The Dragons Shattered
Akhet - WadjsutKawthar
Flourishing Are the Abodes of Abundance
Before the throne of al-Kawthar yet sit Maa and Ma-t, first priest and priestess of her ancient name. Lions they are, of living stone, yet with the man and woman faces they bore as mortal flesh. Once they gazed as kings upon supplicants come to pray for inundation, for their paws rested on deep swinging gates to bar or permit the river flow as their ancient masters willed. Now they look with long-suffering dispassion down at those who would come before them, their shoulders broken, their arms bereft of strength, the river free to flow as it will.
Behind them rises the ancient temple-dam, more a ruin then they. In form it once resembled the pylon gate, high cliffs abutted on each side by great, cyclopean masses of unmortared stone, a dazzling white granite not found for hundreds of miles polished to a reflective finish. A lintel of black jade bridged the river between them, supporting massive gates of ebony and jarrah. The triumph of its construction and prayers to the river goddess al-Kawthar were graven on the pylons and lintel and gates and covered with gold. The figures on the gates were of black jade adorned with gold and the hinges were gold and the bar of the gate was covered in gold.
Within the left pylon and the right, the priests of al-Kawthar once abode as yet they do. Yet if the majesty of the gate was very great and the peans were beautiful in composition and execution, the price they extracted was greater by far. For no sanctum had al-Kawthar, for all the subtle breath of the river was taxed by the great gates so that water alone flowed down into the pool of lions. Akhet flourished by the bounty, taken from water and carried down the water yet of use to man alone who delighted in his comforts of light and pleasant things.
No more, for the lintel is thrown down and the gates are broken and the waterfall of al-Kawthar flows as it did in the beginning.