superstition, the abandonment of the pseudo-gods
, or the strict
judgment of Eru
upon them, these tribes always assume that any calamity to befall is a
the abandonment of their deities. In order to seek the forgiveness of
they believed they were required to perform some deed. It is part of
tradition that their gods cannot forsake the tribe without
final gift of wisdom revealing the nature of this deed. To receive this
is the purpose of the Brith-nel-fhet.
Nezgeth tribesman would never see a Brith-nel-fhet in his lifetime. For
the priests must ready themselves to enter into direct communication
gods. After the ritual is finished, the tribe must act on the words
the gods. Sometimes the wisdom provided by the Brith-nel-fhet is vague
Regardless if a
majority of these rituals were mere superstition, in 398 GUE Belegur
ritual as a sly method to deceive the Nezgeth into doing his evil deeds.
itself is described here in eructating detail, having been recorded in
documents by a first-hand observer:
In the most
sacred cave of the Nezgeth, the High Priest moved slowly back and
across imaginary bridges of power spanning the points between the four
directions. The two lesser priests sat cross-legged in lowered recesses
west and the east, while their elder walked from the chief in the
position toward his own recess in the southern corner of the chamber.
moved, he traced out the patterns that existed in the many intricate
the ground connecting the four recesses. Carved by skilled hands
generations ago, the lines conveyed many of the most basic Nezgeth
tenets. The diamond formed by the four points symbolized the unity of
four highest gods. Other patterns formed by the intricate crossing
of each ritual that has a place in the Nezgeth religious life. The
curve connecting the four chief points depicted the sun, the
blinding, all-important sun, and the sum of the lines in the picture,
represented the number of centuries legend told that the tribe would
exile from the ancient homeland across the sea.
front of each of the four seated
figures rested a flowing wooden model of a majestic sailing vessel, and
supported by each of the main masts stood four burning sticks of
scented incense. Directly in the center of the four points burnt a
oil lamp, serving as but a weak reminder of the tyrant sun that still
somewhere outside the cavern. Around the perimeter of the four points
sweeping rocky walls rising up to a point high above, hidden by the dim
and smoke. Hewn roughly into the walls are generations of pictorial
tales of the Nezgeth tribal history.
three priests sang with great energy,
chanting the holy words that accompanied the images of the previous
Brith-nel-fhets. Slowly and patiently throughout this long chant,
rocked back and forth, muttering silently to himself, so as to be sure
priests could not overhear his words.
younger priest in the western recess,
after his third of the chant was completed, slowly began preparation
nourishing mixture that would be necessary to receive the advice of the
Words that had been passed down to him from times distant dictated the
difficult ingredients, rarely found in the desert. In expectation of
Brith-nel-fhet, the priest’s apprentices had traveled for nearly a year
search of what would go into the sacrament he was preparing now. Chief
the ingredients were lerf, the sturdy morgia
root, and a good amount of
disgustingly brackish water found in the Hevith Springs
to the south.
using mortar and pestle to grind the poisonous glands of the lerf
unidentifiable pulp, the blessing with the incense began. With the
continuing in the background, the net effect was highly hypnotic.
lowering, the priest sank into trance state as he mixed the ingredients
his work done, the western priest
transferred the potent mixture into a wooden bowl and raised it into
speaking words of praise to the god in whose corner he rested. He then
drank of the liquid, barely noticing its disturbing taste. As he
bowl to the lines on the ground before him, the others began to share
deepening state of inner awareness. Focusing on the dim light in the
the chamber, the four were only barely aware when the bowl began to
move of its
own accord, traveling along the lines of power to the high priest in
corner. Lost in enlightened meditations, the priest sat for many
showing the slightest awareness of the bowl’s presence before him.
without any change in his internal focus, he leaned forward slightly
hold of the bowl. He drank his own share, and then rested the bowl on a
the bowl moved, this time toward the
eastern corner. As the magical liquid began to take hold, the priest in
west soon lost consciousness altogether. The effect of the poisonous
the potion had been counteracted by certain other ingredients, but the
combined effect was strange to behold. In the western corner the young
eyes closed against his will, as if touched by an irresistible force
above. The flowing lines in the ground continued to guide the bowl to
others in the chamber, who drank their share while watching the
motions that possessed the first two.
the head of the western priest
slumped forward lazily, almost touching his chest. His breathing grew
regular, matching the signs of deepening sleep that took hold. In a
however, his left hand began to move of its own accord slowly toward a
fur pouch fastened at his waist. The priest, entirely unconscious and
of his surroundings, merely voyaged deeper into his own mind while
power made use of his body. Soon the contents of the pouch lay emptied
ground. For years, ever since his initiation into the priesthood, the
holy man had been told by his elders to keep sacred the contents of the
and never to open it except in the time of Brith-nel-fhet. Now that the
had come the contents of the pouch lay revealed, and the priest, moving
farther into his soul, would never remember.
of the four in turn moved deeper into
trance and emptied out their own pouches, similarly untouched in the
generations since the last such rite. Soon the ground around the
lamp was scattered with an odd assortment of mystic Nezgeth artifacts.
items from the three priests were very similar in origin and meaning.
three pouches each contained a bundle of short spense-sticks, dry and
with age. In the next few moments the priests would one by one lean
unknowingly to sacrifice one of these sticks to the oil lamp before
found in the three pouches were ancient, fragile scrolls that the dry
weather had preserved for uncounted ages. The three scrolls were
a flowing, wondrous script, the meaning of which was long since lost.
tradition and rumor about the contents of the pouch told that no
had ever gazed at the scrolls outside of a Brith-nel-fhet. For years
priest had speculated about the scrolls in secret, wondering if some
the ceremony would give him the power to understand the mysterious
would leave the cavern at the end of the day still not knowing the
amongst the sticks and the
scrolls glittered several valuable gems, gathered from a forgotten
the blade lay a small tool of engraving that fitted snugly into one of
lines of power leaving the northern corner. (Other items at one time in
possession of this tribe included the broken end of a blade belonging
, and a cube of foundation
). With all these objects adorning
of the cavern in a haphazard fashion, all the necessary aspects were in
for the next step of the ceremony.
with ghostlike care, each of the
four stood up in turn and began to enact a most graceful and eerie
each priest and the Warrior glided from corner to corner in the
occasionally bent, picking up certain objects and handing them to their
neighbors. In an intricate web forming an ancient juggling act, each
object soon passed through every hand, as all the participants in turn
unwittingly performed a necessary deed on their newest object with
already in their possession. This part of the Brith-nel-fhet finished,
turned away from each other and look outward to the walls of the cavern
beyond, imagining the lands that lay to the north, south, east and west.
would awake hours later with no recollection
of the anything after the drinking of the potion. All four participants
be suffering from an intensely aching head and painfully unfocused eyes.
It was assumed
during that time that their
gods would speak to them by engraving more symbols into the cavern
|SOURCE(S): Zylon the Aged|