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INANNI    ISTORY


TEMPLE RINANNI HISTORY

~ TABLE OF CONTENTS ~
:: Celestial Treasures of Rinanni ::
:: The Party Begins ::
:: What does Rinannimas mean to Spur? ::
:: The Witch's Curse ::
:: Please submit Temple Rinanni History ::

Celestial Treasures of Rinanni ...

    There are four major relics of Rinanni currently in found in the realm of Aradath. First and probably the most well known is the dove of Rinanni. The dove is reported to give its barer immunity from the gods. This artifact first made its appearance in modern times when stolen by the ice devil Loa'kass and his nemesis the Lord of Deceptions. The second is the Chalice of Life, making itself known to us a little more recently when the Rinannians went into battle against a powerful Vampire lord. When combined with the tears of Rinanni the chalice has the power to heal all wounds and afflictions. The third is the Sword of Light, found and used to kill the Vampire lord, it has the power to cut through even the blackest of darkness. The Final relic is the Mirror of Truth which now resides within the Temple of Rinanni in Spur. It was guarded by the legendary Phoenix, destroyed by a demon, gathered again and remade. The mirror is said to see across the realms, dimensions and even into your true soul. And the last and reported destroyed during a great conflict was the crown of knowledge, said to give its wearer the ability to understand and speak all languages and decipher any text.

~ Mahtina

The Party Begins ...

Apparently, there is a Circle of Angels. The Seraphim make a circle of stars around the moon. If you stand in the right position and look up, you can see them. Each star is of a different shade, and this is why the moon sometimes takes the reflection of different colors. Selena hangs the highest and is the brightest but the others are just as beautiful and illuminating.

Azaline is the Seraph of the Arts, Song, and Verse. She sits opposite of Selena on the circle. Azaline serves as Rinanni's Minstrel, and her orchestra consists of all the stars and the moons. Azaline plays a Golden Harp and from the harp hangs a most majestic and brilliant gem. As she plays, the gem lifts itself and dances upon the air above Azaline. They say this is what causes the stars to twinkle and is what gives song to the celestial bodies.

The Feast of Azaline is generally celebrated in the 10th month of our calendar. Bards just love ! this day as does everyone else. During the earlier part of the month, at just a few moments before midnight, there is a lunar eclipse. The eclipse is almost like a curtain on a stage for when the eclipse is complete, it opens the night to such a grand performance, wonderful sights and sounds. At this time, Azaline's orchestra plays as she leads on her harp. No other nights are the stars so bright and brilliant. They are like the finest gems. No other night is there so much song and dance.

On the day of the eclipse, a brilliant parade takes place. The most colorful of characters do come out to march, bards, lovers, poets, musicians. This is a day for all. As the parade marches through town, each person is welcome to follow in the procession as it leads to a special place.

The place where Azaline's Harp rests. Tis a secret and no one knows till that day, and only the stars can tells us where it is. One by one, the stars f! all into a line as the parade marches. Perhaps a straight one, a zig zag, or maybe the stars fall full circle. No one knows...

When the time comes, at the time of the eclipse when the moon falls behind the sun, the harp ascends to the heavens. The night grows very dark and the stars are hidden in the blackness. Just a brilliant fiery ring remains in the sky. As the moon slowly appears once again, the stars illuminate like never before. The sky dances with colors of every shade as Azaline and her orchestra plays, and they play until the morning sun shows once again.

Then the party begins

by: Tygerlili Flowerclaw

What does Rinannimas mean to Spur? ...

By Nutmeg Lightbreeze

A wise Usil once observed that variety is the spice of life. Now, seeing that I’m named after a sort of spice (that spice being Nutmeg), it’s only fitting that I spice up my life with variety.

So far in my relatively short lifespan, I’ve been many (or a variety of) things: a forester; a comedian; a poet; a songwriter; a humor columnist; and drunk. Some of those things are behind me; some of those things, I still am today (in fact, I’m drunk as I write this!).

But one thing I haven’t had a try at being is a roving reporter like some of my colleagues on the DFC staff. Quite honestly, the whole notion of being a roving reporter just never held much appeal, especially after I looked up “rove” in the Great Book of Words and their Meanings. Turns out, “to rove” means “to move aimlessly” or “to wander through or over.”

So it seems like being a roving reporter means you’d have to work extra hard. Not only would you have to do reportery things, like ask people insightful (inciteful?) questions and then take accurate notes when they answer (instead of making bawdy sketches while they jabber on), but you also have to move around a lot, something I try to avoid doing at all costs (not out of laziness mind you, but out of civic duty: The roads around Spur suffer so much wear and tear, what with the running and the chasing and bodies falling down all the time).

