Birth of the Saviour

The Second Coming, Coming to a Mount Near You

The Faithful Converge

As Midsummer Day nears from across the world the faithful begin to arrive. Legions of people; the poor, the nobles, the great and the good pour from every country and every faith. The Catholics come in a mass pilgrimage lead by His Holiness Peter II. At the front of the great throng walks the Pope in simple robes of white; he is surrounded by a faint radiance and he seems to walk upon the air itself, the dust and dirt of desert turned away from him as he proceeds. The Muslims come led by the woman Maha; she radiates an aura of power and the sands of the Holy Land dance around her as she walks, glittering with prismatic sparkles. From the north arrive the Orthodox Christians at their head rides the Knight Pyotr and as they process through the kingdoms of Georgia and Byzantium many join in the pilgrimage. Within the Holy Land itself the newly arrived Jews begin to flock to the slopes of the temple mount lead by their prophet Joshua ben Isaac. Joining them come the common folk of the Kingdom of Jerusalem; the beggars, prostitutes, thieves and rag pickers lead by their King, Rudyard. The monk Donatien brings others; Christian men and women from around the Levant who follow him to the temple mount despite their horror at seeing the arrival of the Muslims.

Never has there been a mass migration of people like this in the history of the world and as the great pilgrimages converge hundreds of thousands of people of all faiths start to fill the Holy Land. Around Jerusalem itself massive camps begin to form outside the city walls and every inn, spare room and manger is filled with a pilgrim from one of the faiths. Amongst the pilgrims move the forces of the Order of Magdalene; they ensure that all are guided to their proper place and that sanctuary and shelter is found for all. Furthermore Michael of Bethlehem personally ensures that each of the leaders of the different religions is guarded at all times and kept from harm.

With so many from different faiths present in the city it seems that the simmering religious tensions that have boiled beneath the surface for so long will erupt. Some of the military Orders, deeply unhappy with the influx of Jews to the Kingdom, are beginning to act increasing belligerently towards the pilgrims. However their attempts to create trouble are rapidly quashed by the Privy Council. Getan de Reys himself rides to the central square of Jerusalem to deliver a proclamation from King Baldwin. Before a crowd of thousands Getan unrolls the scroll and delivers it to the masses in a masterful piece of oratory.

“Good people of Jerusalem. There have been many dramatic changes in our Kingdom over the past years; upheavals, wars and calamities. We have stood against them all however, united in our love for this land and the God who we know watches over us. Now our Kingdom stands at peace and though we may have conquered this land with mace and sword; we shall win it piety and love. Let all peoples and faiths know that they are welcome with the Kingdom of Jerusalem and they may worship without fear of reprisal or hindrance. No longer shall intolerance or hatred reign over this most Holy of Lands and all of God’s Children shall be welcome here.”

With this proclamation the support for the xenophobes in the holy Land evaporates, the few lone radicals who do attempt to cause trouble are quickly arrested by Philip of Jerusalem to ensure that they can cause no harm to any of the pilgrims. Among the common folk the monk Friar Gregory moves sowing the seeds of peace. In the markets and plazas of Jerusalem he leads people in prayer asking them to beseech God for the different faiths to come together as one and turn their backs on religious intolerance. The combined efforts of the people in Jerusalem succeed and the tensions within the Holy Land melt away. The pilgrims seem to sense this and amongst the camps and shanty towns Muslims and Christian alike begin to approach each other and talk, as best they can, without violence or vitriol.

A Land of Darkness, as Darkness Itself

Mortal interference in the great pilgrimage seems to have been averted and as midsummer day approaches the huge swathes of people around the city and the temple mount swell even further, so that Jerusalem floats in a sea of people.

A mere five-day before midsummer’s day Queen Alix’s child is born and the sun falls beneath the horizon for the last time and does not rise again. Where once dawn should have risen only a pervading darkness remains that hangs over the Holy Land like a great shadow. As the people realise that the light of day has forsaken them panic begins to spread amongst the pilgrims and many cower in fear beneath the black sky or fall to their knees in desperate prayer.

