The Priest of The Sun

Reads: 554  | Likes: 1  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

The Priest of The Sun
Part One: Awakening
By Lyam Trainor

Part of The Doom of Deities series

This series is part of an idea I had for a TRPG system. The basic idea I got after reading about Dark Sun. I liked the idea of a dark fantasy where the gods were killed by one chaotic evil god who now has free reign to do as he pleases. I was influenced by two main sources: Dark Souls and Exalted.
The souls of the dead gods were shattered into dozens of splinters that hunt down hosts to attempt to regain power. As their host dies they keep a little of what they know as well as the power gained and attempt to find a new host. This idea I got from Exalted but It also serves as a way to make the setting more roguelike as characters die the splinter inhabiting them can find someone new and grant powers to them. The aesthetic I had in my head what closer to Dark Souls with body horror, ruined cities inhabited by demons and undead. As well as the brutality and short life expectancy (hence why the splinters are important.)
I hope you enjoy the first part of the story and feel free to give feedback.?

The Priest of The Sun
Part One: Awakening

By Lyam Trainor

 

Part of The Doom of Deities series

 

This series is part of an idea I had for a TRPG system. The basic idea I got after reading about Dark Sun. I liked the idea of a dark fantasy where the gods were killed by one chaotic evil god who now has free reign to do as he pleases. I was influenced by two main sources: Dark Souls and Exalted.

The souls of the dead gods were shattered into dozens of splinters that hunt down hosts to attempt to regain power. As their host dies they keep a little of what they know as well as the power gained and attempt to find a new host. This idea I got from Exalted but It also serves as a way to make the setting more roguelike as characters die the splinter inhabiting them can find someone new and grant powers to them. The aesthetic I had in my head what closer to Dark Souls with body horror, ruined cities inhabited by demons and undead. As well as the brutality and short life expectancy (hence why the splinters are important.)

I hope you enjoy the first part of the story and feel free to give feedback.

***

The Priest walked up the desecrated shine and overlooked over the city. Not that long ago the sight would have filled him with relief and renewed his religious vigour after complete the yearly pilgrimage by foot. Now it fills him with disappear and makes him question his entire life but he didn’t have a right to complain after all the sundering did this to everyone.

He held a small golden idol, it was a circular disk with a stylised sun engraved on it. The shine had the same symbol on the altar and once had it above the shine but now that rested in the mud. The icons and the shine itself were defiled symbols of eyes. The sacrilege brought tears to his eyes but there was nothing he could do about it.

He kneeled in front of the shine and prayed like he had done dozens of times before, he knew that his prayers would go unanswered; unheard but he did so anyway. Was it hope? Hope that his goodness was still out there? Or was it just a habit? Something he had done every year for half a century? Did it really matter?

***

It searched, what for? It could not remember it thought it had found what it was looking for but it could not remember that too? What was it? There was so much it had forgotten but still, it searched for what it needed.

***

He stayed at the shine for an hour performing the rituals that were all too familiar to him, it was calming in this chaotic world. Once he was done he looked out onto the city he once called home. It was a large city once the home of a million souls. The city was now split into many small sections as chasms and cliffs shattered the scene into a chaotic mosaic. Eye symbols were everywhere, carved into buildings, and cliffs, buildings were carefully demolished to form eye patterns; they formed like scars.

He didn’t know what to expect but he didn’t expect this level of destruction and defilement. Ozymandias’ arrival truly changed everything.

He finished praying and continued down the road towards the city.

After around an hour, he came to The Meandering Inn. The inn was far enough from the city to feel remote but close enough to benefit from its protection and trade. Although it sat half-ruined a small number of tents had been erected around it and a palisade was constructed.

He stood and watched the few men and women walking around and doing the various tasks that must be done to keep a society functioning. One could almost call it all normal. He moved to the main road and started to approach the Inn.

A pike-man bounced off the palisade and approached the priest: weapon at the ready.

“Holt!” he commanded; this caused a few of the people in the camp to reach for weapons and look towards the priest.

The priest stopped and opened his robe and threw his sword and dagger on to the ground. “Don’t fret my friends. I will not belong, I have someone to find.”

The guard stayed firm “You sound nice but we have all been fooled before.” He pointed his spear to a small hut outside the gate. “In there sir”

The priest nodded and did as the pikeman asked.

The stiff door required him to shoulder barge it to move. His nose and eyes burned as the stale air assaulted them. He doubled over coughing, he was barely able to look around the room before he was clubbed over the head.

***

It felt as if it was leaving something it looked around and say a woman getting torn apart by people missing eyes. It continued on looking for whatever it was it needed to find. It had some idea of what it was or did it really? It was a fragment of the reflection of the light if that makes sense, does it matter?

