But this is a half-truth, and poetry. It was taught to the prophet as the two, brothers in malapropos breeding, made their way to the last house that the fox had been shunned from. Arriving there, they found it derelict and empty, and entered into it as nomads, to make of it a season where they could rest for a while, ignored.
This is a lie; they were waiting in ambush. Vel’adyr had made a secret sign on the door that would invite trouble, and invoke the churning of men’s subterranean wells.
On the second day, a man was thus invoked as he passed by. Looking in, he found the two had taken residence there, and became angry at the sight, through no fault of his own. He became a wound-offering to the fox, who bit him savagely on the arm, but did not attempt to kill him, so that he might run to fetch more men and mightier weapons than those he had happen to have. Run and fetch he did, and a host of men, numbering ten, arrived the next morning.
“Be gone, filthiness!” They shouted, “Did we not send you out before? Have you come back so we could bleach your bones in offering to our gods?”
“To show you new fangs, which I have sharpened,” replied the fox, Djetul, “Come in! Be guests, that I might lay for you a feast of curses, and watch you choke!”
And thus they came, enraged, battering down the door which the prophet had locked out of spite, to enrage them more. Between Amaranth and the stinging short sword, the battle was short lived. Each man’s head was removed and placed before the door in two rows, as stones line a garden path. Only one was allowed retreat, as the blood-lust of the two had not yet been slated.
The next evening, when Kamur and Haalos hid their faces from the world, a greater host came, arrayed in armour, marching with banners, but quietly, thinking to surprise the fiends that would not move. They were not surprised (they had been watching for such a thing), but the fox was awed by the sight of armies arrayed beneath the light of moons, marching. Vel’adyr, Kvaell’alan, turned his eyes upwards instead, and saw the house of Mortgah passing over, and spoke out to it:
“Hide your face, Queen of all souls
and sit in secret judgment!
but smell the incense I’ll offer,
a great cloud rising
to ring your house:
the cries of the dying are music
and the foundation of your Kingdom;
I’ll play you a tune.”
Thinking the prophet was speaking of his own death, in light of the arrayed army, the fox prepared for his own, and thus became so enraged (an echo of divine wrath, an echo) that he flew down into the first line of men, and slew them all, wounding himself slightly, as was his custom.
But, spreading his wings, Kvaell’alan became himself a dark god, a shadow of a god, the Prince of Furies Estranged, and so stretched out Amaranth into a bladed staff, a crescent blade, and clothed himself in arcane armour. Lighting from the earth beneath the canopy of night, he reached out to a whole company of men. Where he touched, there was death. Where he breathed, there was death. There was death, until the forces of men retreated in terror and confusion, the fox stinging their backs.
From the rear ranks came a cry from the lord of the hosts, cursing those he had brought:
“Run, as children at play,
And I’ll call you children;
To flee from the fray in the face of evil
Is to be yeselves evil
— Or less than!
Take courage, or be ye shamed,
I care not which ye claim,
But claim one and phalanx!”
And thus, the host regrouped, still scores strong, and lowered their spears, advancing. Kvaell’alan, dark shadow of a god, declared the earth to open beneath marching feet, and it did, making of itself a mouth and a throat, closing again to swallow the lord and host whole, leaving no trace of them.
“Surely,” said the fox, panting and bleeding, “you are a prophet, and a reaper of what others have sowed.”