Garden of the Prophet

Beneath the Lesser Suns
Garden of the Prophet > Beneath the Lesser Suns

Heresy and Forgen

Brothers and Voidmen! I will speak well of your souls in times to come, but quiet, quiet in the Prophet's name!

You have heard speak the Oculist Serre, and the Prophet's blessing upon him for his vigilance within the highest Ocula at the cliffside, else we would sorely lack this warning of heresy. Now we know the fate of Brother Teuren and the neonates sent to treat with these savages: Brothers, in the Prophet's name their souls will be reclaimed from the taint of heresy!

Let these faithless char the bodies of the faithful in their foul factora; let these faithless pour forgen from the blood of our companions; let these faithless believe tread and cannon will shield their worthless lives! They practice the heresies of the Fallen Technist, and have set upon the road to Contagion. They will go no futher, this I swear upon all the Holies! Brothers, our lost will have their place in the Chronicles of the Order - but first we will reave all life from the savages below!

Brothers! The armors yearn for battle, and our long-cannon await in the heart-vault. Let us begin the descent from this high landfall, the better to bring the Prophet's vengence upon these heretics!

[ Posted by Reason on May 18, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Upon the Fifthmost Great-shrine of Erope

May this day of observance find you well Brother Jaren; I see the upper deck suits your temperament, as it does mine. This realm of Erope brings delight anew to climbing the vault-ways and shafts, as you will understand when grey colors your hair. I have wondered what the peasantry of the lowest level of our great Cathedral would think to see the setting of this Lesser Sun over the great waters; to feel the lesser tug of this realm beneath, the thinness of the air. Have you watched the Voidmen leap a full three rods from the war-cog Nesere to the spires of the landfall deck? Truly is the Garden rich with the Prophet's wonders!

It has been a span of many years since last the Faithful came to this Great-shrine; we do the Prophet's work in restoring these vault-works and the Holies within to glory. It is the work of peasants, true, should the Prophet guide us to bring the least of the faithful to Erope, but Rue will soon be over - and then we cross the Void once more. The Void-cathedral Yeuve awaits us beneath the next of the Lesser Suns, and we will stand beside Ordained and Preacher to bring the words of the Prophet to the savage faithless of the Ganamed realm. Sword, long-cannon and armor will not remain idle long upon Nesere, this much I know!

Voidmaster Mafeal will bring us the fruit of the Prophet's litanies on the morrow; his Voidmen rightfully abide by this day of prayer, just as we. I know that it troubles the Brethren to be yet waiting upon the direction of the Desert of Old Holies and Cathedral City across the Void, but in this way do we honor the Prophet. Find the way in the Prophet's seed clenched within your chest, Brother Jaren, and He will hear your evening-prayer.

[ Posted by Reason on May 20, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Calend of the Faithful
Garden of the Prophet > Calend of the Faithful

Observance on the Fifth Day of Purgen

On this Fifth Day of Purgen, the Holy Festival of Observance for the Transfiguration of the Guiltless Order, praise be to the Prophet.

For two and twenty years the Technists of the Guiltless Order recrafted the mighty heart of the towered Void Cathedral Nalathe, exhorting the Prophet's Fire to every great vault and space of the lowest levels. Brothers gave each and one, from neonate to Ordained, the Prophet's hand and seed in those years to swell the Order in honor of the Faith.

Two centuries passed since Nalathe last settled from the Void on pillars of Prophet's Fire, but the High Ordained charged the Order to raise banners at the very fingertips of the Prophet's Arms, there to guard the faithful against Contagion from the Void. Each Order of the Prophet's Garden, far and near, made gift of a holy quintessen-cannon to the Brothers of the Guiltless, the better to carry their quest.

Yet the Fire of the Prophet found Contagion in the hearts of the Order, for only the pure and holy speak with the Prophet's voice and act with the Prophet's hand. On this day, holy Fire came forth from the heart of Nalathe to cleanse the Order and all around who touched Contagion, making valleys of mountains and clouds of rivers. The greatest of Void Cathedrals became a holy rain of boiling forgen and ash, carrying the will of the Prophet to the lands of twenty Lords.

By the grace of the Prophet so was the Guiltless Order forgiven, purified and transfigured. Praise be to the Prophet and honor to the blessed Ordained on this Festival day.

[ Posted by Reason on May 4, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Observance on the Thirteenth Day of Char

On this Thirteenth day of Char, Tithe and Service to be given in remembrance of the Anointed Lord Baris and the Crusade of the Prophet's Arm.

On the Thirteenth day of Char, the war-procession of Lord Baris was blessed by the Ordained to set forth and purge the faithless from the Prophet's Arm of Sunset. Long had knaves and outcasts spawned and climbed ever higher in this greatest of Old Holies, league upon league nigh to the very edge of the Void. Sly heretics were ticks upon the outcast, while roving brigands of sword and cannon troubled the faithful in the shadow of the Arm.

Filled with the surity of Faith, the guard of Lord Baris' realm took up banner, spear and cannon small and great in their crusade. Eight years did Lord Baris empty his coffers in the Prophet's name, and eight years did Lord Baris lead his close-guard in holy battle ever higher through vault, stair, shaft and deck in the Prophet's Arm of Sunset. The fallen were many, their names inscribed still upon the craft of Technists of the Mercyless Order.

On the Thirteenth day of Char, the last heretic was thrown to the thin winds that touch the Void and tear at skin, no more to mock and sully the Faithful from on high. The Lord's pennon of a league of ash-cloth was unfurled from the Deck of Ages; war-barques of the Void Fortress Gerest came to carry Lord Baris and his close-guard from the vault of their victory to the Cathedral City of the Prophet - a great journey undertaken in but a single night athwart the Prophet's Fire.

Before the Prophet and High Ordained, Lord Baris became Anointed, and his close-guard the Mercyless Order. So blessed, these Faithful returned to the Prophet's Arm of Sunset and made their Cathedral of the Vault of the Mountain, above the clouds.

Tithe well to your Order this Thirteenth day of Char, for the Garden of the Prophet must ever be guarded against the faithless and the heretic.

[ Posted by Reason on May 5, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Procession of the Nineteenth Day of Rue

On this Nineteenth day of Rue, the Cathedral Bell Procession of Brother Besteban.

The last word of the final processional of the Anointed Brother Basteban was set in ink upon this day. That very night, Brother Basteban's soul was commended to the Prophet, may His Garden prosper in the glory of the Faith.

Upon this holy day, Faithful of the Chapel Technis upon the flanks of Great Olimpan exhorted mighty chains and the Prophet's Fire of their heart-vault to raise the bells Desine and Caras to the Cathedral heights, each larger than a road-shrine of the Faith, two full rods in breadth. Five years of craft and prayer had formed these Holies from ventworks of the fallen Void-fortress Humere, dug from the half-desert plains fifty years prior by the guard of Lord Tumen of the Olimpan realm. For five further years had the Brothers of the Chapel Technis illuminated the children of Humere with the tenets of the Faith and prayers to the Prophet, praise His name.

So it is that Humere, that had carried the Prophet's Fire and the Faithful against Void-dancers, that had fallen in the service of the Faith, now calls the Prophet's voice across the realm.

Listen for the Cathedral bells of your Order this Nineteenth day of Rue, and recite from the Last Processional of Anointed Brother Basteban as you journey to attend your prayer.

[ Posted by Reason on May 12, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Least Festival of the Fourth Day of Awe

This fourth day of Awe, the Least Festival of the Cannon-artisan, praise to the Prophet for His blessings upon men.

Great indeed were the faith and renown of Heen, born of Defys upon the border with the chill and desolate red desert. By his twentieth year, the cannon of his hand were sought by Lords of Olimpan, Heythe and Trel. So too came the Orders of the red realms to Heen's modest factora, for the long-cannon of Defys were without flaw, as though touched by the Prophet.

High Technist Sesepha of the Unresting Order came to Defys thrice, carried upon the Prophet's Fire, to gift Heen with passage to the Cathedral high upon Great Olimpan. Each time this was refused by the humble Heen.

In the last of his years, Heen of Defys turned his craft to form the great-cannon of the fortress Eythe, that which straddles the mighty chasm betwixt red half-desert and river-land. The great-cannon Tebse, Unne and Russere he burnished with his two hands; cannon that have faltered not in their duty, a craft to equal the Chapel Technis of the Desert of Old Holies, far across the Void.

Yet the Black Sickness came then upon Eythe, upon Defys, as upon all the red realms. On cries of Heen's death-watch, Ordained of the Unresting Order came with haste from Great Olimpan. In witness of all, Heen of Defys took the oaths of the Order; so was his soul rightfully commended to the Prophet as Technist Heen.

You artisans of the faithful, be humble as Heen in faith and service of the Prophet this fourth day or Awe.

[ Posted by Reason on May 19, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Festival of the Tenth Day of Char

On this tenth day of Char, the Festival of the Holy Crusade of the Erope Realm, thanks be to the Prophet for His guiding hand.

Upon the tenth day of Char, the Void-cathedral Yeuve and Brethren of the Hateless Order led the crusading war-processions of the youngest Lords of the Afrik realms. Prophet's Fire carried Yeuve and four dark-pennoned war-cogs far across the Void to the Lesser Suns and the Erope realm, for there a host of half-men rose from beneath great waters to mock and soil the Holies of the Faithful.

Into battle for long years went Lord, close-guard and Brother of the Faith. Voidmen exhorted the heart-vault of mighty Yeuve to give forth Prophet's Fire to boil the great waters to steam. With sword and cannon, with war-poisons of the Chapel Technis, the Faithful enacted Purgen upon the half-men and water-breathers who dared touch the great-shrines of the Erope realm.

Tithe to the Brethren of your Order this Festival day, that their duties become those of all the Faithful. Pray to the Prophet, that His hands will ever shield men from the Faithless.

[ Posted by Reason on May 25, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Festival of the Eleventh Day of Toil

On this Eleventh day of Toil, the Festival of the Prophet's Pilgrimage of the High Ordained, praise to the Prophet in His defense of the Garden.