But in all honesty, I was sort of stumped as to what to write about for this special Rinannimas issue. Yes, I do follow Rinanni, but I’m not going to be earning any ribbons for being Her most devout of followers, at least not any time soon. So, even though I’ve always gone through the motions of celebrating Rinannimas, just like a lot of other people around town, I really never had a strong grasp on just what Rinannimas meant! I figured there had to be more than all the singing and drinking and partying and eating and drinking and laughing and buying and drinking. But what is it that makes this time of year so special for so many people, even those who don’t follow the White Lady?

Well, that question, “What is the meaning of Rinannimas?”, gnawed at my brain for a couple of minutes, then promptly died of starvation. Nevertheless, I decided, “That’s it, Nutmeg! Get yerself some rovin’ shoes, head into Spur, and ask folks what Rinannimas means to them!”

And that’s just what I did!

Needless to say, in interviewing about 25 people representing a variety of backgrounds, religious leanings, and general interests (ranging from snuggling kittens to smashing them), I came across a lot of interesting answers to the question, “What does Rinannimas mean to you?”

(By the way, my apologies to everyone who took the time to talk to me but whom I didn’t quote!)

One of the more touching sentiments came from Tiruna Shooge, a Leuian warrior who bears the mark of Odarous. She told me that for many Leuians, Rinannimas “is a celebration of the glory and love and peace of Rinanni, and of a prayer deep in our hearts that Her peace will reign triumphant one day.”

Tiruna told me how Rinanni bestowed on Leuians a very special gift: a star (the last of five, actually, but that’s a different story). That fifth star symbolized “[Rinanni’s] promise that all khat'saras will be together again forever. We bond for life and beyond, for all eternity. 'Tis her promise that we will be together again, and for that, she is most special to us and will be forever. She gave us an infinity of love.”

I think folks as sweet as Tiruna definitely deserve of at least that much love!

My lovely Drag-al friend Ocinaiya Demenyra, who is a hand, foot, and tail of Rinanni, said that, to her, Rinannimas means rebirth. "A rebirth of hope, you know?” she told me. “Hope in peace, in love, and things like that."

She added that Rinannimas is also "a good time to remind people how much you care about them and what they mean to you."

Which reminds me: You’ve been a wonderful friend this past year, Ocinaiya, even if you did try to make me exercise.

Cori Sylvermoon, a Usil Elf Heart Cleric of Rinanni, proclaimed Rinannimas as a time to be with loved ones. “By spending time with loved ones we praise Rinanni through our actions"

And, of course, Rinannimas also means “those peppermints!"

Does peppermint schnapps count?

Secian sage Weldoian Sesca-oskaloq, a devout cleric of Sa, said he saw value in the celebration of Rinannimas. "'Tis a time of peace, love, and giving,” he said. “I'm not Rinannian, but I think it's a worthy holiday to celebrate, even if just for it's values.”

You’d best heed Weldo’s words, residents of Spur, because we must respect our elders.

Other folks focused more on the celebrating aspect of Rinannimas than on peace and love. (I know I’m looking forward to a wonderful festival!) Kyrinne Woodsmist, an Advocate of Sa, said simply that “ [Rinannimas] is a traditional sort of holiday, a midwinter celebration, a feast.”

She added, half-jokingly, I think, that it’s also a time "where many folks have much too much to drink"

Maybe if we drank more during the year, that wouldn’t seem like such a problem?

I bet Kyrinne was directing her drinking comment at folks like Hithual Axe Hammersmith, who declared excitedly that Rinannimas “means lotsa drinkin' Hithual Winter Ale!” (Axe, save me a cask, would you?)

Not everyone in Spur has such high regard for the festival of Rinanni. Some associated it with the snow and the rain. “I dislike rain,” said Draco Mystikal Chogen. “If [Rinannimas] is the cause of this weather, I dislike it much"

Another Draco, Saek Craen, said that Rinannimas just meant “cold toes and sneezing" for him.

(A tip for Erana and Cinnamon: Get your Chosens some warm winter clothing, even though they’re bound to outgrow them sooner rather than later!)

While some people said that the love and friendship of Rinannimas enriched them emotionally, others in Spur associate the season with a time to rake in the gold. “It means profit,” said Sabueso Ladron , a San Elf merchant of dreams (according to his calling card, which smells really nice, by the way). "I always sell my goods before Rinannimas. It's become a tradition of sorts."

Sir Rylek Grey, a Spurian Knight and a San Elf, shared similar sentiments about what Rinannimas means: "Profit. {Rinannimas is] the busiest time of the year for Spur's merchants."

