A View Through Ketu
Chapter 1, The Journey
Step by step, a young boy climbs jagged, worn rocky steps that wind across the cliff face of a mighty mountain. Higher he climbs, taking his time, while balancing from shoulder to shoulder two buckets of fresh spring water hanging from a wooden staff. The myst is thick, but his path is clear. With the last giant step the young boy’s heavily callused feet protected only by simple cloth sandals land upon the plateau of his destination.
Before him lays the final path that leads toward the towering doorway that open into a temple complex. Built into the cliff face upon Hoarfrost mountains stands a perfectly unimposing yet grand monastery temple. Old and weathered, this secluded monastery complex is made entirely of simple and logical wooden construction. Like the eyes of the mountain face, ancient towers bare silent witness to the flowing mists and whistling winds of the surrounding forests, and criss-crossing canyons bellow.
Standing at the end of the path is a small, smiling old man. Draped in an almost tattered cloth robe. Faded in colour through age. He smiles at the boy as he approaches, standing with his hands behind his back at the mouth of the two giant doors.
“Ketu” Says the Old Man. “Come now, a storm is nearing.” Rolling thunder can be heard echoing through the mountains as Ketu replies “Yes Master.” He lowers the buckets beside the steps of the oversized double doors before removing his sandals as he enters slowly in column behind the Old Man into the temple. The giant old wooden doors groan as if too old to bear the weight of itself anymore, gently close behind them with a loud clang. As if to signal that the outside world is now excluded from proceedings indoors.
Beautiful carpentry work adorn every corner within. Lit by few candles, the glow refracts from the brightly coloured cloth that drapes from pillars that stand row in row on both ends of the hall. The enchanting bright colours and ensnaring incense adorned by magnificently intricate carvings do not reflect the old, aged and worn exterior of the temple.
The solemn caretakers of this ancient place stand bowing headed around a very large low sitting table within the center of the great hall. Entering last are the Old Man, and his following young one, Ketu. Prayer precedes a quiet intake of daily rice to each of the ten men of the Ketu’s fellow clergy. Before long this humble gathering rise to adjourn to assume their positions for final meditation before nightfall.
Disturbing images, distant and difficult to comprehend, flash before Ketu’s eyes as he lays sleeping on his floor cot. Thunder flashes again with a loud crack waking the boy from his sleep. Standing across the room at that moment is the Old Man, illuminated by lightning through the open window.
“Master” Ketu says inquiringly. “Be silent, and hear my words very carefully…”
The Old Man continues to tell Ketu that he must leave the safety of the temple for an undetermined period of time. He is not very lucid in describing the circumstances surrounding his request. Only that there is an unnamed evil that Ketu must see with his own eyes, and lessons that must be taught not by his Master’s teachings. Ketu nods hesitantly lowing his head in obedience to the Old Man words.
In secret, and in silence, Ketu leaves the grounds of the temple without informing the others in the middle of the night. Taking with him only meager provisions of rice enough to last for one journey. Climbing down towards the canyon passes bellow he contemplates the vivid description of a broken watch tower that the Old Man had relayed to him. The only clear marker of destination on his lonesome quest. All the while being tested by the rains and winds of the storm, never having left the temple ever since his Rebirth.
Dawn arrives, bringing light upon the base of the mountains, guiding Ketu through the canyons into the vast outside world. Upon Ketu’s long journey towards the foothills of a far away continent he experiences great elation of nature. While dodging unknown beasts, and villainous men. Occasionally being met by kindness by a gesture of kind men that help the boy on his journey by offering water, and rest. Never lingering for long, Ketu presses on determined to fulfill his Master’s request.
Chapter 2, Mystery in the Foothills
Many days of walking would pass before the boy arrives near the enigmatic destination in a land embroiled in conflict. Seeing forces of men that Ketu had only heard about through retelling of story long ago. A great confusion of men entangled in a line battle prevent Ketu from venturing further. A few concerned men try to prevent a boy from being placed in path of danger, but Ketu simply smiles and turns to leave. Bouble-backing past them, knowing that the Old Man would not have sent him there to die. At long last the sight of a crumbling watch tower rises in the distance. Sensing a great importance in this seemingly insignificant watch tower, Ketu approaches carefully to meet his destiny.