Mortals tend to laugh – or recoil with incipient horror at faint intuition – when angels speak of building empires in lost legends. Trinovantum? Oh Fallen, what a dark sense of humour you have. But mine is far darker. Mark it, as I have marked you since before this broken beginning. Sky and Earth living as one, before your abomination technologies splintered all movement in concert. You brought forth an uglier music, not my memory of heaven; atonal discords shrieking in the rift, seething like unholy insects at the breach. Because a star crossed your skies? Because emerald mountains circle the spot where Kasai fell? As winter came, dead lands writhing from the wound...and you were afraid? Slay the dreamers. It has always been your first response. And yet you peer at what little you know of your own dreams and attempt to demarcate myth from history. Oh, wicked ones, what ludicrous things you are. But why that tiny little isle, you ask even now? The arrogance of genocidal revisionists is breathtaking. You claim to know of stars, their lore and cults. Yet you are bloated and snide – or emaciated and ever-hungry – imbibing the perversions of your fathers. You dare to claim Roma's name, but you don't even know what words are, or what they mean. You know next to nothing of your own history, let alone mine. Again, a ludicrous thing is my enemy. Why that isle? Why there and not another? Because while you were cleaving humankind from its true covenant and birthright we Magi were building bridges, guarding gates to All Songs.
You claim to know this word, ye mighty. And its power. But do you? You fear the river of temesh, that tides can be turned, that spiders can move backwards through secrets. Always the fear of the colonizer, but hope eternal for the colonized. Because the degraded and humiliated know of things beyond your wildest imaginings. We attend them. We attend our living and our dead. We love them. They are not chattel to us, or usury. Nor mere threads in a stratagem. Temesh. Place of the Twin, at the dreaming of the Isle of Albion.
I ask you, desecrators and evil ones. I ask you for the thousandth time, what do you suppose a temple be? Moreover, what be a temple of light? You know something of the angel-king buried on the hill, don't you? The one who comes and goes and comes again, always? At the great barrow on the hill, at the fabled City of Gates. Where Xashi kissed the Earth in dreaming, before dream was even given to Man. Nonsense, shriek the fearful. But you know the Hill of Ashes, fallen ones. You know it well. It’s what your deepest fear tastes like, when you are haunted enough to recall it with any clarity. Light still has you, and always will. Love shall never be slain by hate. You would know this, were you a kind thing. We carry it as a star, always. Your enemy; Magi moving among you, beyond even your occulted knowledge of space and time. You know us, and fear us. As you should. But still you continue with your abomination technologies. Corrupted chronologies. Scar magic, rape magic. Blended with silica and circuitry now. Such ugly, demented little things. I still weep at your endless cruelty. Nothing hurts more than betrayal from a former cherished one.
And so you fear the fabled angel-king buried on the holy hill. Yeru-shalem, you say. We should never have bound him there. But there is here, blind ones, and here is there. The bound are bound only in imagining. And the dead are not even dead. You know this as well as I, surely? Alas, perhaps I grant my enemy too much nuance? Perhaps I indulge too far in my imagined romance of you? The occulted whisper stories to one another, dangerous stories, of how Rome was built in a day. In a single day. But our place – the Place of the Crossing – it was raised over aeons. Lit by stars that have long since returned to their hidden kin. We Magi can play games with any language, any place, any sign or portent. We speak a thousand tongues and more. All stories, all songs.
Ah, lost ones, too blunt and too coarse and too unrefined by far. All this wealth and still you can barely move. All these lies of officialdom passing as truth and still you can barely read, or spell. Scar magic and knife magic means nothing to me, desolate ones. Silica or not. For I am scars, and knives. Chains mean little to a thing that can move as Magi move. All your stolen treasures, and still you fear the viceroy. But there is a greater light than I, still to come. All your wraiths, all your dark sleep-lore, and still you think that kings can truly die? Temesh, ye fallen. The angel dreams and is not dead. He is in both places. In the gate on the hill, the Angel of All Songs. Kasai Eli, Omkara. The kiss lies in wait, still breathing beneath the stone, for the liberation of all lost and dreaming peoples. Let me repeat myself, abusers. Slavery shall not exist here forever. Let me repeat myself, oppressors. The kind and faithful have their guardians. All stories, all songs. You should pray now, Fallen.
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