I would like to share with you a short extract from the Book of Shirith-Kah. A prediction of what will come, a warning that mankind has fallen from grace, pointing the way back to the righteous path. An explanation perhaps, of how the scene was first set for the Dreaming God Chronicle.
In the end, it will fail. This false glory of men.
The sleeper awakens, and all man’s creations will wither, roots rotted by pride and long forgotten lessons.
We forget that we should fear, that we are nothing; that before we built our pretty palaces and empires we lived in the mud, base creatures risen to the light by kindness which we repaid with treachery. We forget that in the darkness of ignorance we began a war which led the Sleeper and his followers to be cast down.
For years we have laughed and played like children; squabbling, striving to outdo each other and glorify our names. We thought ourselves masters of the great house the gods built. We forgot our place. Our crime.
When he awakens we will be judged, every one. Before he does this scourge must be destroyed; those who will not accept his Word cut root and branch from the tree and burned as an offering to the Sleeper, to stay his wrath, show our acceptance of his Judgement and his Word. No weapon or thought or act is too great to pursue this cause.
We must prepare, for the Sleeper does not sleep forever.
Such words began a new religion as the Prophet appeared in the west after the great plagues. He preached that the plagues were sent as punishment, that the people and their rulers and the priests had been found wanting; that the Dreaming God Shirith-Kah was sending them a taste of what was to come when he awoke.
People flocked to this new cause, seeking understanding and hoping to avoid the eternal punishment the Prophet spoke of, which filled their dreams at night. For some years there was change. People rebuilt their lives, their lands. New leaders replaced the old, better able to shape their domains to the new order, and better able to understand the spirit of Shirith-Kah. The people were virtuous, and trusted their Prophet.
Yet in time, the Word of the Dreaming God came back to this question of finding the scourge. The source of evil had to be found and rooted out before the dark times came again. The virtuous hardened their hearts to the difficult task before them, telling themselves it was the will of the gods. So began an inquisition which turned the west red with blood, torture and war. Priests of the old gods exiled or slain. Magicians burned at the stake or driven away, and any child found talented in magic put to death.
No weapon is too great.
Special orders of the Temple were created to better carry out the mission. The Bloodknights, beyond equal with a blade and bestowed with abilities beyond mortal men. Inquisitors, able to wield the Dreaming God’s power to extract secrets from the unwilling, even from beyond death. The Mage Hunters, trackers who with deformed noses and faces could follow the scent of magic to its source and punish the wielder. The Adepti, priests of unmatched might who acted as one, their minds lost to the arcane mysteries of the Dreaming God. There are even whispers of older powers, servants from beneath the roots of mountains and beyond the Veil itself, that rouse themselves after millenia of slumber in the darkness.
In time, all the West has fallen to the word of the Dreaming God. The East remains outside their grasp, but it is only a matter of time before these heathens will feel the Sleeper’s wrath.
Judgement is coming.
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