Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Over time, the high priest became obsessed with wealth and power. Mundane statues were replaced with golden obelisks and the people were made to pay for the privilege of worship. Exorbitant tithes, collected under his baleful watch, sent worshipers headlong into debt and slavery. Temple priests congratulated themselves behind drawn curtains even as a web of shadow and delusion overtook them. Sinister rites replaced the chants of Omanan; temple halls, once perfumed, now reeked of pungent incense; and altars were blackened with the blood of sacrifice.
Dismayed by the decline and abuse, Omanan sent omens to the priesthood. Unheedful, the heartless priests continued to worship their new demoniac lords. Betrayed, Omanan visited inexorable divine retribution upon them. Spectral rays rained down upon the priests from the heavens like infernal light emanating from some distant star. The priests were slain instantly, only to be raised anew as soulless, gibbering, dead things. The temple became a crypt.
The people of the surrounding lands read the signs, picked up and moved on. Rivers changed course over the intervening years and the once fertile lands dried up. The temple disappeared beneath shifting sands, its undead inhabitants destined to the languor of the crypt. Travelers dread the arid wasteland, for scarcely an oasis can be found within its emptiness. Worse, the chill winds of night carry eerie cries from beyond the grave.
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