The fact that you have this great Book open before you means that the High Priest of your Island - a divine friend to your people - has been captured in battle and slaughtered by another tribe of Nimbus. Let your people mourn and wail for him, as they surely will.
For you, however, the time of mourning must now be finished. For you have been chosen to replace him, and there is much that you must learn, and very little time.
The pages that follow will clarify your tasks and duties, but certain things must be explained immediately. Let the detail wait for a calmer time, if ever it comes. You have been chosen from among your people to serve them, even until your very death.
If you are reading this now you have safely come through your initiation. Undoubtedly you are afraid and confused,and your body is weak. Be assured that you will recover - that you will soon be even stronger than before.
Now your training in the Priesthood of Nimbus begins.
Know that in a time before memory the floating Islands of Nimbus were one: one sphere of land, one tribe of people, and that our hearts were free of hatred, as they can never be again.
Know that under one land, there grew an invisible darkness and storm. The Furies whose brotherhood was balanced and strong collapsed into ferocious jealousies and rage. Thunder who is powerful and proud craved the agility and speed of his brother Wind who longed in turn for the rejuvenating powers of Rain. And the envy spiralled. And the Storm under the land rumbled and grew. It was this battle, which rages still, that tattered our land, tore it into bits, and hurled the pieces into the sky: Nimbus as we know it now.
Know that the Furies have divided us. The wise ancients say that the Furies will unite us again in the end times. Until then, we must fight for the precious resources that these islands supply us. We must descend from the peaceful Serenisphere, down into the Pyrosphere where these battles rage. If we do not fight, we do not survive.
But make no mistake, survival is second to glory. We are fighting to rule these skies, to dominate our enemy tribes, and to unite Nimbus again under one mighty hand.
Know that henceforward you are in mortal danger. Your spilled blood is precious to other Priests, as theirs will be precious to you. It is only the release of their blood that the Furies will grant you the knowledge of wondrous and powerful forms of warfare. Your people will need them to dominate your ravenous foes. Let your knife dig deep into the hearts of these men. Let you Altar wrench from their souls the bloody destiny of your people.
Know that this sacred Temple, these stately Workshops, and all the parts of this miraculous machinery of war are now parts of yourself. And these magical bridges that weave it together are like the veins that run between your own organs. When a bridge falls down through the clouds and into the abyss, you will feel that you are falling with it. And when your Whirligigs or your Thunder Cannons score victories for your people, you will feel the glory of that victory surging toward your heart like a heat.
Know that one day, you may meet your end on the Altar of your foes. If that hour should come, another will be chosen. He will suffer as you have suffered, and he will carry on your work, just as you now take up the torch of those who have come before you. Look to the vast tribute people now pay to your slain predecessor. Someday that tribute and glory will be yours.
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