Moons of Fate
Branded by Prophecy
My skin blisters under my fur and the air flows uneasily like a curtain of molten lead…and just as deadly. Has my life always been so difficult – I scarcely remember anymore. I seem to recall laughter in a green haze when life was so simple and kind…but it was a lie and living blind to the truth. I see some shade ahead, perhaps my mind will return to me with the chill of night. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I have only my own voice to anchor my identity now – a unending war I fight with the unforgiving sun each day and into eternity. Even with the calming sting of nights air in my lungs I can not recall how long I’ve been in this endless desert, the Sands of Iznkay. I look down on my tattered robes, once resplendent, and see my past.
I was not always in this desolate waste, I know this. Once, yes once, I lived in the vaunted heights of Jakohl. The wind was kind there and ruffled the fur like a lost lover – the very cradle of our people. Yet, much knowledge has been gleaned and lost within the hoary roots of the tree and writings on the spilling of blood are the most taboo. When testing my steps by an arboreal pool in a deep bough of the tree I saw a silver gleam in the waters depths. Stepping into the chill waters, O to have a drink of them now, I pulled forth a chaste mythril case inscribed with runes and pictures I could not understand. Surely the Hierarch would know the glyphs, yet such lofty priests share little and I had often questioned my path, I was of the age for rebellion and there upon the moss I unrolled that ancient scroll. The images within burned into me like nothing of mortal make – it was not ink upon the pages but raw mana etched into the vellum. It was dire prophecy and the Hierarch had to see, see the warnings of a destroyer’s return and our end.
I raced up the sandy limbs of the tree, my claws barely finding purchase before launching me ever higher. I burst past the shrine maidens and holy brothers into the chamber of the Hierarch and pressed the scroll into his venerable claw, before I even noticed the anger and shock in the face of the priests within. With a grin upon my face I watched him unfurl the scroll…I then watched him caste it upon the floor in disgust. The magic was gone – the warnings etched into my mind. I pled my case with such fervor and begged them to listen. That we needed to prepare for the cataclysm ahead – that blood would be upon the wind and our breath lost beneath the earth. They thought me mad – the stronger my pleas became the harsher their words became. In the end I faced exile, no small thing when hundreds of miles of desert surround your home.
They told me that perhaps I would find better luck among our cousins across the northern sands, along the coast of the Sea of Murmurs. I could see the revulsion in their eyes – I had become a monster to them. They continue now, I see it in my mind, stepping their endless prayers to the gods even as the destroyer stirs. The ache of my splitting sun baked skin pales next to the pain of losing my home, my family, and my very sense of the world. I sometimes wonder when I look at the stars at night…what if I had not found it? What if none of it is true, some joke caste into the desert as a lark by the moogles? When my heart grows as weak as my mind in these chill dark nights…I feel the cries of the scroll upon my soul. I see the darkness of a shadow crawling across the great red star in the night and I know.
I only pray the tales my brothers told of our cousins in Torna are true and not simply embellishments of a people blinded by a peaceful life of introspection and seclusion. If they are Nezumi who worship the spear and battle as we do the gods…maybe their is some small hope for us. I know this is a false hope, my heart rejects its warmth, what mortal could stand against a being who has tested the gods themselves?
The sun is rising again but I taste something new on the wind now – it stings my dry tongue like fiery bile. Yet, the sky seems different, larger perhaps, or maybe bluer. I want to see a bluer sky before I die – to forget the streaks of red and black burned into my mind. I must reach that sky…