Aurophylaxis is a religious practice originating with the Nitenmangrey that has come back into vogue in recent years. As with most discussions of the Nitenmangrey, experts disagree on the details, with three theories currently prevailing:
- Aurophylaxis was a ritual performed by Nitenmangrey Twitch Doctors, members of the religious elite, at certain times of the year during which they would ingest a substance (also called Aurophylaxis) and be subjected to visions used to help guide their religion and society.
- Aurophylaxis was applied as a form of punishment with criminals being given visions to hopefully reduce the chances of recidivism before being released back into society.
- The most plausible theory, in this author's opinion, is that the Nitenmangrey considered their religious leaders to be criminals and the rest of the discussion is somewhat moot.
In any case, Aurophylaxis is and was always performed in even numbers, with one half of the participants being given one formulation of Aurophylaxis and the other half being given another. This causes the first group to enter a state of eudaimonia while the other group becomes splenitive to a rather alarming degree. This may be a Nitenmangrey metaphor for the existence of good and evil in every person. Both groups have hallucinations, or visions, and eventually lapse into unconsciousness. Upon awakening, they are often plied with Umlaut Tea to calm their nerves as they recount their experiences.
Aurophylaxis, the substance in this case, is a highly potent narcotic formulated from a mixture of spelgof, the bark of a Pziqq, and just a dash of deathbug venom. The exact ratios were thought to be lost with the Nitenmangrey, but never underestimate the determination of some people. I understand that those searching for the proper formulation have had, shall we say, rather unpleasant experiences. There was even one explosion.
The secret is the deathbug venom. Most everyone knows that deathbugs have two kinds of venom, and it is these that give Aurophylaxis its varying effects. If the first, benign venom, colloquially known as Winelust Syrup, is used, the substance will induce the first, eudaimonic state. If the other venom is used, the substance produces the splenitive effects.
Heh and Blammo, out of balance
Of late, it has been theorized that Aurophylaxis works by inducing an artificial Heh-Blammo imbalance in the person who ingests it, either making them more Heh, or more Blammo. This, it is posited, is why it is crucial that there always be an even number of eudaimonic and splenative participants, so that the universal Heh-Blammo balance isn't affected.
Some argue that this knowledge of the Heh-blammo balance in such an ancient civilisation was proof of the Nitenmangrey's advanced state. Others argue that it's merely by luck that the Nitenmangrey kept their rites in balance and thus the world wasn't destroyed. Pragmatists may point out that neither statement is mutually exclusive.
Not surprisingly, Aurophylaxis has become something of a trend these days, with the first recorded successful incident happening about -7 EC. Never one to deny people their religion, or other intoxicant of choice, this author still feels that there is an alarming side to the resurgence of Aurophylaxis: instead of a religious practice, some unscrupulous sorts believe the visions induced by Aurophylaxis can answer the Questions given them by their Hive-Lords. Several less scrupulous Hive-Lords have even begun to accept these Answers, although the high incidence of spoon-fed Questions being answered in this way may have something to do with this.
--Fausto Sorensen 12:49, 17 May 2005 (EDT)