The Complete History of the All-Seeing Eye, Chapter II
Don’t expect these to come back to back. I just haven’t been able to get anything substantial together for a normal post. We will resume.
Chapter II: Thieves and Holy Men
It is a truism almost as old as time itself that the winners are the ones who write the history books. Every great battle has its generals, commanding their troops to glorious victory. Every discovery has its explorers, the men and women who blaze the trail forward when no one else will. Every story has its heroes. Except for this one.
The identities of the men and women, the refugees who initially founded the All-Seeing Eye, and specifically Agent Six, are very closely-guarded secrets. No official record of their names have been declassified. Indeed, it is doubtful that there ever were any to begin with. Without names, we cannot truly honor these men and women. We cannot exult in their triumphs like we can with those of Darnell Hammerhanded, who led the Seven Cities to victory over the forces of the Dread Knights in 581, or Fiona the She-Pirate, who ran the Rennet blockade in 1013. Without names, we cannot feel sympathy for their losses, for the great sacrifices they made so that all might live free.
But that is not to say that we cannot know them.
Whispers surround Agent Six. It has been so from the beginning. And certain names appear time and again. Arkan Baes, the con man. Wynellia Silverhammer, the thief. Brother Xiao, the laughing monk. Kent Bullworth, servant of The Sword. These names, and others, are widely considered to be some, if not all, of the first generation of ASE Special Agents and the founders of Agent Six. Their names may be subject to historical questioning¹, but these men and women are not ciphers. From oral histories, intercepted Regesian documents, and after-action reports, we can learn a great deal about the men and the women who undertook what is arguably the most dangerous and vital missions in the entire war.
I must start by addressing what might be the thorniest topic. Long-standing rumor has said that when Seaquin was at its weakest, it reached out to mercenaries and violent criminals, and these men and women formed the backbone of ASE. This is a falsehood; Agent Six were not mercenaries or professionals of any kind when they began their work. But the sentiment is correct. Most anecdotal evidence points to the fact that Agent Six was indeed comprised of a combination of displaced holy men (like Brother Xiao and Kent Bullworth) and (as was written in the previous chapter) street-level con artists and pickpockets (like Arkan Baes or Wynellia Silverhammer).
They were the lowest of the low, the men and women who would have had nowhere to turn during the Night of Knives. No temple was sacred to the Regesian Holy Army, and how could petty thieves rely on the established government to help them in their time of need? So when Gate’s Pass fell, it was these men and women who banded together so that they might have safety in numbers.
Arkan Baes in particular has recently captured popular imagination. His name might be familiar to most as the subject of the following children’s rhyme:
When Arkan Baes rode into town,
With his big yellow boots and his bright orange crown,
All the princes and preachers stood up to say,
“He’ll upset the status quo today!”
He went toe-to-toe with the minister’s men,
Gave all the poor children a good meal and then
Went into the forest and said with a grin,
“C’mon out goblins, or I’ll have yer skins!”
Baes has remained in the public eye as something of a folk-hero, a legendary goblin-killer who, as popular legend would have it, possessed a magical lute. While this is obviously fancy, evidence does point to Baes having in his possession a mantically-enhanced instrument of some kind that allowed him to influence weak minds, truly a useful tool for a con artist-turned spy.
Chapter II continues on the next page…
¹ This author is well aware of the controversy surrounding these names. While it is true that an archivist must always strive for the utmost in historical accuracy, it would be impractical to continually offer clarifications and qualifications regarding these names. First of all, the fact that these names have entered into the collective vocabulary on this matter means they will suffice as indicators for a particular figure. Second, a great deal of research supports the accuracy of these names and the actions associated with them, but unless and until Seaquin declassifies the original recruitment papers, there will always be a question. Thus, this humble author will treat the popularly-used names as, if not correct, at least sufficient for the purposes of maintaining a streamlined narrative.