Of course, a lot of the items purchased are going to be given as Rinannimas gifts, which is great news for people like Tiffany Mcloud, bond of the amber Drake Gellidus Shoa. To him, Rinannimas means “a good chance to spoil my bond with anything she wants."

By the way, if any Dracos, Drakes, or anyone else is looking for a Drag-al bondmate to spoil, feel free to send my scribe a note!

For some people of Spur, Rinannimas doesn’t mean all that much, at least not spiritually. For example, Creman Mezdaf, a psion, shared the thought (literally), that "religion is worthless all together."

Others were critical of the festival. Nibiru Sirius, a San Elf, said that, “For me, Rinannimas means idiot Secians running around, proclaiming the joy they see on the surface because they're too stupid to see the thick layer of grime underneath. Other that that, it means absolutely nothing."

One Dandric Sturm, a follower of Sa, opined that Rinannimas “sounds like a frivolous waste of time that would be better spent strengthening the city's defenses."

I could certainly see a need for hiring something slightly more intelligent to serve as city guards. Anyone know when eggplants are in season?

Some people I spoke to indicated that the meaning of Rinannimas eludes them. One such individual, a Taathian Oog-ra named Boggo Riggs, responded to my question, asking, “Wut dis Runnunamuss? [I think that’s how you’d spell his pronunciation! - Nutmeg]?”

Given some time and explanation from others, he informed me that Rinannimas means either “Secian game” or “Secian gem”. Either way, his interpretation truly boggles the mind (mostly his, I imagine).

Another mind-boggling interpretation about Rinannimas came from Human Bard Russa Chalyn. Her poetic words were, “Rinannimas is a crystal time of reflected dreams, a time frozen, glimmering and clear, in the memories of all who are present for it, for as long as they may live."

Notably, Russa had just stayed up all night and had too much to drink before expressing her sentiment.

Of all the theories and explanations of Rinannimas that I heard as I roved and reported, one stands out for its simple, yet poetic, eloquence. I posed my question, “What does Rinannimas mean to you?”, to an Oog-ra in Town Square named Buldah Rockhed. He regarded me silently for a moment, then said, "Rinanan ...”. He paused for a moment, then asked, “Banana?" Finally, with confidence in his voice, he said it again: "Banana!"

Of course, this insightful young Oog-ra was suggesting that residents of Spur are much like bananas. Many of us go about our days wrapped in these thick, bitter, protective shells – some of us yellow and fearful; some green with bitter envy; others outwardly rotten and black -- which prevents us from revealing that pure, white, sweet love and kindness within. But when Rinannimas rolls around, many of us shed that outer layer so that we might nourish others in heart and soul with our inner goodness.

In closing, I wish you all an a-peel-ing Rinannimas! And most importantly, have fun!

