Traitors and Prophecies of a Lost World
Far from Hannibal’s home in a remote unknown cavern deep beneath Cerro Aconcagua in Argentina, an old man wearing a loose-fitting tan shirt and trousers with a dagger strapped to his hip sat at a large fire in an isolated cave within the cavern. Thirty other people dressed in a similar manner congregated around the fire with him. His age showed with bronzed leathery skin, a long snow-white beard and shoulder length snow white hair. The others sat silently and respectfully, giving the old man their full attention. He gazed intently into the fire: lost in thought. Suddenly, he looked up at those around the fire. His emerald eyes flashed in anger as he spoke. “You all know why I’ve summoned you here to this remote place. There’s a traitor amongst us. He or she has already betrayed us to the Emperor. You know who you are. Did you think that the Ancient of Days really wouldn’t see? You thought wrong,” the old man hissed while standing up. He slowly walked around behind those seated.
The group murmured as they looked at each other with growing suspicion. “Didn’t you think that He wouldn’t know?” the old man growled angrily, hesitating behind a young man with short brown hair and eyes. Leaning close to his ear, the old man declared, “Whoever has done this has only one chance.” The old man patted the young man on the shoulder and moved on.
“The Emperor’s forces have decimated and massacred our brethren in eastern reaches of Khitia,” the old man reported. “This was unexpected because we didn’t believe the Emperor could extend himself that far that quickly. Our losses are extensive too, close to ninety percent. Those that survived the onslaught fled into the deep caves, some making their way back to us. Now the Emperor controls Solomon’s Passage. This is a very disturbing development. We have controlled that area for nigh on six hundred cycles. Now he prepares to take the surface. This is intolerable. Whoever you are that did this, coming forward now to answer for your actions is the only recourse. The Ancient of Days knew of your treachery and showed me who it is that has done this treasonous act.”
The old man looked around at the group, fastening his eyes on one young man with green eyes and shortly cropped black hair across the fire from him, saying, “Coming forward now will spare your life and save your soul. The Emperor will consume your soul if you remain his agent.” The young man stared back in defiance without saying a word. They remained in their staring match for over a minute, alerting everyone of identity of the traitor. Silence reigned as several burly guards edged towards the black-haired traitor. The fire crackled and roared while the confrontation ensued.
Finally, the old man spoke up. “So be it,” he said icily. “Go back to the Emperor. I know not what the Emperor promised you. Whatever it is, you’ll never live to see it; however, fear not. Your death is not yet and will not be at our hands. I have a message for the Emperor.” The guards pounced on the traitor, restraining him and pulling him to his feet while binding the young man’s hands behind his back. One guard drew his dagger, placing it in the hollow of the traitor’s throat, ready to dispatch the traitor.
“I wish to remind the Emperor about the prophecy that we all know so intimately,” the old man stated. Then to the guard with the dagger, the old man ordered, “Put your dagger away, Anwar. He’ll not be much of a messenger boy if he’s dead.” Anwar the guard sheathed his dagger. “Sit and listen, especially you,” the old man ordered, referring to the traitor. Everyone sat as the old man returned to his position at the fire. Three guards stayed close to the traitor, two flanking him, holding him firmly, and the third, Anwar, standing behind him watching like a hawk. All eyes fastened upon the old man as he began to speak again.
“You all know the prophecies,” the old man stated. “Back in the mists and fog of time from the time of the beginning, from the days when our people lived on the surface come these prophecies. Many millennia have passed since the Ancient of Days passed judgment on the world. Many of the accounts of that event and time have been fragmented and lost to us. For in time, history becomes legend, and legend becomes myth. Things were forgotten that shouldn’t have been and for twelve millennia the knowledge of what befell us passed from our knowledge as a people. All that remained was a fairy tale: a myth of our origin that told of the days when the gods of old battled each other on the surface for the soul of the planet, decimating the world and angering to wrath the Ancient of Days. However, the Ancient of Days remembered His people and, at the time of His choosing, revealed the location of the fortress of Srandi and the last known accounts of our fall, the source of the prophecies. What you hear now is the only known account left from that time, even though it is still fragmented and we continue to search for the complete prophecy. Hear the words and take heed for the days of their fulfillment are at hand. Listen carefully.