The first great blow comes as the supplies need to feed the faithful begin to disappear. In the Jewish farms that cover the Holy Land feculent vermin of every sort begin to appear. Huge grey slugs, sickly yellow toads, black locust and festering maggots emerge from every slimy pool and dark place. Their numbers are countless and their appetite infinite; they flow onto the farms and stores and begin to feast, consuming all in their path. Every attempt to stop them appears in vain and the caravans of food to the great camps of pilgrims begin to dry up. The people begin to go hungry but their faith seems to endure as the great religious leaders; Peter II, Josuhua and Maha, move among them. Though they are hungry the pilgrims do not leave. The Al-naziah clan do much to ensure that enough basic supplies are provided and Siddig and Rasha organise the clans caravans to make sure that people have access to water and bread.

On the second day of the darkness madness begins to sweep across the camps, leaping from person to person like a plague. With spasm and wilds cries people begin to dance; a crooked jig of angles and grimaces. The victims seem helpless to resist and they dance without break; their feet made bloody and raw with the effort of macabre frivolity. As the madness spreads so does the fear but father Gregory and his monks move through the throngs tending to those afflicted and easing their suffering as best they can. Still the faithful endure and the pilgrims do not flee.

On the third day the ground moves beneath the feet of the assembled masses and the ants of the desert flow forth. In swirling symmetrical patterns the ants move across the camps biting and stinging those in their path. People scream as ants swarm across them and begin to flee, those that fall tumble in pools of seething, chittering mandibles that scourge the flesh from their bones. As people wail and attempt to escape to higher ground above the pandemonium a great light appears; the man Jacob with wings of searing white spread behind him. A trillion glittering insectoid eyes gaze up at the brilliance as the pilgrims are forgotten. The armies of ants stream toward each other merging and congealing into a great mass of chitinous flesh. Like some great monster it rises, its body of strangely symmetrical patterns and structures composed entirely of the black ants. However even as the monstrous behemoth rises Jacob strikes into the very heart of it like a bolt of silver lightning and the things shudders and collapses; everyone of the insect multitude scuttling away to the safety of the desert floor.

On the fourth day of the darkness the air is filled with the cry of Prophets. They speak in garbled riddles of terrible gods who would break creation beneath their fell heels. They cry about the sin of Christ and the falsity of Muhammad. In every language they speak and to every faith they appeal with their malevolent prayers, about them great crowds form as the faith of the pilgrims is tested by the dark words of these doomsayers. Once more the leaders of the true faiths strike back with sermons and prayers of their own. Pope Peter stands upon the waters of Pool of Siloam and speaks of the compassion of the Jesus, while Joshua delivers a sermon on the trials of the faithful; his voice seeming to be anathema to the doomsayers who wail as its words strike against them.

The Prophets Assemble

On midsummer’s day the shadows hang heavy over Jerusalem. The Pilgrims are starving and the cold stars that hang continuously above them begin to weigh heavily on their spirits. Preceptor Abelard walks amongst the Christians and begins a sermon in which he decries the plagues as juts punishment against those who have allowed heretics and heathens to come to the Holy Land. Around him many of the remaining extremists aggregate and a crowd of angry and scared believers forms. With them Abelard moves towards the temple mount. Michael of Bethlehem keen to ensure that no trouble breaks out sends out his troops into the camps but rather then use force or the sword his men speak of the great event to come of the importance of cooperation and enduring faith and in doing so they do much to prevent the discord from spreading or the fear from taking hold.

Atop the temple mount, within the titanic temple that sits upon its summit, the leaders of the faiths meet for the great act with which they hope to bring together the religions of the world. Now assembled the Pope, Maha, Joshua and Pytor look to the monk Brother Ambrose, in his simple brown robe, and with a bow of his head he falls to his knees in prayer. Although silent the prayer seems to fill the vast courtyard of the temple, its silent intonations reverberating off the pillars and archways. Around Ambrose a luminescence begins to grow, a white halo of the light that swells in magnitude, until at last with the final word of his benediction the sky above erupts into brilliance.

The Host Appears

Above the Mount, the air seems to unfold itself, and a great blinding light spills across the gaping onlookers. A great celestial gate appears and swings open - behind it are huge solemn figures, bathed in white, armoured in glittering metal, and borne by vast and expansive pure-white wings. They step froward into the air and the light they cast is brighter even than the midsummer sun.