Upon this eleventh day of Toil did the mighty war-procession of the Prophet smite the heretics of the Lune realm, to send all to death and scatter faithless names and works to the Void. The thin-forests and tall grasses were burned to char, fortresses smashed to smoking, broken crete. So was the threat of heresy and the voice of Contagion driven from the Prophet's realms.

Upon this eleventh day of Toil, the High Ordained Ferele, blessings be upon her soul, gave sign that great statues of the Faith, a league in height, were to be raised upon the desolate Lune realm. Voidmasters of the realms brought three times a hundred Technists, artisans and four thousand of the faithful across the Void to build as the High Ordained spoke, where once heretics consorted and plotted against the Faith. The faithful labored long years into the time of the High Ordained Hase, and thence the High Ordained Dalseban, but so it had been spoken, and so it came to be.

Upon this eleventh day of Toil, the High Ordained of the Prophet's realms makes holy pilgrimage from the Cathedral City across the Void, to pray at the Great-shrine of Statues for the Prophet's guidance in the defense of the Faith. Praise be to the Prophet, for His hands shield the faithful!

Be most fervent and true in your devotions this festival day, for the greatest of the Faith journeys the Void to pray for all in the Garden.

[ Posted by Reason on June 1, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Feast of the First Day of Censen

Upon this first day of Censen, bring forth your second-tithe and the meat of fine sheth for the Feast of Counting, with praise to the Prophet and His holy Orders for their defense of the Faithful.

Upon each fiftieth Censen, Anointed of the Faith journey the realms of the Garden to take count of the Faithful, that holy Brethren may do the Prophet's will. Dutiful Lords of realm, magisters of fortress and elders of village bow one and all, rightfully before the Anointed. The year-counts of realm, fortress and village are rendered unto to the Cathedrals, there to swell most fruitfully the holy records of the Faith. Give thanks to the Prophet this feast-day that His seed lives within the protectors of the Faith, who count each of the faithful as though their own child.

The thirdmost Great Censen of the years of High Ordained Dalseban was fifteen years in journey and illumination by holy Brethren of the Cathedral City. Its year-counts were cast in forgen sheets a rod in height, bound in mighty chains and set within the spired Great-vault of Seven Portals that the Faithful will ever know their strength. For the Anointed numbered the Faithful of the Garden to be ten million, praise be to the Prophet!

This first day of Censen, kneel in duty before Lord, magister and elder for the year-count. Feast well, you Faithful, and pray with zeal for the protection of your souls.

[ Posted by Reason on June 12, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Observance on the Twenty-Ninth Day of Spire

Upon this twenty-ninth day of Spire, the Faithful of the Prophet's Garden gather to give praise in remembrance of the Hallowing of the Ganamed realm by the great Void-cathedral Yeuve.

In Spire Yeuve bore the Hateless Order across the Void of the Lesser Suns, from the Prophet's judgement upon Erope to bring Faith to the savages of the Ganamed realm. With mighty pillars of the Prophet's Fire did Yeuve set to rest upon the hill-lands of thin-tree forest, and with great prayer did Ordained make a Holy of that place in the Prophet's name.

The savages who dwelled amongst the ruined vault-works of the Unhallowed made wings of cloth and savage forgen, and flew by leaps from rock, yellow thin-tree and high vault. Light as a feather tugs the Ganamed realm upon the Faithful, and close presses the Void. The savages knew not of the Faith nor the Prophet's wisdom, and thus Contagion whispered to their hearts. Hateless Brothers went forth from Yeuve with armor and long-cannon, in war-barque and upon tread of heavy forgen, to teach Faith to the savages and burn Contagion in holy Prophet's Fire where it fouled the Ganamed realm.

Hateless Technists toiled upon new vault-works and spires, tall as tall upon the Gananed realm hill-lands. In high leaps, higher than the tallest spire of the Red Realms, did Hateless Brothers exhort their armors, to pull savages from their wings and teach them Faith. Hateless Preachers journeyed in courage and noble duty to speak the Prophet's words beneath a Lesser Sun.

In Spire, great-bells of new-blessed forgen, pennoned in the Prophet's banner, first called the savages to prayer and learning. So the Prophet's hands shield souls from Contagion come from the Void, and such was the first Hallowing of the Ganamed realm. Raise up your voice in praise of the Prophet's compassion upon this holy day, and give service to your Order with glad duty in your heart.

[ Posted by Reason on September 17, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Chantry of Medicia
Garden of the Prophet > Chantry of Medicia

Beware the Physicen

Let not the Brethren of the Order stray from the Chapel Medicis to the physicen of the low decks and village they knew as children. The exhortation of armor and long-cannon is your shield, just as the word of the Prophet upon the flesh of the Faith is theirs. The Prophet's seed is clenched beneath the never-healing scar in shield of our hearts; we live the life of years in His service. The medicia of peasant and least of the faithful is not for we dutiful Hands of the Prophet.

Watch you those peasant physicen with faith foremost in the heart and you will be guided by the Prophet. These least of the faithful might speak with the Prophet's words, or be the riverbed upon which whispers of Contagion flow. It is the duty of the Medicist to watch for such, just as Preachers look to the hearts of the peasantry.

Motificen, flux, plague and ague are cast upon the faithful as a judgement of the Prophet: faltering of Faith; punishment of the Unhallowed untethered from ancient tower-ruins; whispers from the Void made apparent upon the flesh. The fall of but one soul into the sickness of Contagion may bring bloody flux upon a fortress - but a warning of what will come lest Brethren of the Order root out the seeds of heresy.

In times of plague the devoted Medicist seeks first the physicen of peasant superstition, who give not instruction in the Faith, and cast madness upon the lowest decks. Bring forth these physicen and search their hearts most closely for the signs of Contagion. In wisdom and long service to the Prophet's will, I give you this charge.

[ Posted by Reason on September 24, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Physicen of the Half-desert Beyond Turyth

You who have come, show yourselves, show yourselves! The dark is for sleep and the Void, not the strong of this realm. Come forth, come forth. I am but old, and this is but my home.

Peasants of the fortress, by my eyes, worn from sand upon the winds and come in search of medicia. Set down your charge, with care now, for this is the Vault of the Prophet's Footstep - yes, once a Holy of the Faith. In truth, it is a Holy yet, for the Prophet's touch upon the Red Realms will never fade. It can only be forgotten a while by Brethren who tend war-shrines and the Cathedral high upon Great Olimpan.

There is water here, and roots if you hunger. Those who brave the wild sand-winds of Awe and hunt thin serpents by night are my friends, and repay my care of this Holy with what little I require. But let us turn to your charge, and the reason for your pilgrimage from the forgen decks of Turyth.

See now, stench is thick about the pocks, and pus gathers fit to leap from his wound. He is heated as a Brother in battle, and such a battle he fights now! There are hearts given to dark whispers in Turyth when the Prophet's name in prayer cannot ward such ills from the least of the Faithful - but you have done well by his soul in your journey, whatever may come.

You have brought a gift well and generous for an old man, and the more so for your hearts in the giving of it. I will be as much in return, and may the Prophet guide your charge to his sense and duty once more. He shall spend this night atop the Prophet's mark in the least-vault below, anointed with amrith from far realms and prayer-pennon of the holy Brother Eryhan about his wound. We can do no more but pray with faith foremost in our hearts.

[ Posted by Reason on September 25, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Libraria Chroniclis
Garden of the Prophet > Libraria Chroniclis

Raised Above the Blood of Heresy

By order of the High Ordained, who speak with the Prophet's voice, let the Field of Gerbea nurture the Libraria Chroniclis.

Let Technists come from spired Chapels and peasants from the lowest levels to plant metal in broken crete; let the Faithful raise great and burnished vaults while the blood of Heretics and rightful anger of the Pitiless Order still soaks this most ancient Old Holy of the Cathedral City. Let all the Lords of the Prophet's Garden exhort their chroniclers and bring forth histories of the glory of the Faith.

Let the great Libraria to come stand as warning to those who would waver in soul and body; let it warn that Contagion is death, even upon those who pretend to Faith and hide Heresy under sight of the Ordained. By this shall the Faithless know that even their foul souls - and the unquiet resting of their disarrayed remains - shall support the Holies of the Faith, praise be to the Prophet.

[ Posted by Reason on May 7, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Procession of the Seven Thin Vaults

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 | Permanent Link ]

Least Festival of the Anointed Tasan

The snow falls deep this second winter after the departure of my Lord and his guards at the call of the Ordained. The great war-cog of his grandsire, mighty Dasu, stands burnished still after all those years, but empty as an Unhallowed tower and without Voidmaster or beating heart-vault. This just as the echoing artisan's vaults and the long-sealed war-shrine in our towered fortress Witan. A single war-barque of the Hateless Order, pennoned with treasured litanies and the scars of long-past Void-battle, carried my Lord and his close-guard away to the lush heart of charred Afrik.

The Rur realm lies now in deep chill beneath white, yet more so on the Least Festival of the Anointed Tasan. The peasants grow accustomed to the emptiness of the upper vaults; they creep like serpents from the frozen lowest levels, and no loyal guard chastens them to their rightful nests. Lowing tachen in their winter coats hide from the valley winds behind garden deck portals and gave poor winter milk. The red-breast corven roost in the lee spires still, just as when the Hateless Preacher Tuth came to Witan for the Least Festival.

Preacher Tuth ran a hundred leagues from the high mountain Cathedral, carried faster than a rider by armor of the Order - and such uproar from the peasantry, for two years it has been since such a Holy of the Faith has come into the valley. The Preacher is faded as the fortunes of the Rur realm; the Prophet's seed has all but left him; his hair is white as that of my Lady's mother, his face is thin as thin. Yet still he exhorted the armor Megane to hold peasant children high in the air as though a giant of a father, and to kneel before my Lady, Magister Albret and patient Wagen of the Prophet's shrine whilst he proffered much-needed blessings upon my Lord's realm of Rur.

