Earwa > The Almanac: PON Edition

ARC: TTT Chapter 16

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--- Quote ---Doubt begets understanding, and understanding begets compassion.  Verily, it is conviction that kills.
--- End quote ---

The Fanim are hidden below ground.  Then a Cishaurim blasts a hole through which they can dash outside, through fiery ruins.

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--- Quote --- “This voice you hear,” the old Dunyain said, “is not part of the Thousand fold Thought”.
Kellhus ignored these words.  “Take me to them”.
“To whom?”
“To those you hold captive”.
“And if I refuse?”
“Why would you refuse?”
“Because I need to revise my assumptions, to explore these unforeseen permutation.  I had discounted this possibility.”
“What possibility?”
“That the Wilderness would break rather than enlighten.  That you would come to me a madman.”
Water, endlessly dropping, pounded air and stone.  The thunder of inevitability.
“Refuse me anything, and I will kill you, Father.”
--- End quote ---

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The Fanim are now outside the city, in numbers that are far greater than the reserves the Holy War has left there.

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Moenghus leads Kellhus through the dark halls beneath Kyudea. 
--- Quote ---... halls more ancient than the Tusk.
--- End quote ---
Kellhus tells him what he has inferred about him.

--- Quote ---”...We dwarf the worldborn.  They are less than children to us.  No matter what we encounter, be it their philosophy, their medicine, their poetry, or even their faith, we see so much deeper, and our strength is that much greater.
So you assumed taking up the Water would be no different, that becoming one of the Indara-Kishauri would make you godlike in comparison.  And since the Cishaurim themselves scarcely understand the metaphysics of their practice, there was nothing you could learn that would contradict this assumption.  You couldn't know that the Psukhe was a metaphysic of the heart, not the intellect.  Of passion...
So you let them blind you, only to find your powers proportionate to your vestigial passions.  What you thought to be the Shortest Path was in fact a dead end”.
--- End quote ---

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The Scarlet Spires go to war with the Cishaurim.  Eleazaras appears to have returned to his old self.

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Kellhus continues.  Moenghus is Mallahet – he has a great reputation across the Three Seas, but secretly the other Cishaurim think him cursed – the Water eludes him.  Without his eyes, his ability to discern what comes before is reduced.  His intellect can only get him so far. Then he uncovered the skin-spies.  Whilst the Cishaurim assume the Scarlet Spires, Moenghus knows they are not sorcerous.  The Cishaurim assassinate the Spires Grandmaster.  Moenghus breaks down the skin-spies, and learns of the Consult.
Kellhus uses emotive language when describing Golgottertah and its inhabitants.

--- Quote ---”These words you speak,” Moenghus said from the black “wicked, corrupted, perverted... why would you use them when you know they are nothing more than mechanisms of control?”
--- End quote ---

Kellhus ignores him and continues.

--- Quote ---”The deeper you probed, the more troubling the story became.  You had read The Sagas, and you had doubted them, thinking them too fanciful.  Destroying the world?  No malice could be so great.  No soul could be so deranged.  After all, what could be gained?  Who follows paths over precipices?
But the skin-spies explained it all.  Speaking in shrieks and howls, they taught you the why and wherefore of the Apocalypse.  You learned that the boundaries between the World and the Outside were not fixed, that if the World could be cleansed of enough souls, it could be sealed shut.  Against the Gods.  Against the heavens and the hells of the Afterlife.  Against redemption.  Nd most importantly, against the possibility of damnation.
The Consult, you realised, were labouring to save their souls.  And what was more, if your captives could be believed, they were drawing near the end of their millennial task”
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---”Only you knew their secret.  Only you could detect their spies”
“They have to be stopped,” Moenghus replied. “Destroyed”
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---“You began”, Kellhus said, “contemplating what would become the Thousandfold Thought”.
--- End quote ---

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The Tydonni charge the Fanim.  They take the riverbank, but the Fanim have rafts, and can bring many men across.  The Tydonni retreat.

