End of July, European Calendar; Khoiak Waxing, 4th month of Inundation, Stygian Civil Calendar
At present the cohort are encamped and awaiting news from a quick reconnaissance of the Ales mine site that was uncovered in my research at Avignon. Here we hope to find evidence (or practitioners) of the Crimson Coil cult. Any information we gather here will serve as barter for information from the Siege Crushers and officials at Avignon on the Death Mantle.
As we wait here, there is an opportunity to add to this chronicle of our explorations of our new prison. As such, I would be remiss if I opened with anything other than:
A great deal has happened since I was last able to put pen to paper.
There are several items worthy of notation. Since I do not know when we will need to make ready to advance on the mines, I will list these in no particular order of import.
Our companion Castiel appears to be guilty of stealing from Erik. While efforts to investigate this proved to be inconclusive, Castiel saw fit to flee our
rudimentary attempts to keep him confined while working to learn the truth. Erik, despite his obvious limitations, withstood the truth seeking sorceries of a Maker priestess. This, coupled with Castiel's escape, is sufficient evidence to render Castiel guilty as accused by Erik. For this, the decision has been made to kill Castiel on sight – if we happen across him as we make our way to Egypt and beyond. We are all oathed in this endeavor.
In recapping the events that led up to Castiel's escape – my immediate thought was to have those on watch flogged for dereliction of duty. It would have been an automatic response…by any of the members of the cohort…to any guard who failed them in our previous ‘life'. This was not the case here.
Instead there was talk of how things were unavoidable and that the means/aid that was offered to Castiel was played exactly into the weaknesses that the group possessed.
Listening to this talk…from men and women that were once warlords and conquerors in their own right…was disgusting. It struck at my heart in a way that…hurt. Hurt in a way that made being robbed of power and glory pale in comparison. Looking upon…and listening to…this pitiful lot recount a collection of reasons and excuses for failure – after, after I, MYSELF, STOOD AT THE DOORS OF ATUM RA'S TEMPLE and BEGGED
FOR AID on behalf of these mewling things that I once thought of as companions…
It was pain that comes from the stinging odor of failure. Pain that comes from knowing that the swords and minds of your battle mates are not hardened against something as mundane and commonplace as fear.
Despite these revelations, I will not falter. This, I will take as a small awakening. Atum Ra has made a fatal mistake. He has placed Erebus Typhon, Uadjii of the Seti Na'ab, Arit priest of Sutekh Djet, the fiery vengeance of mighty Lord Set…into a prison where he has changed the rules that govern Reality. Changed them to make the once mighty weak again. Changed them to make mediocrity is acceptable to those who once abhorred it. Changed the rules in such a way to it possible to SHATTER the same soul TWICE!
I pen this now as an intention and offer it as evidence of my commitment – if the pain I have experienced watching my once great and powerful companions wriggle and writhe in their own self doubt was just a Small Awakening…the insights I gain from the Second Shattering will be truly amazing. Freedom from your deceptions, Atum Ra. Surely you realize there is a price for tampering with the souls of the once freed? I will have true freedom again and I WILL USE IT TO BRING YOU LOW. YOU WILL GROVEL AT THE FEET OF SET LIKE THE COWARD AND WORM THAT YOU TRULY ARE.
I will offer you to my Lord as a sacrifice.
How is this at all possible from my humble position, here, imprisoned in a false and illusory reality where very little is as it once was?
Easy. It was youm, Atum Ra, that made such a thing possible. You changed the rules of our reality. Imprisoned us in a new illusion that we must learn how to manipulate…just as we did in our previous rise to greatness. In doing so…we will gain the power we need to free the divinity that resides in each of us! Divinity that you fear, Atum Ra, for we are the true owners of creation and you are merely a servant.
From the depths of despair after listening to my companions' reason out their failure to contain Castiel…the ease of this task became clear.
They have to relearn just like I do. I can not expect them to know for certain those things that I struggle with myself. They just need to learn. They can not be disciplined for things that they do not know or understand. This new prison forbids such at thing. They just have to learn…as if they never knew these things in the first place.
A few days ago, in anger I barked at Roan as if he were a conscript. I found it appalling that instead of asking to be killed for his failure to contain Castiel…he was explaining why he failed. At first, what he was saying made no sense. He failed. He should want to die to escape the misery of it.
But he didn't want to die. Instead, he explained the simplicity of his failure. He explained why he failed once. Then again. And yet again. And the others listened and added to the reasons. It struck me as everyone was doing this that they really were as perplexed as me and not quite sure what to make of the failure. When I asked Roan what it would make sense to do next…he responded that he would like to take precautions next time…have some proof against the sorceries that were brought to bear and rendered him (and Merisel) powerless to counter those that came to free Castiel.
Then…an amazing thing happened. He did it. He went and found some sorcerous means of alarming a location against intruders. He found it and purchased it! He LEARNED how to overcome this limitation in this new prison.
Then Lewanna…she set out to find some means of defending our camp or quarters and in the clouded recesses of her memory uncovered wondrous sorceries that will be invaluable to us in the future…both as we travel and make lodging in towns and cities.
Inali…my young devotee…she is now searching her practice for sorceries that we can bring to bear to avoid situations similar to what we recently endured at Avignon.
And Kizzar…Kizzar is an amazing surprise. For the first time, he seems truly interested of our nightly devotions. He approached and observed Inali and I last night as we carried out honors to Horus, the Avenger. He watched as we burned the wrapped and anointed carcass of our previous night's sacrifice in the brazier. As the fires consumed the offering… symbolic of Horus' relentless pursuit of vengeance for the loss of his Father Osiris, I explained the ritual and taught Inali in proper handling of the ritual implements. Kizzar seemed to understand that the ritual creates an uncommon focus…a place of both familiarity and comfort. A place where we can go to focus inwardly to find the certainties that will anchor us and prevent us from being sucked away into the confusion and chaos that surrounds us in the new prison. He declined an offer to join his blood with ours in the ritual. Despite this, I sincerely hope that his interest grows.
And of growing, I must speak of Inali. She has proven to be an apt pupil. She has mentioned her beliefs in the nature spirits of her homeland…and I puzzle to wonder who those might be in the shuffled pantheon of gods in this place. It would please me if she were to show deeper interest in the Mysteries of Set. Perhaps her new path to greatness would be as a Sorcerous Priestess of the Lord of Dark. Today marks the birth of Horus' mother and wife of Osiris…sister of Lord Set's wife Nephthys…the goddess Aset in the Stygian tongue…and Isis to the Egyptians and Greeks. At tonight's devotion, I shall ask Inali of her interest. Such a commitment would be fitting as a celebration of Isis and her command of nature magicks. If this offer is accepted much could be done together to unravel the illusion that surrounds us.
Even Demyan, Erik's previously unmentioned companion has proven worth despite my desire to find none. He scouts ahead now…and has left behind a device that allows him to communicate with us from his position afield. Upon his return we will determine our next course of action.
Atum Ra, I trust that your minions can discern the prayers of my devotions and that they have not forgotten the old tongue. In these prayers they will hear the words of my faith. Faith that my Lord Set will once again be free in reality. This one or another. And when he is freed, he will look upon you, my sacrifice to him.
He will then exact justice…and right the wrongs and deceptions that you have woven throughout the history of gods and men.
As this is written, mark this as my word.