The Dark Dance Begins

Timothy S. Boucher
Sep 19, 2018 · 3 min read

TThe first people of Quatria to welcome the three stranded Pentarch sailors were children playing on the beaches near the docks of Elum. The small Pentarch fishing vessel sat in a few feet of turquoise water when they arrived, and the children swam out to it. The sailors greeted them, bewildered still from the storm-at-sea they suffered and from the shock of their arrival on these strange shores. Heeding the insistent beckoning of the children of Elum, the sailors pulled their boat ashore, and followed the children back to the docks. Upon arriving there, the children quickly vanished, leaving the sailors alone again for a time.

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At length, a lone figure appeared, clad in the dark cloak of his Order. He approached the sailors who had been waiting there since the children disappeared. He stopped a few feet from them, and held up his left hand, palm open before them in ritual greeting. The sailors did likewise, and one cleared his throat to speak in his own language.

“Good sir, we have landed on these shores, of which we have no knowledge. What land is this?”

The cloaked figure touched a small ornate disk of metalwork below his throat, which acted as brooch and clasp for his garment, and insignia of his rank. An arch between two columns, surmounted by solar disk, and the two crossed paths signifying Clarity and Confusion, all under the wings of Silence.

The sailors looked one to the other, none recognizing these symbols, nor the authority of this costume, though they sensed the gravity of the presence of their bearer.

The cloaked figure held up again his left hand, palm out, purposefully tucked in the thumb, and splayed the remaining four fingers wide. His right hand came up, palm over the top of the other in confirmation, right elbow thrust out in front of his body. He crouched, right arm coming to rest on his knees, and the left dropping heavy to touch the earth. Then he stood back up, letting both arms come to rest naturally at their sides.

The Pentarch sailors looked again at each other for a long silent moment, until Benda, the self-elected leader faced the figure, lifting up his left hand in imitation. Instead of folding the thumb in, however, he folded down the four fingers, and left his thumb jutting out. With the index finger of his ring hand, he touched his thumb, and then pointed off in the distance over the horizon.

“We are the fifth, and come from over the sea,” he said aloud. “Our legends speak of these lands, though none living now have voyaged here. Our people were once great friends and allies.”

The cloaked figure pressed his palms together as in prayer, nodded once, and then crossed his arms in an X in front of his body, hands balled into fists.

“Until the bond was broken,” Benda said, recalling to mind tales heard in his youth of ancient far away Quastria.

He paused a moment, adding, “Let, then, the bond be forged anew between our peoples. We pledge ourselves, within our capacities, in service of this mutual good.” He looked then at the other two sailors, Tendar the tall, and Ofend the round. Each nodded once in agreement.

The cloaked figure held up both hands, palm out, then pressed them together again and bowed low from the waist.

Thus the bond which had been sundered began anew, though the true test of its strength was yet to come. And as the Listeners of Temple Mount received the news from the bell-ringers of Elum below, the High Augur gave the signal for the Dark Dance Cycle to begin.

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Quatrian Folkways

Legends, Folklore, and History of Ancient Quatria and the…

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