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Kelhus creates a sorcerous light.  Moenghus' torture chamber is revealed.  Two skin-spies are hung there – their brains sawn open and punctured with needles.

Moenghus does have some ability with Water, for elements that require subtlety- scrying, calling and translating.  So he could summon Kellhus from Ishual.
Kellhus asks about his half-brother – Maithanet.

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Esmi and Akka sit in the hills.  She wonders what they are to do. As soon as Kellhus sees them, he'll know.
Then... Kidruhil.  Conphas has arrived with the Imperial Army.  Cnaiur has told Akka

--- Quote ---”He told me”, Achamian said, his voice so hollow, so dismayed, that her skin prickled in terror.  “And he told me to warn the Great Names...  H-he didn't want any harm to befall the Holy War- for Proyas' sake as much as anything else, I think... B-but... after he left, all I could think about was... was...”...
--- End quote ---

Akka has to stop the Nansur.  Esmi is Kellhus' wife – he remembers what they did to Serwe.

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Conphas looks on as Shimeh burns.  He fantasises about marching onto the gates of Zeum – the next Aspect Emperor of the Three Seas.

Then Achamian arrives,
--- Quote ---... his eyes and mouth ablaze
--- End quote ---

The Saik cannot match him.  Conhas has a Chorae – and runs screaming.

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'Something' appears at the Umbilica -looking for Achamian.

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The Spires and the Cishaurim continue their battle. 
--- Quote ---  The slaughter was great.
--- End quote ---

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The Tydonni retreat turns into a rout.  But their footmen assemble beneath the aqueduct to take a defensive position, as do the Ainoni.

--- Quote --- “Here!” Earl Gothyelk of Agansanor roared.  “Here we stand!”
But the Fanim parted before them, content to release storms of whirring arrows.  The knights of Kishyat, their faces painted dread white above their square-plaited beards, had exacted a terrible toll on their flank. But even more, Cinganjehoi recalled well the obstinacy of the idolaters once their heels touched ground.  As yet only a fraction of the Fanim army had crossed the Jeshimal.
Fanayal ab Kascamadri was coming. Lord of the Cleansed Lands.  Padirajah of Holy Kian.
--- End quote ---

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The Conriyans battle their way through the streets of Shimeh.

--- Quote ---... Proyas had long since abandoned any attempt to impose order or restraint on his men. The madness of battle was on them, and though his heart grieved it, he understood what it meant to wager one's life, and the bestial licence that men took as their prize.
Shimeh, it seemed, was no exception.

--- End quote ---

He finds a house with a Tusk painted on the door.  There is a dead man inside and two live women.  He thinks about hitting the young one, and the text suggest raping her as well.  He tells the m to run and find a better place to hide.

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--- Quote --- “In this world,” Moenghus said, “there's nothing more precious than our blood – as you have no doubt surmised  But the children we bear by worldborn women lack the breadth of our abilities.  Maithanet is not Dunyain.  He could do no more than prepare the way”.
Her name arose like a pang from the darkness: Esmenet

Moeghnus claims the Thousandfold Thought is a living thing.  He goes on to speak of viramsata, a Nilnameshi game, where lies are acted out to make them true.