“Just before the cataclysm the Ancient of Days visited upon us and the world, the Demon Emperor ruled the whole world with blood and terror. Billions perished at his hand. He allowed the forces of the most Ancient Darkness to manifest in our dimension and plague the living. In those days, he was nigh unstoppable because of his power. Therefore, our great God, the Almighty Ancient of Days sent forth prophets and they foretold the destruction of Amacia and the Emperor. These prophets prophesied and chronicled the fall of Amacia and the destruction of the Emperor just before the cataclysm. They wrote down the prophecies and hid copies of them from the Emperor. In many cases, the copies of the prophecy were split and sent to various lands as a way to keep the Emperor from circumventing and destroying the whole of it. They also managed to secure a remnant of our race for the Ancient of Days. The Emperor decimated them just as he decimated our brethren in Khitia recently. When the Emperor slew the last prophet in the throne room of his Black Fortress, he didn’t realize that he doomed his kingdom. The very same day the Emperor killed the last prophet, the Ancient of Days raged in his wrath at the wickedness perpetrated by the Emperor and those who followed him. The Almighty sent the Hammer of Nibiru, the great wandering star that blasted the planet and turned it upside down. At His order, it caused the ground to open up and the Earth swallowed our country up whole. The periphery of the Empire subsequently fell to the Deluge caused by the great star, reordering the surface of the world in the process. Amacia fell exactly as the prophets had predicted. The world was cleansed and only a few handfuls of pure souls were allowed to remain above to start over; souls He warned of the coming calamity and who acted on His word. Nearly every trace of the Empire vanished and the Emperor was banished here with the whole of Amacia. The outer world lost all knowledge of our existence when the Ancient of Days wiped the surface clean of the Emperor’s vile Empire. The prophecy of the destruction of Amacia occurred in that day just as the prophets had foretold; however, the destruction of the Emperor didn’t happen at that time. The destruction of Amacia and the Emperor are two different events separated in time and space. Now the Emperor’s downfall is at hand. Listen to the prophecy of the Emperor’s destruction as we know it from the fragmented writings and take heed, for the time is now. The Ancient of Days has decreed it and reads as follows from our fragmented accounts.
“In the end of days, the Dark Prince will shake from his slumber and many will despair. The great Dark Cat will roar, the world will shake, and darkness will come as the Cat stirs. The Draken Lord will arise in the east and rage in fury. A monster Chimera will sweep out of the northeast with vengeance and a Giant of immense power will arise with great strength out of the northwest. In those late days will he come, the great Warrior guardian from the Outer World with his celestial mate and ten of his own and the great Ancient of Days guiding their way while being pursued by an old enemy out for vengeance and an enemy who isn’t his enemy. For in those days, the Ancient of Days’ anger shall be kindled against the Emperor and his kingdom will be plunged into darkness. Stars and fire shall fall on the Dark City of the Damned in divine fury. The moon shall be struck and bloodied; the sun and stars hammered and their light shall be withdrawn. For the righteous Wrath of the Divine God will fall on the kingdom. Indeed, the very Earth will stagger and sway as a drunkard, being pulverized by bolts of power from on high for the Emperor’s transgressions and atrocities are piled up to Heaven and Ancient of Days has remembered his crimes. Even the great celestial Hammers will be called forth from the heavenly armories to smash the Emperor’s evil as he tries to spread his dark power over the planet once more.
“In those dark days, the Almighty Ancient of Days sends His Messenger – the mighty Warrior guardian from the Outer World and his allies into the cursed darkness of His Enemy. Upon entering the cursed domain, the Warrior and his celestial mate fall prey to a trap set by the Warrior’s old enemy and are taken before the Demon Emperor where the inseparable pair is separated: the celestial mate to become a slave to the Demon Emperor, and the Warrior to be altered and mutated into his opposite, tortured, and condemned to oblivion. Yet the Ancient of Days preserves the Warrior in his fiery trial, allowing him to escape the Evil, showing him the way to lift the curse that altered his form, and return to the Dark City of the Damned to save his celestial mate and all souls trapped by the Evil in the deepest vilest darkness while awakening to his destiny as the hand, the very Sword of the Ancient of Days that spans the ages and saves all life from the Evil’s wrath and its source within the most Ancient of Darkness that seeks the extinction of all life.
