The Oasis of Siwa Chapter 1
- There comes a time in every man's life when he finds himself beset on all sides by the despoilers of old, known as fear and doubt, and shivers in agony. Such was the moment I had found as I lay in the unforgiving and sweltering desert. The fiery sphere of Hyperion hung heavy overhead, as my body withered from within. I was dying slowly and in great pain, and had been praying desperately to any gods who might hear me; however, neither fortune nor heaven smiled upon my broken form, and I began to weep. Or rather, I tried to weep and scream, but the cruel gods of sand and wind sent dust to stifle my cries, and wind fierce enough to shut tight the eyes of any man. The scorching sun rose swiftly in the sky until it bore it's full strength down upon me. At this point, I simply knew it must be the end. I could no longer walk. However, I refused to give up hope, and cast my head up once more to curse this desert that laid me low. Perhaps my curse would bury itself into the sands of time and remain as a reminder of the cruelty of this wasteland.
- Sand drifted across an empty waste. Life giving water was nowhere to be found. I was alone, and without a single rock or tree to provide shade. In spite of the pain and blazing heat, I managed to crawl across the desert floor like a wretched snake. Woe unto the skies above, for they blind their child, and shield him not from the noon sun! My frustration grew, and with it, my will to survive. I arched my head to the heavens above and let loose a ragged roar of reprehension. It was a good thing I did, for shortly after I collapsed, back to sand, and my eyes to the realm of the gods. A sudden shade fell over me, and my body cooled. My eyes drifted, and I saw my savior. She was certainly not human. Her eyes were yellow amber, and her body slick, slim, and brown as dusk. She sported white fur on her limbs, and a brushy tail that hung limply by her side. I could not see much else, but her eyes were those of a satisfied and hungry predator. The last thing I recall before exhaustion overcame me was a few words, uttered from her curved lips. " You who have suffered greatly shall find pleasure in paradise." She said these words softly, and I fell into slumber.
- I awoke to the smell of smoke, the light of torches, the sound of melodic chanting, the feeling of magic washing over me, and shortly after gathering my thoughts, the taste of sweetened water upon my lips. The smoke smelled of cypress, the light was pale and soft, the melody was unknown to me, the magic flooding me felt overwhelming, and the water was enough to make me cry. And weep I did, for I was saved. I looked about me and saw numerous beautiful women. Each had the radiance of the moon about them, each had a pale aura about them, and each had two tattoo markings in the shapes of exclamation points on their stomachs which glowed in the night. To my direct left I saw my savior again. Upon closer inspection her fur was pure white, and her body was exquisite. Large breasts hung down from her chest like darkened fruits. Long legs with fur, so white that they made the moon above seem pale, covered them. Her gaze was directed at me, and she continued to chant and evoke with words of binding and power that kept me from rising. Surely, I reasoned, these must be the fabled Anubi of the Siwan desert. Just as the chanting reached its climax the magic increased in flow, and my body felt a sort of ecstasy one can only find in the most wonderful of purification rites.
- Eventually, all good things must come to an end, and I slowly descended from the purity I found within myself to the baser world. Words spoken from afar rang in my ears. "Rise, and be reborn as a priest of Siwa". Slowly and deliberately I rose from the slab, and with great care let my feet touch the earth. I opened my eyes in time to see the white haired Anubis place her hand, or rather her paw, on my forehead. Words of power rang in my ears, and my soul felt a calmness like that of motionless water; however, a fiery curiosity reigned in my breast, and I spoke the words that would set eventually see me as both a consort-king and a servant to the goddess. "Where am I?", I spoke. "How do you not know after hearing it uttered so many times, human? You are in the Oasis of Siwa", said the white-haired one, "And now you will learn the ways of the priesthood, as Siwa's first and last priest. I am Atem, and I shall form you into a man worthy of bearing the seal of the goddess." No more words would she speak, though long I tried to pry them from her. Instead, she lead me into a small hallway filled with statues of old gods and doors of silver.
- Eventually Atem showed a set of doors that led into what was to be my chambers for however long I was meant to stay in this strange place. The doors, made of palm wood, had painstakingly painted hieroglyphs that showed a beautiful woman sitting on a throne. Slightly lower down was a male youth, holding her hand, and looking at her with longing. If only I had known what these were meant to symbolize, I would have gladly accepted my fate; however, such was not the case, and I looked on the room with dread. It held a small bed with no pillows, a straw filled mattress and a blanket made of burlap. No other adornments could be seen, and I was tired to the bone. Atem closed the door behind me, and as tired as I was, I quickly flew across the room and laid down. The burlap was stiff and cold, and it did not keep out much of the chill of the darkened desert. I did not manage to ponder upon my fate for long, as the desert had nearly slain me that day. Whatever fate awaited me upon the break of dawn would be no worse than lingering to die under the cruel sun.
- I awoke to sunlight streaming in the nearby window and the sound of a knock upon my door. Upon groggily dragging myself across the room, I opened the doors to be greeted by Atem. "Now we may begin the first step of your initiation. As the high priestess and master of this temple, I will see that you are trained properly in the religious and hermetic arts required. But first...", and at this she glanced up and down at my hay stained clothing, and quickly set her eyes against mine, "we must give you a new set of robes fitting a man of your stature." After fitting myself into a set of white cleric robes, I was taken into a massive chamber that glittered with the light of the aether itself. Precious jewels were inlaid into the walls, and ranged from the lowly ruby to diamonds the size of small fruits. Mana leaked from from the gems themselves, and I was immediately filled with it's light. "Only one room away lies our goddess. Here you will learn the proper prayers and devotions that will keep you alive and well in her presence. Let us begin."
- And so began the journey that would last months of painstaking effort. It was not a journey of the body, but one of the soul. Looking back, I can see one thing clearly. Even behind the closed doors of silver, her love was being poured out on me.
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