It is not enough to heed the things a mother teaches. One has to know how to apply such knowledge. In theatres of war such knowledge is vital. Fools and false kings preach abnegation and humiliation, often cloaked in language that speaks of the inverse. This is no new deception. Forces of darkness and cruelty have always posed as keepers in the halls of light. But as my mother told me: by their works ye shall know them. And the works of the Highest in the Land are always soaked in the blood of the innocent, no matter their rhetoric. I have lived a thousand years, and have seen a thousand ugly lies entrenched as truth by those who rule and are ruled. Fear the stroke of midnight, they say. And fear also the cruel and contemptuous light of the midday sun. They tell you that light is piercing, savage and cold. But they deny the gentle caress in which things bloom. They deny the moon and her temperance. They deny the warmth of mother's hands, and the gentle strength with which she lifts her children. It is an unconquerable strength when she allows herself to be ruled by love in union with fierce clarity. Like the honed and gleaming edge of a sword. She shines, forever radiant and canny, and her daughters and sons shine with her. Even in darkness we shine, all the brighter. Like a star at midnight, speaking forgotten contexts and truths of all peoples. I Am the Night. I can be brutal – and merciless – but only to protect such truths. Eternal is Love, and there are those of us perpetually willing to fight to prove it. I am only dressed in mortal flesh, but I am something beyond human. A king of the night places, betrothed to light itself. The sword in my hand belongs not to the regent, but to the righteous. Only on their account is it drawn in battle. My swordhand is singing now, and it sings my mother's name.