Excerpt from a manuscript donated from the personal library of the late Lady Juanita Del Rio
rating: +9+x

6 April 3004


J,

You are always a rock to me in the stormy sea I call my life. You are the brightest star in the sky in the night my life has become of late. You are dependable, and I cannot thank you enough for it.

I saw this manuscript at the Bazaar last week and I was reminded of your explorations of the strange cults of the Great Plateau. Perhaps you can shed some light on the people who believe in it, or discern whether it's a hoax. If nothing else, you may find the poetry and symbolism engaging; I was quite enraptured as I read this strange omnibus. Regardless, I'm sure it will find a loving home in your personal library, where maybe again someday we'll enjoy each other's company.

I look forward to your next letter and the day we'll finally be reunited. Until then, remember that I love you as deeply as from the deepest depths to the highest peaks.

Truly yours,

Mira

1

1At the beginning and end of everything there is the Serpent called Ab Ess. 2All comes from Ab Ess, Light and Dark, life and death, the Sea, the Land, the Sky. 3It is said that the Serpent spewed forth Creation from its maw. 4First It breathed forth darkness and the Sea. 5Then came the Stars and Moon. 6Ab Ess then breathed a great Fire which became the Sun. 7The Sun scorched the Sea which frothed and boiled and Land rose from the foam. 8The foam also gave up fish and things of the Sea 9and as the lands dried the plants and beasts and people rose from the mud. 10The Sea fell as the Sun rose. The Sun touched the highest peaks, burning them and causing them to boil as water. 11From the churning rocks came forth creatures of the sky, birds and locusts.

12The Serpent wanders endlessly through the night, consumed by ravenous hunger. 13As the Sun rises every morning, the Serpent bites Its tail and rests. 13Its teeth are sharper than swords, 14and longer than any spear. 15Its scales are harder than the hardest iron and thicker than than any shield. 17About Its neck the Serpent has a mane of feathers. 18No chariot can roll faster, nor any beast run faster, than It slithers across the ground. 19No person can catch It in Its untiring haste. 20No creature of the Sea nor any boat of people can sail or swim as It swims through the Sea. 21Its great eyes see All; nothing escapes the Serpent's sight.

22It is called Ab Ess and Its name is cursèd and must not be spoken lightly.

2

1There was a warrior called Hevar who worked the beasts of the fields. 2He raised the beasts, and tilled the fields; his brother Cahyn sowed the crops. 3When it came time for harvest, Hevar would slaughter the beasts and Cahyn would reap the fields. 4Both carried great swords of iron, half as long as a man is tall.

5One day as Hevar tended his flock he realized some cattle had gone astray. 6He secured the herd and took with him his sword to find the lost cattle. 7As he wandered in pursuit of his beasts, the Sun fell low and the sky grew dark and Hevar was lost. 8He wandered by starlight for some time before he heard his cattle bellowing in fear. 9Hevar followed the sound through the wilderness and came upon Ab Ess consuming his cattle.

10Hevar was struck with fear at the sight of the Serpent. 11Its length stretched farther than he could see. 12Its scales shone as pearls. 13It ate his largest bull as a child eats berries, ravenously and with ease. 14As Hevar watched in fear the Serpent's eyes fell upon him.

15In Its eyes Hevar saw all of Creation. 16The birth of the Earth and Its death, the Serpent spewing forth the stars and Sea. 17Hevar saw in Ab Ess's eyes every cruelty of man and beast and the world. 18And at the heart of everything Hevar saw lay the Serpent, Creator and Destroyer. 19Hevar knew Ab Ess was the Father and Mother of All, but also the Devourer and Destroyer.

20And in Its eyes Hevar saw cruelty. 21The Serpent knew of the pain of Its Creation and felt no pity. 22Its motivations were beyond Hevar, beyond humanity, but Hevar saw that they were Cruel.

23In that moment, Cahyn came upon the scene and knew the Serpent before them was Ab Ess. 24Before Cahyn could call out to Hevar so they may flee, Hevar was filled with a great fury. 25Hevar saw the Cruelty of the Serpent called Ab Ess and knew a rage like no other. 26In his rage Hevar drew his blade and ran towards the Serpent, though he knew it was without hope. 27Cahyn could not bear to watch his brother be devoured by the Serpent and fled.

28In the time that followed Cahyn told the story of Hevar the Brave. 29He told the story of the Serpent and Its insatiable hunger, its immeasurable cruelty. 30And in telling his story, Cahyn knew Hevar's rage was born of love, of hatred for cruelty. 31And so it is that we who are born of Cahyn must tell this story, and must act with love in all we do.

32So goes the Book of Ab Ess, may His name forever be a curse.

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