Divine Retribution?

The breeze was nothing at first. It wasn’t until she saw the rising wall of sand clouds quickly advancing, the panic of the caravan and the blinding buffeting winds bearing down upon them.

Which God of her pantheon had she angered and what was the offense? Was this a consequence of her joke the night before, a blasphemy against Kupen? Was it some punishment from Cambena for abandoning the Inquisition? A storm of sand instead of rain?

This was certainly not magik… was it? She didn’t think so. Gonyaul had an innate way of negating it, right? She thought so but she would have to question him about how it worked later. From what she had experienced, it did not seem to be in affect all of the time.

The sky darkened and the world turned orange and extremely clouded. If anyone could have seen or heard anything but the storm, they would have noticed the streams of tears and alarmed breathing of Voah as she tried to help collect the camels and huddled close to Gonyaul. If he wasn’t preoccupied with trying to protect his own face from the constant spray of sand, he might have been able to feel her shuddering in fear.

This fear was profound and struck her very core, more so than meeting the purger, or facing the endless pitch of Ypogeios.

“Pillars… please… Forgive me! Whatever my misdeed, I meant no sin against you!” she cried into the thick air, pulling her head scarf tight to protect her face.

Wait… Perhaps this wasn’t a punishment from her Gods at all, but a portent, a warning of unwelcome from one of the alleged gods of the Ozainae? What had Zargani called them? Yhtes? Ymir? Dust and Water? She couldn’t remember. It didn’t matter, they were not her Gods anyway. The thought of a foreign god trying to prevent her coming strengthened her resolve and her fear soon abated. If this was the work of some other entity, she was certainly not going to let it get the better of her.

She steadied her breathing and steeled herself, interlocking her fingers into Gonyaul’s in a tight but sweaty embrace.

At first, Gonyaul did wonder if Voah’s prayers had been answered because of the increasing breeze. The sun was up, but at least that would make the day feel cooler. Yet what started out as a welcomed wind, quickly turned unfavorable.

It appeared to him that the very sands beneath their feet took to moving, catching flight with the air’s increased blowing. It was remarkable and terrifying force of nature at the same time. Then, what started out as mere gusts of shifting sands turned into a formidable wall rampaging towards them from a distance. The sky darkening monstrosity was mixed with violence, fear and danger as it finally crashed through their caravan.

Unlike Voah, Gonyaul had not made the connection that this phenomenon was related to deities. Instead he assumed it was just a naturally occurring force of nature in this desert environment; albeit a shocking one that he had never experienced before, much like a visitor to Kru’ll might have freaked out during a storm in the monsoon season.

< Prev : Kicking up the sand Next > : My Shield