050: dosak, second exhaler (padora #4)

(dosak is adorned in an elaborate bishop’s vestment, dark gray with silver and gold trim. each of his fingers has a gaudy ring. on his head is a broad, flat miter, and he walks with an elaborately carved silver and gold scepter with an orb encrusted with various jewels.)

i’m sure you’ve heard everyone speak of us as the “evil” sect of padorism. that’s a pejorative term i don’t appreciate; “self-centered” would be a more appropriate term. even “selfish.” both terms have negative connotations that are merely the last ditch effort of a dying religion to save face. alas, the term persists, as we are often seen as an arrogant, haughty sect. this couldn’t be further from the truth. the exhalers see the world for what it is: temporary. padora’s breath gives us life but all life must eventually exhale. we all take our last breaths, and when padora finally breathes out the air she has brought for us, we will die, like the trees in the cold winter snow. everything ends, and thus it is imperative that we celebrate the gift of life as much as possible.

you haven’t touched your dessert, mura. this tart was hand-crafted by our top chefs in our inner sanctum. the cream on top whipped from milk from the finest and most well-fed cows in all of tersus. we spare no expense, mura, in delivering the best life for all of our followers, and it is not a coincidence that because of this, we have the highest membership. the skeptics did the math: nearly 80% of all tersusi who pursue padorism identify themselves as exhalers. the officials, the legislators, they claim to be inhalers or skeptics, but your average person, someone like yourself? they live in filth and dream of more, and thus the exhaler’s pursuit begins. sure, you can align yourself with altruistic ideals, but you’ve seen the world out there, you’ve seen the death, the misery, the destruction. this is why the peacekeepers exist. all the exhalers dream of is to enjoy the life we’ve been given. the feast meticulously prepared for you was part of this dream. our founder, von, was effectively an inhaler before there were sects, and he saw the death and despair of the tersusi people prior to the awakening, which is why he so quickly advocated exhalation as the right way to appreciate what padora gave us.

when initiates are brought to the crossroad, 90% of them either head for the skeptics, or for the exhalers. thus, most people either question padorism in general, or prefer our way. trusting the people of tersus is important. exhalation is the one true path. soon the breath will fade and where will you be? what could you say about your life? toiling for decades despite inevitable decay? there is beauty in a life lived, not in a life spent suffering for others. join us, and enjoy the fruits of a glorious life free from pain and suffering.

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