Written for the Watermill Grimoire Project.
“I am Kelirieng, I was and always will be Kelirieng, no matter what tongue twists the words of my name. Death be to those who defy me the honor of my name. I am Kelirieng and always will be. I want you to remember. I want them to know so I don’t become forgotten.”
Kelirieng felt adrift, weightless, but not like floating on a cloud of glee or lifted in a spring breeze. He felt apart, separated, because he was in six pieces, to be precise. He thought it would hurt, the axes chopping away at his feet with sweat and bitter spit till he fell amid the low brush he used to scorn for lacking sight and vision. He remembered it should hurt, but he wasn’t sure anymore. Days faded, both now and before. Without purpose all became the same, all became nothing.
After breaking or splitting me, whatever you want to call it, into the rough long shapes of six segments, five bipedal hairless creatures carried me away from the jungle and the long shadows of my dear mountain friend. They took me out of the lush land of my heritage and brought me over rolling sea, which licked its salty tongue against my carved hide, until they reached the dusty shores of my sterile entrapment.
They shoved a metal pole into my hollow heart to pull together the parts of my fragmented self until I was one once more, yet little of what I was is left. I stand tall still, but against foreign winds, which lingered of the taste of water’s deep. Around me, I’m surrounded by similar captives and new friends, not much different from the fur-less ones, who dragged me here. Those of a smaller variety dig their tiny claws into my aging skin to climb the tall slope of my heights until I catch them unaware, and snap their existence from the bitter torment of their lives. At least then I can guide them to a better world, like I once did for the Kejaman.
His stern resolve to persevere brought him little peace, but at least it gave him purpose. “Welcome, I am Kelirieng, servant of the Long Litan, watcher of the Kejaman, the Death Whisperer, and Keymaster of Renewal. I will bring you into death and renew you into life, but first you must answer me, what do you deserve?”