Dreaming in Digital
The Eight-Fold Path of Damnation
A combat based physical adept initiation group.
“We walk the Eight-Fold Path to Damnation. In older times, our ancestors called it Meifumado—The Way to Hell. The Chinese have many names for it, none of them polite. Ironically, the Anglos call it “rugged individualism”, while their fundamentalists antagonistically call it “Satanism”. They are all the same concept: radical self-empowerment. Do what is best for you, first.
“By endlessly pursuing perfection, we improve ourselves which in turn improves our surroundings and those around us. Those that cannot stand in our wake perish or leave, thus making the whole stronger. We are a conglomeration of individuals that cling to this simple precept. And that word is critical—individuals. We are not a fraternity. We do not form a “team”. We do no not participate in cooperative ritual.
“Instead, we offer ourselves to one another as challenges to test against; anvils against which we strike to sharpen ourselves. To the ignorant outsider, we might seem like a simple, brutish “fight club” but we are so much more. We continue the complementary cycle of conflict and resolution that has plagued humankind for all of existence. This constant dialectic transformation of promoting the strong and culling the weak is how we have gotten this far as a species. We continue this tradition. We walk this path of conflict and continue to emerge stronger each time until we die, or reach enlightenment.”
~50; the group ebbs and drains constantly.
Weekly attendance / Deed- everyone must show for weekly combats. Anyone who is in good health must fight someone. New members must fight on their first night as part of the initiation ritual.
Secrecy- Members do not speak of the Path outside of weekly meetings. Everyone checks their daytime personalities at the door. Job titles, credit lines, memberships in other groups, all of it is ‘forgotten’ for fight nights.
Taboo- Members of the Path are not allowed to strike lethal blows against one another. Anyone doing so is subject to ejection from the group and a permanent ban from future membership and participation. Though this seems contrary to the group’s precepts, as Marcus puts it, “We’re the greatest fighters and killers in Seattle’s Shadows. If we started killing each other, we wouldn’t last very long. Direct your killer instinct outward, not inward.”
The group demands no dues and offers no services. It meets every week in a different location, but always in or near the Ork Underground. Members are told the location via a messenger spirit on the day before a fight night.
The group’s charismatic leader is a hulk of an Ork who goes only by Marcus. He doesn’t get the group any money or much in the way of material resources outside of medkits and basic training equipment, but the group enjoys a good bit of leeway with KE and other law enforcement thanks to his connections. The Path is generally left alone to beat the crap out of each other without having to worry about being raided or stopped & frisked by Knights.
The Eightfold Path of Damnation is an satirical inversion of the Buddhist path towards enlightenment. The Eight Paths are:
- Realize Destiny: There is no karma or predetermination. Your destiny is your own to create.
- Free Your Mind: There are no “bad” feelings. Embrace joy, sadness, anger, ecstasy. You are not obligated to edit yourself for anyone else.
- Free Speech: Say what you want.
- Free Will: Do what you want.
- Realize Strength: Take what you want from the world.
- Embrace Life: There are no morals. Allow yourself whatever pleasure you desire.
- Trust Instinct: Your mind will subconsciously comprehend things before your logic center registers anything. Go with your gut.
- Believe in Yourself: No god, no ancestor, no celestial arrangement gave you your power. You are the source of your power.
Ironically, or perhaps consistently, Marcus does not enforce his belief on anyone in his group. He’ll be happy to teach to any who ask, but otherwise he sticks strictly to the tenet of the Path that says, “do what works for you”. Still, many within the Path follow this dogma with varying degrees of dedication.