Standing in the middle, the tallest figure spreads his wings and opens his mouth, and issuing out comes a beautiful sound as if of a choir singing the words. Each person witnessing this hears the voice in their native tongue.

“Hear me, servants of the Most High. Hear me, sons of Adam and daughters of Eve. Hear me, Creation. I am Gabriel, the Messenger.”

The words thunder out over those present. Awed and cowering, the crowd falls deathly silent as the Archangel continues.

“I am sent to speak, for the time is right. Finally those that were broken apart have been brought together; and the line of David has come to an end. I am to reveal the Fourth Covenant.”

He lowers himself until he appears to stand upon the Temple. “The first was that given to the Children of Israel, the Law and the Promise. But the Adversary interfered.” He alights atop the Cathedral spire. “The second was through the Word and was given to all the world. But the world did not listen, and the World rejected the Word.” He hovers over the Mosque. “The third was through the Prophet, to restore the ways of Truth, but too deeply was the world split by hate and lies.”

The angel seems to walk down in the air towards the assembled throng. In fact, it is walking with a purpose towards a small group of people surrounding Queen Alix, baby in her arms. It stops before her as she stands astonished, and kneels.

“The Fourth Covenant will be made with the world reunited in faith. The last of the line of David has come to the world and he shall finally restore Creation, banish Sin and defeat Death.”

A radiant glow descends from the skies and surrounds the child, filling the onlookers with warmth and purity.

“And this child shall be known as God With Us, and he shall be the Messiah of all of Creation, the Holy One, and he shall represent the Last Covenant which shall be held above all those that came before.”

The angel rises once more above the crowd.

“But the End is near. Creation stands in the balance and War is upon us. All will fight on one side or the other; the Ancient horror of the Elder Ones has once again focused its baleful gaze on the world. We shall drive them back into the abyssal darkness beyond and the Kingdom of Heaven in the company of the Most High shall be with us. I tell you now; this promise is for all the peoples of Creation. And all the peoples of Creation shall be judged, and Death itself shall be slain.”

There is another pause.

“This is the will of the Almighty. Thus it has been said, and those who have listened have listened.”

The angel rejoins the host at the Gate. There is a blinding flash of light, and then nothing. The crowd stand silent, shocked and awed.

The King of Kings

The Angel is gone but the unnatural darkness is banished and all around the temple mount a whispering begins that terrible plagues sent against the faithful have been ended. People fall to their knees in prayer or begin to weep great tears of Joy. Muslim and Christian hug each other as brothers; many past hatreds and grievances are forgotten as the majesty of the occasion becomes apparent. At the walls of the temple preceptor Abelard collapses to his knees and call for atonement for god for his past intolerance and seeing this the angry mob that followed him also kneel, their past sins revealed to them.

Within the temple Queen Alix holds her Babe, a faint radiance still encircling the child. To the child come each of the wardens of the faiths. Maha reaches out blesses the child in the name of Allah. Pope Peter springs water upon the child’s brow. Joshua ben Isaac takes a vial of oil from his robes and anoints the child head with it. After this he raises the staff he carries and holds it over the child saying;

“The Jews do hereby swear are allegiance to the line of Baldwin, the line of David, the Messiah and do grant to him our devotion and protection.”

Above the child spectre appears, seemingly composed of the faintest smokey outline, huge black wings extend behind it and its face is covered by a cowl of the deepest blue. In one hand it carries a scythe and in the other a sword of silver. As the onlookers gape the Angel of Death raises it Scythe in a protective motion over the tiny child and as it does so seems to fade from existence, though all are left with the impression that in some way the figure still stands guard over the young prince.

The One Faith

All over the world news of the Miracle spreads. The news that the fourth covenant has been forged has a huge impact in all the major centres of faith and although some would deny it the majesty of spectacle and the multitude who witnessed it ensure that the message is carried far and wide: The Messiah is born and shall stand against the forces of Darkness.

news/bm/saviour.txt · Last modified: 2009/10/12 19:33 by oliver
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