It looks down on them, bellowing, content and apathetic as everything burns around them.

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There is an unspoken relationship that guides the universe. Gods worshiped and man worshippers, but there was once a faith that despised the gods and sought apotheosis. But their coup would fail, and on this day we celebrate their failure on a holiday once made for their hubris.

A suffering people, desperate for glory. These people once lived in a small village with a name lost to time, they had raided and pillaged a nearby village and stolen many riches. And as day turned into night the people eagerly awaited to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

A wooden effigy of a horned god towers over the gathered people. The effigy was sat in the middle of the town, apathetic to the presence of the congregation as it stared off into the sun. The people talk amongst themselves as they encircle the effigy, uncomfortable as the titanic god stood before them. These men were the ancestors of the Celts, the Hallstatt culture. They had adopted a new faith that had spread through the lands of the Hallstatt culture, one speaking of hope and power in an uncaring world.

Little do the people know, warriors of the tribe pillaged by the people of the village lie just beyond the treeline out of sight. They watch the villagers as they gather, preparing to destroy them and take back what was theirs.

Eventually, the village falls into silence as they make room for a druid clothed in a long white robe, torch in his hand approaching the horned god. Looking up at it with disdain in his eyes, he takes the torch and sets himself ablaze, but the fire does not burn his skin. The druid turns to the silent observers and begins to recite an old hymn.

My flesh does not burn, for i have forged it with my soul.

My flesh does not rot, for i have claimed my body as my own.

My flesh does not fear, for i have let it consume my mind.

I invoke your name Karnonos1, for the deluge have come to destroy you with the very clay you molded them with.

You cursed us to burn, to feel pain and to despair.

You cursed us to rot, to live short lives of toil.

You cursed us to fear, to cower from your tyranny.

Yet we have carved your curse into a weapon of holy flame, and you shall be consumed by the conflagration.

The effigy sits in apathy, his stare unbroken. The flames engulfing the druid suddenly cease, the burning torch still in hand. The people burst into joy as the druid throws the torch into the effigy, lodging it into its chest. The people then began to dance and sing as they watched the horned god be consumed by the growing flames, but even then the horned god was apathetic as it watched the setting sun. The people of this village were celebrating the first Samfuin. They had suffered a poor harvest and many had died, but this new faith had promised them everything, and they danced a dance of hope.

The marauders watched as the festivities went on, disgusted by the hubris of the villagers. They would have the scheming druid impaled on a spike and displayed proudly in the center of their village. There was no place for their proselytizers to come to spread their vile faith, and they would be evicted from these lands.

Eventually, there was nothing left of the effigy but a charred husk, its once towering form splayed out into the street. However there was one last thing that needed to be done, the druid had two men bring out a pile of bones which they then tossed into the ashes. The remains had belonged to a long-dead king of the tribe they raid raided, one of the many who had refused to accept their faith. It had been stolen from one of their tumulus2 mounds during the raid on their village, and by placing him into ashes he was a deliberate mockery of their ancient tradition. The bones lay in the ashes, the glorious king splayed out over the charred remains of the effigy.

The people looked upon the display, pondering its meaning. They knew the rival tribe would seek retribution, but then they did not care. They had begun to tire a night of celebration and many retired for the night while others remained and reflected over the ceremony, a shining beacon of hope for their new faith. The bones sat just as content as the effigy that once stood where he was as if it somehow knew his people were outside the city limits waiting for a chance to ambush the villagers.

The sound of hooves beating against the earth began to arise from the distance. An army had come for revenge, to reclaim the bones of their old king. Now they descended upon them, the unprepared masses scattered as the few who gathered in defense of the village were cut in seconds.

Arrows tipped with flaming cloth flew towards the village, and buildings began to be slowly consumed as many were burnt alive inside. The army closed the distance and began to slaughter the people of the village, their rotted bodies littering the streets. The druid went into a furious rage, his arms became blades of fury as he cut down the invaders. His flesh began to contort into a monstrous reflection of his rage as the slaughtering troops quickly turned their focus toward killing him.

The fear of the villagers as they were slaughtered dies with the last of them. The soldiers however were not spared from the slaughter, as what once was a man began to tower over them, bellowing and screeching as its writhing mass thrashes about. The monster is lost in its rage, that it doesn’t realize that it is alone. All of his people lie dead across the village he had built.

The monster was alone, everything he cared for was gone. But it did not care, for he was a god. And so he sat in the village square, screaming into the night. Content in his hubris.

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