- Nutmeg Lightbreeze

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The Witch's Curse-


as told by Syphon Elintrophe
The Witch's Curse

~~~~

Long ago, in a place not unlike this, there lived a Rinannian bardess by the name of Erimia Alora. Now Erimia, over the years, had become renowned for her voice. Her voice was livelier, clearer, and more captivating then a blue jay on a spring day. Her talent was said to be so vast, so awesome, that some had come to believe that she was Rinanni herself, incarnated in Erimia's body. Her voice, when singing the songs she herself would write, was able to melt even the coldest of Muatana-Al hearts. Her songs spoke of everything from the glory if birth to the tragedy of death; from the wonders of pleasure to the love-hate sensations of pain; from the glory of love to the sadness of hate. It is said that by her voice alone, she was able to convert many, among which was a Taathian Inquisitor, to Rinanni.

And despite the glory and fame that surrounded her, Erimia never once swayed from her devotion and service from Rinanni. She even became Prelate when she was but the age of nineteen. She never hurt a being, and was the perfect diplomat. She even managed to settle a long-time, bloody dispute between a webhold of Arachnians and a group of Dragons. Her deeds alone raised her to among the world's elite, and were she not already famed for her voice, would have made her famous the world over.

Her fame and popularity was so much that Lords, Ladies, Kings and Queens from over the world would come to listen to her perform. In fact, it is such a requested performance in which this story takes place.

You see, one day, one of the most powerful and richest rulers of the world came to visit. And as was almost per custom, requested a performance from Erimia. Erimia, not wanting to insult such a man, accepted. On her way to the amphitheater in which the performance was to take place, she was stopped by a woman, outside a sickly hut.

"Lady," she said, "your name and prowess is known even to us in the hovels. I am blind in an eye, deaf in an ear, and lame in a leg. Tonight, I eat cobwebs for dinner. Please, Lady, ease my night with a song from your voice."

Erimia stared sadly at the decrepit old woman. She frowned and said, "Oh, venerable woman, I am sorry you suffer so. It breaks my heart. Alas, I have a performance to hold for a very important Lord, and I am already late. I shall give you 100 gold now, to ease your hunger, and after my performance, I shall perform for you."

So, with that, Erimia handed over the gold and left in a hurry. As she left, the old woman entered her hut and approached an alter. She grabbed a rag doll, which only remotely resembled Erimia, and dropped it into a cauldron full of noxious blue liquid. After an eruption of crimson smoke, the woman spoke:

"If a lowly hag is not worthy of your voice, neither then is a royal king. You have given me in woe to please another, so will you give woe unto them to please me. I hear not your voice, your song, and so not shall others."

Meanwhile, Erimia had arrived at the amphitheater and, after much apologizing to the Lord, was about to perform. The music started and she began to sing to the hundreds in the audience. Her voice echoed through the perfect acoustics of the amphitheater, and before the first verse was over, all who were within earshot stood, sat, or lay ensnared by the beauty of her voice. As she sand, noticing the enraptured ecstasy of her listener's faces, she gave a silent prayer of thanks to Rinanni, and prayed that they all be blessed with life and longevity.

But as she continued to sing, she noticed that something was wrong. The looks on the faces of her audience no longer stared at her in awe and love. Instead, they now stared at her, and others, in pain and confusion. But, as all good performers do, she continued to sing. But whatever the commotion was, it didn't die down. Now, some of her audience looked up at her in fear, their hands clasped against their ears. She began to panic, thinking she was off key. A quick auditory examination revealed that she wasn't off key. And yet, the fear, pain, and panic of the crowd continued. Now, all of the audience was plugging their ears with anything they could find. She stopped singing, and gasped. For her voice still sung, her mouth still reciting the lyrics. She didn't understand. She watched in horror as a few people near her fell to the ground and began to spasm. Others tried to escape, their ears bleeding profusely, only to fall down and spasm like the rest. Within moments, the entire amphitheater was a spasming organism. Erimia was horrified, and continued in vain to stop herself from singing. She looked up to where the Lord sat, her eyes leaking tears, only to see the most monstrous thing she had ever seen. As she gazed upon the Lord, who was unconscious and spasming, she noticed a great spurt of blood erupt from the Lord. She squinted, and was terrified. The Lord's head had exploded. Within seconds of this revelation, the heads of the rest of the audience began to explode. And no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't stop herself from singing.

Shortly after this, the amphitheater itself began to vibrate. She could hear the stone in its walls hit themselves and she thought, prayed, and hoped that perhaps this was all a horrific spell. For, she reasoned, how could her voice cause such a vibration? But her hopes diminished rapidly as the vibration became a loud and menacing roar. The amphitheater had begun to crumble. Stones were falling from the walls; columns were collapsing, dropping a ceiling of stone on the now-headless corpses of the audience. And so, there she stood as the whole of the amphitheater was destroyed around her. Thus, within the span of fifteen minutes, the amphitheater, and its audience, was no more. Only Erimia stood in the center of the rubble. Once she had semi-recovered from shock, she fled.

