Procession of the Seven Thin Vaults
Garden of the Prophet > Libraria Chroniclis

I will relate the first I recall of Aelth and the Unresting Order, for it is of importance to events thereafter.

On the fifteenth day of Awe I was summoned before Lady Mese, favored concubine of my Lord: I learned that Aelth, youngest of the Lord's sons, would bring the Lord's pennon to the Procession of the Seven Thin Vaults. All Rue had we abided within the Outer Spires above the red half-desert, for the chill sand-winds blew strong upon the walls of fortress Turyth, and the Lady Mese would not travel lest the view was pleasing and suitable for nobility. This time of procession had come upon us, and it pleased Aelth and my Lady for him to go forth into the fortress proper.

Upon the twentieth day of Awe, I accompanied the close-guard of my Lord's son through the deep vault-ways of Turyth. My Lord was blessed even then by an even twelve artisans of renown, of craft unmatched in the desolate red realms; thus a youngest son rode atop tread and wheel of hard forgen, with noise enough to hide the sand-wind and cries of guards.

Sand fell above, but unwashed peasants of half-desert and lowest levels still came from every part to make festival of the holy procession that day - a thousand or more, may the Prophet judge their souls. Half sullen in the way of the wretched, half of cheer to see my Lord's guard, they crowded about and above in the vault-works.

But a single Preacher and ten Brothers held the war-shrine at the rift wall of Turyth. This Preacher Gare came down amidst the peasants of the great-vault, a greying man of strength and heat-scars, there to bow rightfully and place the blessings of the Unresting Order upon my Lord's son Aelth. The peasantry he had marshalled with speech most strong, in the manner of the true faithful, to make ready the Lord's Chair in the Seventh Thin Vault. I thought it a wonder to see the lazy peasant so put to work with a will, and in the Prophet's name!

Preacher Gare told the history of Turyth while all was made ready; this holy Procession to honor the Prophet recalled victory over the faithless, brought by the Anointed Brother Ulseph. While battle raged amidst the great-vaults, Brother Ulseph exhorted the armor Lessete to tear a way through the Seven Thin Vaults and put the heretics to flight by fist and righteous fury alone. The Preacher was one to make the tale live and breath as it is told; the close-guard who stood with Aelth that day tell it still in their encampments.

Over fine repast brought from the war-shrine, watched over by Preacher Gare, I watched peasants don strange costumes to play the part of heretics. They held forth amongst themselves, cavorting as animals or pretending base acts, to the great amusement of Aelth and his most trusted companion of the close-guard. For all and thereabout, the small-cannon of the guard stayed ready upon the benches; such was the charge of my Lady Mese, but the Preacher took no offense.

The coming of the Unresting armor was announced by great grinding, as of forgen dragged on stone-ways, and the cries of peasants lining the first Thin Vaults. The peasant mummers stumbled hither and hence, and closer came the great noise. Cloth painted as vault-works billowed as it hung across the second vault-way, then torn away by the fist of the armor Lessete. Five men broad, that vault-way, and the armor went sideways and crouched - and into the Seventh Thin Vault with a leap and great crash of spread arms from vault-work to vault-work abreast, swept above head and pennon!

Aelth behaved as a Lord, while my Lord's close-guard all but fell and ran, save for but one who cast up small-cannon as though to fire before coming to his senses. All the while, Preacher Gare laughed and laughed, until overtaken by coughs and spasms; these, I attended as best I could. This tale, the guard do not tell; it is left for me to tell in their stead.

The Unresting Brother within Lessete exhorted the armor with great craft, making a dance with the peasant mummers; the wretches picked up and shaken, or a play made of smashing them to the very floor. Each footfall shook the Vaults and all within, yet each footfall fell clear of any peasant. All the while, peasants of the procession flowed like sand from the vault-way to crowd, call and cry.

With a darkness come upon the fortress, we dined with the Unresting Brothers; Aelth and his close-guard were as neonates, wide-eyed before a host of the Anointed. These were truly the Prophet's Hand! The youngest Brother, like as not, was just as scarred on the day my Lord took his title as a child. Brother Hura of Relys, who danced with Lessete, was devout in the way of Preacher Gare; a mountain of a man, shorn of head, he spoke well and long of the Order and of service in the name of the Prophet.

The Prophet's seed showed strong in Brother Hura's palm, this his fourth right hand. He pulled aside his vestment so all could see the never-healing scar upon his chest; holy sign that beneath his ribs, Preacher Gare's second right fist clenched strong with faith and the will of the Prophet. This I recall well, for I saw the look in Aelth's eyes, and that which passed between Preacher and Brothers. Men, as women, may talk and agree without speech in their ways, and agreement had been made.

So was much of consequence set to motion.

[ Posted by Reason on May 17, 2006 ]