30 October 2015
There were five of them. Five boys came to the Spring to be “introduced to Prime”. Came there to become men and fully-fledged members of the commune. As long as you do not have the Pattern on you – you are a child and everyone treats you like a child, even though you might be a head higher than the elders. The Pattern that Prime creates on your skin means that you are an adult. A man. A warrior. Introduced to Prime.
The Pattern… He could not sleep all night, trying to decide – or convince himself. During the rite of initiation everyone chose for themselves, how big a part of their body they wanted to submerge into the pure Prime of the Spring. The pain was insane – the priests say that that absolute of pain, which for a few moments eclipses your consciousness in a blinding flash, is when the Prime gets to know you, burning its mark into your soul and leaving the Pattern on your body. Of course, the bigger the area exposed to Prime, the more intense the pain – but also the higher the respect of the tribe. Usually Khr’Amin submerged a hand or a foot into Prime – most brave up to the elbow or knee. The priests washed their faces in Prime. Those who learned to cheat death – warriors Ha’Ka and Da’Ka – stood under a waterfall of Prime, letting it completely cover one half of their body from head to toes. Most of the daring succeeded. Those who overestimated their limits, returned to the sand forever. And where was his limit?..
The priest spoke melodically and his words echoed over the Prime Spring. The boy tried to concentrate on the priest’s speech – it was his introduction to the Deity after all and that is the most important moment in the life of any Khr’Amin. Yet his mind turned the same thought over and over in his head. “Yes. I’ll do it. I can do this. I can become a Warrior who Cheats Death”.
Finally, the priest’s introduction ended. Now it was their turn to introduce themselves to Prime.
He steadied his breathing, preparing for the beginning of the War Dance. Step, step – lunge. Step, step – terrifying roar and turn. Step, step – lunge and thrust. He gave himself to the dance – a true War Dance is a dance of the spirit more than it is a dance of the flesh. They say, sometimes there was not even need for battle after the Dance – the intimidated foe simply laid down arms and surrendered. With the final shout ending the dance, quiet confidence filled the boy. He thought of Ha’Ka and Da’Ka, who used elements of the War Dance in their fighting… Yes, he can become like them! For sure.
At last, the most important moment of the ritual was at hand. He stood fourth in the row and watched wide-eyed, how the introduction to Prime went for his compatriots. Judging by the tightly pressed lips and glimmering eyes of Kauri, the pain must really be serious – and he only exposed his arm up to the elbow… What if he’s wrong about his strength and his fate? What if the power to Cheat Death is not for him – and by exposing half his body to Prime he’ll die from the pain? It happened before…
While he was lost in thought, his turn came up. He looked at the wincing Kauri. At Tami, rubbing his leg. At the usually smirking Ameru, whose face was distorted by a grimace with tears running down his cheeks.
He didn’t tell anybody, how exactly he wants to introduce himself to Prime, so no one would accuse him of cowardice. Nevertheless, he wanted to show his strength of spirit, prove his fate. When approached the waterfall, he submerged his right arm completely – not to the elbow, but up to the shoulder…
Weirdly, there was no pain. At first. And then another sensation came instead of pain… The arm pulsed and seemed to grow a little in length with each pulse. It felt like his own and something foreign at the same time. In his stomach it felt like he ate some glowing coals for breakfast… and as if… something… tried to come out from the inside…
“Hey, you ok?” whispered Ameru, tapping his shoulder.
And that friendly tap on the shoulder seemed to switch him off. Switching something else on instead.
The priests watched in shock, as one of the young warriors sank his arm into Prime, then suddenly turned around to his friend, knocked him in the air and hurled him away. Then he turned to the others, crushing them with his hand, tossing them hard to the ground. His arm was not covered with the Pattern – instead, it was completely the colour of Prime. The warrior himself glowed like hot metal – even the air around him shined red – and dashed across the clearing like a Demon of death.
Then it was over. The warrior gazed across the clearing at the two priests left standing. He jumped to them, but just then the High priest finished reciting the ancient incantation meant to calm down Demons and Spirits. Sanity slowly appeared back in the eyes of the young warrior. He turned around slowly and looked at the bodies of his friends and compatriots, scattered around the Spring. He let out a stifled moan and hid his face in his hands. As his right hand touched his face, he lost consciousness…
Another Khr’Amin is on his way to Praia! Of the people whose land was long thought to have been lost in the First Cataclysm. Warrior from a distant culture from a distant land – son of Khr’Aia will soon stand under the banners of the Lords of Praia!
While we’re waiting for his arrival, we have a proposition for you! Guess the name of the Hero – leave your guesses in the comments to this news!
One last poetic hint at the mythological roots of our Hero:
I will weave you a net
From the mist I will come
At the sound of the flute
To the mist I’ll be gone
The contest will last until November 1, 20:59 UTC. 10 players, whose guesses will be right or close to the truth, will receive the Hero at the day of release!