--- Quote ---... They tell lies about who said what to whom, about who makes love to whomever, and so on.  They do this continually , and what is more, they are at pains to act out the lies told by others, especially when they are elegant, so that they might make them true.  And so it goes from tongue to tongue, until no distinction remains between what is a lie and what is true...
...Do you see?  The viramsata, they become living things, and we are their battle-plain”
Kellhus nodded.  “Like Inrithism and Fanimry”.
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---”And the Thousandfold Thought?”
Moenghus turned to him, as precisely as if he could see.  “An instigator that goads them, that bleeds them even as we speak.  A formula of events that will rewrite the very course of history.  A great transition rule that will see Inrithism and Fanimry transformed.  The Thousandfold Thought is all these things.
Beliefs beget action, Kellhus.  If men are to survive the dark years to come, they must all act of one accord.  So long as there are Inrithi and Fanim, this will not be possible.  They must yield before a new delusion, a new Breath-that-is-Ground.  All souls must be rewritten... There is no other way”.
“And the Truth?” Kellhus asked.  “What of that?”
“There is no Truth for the worldborn.  They feed and they couple, cozening their hearts with false flatteries, easing their intellects with pathetic simplifications.  The Logos, for them is a tool of their lust, nothing more... They excuse themselves and heap blame upon others.  They glorify their people over other peoples, their nation over other nations.  They focus their fears on the innocent.  And when they hear words such as these, they recognise them – but as defects belonging to others.  They are children who have learned to disguise their tantrums from their wives and their fellows, and from themselves most of all...
No man says, 'They are chosen and we are damned'.  No worldborn man.  They have not the heart for Truth.
Stepping from between his faceless captives, Moenghus approached, his expression a mask of blind stone.  He reached out as though to clasp Kellhus' wrist of hand, but halted the instant Kellhus shrank back.
“But why, my son?  Why ask me what you already know?”
--- End quote ---

--- End quote ---

Esmi watches Achamian unleash the Gnosis on the Nansur Columns.

--- Quote ---From where Esmenet watched, Achamian was no longer Achamian, but something altogether different, something godlike and all-conquering.  Multiple spheres of light englobed him, each bisected with further, shielding discs.  Brilliant lines webbed the slopes surrounding him, glittering geometries that sundered all but the thickest bodies and the hardest steel.  The Abstractions of the Gnosis.  The War-Cants of the Ancient North.
His voice – and no matter how unearthly, it remained his voice – had become a singsong mutter that descended from all directions, that tingled against her fingertips when she pressed the stone.  Despite her terror and confusion, she knew that at long last she saw him, the one whose long shadow had always chilled their hopes, darkened their love.
The Mandate Schoolman.
From what she could see, the Nansur were in utter confusion.  The Kidruhil had broken, dispersed into the distances, where still the far-flung lines of the Gnosis found them.  The air rang with frantic alarms.
She was no fool.  She knew there would be Chorae, that it was only a matter of time before the units of crossbowmen or some such fought their way through the confusion.  But how long would it take?  How long could he survive.
She was about to watch him die, she realised.  The only man who truly loved her.
From nowhere, it seemed, golden fires rolled over him, burning the earth about his Wards to glass.  Then lightning struck, brilliant spasms of it, scrawling across the glowing planes.  She stumbled along the interior of the ruined wall, struggled to find a footing, then pulled herself up to look westward.
Her heart caught at the sight of the Imperial Columns, their ranks piling across the distances.  Then she saw them: along the crest, standing the height of a tree above tehground, four balck-robed sorcerors, wrapped in spectral bastions of stone.  They sang dragons.  They sang lightning, lava, and sun.  twice the concussions knocked her from her perch.
One by one the Mandate Schoolman pulled them down, each with blistering precision.
--- End quote ---

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The Scarlet Spires are losing.  The greatest of the Cishaurim attack them.  They cannot cope.  Thunyeri arrive, to save them?

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The Fanim charge at the Inrithi who have barricaded themselves in the aqueduct.

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--- Quote --- “Even the Dunyain”, Moenghus said, “possess vestigial versions of these weaknesses.  Even me.  Even you, my son”.
The implication was clear.  Your trial has broken you.
--- End quote ---

Kellhus remembers Caraskand – wlaking when he should be dead – men crying out in awe.

--- Quote ---”There's more, Father.  You're Cishaurim.  You must know this”.
He could remember the voice.
Even without eyes, his father's face still seemed to scrutinise.  “You refer to your visions, the voice from nowhere.  But tell me, where is your proof?  What assures your claim over those who are simply mad?”
--- End quote ---

Kellhus tells him that he prophesied events at Mengedda – to let Moenghus thinks he wavers.