Like flies to a carcass, word of the incident spread throughout the land. Many were in shock and doubt to hear that Erimia was responsible for the deaths of hundreds. However, the fact that Erimia had not been seen since the incident, as well as the belief that no outside force could amplify a Bard's voice to such a destructive magnitude, cast a dark shade of suspicion upon her innocence. As for Erimia herself, she had locked herself up in a distant temple of Rinanni. She was quite convinced that she had done the deed, though she felt quite sure that she didn't do it intentionally. But she couldn't understand what could have caused her to lose control of her voice as she had. No book told of any curse, spell, chord of disease that could produce such an effect. And, through an ancient spell, she had ruled out the possibility of being an instrument of some malevolent being or deity. It was as if her voice had become a being of its own. And she didn't understand it at all. She was determined to stay here and pray until she could divine some understanding of her situation.

The weeks went by. The people of the land, without reassurance, fell prey to doubt, fear, and suspicion, and soon, despite the protests of Erimia's most devote friends, had place a bounty of 500 gold for her capture. Thus, bounty hunters of all kinds went out in search of her. Within a week, they had caught word of a distraught woman who took refuge in a distant Rinannian temple, and within the day, most of the bounty hunters had arrived at the temple. With threats to destroy the temple, Erimia was forced to show herself to her would-be captors. Once they saw here, some overzealous hunters began to try and subdue her. She resisted, and prayed to Rinanni to help her. The overzealous ones suddenly backed away from her, and she praised Rinanni for answering her prayer. As she said this prayer of thanks, the overzealous hunters fell to the ground, blood oozing from their ears. Erimia gasped.

"Did you see that? She spoke and Orris, D'aike and Phylosk all died!," said one of the hunters.

Erimia stared in disbelief at the three corpses for a moment, before reducing herself to sobs. This soon turned out to be a mistake, for as she began to cry, the temple behind her began to vibrate. The on looking hunters began to spasm. Her eyes closed in frightful sobs of frustration and sadness caused Erimia to see, or hear, any of what was going on. She continued to cry. She then heard a stone fall behind her, and thinking it to be the hunters destroying her temple, she cried harder.

Unbeknownst to her, as she cried harder, her would-be captors had begun to writhe on the ground in pain, as her temple began to collapse behind her. And as the temple continued to fall, her cries became louder and harder. And as she cried harder, the temple fell in ever-increasing chunks. It wasn't long until her hunters were a carpet of corpses on the ground before a rubble of crushed stone and marble.

Wondering why they hadn’t killed her after destroying her temple, Erimia finally stopped crying and cautiously looked up. What she saw nearly caused her to cry again. Before her lay hundreds of corpses; their blood watering the grass. Then, even as the realization began to hit her, she looked back at her temple. All she saw was a pile of dust and debris. She stared at it all in shock. Such was her shock that she did not see, at first, a lonesome dove flying down to her. Only once it had perched on her should, did she notice it. She looked at it in sadness and despair, only to receive a strong peck in the arm. The dove then flew away. As Erimia rubber her arm, she gasped at what the peck could have meant. She looked, and sure enough, her godmark had vanished. She once again began crying; her tears streaming to the ground. Rinanni had taken away her godmark. She fell to ground in a fetal position and cried in long, mourning wails of despair. Watching all this, from a distance well out of earshot, was the only surviving hunter. And she was formulating a plan.

This survivor was the Taathian Inquisitor of the time. She went by the name Areoth the Torturer. Her real name has been lost in time, but her reputation has not. She was exceptionally skilled at torturing her victims and took great pleasure in destroying her victims physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. She was even rumored to have been able to cause a Usilin Sage to go mad by presenting him with too much information. All that was truly known of her is that all her victims survived...as catatonic, whimpering invalids who just knew how to breath...and not much more. Erimia had caught Areoth's attention, which caused Areoth to pray to Taath for a month. After finally receiving an approval sign from him, she called a meeting of her temple to set her plan in motion. The temple agreed and it was decided that the Torturer would take head of the project.

So, after a few days of preparation, Areoth approached Erimia, who had since been arrested and not made a noise. As Areoth talked to her, she could tell Erimia disbelieved her. So, she spoke the truth:

"Your curse causes pain to yourself and to others. Pain is M'Lord's specialty. I want to know the secret of this curse. If you help me, I'm sure that in finding how to inflict this curse, we shall also find a way to cure the curse."

Erimia thought long and hard, and perhaps it was the grief prompting for relief, or anger at being abandoned unfairly by her former goddess, or just a whim, but she finally agreed to help Areoth. And thus, through Areoth's connections, she was able to be freed from jail.

One night, during an intensive night of researching Taathian texts, Erimia had fallen asleep. This was the best time for Areoth to act. She grabbed a tiara; magickally enhanced to induce hypnosis upon its wearer, and placed it upon Erimia's head. She spoke the incantation to evoke the tiara's power, and then leaned close to Erimia's ear and whispered:

