All that is acquired will be lost
What rises will fall
Where there is meeting there will be separation
What is born will surely die.
-The Udānavarga (Ancient Sanskrit)
The phrase, “memento mori” first appeared during the Ascendancy’s war games with other channelers. A man was found in the presence of a rakshasha, a wretched, violent creature that, surprisingly, the man had tamed. Before his death, he uttered the phrase “memento mori” to the Ascendancy. Afterward, a necklace was found on his body. A necklace that the Ascendancy recognized: an hourglass set in an oval charm.
Seeking confirmation of the memory, the Ascendancy returned to Siberia to exhume the body of one of the Atharim that attacked at the Datsan all those long years before he became President of Russia. The charm was the same, but the phrase “memento mori” remained elusive.
Since then, other members of the Di Inferi or their symbol have appeared at seemingly random places. One followed Soren and Declan in India. Another appeared at the Vaia Plus fundraiser. The United States’ Speaker of the House is one.
Finally, Aria showed the Regus of the Atharim the hourglass charm she claimed to have found, but in actuality, was gifted by the Ascendancy as bait. Pondering the charm, the group “di inferi” rose in his mind.
“He reached past the package and took the pendant, felt the etching with his fingertips. He felt dirty and wanted to throw it away from him. He seethed. Di Inferi. So they still existed. He had suspected. It had been the only way to explain certain…things. Perhaps even the reports about the tunnels. He could almost feel them moving in the shadows. He kept his lip from curling. Pope Gregory XV and the broom of his Omnipotentis Dei should have swept them all into the fire.”
-Regus, Unfolding Information
The Di Inferi are a splintered faction of the Atharim and use many of the same clandestine techniques to obscure their existence and maintain secrecy. The split occurred in the 1600’s during the Age of Enlightenment. The expansion of scientific reason and experimentation emboldened the untraditional Atharim-thinkers of the time to seek understanding and analysis of the world around them. The philosophical concept of death became the topic of obsession. As the years carried on, the early Di Inferi resisted the notion that death of inevitable. Rather than thoughtlessly killing the monsters and alleged users of magic, they chased legends of immortality like the Fountain of Youth. The discovery of the Americas were a fertile breeding ground for the Di Inferi, whose power and influence expanded beyond that of Roman Atharim. It is said that Ponce de León was Di Inferi.
Today, the are found in positions of power worldwide. These men and women alike are devoted to the pursuit of immortality, thus they use the phrase “Memento Mori” to remind them that all will die.
Noted strongholds of the di inferi continue to exist in the Americas.