ORACLES OF EDEN
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Our story begins in the Silver Sea, a universe previous to our own, where wind-driven clouds create a colorful canopy, marking its outermost boundary. The tribal community of Destiners, their wings majestic and swift, are eagle-like beings which soar freely across the sky.
Slicing through the atmosphere, two brothers test their mettle. Raeh, the younger, is daring and audacious, while Abriel is devoted and assiduous. Swords flying, they duel, clipping cumulus clouds, then Raeh, venturing a strategy, slips into the Canopy’s forbidden zone.
A magnetic force overtakes him and drags him into a portal. He goes end over end traveling the portal’s pathway until he is dropped into an exotic and fragrant jungle. With feathers ruffled, and all aflutter, Raeh is stupefied. He thrills with wonder as ribbons of color spring from plant to plant and tree to tree.
A resplendent being, her carriage light and airy, approaches him. “I am Strophe,” says she in tuneful lilt, “An expression of the Image Maker’s heart, I am music and I am dance.” And after spending some time with Raeh, she reveals to him his calling. She drifts away light as a bubble and drops a musical note. It lands in whispers at Raeh’s feet. “Eat it”, she calls out. He places it in his mouth and it melts lemony sweet upon his tongue.
A nearby waterfall catches his attention, and he undertakes to investigate. Behind the fall’s watery curtain he enters a cavern of breathtaking opulence. He moves stealthily along and comes upon the seven tribal elders convened at council with the Image Maker of old. Raeh is speechless, but then feels a tap on the shoulder and is instantly transported outside the cavern.
He stands face to face, although unwittingly, with the Image Maker’s Son, Philon. Raeh is struck by the featherless, wingless being whose distinction from Destiners he finds suspect. He inquires as to the stranger’s identity, but not waiting for a reply, proceeds to lament his removal from the cavern, challenging the stranger’s actions.
Philon gives no answer regarding his identity, but calls Raeh by name, surprising him. He assures him that the Image Maker is well aware of him and that in due time Raeh will properly stand before him. He urges him not to act in haste, and then cautions him against breaching the Canopy again.
Philon allows Raeh to choose between two portals for transport to the Silver Sea, one the color of goldenrod and the other, metallic red. He mulls over the psychological implications of what he deems a test, and resolutely selects the “fiery red route home”. The ride is wild, and dumps Raeh out on the seashore where he sustains a hit on the noggin, but not before hearing a voice echo from the portal, “I am Philon…” He holds his head, sizing up the painful goose-egg he sustains, and bemoans his choice, “I should have chosen goldenrod!”