Upon the night of his arrival, Preacher Tuth joined my Lady to dine by torchlight in the upper vaults, for all that little worthy fare remains in Witan on the Festival days. This would be the last winter he would bring the words of the Prophet to our Least Festival, the Preacher explained, for his time draws near. The Hateless Brethren called it rightful for Megane, that once carried Preacher Tuth to battle, to be before those faithful of Rur - for he was the Prophet's hand for all, even the least peasant of shaft and low vaultway. My Lady was much affected by his speech, and she would give what Witan does not have to further the holy works of the Order.

[ Posted by Reason on May 26, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Black Lord Umbere's End

With the first sand-wind storms of the twentieth year of the High Ordained Rusul, Lord Umbere - whom peasants called Umbere the Black for his foul deeds - was cast from the Faith by the Anointed Cerre. That great and holy Hand of the Prophet took armor and close-guard to the fortresses of Great Olimpan, there to plunge sword and the pennons of Anathemen to the hilt in the forgen portal of the High Cathedral.

Faithful Lords of the red realms were come to great fear in their duty, for the close-guard of Umbere the Black cast war-poisons of the Unhallowed upon his enemies. Yet worse, artisans of the Heythe realm had turned craft to two fearsome cannon-works of mighty treads and wheels, of size to match the holy war-cog Espheban that once brought the Prophet to Great Olimpan.

While Lords and their guard trembled, those true to the Faith came forth from Cathedral, war-shrine and fortress to kneel before the armor of the Anointed Cerre. While sand-winds howled from the Great Desolation to burnish forgen and the souls of the faithful, Brethren of the Unresting Order swore to follow the Anointed as their Ordained until the Prophet's will was done.

With war-cog Tasaphe and great-cannon of the Chapel Technis, with the armor of the Anoited Cerre at their head, the Unresting Order brought the blood and fury of war upon the guard of Umbere the Black. Many were the faithful who fell in enactment of Anathemen, many were the armors pierced by cannon, the Holies despoiled. Yet these most virtuous Brethren ever prevailed, scattering their enemies in disarray, charring fortresses of the Heythe realm with the Prophet's Fire of Tasaphe's vent-works.

Soon, magisters of the realm came to plead with pennons lowered before the Anointed Cerre, who judged each by his actions. All loyal to Umbere the Black hung from cages of peasant's forgen upon high fortress spires, there to suffer sand-winds from the half-desert.

Yet Black Lord Umbere and his most loyal close-guard fled their rightful end in the burning war-poisons of forgen-walled Heythe. The Voidmasters of the ancient war-barques Mefeb and Ulsehab of the Lords of the Heythe realm did not heed the duties of the Faith; across the near Void to Foros they fled, to that lesser fortress-realm of the Unhallowed. The Prophet's Fire of Mefeb and Ulsehab burned bright to the Anointed Cerre and Unresting Brothers, and soon the most faithful of their number followed into the Void within Tasaphe.

Umbere the Black had found Unhallowed seal-gates yet closed from the Void, and worked mightily to gain shelter - but the Hand of the Prophet was turned against him. Voidmen of the Ocular shrine within Tasaphe discovered the errant war-barques where they hid within forgen and Void-touched rock. Unresting Brothers took the Long Breath to leap into the Void, falling upon Umbere the Black and his close-guard with sword and fist of armor. So was Anathemen complete, and did Black Lord Umbere and all loyal to his foulness meet their end, the Prophet be praised.

[ Posted by Reason on June 2, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Pilgrimage to the Haired Star of the High Ordained Ferele

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 | Permanent Link ]

My Lady's Tapestry of the Fall of the Unhallowed

A reckoning there would be between my Lord and Aelth, youngest of his sons, but that would not come until two full years past the peasant's festival of vaults within spired Turyth. The seed was planted well in Aelth's heart by Brother Hura, and by my Lady Mese, was it her intent or otherwise.

The sand-winds died to their very least with the first days of Char, and my Lady's thoughts turned to journeying once more. Within tread and wheel of stern forgen, eased little by bright pennons of fine craft, my Lady knelt in prayer for the souls of the red realms whilst we crossed sands and grasses. The highest spire of Turyth's forgen walls soon enough faded from view, and few peasants of the half-desert sought to petition or follow my Lady's modest procession. Broad Rephe of the guard dealt roughly with such within the Outer Spires of Turyth, as was his wont, and all beggars and ribalds soon knew my Lady's complexion as his. I was gladdened we had not to suffer the stench of peasant souls.

Aelth did not share our noisesome travel of clanking tread upon forgen wheel, and was joyful for it. He and his favored of the close-guard had swathed themselves in gere-fat and leather many days past in Awe, the better to travel in the manner of peasants. Afar they went to the great Cathedral and vaults of the Unresting Order upon Great Olimpan, whilst sand yet blew high, harsh and about. That pilgrimage is worthy of record, and such I have vowed to accomplish before the Prophet calls upon my soul.

All knew what lay in the heart of my Lord's youngest son, for he was given not to hidden intent, even from his earliest years. Upon his tongue was naught but the Orders of the Prophet and questions of the Faith across the days of Awe spent beneath Turyth's high spires. Those close-guard most loyal to my Lady spoke better of my Lord's youngest son than ever I had heard - even scarred Rephe, who was most faithful for all his peasant's countenance. Truly, to accept the Prophet's calling is to stand higher upon the flanks of Great Olimpan in the sight of men, no matter what has passed before. Aelth's soul was in my prayers in those days also, for all I saw the mighty sand-storm to come.

Many days from Turyth, the Great-bridge of the Disciples stood just as before; sand-drifts against forgen vault-works and a league of bridge-deck muffled from tread and wheel by spreading hard-grass. The deleth seeds thrown down by my Lord so long ago had grown fine and thin across the sword of Arteheban - enough to give pause to the faithful for reflection upon the passage of years. Not since the time of the High Ordained Rusul have men journeyed in great number to the mighty chasms. The realm of hills and half-desert beyond has fallen into desolation, its tall fortresses empty save for one: the destination of my Lady Mese, the Cloister of the Prophet's Footfall.

I have long commended the good women of the Cloister in word and deed. In their faith, they burnish and sweep clean the road-shrine of the secondmost step of the Prophet upon the red realms. For all their peasant blood, these cloistered stand far from the would-be brigand of the half-desert and the stench of low fortress decks. In this, I follow the affections of my Lady, for she had endowed an ample chantry upon the Cloister: prayer for the strength of our souls, and tapestry for the high vaults within my Lord's strong fortress.

The sourge-cough that so wracked Preacher Gare of Turyth had brought misery to the Cloister spire in the year that passed before. The eldermost maid passed to the care of the Prophet, blessings be upon her soul, and thus it fell to my Lady to bestow approval upon a new sequesten of the chantry.

For all that the greater part of the Cloister fortress stands empty and unkept, my Lady's close-guard were given to wait beyond the deleth groves and wall of piled crete from ancient, unhallowed years. My Lady set forth in modest ornament of coarse cloth, guided through canted forgen vault-works of old by the least of cloistered maids. At the very center of the fortress, the great portal of the Cloister-vault stood closed yet, its workings choked by sands then as now. Thin-wood stairs to the lowest arch window sufficed for the cloistered, and for my Lady also - past were the years in which such was an insult to my Lord's blood.

My Lady talked long with the elder maids within their least-vaults high and low. All the while, I dwelled upon the great tapestry then unfinished - years from a journey to my Lord's fortress in triumphant procession. Even then it was fit to stir the souls of the faithful. The cloistered maids turned their craft to declaim the fall of the Unhallowed of the red realms, whence the Demos city-realm was cast down from the Void - fell burning with Fire untamed by the Prophet. Into a thousand parts the Demos realm broke, each a hammer upon the red realms to throw up sands fit to cloud the skies for a century, poison the half-deserts and pound out the Great Desolation.

The faithful of the cloister emboidered the faces of the Unhallowed, crying out for the Prophet before His time. In this did they speak most truly of the faithful who would come after. It was not mine to speak of it, but the tapestry alone would merit the chantry of a Lord of the Prophet's realm - rare is the work that speaks as much of the Faith as the most earnest Preacher upon Great Olimpan.

[ Posted by Reason on June 16, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Pilgrimage to Holy Fraberg

Just once, when not yet of years for the eyes of men, I traveled with my mother to the great Cathedral of Fraberg upon the mountains. Few journey so far from these forgen decks now, save but to seek a place in Fraberg or the valleys below. It is a hard toil across the empty Rur realm, even in the gentle season of vines and flowers over the vault-works of Witan - and my Lady has become more demanding of her maids as the years crease her skin.

This past Censen, the peasants of the lower fortress speak of naught but rumor; of brigands who live by cannon upon the char and poison circle-lakes where nothing grows, or hide in forests set with Unhallowed vaults. Lay-brother Wagen is ever stern with such fools' words, but to no avail. His hair is yet black, but he has tended the Prophet's shrine beneath the broad-deck since my mother's birth; blessed is he who has heard all that might be spoken by the least of the faithful. Whom would brigands prey upon now, save for peasant fantasies?

The year of my journey was a pilgrimage in truth, given the Prophet's speed by a glad procession of pennons and tidings to the great-portal of Witan. Men of the close-guard bore the bones of my Lord's grandsire to Fraberg within a forgen casket most ancient. The Ordained of the Hateless Order so honored his service that a place within the Cathedral sepulcher-spire was given to his relics. Scarce less was he beloved by the least peasant of the Rur realm, and with his bones went the heart of Witan. May the Prophet watch over the soul of my Lord's grandsire yet, and that of my Lord and his guard in the far, steaming Afrik realm. I pray often for the third year of the crusade in service to the Order.

Those years ago, the close-guard were faithless men; brigands, harlots and ribalds of small-cannon tamed by my Lord's grandsire from each of the Prophet's realms. Vile of speech, but strong of hand and loyal to Witan's forgen decks - all are gone now to the Afrik realm or their souls to the Prophet's judgement.

