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The Monsters of Amora

In a time before this one, filled with sin and charity, the saintly and the damned, there was the town of Amorah. Amorah was not a perfect town, even when you asked its Regent or its priest. There were beggars, travelers, witches, and whores, and no matter how much the town tried to purify itself, no matter how many prayers or actions were taken, there were always sinners of some kind.

The town’s troubles truly began with the appearance of the beasts. It started when the beggar, Lot, swore upon his soul that deep into the night, he saw what looked like a mass of eyes hover over the town. For this, the people ridiculed and mocked him, saying that it was another one of his mad delusions. This was not the first time that he swore he’d seen some strange sight either in the daytime or in the night-time.

It was only when the metal monster appeared that they began to truly believe Lot. One day in the market, amidst trades for goods and services, some of the earth, some of the flesh, a creature unlike any the townsfolk had seen appeared. It appeared to be a trio of interlocked rings rotating constantly, each ring appearing like a perfectly cut emerald. Each ring had eyes. Eyes that blinked and twitched and looked in every which way. Eyes of every human color imaginable, green, blue, brown, black, and some colors that the villagers had no words whatsoever for. All of the villages stared in awe, unsure what to do. And then the thing spoke. “Be not afraid,” it said, and the villagers could feel its voice echo through their very soul.

It was that unearthly voice that drove the villagers to action. “Seize it!” Father Nimrod screamed. The villagers lashed whips and rope around the thing, dragging the thing into an abandoned farmhouse, where it could be kept until something could be done to it.

Day in and out, Father Nimrod and his acolytes tried their best to destroy the thing. They sprayed it with holy water, and when that would not work, they would recite holy scripture at it. When that did not work, they blessed irons and whips and struck it repeatedly.

Lord Noah, the regent, ordered that guards be stationed at the gates to the shed, fearful the curious may hurt themselves. The only two who’d come, however, were David the Beggar, and Sarah, the daughter of Samson the blacksmith.

The next creature to come to the town wasn’t what it appeared to be initially. Ten or so moons after the appearance of the ringed abomination, a sorry traveler came into town. His clothes were tattered, he had no shoes, and his skin was sallow and sun-bleached. When he went to the town well and drank, the town guards told him to be on his way lest he suffers repercussions. He assured them that he would, but first, he wished to see the local holy man. Insulted by the man’s request, the guards threw the traveler out of town. The man returned to the town, much to the guards’ annoyance, though. So, they threw the wretch in jail, with the drunkards, prostitutes, and beggars. The jailer insisted the man could leave at any time he liked, but the traveler stayed, insisting that he just wanted to see Father Nimrod.

Finally, after a week of his insistence, the Traveler got his wish. He had dinner with Father Nimrod, and each treated the other with the respect due to a guest and a host. It was only when the Traveler, with the utmost respect, asked for proof of Father Nimrod’s divine authority when the dinner became uncivil. Father Nimrod became enraged, demanding to know what right this emaciated, wandering bum had to question his authority. Sensing his hostility, the traveler simply said, “Be not afraid.” It was then that Father Nimrod realized that this man was more than he appeared. He made the sign of our Lord, and said, “in the name of God and the prophets, I demand that you reveal your true form.” The traveler agreed. His skin became as polished bronze, and on the sides and back of his head, three more faces appeared, one the face of a bull, one face of an eagle, and one the face of a lion. Then four wings twisted their way out of the traveler’s back. One pair covered the traveler’s arms and another his legs, but not before Father Nimrod saw its feet become the split hooves of a cow. And then the eyes appeared. All over the traveler’s body, eyes bubbled out, each opening independently, each one a different color than the last.

Father Nimrod called out to any guards who could hear him, and he demanded to imprison this abomination with the other. As with the other unwanted guest, Father Nimrod tried anything and everything to kill the monstrosity. He tried whips, blades, spears, holy water, but nothing seemed capable of destroying the thing.

All the while Father Nimrod and Lord Noah redoubled their crusade against sin in the town, purging brothels, and beggars’ dens. Citizens were encouraged to report anyone who may have been engaged in devil worship. There were many who were accused. All the while both begged for the townspeople to continue to pray to God for an end to this plague of unholy creatures.

A week after the second beast arrived, something believed to be an angel arrived at the town. It was as tall as two men and had six wings, two which covered its face and two which covered its arms and had legs like stone. Many of the townsfolk came to bow at this sign that the Lord was on their side. “Oh, holy angel,” David the beggar said, even as guards dragged him back away from the creature, “what is it you wish of us?”

