The Dragons Shattered
One Hundred and Fifty Years
One hundred and fifty years gone, one hundred and fifty years of hiding in that village, wedding their women and seeing to their crops. Quiet years, all of them, even when I traveled the deserts of the south and struck my alliances with the gods. Blood and coin, worship for worship, all to be certain that allies would be there for me, when I was ready. One hundred and fifty years of putting the past out of my mind, of playing the rakish imp. It wears thin.
One hundred and fifty years since Ma-Ha Suchi and I flayed the tattoos from our flesh before the eyes of the Silver Pact. One hundred and fifty years since my claws raked their bodies, slaying them in defense of Luna’s grand vision. They dared to make us lesser, to convince our young to willingly accept their chains with their seductions of power in numbers, of safety from the Realm and from Heaven.
One hundred and fifty years since Ma-Ha’s men carried my body, broken and bleeding my very Essence, beneath the Tree of Ixchel, interring me below my own manse. Blood-Rent Chains was slain, said the Silver Pact, at last felled by Ingosh Silverclaws, dealt a mortal wound to body and soul. May his next incarnation be less difficult.
One hundred and fifty years since the collective Silver Pact assumed that if one said so, it must be so. One hundred and fifty years since they underestimated the tenacity and life-giving wrath of an Elder. Tamuz and Ingosh could not consider the possibility of their failure, and so I lay beneath Ixchel for one and five years, viscera festering, then healing, bones rejoining, and muscles re-knitting. The heart chakra, into which the bear had plunged his iron spike, would not come back together.
For one hundred and fifty years, it remained stubbornly shattered.
When the village found me, I served them. I served their crops, and I wed their women in body and soul. I bled my Essence into them, and drew from them their potent life magic, their fertility. She was the turning point, my beloved who I named Lotus Blooming, whose eager gifts at last patched the wound. Then there was Patli, who honed it, and gave back my fire. Now there is Eleui, the last, and after one hundred and fifty years, the child Tenya can be shed.
After one hundred and fifty years, I am again Blood-Rent Chains, Luna’s Touched.