Of Lovataar and the Throne

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Prologue: In Principio Erat Verbum | In Memoria, Adytum

Of Lovataar and the Throne

I go to set the people free.

The words of her ŋäcämatse, her beloved. They were spoken with such quiet determination, fueled by the raging inferno of his anger and backed by the unstoppable force of his will. When they had sat together, all those years ago, when they had talked and debated for days, she had known in her heart that he was right.

Their debate had never been about who was right. If it had been that that they had debated, she never would have joined him in the pursuit of his mad dream. No, she knew he had been right almost from the beginning. Rather, they had debated the means by which he could accomplish his vision.

The Daeva had been a blight upon the land. Their cruelty and sadism had been unsustainable from the start, and how quickly they had fallen stood testament to that sad truth. The reality was that in order for the land to flourish, for the people to survive, the Daeva had to fall.

Lovataar stood alone atop the battlement, overlooking the land that Ion had liberated, that he had freed. Wherever he walked, the land had burned with the fires of revolution, and the Daevite legions had fallen. Whether by sword, by whisper, or by the sheer force of his will, he had marched the halkostänä across the lands of the Daeva and returned it to the people.

Now, here, in the holy city of Adí-üm, Ion had brought the halkostänä to rest. Here, he would abide for a time. She knew that it would not be for forever, despite the sages whispering of Kalmaktama, the deathless. It wasn't part of the plan, it wasn't a part of the future that her ŋäcämatse had foreseen.

A surge of impotent rage and sadness threatened to overwhelm her, and she reached out to rest her hand upon the warm surface of the parapet. The fortress-palace quivered beneath her at her touch, somehow feeling the depth of her anguish as it rose up within her. She could feel its desire to comfort her, the great leviathan at its heart reaching out to protect and serve.

A soft sigh escaped her lips and she gently stroked the bulwark, whispering soothing words to calm the great kiraak. She sensed its love, the solid sense of purpose that rippled through its massive bulk as it returned once more to its slumber. She had been woolgathering, and if the palace had sensed her anguish, then others might have as well.

"It is not yet time to grieve, my lady." The voice whispered from the shadows that gathered near the entrance to her balcony, and Lovataar looked up to see Saarn step out to greet her. She smiled at the diminutive girl and she bowed her head in respect of the sadness she heard echoed there.

"I know. There is a part of me that wish I didn't know, that he hadn't shared that part of his vision with me." She stepped back from the edge and took a seat in the bench that the palace raised for her. Saarn settled to the ground beside the bench, folding her legs beneath her as she did so.

"You would not have believed. Not as you do. There is always a price to be paid, my lady. You know that as well as any of us."

Lovataar wanted to disagree with the assassin. A flash of indignation at the insinuation was quickly dispelled as she caught the undertone of self-recrimination in the other woman's words. She paused for a moment, collecting her thoughts, then sighed in response.

"Of course, you are right. There is always a price. I just wish that…" Her words trailed off as she glanced back out across the rolling hills that surrounded the leviathan. How could she speak of her selfishness to this woman? How could she express the joy she felt when sharing space with her ŋäcämatse, of sharing her self with him in a way that Saarn would never know?

"You wish that there was a way for you to be with him, even when you remain and he must go forth to battle."

Of course she knew. There was little that slipped past the observant little spy, and nothing that slipped past all her eyes and ears. It was her gift, to see all and to know more. She closed her eyes and simply nodded, trying in vain to hide the tears that threatened to fall.

"There is still time. The Mekhanites are only just now beginning to plant the seeds of doubt in the Kourites, and they have yet to send envoys to Kemet. The people of that ancient land are slow to anger, but," The assassin held out a slender hand, palm up, before curling it into a fist, "they will get there in the end." She shook her head.

"We are anathema to the followers of Mekhane. Their hatred of the Flesh is a hate I can understand. But it is the magic wielded by the followers of Ptah that I think Ion fears the most." She shook her head and waved her hand in a dismissive gesture.

"You did not want to speak of politics, my lady. I'm sorry that I broke into your reverie with such."

It was Lovataar's turn to shake her head. "No, my friend. We each serve in the way that we are best suited. I would not begrudge you the way that services reveals itself. You sought to comfort me, and I appreciate that."

She stretched and leaned back onto the bench. "And you are right. There is still time."

1And it came to pass in those days that there was peace upon the land. The host of the Ozi̮rmok had taken much of the land of the Daevites, and there were none to oppose them. 2Ion had taken for his seat the city of Adytum, and he dwelt there for a time in prosperity.

3It was then that a great sadness overwhelmed the Klavigar Lovataar, and she went to Ion and she begged him for a boon. 4"Take not thy wrath out upon thine enemies. 5Stay thy hand and dismiss thy righteous fire, for that path leads to suffering and death."

6And lo, Ion's heart was moved, for he looked upon Lovataar with great affection. He knelt before her and took her into his arms and whispered to her words of comfort. 7It was such that her heart was still, and though she wept still for the prophesy that was yet to be fulfilled, her resolve was strengthened.

8For it was in those days that she set about to craft a gift for her lord. For thirty days and thirty nights she labored in great agony, growing forth from her bosom a finely wrought seat of such exquisite beauty that all who gazed upon it, marveled.

9It was then that the Kalmaktama celebrated the feast of sukanta, as Ion had decreed would fall upon the anniversary of his liberation of the people. 10It was on the tenth and final day of that great feast did Lovataar present the fruit of her labor to Ion. She had taken the crafting of her flesh and added to it decoration of the finest lapis lazuli from the kingdom of Kemet and jade from far away Zhongguo. 11Together with Saarn, she had crafted a soft pillow to adorn its surface, so that Ion would be at ease upon it, and had crafted it from their own raven locks, so that it would continue to live with their love.

12And Ion looked upon the gift and his heart was moved again, for he knew what great cost Lovataar had borne in the crafting of such a gift. And he bade the celebrants of the great feast to be still, and he spake to them of her love. 13It was then that he decreed that the seat would travel with him, wherever he should go, to always remind him that he led only by the love of those he would lead.

- The Rise of Kalmaktama, 3:1-13; The Solomonari Valkzaron

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