And Yu-Shan Wept
Oasis God, Sammamish Jhar
Blood Pact – Sammamish Jhar
Offering – Oasis Heracalum, Purvaja
Oasis Jhar, One Hundred & Sixty Leagues North of Gem
The sun was had set long ago, I knew South from the stars, but the day had been long and wrought with trials. I begged Guldur to let us rest a few hours – allow the Agatae to recover its strength. I could tell there was still strength in him but I directed his gaze back to Jocheme… it was obvious the mortal was exhausted.
Using a map the Guild had provided in conjunction with a Dragon of Smoke I was able to lead the Agatae towards a place known only as Oasis Jhar. Too far west to be of much use to the major trade routes with the Delzhan nor The Lap, it was no doubt some token given by one spirit over another to win a position as caravan god. Even by night the small pool of water and jungle shown like a jewel. I had not yet told the others I had ulterior motives. Yet, we need allies all the same and my own gifts are of little use against even the least of the foes we might face. Should the denizens of the unnamed Shadowland march upon Gem – I would have a fiercer soul to greet them. So it is that I must begin to unite the various gods of the desert under our banners and speak unto them the threats that hang over us all. The ones with the greatest strength and most to lose are the scattered spirits of the oases.
I’ve supped upon my sweet liquor and have half dreamed while watching the others fall into their own truer slumber. I can feel the webs begin to fall away from my mind. Only the Agatae still stirs and it is bound by oath and pledge. The grass is lush under my feet as I walk to the water’s edge. Placing bowls of sand with lit incense, I bow my head till it touches the cool liquid, and pray.
“I supplicate myself before you god and spirit that I, moonchild of Luna, might share warning. Your blood is as my blood and your water is as my water. Gaze upon the faces of my companions, uneasy even in sleep beneath your emerald embrace, and know I speak truth.”
The gods do not sleep, nor demon or elemental, and only moments pass before the waters break and swirl upward to form into some manner of Jinn garbed in the glory of its panoply.
“Moonchild, why do you trouble the tranquility of this place with your talk of threats? I have drunk the blood of a hundred men who have fought over these waters. The wyld ones trouble us not here – when they come they are drowned.”
Shapes slash into the water as the god speaks. Oasis gods are often arrogant and far more powerful than the minor gods of sand and wind that boarder them – only feeding their self-importance. The threat is heard none the less.
“I speak neither of the Wyld nor the Fay, mighty spirit. The treat is true, I lost a demon to it in the blink of an eye, it bears the might of ages gone by. My map spoke of a town some forty leagues north of here, tucked into the crook of The Thousand, some tragedy befell them. Now only a Shadowland remains and the dead have grown strong under the guidance of a lord among the lands of death. The being, known to us as the First and Forsaken Lion, he provided wonders of the first age that cast forth blazing arcs of essence and sorcery so potent it slew my Agatae in a single blow. Besides these weapon, I saw with my own eyes many score of ghost and ravenous dead. They will march upon Gem and once Gem has fallen they will consume all of the Glitter-Flame. I ask your aid that we might make a stand – a champion that can journey the vast sands with me in spirit.”
The god is silent, it’s waters still, yet the shapes move closer and I can see them now. Beasts that might look like mossy logs by day, but now their fangs glimmer in the moonlight. Snapping the air, but becoming silent suddenly – the spirit again flows.
“You speak of a blood bond, most of Luna’s Chosen simple take, and that would have gone badly for you. I have conferred with my children. They smell the terror upon your sleeping companions and some deathly sickness does hang about you all faintly. I sense your word is true and I shall provide a champion.”
With that the spirit falls back into the oases and a single beast crawls from the waters. Like nothing I’d ever seen, closest to the alligators of the West that slitter upon the shores to consume the young of turtles. This was smaller, stockier, and stronger. I could see the purpose burning in its eyes. Pulling a dagger, I allowed it to sink its fangs into my arm even as I sliced deeply into its shoulder. Watching the blood mix and swirl in the darkening waters – I pray Luna will embrace this union.