The Unholy Emanations
T h e U n h o l y E m a n a t i o n s
"...the Herald of Transformation shall find what he seeks and usher the World
into a New Age"
As Atropoâ€™s voice slowly faded off, Lachesis and Clotho stepped forward to
examine the threads of the Tapestry of Life that she had woven together.
Lachesis ran her fingers down the blackened area on the loom, as if to confirm
what she had heard, and then tapped them against the Tapestry thoughtfully.
Clenching her nimble fingers on a pair of glittering scissors, Lachesis grasped
her shoulder firmly and they both took a few steps back to join Atropos.
Cloaked in shadows a male figure, bent forward and listening intently, was
sitting further behind them. Once the prophecy had been revealed he leaned
back, attempting to look casual, and began to study the Three Sisters who
looked unusually excited now and were exchanging fervent whispers. After a good
moment Clotho broke the standstill and looked behind her at the man. She gave
him a long, measuring stare of her pale blue eyes and then, having taken a
glance at his hands, turned back. Apparently having reached some silent
conclusion she urged her Sisters to return to their duties lest the threads go
astray without their guidance.
The man remained seated, the dim light rendering his features unreadable but
for a shape defined by shadows. He rubbed his chin thoughtfully and then froze
completely with his hand in midair, pondering the words of the prophecy. Many
new possibilities opened up before him thanks to what he had just witnessed and
he had to judge their worth, weigh up the odds and make a fitting decision.
From afar the emotionless voices of the Three Sisters, as they judged fate of
some praying soul, could be heard. They did not distract him, his thoughts
flowed smoothly but for a nagging feeling at the back of his mind that floated
out of subconsciousness, a feeling that something was not right. Alerted, he
snapped out of his meditation and slowly scanned the surroundings.
And there it was, the source of the disruption slinking like a shadow by the
back wall of the room. Noticing he had been spotted, the shadow halted and
turned its form towards the onlooker. The two examined each other for a moment
in silence and then a hint of a smirk passed the shadowâ€™s face or perhaps it
was just a play of the shadows.
As the figure melted back into the darkness and slunk away, Baalphegar rested
his chin upon his cupped hand and, smiling absent-mindedly, pondered yet few
more possibilities that revealed themselves due to Lord of Compassionâ€™s
appearance. The pieces of his vaguely sketched out plan have just gained
substance and were falling right into place.
"And when this opportunity presents itself,
all desires will be laid bare in face of it.
Blinded shall be those with unsated hungers,
their avarice manifested..."
"Glory be to the Peacemaker!" the guards shouted in perfect unison with their
Commander as his audience with King Gorgaliel came to an end.
"Be well and true," replied the King emphasizing every word, his voice
resounding throughout the Audience Chamber.
The Commander bowed once again and backed away a little before turning around
and marching with his escort out of the room. Once the clinking of full-plates,
weapons and shields faded off at a distance the heralds were quick to form a
line on both sides of the finely-ornamented door to announce another guest.
They were interrupted by sudden fanfare and a flash of multi-coloured light as
Lord Luciphage materialized amidst the chamber and inclined his head regally to
the King. Used to such a turn of events, yet still slightly baffled each time,
the heralds promptly hurried out of the room closing the door behind them.
Silence fell upon the chamber and the remains of light flickering around
Luciphageâ€™s form faded. Gorgaliel grew stiff on the throne, his regal and
compassionate expression vanishing to be replaced with a stone-like mask.
"What news you bring, Lord of Compassion?" boomed Gorgaliel leaning back on the
throne, expecting yet another of his dull reports.
"News of a grand opportunity, my King. An opportunity the scope of which is
beyond mere words," he replied looking up at Gorgaliel with gaze conveying pure
interest and kindness.
The King tilted his head eagerly but Luciphage said no more. Instead, walking
up to the throne, he pulled out a scroll from thin air dramatically and offered
it to him. Interest well-sparked, Gorgaliel grasped the scroll and sunk back
into the throne devouring its contents.
Luciphage froze with one leg few steps up the throne dais and bent forwards a
little, observing the King intently through narrowed eyes glowing like two
black fires. As Gorgaliel was making his way down the scroll, his facial
expression was changing like in a kaleidoscope â€" surprise, slyness, concern,
anger and shock were only few of the emotions.
