A distant mewl brings the shadowed man to the tent where a crying baby is held by his dead mother. “This child has the fire in him,” the man thought to himself as he tore back the rigor mortised fingers grasping the child’s body. As he lifted the boy aloft, like he was offering him up to the condemnatory sky, the ethereal power in the air coalesced and formed the words: HARK! He would be God if it were not for me.
The world had long since been marred by the conflicts of men, and longer since by demons, and even longer since by God. But this story takes place in a different time, in a different world, ruled by a different power.
“Neshamah is the breath of life. Like this flame in my hand, it flows peacefully never touching or burning, but without control, it can ravage in pure destruction.”
The man speaking was well built and well dressed, sporting a white stitched shirt tucked into black pants. Holding out his hand a small candle-like flame sprouted out an inch above a black dot centered in his palm. On his wrist, a blue band lay tattooed on his skin marking him in exile of his tribe.
The boy crouched by the fire and watched him.
“You are to be King of the Left, Cormac.”
The man pauses.
“As such, you will inherit your forefather’s Idol.”
The boy, Cormac McCarthy, age of fourteen years, was the third born to Lord Charon Rimini McCarthy King of the Left. On the night of his birth, the Lyranids fell from the night sky marking the birth of the next Vessel for Dante God of fire, as it had done for every generation before.
“I get it Mr. Montag, learn to control and shape your Neshamah or it will only hurt you.”
“Alright Cormac, that’s all for today,” said Montag as he snuffed out the flame in his hand “let’s meet with your brothers and head for the Immolationer’s Tribunal.”
As the two headed out of the cave they often enjoyed training in, the full view of the kingdom came into view basked in the morning light. Wheatfields watered by farmers coalescing the water from thin air, stone houses being erected from the ground by masons, all of this merging into great spires on which groups of men sit atop driving away the morning clouds. Further in and further up sits a large castle nestled on the back of a gigantic stone figure akin to Atlas, who was built to resemble Dante the God of fire and Protector of the Left.
This was the first time Cormac was deemed old enough to join his brothers in witnessing the King’s justice being dealt. His brothers’ who both had the experience of at least one of these trials told fantastical stories that made Cormac nervous with excitement. Braum thought perhaps a tribe had been stupid enough to go to war with the Kingdoms and were caught at the wall by the Lost King Tanyll Branwell. Cormac remembered what Mr. Montag had told him of his past life living in the tribes and the stories that went with them. The tribesmen were each as strong as the strongest Kingdom soldier while the tribe’s leader was oft as strong as a King. If the Lost King Tanyll Branwell was stronger than an entire tribe, Cormac pondered to himself, then why are there still tribes that settle around the wall?
After nearly half a day of walking, the group made its way to the clearing where the tribunal was to be held. Instead of the Lost King Tanyll Branwell stood Cormac’s father and instead of fifty or so tribespeople stood one next to four of the Kingdom’s guardsmen adorned in the same shackles.
“What have you all to say for bringing a non-exiled tribesman past the wall?” boomed Charon’s voice.
The smallest guardsman was the first to speak, “King Charon, the man has told us stories of horror from beyond the wall and asks for refuge in the Kingdom.”
Lord Charon stood solemnly in front of the five men, his hair grew long and grey, and the wrinkles on his face did not betray the 55 years he had lived.
“Let me hear this story, Outsider.”
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