The Silent War part 5

The massive cathedral was filled with black-robed men and women whose faces were hidden by their hoods. The cathedral was built inside of a cavern, and the cave that led to it was easily hidden by the heavy vegetation in the forest outside. Inside of the cathedral, a single file line of robed individuals were being led down the center. There was no sound; no singing that would be expected in a normal church. When the single file line gathered in a row on a platform in front of everybody, those on the platform removed their hoods, revealing the faces of mere teenagers. They were all fourteen years of age, and this was their rite of passage. One single man, wearing the same garbs as the rest of the men and women in the silent cathedral, took a spike that had been resting in a simple, unadorned bowl filled with fire and coals. The tip was a glowing red, and the spike itself was approximately two feet long and heavily engraved with hieroglyphs. The man walked up to each young adult, and in a ritual-like fashion, he raised the spike, and the teen would lift their head to look straight at the massive, adorned ceiling, open their mouths, and the man would carefully place the spike down their throats. Many of the young adults doubled over once the spike had been removed, and began coughing up blood, but none of them screamed. They had prepared for this moment their whole lives, by study, and by other rituals of fire. Once the ceremony came to a close, those that had their throats scalded received their eye patches, and their daggers. The hieroglyphs on the spike had read: “Silence is our shield, fire is our sword. Spoken words betray.”

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