Slightly amused at this sudden display Luciphage interrupted with feigned
concern, "I brought it as fast as I obtained it, my King, can you turn this
situation to your advantage still?"
"Of course!" Gorgaliel replied hastily and then sealed his lips together in a
tight line, fighting to regain composure. His features mastered, he looked down
coolly on Luciphage who was still half away up the dais looking at him with
reverence, ready to serve his King.
"Of course," he repeated calmly. "However, things will have to be arranged
without delay. Listen carefully..."
And Luciphage listened dutifully, nodding with approval, giving advice and
taking notes as Gorgaliel unveiled his plan. When they were done, Luciphage
vanished in a colourful flash of light amongst a clamour of another fanfare,
signalling the end of the audience for the heraldsâ€™ benefit. Smiling
benevolently Gorgaliel welcomed them back into the chamber and signalled for
one to send for Lord Ashtorath. As he rushed out of the room and one of the
others was preparing to announce another person for an audience, Gorgaliel was
musing silently over the new-gained information.
He was pleased with Luciphageâ€™s service, especially his formidable diplomatic
skills and his compassionate gestures. Then he chuckled quietly under his breath
as he thought of his artistic talents as well. The poem he wrote for Nifilhema
on his behalf was indeed exquisite and earned him a lot of credit with the
Queen. Content to have entrusted Luciphage with those important tasks, he
smiled radiantly at those gathered before him and shook off an annoying tiny
spider climbing up his hand before speaking.
"...and beware the predators in white gloves
for they shall craft schemes
and weave threads of their own mind."
A handsome, elegantly dressed man was crossing the hallway with long steps.
There was no hurry in his stride; rather such style was inherent to him. He was
moving purposefully forth without a shade of focus in all but his eyes which
were scanning the area in a hawk-like manner. He was just crossing by an alcove
separated from the corridor by a half-pulled, white velvet drape, when he felt
his whole body bristle against his will. He halted, suddenly tense, quickly
localizing the source of his anxiety.
He strode into the alcove, pulled the drape behind him and slumped onto a couch
in a careless, relaxed manner. As he suspected, Luciphage was sitting in front
of him waiting, his lips forming a disturbing, coy smile. Maintaining an
undisturbed appearance he regarded him suspiciously and wary as Luciphage was
always making him a touch uneasy. With Baalphegar you at least knew all he was
interested in was knowledge for knowledgeâ€™s sake. Gorgaliel was easier to
read than a book and Nifilhema... ahh Nifilhema. But Luciphage was different.
He remained silent, waiting for Luciphage to get over with his dramatics and to
finally say what he wanted. He somehow knew it has to be tied with Gorgalielâ€™s
sudden summons and it disturbed him that Luciphage arranged for a private,
secret meeting because of it. Finally, Luciphage leaned forward and made an
off-handily gesture in direction of the drapes, sealing the two away from any
too curious Shallamarians.
"The Fates have revealed a curious prophecy, Ashtorath, I do not suppose
youâ€™d have heard of it?" he stated matter-of-factly sending Ashtorath a
"No, I did not. I do not concern myself with their babble. Cut to the chase,
Luciphage, I do not enjoy your games!" Ashtorath spat all too annoyed at the
"Ah yes, you do not, do you. Well I will save you the details then, suffice to
say a great opportunity to grow in strength has presented itself which..."
Luciphage made a dramatic pause "accidentally happens to also ensure that she
who you so adore would be all yours, and yours alone."
Ashtorath stared at him for a moment, licking his lips and weighing his next
words, "What do you mean mine alone? She... How?"
"I am certain it will become all too clear when you speak with her beloved
after we are done," Luciphage replied.
"What do you want from me then?"
Luciphageâ€™s features hardened and he stared at Ashtorath for a moment before
speaking. "That you do not interfere. That you do not attempt, feebly, to turn
the situation to your advantage now as Gorgaliel does not know all of the
variables. I do, and for the love you have for her, youâ€™ll simply have to...
trust me on this one," he finished with a mirthless laugh.
