The Pond of Peace, By Zaki Kahl
The Pond of Peace
Please now, if you would will your mind up, up, up to the mountains, and if we may to a place of loveliness and peace, a place where blessed waters run always into a peaceful stillness, here colors snap in brilliant glory, and the airs are clean and bold, far above the wrack of The World; for at this hallowed ground is where we begin. Here have these faithful now come to council the ways of The World and the coming doom.
Tsner now says, "Even as these lilies have grown, as bright as the light that blesses thee, death still comes bound to the everlasting gift of time." Now does he kneel down and touch the waters, clear and full of gift are they, for here the splendor of the lilies has spanned, and the light is minished underneath their tissue, so that within these waters lays such yearning to nurture life. And cold are they, for always do they ebb from the tallest peaks of the encircling mountains, where frost still subsist from the first mingling of cold air and waters at the beginning of The World.
Silvern light, pure and divine, shines down onto this pleasance, the sustenance for colors wondrous and anew, brilliant greens and bright colors of all hues leap into the air in spectacular prisms of life. Moreover from above, the deep blue radiance of the heavens with the blessings of fair white clouds softly aglow.
The air is now thinned by an unsettling shadow, which wills to grow and destroy faith. Hope becomes minced with a gloom and despair that dance as a black flame ever seeking to burst asunder and devour light.
Taron's will bends unto Tsner, and grim it is and ruth, for being the eldest and most wise of that company, he knows most of all Tsner's desire; for his kin had been slain ages ago seeking the same, and of their valor, tales are still told by the faithful who dare speak of them; for with many did they essay even unto The Ancient Serpent himself within his lair rank with filth and death and disease on the cold floor of Hell, to avail attempts to cast that vile worm into nothingness. However, the means are not within The World, for was he in aforetime. In the end did all those faithful meet their doom. All those kingly knights, faithful brave men from all regions of The World, and maidens were there as pinnacles of light with foundations of steel, in utter evils and fire were they taken, and still do the echoes of their lamentation find ways unto The World.
Taron casts his eyes down onto Tsner, and tall is he, towering over his companions like an elm long rooted among seedlings, with skin of the darkest hue, his fathers coming from the most southern regions of The World. With dark sharp eyes, he has beheld dreed which would cast other souls into darkness. "Tsner," says Taron, whose heart now is dark with anger and contempt, "you take such notice of things that grow, and anguish over the bounds of their doom, yet surely you must heed the destruction of your own trampling feet onto the simple things such as the grasses."
Tsner looks to Taron, fearing that his councils be vain. He stands once again showing the pride of his fathers. His long hair is black as the deepest night without moon or stars to disturb such stillness. Dark are his eyes, grave with pain and burden. Seeming fey Tsner answers, "Grasses mend their blades, and always is their light renewed, even when blazen, if fires are lambent and The World is not scorched deeply. We must stand now against that serpent's will, less The World's gifts are destroyed and our children find no beds for seed."
Taron looks to Tsner unheeding his pleas. "Your words of woe are yet scant to me among the evils of these nights," says Taron.
"Our doom is upon us," Tsner says, "do you not see coming the enslavement of our souls!"
The moments now pass as nothing stirs albeit the unfurling of darkness and longing of shadows. None speak but all gaze onto the darkening heavens willing unavailing to subdue the tumults deep within each of their minds.
All who have gathered here now are amongst the truest and bravest of heart. There is Sans, brother of Tsner, ibn Muhnold El Awe, who led the triumphed battle of Flahief, then being the first to parish before the walls of Yethany, taken by the unquenchable fires of a Gog metal heathen; these twain alone surviving the wrack of Yethany. There is Laith and Nomin, sons of Lethior who alone slew Grash the high captain of the evil Magog with the sacrifice of his own mortality; from the Far East they have traveled through the most perilous of regions to pledge their faith and that of the many who still await there. There is Lumon with sixteen of the bravest knights from the kingdom of Les Minon, coming to aid and council the faithful who remain; proud and strong are they, long battling The Ancient Serpent's armies before the walls of that fair city; clad in bright byrnie of silver and gold, wrought in the ancient mines of Dwelon. And Taron there is in front of him, one of the truest and most faithful of heart; unnumbered battles he has fought, putting himself in mortal danger to save others, always saving his flesh to fight yet another day. And Mary is there to speak on behalf of the women and children, for long has she done so, always keeping in touch with their wishes in times of wrath and despair; her beauty is such that it surpasses all else, long and golden is her hair, as a sunset among heavenly clouds, with eyes of brooding love and care; slender and strong has she grown, instructed by her father Lestist before his capture by Magog spies.
Mary makes her way round The Pond of Peace to Tsner, careful not to disturb the blooms and greens at its side. The air moves again to peace, as her grace is poignant with love, from above does the light of light pierce the gathering darkness and bless this company with faith once again. She reaches Tsner and touches him gently and lovingly on his shoulder. Tsner looks into Mary's eyes, the beauty and love she transcends frightens him, a fear that she would quell his desire for freedom, by love and the want of simple things in life. "Tsner," says Mary, "even when The World is scorched deeply, given time, it will be bounty once again with life, for our Lord heals all wrongs done to His world eventually, and for certainly in The End."
Tsner looks bravely into Mary's eyes and says with a sorrow deep like seamews finding no warmth in the airs to carry themselves up into the heavens, "Eventually? In The End? What of until then? Do we live like thralls and allow the vile slaying of the innocent? I wish to do our lord's will now, than to live longer as nothing more than such."
Mary looks deeply into Tsners eyes, seeing too much sorrow for a mortal to bear. Her eyes fill with tears as she says, "Our Lord's will can only be done as His will, in His time, for between the cherubim does He dwell"
Tsner looks darkly onto Mary and the rest of that company. With what strength he still has, he says, "How is it known to you whether I am speaking our Lord's will? Who here is to say whether this is our Lord's time? We should fight for our freedom now!"