“Thus the Ancient of Days sends His messenger – the mighty Warrior guardian from the Outer World, to His Evil Enemy, to prophecy against him, to be His divine wrath against his kingdom, to battle the Evil at the Fortress of Srandi, and triumph. The Evil shall be as the sands of the desert as they cross the face of the Earth to the Fortress of Srandi to annihilate the redeemed of their species. The Almighty Ancient of Days shall arise from His place and do battle for them as in the days of old, crushing the Evil underfoot with His mighty Hammers. Fire, brimstone, and billows of smoke shall rain upon the cursed City from on High as the Earth itself rises against the Dark City, not leaving one brick on another anywhere. Then shall the ENTIRE WORLD know that He, the Almighty Ancient of Days is the great and Almighty God – Creator and true Master of the Universe!” the old man prophesied.
Turning to the traitor, the old man said sternly, “Now go. Tell the Emperor that there is a prophet once more in the land. Tell him the Ancient of Days has finally set the day of his destruction. The time is now. The great Ancient of Days’ wrath is now upon him. Tell him!” The old man turned to those guarding the traitor and ordered, “Take him to the Plains of Blood and release him.” Then speaking to the traitor, he added severely, “Show your face here no more. If you do, you will surely die.” At that, the guard Anwar pummeled the traitor on the back of his head, knocking him out. “Remember Anwar…don’t kill him. Take him to the Plain and let him go. The day of our redemption is now upon us,” the old man reminded. “We must be vigilant. The Warrior will come.” Anwar and the guards dragged the traitor away. “May God have mercy on that poor fool for the Emperor won’t. Go back to your people,” the old man said to those remaining. “Be ready and vigilant. The battle is being set in array. Soon it will be joined.” The group filed out leaving only the old man standing there.
A middle-aged man approached the old man from the shadows. “How long have you known?” the middle-aged man asked.
Turning to face the younger man, the old man said, “I was told who it was the moment he sold us out. Unfortunately, there was no way to get warning to those poor people in Khitia.” He shook his head sadly, adding, “The Emperor moved so quickly we couldn’t do anything about it.”
“How many did we lose?” the middle-aged man asked grimly.
“We lost nine thousand. Only a thousand managed to get to safety. It’s been the worst loss we’ve had in nearly fifteen hundred cycles,” the old man reported grimly. “The Emperor’s troops swept through there like a scythe. There was no warning. Everything was slaughtered: men, women, children, cats, dogs, horses, cattle, chickens, goats – everything.” He shook his head again with tears welling up in his eyes, adding, “Such a terrible loss of life…it should’ve never happened.”
The middle-aged man put a comforting hand on the old man’s shoulder. “That it is, Nicodemus,” the middle-aged man agreed. “That it is. I don’t pretend to know what the Ancient of Days had in mind when He allowed this to happen. The only thing that I do know is that He will make it right somehow.”
Nicodemus looked into the man’s face. It was leathery, hardened by years of conflict. “I knew the Ancient of Day’s will in this matter. It still doesn’t make it any easier, Joshua,” he said softly. “He’s allowing the Emperor to fill his cup so that He can end this thing. The end is upon us, Joshua. Many, many more will die before it is over. He has revealed to me that the great Warrior spoken of in the prophecies is already on the move. He’s moving as we speak. I pray that the Ancient of Days will allow us to be there when he comes.”
“I’m sure He will,” Joshua returned. “Are you going to be all right?”
Nicodemus nodded. “Yeah...I’ll be all right,” he murmured. “I just need to be alone with the Ancient of Days. He is my strength and comfort. Go home. We are safe for the moment. The Emperor is now confident of his power and in that confidence will be his undoing. He is too busy right now to worry about us. He has a world and universe to conquer.”
“All right, Nicodemus, if you say so. If you need me, you know where I am,” Joshua answered as he walked away leaving Nicodemus alone with the fire.
Nicodemus sat down and quietly sobbed, tears streaming down his cheeks as he looked into the fire once again. Repeatedly, he asked the Almighty Ancient of Days why there had to be such a grievous loss of life, but received no reply from the heavens. Nicodemus stared into the fire, weeping; a prophet of the Ancient of Days, the only one left in a lost world not known to the rest of the world, period; one member of a race vanished from the face of the Earth many thousands of years before. It was a people thought to be root of all mankind with its core now buried deep in the rugged southern Andes Mountains for many long, forgotten centuries; forgotten for centuries but not forever.