Not even the hardier of the beasts were to be seen beyond the edge of that final plateau which separated him from his goal. Far off, in a purplish haze, rose the mountains amidst which dwelt Anathas. It lived not solitary, despite the lonely region around, for strange pets resided with it—some the fabled elder monsters, and others unique beings created by its own fearful craft.
At the heart of its cave, legend said, Anathas had concealed an enormous hoard of jewels, gold, and other things of fabulous value. Why so potent a wonder-worker should care for such gauds, or revel in the counting of money, was by no means clear; but many things attested the truth of these tastes. Great numbers of persons of stronger will and wit than Yalden had died in remarkable manners while seeking the hoard of the wizard-beast, and their bones were laid in a strange pattern before the mouth of the cave, as a warning to others.
The cavern-mouth was well-concealed, and over everything an ominous quiet lowered. There was no trace of habitation, save of course the ossuary ornamentation in the front yard. With his hand on the sword that had been sanctified by a priest of Oorn, Yalden tremblingly advanced.
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When he had attained the very opening of the lair, he hesitated no longer, for it was evident that the monster was away. Deeming this the best of all times to prosecute his business, Yalden plunged at once within the cave. The interior was very cramped and exceedingly dirty, but the roof glittered with an innumerable array of small, varicoloured lights, the source of which was not to be perceived. In the rear yawned another opening, either natural or artificial; and to this black, low-arched burrow Yalden hastened, crawling within it on hands and knees.
Before long a faint blue radiance glowed at the farther end, and presently the searcher emerged into an ampler space. Straightening up, he beheld a most singular change in his surroundings. This second cavern was tall and domed as if it had been shapen by supernatural powers, and a soft blue and silver light infused the gloom. Anathas, thought Yalden, lived indeed in comfort; for this room was finer than anything in the Palace of Zeth, or even in the Temple of Oorn, upon which had been lavished unthinkable wealth and beauty.
Yalden stood agape, but not for long, since he desired most of all to seek the object of his quest and depart before Anathas should return from wherever it might be. For Yalden did not wish to encounter the monster-sorcerer of which so many tales were told. Leaving therefore this second cave by a narrow cleft which he saw, the seeker followed a devious and unlit way far down through the solid rock of the plateau. The Klan emerged as a force of good that would triumph in an increasingly unsafe world. However, the artifact was not just a cross, but a cross set on fire.
It was a beacon of truth given for Klansmen alone. An Exalted Cyclops reflected:. Who can look upon this sublime symbol, or sit in its sacred, holy light without being inspired with a holy desire and determination to be better man? The Klan leader believed the fiery cross helped Klansmen become better men and confirmed that they were Knights ready to conquer forces that opposed their nation. Cross burning as a community spectacle Library of Congress. The fiery cross was a warning.
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While the Klan hoped the fiery cross illuminated the light of Jesus, it also documented the terror the order caused too. One neighbor, Mrs. He knocked the cross to the ground before the flames had died down.
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The fiery cross was an unmistakable warning to all of those people whom the order believed were threats to the nation. If the Klan aspires to purify America and make her impregnable, it is not any selfish reason. The Klan thought that America needed to maintain white Protestantism, or the future of the nation might be in peril.
Evans and his Klan hoped to protect faith and race to preserve their version of America, the only one they considered actually legitimate. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Klan favored exclusion over inclusion, intolerance over tolerance, and racial supremacy over racial equality, and they attempted to control portrayals of nation and nationhood to guarantee the cultural and political dominance of white Protestants.
By wearing white robes under the light of the fiery cross, the s Klan hoped to save America. Robes, crosses, and the American flag materialized their hope. But, we should remember that the meanings of artifacts are always contested. Sometimes the meaning you choose is not the one that lasts.
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Burning crosses and robes are essential to how we interpret and understand the Klan historically, and yet many people seem unable to abide such obvious signs of racial hatred in the twenty-first century. But, to be clear, some still do! Instead, we now have dog-whistles and subtler forms of race-baiting that appear commonplace.
The Klan still attempts to rebrand every few years, but their artifacts always betray their attempts. None of their attempts to rebrand convince us otherwise. The s Klan boasted membership numbers in the millions, but recent estimates suggest that modern Klans only total between and members. The modern Klans, unlike the s order, lack national organization, but consist of many smaller Klan s. There are local and regional chapters, websites and newsletters, but the only thing that connects the groups are the use of the Klan name, material culture, and the continued defense of white supremacy.
As of , there are only known chapters in the U. The Klan is no longer culturally dominant, and many would like to claim that the Klan is also marginal and fringe. Other white supremacist movements, however, are gaining members. They appear in news cycles when they pass out fliers, burn crosses, and rally in support of the Confederate flag. Their overt racism and reliance on artifacts historically tied to previous incarnations of the Klan marks them clearly as a hate group.
Before shipping off a robe, Ms. The robes and fiery crosses remain too, and these artifacts still contain elements of the original faith. Ruth takes the time to explain that the Klan remains a force of good, which continues to protect the rights of white citizens. Ruth blesses each robe by holding it in her thin arms, pressing it to her chest, and closing her eyes.
Examining modern and historical Klans demonstrates the continued presence of white Christian nationalism and its commitment to promoting exclusion. Consider the shock and surprise that pervaded discussions of white nationalism that dominated the news cycle leading up to and after the presidential election. White Americans almost exclusively donned red hats emblazoned with the slogan and waxed nostalgic about a past America that was supposedly great.
An America that was great was an America that privileged white people. The red MAGA hat became yet another object of white nationalism, not so far removed from the hood and robe as some might imagine. Through the creation, maintenance, and revival of artifacts, the second Klan, Ms. Ruth, and Trump supporters today imagine and promote a national landscape in which white Christians must fight to save their nation. Their voices become stronger and their racist agendas clearer in the examination of their artifacts.
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A child wears a white Klan robe made by Ms. These artifacts continue to tell the story of white Protestant nationalism, which promotes supremacist visions of the nation through exclusion and redefinition. When they were defeated, the Sway emerged as the winners of the war. They opened the Obelisk to find the Oracle , an ancient spirit seer that had been trapped in the Obelisk since Neopian pre-history.
The Oracle rewarded the Sway, but the truce between the factions did not seem like it would last long. Despite lacking the technology of other countries, Tyrannia remains a competitive trader on the world stage.