A harsh travel it was through all Rue, and long the last climb into mountains, for all the few faithful in valleys nigh unto Fraberg aided our way. Char-mixed rain fell for days on end, yet the high walls of deep-scarred forgen rose above us at long last. Fraberg is a bitter, ugly sight yet for those of Witan: then, cages of judged heretics hung at each great cannon-vault upon the walls. Corven flocked about to redden their beaks, and made nests upon bones picked clean of heresy. Yet further, higher above forgen vault-works, the Cathedral set mighty decks and spires upon the greatest mountain as though a cloak. Far across the near realms can the Ordained see from their high spire vaults, but a stench was about the vale of high peaks, and middens lay cast beyond the walls. A plague of flux was upon Fraberg in that year; peasants sickened beneath the vault-works raised by the faithful of old.

The close-guard took away the casket that was their task, and passed within the great-portals of Fraberg. Brothers strong and true strode down from the Cathedral to speak of faith and a resting place within the sepulcher-spire - those who had not taken up sword, cannon and the Prophet's banner to crusade in the charred heart of the Afrik realm. Thence to the lowest decks of whores, rags and tomb-vaults of the least peasants did the close-guard descend, true to their lewd countenance. The Prophet would judge them for their faithlessness, as He judges us all, for the flux took their bowels - and unto death for the elder of their number.

I did not enter the great-portals; my mother led me past stinking middens and beneath judged heretics, about the outer walls and a climb of steep thin-paths to the Chapel Technis. Mighty is the Chapel at Fraberg; a great forgen pillar standing before the vault-works of the Cathedral. Tall seal-gates face away from fluxed Fraberg - which then cast forth a great noise and shower of steam at the nearest mountains.

I was afeared, for all our pilgrimage was in truth to my mother's grandsire, Brother Erek, who had pledged his heart and soul to the Prophet for half a century. Forgen burned red, flowed and crashed within the Chapel; Brothers gave loud chantry to their craft within the factora. When first I saw him, Brother Erek gave guide to crashing factora-knives of half a rod in height upon steaming forgen, just as I cut sheth-cheese for my Lord's trencher. Such life the Prophet gives His faithful, who bear His seed and the fist of the Order! My mother's grandsire was broad yet, face full and hair fair as the guard who tryst with maids in the darkest shafts and vault-ways of Witan. With great surprise and gladly he blessed us, for all this was a place for the holy of the Order alone. His Brothers bade us well when they learned of our blood, and shared their char-stained bread amidst the noise and strange vapors.

The Order is the family to a holy Brother - this I understand now, if not then. My mother sought prayer and a blessing upon my grandsire's soul, and that Brother Erek gave in the quiet and echoing great-vaults of the Cathedral, for all he was troubled in some way by such. A tear in her heart was healed in this way, by her demeanor as I remember it, but I know not what.

Once only did I embrace my great-grandsire, for the black sickness took my mother into to the Prophet's arms three winters thereafter, and my Lady would naught give a maid leave to journey to Fraberg in these years. May her soul be well guided by the Prophet.

[ Posted by Reason on June 22, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Changed by Contagion

It was upon the eve of the Procession of the Anointed Etesephen that word arrived from my Lord in the far Afrik realm. These tidings came many leagues from the mountain Cathedral - whence the Prophet's Fire had borne it - carried by dutiful Brother Murmus. Peasants yet toiled in the fields and upon the garden-decks, to take in the last of my Lord's harvest before the holy procession day. The youngest followed the laden Brother from the forest edge to the great-portal of Witan's walls, as sheth after the herder.

Brother Murmus is yet a face of old Witan, for all he is given to the Hateless Order and the Prophet's seed. He is of a rude stock gathered from all the realms by my Lord's grandsire, and once a Voidman exhorting the Prophet's will within echoing, root-choked Dasu. This was long years past in Witan's greatness, when Dasu's heart-vault beat with the Prophet's Fire, a Voidmaster sat beside the Lord and his Magister, and the fortress war-shrine spilled forth the prayer of faithful souls. So much are the tales told by the Lay-brother of the Prophet's shrine, and by my Lady's mother to her maids - but Brother Murmus lived those years just as he lives now.

With small-cannon, sword and faith, the holy Brother walked a hundred leagues from Fraberg through barren, poison char and trackless forest. Pelts of four wolven from the near-forest he brought as a gift for Magister Albret, slain by his own hand - and the meat good for a traveler away from his Brethren, or so was his word. Other gifts he had besides: tales of faithful crusade in the Afrik realm, tidings of Fraberg, and the speech of my Lord carried in his heart.

The eldest Lord of the Afrik realm had in truth fallen far from the Prophet's teachings, and such was the call to crusade from the High Ordained of the Faith these three years past. Many took the Prophet's service; Brotherhoods of the Garden and close-guard of many a Lord had stood in siege about the fortress-mountain Kilemjaro for a year and a day before Brother Murmus returned to Fraberg upon the war-barque Tibene.

The Brother told the noble-blooded of Witan of the noise of great-cannon and steaming jungle set to char by the Prophet's Fire; rivers cast to vapor in a single breath, and forgen black with heat. The holy Brother told further of pennons of the Mercyless Order carried through breached vent-works to reclaim the Void-fortress Obeja from foul heresy. That great holy of the Faith towers above jungle and river upon a cradle of forgen and crete, as it has since years of the First Order; Brother Murmus spoke of Obeja as a great-shrine of the Faith, just as those shown in the books of my Lady's vaults and embroideries sealed within the war-shrine.

It gave much comfort to my Lady and the Magister to hear of the success of the faithful and the words of my Lord from afar. My Lady soon gave promise that would see even the last dust of Witan's dry coffer-vaults bestowed upon the Order, and a heavy chantry-tithe upon the peasants. So it was to be, the least of the faithful to be grateful for a greater burden, and Witan to lessen in the name of the Order and holy Fraberg.

Darker tales had Brother Murmus for Lay-brother Wagen and the peasants who burnish the vault-works of the Prophet's shrine, retold by my Lady's guard of the upper vaults many days later. Of foulness from Unhallowed vaults, pennons of the Faith cast asunder, and dark-men of the Afrik realm driven mad by voices from the Void. The peasants of the lowest levels whisper of the Changed, and of war-blooded guard sent screaming by what hides within the vault-ways and shafts of despoiled Obeja. I shudder yet to set these words in ink - it is the Prophet's will for Witan in harvest and holy days to be far from all that is foul and heretical, praise be to His name.

Whilst darkness was told to few by night, Brother Murmus brought tidings of Fraberg to Witan for the tales of day and trencher. Of these, I recall clear and well his voice upon telling my Lady of Preacher Tuth. He who brought holy armor before the peasants of Witan upon a winter festival had passed into the Prophet's arms; at the bidding of my Lady, the Brother gave a blessing upon the gathered, and spoke well of the Preacher's deeds in long service to the Prophet.

In the way of memory, the words of Preacher Tuth at my Lady's table returned to me with the dark tales of Brother Murmus. A foolish maid, raised from low by one who should have known better the place of peasant blood, asked if the aged Preacher journeyed in fear of Unhallowed places and Changed who hid to spite the Faith. In the voice of the Prophet from a body so frail, with great, vaporous breath in the snow-chilled vault, Preacher Tuth gave harsh Peniten to the maid; the holy Rur realm is cleansed of such foulness these past centuries. The Faithful of the Orders guard against both Contagion from the Void and the faithless whispers in the hearts of men and women - who amongst the faithful would speak such peasant's tales? The maid ran from the high vaults of my Lady, down shaft and vault-way to the least of the faithful and the lowest decks of rags whence she came.

Preacher Tuth had spoken then in low earnest to my Lady, his words of the Changed and the fantasies of peasants; such was lost to me until wakened by the black tales of Brother Murmus, hidden from my Lady and come to me through lame Rudel of my Lady's close-guard.

Said the Hateless Preacher: the least of the faithful must by guided well in the Prophet's teachings, for their hearts are given to wander from the true path of the Faith. In the heart of Witan he trusted, for my Lord and his guard showed well their duty in the Prophet's service - but each faithful heart hides whispers that yet call to the Void. The madnesses and false superstition of peasants cannot blind the faithful of noble blood, nor those who bear the Prophet's seed: there are yet Changed in the Prophet's Garden. They who were once of the Faith and to whom the Void hath spoken madness; who call further than a voice may carry; who see further than the eye may see; who know your memory as their own; whose hearts burn to spread Contagion as the cancen within the old; who are cursed and Unhallowed in the Prophet's eyes. The Orders call Purgen upon the Six Revulsions, enacted by the hands of the Prophet, lest these fallen bring a doom upon all the faithful.

That winter, I heeded the maid's Peniten and not the quiet exhortation of the Changed. The faith of Witan is strong as the forgen of fortress walls, for all my Lord and his guard are at crusade, and in this the Rur realm is well in the Prophet's eyes. May our prayer in the Prophet's name keep it so for centuries yet.

[ Posted by Reason on June 30, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Far Pilgrimage of the Rageless Order

Upon his commencement, the High Ordained Besephen proclaimed the Garden of the Prophet to encompass all the stars themselves. The Rageless Order - of the thousand-league Mereken realm betwixt the Prophet's Arms of Sunrise and Sunset - stood forth in rightful faith to claim the brightest star Sekti for a Cathedral to honor the Prophet. Ordained Brother Debeham was carried across the oceans upon the Prophet's Fire to call for pilgrimage before the assembled Faithful of the Prophet's Cathedral City.

Voidmasters warned of a great and unknown journey across the Void and into Contagion, farther than the Crusades of the Lesser Suns, farther even than those few explorations of the darkest Void recorded in the Libraria Chroniclis. Preachers of the Order journeyed to exhort all from Lords of the Prophet's realms to peasants of the lowest Cathedral levels, but the Rageless Ordained heeded the Voidmasters - and planned long and well.

The Void hides much, even that near-Void touched by the great Arms of the Prophet, that divides the Lune realm from the Prophet's realms. Voidmen talk low of least-realms of darkened crete; of ancient Unhallowed Void-towers that yet shine like stars to entice the Faithful from the Prophet's words. The greatest of Void-towers was long called the Anathemen-realm; peasants of field and garden deck averted their eyes and prayed for their souls should they see it's procession in the dark sky.

