The deep cavern was dark, except for the small speck of light glowing from Rinath's lantern. He moved swiftly down the rope, followed by Anex and a few workers. "By Ereal what is this place?" questioned Rinath amazed by what he saw. Lifting his lantern just slightly, all around him the walls were made of smooth stone covered in pictures of dances and worshipping service, buttion was drawn elsewhere. Directly in the middle of the cavern stood a solid gold altar, It has four horns at the very top, each horn was crested by one circular object, moons. "Looks like we found a temple," commented Anex staring at the altar. "Defiantely predates the Republic, I think this temple is to the moon gods," said Rinath moving toward the altar. "Ereal save us! Ravan's presence is running through-out this room!" yelled the worker worried. "Be still or go back up the rope, this is no temple to Ravan, this belongs to the others, Ravan and Ereal's conflict was not here," said Rinath exaiming the altar the best he could. "Ravan is here! Ravan is here!" continued the worker. "We can protect you just be silent, you were hired to dig not scream" sad an annoyed Anex. He got quiet seeing the gladius so casually strapped across her back and moved over to stand next to Rinath, a more peaceful person. "Look at this," commented the worker reaching out to the jewel incrested in the center of the altar. "DON'T!" yelled Rinath, but it was to late, the jewel slowly began to drop back into the altar," you have set off a trap you fool!" "No, look its revealed a secret compartment," said Anex looking down into the small hole no present in the altar. "Bad magic!" said the worker, quieting down again after the stares he recieved from Rinath and Anex. "Its just a parchment and a ring," said Rinath slowly and carefully removing the parchment. "Whats it say?" questioned Anex anxiously. "Well, I can read the language, its very much like the common we use now, mixed with some Iridinian and ancient religious languages," said Rinath peering at it closely," It starts... ***** As I pen this parchment, they have began their march here. We have yet to determine why the attack us and our simple shrine. I myself have seen some of the faces that now march, just a few moons ago they sat in here praying for this and that. We Know what they come here now to do, death, they have killed our brothers in the city proper and now move out here to finish us. I will not let our religion die at their brutal hands, unlike the others who prepare to fight in return I quickly jot down my story in hopes of one day it reaching the hands of the people that they might change. Why do they attack? We have done nothing to them, but pray and worship our gods, do they not do the same with their god, Ereal? I must not get sidetracked, this is what has happened to me... ***** "Barius, his name is Barius," cried the weak mother as she stared at her new child. "It is a wonderful name, it fits him well," said the father standing not to far away. "Please, take care of him, I...I don't think," mother stumbled to say as she slumped back. "The gods must be with this one, she lived to she his face, not many recieve that blessing," said the midwife moving over to the now cold corpse. "She always wanted a child, she would always go on and on about how she would raise him to be strong and health, that together....we would..." fighting back tears the father took the small boy. "I'm sure she knows you will always take care of him, she will be watching from above, she will watch over her little one," said the midwife motioning for the priest to come in and minister to the body. "I promise to always take care of you, my son, Barius," said the father leaving his wife to the priest, "the dead are for the dead and the living for the living my son."
And so I was taken to my home, it was a large Domus, senators always were rich. It was here I was taught about life. The first five winters of my life were easy and then I was left to a scribe for four more winters. Then I was ready for lessons from my father.
He looked over his son, still not over his thigh, very skinny with long black hair to his shoulders kept in a smooth ponytail. His eyes, they were his mother's, dark green look the moon's light radiated through them. His simple blue toga did not interfere with his agility as he gracefully marched over to his father. "I am ready father," said the respectful boy. "I see that you are my son," said the father lovingly," Now soon Midlight is a world of diffcult, you must be able to defend yourself and thus I will teach you a weapon." Motioning to a nearby table he spoke softly," Pick the weapon that best suites your hand and I will teach you." "I understand father," said the boy letting his eye wander over the table. He saw the gladius a true warriors weapon, the spear that arm of the cavalry, and then his eye feel on one weapon, the staff. It was about 5 feet long and was made of a sturdy ironwood, it has a simple leather wrapping in the center to designate the placement of hands and then some strange lever contraption. "I see you eyeing the staff, I fine weapon, that one belonged to your grandfather and has a nice secret to it," said the father taking it easily in his hand," watch this." He began a simple spinning motion, something that would only bruise a target, but then he hit the lever and its ends were replaced, instead of the wood a sharp iron blade shot forth. "The blade is an added extra and there is only one of its kind in the whole country, and now it is yours," said the father pressing the lever, pulling back the blades. The boy smiled as he took the weapon in hand and he tried mimicking his father's motion, only to fall down on his butt. "Let me show you," said his father helping him up. And thus he learned, triple-strike, simple block, snapstrike, all of it. His father taught well and for five winters that is all he needed, til his father took him to the temple, time to learn religion.
The temple was a simple one built to the sun, Ereal. As his father prayed Barius was being taught alittle of Ereal, will would have been if he would stopping stare at a few of the other girls being taught the same lesson. "Ereal is the god of the sun and is to be worshipped above all others," commented the elderly priest. "But are there not other gods?" questioned Barius pondering the last statment, his mother had worshipped Lucieful, or so he had been told. "Ereal is god of the sun, Ravan is the god of death, and there are a few other moons worshipped, but here you are to learn of Ereal," said the priest annoyed at the question. The lesson continued on about Ereal and how great and magnificant he was, but Barius didn't listen. He wanted to know about the other gods, his mother didn't think Ereal that important, why should he? His father too was pondering things, he had heard the questioned and though he was a devote worshipper of Ereal, his wife had not been. He remebered her going to a different temple then him when it came time to sacrifice, maybe his son wasn't meant for Ereal. It was then and there he decided to take him to a different temple to learn.
[to be continued]
[next time] Barius learns of the other gods, and learns too of their cost. He feels the pursection form those who blindly follow Ereal and Ravan and they reach high to hurt him, high enough to drive him to kill. Do read next time as the questions the beckon Barius' heart elsewhere are answered.