Draft91

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CHAPTER 91

And it came to pass in the wake of the death of Abidan that Chokhmah accepted his brother Cheran, the second son of Omar, as high priest.

Captain Jaalan of Caph of the Saiph League arrived on the coast nigh to Suhar with many ships. Che demanded the Roshites make a choice: either the Ark of God be surrendered to him, or the high priest. And che thought were the Roshites dared to withhold the Ark, che would put the high priest to such slow and prolonged torment his people would surrender the Ark just to silence his screams.

Then a man of the B'nei Elohim named David appeared before Cheran and told him never, by any means, to hand over the Ark. David went on to say he was sent by Chokhmah to be offered up in Cheran's stead. When he finished speaking David fell to the ground as though dead.

The Roshites passed a bier with David's body through the lines to the one named Jaalan. And Jaalan hemself pierced David's body many times with a blade as surety that he was dead. Then Jaalan ordered the bier mounted on stakes, and commanded the bier to be set ablaze.

But while it burned David sat up, covered in flames, and leaped down with the Golden Gift in hand to confront the sailors who surrounded him. Activating the relic, he took many of their heads before a blade from one of the sailors stuck his right arm and left the burning limb and the Golden Gift it still grasped lying on the ground.

Yet somehow, quicker than anyone could see, David stood with his arm intact, as though he had grown another one almost as soon as the orig- inal had been severed. And the flames were no longer seen to feed upon his skin.

David reached down to retrieve the Golden Gift from his original charred arm and used it to cut in twain the nephil who struck him. Then, with none daring to oppose him, David slipped the dark shaft of the Golden Gift through the heart of Captain Jaalan.

When he had done all these things David disappeared from the sight of the invaders with a loud report, leaving a crater on the beach.

The surviving sailors of Captain Jaalan were affrighted beyond speech and took ship to disperse to their own lands and spread tales of the terror that awaited any who sought to take the Ark of God from the Roshites.

After the attack Cheran sent men of arms south and east to the mouth of the River Sabik along the frontier with the kingdom of Alodra, and from there posted watch stations at intervals north and east along the border reaching the hills nigh to Mount Naratha, lest more paid sol- diers from the Saiph League might come seeking to take the Ark of God.

If his own forces could not turn them back, Cheran thought, at least warning of the invaders might pass in good time behind the lines to Suhar. But after the debacle of the ships no enemy came for a genera- tion. Peace reigned until Cheran saw he had drawn very near to his natural death.

Then Charan gave his firstborn son Dathan the White Scroll of Leliel, and named him the high priest of God. Then Cheran slept with his fa- thers, and for all his days he did what was right in the sight of the LORD.

In the third year of the high priesthood of Dathan word came from the frontier that a force was marching from the south, led by an elyon named Abaddon who, it was rumored, was the incarnation of Keter him- self. It was also said they originated at Toturo in the Saiph League and had commadeered the ferry at Sadl, though the king of Alodra gave them no leave to pass through his realm under arms. The force com- manded by Abaddon was sufficiently large to easily turn back the king's own frontier guard who attacked their flank at Melak.

Hearing all these ill tidings Dathan entered the Tent of Meeting thinking to beg the LORD God for help, though it was not the Day of Atonement appointed for the high priest to speak with Chokhmah. When he was inside he took thought, and remembered the writings in the White Scroll. Dathan dared not touch the Ark to remove the cover, lest he suffered the same fate of Jared for his own defect in ritual, and thus Chokhmah remained silent.

Then Dathan returned to face the people and told them God would speak no words to him. "Therefore, I will bring the Ark to give to these invaders, lest it soon come to pass that all the people perish."

But Boel, the second son of Cheran, said, "Brother, I, knowing how God has ever been our salvation since the days of Lael, will not be party to such unfaithfulness, nor will anyone else who stands with me. We would, rather, march north with our backs to you, than remain waiting in Suhar while you betray the LORD our God and full willing give his holy Ark to our foes."

On that day the Roshites of Suhar were divided, father against daugh- ter, mother against son, brother against sister. Fully half of the Levites went north with Boel, while half remained behind with Dathan. Likewise half of the Judahites departed with Boel, while the rest stayed in the city.

Then Dathan with the greater part of the men at arms who would not go with Boel marched south, carrying the Ark of God, until they were come within sight of the great host that was arrayed against them. And in their sight the Ark was transformed into a yin of the B'nei Elohim named Rebekah Redstar, who had the talent of changing harself into any desired shape.

Sha confronted Dathan and said to him, "Cursed are you, Dathan, son of Cheran, for you have dwindled in unbelief, and worked to drag down much of the Remant into your iniquity. The LORD our God spurns you. The blades of your enemy shall cut you off from the living, you and all the men of war who marched with you."

Then Rebekah stood aside and was forgotten, by reason of the foes of Dathan drawing near, and when Abaddon saw they carried not the Ark of God the order to give battle was given. Rebekah witnessed the slaugh- ter in the guise of a stone boulder. The army of the Saiph League made quick work of Dathan and his forces. Thus was Dathan slain, for he had done evil in the sight of the LORD.

Furious, Abaddon marched up the coast to Suhar with Rebekah trailing behind them in the guise of a stray goat. There Abaddon hy aside the small force of men Dathan had left behind and plundered the city, yet the Ark was not found.

The survivors among the twelve men who had been left to guard the city were put to torment by whips, even to the death, yet of the where- abouts of the Ark of God they knew nothing save they had seen Dathan take it with him to the south. After the last of the men had perished all the women and little ones and the elderly and infirm of the city were mercilessly put to the sword, until naught of the children of Israel remained alive in Suhar.

In the wake of this great destruction the invading army commanded by Abbadon departed to return home to the city of Toturo, yet it was lat- er said among the B'nei Elohim that Rebekah Redstar, yet in the guise of a wandering goat, witnessed their utter destruction at the hands of the king of Alodra and his full army, which in his wrath the king had ordered to Melak to lie in wait and avenge the slaying of his border guard.

Never again in the whole history of Heaven did mercenaries from the Saiph League assail the Roshites at the command of Keter or Da'at. But it was not the last time the incarnation of Keter made the attempt to take possession of the Ark, though many long years would intervene, and hy would find allies among the children of Israel.

For the Ark was safe in the possession of the faithful who went north from Suhar with Boel. When Rebekah had first come to Haaretz sha met Boel in secret and forewarned him of the apostasy of Dathan. Together, obscured by the Tent of Meeting, they had effect a swap of the relic on the day the Roshites of Suhar were divided.

Boel's group traveled with the Ark up the coast of Thalury as far as Suhar was from Melak. There they found an unnamed river that was fair to behold and the Director on the cover of the Ark began to spin. The river emerged swift and clean from the hills, then slowed to a more stately pace to wind through rich bottomland.

Boel's group no longer had the cuttings from the grain stalks that kept them alive in Suhar, but they had much seed, and they had found a land well suited for planting. Boel named it the valley of the River Menkal, and here he commanded the people should cease all their wan- derings in Heaven.

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