Pilgrimage to the Haired Star of the High Ordained Ferele
Garden of the Prophet > Libraria Chroniclis

Upon the winter that the soul of the High Ordained Ferele was consigned to the Prophet, the greatest haired star of two centuries lit the cold night above the Cathedral City of the Faith. Soon thereafter, Anointed Hase of Bethehen was acclaimed to become High Ordained; thus the holy Procession of the Prophet's Vow across sands and broken crete to the First Spire took place in a winter of omens.

The ribald Essebe wrote that peasants of the low levels and villages around the Desert of Old Holies gave to great unrest and fear that winter; sand-serpents slid through portals to test the faithful, and the Ten Wells of the forgen-vaulted Broken Plaza ran low beneath the light of the haired star. Upon the coldest night of winter, when even sheth-herders drew their flocks to shelter, the Prophet's realm shook twice underfoot; great crevices opened in the crete of the Field of Gerbea, to reveal ancient and sealed vault-ways of the Unhallowed.

While the Anointed Hase knelt alone within holy vault-works of the high First Spire, his procession of close-guard and Brethren of the Order, arrayed in pennoned armor, lay encamped far below. By light of torch and fire, those faithful gave praise to the Prophet upon the commencement of the High Ordained. Long is such a night; as the first light of morning met the haired star far across the Void, a vision of the Prophet came upon High Ordained Hase, who cried out in a fervor. Through shaft and vault-way ran the High Ordained, once Anointed, to call pilgrimage to the Brothers within holy armor. Pilgrimage across darkest Void to the haired star of the High Ordained Ferele!

Whilst frost yet gathered upon crete and forgen, and peasants beset Preachers in their fear of the Prophet's judgement upon the realms, the war-cog Amerma stood provisioned - burnished by the High Technist Tersage himself, pennoned and blessed by the Faithful. Voidmen and Brothers of the Order made procession within, led as pilgrims of the Faith by the good Voidmaster Embrelen - he who had stood beneath each of the Lesser Suns and brought succor across the Void to the hundred Technists who crafted yet the Great-shrine of Statues - and the most devout of all Ordained, Urras of Ruska. A might of mountains amongst the Faithful, the Ordained Urras was as a shaggy ursen of the forests, he who journeyed a thousand leagues of char and wild to take the Prophet's seed and fist of the Order within his chest.

Exhorted by faithful Voidmen, Amerma rose to the Void upon the Prophet's Fire of heart-vault and vent-works. Within the Chapel Oculis, upon the edge of the Void, Voidmaster Embrelen and Ordained Urras swore the completion of their pilgrimage upon the very Holies of the Cathedral, and so set their vow upon the records of Order and Voidmen. This great vow yet stands within the Station of Humble Duty of the Void-fortress Gerest, there to inspire the Faithful in their defense of the Garden.

Far from the realms voyaged the Faithful of Amerma, beyond the Void lit true by the treasured litanies of the Prophet. When litany spoke false, a despair rose amongst the Voidmen and speech of return was whispered, for Contagion swims the Void to prey upon the very souls of men. Yet the faithful Oculist Persive, he who grew to a thin height in the shadow of Great Olimpan, stood forward to entreat the Faithful upon a gathering of the garden-vault. The haired star shone brighter yet while the Oculist Persive spoke - let the eyes of the Oculist guide the Faithful, for is it not Ocular shrines that Voidmen trust to settle safe upon each new realm? This most dutiful Oculist was much acclaimed by Voidmaster and Ordained; the pilgrims of the haired star were carried deeper into the Void by the eyes of the Chapel Oculis.

Brethren of the Order prayed greatly upon each new day, and Voidmen redoubled their holy rites of the Void. Contagion was upon them, close beyond thick and burnished forgen; only the beating of Prophet's Fire from the heart-vault and prayer of the Faithful kept dread fate at bay. Gallas-vines died within the garden-vault and four Voidmen gave unto madness while Amerma strove mightily through the trailing hair of the star. Yet unwavering were Voidmaster Embrelen and Ordained Urras, and the Oculist Persive stood sleepless and strong as one Anointed within the Chapel Oculis.

The holy pilgrimage came at last to the blackened star-realm behind shining hair; there was rejoicing and calling forth to the Prophet, even while Voidmen ceased their exhortations. The Prophet's Fire withdrew within Amerma's beating heart-vault and forgen decks no longer pulled as the crete and soil of the Prophet's realms. Great pennons of the Order and Cathedral City were brought forth in honor of High Ordained Ferele, leagues of linked forgen woven as though cloth, the better for the star-realm to carry the Prophet's word through the Void.

Oculists and Voidmen pilgrims spoke their most trusted prayers and turned burnished forgen to direct the light of Prophet's Fire from the heart-vault, but lo! There upon the Void-touched char stood a great foulness - a Contagion-shrine of dread circle-meshes and many-pointing dark spires, such as no true amongst the Faithful should ever see! A great and rightful cry of fear and horror came from the Oculists, and thence Voidmen, but not so from the Ordained Urras. To the seal-gates, beset with the fury of the Prophet's Hands, went the Ordained - so too the Brothers of the Order. With Long Breath and sword of unbending forgen, these instruments of the Prophet's will leapt from the seal-gates to tear apart Contagion and hurl it once more to the Void.

So the Prophet's design was revealed to the Faithful - this was to be a rightful war-pilgrimage of the Order; the haired star bore the name of the High Ordained Ferele, yet Contagion befouled the star-realm. The Prophet taught that where Contagion stood, Contagion will once more stand, lest each smallest grain is cleansed in holy Fire. With the true strength of the Faithful, Voidmaster Embrelen returned heart to his Voidmen and duty to the Oculists; when the rage of Brethren faded, the Prophet's Fire of Amerma's vent-works would char all Contagion from this least realm.

As the Voidmaster spoke, so was it done. With yet Void-frozen bones, twice clothed in black char-dust of the realm, the Ordained Urras and Brothers of the Order carried forgen pennons through the seal-gates. Beneath shining hair, they anchored pennons of Order and the Faith upon the Fire-cleansed realm with great chains and pins. Praise be to the Prophet!

Let all of the Faith recall the War-pilgrimage of the Haired Star of the High Ordained Ferele, for by such is shown the devotion of the Hands of the Prophet to the Garden and the Faithful.

[ Posted by Reason on June 9, 2006 ]