Written by Dice
The gong rang through the old temple.
“Almighty Orlin from the Great Ringed World of Phorlin, you look over us.” Chanted an old priest in practiced rhythm and certainty from his position on a high dais, as he looked over the gathering crowds filling the large main chamber of the temple.
“Blessing to the almighty Orlin,” came the replying chant from a kneeling man dressed in a simple white cloak.
Upon finishing his reply, the man named Damus returned and bowed low, placing his forehead on the holy floor. He knelt in the middle of the six pronged star, each point of equal distance from him. At the tip of each point there stood a thin, three-foot high pedestal. Behind these pedestals, at least from Damus‘s view point, stood a high priest or priestess dressed in the vibrant colours of the Divine One they served.
According to religious teachings, the seven Divine Ones were demi-gods. Once mortal, they had been hand chosen by the Great God Orlin to rule and protect each of the seven Shift Worlds; six moons that orbited the large gas planet named Phorlin. The Divine Ones were Orlin’s representatives in the mortal realm and they lived in their temples on their respective worlds, which they shaped and changed as they saw fit.
Damus risked a glance forward. The pedestal directly in front of him had no priest stood behind. Instead, about five yards back, upon an ornate golden throne sat Alynne, the greatest of the Divine Ones. This was his temple, his moon, his world.
Above Alynne the old priest, his High Priest continued the ceremony.
“O’ Pilgrim, you have travelled to each of the six worlds and have received the favour of each of the Divine Ones.”
The gong sounded again and the priest standing behind the first pedestal, and left to the one directly in front of Damus, lifted a small – perhaps fist-sized – shining green orb above his head. The High Priest of Alynne continued.
“Endu, The Young, lover of life and children.”
The gong followed and the next priest to Damus’s left raised a similar orb, but her orb was yellow and slightly larger than the last.
“Sudale, Protector of the Weak, lover of re-balance.”
The High Priest named each of the Divine Ones, Ilture, Galaine and Ninsune, and each respective priest raised their orb. When the High Priest named ‘Alynne, Orlin’s Second and Lord of All’, Alynne himself stood. Raising one empty hand, he breathed into his open palm and an orange orb formed.
“Stand Pilgrim,” demanded the High Priest.
Damus stood, tall and proud, though with a slight shiver.
“Pilgrim, are you ready?” asked the old man in a powerful voice.
“Yes, High Priest,” answered Damus confidently.
“Do you accept the honour placed upon you?”
“I accept and thank the Great Orlin for the honour he has granted me.”
“Are you pure in heart, innocent in life and free from any bonds?”
“I am free to serve.”
“Do you welcome the blessing of the Divine ones?”
“I welcome and thank them for their Blessings.”
“And will you take up service to the Almighty Orlin, who has hand chosen you to serve by his side for one hundred years, after which you will bathe in the glory of his heaven?”
“I will gladly serve.”
“Then may you ascend to his side and serve him well.”
The gong sounded again and the five priests and Alynne stepped forward. In the order of their calling, they placed the orbs upon the pedestal before them. But when Alynne placed his orb, a coloured beam of light erupted from each orb. The beams then connected the orbs together and blended to create a perfect circular beam of white, intersecting each of the orbs.
Damus held his arms outstretched, as a symbol to welcome the light.
“I go to serve Orlin,” he chanted.
There was a great flash of white light from the orbs, which dazzled all in attendance for a brief moment before it vanished. And with it, Damus and the orbs had disappeared, too.
Written on behalf of our Hallowe’en Trick or Treat Fiction Frenzy, Dice’s short fantasy excerpt was originally planned for a NanoWriMo entry. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out the way he had expected, but we did get a great entry for our Fiction Frenzy competition. If you enjoyed Dice’s piece, feel free to view his other published work on Inkblots, including “The Game Parts 1 & 2” and his most recently published Alexander short, “Summer 1943”.
Featured Image CC // Zach Dischner