Speechless that his thoughts and desires were so crudely revealed, Ashtorath
shifted on the couch and then got up. "Fine!" he growled and stormed out of the
alcove and made his way to the Audience Chamber.
Luciphageâ€™s laughter still ringing in his ears, Ashtorath listened
absent-mindedly to the Kingâ€™s revelations. "Nifilhema or power? Why not both?
But what if he was saying the truth?" he kept asking himself whilst agreeing to
the task the King has sent for him for. He was to make sure Nifilhema is busy,
not occupying her wonderful self with the events to come as her curiosity and
love of gossip could ruin the whole plan.
Naturally, Gorgaliel vowed to utilise the power theyâ€™d gain to destroy their
rivals on Celestia, but Ashtorath could see the greed flickering in his eyes.
Not awed at all by the news thanks to Luciphageâ€™s warning, he was observing
the King with a cold calculating gaze. He suspected Gorgaliel was just saying
that for his benefit, to appeal to his desires for even more glory, to sway him
to his plan and ensure obedience; and as this realisation dawned on him, so did
he make his decision.
"...blinded shall be those with desires improper,
their lust drowning them."
"Ah my pretty-pretty!" exclaimed the Queen at her female handmaiden. "You are
so precious my girl. Do not worry your head about my broken mirror!"
The young girl seemed to relax visibly at those words and ceased to plead for
mercy. She wiped away the sweat from her brow and a tiny tear from the corner
of her eye and bent down to carefully collect the broken pieces.
"It is no great loss you know, I can easily mend it with the right
ingredients," the Queen remarked and the girl stiffened again. "The material
the frame had been made of is easily obtainable too so I can remake it anytime.
Ah you look so worried again... I know! You should help me, my pretty!"
The handmaiden dropped a piece she was holding at those words but quickly
collected it with trembling hands and continued to work as the Queen described
what all they shall do with the mirror together and murmured a reply, finding
her voice finally. "Yes, my Queen, I would be honoured, thank y-" she stopped
upon hearing the door open, turning to see who had arrived.
The Queen spun around and laughed pearly at Ashtorath, pushing away a loose
strand of hair from her face vainly. "Ah, dear great Ashtorath, what a
surprise... and what do you have for me there? Oh, you shouldnâ€™t have!"
"Your beauty deserves no less, my Queen," Ashtorath replied with his
mellifluous voice, bowing and handing her a grand bouquet of snow-white
She inhaled their distinct scent, sending him a flirtatious smile and then
asked "So what brings you, my admirer?". The desire burning in his eyes did not
go without notice and she fluttered her eyes in reply and sat down regally on an
"Your lord husband, my Queen, has been very busy of late and he felt it amiss
that no one would accompany you day to day bar your handmaidens," he replied
"Oh, is that all there is to it?"
"No," he replied with more force this time and approached her armchair, taking
extra care to squish a spider skulking beside it under his foot. "Not at all."
Nifilhema shot a glance at the spot he so vehemently stomped on and pursed her
beautiful red lips in mild distaste. "Spiders are not pretty," she commented
and was about to add more but Ashtorath was looming over her, their game over.
"Nifilhema now," he thought ushering the handmaiden out of the room. "Reign
supreme when it is done."
"This chance will present itself when those under the banner of the Light will
seek to surpass all mortal boundaries," Baalphegar read out loud and slowly
from his scroll. "The Emperor will tap into the power sealed amongst the
floating spheres and awaken it. Awakened, the Herald of Transformation shall
find what he seeks and usher the World into a New Age."
Having finished reading the prophecy for the twentieth-something time that
morning just to confirm he knew all of its elementals and implications,
Baalphegar put the scroll away into the folds of his robes. He was sitting
alone within his palace having turned some of his most faithful, and useful,
Fatalists away to keep guard at the Stone of Truth.
It was the 13th of Gorgani, 543rd year of the Imperial Empire; the City of
Prophets was abuzz from dawn and everyone was preparing for the grand launching
of Project Cosmic Hope. "And so should I," he murmured to himself with a smirk
as he watched a small spider dash up his robes and then melt back into his
skin. "So should I," and he vanished in a puff of black smoke.