"Erimia Alora, my dear. You will be open to my suggestion, as you allow the Hypno Tiara to work its magick over you. My suggestion is simple. Whenever you hear me say "Zanaxu," you will recite the following mantra: "By the Lord of Pain, the Great Taath, I impart upon you His gift. Listen to my voice, now His voice, and topple in blissful agony." Do you understand?"

With a confirmation from the subdued Erimia, Areoth removed the tiara from her head. Upon doing so, Erimia awoke. Areoth, careful to keep the tiara from view, suggested that Erimia go rest in the Commons; a place where many people gathered. Maybe, suggested Areoth, the hustle and bustle would invigorate her. Erimia reluctantly agreed and left Areoth to continue investigating. Only, she didn't. Instead, she hid in the shadows and followed Erimia.

Sure enough, Erimia went to the Commons. The Commons was, at the moment, populated by dozens of people, all eagerly bartering, buying, selling, socializing, and debating. A typical night in the Commons. And a perfect opportunity to test her new toy, Areoth thought. So, stealthily, Areoth approached Erimia and whispered softly in her ear, "Zanaxu." On cue, although Erimia had no earlier desire to speak, she opened her voice and said,

"By the Lord of Pain, the Great Taath, I impart upon you His gift. Listen to my voice, now His voice, and topple in blissful agony."

By the time she had finished, people had already covered their ears in pain. But none had died, and so Areoth whispered "Zanaxu" into Erimia's ear again, and again Erimia recited her mantra. This process continued until the dozens, who had only moments before chatted happily, were a laying pile of mutilated corpses. Areoth beamed at her achievement. But if her plan was going to be successful, she had one last thing to do.

Over the next few weeks, Erimia was used in this fashion by Areoth. Areoth had apparently cut off ties from Erimia, claiming to be busy seeking out the one chosen by Taath to replace her. During the ritual slayings that seemed to happen weekly, she was fully conscious as she spoke; yet she knew not why she spoke. It was as if she relived the Amphitheater disaster weekly. She had taken to locking herself up in a hostel room, but even that proved futile. She couldn't seem to escape. She was beginning to lose track of the days. The massacres were starting to blur and she was having trouble separating them. She began to fear she was losing her mind. And she didn't entirely care.

Areoth, in the meantime, was busy getting the items necessary for an ancient, now lost, rituals to summon a demon. Her goal was to summon a demon known for its expertise in deception. The gathering took several weeks to gather, but during those weeks, she made sure to visit Erimia once a week to continue her carnage. Finally, however, the gathering was complete, and she started the summoning ritual. It went off without a problem and, by the end of the night, the deal between her and the Deceiver, had been made. The deal was that in exchange for his services, Areoth would use Erimia to destroy the world. Areoth was ecstatic . . . all her plans were falling into place.

With no success of finding any information on the curse, and after a devastating (for Erimia) massacre of thousands at the City Centennial event, Areoth suggested that it might be prudent for Erimia to go to the Altar of Divinity, where she could pray to all of the Gods of the Pantheon. Perhaps there, one of the Gods would answer her plea. And so, Erimia went. She couldn't remember ever hearing of the Altar's existence, but didn't much question it. She was too consumed with hope for relief. Once there, she sat in the middle of the seven altars, each representing a God of the Pantheon, and began to pray. And she sat and prayed there, praying to each God, for a total of three days. Finally, on the third day, a white light filled the room. Erimia squinted at the source of the light with hope and love, for the source came from the altar of Rinanni. The light eventually faded, and in front of the altar, stood a woman dressed in a white robe. Erimia burst into tears of joy. This was the first time in a time span that seemed forever since she had seen her Goddess. When finally could speak, she asked why she was plagued with this curse, and how to get rid of it. To this, the woman answered,

"My child. The power of your voice is no curse. It is a gift. A gift from Taath. I wish I could help you, but I cannot. Once you came into this gift, you ceased to be my child and began to be his. You are his Chosen, not mine. Thus, I can no longer help you. All I can do now, child, is to fight against your horrible power. I am sorry, child, but this is how it must be."

With this, the woman faded away, leaving a confused and distraught Erimia to think upon the woman's words.

When Erimia returned to the Commons, she found Areoth waiting. Numb, she told Areoth what she was told. Areoth looked at Erimia skeptically, not believing what she was being told. Slowly, however, she began to accept it. Knowing that Erimia could kill her with but a squeak of her voice, Areoth told Erimia that as soon as Taath gave her the sign, she would hand over the role of Inquisitor to Erimia peacefully.

