Now there was a man named Nicos, a once well-known artist.
He came to the preacher at dawn, speaking of his tortured past.
For once he had been a musician, who found solace in peace in plucking carefully controlled melancholy melodies on his guitar while he sang haunting accompaniment. He poured his heart and soul into his craft, each note his plea to all who would hear to share in his reverie.
One day, Nicos was struck by a terrible pain. It was a deep and persistent ache that he couldn’t shake, and it robbed him of his ability to sing.
But Nicos persisted, using his pain to bring others joy. He did this by draping puppets on his skilled fingers, and giving them life with his fractured voice.
The control it took to do this was immense, but Nicos refused to succumb to suffering.
Until one day he awoke and his fingers no longer worked. The same malady that had taken his voice had spread to his hands.
His ability to control others gone, Nicos fell into a pit of despair. He travelled to every known healer in Arcadia, but none could fix what was broken.
“Heal me!” Nicos cried to the Preacher. “Rid me of this suffering.”
“No.” The Preacher replied. “The suffering in your heart is not disease ravaging your body. The raw wound you seek me to tend is your loss of control. Relinquish your death grip on who you were, and perhaps you will be born anew.”
Nicos had come to the preacher for healing, but only left confused.
Verily verily, I say unto you: No man may escape the suffering of this life. The suffering is the point.
The pain is the point.
And none can control it.
Felix Foley. El Mariachi Muerte. You have captured the hearts and minds of an audience, have you not?
Each of you deftly use your hands and voice to enthrall the masses.
Foley: through the puppets on your hands and the voice you give them.
Muerte: through the songs you so expertly play on your guitar and sing so hauntingly with.
Just as Nicos, you have poured your heart and soul into your craft. Each and every moment you are performing is a joy for you, realization of your life’s work.
But also just as Nicos, you are foolish to believe this is the case.
Because suffering is upon you. His name is Grimskull, and his gaze is fixed upon that which you use to control others.
That’s what you are doing, after all. Songs that inspire joy in the joyless, and puppet shows that give respite to the grueling grind of Arcadia are nothing more than a frivolous foolishness.
When I come for you, your siren voices will not penetrate my determined ears. No, all I hear is the woe of the Slums.
Your nimble fingers will not touch me, for I do not come to be placed back in chains.
I do not offer you control.
I offer you freedom.
Because freedom only comes through pain.
So it is written, so it shall come to pass.
Thus saith the Grimskull.