Sunday, August 28, 2016

Nature is a petrified magic city

In this strange city, what might be called a god and who might worship them? Art by: Quique Alcatena

A city's essence might feed a soul, but the body requires a nourishment more base. In a place so vast, and with mouths too numerous, the fields of the world would find it a hardship to feed them all. As ever, the City provides for her wards. Meat from the lady and grain from the man, food from two children of the City. Statues of each stand in the plazas and squares of cells, taking forms from savage to idealized. A lady of butchers and abattoirs, her knives sharp enough to sunder time and the soul, her slab piled with meat for the masses. A lord of bakers and mills, his stone grinding away the years, his table piled with the bread of the people. To them the criminals of the City are sacrificed, in exchange the Monarchs of Plenty keep the tables laden.

An idol devoted to Burakuma / Lady of Meats

When a man's stomach is full it makes no difference whether he is rich or poor. - Euripides
In the City, food can be bought from merchants at a high price or from Priest of Plenty for a pittance. These clerics of the Monarchs of Plenty provide the city with the massive amounts of food needed to feed it, and act as the executioners of the guilty. Executions are used as sacrifices to Burakuma / Lady of Meats and Consos / Lord of Mills who in turn provide massive amounts of meat and grain in exchange. However, the relationship between the Priests of Plenty and the Monarchs of Plenty is not as clear as it may seem at first.

The Priests of Plenty work in conjunction with the governments of neighborhood states to provide the people of each city cell with food. A weekly sacrifice is required to keep the shrines devoted to the Monarchs of Plenty producing food on a regular basis. Each statue has a large hollow base that becomes filled with various kinds of meat or grain when the Priests of Plenty complete certain rituals. Profits from the sale of these grains and meats are shared with the government playing host to the shrines. 

The typical garb of a Priest of Plenty.
 
Beneath the surface of this relationship between priests and gods, is something far more bizarre. Those inducted into the order, who may be of either sex, are given the truth of their vocation. In truth they are jailers, not supplicants: Burakuma and Consos are monsters kept in check by the blood that is spilled in their named. Their crimes are legion, having scourged a world for eons before they were chained by the group that became the Priests of Plenty. These sacrifices are used to sate their hunger for death, keeping them asleep, then the power given to these gods is drained away to produce the food. The blood fulfills the gods' need for death that keeps them awake, then their fueling power is drained from them to create the food. Burakuma and Consos are bound beneath the priests' headquarters called the Grand Larder.

A more simplistic idol devoted to Consos / Lord of Mills.

Due to nearly three millenia, the origins and nature of Burakuma and Consos are shrouded in the dust of ages. Their exact form is unknown, those who enter their prison beneath the Grand Larder must wear helmets that obscure most of their vision. Death and insanity are the rewards for looking upon the two without protection. What is known is that they are the parents of an entire race of sentient beings called the Breksta, who despise their creators. The exact reason for their enmity is unclear, but as a people they guard the secret of their creators fearing the city's reaction to such knowledge. Breksta possess the body of humans and heads in the form of celestial bodies. It is possible that they in some way resemble their creators, but no one who has seen them has lived to tell the tale. 

A Breksta woman. The next post will cover these folks. Art by: Emile Brayard