A month went by before such a sign came, and as soon as it did, Areoth stepped down and placed Erimia in the spotlight. Erimia was now numb to most things and events. She obediently did what she was told, no longer caring. Her Goddess had left her, claiming that she was Taath's chosen. She didn't feel gifted. She still felt cursed. She was vehemently disgusted with Taathian practices, but she couldn't reconcile that disgust with the nature of her voice. All signs pointed to her destiny with Taath, yet she felt completely out of place. Even though the many massacres were now blurred into one, and despite the fact that the pain had now numbed her so that she no longer felt pain, she was still horrified at the act. Yet, the fact that she no longer felt pain worried her. Maybe she WAS made for this. Maybe her incessant half-conscious/half-unconscious massacres were actually her subconscious nature coming out. And her conscious self regaled against it. But somewhere...somewhere in the back of her mind, a voice was saying: "Why does it matter?...I'm just so tired..."

A month had passed with Erimia as Inquisitor and the Temple had become the most feared in the land. Areoth was most pleased with her work. Not only had thousands of people come to know the glory of Taath, but Erimia's sanity seemed to be slipping away. No longer did she silently weep after each massacre--massacres that now, thanks to the Hypno Tiara, happened whenever the word "Taath" was spoken. But Areoth knew that even thought Erimia's mind was leaving, her soul still remained. She could sense the sadness coming from Erimia every time someone fled at the mere sight of her. And now that most rational thought had left Erimia's mind, Areoth knew that the next part of her plan might well destroy Erimia's soul. And hopefully, it would. So, she went off to tell the Deceiver to begin Act Two.

A week later, Areoth returned and told Erimia that Taath was upset over an artifact held by a group of Rinannians, cloistered in the foothills and that only the Inquisitor could retrieve it. So, Erimia went to the foothills and eventually found the temple. The priests there looked at Erimia with concern, but didn't seem to be afraid. This was strange to Erimia, but her thoughts had long since become sporadic, and she didn't dwell on the strangeness of the situation long. She soon stood before the artifact, and the strangeness of the situation began to make sense. She recognized the artifact as the fabled Dove of Armistice. This artifact, when used, was said to be able to cause the whole world to stop fighting. Surely it protected the temple from all violence. But, Erimia thought, the Dove of Armistice was always labeled a myth, a legend...something that never existed. However, her thoughts flew away, and she went to take the Dove from its perch. But as she did so, a bright white light flooded the room. When the blinding light faded, there again stood the woman in the white dress. She stood in front of the Dove, as if protecting it.

"Child. I have allowed you to live and be the Lord of Pain's Chosen. I have sat back and seen the pain and destruction to this land that you have given. But I will NOT tolerate you stealing My Dove. I will not allow the destruction it would help cause if it were in the hands of Taath."

The moment the woman said the word "Taath," Erimia began to speak, as the Hypno Tiara had programmed her to do. The priests of the temple didn't seem disturbed, but the woman looked at Erimia sadly. Soon, the priests were running around in confusion. They were feeling pain, and couldn't understand why. Soon, they were dead. But Erimia kept speaking, and soon the temple was beginning to crumble. The woman looked on sadly as the temple around her was slowly reduced to dust. Soon, all that stood was the Dove, the woman, and Erimia. And yet, Erimia continued to speak. But her words formed prose, and she began spouting poetry. At this, the woman flinched. Her look of sadness changed to that of confusion. And as Erimia continued to prose, the look of confusion changed to that of pain.

"Child.... Please stop this..."

The woman begged Erimia as Erimia continued to recite prose. Soon, the woman was down on her knees in agony. The woman screamed in inaudible screams of torment. Erimia's prose, then, briefly, became lyrics, and Erimia briefly began to sing. At this change, the woman, with one last scream, exploded into thousands of ethereal shards. Erimia then stopped speaking, grabbed the Dove, and left. Her face looked entirely empty; her eyes soulless. As she left the scene, she didn't notice that the area around her was now completely devoid of life...all that remained was a patch of barren, brown earth.

Areoth could barely repress her joy when Erimia returned. It looked as if her plan had worked. To test her theory, however, Areoth sent Erimia on another massacre. When Erimia returned, Areoth detected no sadness. Indeed, she detected nothing at all. And she couldn't have been more pleased. And now, the last part of her plan was ripe to be harvested. And so she left, looking for the last item of her all her plans.

Areoth returned a week later and used the Hypno Tiara one last time. While Erimia slept, Areoth placed the Tiara on her head, and recited the lyrics of a song that celebrated life. After she was done reciting it, she gave orders to Erimia:

"When you hear the word, "Zanaxu", you will head to the top of the Tower of Tonax and sing the song I just read to you. You will sing it as loud and as perfectly as you possibly can. And you will sing this sing for the rest of your life."

With this, Areoth removed the Tiara and placed it on her altar to Taath. With a black glow, the Tiara vanished; returning to its rightful owner's possession. With this done, Areoth, too, went to sleep; joyfully and anxiously awaiting the next day.

The next day arrived, and Areoth went out to finalize her plans. She had written a long list of deeds and plans and posted them in the Post Office for all to see. She the found a Psycian, bribed him to send a message at a given time, and then went to find Erimia. In perfect time, as she found Erimia, the Psycian broadcasted the message:

"The true Inquisitor of Taath, Areoth the Torturer wishes all to know that she is responsible for the destruction, pain, and death caused the false Inquisitor, Erimia Alora. All was done for, and by, the Glory of Taath. She also wished to prove this by destroying the world using Erimia's voice."