In the twelfth year of the High Ordained Besephen, the Rageless Order stood ready to hallow the Anathemen-star in the name of the Prophet. With great prayer and zeal, Technists of the Order had toiled upon the vent-works and charred vault-ways of the Void-cathedral Yeuve those long years. That holy of the Faith had faltered in service to the Prophet's war-procession, pierced and sundered, and lain thereafter in the great glass char-desert of the Mereken realm. Upon the twelfth year of toil, High Technist Fareph exhorted mightily the Hopeless heart-vault, whereupon the Prophet reached down His hand to return life to Yeuve.

The Rageless Ordained rejoiced in the miracle of Yeuve's heart-vault and the Prophet's blessing upon their crusade; word was carried forth to war-shrines and journeying Preachers - there was great prayer across the Mereken realm. The most zealous of Voidmasters exhorted Oculists to the chantry of treasured litanies; faithful Technists the souls of the Brethren with war-prayer and burnished forgen of the Chapel factora; Rageless Brethren gathered in their holy armors to call blessings of the Prophet upon the Order.

To the near-Void upon mighty columns of Prophet's Fire rose Yeuve, Rageless Brethren led in procession by the bright-pennoned war-barques Irkoi and Temphese. To the Anathemen-realm they went, guided true by chantry of the Ocular shrine. Thence from great seal-gates of many-spired Yeuve, twice a hundred Brothers leapt across Void-touched forgen to lay the Prophet's banners upon the Unhallowed tower. So was the Anathemen-realm Hallowed by the Rageless Faithful; Ordained Brother Debeham blessed the Void-tower with the name Shekagen, after the ancient fortress-vaults of the inland seas of the Mereken realm.

Great was the toil of the Faithful upon the vault-work leagues of Shekegen, within which even the garden-vault came to stand broader than any fortress of the Garden of the Prophet. The Cathedral of the Rageless Order was made again within circle-vaults of great expanse, and the Chapel Technis within the mighty heart-vaults. Even peasants and artisans of the Mereken realm were carried away from the tug of the Prophet's realms to tend the vault-ways in service to the Prophet.

Upon the fourty-fifth year of the High Ordained Besephen, great Shekagen lit all the sky of the realms with Prophet's Fire of vent-work and heart-vault. Mighty spires trailed great forgen-link pennons of twenty leagues, cut with Void-litanies and the Prophet's word: so did the Rageless Order and their faithful of the Mereken realm begin the great pilgrimage to the brightest star Sekti.

Praise be to the Prophet that His chosen, who bear His seed in their flesh and the defense of the Faith in their souls, yet carry His word to the farthest Void.

[ Posted by Reason on July 2, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Pestilen Upon the Great-shrine of Statues

In the tenth year of the High Ordained Dalseban, a terrible pestilen fell upon the Faithful who had labored long upon the broken crete, char and tall-grasses of the Lune realm. Holy Technists had raised statues a league in height in the Prophet's name, but the whispers of Contagion had come from the Void to be within their hearts.

A great Chapel Technis, of spires to rival the Great-shrine, was set upon war-broken forgen in the years of the High Ordained Ferele. From the alchema-vaults spread a pestilen in service of the Prophet's will; a terrible ague, pocks of the flesh and mortificen came upon all those touched by Contagion. Medicists of the Prophet's Orders prayed most fervently for pestilen to strike the fallen from the Faithful, for none but the Prophet and his most holy Hands may see into the heart where Contagion festers.

Unto the twelfth year of the High Ordained Dalseban, ever more brown-wing vraal roosted within the Chapel Technis and upon the mighty statues. The Faithful lit banefires of the dead in Prophet's Fire of the heart-vault, bringing new char to old. Thence, upon Awe of that year, the Anointed Serref came across the Void to divide by long-cannon and sword of holy armor: those who had given to Contagion; those who might return to the Faith; those yet Faithful. Purgen of the Prophet's Fire came upon a third of the Lune realm, long into the thirteenth year of the High Ordained Dalseban, and strong seals of pennoned forgen were put upon the portals of the spired Chapel Technis.

With devoted praise to the Prophet, the Faithful burned the whispers of Contagion from their number, so as to complete their holy toil upon the Great-shrine of Statues.

[ Posted by Reason on July 8, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

The Hag-feast of Purgen

Upon the last snows of Purgen this thrice-year, the peasants set with fervor to their preparations for the Festival of the Anointed Hasem. From the shaft of my Lady's spire, I saw the old men fish sleeping palen from the river-weeds. Yet the rain fell cold and hard enough to shadow the forest edge and vault-works of great Dasu in those days; even corven hid within the roosts and highest vaults. Would that the least of the faithful gave such devotion to my Lady's duties in the chill, high vaults!

The peasants name this festival day the Hag-feast, for of the holy works of Hasem of the frozen Kalask realm, her Purgen upon hags of the ice-forests is most told in Witan. Lay-brother Wagen has spoken wroth and rancor of this complexion of a holy festival, for he is oft to preach against peasant fantasies of hags in the Rur realm forests and Unhallowed forgen-ruins. Yet each thrice-year, the Lay-brother is laden once more with festival-works and the dreams of peasants ever more embellished.

The Prophet has brought a peaceful realm to the faithful of Witan, and His holy Order shields us from Contagion. I have spoken ill of the coffers of my Lord and the very heart of Witan emptied unto high-walled Fraberg and the Hateless Cathedral, but it is for the faithful to open their souls to the Prophet's will upon the Rur realm.

Close-guard descended the spire-ways as the sun came low upon the forest, for my Lady cannot abide the festival night. Her high vaults stood sealed to maid and guard as though ordered by the Ordained, and thus to the close-guard went pick of roast palen and pie from the long tables set upon the broad-deck.

A festival procession of peasantry masked as hags of the forest, loud in the chill vault-ways, came upward from the great-portal at dusk, as much as for each Hag-feast past. Yet Lay-brother Wagen had caused the old wooden feast-works to be prepared once more; the procession came atumble upon the broad-deck before twenty lusty peasants within a fulsome image of the Anointed Hasem's war-barque Revesk. With great fervor and strength, whither and back they blundered, with shouts for great-cannon and pennons for holy Prophet's Fire upon the false hags.

Magister Albret came from his wall-vaults to the broad-deck when all had quieted and the feast-tables emptied. He spoke the Prophet's word by high torchlight of the great-vault above the broad-deck, as was his place. I thought it well told, and worthy of the faithful of Witan in the years of my Lord's grandsire.

[ Posted by Reason on July 12, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Litany of the Void
Garden of the Prophet > Litany of the Void

The True Heart of Amathe

You ask more than you know; the Void is an unforgiving companion, even for your Brothers who take the Long Breath and walk through seal-gates naked to the stars. It is true, the Ordained have spoken and we Faithful are bound, but the Prophet must be honored if we are to travel the Void unharmed.

Preacher Heneth, you have gazed upon many Holies of the Garden in your life. The great heart of Amathe beats in the center-vault with the Prophet's Fire, to char the heretic and carry the Faithful across the Void. But come, Preacher, I will show you a Holy of the Void, the hidden heart of Amathe here in the Chapel Oculis.

Lo! Praise be to the Prophet, for this Holy is the Mathema of the Voidmaster Barseman. A craft of the First Order Technis, each of its thousand rods and thousand cogs is a prayer for the Faithful. Together they speak the Litanies of the Void.

Preacher Heneth, understand that even this Holy is not the true heart of Amathe. The Mathema remains hidden and quiet, as it has since Voidmaster Barseman placed it within this Ocula so long ago; it is a guide to our Faith, not the means to our prayers.

It is by the will of the Prophet that we exort Amathe to rise and journey the Void that divides the Garden. It is by performance of the treasured Litanies, given by the Prophet, praise be His name, that we are not brought to destruction - or worse, Contagion of our very souls. The Litanies, spoken well, true and flawlessly from the beating hearts of Voidmen pledged to the Faith: these form the true heart of Amathe, and it is in this way we honor the Prophet.

Preacher Heneth, it is in this way your Brothers will cross the Void, or not at all.

[ Posted by Reason on May 10, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Lord Darteme's Heretics

The Oculists make ready to depart for the Chapel Technis of the Cathedral, Voidmaster. I will tell their tale from my place at our long table, with your blessing.

What I am to tell took place in the last years of the High Ordained Mesebar, remembrance to his works. By the command of Lord Darteme of the realm, Voidmaster Jarve of the war-barque Tibene took in six of the hundred Heretics condemned by the Anointed Hasem at Nasrith, on the border of the Desert of Old Holies. Hasem spoke of rightful death by blade and cannon before her return to the Cathedral-vaults beneath the ice-cold Kalask realm, but it was Lord Darteme's will that the Faithless should suffer for so long as they would live. The Prophet has said that the Heretic has no greater pain than to see the works of the Faithful prosper in glory, and the Lord chose his defiance so.

The faithful Voidmen were rightfully angered, but Voidmaster Jarve secured the Heretics by chain upon chain, two to each Ocula, there to gaze upon the Void. Scraps and rotted stores they were given, but only as they performed as a Voidman of the Faith. To you seated here, who have seen savage Faithless beneath the far Lesser Suns, I say a Heretic will do naught but hunger unto death if food depends upon performance of the Litanies of the Oculist. Only the faithful may so honor the Prophet, and thereby protect us from the Void. Tibene rose to the Void on the Prophet's Fire, rose to journey guided by the sight of Heresy but once. Thereafter the faithful Voidmen cleansed remains from the Oculia and returned to the treasured Litanies; the Voidmaster Jarve chose his defiance so.

[ Posted by Reason on May 11, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Garden-vault of the War-cog Reante

Heshrem, you board burnished Reante as one commended by Brother Paress for diligence upon the garden-decks below the Chapel Technis. Do not disappoint his trust, nor mine, for Brother Paress will take it upon his soul should I thrust you through seal-gate and into the Void. This I will do if you fail in your duties, for they are of as great import as the treasured litanies of the Oculists.

We Voidmen honor the Prophet as one; not one of us may fail, not in prayer, faith, nor duty, lest the beating heart of Reante turn upon us with rightful Prophet's Fire - or we are carried far from the faithful to die as nothing in the darkest Void. As Voidmaster, it is my duty to cut my own right hand from my arm should it fail in service to the Prophet. Do you understand me, Heshrem of the garden-decks?

