Found in each of the provinces that compose the empire,the Abode of Mystries is invariably massive and vast,built along the same inflated and towering lines that govern every apsect of the Eshal psyche. Constructed partially from clay and partially from decorated basalt,it soars to a towering elongated point,built to resemble the sea-conch which the Eshal see as the wellspring of the creative fluids that nourish and rejuvenate the Gods of Water during their cyclical epoches of death and subsequent rebirth. A powerful symbol indeed,and reserved only for the one place where the profound and innermost mysteries of Water are explored and studied by those entrusted with the sacred task of hearing the call of the Gods. For in it is the Abode of the Mysteries,and the Abode alone,that those destined to answer to the forces of the divine,are initiated into the all embracing guidance of the Water and its primal wisdom.Â And the teachers and custodians who have been given the task of moulding true and dedicated servants of the Gods ever since the Brave People first begun to view themselves as an awakened people? None less than the Cuada themselves,the Elder Born who are ever the first to see and understand the patterns set in motion by the common parents that birthed both them and the Brave People.
In the five hundred and five cloisters of the Abode,the sacred knowledge is imparted by the Elder Born to the newly inducted priests. For a period lasting no less than five years,they are subjected to an oft harsh and at times even brutal regimen that tests the verymost limits of their endurance,both physical and spiritual,their tutors seeking to weed out and destory ever trace of imperfection in their wards. Ranging from rituals of self-mutilation involving the piercing or amputation of certain extremities with bones that demand from them the all sustaining life-blood on whom each and everything in creation,ranging from the smallest worm to the Gods themselves,depend on,to intense tests that insist their minds memorize and understand every bit of lore and knowledge related to the worship of the Gods and the mysteries,the Cuada spare their wards no effort. As the Gods themeselves writhe in agony when called upon to surrender their due,so shall they. Nothing less can be expected of the protectors of the mysteries.
And if all goes well,if they clear every hurdle put in their path,they are finally allowed to see the glorious spectacle of the mysteries themselves in action and do homage to them.
From the huge and open central hall of the Abode,descends a steep passage into aÂ vast stone chamber. Those given the honor of being allowed to swim through it to the destination that lies beyond,find themselves entering a dark chamber. At the end of it stands a great door made entirely of rose granite. At is threshold,do the initiates halt,forÂ beyond it lie the great womb of Tiocha,consort of Worta and bearer of the Cuada. Gret tremors wrack the halls in which the gathered preists initiates tremble with both esctatic anticipation and great apprehension,as the Godess spawns her children. Every pang of her pain,every spasm,the gathered see mirrored and reflected by the quaking walls of the chamber.
And finally,when the great disruptions cease,the door opens and a long line of Cuada emerge,each bearing an infant of their kind in their arms. Though just newly brought into the world,already the eyes of the young ones shine with a keen intelligence that unsettles the congregated initiates. For the orbs that stare at them,are almost utterly devoid of childish naivete or gullibility,seeming as they do,to delve right into the very souls of their younger breathren who surround them. For as pardoxically as it may appear,these infants will always be elder to even the Emperor himself,endowed as they are,with the greater maturity of the Firstborn.
And then do the initiates begin to chant,praising the benovelance of the Water and the Godess,grateful that the line of the Elder Born wil continue to endure.
But they are those that view this engimatic enacment in a dimmer light. They are the Brotherhood of Larfu,the undying foes of the Cuada,and the supplicants of the fallen god,Larfu. And the Brotherhood has eyes and ears everywhere,even in the halls of the Abode of Mysteries.
For centuries,have their spies have endeavoured to peer at the supposed womb of Tiocha that the established preisthood claims exists beyond the door-way. Many have perished,succumbing to the dangerous enchantments and guardian beasts of the Cuada that ward the secret residing beyond. But few have claimed to penetrate the defecnes set around the heart of the greatest mysterys that exists in the Abode. And they regale their people with tales of breeding pens that produce mindless Cuada spawn scarcely above the level of mere beasts..and as such,are fitting prey for the Wave Slayer..