* I'm a player in ATITD since December 2004. Played T2 until it ended and have been playing T3 since it started *
I sat in my compound, by the Nile. The stars were raising in the sky, a soft wind blowing, all in silence. The camels and sheep fed, the bunnies and chicken taken care of. All the daily chores done and it was time to have some rest and relaxation. I would usually be up with my neighbors, just chatting and having some fun. Or sharing a task that needed several people involved. But not today...
I opened a bottle of my newest wine. I had tended the vines with love and dedication. Waited while the wine fermented on the barrel. Today was the day where the result of my experimentation would be revealed. Placing the hookah next to me, I filled it with some "Altar's Blessing", a herb known for its Spicy flavor and Pepper aroma. I lit it and slowly inhaled the fumes. My body felt lighter...
Opening the bottle, I got a glimpse of the wine's aroma. Pouring a bit on my finest glass, made by a renowned artisan, I saw how the wine "tears" ran down the glass walls after I had stirred the wine. I deeply inhaled its aroma and, even before tasting it, I knew that this wine was maybe even better than I had expected. As a wanna-be oenologist, I let the wine fill my mouth for some seconds and the spit it out. With reluctance. An explosion of flavors and sensations started at my tongue and quickly invaded all my body...
Pouring a glass and now drinking it, I also restarted at the hookah. All the images before me slowly faded and suddenly it seemed I was flying. I was flying over Egypt. And I could see glimpses of the people's lives and hear shreds of their sayings. Lead by curiosity and some other unknown force, zipping at the wine and puffing at the hookah, I flew across all the land and watched daily events...
I saw beautiful things. The sunset on a valley with a lake. A couple that lived there watching the end of the day while talking and planning their next activities.
I saw a woman walking alone into the heart of the desert, putting up a Tower and offering it to her husband, thus working to help him pass a Test. Thus showing her love and partnership.
I saw two friends, one was playing a Tomb of Immortals, the other waiting for the feedback on her puzzle's design. They discussed the design, flaws and strengths, in friendship helping the designer to come up with a better puzzle.
I saw a large group of people at a dig, smoking the hookah and telling jokes while digging for stones. A hard work under the sun, that could also be boring if not for all the joy and friendship shared at the "event".
I saw master and student changing roles while two strangers that had met on a road tried to teach each other their Acrobatic Movements.
I saw people running into far places hiding Cicada cages. And other running too to find those same cages, on a hide and seek game that would balance out while distributing speed amongst the best at this Test.
I saw love. I saw friendship. I saw sharing. I saw happiness.
And suddenly the sky turned dark! Not night, but something asphyxiating... A shiver run down my spine. It was the other side of Egypt. Who said there was no combat in Egypt? Who said there was no fighting? True, there are no blades and no killing. But there are weapons... Your word and your fast thinking are your weapon. There are shields. Your reputation is your shield. There are fights. Constantly. People fight for power, for resources, for knowledge, for support, for land, even for love...
And I saw the person, returning from the desert after finding a Cicada cage and telling his closest friends the location it stood in.
And I saw a person finding a lead vein and covering it with mines, to be sold for profit, and happy that it was single-handed controlling the only regional source of that useful ore.
And I saw two people being interviewed on a political debate, both trying to be elected as the next Demi-Pharaoh, both trying to make their best side shine, both having a close group of friends campaigning for them, on a race that sometimes was more of "who is the best known" and not of "who did the most for the community".
I saw a person asking all his friends to rate his Tomb of the Immortals as a Monumental puzzle, in hopes to fool the cheating mechanism and pass that Test without deserving it.
I saw a person voting low a fine puzzle just because she didn't like the designer.
I saw people at a dig verbally abusing a new immigrant because he had picked up some stones that he shouldn't have and wasn't being able to give them back.
I saw some elders of a guild plotting its reorganization, leaving other elders out of the process, preparing to demote them and betray them.
I saw husband and wife fighting, tearing down camp and structures built together, tearing down a life dream as they got divorced at an Essence of Harmony. How cynic, the place were a couple can get divorced is called "Essence of Harmony"...
It suddenly felt like as if I was being pulled down back to earth. My vision cleared and I was again inside my compound, looking through the door to the Nile. The hookah was out. The wine all drunk. Safely storing my fine glass, I went to my straw bed to sleep the remaining of this night. And I went thinking... It's the eternal war... Good and Evil... The light and the darkness... It happens everyday in big and small deeds alike. Each step we take, each decision we make, floats somewhere between good and evil, sometimes landing on a gray area. But in the end of the day, only one thing is certain: Our purpose is to build a "Perfect Society". Together with our neighbors or alone, we all contribute to it. And what have you done today to make it "Perfect"?