New was to be expected, but this was beyond new. They were fantastic. Seven spires of stone rising into cloud. They’d seen light from the ocean. From that distance it looked like sun rays, or flames, or a reflection. Now they saw the runes carved into the spires’ tops. Glittering lines of molten gold. Questions poured into their minds. Mercurial and smooth and heavy, forcing them to their knees to do the only thing that made sense in the presence of such splendor. They prayed.
One gave thanks. For him it was a sign. The very thing he’d been asking the gods for. Before they’d set out, “Show me something that proves of you. I no longer hear your voices, I do not see your faces, I’ve begun to worry you’ve abandoned us. Please…Show me something.” This was far beyond something.
Another begged for forgiveness. His heart heavy with guilt. He’d been carrying it for a year now, having never told anyone. Too ashamed to admit what’d he’d done. Every time the memory crawled its way into conscious thought he pushed it back. But it’d grown stronger with time. The journey out of its hole was not easy and it was growing with each trip. The spires may as well have been seven accusing fingers. When they returned home he would admit what he’d done.
The other two worshiped the gods. They’d never forgotten them, always believed, never once doubted their faith would be rewarded. Back home, a week’s travel by boat, the land was sick. No one knew why. The shamans said they it was because the gods wanted them to move. They’d been an adventurous people but had grown complacent. Thus the gods poisoned the land to force the people to move. This was the ninth scouting party sent to look for a new home.
Once their prayers were finished they stood, embraced each other, and set off to see what other mysteries the new land held.