By feebadger 2 Comments
So great was the power of this Silver herald, that change swept across the city, almost instantaneously. He beckoned for us to pray, to kneel and give our worship to the great and terrible God who ruled him and with nary a question of concern, my people dropped to their knees before the temple of Kaan and prayed to a different God. Though shamed, I too found myself deep in prayer, my eyes weeping at the heresy, while my mind wandered to the image of our lost and great forefather.
Legend told that when Regal Kaan fell to earth, it was as a criminal.
Once held in the confines of the Gods, Kaan had been the first to tire of their rule, to scrutinize their ways and was also the first soul to break his bonds and escape the heavens. The stories say that he fell from grace here, on my world, which over time came to be known as Iguaam, my peoples’ word for freedom. At the centre of this new world, Kaan put his back to building the great city that would become his namesake. The city of Kaan stood as a testament to his refusal of slavery and it was from his seed that my people came to be. We believed ourselves to be possessed of the same strength of back that he had used to build his great testament and we put ours to work too. We, my ancestors and I tilled the land, brought life from dust and turned what was once dry and harsh into something that the Gods would envy. From the cities borders, great fields of green spread forth, acre upon acre of wild vegetation, lush fruit trees and livestock flecked the land as far as the horizon and as wide as the eye could see. We were a proud and bountiful people and from the borders of our home, our great and proud city that our forefather had left us, we surveyed our land like a parent would a child.
Then, The Pious came.
From the Blacklands of the East they came, dressed in the garb of the Prophet and the Soothsayer, claiming to carry with them the lost words of our long since past founder. They used these words to build around us a construct we had never thought to need; religion. Their words were powerful, if not entirely convincing and through their cunning use of them they grew in power. Using the faith of their new followers, they exploited them to build a mighty cathedral in the heart of Kaan. For many a year we, the people laboured upon it as The Pious oversaw our every move and in the end we had constructed a temple the likes of which the universe had never seen. Great was our pride.
Yet, briefly did it last.
Used up of our purpose, we were cast from the hallowed halls of Kaan, out into the fields beyond to live and work for the rest of our days. The Pious decreed the city to be a holy place, and in our exile, we felt a sense of peace that at least our exile had been made into such a place of beauty by our own hands. We were provided for by the livestock, the abundance of produce and perhaps in these lands, we thought we could have made a future for ourselves there.
Yet this too did not last.
For as the weeks stretched into years, we saw the green of our surroundings turn to ruin. The earth dried beneath our feet and where once great trees grew and flowers carpeted the earth, now only dust remained. The animals, great herds of horses and wildlife fell to darkness, their remains scattered across as fields turned to desert. Our eyes turned back to the city of Kaan, still resplendent while bordered by our misery. It seemed that as our lands dried, the temple that our backs had raised grew ever brighter, as if it were drawing the very goodness from our earth and turning its energies into power for The Pious.
Now, those very same prophets of darkness clambered after a new god, fawning at his heels as his power drove us to a depth of prayer we had never imagined. It was there, at our deepest moment of faith, consumed by the power of this new prophet of light that we began to understand the reality of our plight. For as we chanted as one, our voices thrumming with power, this… this silver serf showed us what true power was.
“BEHOLD!” he cried, his voice crackling with pure energy, his body alight, reflecting the sky above him, the stars pulsing and seeming to move of their own accord, “I have promised you salvation! I have promised you the grace of a brilliant and terrible God! You have bowed before this promise and on bended knee, you have given him your servitude, your very souls! And now… NOW I will show you your faith returned! Your souls revealed! See with your own eyes, your faith made manifest!”
Then we saw as our very words seemed to gain form, spilling from our mouths, a great light emanating from our very skins. Our hearts ached, fit to burst as if all the songs of our ancestors were rushing to find voice through our very spirits all at once. Tears streaked our faces as we saw our prayers turned to incandescent light, rising above us and swelling over our heads, like a great flower waiting to bloom. We prayed harder, our argent prophet rising ever higher before us as if surfing on a beam of light, corralling our energies and inciting us on with his words.
“Long has my God traveled the breadth of this great universe, and long has he sustained himself off the faith of his people! Now you, you who have toiled so long are amongst that flock and now, in his moment of need, feed your god with your faith! Let your prayers, your words, your very SOULS be the nourishment that he needs!”
And with an almighty howl, he clapped his hands together and from our very bodies the light thrust upwards, a crackling, breathing tower of living fire that burnt through the sky and pierced the blackness beyond. We saw as the stars swirled around our column of light, drawn by its power and smashing against the force of its current. The heavens themselves bent to the fury of our prayer and we stared in awe as the herald threw his head back in pure, exalted joy and screamed into the cosmos beyond.
It was then that we heard it, like an almighty groan from the great beyond. It was the sound of a God, a noise unlike any we have ever heard and in that moment, we knew true fear. It filled the air about us, the towers o f Kaan trembling as this great groan grew to bone shattering intensity. It was the sound of a God satiated. We screamed, as one people and just as soon as it had started, the noise, the light, the prayer… stopped.
Exhausted, we fell against one another, our prone bodies strewn across one another. I fought against the weariness which filled my bones and as I looked one last time to the skies I saw our silver savior fall, floating to the ground in a cocoon of light. As consciousness left us both, our eyes locked for a second and in that moment, he smiled at me.
And as Kaan is my witness, I tell you this… I smiled back.