Here, then, is the outermost gate of the garden-vault; mark it well, for I do not expect to see you beyond next we rise to cross the Void. See there, Eural and Tull of Olimpan will be as your magisters within Reante. Bide by them as you would Brother Paress, show them your diligence with all that grows, and they will teach you litanies of the garden and Void-prayer.

Be devout in service of the Prophet, praise to His works, and time will see you a Voidman.

[ Posted by Reason on May 21, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Realm of Steam

The Prophet means your ears to bleed, and the pain is that of becoming a Voidman. Give praise, you Voidmen, for there is one more to our number this day! The lesser seals are turned open but a quarter yet; you can be sure of old Cucas, slow as a mother with a babe. Were it the Voidmaster, there'd be blood upon all our faces, and you fallen upon the forgen deck, dancing as the least peasant in high air! There is worse, there is worse!

Eural, what of the great exhortation of the Prophet's Fire in your youth? Ten days of Voidmen and Brothers of the Pitiless Order crushed as though beneath a great load; broken bones, bloody limbs, and every leaf and bough fallen from the trees of the garden-vault!

What of the realm of steam, that all Voidmen of Ementhe saw one and twenty years age - and gave every last hair, shred of skin, and scream besides? The skin grew back, such as you see, but not one hair, not one hair. Voidmaster Arthe of the red realms quested long for the great-shrines of the Anointed Brother Lespeham. Hidden by steam and heat-cloud of the Vennas realm, no man since has set eyes upon these Holies. Nor I, nor the good Voidmaster, the Prophet guide his soul. Strange plants and rivers we saw from the Oculis of Ementhe, but naught of the works of the faithful - the realm of steam is the Prophet's own secret!

And what of Void-battle, charred forgen and Brothers who take the Long Breath to fight beyond the seal-gates? No, but let us not speak of Void-battle this day. Why do we stand when we have left the Void behind us, and the lesser seals are open? To work, Voidmen!

[ Posted by Reason on May 31, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Litany Beads of the Voidmaster Yuvesah

Heshrem, look not to yonder seal-gate! Attend to the vault-works as I, and as I have taught you; it is a holy of the Oculists and not for we lesser Voidmen.

We should not speak of such, but quietly. Ask not again, and I will recall a debt for it in the garden-vault! It is the Sealed Ocula of the Voidmaster Yuvesah, within which are his litany beads of old. The Void is within the Ocula beyond the seal-gate, and the Void-touched beads are a prayer greater than yours or mine. Look not towards the seal-gate pennons, lest you call Contagion upon us all!

The Oculist Tefera has given to the Prophet's service within Reante these thirty years; I have seen her chantry and clicking of beads upon the marker-deck. As will you, should you do the Prophet's will and rouse not the Voidmaster's ire. The good Oculist is the blessed of the Prophet, for His hands and His Fire hold us safe from Contagion whilst she prays within the Ocular Chapel.

Voidmaster Yuvesah of the Afrik realm set down his beads when first he stood within these vault-ways, long ago; the Prophet spoke with his voice, and the treasured litanies were perfect through and through his life of years. Since the High Ordained Mesebar, so has the Ocula been sealed. It will be sealed yet, until another holy Oculist is blessed to speak the litanies with the Prophet's voice.

The Brothers are in the shaft from the heart-vault once more - listen to their forgen-thunder through the portals! Look to the vault-works, and bow your head, by the Prophet's name!

[ Posted by Reason on July 16, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Primaria Technis
Garden of the Prophet > Primaria Technis

Void-lance of the Neonate Hebsebar

The Cradle of the Hopeless in the factora of the faithful Technist is clear upon the last watch-litany. It is lit by slow-candle of inscribed tachen wax, there to lay the Hopeless for the neonate blessed by the Prophet. For a half-watch of candle flame, the faithful Technist may close his eyes to the Four Duties of the Tutor, and in this way is the beating heart-vault of the Chapel Technis opened to the will of the Prophet.

In the age of the First Order, the neonate Hebsebar was sent a vision of the Prophet and in his sleep passed vault, seal and Brothers of the Order to the holy factora of High Technist Mareb. There lay the Void-lance Horesen, most Hopeless of all Hopeless within the armored Chapel Technis of the First Order Cathedral, charred deep and through in battle against foul Void-dancers. Yet Hebsebar laid his hands upon Horesen, and lo, the Void-lance was healed and whole once more.

Such was the first miracle performed by the Anointed Hebsebar. The Void-lance Horesen has never faltered, not even when charred once more from the armor of Brothers in Void-battle. This is the will of the Prophet, and may the faithful Technist aspire to craft and burnish so blessed of Holies.

[ Posted by Reason on May 6, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

The Peasant's Factora

The first years of the neonate will pass within the peasant's factora, for no peasant of the Garden may claim mastery over a Technist of the Holy Order. The lowliest neonate will know the ways of ore, prayer and mighty heat; the lowliest neonate will be dutiful as the Lord's artisans in the pour of white-hot peasant's forgen.

The neonate will make pilgrimage to the mines, for the faithful Technist must show vigilance as a Brother of the Holy Order. Let the neonate exhort the wretched and imprisoned to wrest ore and ancient forgen from soil and broken crete; judge well the faith of the neonate by devotion to the hunger of the factora.

Each neonate will learn crafting of prayer boards from trees of the garden decks; let each neonate be flawless in the lesser litanies. Thereby, these least of the Chapel Technis will bring the Prophet's blessing to blazing forgen within the factora. Peasant's forgen is weak without the prayers of the faithful, just as the savages of the Lesser Suns are weak without the Faith; judge well the faith of the neonate with armor and sword against cast forgen.

Only with the perfection of prayer will the faithful neonate ascend to wield mighty great-hammers and factora-knives to shape forgen within the peasant's factora. Judge the craft of the neonate against the best of the Holy Order, and teach well their improvement, for all are wanting in the eyes of the Prophet.

Judge well the neonate at the peasant's factora, for this Holy is the very portal to the Chapel Technis. For the strength of the Holy Order, for the strength of the Faith, only the most diligent and faithful may pass.

[ Posted by Reason on May 30, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Peniten of the Alchema Center-vault

The alchema is as a vault-column for the factora of the devoted Technist. The Faithful of the Chapel Technis bow toward the Prophet's wisdom within the center-vault, for such is ordained. The litanies of the factora draw greatly upon these riches, and we are blessed by the Prophet for our devotion to His word.

Hold forth and treasure the litanies of the Chapel Technis! It is the Prophet's will that the faithful Technist know each essence of the realm that He shall call upon to serve in His name. In their rightful combination and by most virtuous prayer shall the faithful of the alchema support the vault-works of the factora.

Yet too, the pennoned and rightfully inscribed center-vault of the alchema shall watch over the souls of the Chapel. Let there be but one amongst the faithful who is tempted towards the heresies of the Fallen Technist - seal-gates and vats of of the alchema will pour forth great poisons and a flood of strong-water. All shall choke and burn until Peniten is performed by the dutiful of the Chapel, and those who turned toward Contagion are clensed.

Thus shall the alchema center-vault be the most holy hand of the Prophet upon those who bear His seed; let the faithful Technist and neonate of the alchema be most honored in their charge.

[ Posted by Reason on June 17, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Cannon of the Fifth Essence

Only the greatest amongst the faithful of the Chapel Technis are given by the Prophet to craft holy long-cannon of the fifth essence. Only the most holy of Technists is so blessed by the quintessen of heart-vault and rage of the Prophet's Fire. By the tradition of the Anointed Hebsebar of the First Order, this shall be the trial of faith by which one High Technist is known from the many dutiful who bear the Prophet's seed.

Let not the neonate draw and wind coils of greater forgen from the Garden; let not the neonate bespeak the cannon-prayer upon this work; let not the neonate charge cannon-rails with quintessence of the heart-vault; let not the neonate weave pennons of the litanies. Such are the duties of the Technist of long years and greatest faith in the eyes of the Prophet.

In his life of years, the Anointed Hebsebar worked the Prophet's will to craft five quintessen-cannon of armor and the great-cannon Selen. After these centuries of the Prophet's service, Selen of the fifth essence is yet a steadfast protector of the faithful within the mighty vault-works of the Void-fortress Gereth. Let the constant Technist aspire to such perfection in the name of the Prophet, for the Chapel Technis must be the unblemished shield of the holy Order.

[ Posted by Reason on June 18, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Garden of the Hallowed

Pray, you Technists! Guard the Garden of the Hallowed with your perfect chantries. Carve forgen with the oldest litanies and set walls of prayer strong and thick about these gifts of the Prophet's wisdom. A beating heart beats in vain without a soul, and the Hallowed are once and always the soul of the Chapel Technis.

Before the the years of the First Order, upon the charred realms of war and heresy, those few of the Faith amongst the artisans of old knelt before the war-processions of the Prophet. With great despair these faithful beseeched the Prophet to draw the line of His long-cannon across the realms, to divide Hallowed from Unhallowed. Lo! And the Prophet placed a great seal about the souls of men, that those who accept His seed will know Hallowed from Unhallowed and thus be shielded from Contagion.

In the years of the First Order, faithful artisans crafted alchema and factora amidst the char and sand of the Desert of Old Holies. The First Technists raised up the great Chapel Technis of the Cathedral City, guided by the wisdom of the Prophet. Within beat two heart-vaults of Prophet's Fire, and between these holies the Garden of the Hallowed. Upon forgen cast by the Anointed Hebsebar for soil and watered by litanies of the faithful, the First Garden grew Hallowed blue-forgen to be charged mightily with quintessen of the heart-vaults.

Thusly was the rightful path of the Technist shown by those who knelt before the Prophet. So did the first of the faithful tame the fifth essence to exhort armor, war-barque and mighty factora, praise be to the Prophet's guidance. Guard the Hallowed of the Chapel Technis with your prayers, you faithful!

