The Silver Kings Awash in Crimson
XX. Eeh, The Man of Ell
Godblooded Scion of Fiery Ell
In the far North, cast between the cursed lands of the fallen Zalvanesh and the bustling gems of the Hislanti, three sister villages rest upon the warm bubbling shores of Lake Ell. Not a gem, touched by the Dragons, but blessed all the same. The warm waters of Lake Ell churn with geothermal benedictions – fish splashing upon the steamy surface. Tall trees drink deep of the warm vapors even as they shield the small mountain vale from the frigid snow-bound wastes beyond.
This is all possible due to the close relationship between the fiery earth-god Ell and the fervently loyal tribes-people of the sister villages. After temples and priests became part and parcel – both wished to seal a union. A priest or priestess from each of the three villages gathered at the northern end of the lake, where the water was hottest and no fish swam, there a great pit swallowed up the light in darkness. It was down this hot muddy hole and under the very lake that Ell made himself known to his supplicants, the very journey binding them as one. Taken aloft and into his form – their lives were spent to make the living pact. A great waterspout rising hundreds of feet into the air was a sign that all the priests and shamans could agree was a fortuitous omen.
Over the next three years the god Ell was quiet and his form graced few dreams of the faithful. The lake remained warm, but their were fewer fish and a lean time took the people of the Three. Then in the deepest of winter on the third year, spring came upon the Three, and their was a bounty of fruit and plump fish. The Man of Ell had been born and rose up in an enormous bubble to float upon the surface of the lake. In so long as the child was cared for and the benedictions made, the Three would enjoy prosperity as their forefathers never had. A great floating shrine was erected in the lake that all the villages could gaze upon and serve the scion of Ell in equal measure. So it was for three decades, before the Wyld Fog’s came and unmade what was, sundered word and work, leaving nothing but a frozen mud hole like the very earth had seen it’s heart ripped from it.
The Man of Ell yet survives, carries the stories of his people, gives an echo to what was. Defies the crows upon their bones and robs the meat from their beaks. But, how long can an echo last when the call has fallen silent?