the land retreated in the wake of the westward expansion of the white man. By the time the Great Ghost Dance was attempted, not even the combined energy (P.P.E.) of scores of our people could muster the spirits to action. The last of the world’s great magics and the spirits of the American wilds, retreated, opening the way for the rise of technology which would dominate our land and our people for another 300 years.
“The following decades were very hard on our people and our ways. The whites attempted to force their beliefs on Native Americans through the hardships of internment camps and the brainwashing called ‘re-education.’ Many of our people no longer had the will to fight and surrendered to the new ways, others were too young to know differently, so the old ways became lost to many. But enough of the people held on to the old traditions, and believed in the spirits and embraced them in their hearts to keep them alive in oral tradition.
“The creation of reservations was a later victory, but they represented only minuscule portions of the Native Americans’ original lands, and many of them were not even located within the tribes’ original territories. During the following century, many social and political successes helped the Native American peoples to recover much of their lost ways and heritage, but nothing could erase the stains of technology and the influence of the white man. The spirits seemed lost forever.
“It is interesting to note that many of the Ghost Dance prophets claimed that a “tidal wave of new earth” would cover the whites and any Native Americans who did not believe. Not only did tidal waves and other natural disasters cover and swallow people when the ley lines erupted and the Rifts tore open, but magic resurged into the world in powerful waves. Apparently, the Native American shamans and their spirit contacts knew what was to be. Perhaps if a Ghost Dance had been done 200 or 300 years earlier, magic would never have been smothered and the spirits would never have left our land, but such speculation is moot, for the magic did disappear and has returned, with a vengeance.
“The return of magic to Earth brought with it the spirits that were so long ago the friends and guides of the Native American people. The returning spirits brought with them many of the animals and plants that had been previously taken from Earth, including the great dinosaurs. As the survivors of the Great Cataclysm struggled to survive, the animals and plants made their comeback, and once again, the wilderness of North America thrived. And with them, we Native Americans have reclaimed our lands and grow as a people.
“The story has been told, children. Leam from it and from the mistakes of our forefathers. The Earth is pure again. Our people are pure again. Again, many white men violently oppose magic and the supernatural, preferring technology and blind sense to the whole world around them. This time, however, we are ready and able to do something. The question is whether we will accept our task with the wisdom and nobility of the spirits, or with the violence and ignorance of many whites.”
— Quoted from one of Philip Dream-Speaker s oral teachings

Are Dream-Speaker’s observations and theories valid? Most of them make sense or have a certain rationality to them, but it is questionable if they are accurate conclusions. His historical accounts, though general, are accurate and supported by texts located in Lazlo and the NGR (as well as the secret library of Chi-Town). No one can argue the appearance of extinct species of plants and animals, most notably the dinosaurs. Nor can one deny that the policies of the Coalition States (and to some extent, those of the NGR) are designed to eliminate the practice of magic, but could the rise of technology, disbelief in or hatred dormancy? And could the Coalition’s actions ever cause the magic to disappear again? These questions cannot be answered with any certainty.
Dream-Speaker points to the Nega-Psychic whose very presence and refusal to believe in magic can disrupt and dispel ritual magic, but no one knows what they could do in a group or with hundreds of thousands of loyal supporters all preferring not to believe in magic (Nega-Psychics are believed to be rare).
Plato of Lazlo (a dragon) insists that the magic of all worlds ebbs and flows like an ocean tide, and that the appearance of the Europeans to the Americas, and the disappearance of the spirits, were simply coincidence. Still Philip Dream-Speaker wonders if there might be some other, more ominous explanation.
Again, he points out that when the Europeans arrived in North America, there was no magic in Europe and it had been at least a century since a dragon was reportedly seen there, while Native Americans still had full access to their spirit allies and magic (although nothing near what is available to them on Rifts Earth). However, 300 years after the arrival of the Europeans, the spirits were gone from North America and so was magic. Those facts bother shamans across the continent, and some non-Indian sorcerers wonder as well. Could the Coalition’s campaign against magic eventually subdue the magic again? Such concerns are still in the distant future, and, if true, it seems incomprehensible that enough people would forsake magic or not believe in its existence to make an impact. However, this antimagic belief theory has a dedicated following that forms a deadly faction among the Native Americans of Rifts Earth.

Back to Spirit West.

Back to Main Page.

The Deadly Cycle

Powell Tannalas