Before Erimia could turn on Areoth, Areoth spoke the word, "Zanaxu." With this, Erimia lost conscious thought and headed for the Tower of Tonax; the tallest building in the land. Areoth followed her, smirking at the thought that soon, the people who had just now dismissed her warning as idiotic, would know that she had spoken true. After what seemed like an eternity to Areoth, the two soon stood at the top of the Tower, overlooking the entire land. And then, Erimia began to sing.

No sooner had she opened her mouth then the world began to creak and moan. Buildings collapsed under the power of spontaneous earthquakes, floods, and tornadoes. People were soon dropping like flies. Areoth watched with glee, cackling at her success. All her plans had worked out marvelously, and she had managed to spread Taath's word to all in the land. And now, she would spread it to the entire world! But as she watched, she noticed something was wrong. The Secian who had just been impaled by a shard of wood continued to stand, pain still etched in her face. And the Go-blin-al who was just crushed by that statue of Elindale continued to squeal in endless pain. As she looked around, Areoth slowly realized what had happened. Time had stopped. Her confusions was soon replaced by revulsion as shoe noticed a violet star growing bigger, and getting closer, to her and the still-singing Erimia. The light from the violet star soon became blinding, and Areoth was forced to shield her eyes. As soon as the light faded, Areoth opened her eyes and was greeted by the most revolting thing she had ever seen. There, floating in the air ten feet away from Erimia, stood a gorgeous woman in a sparkling violet gown; a dove on her shoulder. She seemed to ignore Areoth's presence, and spoke directly to Erimia:

"My darling child. Long has your curse and torment been used for the pleasure of others. Long has your faith in me undergone severe battering. And long have I been blinded to your pain. I ask for your forgiveness, Daughter. But your remaining faith, as well as the Anger of Another, has allowed me to finally see through the Smoke. Allow me now to end your suffering."

With this, the woman gestured at Erimia, who then ceased to sing. A glowing sphere of violet came out of her mouth and entered into the hands of the woman, who then spoke:

"This instrument, given to you by a creature of pure Evil, who sought only to destroy you, shall be exiled from this place. May it never again, this Voice of Erimia, be found and used to fulfill its purpose."

The woman then threw the sphere a great distance, finally disappearing over the horizon. Areoth saw this and unleashed her rage.

"You slut! You can't do this! That voice belongs to Taath! How dare you ruin my plans! Plans made and done in His name and in His Glory! I will slaughter your entire following of incestuous whoring swine! I will end your filthy existence, you Harlot! All in the name of my Lord!"

And then, as if called by Areoth's rage, a dark unearthly portal opened behind her. Horrible screams of anguish and torture erupted from the portal as a skeletal being arose from it. Such was its features that any who would gaze upon it would instantly go mad. Its body was the personification of all that was pain, torment, and fear. When it spoke, its voice caused even the floating woman to cringe.

"Foolish bag of bile! Did your pea-sized brain truly think that I want this world destroyed? What then would fuel My hunger for Pain? The Abyss!? You incompetent insect! Your actions have angered Me, and thus, now you will feel My Wrath!"

The skeleton rose its hands above its head, as black sphere of energy formed. Before it could unleash the sphere upon Areoth, the woman spoke.

"Dark One. Take not Your anger upon your servant. She is but another victim of the Deceiver. He has corrupted and seduced all of our followers. He is wily and managed to keep us from knowing what was happening. Your righteous anger belongs to him, not to the San woman."

The skeleton stood glaring eyelessly at the woman, pondering her words.

"Very well, Peace Whore. However, its mind has proven weak, and thus it must be destroyed to prevent such deceit from happening again. However weak it has become, it still provided Me with much pleasure. It will be given the proper place in My Realm."

With this, the skeleton flung the black sphere at Areoth, who screamed in pain as her body turned to ash. With this done, the skeleton then slowly dropped back into its portal, which vanished as soon as the crown of its skeletal head was engulfed within it. The woman, however, lingered behind and approached Erimia.

"My Darling. Your torment is over. As I leave, always know that My Love is with you always."

The woman gently touched Erimia's cheek before fading away. As time began its normal flow again, Erimia stood upon the top of the Tower of Tonax, weeping tears of joy.

Erimia spent the rest of her life, cloistered in a small hut deep in the forest. Now longer able to speak, she worshipped Rinanni everyday in silence, both in prayer, and in songs that she wrote. Some of these songs have since become very famous. And then, one day, it is said that every single dove from around the world came and gathered around Erimia's hut. As they stood there, silently, a song began to form. This song was heavenly, unlike any song ever heard before. And as the doves took flight, the song went with them. As the doves scattered, the song as well scattered. It is said that this song was Erimia's soul, and that it took flight as the doves did, for the next day, Erimia was found dead. She lay beneath a statue of Rinanni, a look of great solace, peace, and happiness upon her face.

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