The first rays of dawn shoots across the sky like bolts from a fiery crossbow, trumping the tenuous pre-dawn twilight. The crisp, early spring air hangs in a mist on the treetops, coming close to fog in some places. Drauka sighs, and watches his breath rise up and out over the plains from his perch atop one of the parapets of the Temple . He scans the city below as the first signs of life hint up at him that it is nearly time to be back down on the ground. He glances behind him at the arbolated horizons all around.
‘It seems so long ago that I sat among those trees, daydreaming of exploring this temple, Peri.’ He says to the falcon resting on the top of the spire next to me. ‘How many times did granddad tell me to forget it, and that no Danzi would ever walk these halls? And now all I want is to go back to those days.’ With an idle scratch at the long-since healed scar across his left breast.
Most Danzi don’t realize that the most important of all tatoos is the tatoo tying one to their clan. Without it the Kratos, or spirit tatoos, don’t work in the same way, and you’re blind to your ancestors. When you live side by side with your ancestors and have your connection to them removed, it’s like having your eyes ripped from their sockets; you are cut off from the world.
Drauka whistles as he gets up, keeping a foothold, and repels back down the spire. Peri lets loose a joyful cry as he soars into the air, and starts to search for a morsel to pick up. Shortly after starting, He hits the ground in a roll, and picks his robe up and dons it with a mental shudder. A robe is better than most of the restrictive clothing that humans love, but still nothing compares to the simple ‘loincloth.’
Peri plops down on his shoulder, chomping on bones of some sort. ‘Oh, come on, Peri. Not around the squeamish humans.’ He walks out from the side of the temple, brushing the straw off his robes. It’s not like I am going to be seen anyway, he grumbles to himself. I am going to be shoved in a cell in a back corridor to ‘meditate’ and ’ready myself for my upcoming exaltatious transportation. At least I am going to be out of here yet today.
He assimilates himself with a group of worshippers walking up the granite staircase to the grandeose temple entrance. Well, you can’t call something like that a staircase, it’s more like a throne room dias that’s been stretched along the front of the whole temple. Ducking immediately to avoid the eyes of High Priestess Sharic Tennysun that are actively roving the croud, he sneaks around behind her.
‘High-Priestess Tennysun! Where is your ward?’ the voice of Bishop Rose Nodeki echoes across the hall. Only a few of the acolytes in the entrance raised their heads, as it’s not a common voice, and not everyone knows the ‘Bish.’ Sharic tenses up and looks immediately to where the voice came from, but a half second after does an about-face. Just before he could tag her shoulder. ‘You do that too often, it’s hardly believeable anymore.’
‘Oh, I saw you tense up. I was sure I heard you yelp, too.’ He chides as he pulls Peri’s cap from a pouch, and places it on the bird’s ever-moving head, as he was moving further indoors, and didn’t want to worry him.
‘I am the High Priestess, Drauka. You need to show at least a little reverence to the social authority, if not to the religious authority. And besides, you’re one of Isis’ chosen now. How can you still be -’
‘Shhh, calm and reserved, right? Beacon of tranquility. It was just a joke.’ Slightly reddening around the ears, Drauka turns and starts to make his way into the heart of the temple.
’We’re not going to the Pyramid , you aren’t ready yet.’
‘I am heading into the fray today, shouldn’t I go see the big guy?’
’You’re not going to enter the temple ofOsiris before you join CrIsis. You have to prove yourself faithful first.’ Sharic’s voice fading off as she makes her way down a side corridor; Drauka jog to reach her side. ’You’ll have to assimilate yourself into the group, and gain their trust. We are all important, but not all are needed.’
’That’s so good to hear.’ He scratches his scar idly again.
‘Ok, well this is the best room that I can give you, till you are taken. You’ll see three books on your bed, there, which are the First Three books of CrIsis. Remember, much has happened since they were written, so the group you see in the books might be different from the one you encounter."
‘Yeah. I’ll get right on that.’ He walks into a sparsely appointed room, an average acolyte’s cell. He walks over to the desk, and picks up the quill. He sets it back down. Not yet He grumbles to Himself.
‘Sorry for not staying with you, but I have a temple to run after all.’ Sharic says as she closes the door.
‘I understand, Sharic.’ he says to the closed door. With a deep breath, he drops onto the bed, and pick up the First book of CrIsis.
‘So the group of us, we did ok…’ He starts to read aloud…
’He’s coming along.’ Sharic says to the apparently empty room.
‘I think he’ll be fine. He’s slow to change, but when he does he’ll be a force of nature.’ The disembodied voice of Raq’el, Drauka’s deceased wife, echoes around the room from one of the corners of Sharic’s desk.
‘Well I am sure that once he gets out into the fray, he’ll be more up and at-em.’ Sharic finishes the last few lines on the log, and sets it to dry. "I just hope he stops writing those terrible lullabies. He’s slaughtering the Faerie language, and I didn’t think that that was even possible.
‘Tell me about it.’ Raq’el’s soft Danzi laugh fades into the eternities.
Picture courtesy of Treehugger.com and Flickr