--- Quote ---”A fortuitous Correspondence of Cause,” Moneghus replied, “nothing more.  That which comes before yet determines that which comes after.  How else could you have achieved?  How else could you be possible?”
He was right.  Prophecy could not be.  If the ends of things governed their beginnings, if what came after determined what came before, then how could he have mastered the souls of so many?  And how could the Thousandfold Thought come to rule the Three Seas?  The Principle of Before and After simple had to be true, if its presumption could so empower...
His father had to be right.
So what was this certainty, this immovable conviction, that he was wrong?
Am I mad?
“The Dunyain”, Moenghus continued, “think the world closed, that the mundane is all there is, and in this they are most certainly wrong.  This world is open, and our souls stand astride its bounds.  But what lies Outside, Kellhus, is no more than fractured and distorted reflection of what lies within.  I have searched, for nearly the length of you entire life, and I have found nothing that contradicts the Principle.
Men cannot see this because of their native incapacities.  They attend only to what confirms their fears and their desires, and what contradicts they either dismiss or overlook.  They are bent on affirmation.  The priests crow over this or that incident, while they pass over all others in silence.  I have watched, my son, for years I have counted, and the world shows no favour.  It is perfectly indifferent to the tantrums of men.
The God sleeps...  It has ever been thus.  Only by striving for the Absolute may we awaken Him.  Meaning.  Purpose.  These words name not something given... no, they name our task”.
Kellhus stood motionless.
“Set aside your conviction”, Moenghus said, “for the feeling of certainty is no more a marker of truth than the feeling of will is a marker of freedom.  Deceived men always think themselves certain, just as they always think themselves free.  This is simply what it means to be deceived.
Kellhus looked to the haloes about his hands, wondered that they could be light and yet cast no light, throw no shadow... The light of delusion. “But we, my son, do not have the luxury of error.  Void... void has come to this world.  It fell from the skies thousands of years past.  Twice it has reared from the ashes of its falling: the first time in what the Mandate call the Cuno-Inchoroi Wars, the second time in what they call the First Apocalypse.  It is about to arise a third time.”
“Yes”, Kellhus murmured.  “He speaks to me as well”.
“The No-God?” Moneghus asked.  He paused momentarily.  Had his father possessed eyes, Kellhus was certain he would have seen them fall in and out of focus as the consciousness within roase and submerged.  “Then you truly are mad”.
--- End quote ---

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Confusion reigns amongst the Nansur.  Is Conphas alive or dead.  The soldiers argue amongst themselves.  Do they value their bodies more than their souls – will they fight alongside the heathens against the fellow Inrithi?
Conphas moves – he lives.  Achamian has obliterated his entire command. 
There are horsemen cresting the far rise.

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Armed with Chorae, the Thunyeri kill Cishaurim.  The Scarlet Spires fight back.

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Outside the city, the Men of the Tusk manage to hold the aqueduct.  The two armies face each other.  Fanayal comes out of the lines and cries
--- Quote --- “Who is the true voice of God?”
--- End quote ---
  A sign for the Fanim to resume the attack.
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--- Quote ---”Tell me, Father... what is the No-God?”
Moenghus stood motionless before him.  “The trial broke him.
His time, Kellhus knew was running short.  He could no longer afford his father's distractions.  “If it was destroyed, if it no longer exits, how could it send me dreams?”
“You confuse the madness within you for the darkness without – the same as the worldborn”.
“The skin-spies – what have they told you? What is the No-God?”
Though walled in by the flesh of his face, Moenghus seemed to scrutinise him.  “They do not know.  But then, none in this world know what they worship”.
“What are the possibilities you've considered?”
But his father would not relent.  “The darkness comes before you, Kellhus – it owns you.  You are one of the Conditioned.  Surely you -” He paused abruptly, turned his blind face to open air. “You have brought others... Who?”
--- End quote ---

Kellhus can tell that Cnaiur is coming – he recognises his heartbeat!