It continued on and maybe someday it would find it whatever it was.

***

His head spun and weighed a million pounds, his nose was clogged, and his lungs still burned. He looked around and saw that he was alone in a small room. A chain was tied around his wrists and ankles. The floor was packed dirt with the occasional straw of hay. An orange light peered through the door as the sunset.

Blood was splattered over the walls and floors. He couldn’t really focus on any particular part of the small prison.

He was blinded when the door opened and a figure walked in and placed something on the floor in front of him. As his sight started to return the figure left and the door closed. After a minute he was able to see the tray of food; a chunk of flatbread and a piece of cheese. He hesitantly took picked up the food.

Nothing looked wrong with the food, and that was the problem. He had travelled the lands for a while since the extirpation and all farms had been destroyed and the earth salted and livestock had been long ago eaten, but this all looked fresh.

He took a little nibble, it seemed to taste fine. His teeth hurt as he chewed but his hunger started to overwhelm him and finished every scrap of food on the plate. He leaned back against the wall and sighed. His head started to calm and he drifted to sleep.

He felt as if he had only just closed his eyes before being awoken by a pale of water to the face.

“Why are you here?” A stern feminine voice asked

He blinked “I was ... arrh…” a shot of tense burning pain went up his face. “… Passing through to the city”

There was an audible snort “Why would you want to go there? There is nothing pain in that place.”

“Because I need answers…” he jerked and had a fit of coughing “I need to know… If anyone survived... If anything remained.”

She laughed; it was a forced and condescending laugh that made the priests heart sink. “There is nothing there! If anyone survived the city and HIS presence drove them mad! There is no escape from that place.” She resumed her laughter.

“It… doesn’t matter…” he breathing was tight and his throat was clogged “I have to look anyway”

“Well, you are either brave or incredibly stupid.”

“Likely both… to be honest they are mostly the same” he smiles as best as he could, ignoring the pain.

She leaned down in front of him, allowing him to more clearly see her face. She was middle-aged with a large scar along the length of the left side of her face. Her eyes were a deep chocolate brown and her hair was raven black and tied back into a bun. She wore a large dark cloak over a set of gambeson, an arming sword hanging at her hip.

“Well. You may be right there. I’ll tell you what we will do, we will drop you off outside the city’s main gate and give you your shit back if you promise not to…” She was interrupted by a knock at the door.

A young man peeked his head through the door. “Ah, we have a problem.”

She turned and nodded to him. She left him alone as the encroaching darkness of night enveloped the prison.

It raised from the depths and reproached land. So that wasn’t it either: shame.

It would have to keep on searching then.

It took a few cycles before arriving at a city by the shore. It looked like a shattered plate. Like many different towns on a set of oddly shaped and elevated plateaus. The docks dangled in the air above the harbour. Human’s, that’s what they were called it finally remembered that, were funny creatures. Or was it them who did this, it remembers that there more than just humans but not what they were called, maybe it was one of the others.

It few through the chasms of the broken city as it looked for whatever it was looking for.

There was an explosion of magic from behind the priest. He was thrown forward as the wall collapsed in on him. He pushed himself up from the wreak and wiped the blood off his forehead. The bindings hanged from his wrists.

He turned to see a teal flame dancing mid-air.

“By the light!”

He dashed into the door and proceeded to stumble away from the shack. Bodies littered the road. Some wore gambeson with sallets or kettle helmets. Others were naked or nearly naked with eldritch runes carved into their flesh: all of them missing an eye.

The shack erupted into flames. The Priest picked a sallet, a spear, and a hand axe from a dead guard. The gates had been sealed shut but the sounds of battle still raged inside. The priest started to walk around the defensive perimeter.

He arrived at the gate on the city side of the Inn; it was hanging open. The defenders had erected a makeshift barrier to help them fight off the cultists but it seemed that the line would break beneath the mass of bodies being pressed against it.

The priest turned away from the Inn and started to walk to the city. What good would getting himself killed do? They did, after all, beat him.

***

It flew out of the canons and gazed over the city. Small fires were sprinkled across it, mirroring the stars above them. Stylised eyes were carved into almost all buildings or hanged from large banners. On some of the plateaus, these banners did not hang and no fires burned, but these were rare. It wondered why this was the case but it stopped thinking about it once it was out of the city and following a path the humans had carved into the land.

Was that it? Did it finally find what it was looking for? In a small city made of dead trees and fire, a man stood fighting a horde of other men. Was this the one?

***

Why did he turn back? It’s not like he owed them anything and after how they treated him he should have just left them to their fate but at the same time he could understand why they acted the way they did, caution saves lives in a world like this.

