Enderal:The Path, Tome 7: The Kraken

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  • Vyn - Enderal (-1, 17) @ Z: 234.873901
The Kraken
XLVI
Days and weeks had passed, when one day the vassals crossed a dismal sea, with water dark as a raven's feathers. Giant, grey monoliths stretched aloft like spears, and a misty shroud hung over the passage like a veil. Still the vassals remained steadfast, and they had almost passed the fog, when an enormous creature raised itself up from the sea. It had tentacles, thick as wooden logs, and its eyes shone red in the gloom of the night.
XLVII
The monster heaved forward a tentacle and battered it against the ship with all its might. Wood ruptured and the mast broke apart. The vassals screamed with terror, shock, and panic as they realized they had no hope in opposing the creature completely unarmed. This time it was Ketaron who proved his fortitude.
XLVIII
While the tentacles of the creature raged, and fountains of black water erupted from the sea, he walked towards the bow of the ship, close enough to look directly into the eyes of the monstrosity. Selna yelled words of warning, but he ignored her, as he knew what had to be done. For one moment silence reigned as the creature scrutinized its seemingly small opponent with suspicion. It then raised itself from the depths, each tentacle wrapped around one of the monoliths and opened its demonic maw, filled with fangs as long and sharp as fence posts. Bones, planks, and algae fell out, and a rotten stench hit Ketaron. Yet he did not lose heart, nor did he even twitch, for he was filled with his faith in Malphas and the righteous path.
XLIX
And so the monster sprang towards Ketaron, its abysmal jaws fully opened, ready to devour him! For the last time he turned to face his comrades, Malphas' first vassals, and gave them a sad, but certain smile. Suddenly he was engulfed in lightning bolts.
L
White and glaring, they were numerous, and as thunderous as the roar of a hurricane. They flickered around his body, flashing from his fingertips and even from his very eyes. And before Selna or any of their companions could even begin to realize what was happening, he dove into the beast's maw.
LI
How fast the expression of greed and joyful hunger faded from its demonic visage! It shouted out so loudly that it was audible from Kilé to Artkwend, from Qyra to Nehrim. Filled with pain it thrashed about, lashing its tentacles to escape the agony. But it could not, for its fate was decided. And then, after numerous minutes of anguish, it burst like a ceramic jar thrown to the ground. Its flesh was brown, its blood black, and a thousand small pieces rained down on the befuddled vassals and their ship. Barely had the remains of the creature touched the cold darkness of the sea and the wooden surface of the ship when they dissipated. When it was all over, there was no evidence left of the monster's existence, except for the splintered mast — and the disappearance of Ketaron.
LII
Incredulous, unable to comprehend what had occurred, the vassals remained rooted where they stood. Yet it was Selna who had the scales fall from her eyes. And so she stepped in front of her friends and proclaimed with a loud voice:
LIII
“Do not mourn his death, brothers and sisters! He died a hero and saved all of our lives!”
LIV
One of the vassals, an old man, said: “How was he able to summon the storm? Asâtoron and the Aeterna were also able to work these wonders! And their hearts were corrupt! I do not understand, sister Selna! Please explain!”
LV
And Selna responded: “Magic is neither vile nor good! It was bestowed upon us by the gods, and we must decide whether to use it for mischief or for good.”
LVI
Thereupon the old vassal asked: “But what if somebody misuses this gift, like the Aeterna did over all those centuries? Who will judge them righteously, as they are mightier than five dozen soldiers?”
LVII
Now it was Malphas' voice, which resonated from Selna's mouth, godly and illustrious. “They punish themselves! Magic is a trial and a burden, and only the most path-abiding of the faithful will not succumb to it! Those who do will never find their way to the eternal paths, which await those of you who worship me during your lifetime! You shall persecute those wild mages, hunt and bring justice to them, for they endanger the peace of the kingdom which you will build under my aegis!”
LVIII
And once again the vassals recognized truth in the Light-Born's words. Few there were who discovered magic within themselves over the course of the voyage — but those who did unveiled their gift and used it for the welfare of the society, and were not driven by greed and vested interest. For only as a consequence of their comrade's martyrdom, the holy Ketaron, was it possible to continue sailing, for he had slain the demonic beast. And so it happened that this moon came to be known as “The Kraken.”