[ Posted by Reason on June 19, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Red Realms
Garden of the Prophet > Red Realms

Turyth Stands Behind Walls of Forgen

Brother Hemmen, how fares the Chapel Technis upon Great Olimpan in these past years of holy service? It has been too long since we last stood together, and we of the war-shrine are glad of your presence; much in Turyth lies in need of prayer and diligence by the faithful Technist. The forgen of these fortress walls is old and strong, but forgen protects not against Contagion from the Void or blown on sand-winds from Unhallowed vaults.

Praise be to the Prophet! Preacher Gare will gain no small pleasure to hear you have set and blessed the Prophet's laws in seven of the Outer Spires. He is yet taken to his sickbed with the coughing scourge that afflicts the peasants of the half-desert, and much troubled by his absence. Brother Hura makes the preparations for our evening prayer in his place once more; you will find them well and as you expect.

Your skill and faith have made me late indeed, Brother; in truth I expected you to circle the fortress sunwards. I am charged to guide you by the seal-gates set upon the Least Spire in the years of High Ordained Rusul. We must walk the small-shafts and lesser vaultways through the walls, for there is no other way.

Preacher Gare would have the tale in better words than I, but needs must I speak in his place. May the Prophet guide his return to the duties of the Faith! A siege of Turyth took place when the fortress pledged to Lord Antheba of the Trel realm; a battle of Lords' guard without great-cannon to pierce forgen. A year and a day, the fortress portals stood closed, and years more they might have, but for war-poisons dug from the Unhallowed vaults of the Great Desolation. So it was the walls were brought low by Lord Umbere of the Heythe realm.

I see you recognize the latter portion of the tale, Brother - this is why the Least Spire is sealed yet, and sealed well. None but the leastmost of peasants dwell on the levels beneath and about its walls; the stench of their cess is but warning of where the war-poisons fell.

[ Posted by Reason on May 28, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Prayer-spire of Ages

Preacher Gare will not return for several days, Brother; if this message from the Ordained Jamethe is indeed for the Preacher alone, it must be that you wait upon the hospitality of the war-shrine. You will not find our fare nor vaults lacking, for all Turyth is not Great Olimpan.

If you are so determined, you will find Preacher Gare within the prayer-spire beyond the bare hills and thin-tree hollows. The sand-winds blow not; the half-desert peasants will guide you true, for they have a great and rightful respect for our Brethren.

This also is true, Brother. The prayer-spire was Hallowed long ago in the time of the Prophet; His words are yet charred into its height and the vault-ruins around, praise be to His name! For all its white forgen is ever strong, the prayer-spire leans toward the Great Desolation and charred red glass-deserts. Yet in leaning, the highest vault looks toward the Cathedral City when the Prophet's realm is seen at night, amidst stars and least-realms. For this aspect is the prayer-spire favored by Preacher Gare; from the fall of the Unhallowed came the Faith that protects and guides.

No, I will ask no further of your duty, but to request you tarry upon your return to give news of the Cathedral and works of the Order. The Prophet's will strengthen your hands, Brother!

[ Posted by Reason on July 16, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Source of All Seeds
Garden of the Prophet > Source of All Seeds

Tenth Finger of the Prophet

Seventeen long years the Technists have shaped the Tenth Finger of the Prophet, and now that great work goes to its place, the sands about the Spire of Wisdom. There will be ten columns of Prophet's Fire to mark the Lune realm in the high summer Festival, praise be to His name.

The peasants who work the lowest Cathedral levels speak when they think there are none to hear. They say the Fingers built in the honor of the Prophet, in defense of the Faith, grind the souls of the desert beneath their treads. They say that which was built in defense of their very souls from Contagion brings the wind howling and sand to clot the Prophet's works! They huddle in their superstitions, and yet the Order sends no Preachers amongst them. Truly, Brothers, I cannot divine the mind of the Ordained.

These deserts of the Old Holies were half formed of bone and broken armor before the Cathedral, were burned to glass before the Order, were scoured by the wind before the Prophet, praise be to His coming. The weight of the mighty Fingers are the lightest caress beside the unhallowed death that passed before the Prophet brought His light to all.

Come, exhort your armor to movement, my Brothers, take up sword and long-cannon! The High Technist charges treads and tracks with the Prophet's Fire, and we will be a voice for the Order beside the third flank wheel of the Tenth Finger, as is right and holy.

[ Posted by Reason on May 3, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Contagion in the Valley

Brother, you have heard our long-cannon speak below! You have held your watch where a peasant soldier would run to battle, and that is well. But hark: Preacher Aren spoke with the Prophet's voice in sending us - Contagion, Contagion and heresy come here! The village below has served our Order for a century, and this is how our trust and guidance in the Faith are repaid.

Yes, Brother, it is true! Brother Mathe discovered two devices with the appearance of foul far-talkers or worse, rank with the signs of Contagion. We turned our long-cannon to the dwellings that harbored this heresy - smoking rubble stands there now! There were cries and wails, yes, and more when we piled stone atop the elders until they confessed to have dug this Contagion from the very fields. Lies! They have broken the Prophet's Law in soul for years, and now boldly build the tools of Contagion in the very shadow of our Cathedral. It is just as the Prophet warns, and these wretches will suffer the fate of all heretics, this I vow!

Brother, I will take this watch point. Turn your armor to the war-barque and bring this news to the Voidmaster: the Hateless Order has need of the Prophet's Fire. He will exhort his vessel to rise with strength redoubled, by the blessed Ordained, for there must be naught but char and glass in the valley on the morrow!

[ Posted by Reason on May 3, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

The Hopeless Healed and Made Whole

Brothers, armored we are the Prophet's hand! Rise from your long-table, you faithful, for I bring glad tidings for all our Order - another of the Hopeless rises from the Chapel Technis to swell our numbers. Yes, Brothers, the armor Vesi is healed and whole once more, by the grace of the Prophet and the faith of High Technist Redanne! The peasants move Vesi to the Cathedral shafts even now, and soon to our war-shrine.

A day to recall, a day for prayer and festival! Set aside your platters, send word to Preacher Aurent, for we shall honor the Prophet well this day.

Ten Brothers has Vesi carried in the service of the Faith, ten who gave blood and life for the Prophet, praise His name. Ten of the Order we shall remember, ten crypts we shall burnish and hang with pennons - but I recall the last, fifty years and more past though it was, as I stood armored by his side.

Brother Darre of Nomande and Vesi fell in the Purgen of High Andens Hold, pierced and crushed by a great deadfall of severed columns in the mountain vaults. Contagion and its vile tools bring low cunning to the heretic, twisting the heart to cowardice as they turn the soul from the Faith. Peasants of the highest reaches of the Andens thought themselves hidden beyond the Order's sight, the Contagion in their very souls free to speak to the Void and practice the Six Revulsions. We must be ever vigilant in the service of the Prophet!

The heretics were put to the sword and cannon - none lie beyond the Prophet's hand, and we fell upon them in war-barque and burnished armor, Brothers. Their Contagion was yet young, and we called out the glories of the Prophet as we enacted Purgen. So it was ordered by the Ordained, may the Prophet watch over their souls, and so it was done.

Purgen of cannon turned to Purgen of sword and then to a time of Prophet's Fire to char Contagion wherever it could hide. I exhorted the armor Treserre that carries me still to battle, in the name of the Prophet to lift the very vault from its fall - and lo! it was done. I carried forth the fallen from the smoking Hold seal-gates such that their service would be honored. Brothers, I call for a remembrance of Brother Darre, for we stood armored together against Contagion.

[ Posted by Reason on May 13, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Heart-vaults of the Frozen Arkta Realm

You of the Arkta realm have proven true to the Faith in your delvings within this ice-buried city of the Unhallowed; the twinned and sealed heart-vaults you have found will be raised and exhorted to the service of the Prophet, great is His name. The prayers of the Chapel Technis will bring the Prophet's Fire to these Holies, and they will serve as do we in the defense of the faithful.

Lord Ense and the Ordained of the Order have proclaimed just reward; this work will meet the worth of your tithe and service for ten years hence. All the Garden will speak well of you, least of the faithful of the chill Arkta realm, and your gift to the Faith. Rejoice, and praise the Prophet for guiding your steps!

Yet listen now, you faithful! We of the Order bring warning as well as the Prophet's blessing. Heed me: delve within the vaults and towers of the Unhallowed and your very souls are at risk! Pity the Unhallowed dead, for they lived before this age of the Prophet; Contagion whispered from the Void and all men turned from rightful ways. The great works of the Unhallowed were thrown down by their own hands, for they tended not to their souls!

My Brothers are vigilant, as must be all the faithful, lest the Garden suffer as did the last of the Unhallowed Age. Contagion still flows in the Void, and its taint echoes yet in Unhallowed vaults - the path of the faithful is to touch not the remains of the past, but to call upon we Brethren to bring the Prophet's Fire to cleanse and hallow. Do not further risk your very souls in these ice-vaults, else Purgen will fall upon you!

[ Posted by Reason on May 27, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Deep Ruska, a Century From the Faith

It is the Prophet's will we came here, Brother. The Voidmaster's record might have lain a century more within the vent-works of ancient Heness, but for the careless tread of neonates. All who might recall amongst the Voidmen are long gone to the Prophet's arms, for few have the Prophet's seed and the life of years. The Ordained Renne would have known, the Prophet rest his soul, for he rose upon the Prophet's Fire with the Voidmen to every village and fortress of strong forgen in the realm.

Look you there and there - Preacher Etene gathers the peasants from hiding, and the good Voidmaster laughs yet. Poor-clothed and fearful they are; Heness has scared them mightily indeed by charring the rock and earth to black and steam in laying to rest. This, the Preacher will forgive, but it will be better for these least of the faithful should they recall their duties; to have stored tithe and stand in readiness to give service in the Prophet's name. So long lost from the hands of the Prophet, I fear they will be in great need of guidance and instruction for many summers.

