Saturday, September 17, 2016

Odekor - Day 17

The Prophet’s Stair

When the Prophet ascended to the Fields of Joy, in the Grand Cathedral of Ormothir, she did so on a divine staircase.  It was made of silver and adorned with precious jewels.  After the Prophet’s ascension, this divine staircase vanished.
However, it would return on at least three different occasions.
A century after the Prophet’s ascension, the Prophet’s Stair would reappear in the Grand Cathedral.  This time it came for a priest of Ormothir named Uzka of Elydyl, during a tumultuous time known as the Doubting.  People began to question the gods and the Prophet, but Uzka remained steadfast in his faith.  This angered some of the doubters who decided to kill the priest within the Cathedral. As they drew near, however, Uzka prayed for help and the Prophet’s Stair appeared.  He stepped onto it and vanished in a blaze of light.  This miracle ended the Doubting, and Uzka went on to be declared an Ascendant Saint of the Cardinal Church.
The next time the Prophet’s Stair appeared it did not appear in the Grand Cathedral but in the square outside the temple.  Six hundred years had passed since Uzka’s ascendance, and the Cardinal Church had started to mark the occasion with an unofficial holiday, the Feast of the Ascendents. The story goes that, as clergy and laymen made merry in the square, a beggar-child collapsed among them and not a single person went to her aid.  The child cried out to the gods for succor, and the Prophet’s Stair appeared.  A wingless angel descended the stair, striking the celebrants dumb with awe and terror.  He went to the beggar-child, picked her up and returned to the divine stair which he ascended without looking back at a single soul.  The Prophet’s Stair vanished and the assembled merrymakers were so ashamed that many took vows of poverty and service, abandoning their indulgent lifestyles to minister to the poor and homeless.
The final time the Prophet’s Stair manifested was three hundred years ago.  A pious young noblewoman named Dhama was betrothed to the cruel son of an influential Imperial family. Dhama had appealed to the Emperor himself to annul the betrothal, but the Emperor refused. Distraught, Dhama went on pilgrimage to the Holy City of Kirr.  She prayed at each of the temples and churches of the Cardinal Gods in the city, then did the same at the Grand Cathedral. At each altar, she appealed to heaven for aid.  As she knelt in the Grand Cathedral, the Prophet’s Stair appeared before her and Lady Dhama was whisked away.  Not long afterward, the Emperor who had denied her request, abdicated to spend the rest of his life in spiritual contemplation at an
Eligelic monastery.
Legend and lore state that the Prophet’s Stair reappears during the anniversaries of these three ascensions, albeit briefly.  It is widely speculated that the kenku are attempting to purge Kirr of its undead so that they may use the Prophet’s Stair to ascend to the Fields of Joy and confront the gods.  Others think they seek to find it in an effort to control it, so they can abandon Odekor for some other world, untouched by the War.

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