DIVA: Anakh the Jackal-God and the First Man DOUBLE ISSUE! #1/#2
deucexm at gmail.com
Sun Dec 7 19:29:25 PST 2014
Note: It's a Legend, as opposed to a Chronicle, because it's more of a myth or traditional retelling than a strictly factual account of events (as a Chronicle would be). Just so's you know.
Anakh the Jackal-God and the First Man: A DiVerse Legend
by Colin Stokes
The First Man rode upon Anakh's shoulder, directing the construction of Dur Lachesis, his city.
Anakh carried one Glaive in his left hand, and held the other ready in his right. When the First Man asked him to move a block into place, Anakh would point his right Glaive, filling the air with a low-pitched, echoing hum. Without touching the block, Anakh would lift it, direct it into its place, and let it slowly drift to the ground as the hum faded.
"Are you a magician?" the First Man once ventured, awestruck.
"/No/," Anakh growled. "I am the /enemy/ of magicians."
The First Man trembled in fear, for Anakh's voice carried the promise of violence in its dark tone.
Anakh felt the First Man tremble, and closed his eyes and breathed a quiet, rumbling sigh to calm himself. "There are things that should not be said. But if you become 'Anakhi', you will understand."
"What does that mean?" the First Man wondered, timidly.
"To become 'Anakhi' means you are bound to me. You are empowered by my strength, enlightened by my wisdom, and enhanced - as I am - to oppose magic as you see fit. But the cost for this service is sharing the whole of your life. Every experience, I know. Every thought, I hear. And as I am honest, so you will never speak untruth. That is what it means to become 'Anakhi'."
The First Man was silent for a time, then asked Anakh to move another block while he pondered the jackal-god's words.
Anakh lifted his Glaive in reply, and the Singing began anew.
All through the day, Anakh shaped and moved the black glass blocks, according to the First Man's designs. All through the night, the First Man slept at the center of his city, in a shallow depression Anakh had melted into the foundation for him, surrounded by six other identical pits.
When the First Man awoke just before dawn, his back was wet. He sat up quickly, and beheld the other pits around him filled with clear and motionless water. Then he beheld Anakh, resting upon one knee, his brow furrowed. The First Man remembered Anakh's dark tone from before, and held his tongue.
Anakh turned his burning gold gaze upon the First Man. "Someone has used magic. Someone has performed a service with no cost."
"Not I," the First Man hastily assured Anakh. "Your words are carved upon my mind as surely as they are carved upon the foundation of the city."
"Of that I have no doubt," Anakh returned quietly, rising to his feet. "But this disservice must be addressed."
The air thrummed with a deep, rich, almost smothering tone as Anakh held his Glaives to either side. With one swift movement, he slammed their blades together, waist-high.
The Second Tone was struck.
The air warped and twisted, and water begain to pour into the sky from nowhere, filling up a colossal, vaguely human shape. It stood slightly taller than Anakh, and though its features were undefined, two shining aquamarine orbs rested where its eyes should have been. The glass all around reflected its turbulent, inconstant body.
Anakh snarled, bestial and full of fury, causing the First Man to cringe in instinctual fear. "An elemental spirit. Of /course/."
"STAY YOUR HAND, SUMMONER," the watery giant stated flatly, its echoing monotone giving no clue as to its emotions.
Anakh's lip curled, but he stood up straight, still gripping both Glaives tightly. "Speak quickly and true, lest I sever you from this world for your insolence."
"YOUR WAY DOOMS THE WORLD TO OBLIVION," the colossus returned. "WITHOUT MAGIC, WE GROW WEAK. WE LEAVE. THE PLANES COLLAPSE AND THE WORLD CRUMBLES TO DUST."
"Why did you provide water unasked?" Anakh demanded.
"HUMAN DIES WITHOUT IT. ONLY HUMAN ASKS YOU TO SPARE US YOUR JUDGEMENT."
The First Man shrank back from Anakh's gaze as it was laid upon him, but nodded. "I cannot survive without water, Anakh. Perhaps there is still a way to settle this."
Anakh narrowed his eyes, then closed them. A moment passed. Anakh's eyes opened, calm, with another rumbling sigh. "The cost is paid." Anakh turned to stare at the swirling water figure across the city center from him. "Know that I utterly /despise/ magic, elemental. But for the sake of this one, and this world, we must make an exchange."
"WE KNOW YOUR CONTEMPT," the elemental returned in its tireless tone. "WE EXCHANGE WITH YOU."
Anakh nodded. "But there is much yet to be done. Follow, and we shall talk while we labor." Anakh waited for the First Man to drink his fill from one of the pits, then lifted him to set him upon his shoulder. Lowering one Glaive to his side, Anakh pointed the other in front of him.
Once again, the Song rang out, echoing from the glass.
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