There are yet strange towers of the Unhallowed high upon the nearest mountain, but no Lord of Ruska nor close-guard to place seals against the curious - not since the years of the High Ordained Geheseb, when Void-dancers hurled fire from the Void upon the realms. The Prophet alone knows how many souls dwell yet in the forests and amidst the char, but shall we forsake them for our ignorance? Look down below, Brother - this village, these woods, the mountains: all are as much the care of the Order as Alb and Messen in the shadow of the Cathedral. Praise to the Prophet for calling us hence to our duty after so many years!

[ Posted by Reason on June 7, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Heed Not the Whispers of the Heart

A part within all of the Faith cries out to Contagion - even within those most holy: my Brothers of the Hateless Order, who bear the Prophet's seed and live the life of years. Lo! For are we not descended from the Unhallowed who fell for their faithless ways? Do we not yet pay penance for their heresy? It is the Test of the Prophet that we heed not the whispers of the heart of our forefathers, for such would lead us into Contagion and the very destruction of our souls.

The Prophet has lit our way by the holy light of His Fire, but even the least of the faithful, even the peasant of the lowest levels, must stand firm and walk upon his own two legs. Would you be as one who fell beside the way, with char in place of soul? Or you, would you be as the hollow-hearted Unhallowed, who tore down all they cherished in flame and horror? Would you fall into Contagion, and be destroyed by the hand of the Prophet? No!

The beasts of field and garden-deck follow the heart, for they have not the soul nor understanding of the Prophet's words. You are not beasts with the appearance of men, as the savages beneath the far Lesser Suns! No, lest you stray from the path of the faithful. It is the heart that whispers a want to see farther than your father's eye; to call to loved ones gone to prayer, farther than your mother's voice; to recall more than your own memories; to stray into the forests and char where only Unhallowed towers stand. Harken not to your heart!

Like offal upon the water, Contagion is within the Void betwixt realms of our great Garden. Like spoil thrown beneath the lowest forgen deck, Contagion is beneath the works of the Unhallowed yet. The whispers of your heart are the stench of rot, a warning! There are thorns in the Garden that would pierce and poison your very soul, but the words of the Prophet guide and protect the faithful!

Abide by the Faith and follow most dutifully the discipline of we Hateless Brethren! Look you to the Lord of the Rur realm and Magister Albret of Witan in matters of the flesh - but all flesh passes; this I have seen, and this you know. You must look to the Preacher, to my Brothers, to the Ordained of the Cathedral of Fraberg for the protection of your soul.

[ Posted by Reason on June 11, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

To Raise the Great Cathedral-spire

You faithful artisans! Our Lord Kemel sends word and commands your most earnest toil in his name. Magisters of the tall fortress Constantapel, risen athwart the great-channels, have pledged to our Lord of the Turaken realm. Fulsome is their wisdom upon seeing the procession of our Lord's guard about the wheels of the great-cannon Urlak!

This I give to you, from the factoria of Constantapel: forgen-sheet, cut to show the swallowing pit and mighty ruins of a holy great-shrine, Hallowed in the Prophet's name by the first Lord of the Turaken realm. Yet that Lord came to be maddened by the red heart-flux, for all his coffers he emptied upon the wise physicen of the realm and made pilgrimage upon the holy words of the Chapel Medicis. In the throes of red flux, he poured anger upon the Least-lords and magisters, scorn upon the holy Order of the Cathedral City.

The Prophet sees all that passes the souls of men, and gave the realms to shake and split. So the great-shrine beyond Constantapel fell into the Unhallowed pit of ancient vault-ways, its mighty, lone spire felled just as any tall-tree of the garden-decks.

So our Lord commands: you will raise the spire of the holy great-shrine from that Unhallowed pit, and set it true and tall in the Prophet's name! By this shall He know the true amongst the faithful, and so shall we prosper in His service.

[ Posted by Reason on July 6, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Great-tower of the Empty Realms

Far from here stands a great-tower of the Unhallowed that has stood through the Prophet's anger and ages of Faith; high and higher it stands to touch the very Void beyond the sky. This I have heard Brother Madene speak to his Brethren when I brought fare to their long-table.

Yes, good Verlan, bring forth our fare now that the Brothers feast. Praise to the Prophet upon this holy day!

This also the Brothers spoke: that Oculists mark the great-tower with their holy litanies, whence the Prophet's Fire carries war-cogs from the Void to the endless, empty seas of the Pasafek realms. The Ordained of the Mountain Vault set pennons upon the cloud-deck of their high Cathedral, whence they see the great-tower cut a line across the sunset.

Were there Void-whispers and Contagion upon the empty realms, there would be a crusade of the Order! No, tall and empty that Unhallowed tower stands, and the better for we faithful that a wide sea flows between. Shun the ancient vaults and ways in honest faith ... but let us speak no more of the works of the Unhallowed. May the Prophet watch over our souls, as well as those who came before.

We shall bring life to our pilgrimage anon. Whilst the faith of these Brethren can guide our steps, we are wise to plan well the leagues to the Mercyless Cathedral and the Prophet's Arm. Come; bring forth that which we have long spoken of and let us make a holy work of it!

[ Posted by Reason on July 22, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Armors of the Heretics

Brother Palte, set down your long-cannon and give armor to rest once more - it is but I. You have found good vantage here upon this rock and hill-char, but the slope is hard without exhortation and the steadfast forgen of holy armor. How this heat presses like steam above the pot!

Does this night find you well in your duty, Brother? I bring fare from below, and water from the river now that black char and mud has washed from midstream. By the Prophet's seed, I am gladdened in my heart to be out and above this jungle and its winged vermin! They thirst for the blood of the Faithful, no less than the thorns and spears of every plant - whilst serpents bearing fever-poison lie in wait beneath the rot of fallen wood.

Look yonder, at the war-barque - burnished fit for the Prophet's eyes by this Lune realm light, pennoned fit to bring the Prophet's word into the very hearts of the faithless. Were I Voidmaster of Tibene, there would be naught but char where now is vile green. Thence the Faithful dark-men would tend the Holies free from plagues of fly and serpent, and give praise to the Prophet's name.

What tidings these past days? The Ordained have granted Purgen of the low fortress decks to the guard of the Rur realm. The Lord and a full third measure of guard lie sick unto death with the flux of yellowed skin, but those who stand show the Prophet's judgement to peasants who served heresy. Cages of black-wood hang upon the fortress vault-works at the river-shafts, and all will be filled before Awe is ended. Let jungle vermin feast upon the flesh of heresy rather than the Faithful!

The Brothers touched by Contagion are yet sieged within the mighty bell-spire. Look, and there is their watch-fire upon the deck about the mid-vault. They proclaim a fulsome devotion to the Prophet's words yet, as through flight from Kilemjaro has redeemed their Void-touched souls. Were they true to the Faith, they would have taken the armor and cannon of that great fortress-mountain and brought the Prophet's Fire upon infant heresy - but no, these fallen Brothers consorted with the seeds of Contagion, gave nuture as it grew by their inaction.

The Ordained Karel and his Technist Brethren make ready the war-litanies upon Nayah. That great-cannon has been Hallowed of all taint, bathed in the Prophet's Fire, and brought upon wheel and tread from the broken forgen of Kilemjaro. Mighty is the bell-spire, but its forgen will fall before Nayah, and we will bring the Prophet's judgement upon these heretics!

Hark - Preacher Sebastan speaks yet amongst the restful armors below; his heart is fire and fervor. The Preacher stood upon cannon-sundered forgen beneath the bell-spire this past day, entreating the fallen Brethren to some last redemption before they are given to the Prophet. The armors of the heretics are Holies of the First Order and the Prophet's war-procession, kept safe these centuries in the war-shrines of Afrik. These Holies have fallen from Faith only through the exhortations of heretics; they might yet be Hallowed in Prophet's Fire, just as Nayah, and returned to the Faithful.

Until the next night the heretics have to decide the depth of their Contagion, Brother Palte, and then it shall be as the Prophet wills.

[ Posted by Reason on September 16, 2006 | Permanent Link ]

Holy Pilgrimage of the Glass Char-Desert

It was upon the fifth day of Censen that two Brothers of the Rageless Order came in pilgrimage to the sealed war-shrine of the lowest fortress-vault of Shekegen. Far and far again had they traveled from the great Cathedral of the Prophet's Arm above the clouds, upon poison-river and through the Mereken realm wastes where char meets straggled tree and bush.

The forgen great-portals of Shekegen were frozen over by a rod of ice and snow in Censen of that year, and so nigh through Char. Only the least-shafts were cleared by sheth-fleeced peasants of the portal decks, that middens be cast beyond the fortress-vault and Lord Adrus' guard might take small-cannon to hunt whiterabe betwixt storms and snow. Through soil and stench in the least-shafts came Brother Sarmen and Brother Traves, clad in the fur of starved wolven, the Prophet's seed strong within their chests, and of countenance as though this were but the first step upon their holy journey.

Through vault-way, stair and shaft trod the Brothers without pause, not even to seek out the Lord of the fortress-vaults in the name of the Order. Peasants followed from each new deck, the least of the Faithful drawn to these Hands of the Prophet. At the base of the fortress watch-spire, Brother Traves struck the seals placed by the Ordained Amsepehem, and Brother Sarmen set the flesh of Faith against the mighty forgen seal-gate of the war-shrine. Upon its opening, the Brothers gave great praise to the Prophet before the gathered peasants - for within was the holy sign they sought, that they would make pilgrimage to the center of the great char-desert, just as the Anointed Marten in the time of the First Order.

Away from the inland sea of Shekegen there is only the great desert of char and glass, the punishment cast by the Unhallowed upon themselves. The storms of Rue and Awe blow char and glass across a thousand leagues of the deepest desert, fit to carve peasant's forgen and strike the blood and flesh from the bones of the Faithful. Yet it is said there are lost souls deep within the Mereken realm, who toil as peasants upon poison char, drink poison rain, and suffer yet the fate of the Unhallowed.

Into the snow-covered glass and char went the Brothers Sarmen and Traves, upon the frozen tenth day of Char, when whiterabe lay still as death within their burrows and peasants hid from their duties. Went they gladly, these Rageless Brothers, for the Prophet's eyes were upon them, His will made plain.

[ Posted by Reason on September 23, 2006 | Permanent Link ]