--- Quote ---”These voices”, Moenghus said with slow deliberation, “what do they say of me?”
His father, Kellhus realised had finally grasped the principles of this encounter.  Moenghus had assumed that his son would be the one requiring instruction.  He had not foreseen it as possible, let alone inevitable, that the Thousandfold Thought would outgrow the soul of its incubation – and discard it.
“They warn me”, Kellhus said, “that you are Dunyain still”.
One of the captive skin-spies convulsed against its chains, vomited threads of spittle into the pit below.
“I see.  And this is why I am to die?”
Kellhus looked to the haloes about his hands. “The crimes you've committed, Father... the sins... When you learn of the damnation that awaits you, when you come to believe, you will be no different from the inchoroi.  As Dunyain, you will be compelled to master the consequences of your wickedness.  Like the Consult, you will come to see tyranny in what is holy... And you will war as they war”.
Kellhus fell back into himself, opened his deeper soul to the details of his father's nearly naked form, assessing, appraising.  The strength of limbs.  The speed of reflexes.
Must move quickly
“To shut the World against the Outside”, the pale lips said.  “To seal it through the extermination of mankind...”
“As Ishual is shut against the Wilderness”, Kellhus replied.

For the Dunyain it was axiomatic: what was compliant had to be isolated from was unruly and intractable. Kellhus had seen it many times, wandering the labyrinth of possibilities that was the Thousandfold Thought:  The Warrior-Prophet's assassination.  The rise of Anasurimbor Moenghus to take his place.  The apocalyptic conspiracies.  The counterfeit war against Golgotterath.  The accumulation of premeditated disasters.  The sacrifice of whole nations to the gluttony of the Sranc.  The Three Seas cashing into char and ruin.
The Gods baying like wolves at a silent gate.
Perhaps his father had yet to apprehend this.  Perhaps he simply couldn't see past the arrival of his son.  Or perhaps all this – the accusations of madness, the concern over his unanticipated turn – was imply a ruse.  Either way, it was irrelevant.
“You are Dunyain still, Father”.
“As are-”
The eyeless face, once perfectly obdurate and inscrutable, suddenly twitched in the ghost of a grimace.  Kellhus pulled his knife from his father's chest, retreated several steps.  He watched his father probe the wound with his fingers, a weeping perforation just beneath his rib cage.
“I am more”, the Warrior-Prophet said.
--- End quote ---

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Achamian has driven off the Kidruhil, but the whole Imperial Army will be coming for him, with their Chorae Bowmen.  He knows he will die.

What about Esmenet – she is running towards him.

Then out of the sky, Zioz arrives.

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Proyas is standing on the only building that isn't burning.  He gazes across the city

--- Quote ---Streamers and veils of smoke lent the sky the perspective of city streets, making it easy to judge the relative distance of the hanging sorcerors and their warning lights.  Below, all was black ruin and smouldering fire.  Free-standing walls, as ragged as ripped parchment.  Guttered foundations.  The wounded crying out, waving pale hands.  The charcoal dead.
Untouched on the heights, the First Temple observed with monumental repose.
--- End quote ---

He sees two Scarlet Schoolmen attached and killed by a Cishaurim.  He hurls his Chorae at the enemy.

--- Quote ---It seemed to vanish against the iron horizon...
Then a flash, a black-ringed circle of light, from which the saffron figure plummeted like a sodden flag.
Proyas fell to his knees on the brink, leaned out over the fall.  His holy city gaped before him.  And he wept, though he knew not why.
--- End quote ---

The Tydonni are beset on all sides by the Fanim.  They manage to kill Pilaskanda, King of Girgash and cause his mastodosn to stampede.  The Ainoni have killed Cinganjehoi.  But Fanayal lives, and is the 'doom of the Inrithi'.

--- Quote ---The Fanim wept with fury, with outrage, as they cut down the Inrithi invaders.  They cried out glory to Fane and the Solitary Gid, even as they wondered that the Men of Tusk did not flee.
--- End quote ---

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Akka knocks Esmi clear of the demon with a Cant.  It comes for him

--- Quote ---”The voice”...”It says an eye for an eye”
--- End quote ---

Akka can tell Zioz is not a common demon.  He wonders what Iyokus has let loose.

