- It is written in the Bible that the nephilim are the sons and daughters of angels who lay with the daughters of men. It is also a fact that great heroes arose from the halflings, as there are few who can measure up to their power and pride.
Ada was sitting in front of the bard, a female elf in her early thirties with a fox-like face, that tried to rally her into coming up with some kind of heroic story of her own. She was more than sure, that the bard wished to double it and sell for some good bills of exchange, as her nephilim instincts never failed her in the department of money.
- Oh, great Warrior, let us hear Your stories! - the bard went on.
- Yeah! Let us hear! - cheered the crowd.
- Prophet, be kind and tell us, where does all this greatness come from? - the bard asked.
- From Eloheinu. - Ada replied.
- And your powers? Do you know the angel that you come from, Your ancestry?
Indeed she knew. However, she still wasn’t sure how she got into this situation in the first place. She is neutral to people’s outbursts of affection or complaints. Listens to them equally and has no trouble to take action or simply walk away. This time, after coming back from a hunt of half-dead beings on her way back to the Cathedral, the whole village gathered around and they all wanted to celebrate and enjoy the aftermath of the threat, now without a reason to be scared. Many prayed and many praised her name and even God. Ada liked their spirits, but wouldn’t care to stay. The words of the bard... they were the ones that made her wonder and linger. This elvish poet, she talked about Christian ideas as if it were a tale, a myth. It was an absurd situation, as for humans and half-angels, the elvish folk’s existence was something that wouldn’t make sense. They were never named in the Bible, not even a remark, and yet they existed. Even now they were gathering around her with their wild, beautiful smiles and pointy ears, so curious about the weirdo, who she was in their eyes.
The absurdity of the situation made her think about things she left untouched in her mind for so long. About her role in this world, her allies and enemies, and about Angels, the Fallen, the Beasts... Because one thing was sure: Azrael, the last Angel who walked Veronia is now a Beast. Just because, as He has told to her and Loreena, didn’t abide to God’s calling to return to Him, and wanted to stay and help humanity. But she, Andromeda, has no memory or idea, nor stories were told to her about the way the Angels left this world, and how the Beasts have become. She has so many memories and her people so many lively stories about all that had been, but none really describes the Angels ascendance to the Heavens. Did all of them return? Now she knows that the answer is no. Were more of those who stayed against God’s will? And more importantly: would it change anything if she knew what happened to them?
- Andromeda...Nephilim Andromeda... - the bard, she wouldn’t give up. And the nephilim would stop her thoughts and lift her head to take a look around. All of the villagers sat in quiet and waited. - Would You maybe tell us about your ancestor, the angel?
Andromeda realized with a speck of horror in the back of her mind, that there is no good reason for her not to talk. She didn’t like describing ideas, as she felt that words usually fall short for such a quest. But she was curious, observant and liked to share, too. Telling the tale of an old memory was no problem for her. Within all those dreams and her own memories, all the nephilim carried memories of their angelic ancestor. She just had to close her gold-yellow eyes and let the patches of remembrance surface.
- Abathar Muzania
was Its name. - she starts and even the children that were hustling behind her back to claim a feather, stopped and listened. Only if the bard would be so patient:
- It...? - she raised her eyebrow, and wasn’t alone with it.
- Angels don’t have gender, we were nor male or female. Life on this land and time made the difference, that some of us became more like men and the others more like women.
Andromeda talks in her girly, but low and calming voice in a slow pace, her face looks like as if she was dreaming.
- It is the Angel of the North Star – she goes on - and my people would honor It as the weigher of the soul of the deceased. But it is not Its work, as only God can tell souls apart, but it was Its power…
Opens her eyes and looks around.
- …To read the soul, the greatest strengths of Its enemies and then mirror them against them.
She seems to be done, quite satisfied of her description, but the villagers look a bit dazzled.
- Like... – The bard tries her best to figure out what they have just heard. Although she has the feeling, she got a lot, in actuality there is nothing in her hands that could be turned into a rhyme and sang around the Elvish forest. - Like...can you describe one case?
Ada remains silent.
- Who did she... I mean It fight?
- Demons and Beasts.
- Woooow. - the audience catches up finally.
- Like the demons that humans turn into? - asks the bard, holding down the topic with great professionality.
Ada closes her eyes for a second, her facial features relaxed and yet tense like if she was in a vivid dream. After a few moments she answers:
- No. The demons were like Angels... from the same material, but not from God. Just as big as Angels.
- Angels were big? - interrupts a man, that is quite the size himself. Ada understands why the question is kind of important to him.
- Yes. Like giants.
The man has no more questions.
- One time there was a demon of the sea. - Ada goes on, wrinkling her eyebrows and nose in a cat-like manner, as a sign of her great effort to look back and realize the details of that event, that took place hundreds and hundreds of years ago, long before their time. - The waves were listening to his word and he could open up the deep. My people believe nor the giant bird-like Ziz or the Leviathan, demons themselves, could do anything about it. He was trapped in a pillar of holy water, since the times of Moshe, until one day, the Moon lifted that water and the sea dried up for three days. It was that time that this demon escaped.
And thats when she understood... The Moon, Yaerach. That demon that called himself Abezeth and claimed himself to be once and Angel with all the proportions of a Fallen. Why would the Angel of the Moon help him escape? Could it be... could it be that all the Fallen were once Angels?
No. It’s impossible.
- Nephilim Andromeda?
Ada gets out of her head once again. She is determined to know. One of the questions of her life, the answer yet hidden from her, but she didn’t leave her home for nothing. She has to know. And the halfling, that wouldn’t speak, now talks with great voice and sharpness. The sooner she satisfies them, the sooner she can leave.
- The demon escaped. - helps out the bard eagerly.
- Yes. But not for long. He threatened the men living by the side of the sea, so no fish came to their nets and they became poor and died or starvation turned their minds and they turned against each other and eat each others flesh. The rest of them went deeper in land and created poverty by numbers. Something had to be done and mankind turned to Angels. We didn’t like people, never did. They are weak in will and greedy at heart - Ada goes on, stating the feelings of a creature that probably doesn’t exist no more in the form she remembers It, the form It remembers Itself. Could it be? No. It’s impossible - And so Muzania, my ancestor, would go and meet the demon in the middle of the sea. The demon laughed at Muzania, because the waves was his domain, but he was trapped once by it, so he tried to be quick, sending the waves against the angel. But Muzania couldn’t be harmed by him, because It was a mirror. The moment It saw him, It weighed his soul and knew about his sins and weaknesses and strengths... I...I don’t remember what it was.
Andromeda’s breathing quickens, but now caught up in the middle of this stream of memories, she couldn’t stop, even if she wanted. And so she went on speaking, while her audience held their own breaths and the bard absorbed every momentum, every word.
- The demon of the sea attacked but the waves would listen to Muzania instead of the demon, as the demon was not worthy to command over the creation of Adonai, God of all that exists. And It told the salty water to fill up every hole of the body of Its enemy. The demon tried to summon hell upon the angel in form of fiery balls that were bigger than your houses. It had no effect, as the water shielded the body of his fighter. In the end, the demon suffocated and died at the hands and weapons of Muzania, who placed the lifeless body where it had laid before its awakening, under the pillar of water for so many decades, and It chained him to the bottom with holy chains, so if the Moon ever pulls up the body of water, the demon won’t be able to escape again.
No curiosity was left unsatisfied that afternoon apart of her own. Questions arose in her mind among the pictures that made no sense without knowing, and oh, Eloheinu, did they burn.