Excerpts from the Gospel of Ralius, The Book of Heresy
(Collected from the writings of Ralius, Grand Caliph of the Champion and son-in-law of Zalius the Prophet)
--2nd Timber 118--
For though the dwarves of Headshoots had been shown the way; though they had been showered with infinite wealth, grace, the mercy of the almighty Champion; despite the words of their prophets and the desires of their god, some chose to reject salvation. These incurable infidels did come forth and spake thusly: “We defy you, HOLISTICDETECTIVE, and your prophet. We will destroy your works, and we will drink of spirits. We will see the sun. We shall Ascend, and fight you for eternity.”
And HOLISTICDETECTIVE was saddened.
In her divine wrath, the Champion did strike the heretics with plagues of fury. Some burst into flame, and ran forth with smoke and ashes at their heels until they were consumed.
But those who had not blasphemed were spared, and were permitted to live on. Such was the mercy of the Champion. They watched their condemned brethren run like flaming meteors in the depths, and some were troubled.
--Excerpts from the Gospel of Ralius, The Book of Betrayal--
-16 Timber, 118-
..and on that terrible day were the hearts of those heretics who had held their tongues filled with courage, and they determined to end the reign of the Champion. “For,” they said, “ only in the Prophet have these deeds been done; only since his coming have these trials been visited upon us. Let us destroy him then, that the Champion shall pass elsewhere and we shall be spared, and we may drink of the spirits and be merry.” And so they did lure the Prophet Zalius into the depths of a great cave, and there blinded him with a brilliant light. And in his blindness they smote him many blows, each striking in turn so that none should know who had truly killed him.
And upon the death of the prophet, his sainted flesh did vanish leaving behind only the earthly calcium of his bones; but a pool of blood upon the stones remained, and from it issued a foul violet smoke that choked all who came near.
It passed that when the Champion heard that his Prophet had been killed, her heart was heavy, and she wailed in the depths for the loss. Those around her were stricken with shadow, and a great sorrow fell on their hearts as they saw the truth of the betrayal
and they wandered the halls with heavy tread, weeping tears that turned to stone where they fell. And some of them dashed themselves against the walls, or flung themselves into deep pits, so sad were they to witness the pain that this loss had caused their god.
But the worst, the most evil, stone-hearted dwarves, those whose hands had done the deed- no cleansing fire did they merit, nor were they granted the dignity of a quick death. Their bodies were destroyed, rotted from within. Pustules formed on their skin, their beards fell from their faces as snow, and their eyes and mouths did leak blood upon the pavements. In agony did they perish, writhing as they felt the oncoming fires of eternal torment, until their blood was spent and they lay withered and cold. And their corpses were thrown by those who lived into a corner, and no burial nor sanctified rites were they given.
and any who protested had at once the water leave their bodies in great clouds of steam, and they did fall where they had stood as dust.
The known troublemaker, Count Katarnisword, became belligerent and foul; too scared to risk the wrath of the Champion and Her attendants, he vented his wrath upon the beasts of the fortress, beating donkeys with his fists and chasing cats into the well.
The children of the fortress learned from his example, becoming monstrous and violent. Their rage was mercurial in expression, but no one was safe in their presence. The Countess Otsp left her infant on a stone floor in horror at its anger, and fled crying.
In such a place, the few remaining loyal Descendants eked out their days. In commemeration of the death of the prophet, that his sacrifice might never be forgotten, they etched upon the stones of Headshoots a list of the deaths of those who had blasphemed:
Not all was darkness, however. The dwarf V Illych L was seized with inspiration, the divine darkness filling his mind with an image of that which true dwarfs should hold dear.
After many days of toil he emerged with a token of the finest craftdwarfsmanship, bearing an image of the finest traditions of dwarfdom. And the Champion was pleased, declaring V Illych L to be a Legendary Carver of Bone, and declared that so pleasing were his works that no other task should he have for all his days.
--30th Timber, 118--
It passed that the day after this mighty crafting, the Champion declared a day of mourning for the fallen Prophet. And the Champion did lift her voice in song, and all in the meeting hall were astonished, for they did not understand her words. HOLISTICDETECTIVE spoke in the language of the gods, and sung thusly:
I burned down the heretic dwarves
They died with an awful sound
The Countess Otsp ran in and out
Putting kids down on the ground
When it all is over
I shall have cleansed this godless race
For their infidel time is running out
And I shall bring upon this place
Smoke on the water, and fire in the sky
--20th Hematite, 118--
There did arrive at Headshoots a group of disciples, come to trade their wares and to learn from the teachings of the Champion. And Ralius went out to them, and asked if they were ready to leave behind their material ways and become Descended. But they were not willing to submit to the rites of cleansing, and so Ralius in his anger raised his arms in the air and called out to the Champion. Around the merchant disciples a wall of sheer rock sprung up, bursting forth from the earth. The wall had only one gate, and the gate was filled with the cleansing fire.
And Ralius bade the disciples walk through the fire that they should be cleansed and free to descend; but the disciples were afraid, and ran in circles within the wall. And so they remained for many days, until both they and all their livestock were so full of fear that they too doubted the deity of HOLISTICDETECTIVE. And of a sudden they were all stricken with the divine madness, some frothing with rage and tearing at each other, and others staring sadly at the fire unable to move...
It is now Winter. Whitecloak has been redorfed, but that's it until we get some more migrants (or have more kids). Last update of my year coming in the next couple days.