"The rescue of Esitel"

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Illustration by Mason Doran - copyrights Sakshi Pokhari


THE LADY OF THE ROCK

The assault of the emissary of Thanatophor had been repelled but at what price since the survival of the Avasthas as a higher race depended on the integrity of their psychic defenses? If the mind of one could be captured, suddenly, they were all at risk? Many Avasthas were telepathic and the somber tidings of the capture of Esitel were spreading fast through the cliffs dwellings. Gloom settled over the inhabitants of Shambalpur. It was time to call on the power of last resort.
No description exists of the Lady of the Rock for she is evoked in the tale as "She who cannot be described". The Avasthas knew that her sight and presence were enchanting and ever yearned for an opportunity to appear before her. Her raised hand brought security, peace and wisdom. Her soft and compassionate nature made it possible that her visitors could walk to her abode without fears, for she was an Avatar, neither unborn nor touched by time, and dwelling in her own splendor which was beyond the grasp of even the Avasthas. She had the mastery over the fruits of the Deep Way. She could bestow the power of Angkura, the germinating power of renewal and the state of Ananya, the oneness with the whole. Her mere presence was the core of the mystic shield that secured the Rock and protected the holiness of the Avasthas.
Etakir and his small band felt calmer now. The snake had vanished into the cave and they waited with intense expectation. A perfume of rose floated in the air, which Jonathan could smell, even in his sleep and the silence now was total.
Moments later, alerted by the cobra that had fully realized the seriousness of the situation, the High Lady emerged from her residence. She was followed by Alnya, her lady-in-waiting, a proud warrior princess with matted hair from the tribe of the sand people.
Some stories and songs have been preserved in the lore of the old desert tribes glorifying the princess with the face of dark golden bronze, whose complete dedication to her mistress was acknowledged even by the cobra king. When the Lady and Mistress of the triangle Rock came out from the jeweled cave, the young men immediately looked to the ground, for her luminosity was too dazzling, even for the eyes of the first-born. In reflecting her brilliance the Uraeus shone like gold. The Lady swiftly controlled her own radiance and asked them to approach. As she eased herself onto her stone throne, Alnya caringly placed a pillow underneath her and another behind her back. The mysterious ruler of Dagad Trikon gazed at them with a penetrating and reassuring glance. In a soft voice she invited them, "Come closer children" and they sat in front of her some ten feet away from the stone throne.
As she calmly listened to Erilie's anxious account, her serenity was contagious and all became relaxed. Those of the Sheravalian guards who were the sentries of the wood had now joined them. Gently taking the lifeless body of Esitel in her arms, she said repeatedly into her left ear many times, the mantra "Aham, aham, aham, aham!"
Although she just whispered these words, the sound seemed to capture the waves of the Rasa music and it rolled down the walls of the canyon with a mighty rumble. She opened each of Esitel's eyelids in turn and stared into her vacant eyes. At that very moment, thousands of miles away, Belzebseth, who was enjoying and reveling in the sight of his prey while probing in the fields of her innocence, was instantly blinded by a white radiance. The pain inside his brain was such that with a cry of impotent rage, he let slip his control over Esitel. The girl's consciousness immediately returned and she quickly regained the color in her cheeks.
She opened her eyes, emitted a gentle gasp and began sobbing in the arms of the High Lady who gently consoled her, "Esitel, you are my child, your innocence is more powerful than any filth you may have seen or felt. You are precious to me and you shall be healed. Don't worry."
But the young warrior continued to sob desperately. The Lady turned to the Sand Keeper, " Friend, in order to save my daughter, I had to reveal myself to the sire of the necromancers. From the shape of the Gundaldhar Fault, he might have guessed that he had found my dwelling but just now he had a glimpse of my very Self which is what he has sought for so long. Through many eons he has aspired to reach me and now, with this latest trick he has succeeded. He cannot overpower me but unfortunately, this place is no now longer safe. Please summon the Circle of the Aulyas at once."
The faces of all those present became grave. "As you please My Lady," answered the wizard, his voice slightly shaking. "The next full moon of Dhuljalal is indeed favorable. I shall invite them in your holy name."