The angel spoke, and as it did very ground itself shook. Market stands crashed, pottery shattered, and those who stood too close never heard another sound in their life. “Those who are most pious in this town come before me.”

Father Nimrod and Lord Noah both stepped forward, careful not to be too close, lest the angel’s voice deafen them as well. “We are here,” Father Nimrod, “what is it you wish from us, oh holy messenger of God?”

“I wish for each of you to prove yourselves worthy of God’s grace.” The Angel said. Despite their confusion, the holy man and the regent were happy to indulge the request, sure of their piety. When asked what trials and tribulations they would have to endure, the angel just said. “I will show you my true form, and only then will we know whether you truly are worthy of God’s grace.” Both agreed, secretly worried that they would have to endure some cruel act to purge themselves.

The three followed the Angel to an old barn where it closed the door behind it, the townspeople following close behind. As the door closed behind the old barn, a crowd had gathered, doing its best to stay far away but wishing to see as much as they could. Nervous whispers came from the crowd, each member trying their best to crane their neck over the other. And then the light appeared. Emanating from the farmhouse was a light brighter than any the villagers had ever seen. Most shielded their eyes, but others refused to stop looking. For these, it was the last sight they would ever see. Just then, the barn erupted in a ball of fire, wood and rope flying everywhere. Those who dared look again saw the Angel rise into the sky, eyes bursting from every part of its body.

The next day, when those who dared to visit the site did so, they discovered the fates of Father Nimrod and Lord Noah. Within the farmhouse was none other than two ragged sets of bones, each with signs and statutes of the two who’d accompanied the would-be angel into the barn in the first place.

From that day on, efforts to rid the town of evil were redoubled. Father Nimrod and Lord Noah’s replacements, Brother Ahaziah and Lord Japheth respectively, devoted as much time and resources as they could to finding and destroying anyone who may have consorted with demons. After several days, a guard, Nebacunezzer, announced that he knew who the devil worshippers were.

He’d seen the bastard-girl Sarah enter the farmhouse where the two monsters were being held. Afterward, he saw her consort with both the beggar David and the whore Vashti. While his claims were initially hard to believe, when searched roughly by Brother Ahaziah, a chain of Topaz was found hidden on Sarah’s person, a chain that looked quite like the chained creature.

Immediately, all three were brought before Lord Japheth to be dealt with personally. Lord Japheth and some of his men at arms beat each of them but not before removing each’s hair roughly, not caring if they shed blood along with hair. Come the next day, each was tied to a steak and wood placed beneath them. After Lord Japheth lit the tinder beneath them, he offered each of them the chance to speak up for their crimes.

It was Sarah who finally answered. She told him that she believed that each of the creatures truly were angels, but was afraid to ask them. It was only when the third visitor came that she knew these to be angels. For, according to the bible which had been given to her by her mother, the reason for an angel’s wings was to protect any who stared from the burning light of their existence. When she went to see the angels, she was told that each was sent to test the townspeople’s devotion to God. She was also told to find the other two people in town who were pure of heart. Eventually, she found them to be none other than David the beggar and Vashti the whore.

Most of the townspeople laughed at this. Those that didn’t called it heresy of the highest order and demanded that the three burn.

But just as the fire started to lick Sarah’s feet, the flames became flowers and the ropes around their bodies wreaths of flowers.

Then the ground opened up. Those who could run as far away as they could, but some still fell in. Out of the hole emerged a being covered in eyes, with tongues seeming to appear and disappear at random. “Leave this place, David, son of Jacob, Vashti, daughter of Sarah, and Sarah, daughter of Vashti. There is nothing left here for you.” One of the tongues grabbed Lord Japheth, and though he begged and clawed at the ground until his fingernails were ripped from his skin, he disappeared within the mass of eyes. And then all of the tongues began searching for a villager. For a sinner. Some tried to run, but the tongues were to quick. Some tried to fight, but nothing could hurt the tongues. Some tried to hide, but they were found. There’s no hiding from judgment.

The three of them, Vashti, Sarah, and David, ran off into the night, each lamenting the fate of their fellow villagers in spite of their own treatment. When they were outside the bounds of Amorah, the town itself was swallowed up by the earth. And with that final gesture, God erased the Monsters of Amorah and their legacy once and for all.

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