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Moeghus staggers back against the walls.  Snakes appear and curl about his throat.

Kellhus calls out

--- Quote ---With three voices he sang, one untteral pitched to the world and two inutterals directed to the ground.  What had been an ancient Cant of Calling became something far, far more... A Cant of Tranposing.
--- End quote ---

As he teleports away he sees Serwe leap out of the darkness.

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Esmenet watches Achamian fight with Zioz.

--- Quote ---...But the thing was upon him, a raving nightmare, hammering and clawing, blows that cracked the stone about her, that brought blood to her nose.  Wards buckled and fractured.  Achamian called out great concussions and the demon's head was battered.  Hons snapped. Spider-eyes ruptured light.
Its assault became a frenzy, a jerking blur of violence, until it seemed hell itself tore and gnashed at his gates.
Achamian staggered, blinked white-burning eyes, cried out -
An instant of wasted voice.
Rats screamed through its exultant roar.  Achamian falling, his mouth working. The closing of dragon claws...
Achamian falling.
She could not scream.
The monstrosity leapt into the sky, punishing the air with rent wings.
She could not scream.
--- End quote ---

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--- Quote --- “I live!” Ikurei Conphas cried one more time, only to hear nothing above the crack and thunder of sorcerous battle, both near and far.  No resounding cheer, no individual shouts of relief or acclaim. They couldn't see him – that was it!  They mistook him for one of their own.  For a man...
--- End quote ---

He sees the horsemen getting closer.  A voice shouts from their midst that 'there are no more nations'.  They bear the Circumfix banner, and the Red Lion – Saubon.  And they charge him.  The Nansur will not fight – perhaps they cannot.

--- Quote ---He saw the broadsword that took his head
--- End quote ---

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Eleazaras advance on Seokti the Heresiarch of the Cishaurim- his arch-enemy.  He shout out the most powerful of the Great Anaologies.  He will avenge Sasheoka.

But there is more than one Cishaurim present.

--- Quote ---The Grandmaster of the Scarlet Spires grunted, cursed.  Jets of incandescence exploded through his Wards, immolating his left arm even as he screamed deeper defences.  A fissure opened before him.  Light blew across his scalp and brow.  Like a doll, he was thrown backward.
His corpse toppled into the burning tracts below.
--- End quote ---

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The Men of the Tusk are enveloped by Fanim all along the length of the aqueduct outside Shimeh.  The Shrial Knights charge – they have conviction and fury, but not numbers.  Gotian falls as the Knights sign hymns.

Then the Nansur arrive from the west.  The Inrithi cheer.  So do the Fanim – they think allies are here, but some notice unexpected banners.

--- Quote ---This wasn't the treachery of an Emperor – an Ikurei – come to seal a pact with their Padirajah.  The hated standard of the Exalt-General, with its distinctive Kyranean disc, was nowhere to be seen.
No.  This wasn't Ikurei Conphas.  It was the Blond Beast...
King Saubon.
--- End quote ---

The Fanim withdraw.  The Holy War follows.

--- Quote ---Horse and man thrashed black in descending fire
--- End quote ---

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Cnaiur gags for breath.  He is there – Moenghus.  They have spent hours in the halls beneath Kyudea.

--- Quote ---... And Cnaiur had known that no track could lead him farther from the Steppe...
--- End quote ---

The skin-spies attack Moenghus.  He – blind and wounded – kills one of them.

Moenghus knows Cnaiur is there.

--- Quote ---”Nayu... You have returned to me...” ...
...“Just as I knew you would” ...

