He was walking through a room bigger than a city, and everywhere he looked there were statues and carvings and rough-hewn images. He was standing beside a statue of a womanlike thing: her naked breasts hung flat and pendulous on her chest, around her waist was a chain of severed hands, both of her own hands held sharp knives, and, instead of a head, rising from her neck there were twin serpents, their bodies arched, facing each other, ready to attack. There was something profoundly disturbing about the statue, a deep and violent wrongness. Shadow backed away from it.
He began to walk through the hall. The carved eyes of those statues that had eyes seemed to follow his every step.
In his dream, he realized that each statue had a name burning on the floor in front of it. The man with the white hair, with a necklace of teeth about his neck, holding a drum, was Leucotios; the broad-hipped woman with monsters dropping from the vast gash between her legs was Hubur; the ram-headed man holding the golden ball was Hershef.
A precise voice, fussy and exact, was speaking to him, in his dream, but he could see no one.
“These are gods who have been forgotten, and now might as well be dead. They can be found only in dry histories. They are gone, all gone, but their names and their images remain with us.”
Shadow turned a corner, and knew himself to be in another room, even vaster than the first. It went on farther than the eye could see. Close to him was the skull of a mammoth, polished and brown, and a hairy ocher cloak, being worn by a small woman with a deformed left hand. Next to that were three women, each carved from the same granite boulder, joined at the waist: their faces had an unfinished, hasty look to them, although their breasts and genitalia had been carved with elaborate care; and there was a flightless bird which Shadow did not recognize, twice his height, with a beak like a vulture’s, but with human arms: and on, and on.
The voice spoke once more, as if it were addressing a class, saying, “These are the gods who have passed out of memory. Even their names are lost. The people who worshiped them are as forgotten as their gods. Their totems are long since broken and cast down. Their last priests died without passing on their secrets.
“Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.”
Ancient incense and charred sacrifices echoing through time.
Very smoky! I can smell the charred sacrifices, too, but I'm not really noticing anything that I recognize as incense, just a slight bit of sweetness after the initial smoke has cleared.
Edited by LiberAmoris, 14 July 2017 - 05:31 PM.