Thorns: Duchess of Bound Roots

We are but insects bidden to the service of wood and fire. Puppets danced on strings...


Many die every year in Chaya during the flowering of the fire-blossom trees. Lives spent ever controlled by the trees to varying degrees. Their pollen driving one to ecstasy to madness and the depths of despair. Mothers come to find children murdered or disappeared with no clue as to the past month. Unhappy spirits haunt the woods for months after the bloom – lost, confused, and angry. Sijian comes to lay to rest these souls and drag their corpses from the jungle to find proper burial. Hard work, thankless work, and work that pays very little. It does nothing to please the city of graves that the dead are left to suffer every – single – years. Yet, the dead must find their peace and this is the wish of the gravediggers as well. They come and they preach to the locals. These days, hopeless that anything will change.

Yet, some, in their guilt, do seek to help the gravediggers about their jobs. Hunting for the dead and digging graves. It is a dangerous thing to be caught in such a place. The dead do not have the roots of the fire-bloom in their minds. They do not have their emotions read to them on wind born pollen. To hear the dead talk at their final wakes, such are the rituals of the Sijani that they can shake the faith of Chayans to the core. What then when such a doubter finds their own death in the fire-bloom festival, a knife punched repeatedly into their abdomen as a crowd snickers and dances in the streams of their blood. What when their dead eyes see them painting red blooms on each others naked forms and rutting like animals beside the cooling corpse? Doubts become hatred. Hatred for family, land, and the fates woven for men.

What perfect soil to bring change – a world where man might dictate it’s own future. Bowing to no god or beast, but the monster within us all.

- Taken from a sermon given by the Duchess of Bound Roots

Thorns: Duchess of Bound Roots

Lakes of Blood and Ash Nehebkau