The Sibyl

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The Sibyl is an oracle of immense power and unerring prophecy, a vessel of Nanye or perhaps even her avatar or some fragment of her power. For as far back as there are written records, the Sibyl has occupied the Sapphire Mount in the Crystalline Wastes, living in the temple atop the mountain. There, she bestows her prophecies to the supplicants who gather below.

The Sibyl is attended to by a mute force of automatons, the atoma. These creatures appear to be formed of a dull blue metal of unknown origin. White runes line their spines and arms and their heads are shaped as the helms of great knights with a row of vertical slits for eyes but lacking any mouth or nose holes. Upon their breasts is set Nanye’s Radiant Flame in a brilliant white that seems to glow with its own inner light.

Two forms of atoma exist. The Watchmen guard the temple compound. Eight feet tall and massively built, they carry gigantic silvery swords as though they were toys. Their footsteps shake the earth but they are anything but slow; records exist of their ability to run faster than horses. No known force has been able to scratch their armor; even Threvanosh is said to have nearly been killed when she attempted to seize the Sibyl. The last known time a Watchman swung its sword, it left a quarter-mile long ravine that remains to this day called the Furrow. There is no known creature on Cendra that can match a Watchman.

The second type is called an Ambassador. Six feet tall and of a more slender build with a bolt of blue cloth hanging down their back from their right shoulder, they escort supplicants about the Sapphire Mount. The Ambassadors are known for their extreme speed and hinged joints; they are every bit as capable as Watchmen, pouncing on threats and simply tearing them apart.

The atoma require no apparent food, sleep, or maintenance of any kind. They control all access to the Mount. Each dawn, an Ambassador appears at the gate of the Mount with a sheet of parchment and an ink bottle. It pours the bottle over the parchment, soaking it. The ink slowly resolves itself into names, the list of people eligible to enter the Mount that day; they are Called. This list is formed without the atoma seeming to have any knowledge of who is present at the Mount that day; it simply resolves itself. The list is posted at the gate and supplicants line up, dressed only in a simple blue robe, for their chance to be escorted by an Ambassador inside. The atoma seem to simply know who is eligible; if another enters the line, they are pushed aside by a Watchman with increasing violence.

Visitors are brought into the presence of the Sibyl at the top of the Mount where she sits on a throne of sapphire, exposed to the elements on an open-air platform where blue flames burn in fire pits and wearing a golden mask. The Sibyl speaks prophecy to them; she takes no questions. An Ambassador removes the supplicant.

Supplicants rarely speak of what they are told in the audiences. It is said that to speak of the prophecy removes its power.

Pilgrims journey from all over Cendra to the Sibyl for answers but very few receive them. They camp at the base of the Mount, awaiting the Calling that most will never receive. Most ultimately give up and leave the Wastes but some desperate few remain even after their food and water are exhausted and die at the base of the Mount under the eyes of the uncaring atoma. They are wililng to die because of the fantastic tales that exist of what the Sibyl’s prophecies have wrought; a washerwoman who became a queen, a beggar who found a dragon’s hoard, a blacksmith who discovered the great metal, demir.

Selection

The Sibyl is not immortal. While none see her face, it is assumed that they age and die as a mortal, or at the very least their power is exhausted. When this happens, a bright blue flame appears at the top of the Mount and two Watchmen depart. They leave the Wastes, never stopping until they arrive at their target; a 12-year-old woman somewhere in Cendra. There is no indication how the girls are chosen or found. The Watchmen approach and take the girl. Attempts to stop them are met with increasing violence. The girl is then taken back to the Mount, and a new Sibyl is born.

The Sibyl

Cendra Senatorium