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 Post subject: The Ritual of Ne'alsìejae
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:36 am 
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Location: Ireland
There was a flicker of torches as Arji Kalirion entered the Shrine of the Blood in Raynor Point. It was here that the historians of the Imperial Bloodlines kept their records, here that every candidate for the Kaiserial throne had to come to legitimize their claim. In the center of the shrine, under a skylight, bloomed a patch of small red flowers, supposedly springing from the point where Raynor I had cut his own arm with a knife and shed his blood on the ground to fertilize the new land.

"Are you certain you want to go through with this?" asked the Priest. "Once done, the ritual is irreversible, you know."

Arji made him repeat his message again; not because he was bad at the Brookshirithian tongue, but because he was getting old now and his hearing wasn't what it was back in his seventies or eighties.

"I'm certain," he croaked.

"Purify yourself," said the priest, pointing to the Crater. Arji had spent many years in Brookshire and Shirekeep, where the Boomist faith was a part of everyday life, and he knew what to do. He took some explosives from the jar, lit them, and threw them into the center of the Crater. There was a flash of light and heat. Arji stood, his eyes wide open, letting the cleansing radiation bring him one step closer to the Gods whose mighty power, the power for the death and renewal of all living things, it imitated.

"Yes," said the priest. "Come this way."

He passed through the chapels of the various bloodlines, grumbling at the effort to his old bones. The Chapel of Raynor, by far the largest, where many Brookshirerithians were gathered paying their respect to the picture of Raynor I on the altar, and a few of the other Kaisers of that name. Back through the poorly lit Chapel of Steffki where only a few Kildaris and Maraguoans stood, worshipping the figures they identified with an ancient Jasonian god. Through the tiny Chapel of Windsor, with only the image of the briefly-reigning Kaiser Mahamantot I, who Arji had never even heard of before. Finally, they came to the Chapel of Kalir, decorated with Hyperborean motifs. It reminded Arji of home.

On one wall, a picture of the Line's progenitor, Los I. In front of him stood a scale, a symbol of the God of Justice whom he served. Just beside him, Los II, considered the greatest of the Line of Kalir. Among his memorabilia was a mural of his defeat over the anti-Kaiser Rakesh, as well as the bones of his greatest and most loyal lieutanent, Ragum Volak. Then Los III, his statue's hands clutching a copy of the Great Shireroth Encyclopedia whose publication he had initiated, befitting his epithet "radarai". Beside him, his nephew and protege, Yarad I, whose picture looked stern, befitting his steely title, but also a bit sad - as well it might, after the disasterous effects of his well meaning New Feudalism. Finally, in an alcove hurriedly created just a few weeks ago, the picture of Hasan I.

It was a good likeness, with a haughty and uncompromising image upon his hard face. Before him lay the crowns of Babkha and Bosworth. Shireroth's only triple monarch, even though both claims were suspect and later abandoned. There were a few people there, paying their respects to the late monarch. But the Priest of the Blood shooed them away, and they disappointedly filed off into the adjoining courtyard. It would not do to have them around for what was to come.

"You have the flower?" asked the Priest, and Arji nodded. He had taken it at sunset the preceding evening, just as the ritual demanded. It was one of the red flowers, the ones that sprang from the blood of Raynor, and had never been founded anywhere else in the world. He suspected back in Hyperborea he would have been convicted of violating some sort of endangered species act, but if the ritual wanted one of these flowers, that was what it would get. It was in a pot of Brookshirerithian dirt, looking none the worse for the transplantation.

The Priest took the pot from him, then produced a small icon of Raynor I. "Progenitor of the lines of Shireroth, Father of all Kaisers, mightiest of us all, hear the words of your child, Arji Kalirion, eldest of the Line of Kalir."

Arji solemnly intoned the next portion. "Hasan Kalirion, Kaiser of the Line of Kalir, has broken his pact with the gods, and brought dishonor upon our Line. We bear the mark of the God of Justice himself, and we will not let injustice walk among us. Therefore, I erase Hasan Kalirion from the Line of Kalir. From this day forward, he will have no blood but his own. O Raynor, who walks now with Mors in the Celestial Temple, beg thy patron to spare us, and not to visit the sins of our wayward son upon our honorable and gods-fearing line."

Then he picked the flower and ripped the petals one by one until it was destroyed. Its nectar, the Blood of Raynor, spilled onto the cold stone ground. Both felt a Presence in the chapel, immensely powerful and oppressive, for a few moments. Then it departed, leaving the Priest and the ancient Hyperborean alone.

"The ritual of Ne'alsìejae is completed," said the Priest. "Raynor has spoken to me. Your link with the last Kaiser is no more."

Arji felt numb. His heart beat like a gong, and he had to take a few deep breaths to quiet it before he could go on.

"Did Raynor...say anything else for me?" he asked.

"Yes," said the Priest. "You have forsaken Hasan to avoid the wrath of the Gods, and this course was virtuous and just. But in doing so, you have put yourself at risk of divine wrath all the same, for abandoning a family member. You teeter on the brink of the annhilation of your line. There is an action you can take to avoid this fate, but it is not Raynor's place to tell it to me, nor mine to advise you. It is yours alone."

"I have not lived these ninety-nine years without acquiring some wisdom in these matters," said Arji. "No, I know what I must do. I must support my wayward great-great-great-grandnephew, Andelarion of the Elw, who through no fault of his own now occupies the Golden Mango Throne. The Adra-kalirie look after their own. So, Raynor, whose presence dwells here, and Mors, who eventually takes us all, Kaiser or commoner, and Ayreon, who has chosen my own flesh and blood as his avatar - and Truth and Beauty, of all things most dear - I swear before you all that my line will support Andelarion Kalirion through his reign as Kaiser of Shireroth, and help him restore the family honor and the lustre of the Golden Mango Throne. May Elith and Ainai and the gods of Khaz Modan aid me and my family in this, and have mercy on our souls."

The Priest looked at him, quizzically. There was no new sense of presence. Everything seemed much the same.

"O mighty Mors," said the Priest, finally. "If you have heard this old patriarch's prayer, please give him some sign."

At that moment, Arji Kalirion keeled over dead.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ritual of Ne'alsìejae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 1:01 am 
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Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 1:39 pm
Posts: 21
Passing through the hall, the great prophet witnesses the ritual.

"Death comes for us all. It is just less patient for some."

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 Post subject: Re: The Ritual of Ne'alsìejae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:57 am 

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:52 am
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that's a rough lesson to learn.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ritual of Ne'alsìejae
PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 6:30 pm 
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Location: The Island of Melangia, Atterock, Kildare
Always appreciate your detailed and well described stories, Scott ;)

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