He rammed his spear into a cultist as another jumped at him from the left. He leapt to the right and used his spear to throw the impaled cultist into the one he just dodged. They both tumbled to the floor ripping the spear from his hands. He drew his sword and swung it into the neck of the second cultist. The one impaled started to stand but was cut down by a strike across the head. He yanked the spear out just in time to intercept a third cultist.

The third cultist jumped back as The Priest trust the spear at her. He trusts again while bringing the sword down in an overhead strike. She was able to slap aside the spear with her club as the sword crashed into her collarbone. He pulled the spear back and rammed it through her breast.

Now he had caught the attention of four more cultists.

“ahh light have mercy” He muttered as he pulled back into a nearby doorway.

It moved towards him as he pulled into a doorway and merged itself with his soul.

They were now one.

He shed light as he felt an inferno rise within him. He just knew that he could do what he could before the sundering. He felt as though the goddess was back and had blessed him but it was not quite right. He reached out into the divine and muttered a familiar prayer. He offered part of his life as payment.

Searing light erupted from his hands.

The cultists' flesh crumbled to ash as the holy light incinerated them. His blood started to boil in the rush of power that unleashing raw arcana brings.

Blood started to drip from his nose.

Maybe not a good idea while in his state but it was effective.

Everyone in the compound turned to see what was going on: for better or for worse.

After a lull in the combat, the cultists all charged the priest; all of them. The priest slammed the door and jumped through a window in the back of the room. He stumbled to his feet and bad his way around towards the defenders.

He made some ground before the cultists made it into the room and follow him. A cultist crashed into him from an alleyway. The Priest struggled on the ground: the cultists started to catch up.

The cultist’s knife was only inches from his face as they wrestled.

An arrow took the cultist in the neck. The priest turned to see one of the defenders running towards him as another loosed arrows into the cultists.

“What was that?” A mixed tone of excitement and concern coming from the young man.

“It was magic.” He gave him a quant smile as he was helped to his feet.

“You’re a wizard? Can you teach me?” The excitement only grew in his voice.

“Unfortunately not.” The excitement on the boy’s face faded. It wasn’t a lie he wasn’t a wizard but he could have taught the rituals to cast powers granted by the gods but the gods were dead and The Priest was unsure how he could cast spells.

They made it back to the barricade with a few archers and crossbowmen firing onto the cultists as the pikemen were crouched on the ground: bracing for the cultists to crash into them. They parted as The Priest and The Boy approached.

He was placed next to the wall of the inn as The Boy ran inside. The Priest grabbed a nearby cloth and tore a small piece off to plug his nose and used the rest to wipe down his face.

The women from before came out. She placed one hand on a sabre on her hip and the other held a buckler.

“I am surprised that you survived…” she squatted and looked him in the eye “but I am more surprised that you were a wizard.”

“To be honest, I was surprised when I could pull that off.” He released a nervous chuckle.

She raised an eyebrow “Do you think you can do that again? I would rather not bury any more of my own then I need too.”

“I can definitely try”

He stumbled to his feet and walked over to the barricade and rested on a wall. He would need something big, something more deliberate, then what he did before. He looked around and saw bats flying in the sky. He had an idea.

The Priest walked up to The Innkeeper “Did you happen to have some form of alchemist here?”

She shook her head “No, but we have scavenged a large number of things from raided caravans and dead travellers. You may be able to find what you need in here.”

He followed her inside. The main room of the inn had been divided into partitions by blankets and sheets. She took him into a basement hidden in a small hallway behind the bar. The whole basement was filled wall to wall with various items. He quickly scanned the room and saw what he wanted. He reached out and grabbed the yellow chalky rocks and a small bowl filled with a brown powder.

He moved as quickly as he could to the second story and looked out at the battle below the defenders had pulled back and had formed a pike square outside the cultists were, fortunately, still stuck in the one road leading to the inn. This would be easy.

He pinched the sulphur and guano together in his fingers and whispered a prey to the Sun Goddess and flicked the powder towards the cultists. A streak of radiant light shot forth to the cultists. There was a sudden explosion as the fires ball consumed a large portion of the cultists. The Priest wasted no time as he cast another fireball into the now stunned cultists; eliminating the vast majority.

The defenders rushed forward and ran through the last cultists in the compound.

He turned to the bed next to him and collapsed. Maybe tomorrow he could begin to hope again


Submitted: February 01, 2020

© Copyright 2022 Lyam Trainor. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

More Fantasy Short Stories

Other Content by Lyam Trainor

Short Story / Fantasy

Short Story / Fantasy

Short Story / Fantasy