CHAPTER 4 The Blood Soiree May Desert Sun shine upon you this morning. Arise, you sons of killers and bitches. For the day is blooded. From Prosper's Shore to Eastland Cove, from Pauldron Mountains to Thorn Forest. The sky is torn and bleeds upon the righteous. Stand up and stretch your limbs. Wipe sleep from eyes. And kick the pretty creatures from your covers. It is the Seventh Day. The Purge is ended. We are one. Now close your fist with draken scale and nocturne pale, with cactus thorn and beastman fur. Brothers! Sisters! The Nation bleeds its sky for you, and in the sand its quivering heat. You workers of Dorgrad, take up the pick and shovel and carve your name into the earth. Towers reach the sky while your arms probe deeper. No hiding place for secrets. No realm unto the dead. The filth cannot veil itself in shadow or dust. For you have scoured your home of parasites, and turned the fiery river from your door. The jewel that shakes from ruin, you have risen stronger. Now rise again, my Equals. Rise! And be as polished gold. You merchant sons of Avarath, don indigo and umber burnt. Fly silks of chalk and eggshell white. Saffron and lead. Let all the colours of the newborn day to dance in Prosper's Wind. And like the swelling fruit make honeypots of market squares, and in the whore and bath houses squeeze the juices. The smoke and ruin clears. 'Tween blood and rubble flows the gold. Load up the ships and send them hence, four quarters of the world to suckle. We are strong! You men of Zirako, a weapon in one hand and kresnik in the other. Make stumbling steps and arch your backs upon the battlements. In Red Tower light the forges and work the bellows. Make iron of the outer walls. In Green Tower lay the sun upon the budding flowers and like broad-leaves lean to follow in its stead. In Blue Tower set the trolls to station and praise the rushing springs. Let not one drop be wasted. And in Grey Tower blow the dust from books and take up ink and pen to chronicle our deeds. And come ye, all you drinkers of the noble line. You watchers in the night and veilers of the day. Nocturnes! Rise! In this pure morning rise, though skin may crawl and throats may parch. Stretch out those burning limbs and sink your fangs into the day. For two hundred years you have suffered in the desert, and bled to build our nation. Now rise again and stretch the bodies of the ever-young. You are tireless. You are mighty. And in your blood the heroes of the ages. In Zirako, the spring and the fortress, we await you. Come ye, all you families of the ancient oaths. Swear again your fealty to the Sun, and drink with him to another hundred years of dominion. My nocturne lords, such mountains we have climbed and storms we have weathered. Let the dead of recent days be buried, and the pawing at our gates be damned. It is nothing! We remain! Insects, cultists, dissent and merchant insolence. It is ended. The Desert Sun has moved and bid no more! Now raise your swords as one, and poise your blades to Viridos. The days of the god-scourge are numbered. From forests dipped in poison crawl the vermin. And turn their bug eyes to the east. They look upon us, craving order and the curbing desert. They claw as they drown, for land not choked with weeds. And they will come, on that near hour, riding spiders and dragging fungus roots. A shambling horde who drool for corpse-gods. On Prosper sea and Chersonese our blades will cut their vines. On our shields their spores will dash and scatter to the sand. We'll suck their poison from the wounded land and spit it in their faces. The Desert Sun will pierce the canopy and hold all creatures to account. And they will know, that we are the inheritors. We, the Red Children of the Sundered World. But first we feast. First we fuck. First we remember the dynasties of glory. COME NOW, MY LORDS AND MASTERS, TO THE BLOOD SOIREE!