• Erin Grace Thomson

THE ORIGIN OF CRUCIAMEN

Here lies the creation of pain and its ferrywoman.


The humans had been mocking the gods for centuries, and no amount of punishment had seemed to suffice the father gods. One day, in the innocence of winter, they decided to plague the mortals. Their hair turned gray as bodies wrinkled back into the earth’s core, yet still, the god’s were not invoking their purest wrath. On the specks of winter’s snow, bodies were buried by the thousands. But they still pissed on the divine statues.

The wheel of power began to turn. “We must stop these treacherous bastards! Once and for all! We have given them too much.” one god said.

“Or we can let them rot, that seems like a more hundane idea” another gestured softly, leaning back into his chair. No one agreed to this proposal.

“Who said anything about being humane?”

The gods sat around a table made of starlight and ocean waves, dragonfire and ice, with the earth at its center. “We must think of a way to punish them, your Majesty.” The strongest of them all hit a puff of his pipe and trailed his fingers along the mortal realm.

“Something which will terrorize but rebuild. To punish means to also forgive. But it must hurt them to a terrific extent—they will fear, love, and hate us, but will bow for worship at our marble feet.” this was when the real story begins, the Origin of Cruciamen, and our horrific ferrywoman, Dela.

~

She had been born from laburnum and dragonfire, with a drop of chaos. The gods had chosen her to be the bringer of all Cruciamen: Salutem, Amare, Divitiae, Motus, Mortem, and Ira. Though there are gatekeeper’s at every realm, Dela is their divine ruler and watches over everyone.

Salutem was where most of the folk would be given punishment, in regards to their bodies. Further along the blood river we come across Amare, where one can hear the distant cries of fated lovers, and other forms of worship which end in chains and torture. Divitiae is where the ones who plunder and grow ill with greed reside and are struck with poverty and suicide. Motus is possibly the most harmful, the grief one receives becomes so toxic that some say they have witnessed people gouging out their own eyes and stabbing themselves in the skull. Mortem is strictly a place to make the immoral witness the destruction of their own life, as well as making them replay the loss of their loved ones. It is ruled by a lord of death; depending on when you arrive determines which lord you will have the pleasure of meeting. There are three.

Suddenly, we come to the smallest ring of them all: Ira; this is where our ferrywoman resides. From here she can overlook the six realms and plan her sun and moon trip around Cruciamen. It is the home of wrath, as a literal and figurative translation. If one gets caught in one of the many intersections of the blood river there is a grave price to pay.

Dela’s boat is pulled by two serpents, Hrist and Hrani.

The gods had created such a woman with the intention of wreaking havoc on the human race for their disobedience. But what the gods had not reckoned with was the strength of such a woman, though created by them, she desired no part in their game of life and death. She merely did her duty and went to roam around Ira with her beasts. They had also not reckoned with the outpour of chaos that she would ensue, once the humans had realized what had been inflicted upon them, they soon retaliated against divinity. The gods had to forge a plan that would dim the torches that the commoners lit in defiance, but they would sooner drown in the depths of hell than appease the humans.

So they created a chamber, at the bottom of the blood river, only accessible by the serpents and by Dela, that would store more power than she ever knew what to do with. It contained the souls of those who were too wretched for the planet, those that bathed in the darkness that encased what was left of them; after Hrist and Hrani had their way. The souls of the damned was what they were named. They were nothing but ash by the time she and the serpents were done. And it would feed Dela more power than she ever knew what to do with. So, if one day the gods would ever be struck upon by the human race, Dela could eradicate the whole world yet remain in Cruciamen. For the gods had to keep their wits about them, but she was more sadistic than any of them could have conjured with their own hands. She was born from the power of the gods, but she resembled none. She did not wish to.

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