One decade prior:
At a lonesome village on the outskirts of the known world settled the clan of Heron, a peaceful people, but special: men with wings who could fly to heaven, but for respect of the dragons who lived in heaven, they would never visit. Therefore they made their home on the earth and lived a quiet village life, rarely flying so as not to offend those in heaven.
But villages are never as peaceful as they seem.
For, how does one make someone disappear from the face of the earth?
A tale of Son of Heron, from his youth:
Unfortunate the day which carried low
The soul of winged men, for spoken truth
The son, an ill-regarded seeming foe,
To clan who coldly shunned him to the snow,
The head, his father, listened not to cries,
He listened not to words of truth nor glow
Of light’s revealing words, aspired guise–
In foolish son did darkness only recognize.
Therefore, how does one make someone disappear from the face of the earth? He casts him into insufferable, choking darkness. Surely death is but a friendly companion compared to this fate.
For decade long the soul of Heron’s son,
And Heron’s face, illegible the thought,
Illegible the shadow carried, spun,
The web of tangles, burdens, rhythmic knots
That Hades heaped upon and thorough bought
Away that peace and happiness of life.
En masse, the suffering stampeded hot
‘Til once the judgment of the gods came rife
Upon horizon, come to crush the sin in strife!
Ten thousand fighting men can be seen on the horizon, settling their camps for the night– but they have come to destroy, to wipe the winged men from the face of the earth. They are men from heaven who have come to administer its wrath, since heaven still hated the winged men and despised the very thought of their existence.
The bravest warriors, Heron at head,
Their swords and sabers held in confidence
That only own, their deaths and riddance, shed,
To bodies’ quick obtain extinction hence.
A hundred winged men stood in defense,
And with their blood, their history to scribe
Against ten thousand soldiers, men dispensed
To take the lives of Heron’s only tribe;
For none would e’re remain to live and speak their lives.
“Now all is lost, for surely all is lost!”
And the sound of mother’s crying in the street could be heard
Sobbing for those who were to die on the morning’s first breath,
And of their own deaths which would soon follow, surely before the rooster crowed.
The following morning, the day of the great battle,
Heron stood on a hill, tears fresh dried in his face
Tears for that glorious tribe
Which god had decided to wipe from the earth
But then, he looked upon a mountain far away…
Horizon, dark and muddy, black and maimed–
The sun bursts through like fire of the divine
A man emerges, whitest horse–a flame
Against the silhouette of sun, entwined
A thousand sparkling stars to flow behind,
A trailing robe, the tassels of the king
Or god who dared to strike the throng’s war line.
Upon the horse he swung with might the wings
And sword of Heron’s clan and colors, terror’s sting!
Ten thousand men to turn and see their fate–
For son of Heron and his men had come
And struck from horse as lightning, lances’ gait.
Those god-like warriors were loosed, undone,
Their spears to strike, their lips, an old song, sung,
“Untouchable, the winged men ride swift,
Untouchable, the men of wing do come!
Tornado of the gods, the rumbling shift
Of earthquake’s power; fill with blood the empty rift!”
Then courage took to hundred winged men
Of Heron’s charge, abandoned mere themselves
Into the fray of fear, disorder, sin,
And if he, Heron, thus by hands compelled,
And by the sword, to die, shall face he well
The price for sin. For fearlessness to mend
His scowl, fear dropped like star into ground swell.
For tribe and wing were surely safe from end,
And now against his judgment, own, could he contend.
Then spoke he loud above the cries of pain,
Above the raging sling of steel and spark
Of fighting men who, daunted, yelled insane
The orders which could never more embark
A meaning, heal confusion spread so stark
Among ten thousand, thorough, order gone.
“Oh son, for sin, a covering of bark
Did cloud my eyes. Yet time and age have drawn
Out foolishness of mine; behold the blackened Swan!”
And took to air, chief Heron, spinning broad.
He drew his sword, a scimitar of old
A blade once white with wonder, bright life awed
“With drink and oil of joy and lasting gold
Of spirit–never men could buy. But sold,
this peace of life, and sold, your very soul
To slavery of heart; how time does fold
The woes and sows together flaws in toll,
And for this massacre I must to death enroll!”
–to be continued–