A Song of Light & Darkness

(Also known as “The Lament of Brother Paul”)

In the days following Aries defection to the darkness of Erebus, a great tempest of shadow and demonic creatures erupted from the darkness below the waves and began to consume the island of Gallow. Cygnus– already banished due to his forbidden love of the priestess Cassiopeia despite my objections–and his brother Pisces marshaled those members of the Order that remained loyal to the teachings of Helios and — gathering what boats and sailing vessels they could–prepared to evacuate the island of Gallow.

They were joined by those few of the Shrouded Men who had escaped the destruction; among them was myself, I had been posted to the furthest outpost on Gallow, since it was believed that my closeness with the rank and file made me unsuited for life amidst the rulers of Gallow. Leading a small contingent of remaining knights, we joined the two brothers and began to aid in the evacuation, piling whosoever we could and whatever supplies could be gathered on the ragtag fleet that the brothers Pisces and Cygnus had assembled.

Each knight taking a separate boat we made preparations to leave, the storms lashing against the boats but– as we neared the Twin Cliffs, one of white limestone the other of dark basalt–we saw that the way was too treacherous with many hidden rocks that would see our ships dashed to timbers. The only way that we could pass would be for someone to climb the hidden paths to direct the ships, shouting instructions down to the fleet from the summit, but the enemy was watching and whoever did so would surely pay with his life.

Each Knight stepped forward and volunteered to make the sacrifice to save our people, but a young brother named Paul, a humble priest with a beautiful singing voice and no claim to knighthood stepped forward, saying simply:

“The Knights are needed to guide our people to safety, I will go.”

Climbing the limestone cliff via a secret way known only to the Knights of Helios, Brother Paul began to sing, guiding the ships through the rock, his beautiful voice ringing out across the waves and calming them for a few precious moments.

The sky was instantly filled with arrows and the shadow-fire of the enemy, many piercing Brother Paul’s body, but by the grace of Helios he remained standing and sang until the last of the boats had passed. Only then did he fall, his voice letting out a final piercing note that caused the cliffs to crumble and prevent pursuit of the ship, it is said by those who saw his body fall into the water that there was a look of serene contentment on Paul’s face as he felt the embrace of the water.

There are even some who say that he had already passed beyond this world but that his pattern had not lingered, I cannot say for I did not see him at the end.

Before our boats were parted by the raging seas and we lost sight of each other, I saw one of my fellow- knights lift Paul’s body from the water and wrap it gently in a white shroud, his beautiful voice seemed to sing from the shroud even though his spirit had ascended to be with Helios. Then a great wave swallowed my ship and I knew nothing until washing ashore on the coasts of Albion, it would be some time before I was re-united with my Brothers.

The shroud that wrapped Brother Paul is the same one that now lies across our altar to Helios, it still sings in his voice at times and it gives me great comfort to know that, even in the darkness, there is music, light and hope. Whatever Erebus and his disciple Aries may have taken from us, as long as we have the light, we will persevere.

– As told by Capricorn of the Order of Helios.