"Pain. Anger. Terror. Sorrow. Hatred. The shrill, tormented cries that accompany them. They are the lyrics to the Song of Experience. The instruments? My voice, and my sword. As with any song, learning only one or two stanzas does not mean that you can sing it well. Master them all, however - learn the entirety of what the quinfecta of misery can hope to offer - and the song is yours to command. To forge into a mechanism, a tool ... a weapon."
The Song of Experience is a concept in the Frencoverse, frequently associated with the Chthonian hypersoldiers and their Novaya counterparts in the Alternative Canon, the Thirteen in the Main Canon 2.0, and the Knights Chthonic in the Tricanon. The general philosophical theory behind the 'Song' is to overcome the designated five main negative emotions - pain, anger, terror, sorrow and hatred - and draw from them the immovable will to carry on fighting no matter what. To do this, it is hypothesised, one must immerse oneself in these emotions to accustom oneself to them, and emerge having endured them, effectively 'vaccinated' against further instances.
It is so-named because the screams and cries that typically accompany the experience of these emotions in great quantities are said to form a 'song'.
Alternate and Main Canons
The Song of Experience was conceptualised originally by (Y)Elena Trotskaya, who 'discovered' it during her brief episode of severe psychosis in the immediate aftermath of the Rape. Realising that she had to overcome her negative emotions if she was to achieve her Ideological dreams, she applied the Song to herself and, finding it an effective coping mechanism, educated it to the other Chthonians when she took informal command of the company-sized cohort. To a less intense extent, she conditioned it to the Eighth VDV Regiment. In the Main Canon 2.0, Trotskaya teaches it to her twelve counterparts, including her son Alexey, as well as the 'super-elite' soldiers of the Drakon Brigade.
It is hypothesised by Fred Harrigan to a tool to condition and brainwash the Chthonians. There is an element of truth in this assumption, though the 'conditioning' (as Trotskaya intended it) was always for the betterment of her comrades, rather than reinforcing their control by the State.
The Song inspired Mecharussian performance artist Varvara Ionanova to create an album entitled Songs of Experience, each full of forceful, emotional lyrics to convey the story of her life troubles and how she overcame them. The album is considered a tribute to Trotskaya, the creator of the Song and personal idol of Ionanova.
The Song of Experience appears as the Cappellic Oath of the Ci'ithari Paladin in the chapter of the First Lexicon entitled the Polemonomikon. For the Knights Chthonic and (to a lesser extent) their Tartarian counterparts, the Song adopts a strong spiritual significance, falling into line with the overarching Chthonian warrior-philosophy that permeates the dual societies on Europa. Its premise is largely identical to its Altcanon and Main Canon counterpart, with the exception that Trotskaya did not initially conceive of it (though she did impart it to her Chernodrakon militia).
The Cappellic Oath as enunciated by the Polemonomikon is as follows:
FROM PAIN, STRENGTH
FROM ANGER, DETERMINATION
FROM FEAR, COURAGE
FROM SORROW, RESILIENCE
FROM HATRED, VENGEANCE
FROM ALL, POWER
FROM POWER, VICTORY
- The Song of Experience is named after the Songs of Experience, an anthology by British poet William Blake composed in the early Victorian era.
- The Song's basis comes from the Sith Code in the Star Wars franchise, which is strikingly similar in philosophy to the Frencoverse Song of Experience in that its adherents draw strength from their experience of negative emotions (such as hate and anger).