In a world where education is predominantly verbal, highly educated people find it all but impossible to pay serious attention to anything but words and notions. There is always money for, there are always doctorates in, the learned foolery of research into what, for scholars, is the all-important problem: Who influenced whom to say what when? Even in this age of technology the verbal humanities are honored. The non-verbal humanities, the arts of being directly aware of the given facts of our existence, ale almost completely ignored. A catalogue, a bibliography, a definitive edition of a third-rate versier's ipsissima verba, a stupendous index to end all indexes — any genuinely Alexandrian project is sure of approval and financial support: But when it comes to finding out how you and I, our children and grandchildren, may become more perceptive, more intensely aware of inward and outward reality, more open to the Spirit, less apt, by psychological malpractices, to make ourselves physically ill, and more capable of controlling our own autonomic nervous system — when it comes to any form of non-verbal education more fundamental (and more likely to be of some practical use) than Swedish drill, no really respectable person in any really respectable university or church will do anything about it. Verbalists are suspicious of the non-verbal; rationalists fear the given, non-rational fact; intellectuals feel that "what we perceive by the eye (or in any other way) is foreign to us as such and need not impress us deeply." Besides, this matter of education in the non-verbal humanities will not fit into any of the established pigeonholes. It is not religion, not neurology, not gymnastics, not morality or civics, not even experimental psychology. This being so the subject is, for academic and ecclesiastical purposes, non-existent and may safely be ignored altogether or left, with a Patronizing smile, to those whom the Pharisees of verbal orthodoxy call cranks, quacks, charlatans and unqualified amateurs.
Deep in the Wailing Mountains, in a valley beneath the Ruined City, the ancient Order of the Oyo has for centuries practiced its rites of holy reverie, communing with the spirit realm in grand festivals of drink. Born to a mother's flesh by a Celestial father, the youth known as Mangix was the first to grow up with the talents of both lineages. He trained with the greatest aesthetes of the Order, eventually earning, through diligent drunkenness, the right to challenge for the title of Brewmaster, that appellation most honored among the contemplative malt-brewing sect. As much drinking competition as mortal combat, Mangix for nine days drank and fought the elder master. For nine nights they stumbled and whirled, chugged and struck, until at last the elder warrior collapsed into a drunken stupor, and a new Brewmaster was named. Now the new, young Brewmaster calls upon the strength of his Oyo forebears to speed his staff. When using magic, it is to his spirit ancestors that he turns. Like all Brewmasters before him, he was sent out from his people with a single mission. He wanders the land, striving toward enlightenment through drink, searching for the answer to the ancient spiritual schism. Hoping to think the single thought that will unite the spirit and physical planes again.