The Twenty-Fifth of Tal, Sixteen Seventy-Four, The Royal Palace
Today one of the spirits from the Pagri pantheon dies. One of the dozens of spirits of fire is quenched in the ocean of glass along the crystal coast. This spirit of fire dies and soon returns to its slumber, it awaits the Pagri to wake it again. As that spirit dies it rouses one of the ocean spirits from a century long sleep. Today another fire has died, but it will never wake again; Today my mother has followed my father into death.
The queen is dead. As the Pagri mourn the death of their spirit so do I mourn the death of my mother. The Pagri celebrate their ocean spirit and soon the people shall celebrate me, their prince. I would almost say that I hate them, my people. They will wreath my nation in roses and ivy but, not even a day ago they demanded I rescind my claim to the throne and allow my father’s cousin to be named heir. The same people who cried that it was impossible when I was declared a Son of Mars. They would have me give them into the hands of a woman who did not know them and was untested. A woman who bore them no loyalty.
The Destroyers of The Sons of Mars. Their name is a curse and ash in my mouth. A cult formed nearly two hundred years ago, born from the fiery womb of the Shining Lord. I find it quite funny actually, Mars is the fire and the iron that defends the Children of The Starry Heavens, The Sons of Mars were hunted and killed, all of them. Every man, woman, and child that bore his symbol was killed by iron and flame. Cleansed and purified. That very thought leaves me sick.
There has never been a Star-born child bore to my blood and yet I stand here I stand with the mark of Mars upon my hand. An impossibility. I have been shielded from my kind, I have only ever met three of them and it was brief. They were called to verify the symbol that blazed upon my hand and then a year later to identify the symbols that encircle my wrist. I am marked a true born Son of Mars, a warrior and protector, my duty is to protect my people. I will do all that I can to reach that goal.
It is a surprised to find that I am not alone, a few of the Children of the Heavens rule, they are an extreme minority but it shows we are growing. I have heard that the heir along the crystal sea, where the Pagri killed their god-spirit, is a Child of Venus; a Child of the Golden Morning. That is an interesting prospect, a Lord born of Venus. While I am sure that Venus-Born have had such rank in the tribes or in foreign lands this will soon be a first in our kingdom. A Saturn-Born Lord rules in the south but in three years or maybe four he will be dead and to my knowledge has no heir, I should pay him a visit and ensure some form of succession in his lands. Then there is my beloved Cynaric the fleet-minded Mercury-Born, after my coronation I shall appoint him to my cabinet as part of my military council.
I may visit the Venus heir and make an offer for their hand, as I understand it they are still virgin — as confirmed by their participants in the ritual — a decidedly unheard of achievement and I would be liar if I said that wasn’t an attractive asset. Honestly I could demand it as a Son of Mars and their king I could demand that they lie with me and I take that which is rightfully mine, but I am not a beast. I will make an offer and it will be their choice, I care not if they are male or female. If they would have me I would take them for mine.
Such a marriage would be a beneficial alliance, the remains of the tribes would see it as giving in to the demands of the Starry Heavens. On the other side the Church of The Cleansing Fire would be furious and would scourge on the fury and hatred of the extremist sects. The thought of that should make me cringe away from the very idea, my people could be harmed but right now I am wounded and I would see my enemy bleed. The last time I went to a service on a holy day the Hierophant of Shining Fire retold the death of the final Son of Mars.
He was captured and chained to an obelisk of black stone before the church, an obelisk which to my fury still stands. It was decided that he would be sacrificed to the Lord of Life and Light, but not during the day, no, they decided they would insult the deities of his Star-Born pantheon. He was sacrificed in the dark of the night as the gods watched. The gods stood resolute as they watched their child’s throat being slashed. They stood quietly as he exsanguinated and did not interfere.
The chains of iron that held him fast to that stone edifice sit in their reliquary. Seventeen vials of his blood sit on seventeen of their altars. The Destroyers of The Sons of Mars won and lost that night. Just as he breathed his final breath I was born that night.
Evandrus, Son of Iron-Banded Mars, Crown Prince.
Hierophant of Shining Fire: This is a religious position of authority, probably analogous of a Cardinal from Catholicism. I’ll have to do more research to confirm that unless someone in the comments would like to weigh in on the subject.
Exsanguinated: To bleed to death or have all of ones blood drained.
Child of the Golden Morning: This is just a flowery way of saying Child of Venus.
Destroyers of The Sons of Mars: An extreme cult within the worship of the Shining Lord that hunted the Sons of Mars to extinction. Their actions were not sanctioned by the church but went unopposed.