“Scales in Balance” The scale tilts one way or the other, precariously balancing one side against the other.
“Hush, hush! It’s the Herald!” Shazoor nudged her brother into silence.
The Herald of High Priestess Dar could be very strict, though he had once seemed to smile at them at a meeting of the faithful.
It had been a very long time since the Herald had come to preside over another such meeting.
Resherr grumbled beneath his breath, “I do not understand this waiting. The Herald always preaches that we must be patient. All I ask is for proof.”
Shazoor hissed at him, “The adults are looking; be silent!”
Even though her brother fell silent, her heart filled with foreboding.
The unrest had not spread far in their community.
Small, crowded and far from the temples at the heart of the Overrealm, Shazoor and Resherr’s home island was not often visited by the religious leaders of the Awakened.
Yet, even in this furthest and most insignificant outpost, the words of Lord Vyemm were heard.
The Herald’s ceremonies and rituals took quite a long while to prepare, much less conduct.
To Resherr, it was precisely this time wasting behavior that Lord Vyemm spoke against. Why shouldn’t he, Resherr, be able to choose how he wanted to spend his time?
If he could choose, he would not spend the day like this.
Shazoor felt her brother’s impatient twitching and rolled her eyes.
Could he not sit still, just once? How hard could it be to let the Herald take them through the rituals again?
Even if Resherr were losing his faith, was that any reason for him to worry her, especially during the ceremonies? They brought such comfort.
The Herald’s voice droned on and on. Occasionally, the Herald would gesture toward one of his attendants.
The attendant brought forth an offering prepared especially for that part of the ritual and the Herald completed its sacrifice.
At those moments, Shazoor would close her eyes briefly, for she still remembered the look in one of the offering’s eyes when she had sat too close to the altars that time.
As prayers to Him rose around them, Resherr hissed at his sister, “Finally. I’m getting out of here.”
He thrust his way through the crowd, ignoring the hisses of those he pushed aside. Resherr had had enough of ceremony and ritual.
Let Him appreciate these useless things all He wanted; Resherr was ready for action!
With a murmured apology, Shazoor followed her brother from the ceremonial grounds.
The paths were deserted, since everyone else was at the temple to see the Herald. Resherr, his wings twitching defiantly, was striding briskly away.
She had to half-run, half-fly to catch up with him.
“I’m leaving,” Resherr said as she aproached. He didn’t pause or turn to look at her.
“You find comfort in these things but I do not,” he said. “It is quite clear that our time is now, yet the High Priestess wastes our advantage waiting for His word.”
Resherr finally stopped at the edge of the island and narrowed his eyes. “He has already spoken; the time is now.”
“No, Resherr,” Shazoor said, her own eyes glinting.
“You are listening to lies! Lord Vyemm seeks only his own glory, not His glory,” Shazoor closed the gap between them and continued, “We are to wait. Will you not listen for His true word?”
Resherr snarled, “I have listened long enough.”
“So be it,” Shazoor said, unsheathing her weapon and leaping upon her brother.
He was unprepared for her assault, for Shazoor had always been the weaker sibling and never aggressor.
As she slashed him to the ground, Shazoor repeated fervently, “I do what He asks, with patience and in reverence. He will guide us to our destiny!”