Taron now recked, comes between Tsner and Mary with the look of astonishment and fear, unable to mask his anger he says, "You speak of nothing more than your death! Tsner, son of Muhnold!"
Tsner looks up to Taron and says with a sorrow and yearning, "If you say that I covetice reunion with our Lord and ancestors, then I say yes, do we not all seek the same?" Tsner kneels once again by the waters and bows his head in pain and despair.
Lumon hearing this is astonied deeply, seeing the anguish and sorrowful defeat of such a noble spirit, thinking of the many faithful souls who have in aforetime accepted the same mortal doom, leaving voids here among family and friends to seek their final rest and peace. He comes forth to speak, graceful is he even when he strides, for like the knights that have accompanied him, his blood has run pure for many, many ages, so that he is blessed with an everlasting grace. With a kindness and righteousness that is truly divine, his voice is that of command and assurance, his words being of parabola with faith, as one who is filled with the Holy Spirit. "Yes, of course son of Muhnold," says Lumon, "we all seek the same, but to hasten our release is forbidden, for there is still much to do in The World, too many yet need our council and strength."
Tsner looks up to Lumon, seeing his majesty and hope, as one inaureoled. "If not to hasten our release from mortality," says Tsner in despair, "then us hasten our release from The Ancient Serpent and his wicked slaves."
Lumon troubled by Tsners words now says, "Such a task cannot be hastened, we need time to prepare and ready our people, for I fear that if we fail now our children for ages shall suffer." His eyes move from Tsner to his Knights, knowing their hearts burn such as Tsner's. "I do not questions Tsner's desire to embrace our Lord's will," says Lumon with sooth, "I fear by our peoples suffering of these evils, will evil, hatred, and wrath engross us all, then by our own hands' will that serpent's will be done. We should follow our teachings rather than to fathom our Lord's will so. Soon will our Lord again incarnate the flesh, and come to council, and deliver our people. Message has been sent Far East to The People of The Sun, for in numbers they are great. To the furthest west to the People of The Brave, still do they have to cross The Great Waters unnoticed. Moreover, south to The People of The Ancients, who have now joined with their kindred despite ages of war amongst themselves, which that serpent himself devised, those people being our greatest hope. We shall gather our strength in this final challenge, we must not lose faith even at the point of death." He gestures with his hands for Tsner to stand, and with that, Tsner stands once again and puts his despair aside. Lumon now strides round The Pond of Peace to the headwaters, here do the waters rise then gather into the stillness. "As these waters rise now and draw into this peace," says Lumon with hope, "still shall they draw back into The World, and then ever and anon will they rise once again before they reach The Great Waters; so shall our strength be renewed time and time again. We must heed that our victory cannot be achieved by any means we have here, or within the confines of The World, we can only be delivered out of these evils; certainly not by engaging in evil acts of defense will we be rewarded blessedness. We must fordone our anger and vengeance, fighting only in dire defense of our people, for that is the only means to ensure the proper end for us all." Lumon looks at those faithful companions; few are they in that place of peace, but of unimaginable strength do they posses, even more so when they are gathered together and in like mind and heart; knowing that any dissention among them must be quelled, not by constrain, but by each of their own want.
Sans removes his helm and bears it in readiness, as to be prepared for battle at any moment. His hair is golden and unkempt, for he spends most of his nights in the wild ever-keeping watch for spies and uncouth bands of errant Gog and Magog companies. His eyes are troubled like that of his brother Tsner; his face grave to look upon as every aged line is a story of trial unto itself. His sword is notched from cleaving even through armor to quench its thirst for The Ancient Serpent's slave blood. "Do not feel discord from my brother," Sans says in a tired and weary voice, "for Tsner and I have been carrying heavy burdens, overbearing even to the stoutest of hearts. We will always stand by your people, Lumon, always looking to Les Minon and Lavaith for hope in the darkest of times. Nevertheless, our people are suffering immeasurably; it is difficult to lax ones soul in witness and remain idle. Last moon alone, the Gog slaves executed five onto ten and four with the serpent's weapon of flying metals, many were women and children, and still do their cries reach our heart. The serpent's puissance waxes, its slaves forming armies and gathering like sands on the seashore over the mountains to the west; even as we speak do their numbers multiply, destroying our people and The World alike. Moreover, from Lios few survivors have come in desperate escape, those who themselves have witnessed The Ancient Serpent's weapon of Absolute Fire. Moreover, always are His slaves delving deeper into The World with new sorcery for the forbidden poisons to feed the metal beasts. I fear that once again will the airs be filled with metal heathens and their screams of terror and boom, for soon I fear will the poisons be again found, and then will our foes attack both from the airs and from the grounds. It is now! Thee hour is at hand! Need all The World be stained with our blood? Fain am I that our Lord soon sends his fire down to devour that wicked belly bound draca and his evil armies, for with fire onto fire shall everything be made new."
The ground now suddenly rumbles as if mountains were sliding down onto valleys, shaking The World's foundation with horror and destruction; unnatural warmth rides the air to The Pond of Peace, reeking with death. Mary attempts to speak when the grounds rumble again and The World quakes with the clamant of doom. The peace and stillness of the pond is broken, and so are the hearts of all who have gathered there. The sun is late in the western sky, but the southern firmament now glows with doom.
Laith looks to that company fey, as one who has beheld The Ancient Serpent eye to eye, hearing its sick whickering in his mind, and says with a gloom and despair of seeing his unavoidable death, even the slavery of his everlasting soul, "Indeed is thee hour now at hand."
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