The Journals of Sparrowhawk
“Here is spoken the last testament of an unfortunate city. We knew she would be angry with us and our fears came true. But it was worse than that, for in her wrath she broke the seal, burnt the ships. From then on it was just a matter of time, perhaps only a day, before full penance was exacted. These are my last words, and possibly the last words ever spoken by a Mortabi soul upon this most holy of islands.
The rumours must have been true; The offering of Tol Salvori must have been tainted by the hand of a male before the offering to Marukin. The wrath of Taer Bidari proved that much to be true. And so, we, the brothers and sisters of the great plumed lady stood upon the temple high and watched, in trepidation, to see her reaction.
The first sign was a tremor beneath our feet. The great temple itself shook. The birds of the forest all screeched in unison and took flight in every direction. The roar of terror from the woodland beasts could be heard from every side, deafening in its intensity. The forest itself seemed to shake in the wake of stampeding herds of great lizards that headed away from the mountains anger.
The second sign was a great plume of smoke and lava that spewed from Taer Bidari’s mouth. Where a star lit night sky was visible before, one by one the constellations disappeared beyond a veil of choking smoke, rain of fire and a great shower of rocks. Before long there were no more stars and no more night sky – it was like this tomb of mine, with the heavy door closed and the lantern blown out.
By now all were upon their knees, praying. Those that weren’t had taken to climbing Taer Bidari to throw themselves upon Marukins mercy.
The third sign was another tremor, but so much more powerful than the first. Even the strongest were knocked to the floor. Some on high were flung to the earth below, and to their death. A great tear upon the earth itself appeared as the earths blood gushed forth to burn all within its path. Ancient trees that had stood for hundreds of years were uprooted and thrown to the ground like so many blades of grass beneath a heavy foot. Many small buildings, those that hadn’t already been torched by the fiery rain, were shaken to their foundations. Only the great temples and burial chamber seemed to survive. Many had rushed to the ships to escape but I could see the conflagration that was the harbour – the burnt and battered ships would rescue no one this day. But the worst was to come. No doubt many had perished during that night of fury but our cruel mistress would now condemn the rest for our misfortune …. “