...“I am Cnaiur urs Skiotha,” he said. “The most violent of all men”.
“No,” Moenghus said softly.  “That is but a lie that you use to conceal your weakness from other men, just as weak”.
“It is you who lie”.
“But I see it within you.  I see... the truth of you. I see your love”.
I hate!” he screamed, so loud that the halls returned the words to them as a thousand whispers.
Though blind, Moeghus somehow managed to look to the ground in pensive pity.  “So many years”, he said. “So many seasons... Everything I showed you has scarred your heart, set you apart from the People.  Now you hold me accountable for what I taught”.
“Desecration!   Deceit!”  Spittle burned his unshaven chin..
“Then why does it torment you so?  Surely lies, when uncovered, fade like smoke.  It is truth that burns, Nayu – as you know... for you have burned in it for uncounted seasons”.
Suddenly Cnaiur could feel it: the miles of earth heaped above them, the clawing inversion of ground.  he had come too far.  He had crawled too deep.
The sword dropped from the stranger's senseless fingers, rang like something pathetic across the floor.  His face broke, like a thing wrapped about twitching vermin.  The sobs whispered across the pitted stone.
An Moenghus was holding him, enclosing him, healing his innumerable scars.
He loved him... this man who has shown him, who had led onto the trackless steppe.
--- End quote ---

Moenghus tells him he is dying and that he needs Cnaiur's strength.  He kisses him. Cnaiur groans.

--- Quote ---He reached beneath his girdle, into his breeches...
His eyes leaden with ardour, he murmured, “I wander trackless ground””
Moenghus gasped, jerked and spasmed as Cnaiur rolled the Chorae across his cheek.  White light flared from his gouged sockets.  For an instant, Cnaiur thought, it seemed the God watched him through a man's skull.
What do you see?
But then his lover fell away, burning as he must, such was the force of what had possessed them.
“Not again!” Cnaiur howled at the sagging form.  He stumbled to his knees, weeping, raving.  “How could you leave me?”
--- End quote ---

He thinks of the final swazond to be cut into his throat.  And finds Serwe – alive.  They are engulfed by darkness.

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Proyas' vantage point has remained untouched by sorcerous fires.  He has seen it all- the destruction of the Scarlet Spires.  There are five Cishaurim left, 'looking' for survivors.

--- Quote ---He turned his face skyward.  Through the haze he glimpsed the first vestiges of blue, a rim of gold about fleecy black.
There was a flash, a sparkle in the corner of his eye.  He looked to the Scared Heights, saw a point of light hanging above the eaves of the First Temple. The point lingered, painting the slate shingles of the dome white, then it burst, so bright that it struck circles across the firmament.  Like sails cut from the mast, sheets of smoke bloomed outward, swept over the hanging Cishaurim and out across the devastation.
And Proyas saw a figure standing where the light had been, so distant he could scarce make out his features, save that his hair was gold and his gown billowed white.
The Warrior-Prophet
--- End quote ---

Kellhus draws debris from the ground towards him and makes spin around him in loops.  They protect him from Chorae bowmen.  The Cishaurim attack – one is kills with the Gnosis.  He teleports behind them, and kills one with his sword, then repeats the trick on number three.  A crossbow bolt from below is caught and thrown like a knife to kill number four.

And for the final Cishaurim

--- Quote ---There was no escaping the Warrior-Prophet's holy light
--- End quote ---

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As the sun sets, a small boy is hunched over a shattered white figure, chipping salt away.  A bid with a human head appears

--- Quote ---”Would you like to know a secret?” A thin voice cooed. The miniature face grinned, as though finding unexpected pleasure in playing a half-hearted game.
Too numb to be terrified, the young boy nodded, clutched tight the salt that would be his fortune.
“Come closer”
--- End quote ---


--- Quote from: TheCulminatingApe on March 19, 2019, 09:06:22 pm ---“Because I need to revise my assumptions, to explore these unforeseen permutation.  I had discounted this possibility.”
“What possibility?”
“That the Wilderness would break rather than enlighten.  That you would come to me a madman.”

--- End quote ---

What would Moenghus have done if Kellhus never came at all - if he died in Caraskand?


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