Friday, May 28, 2010

Chapter 14

A tall and slender ruler sat on a cushioned seat exposing his boney legs and broad bare feet. He was jeweled from head to toe, a person of conceited pride. His long crooked toes and jagged toenails were adorned with gold rings, The several crowns perched high over a head of coarse black hair platted in jewels. His robes were similar to that of the priests except that they were sewn with golden threads. His skin was olive after the Egyptians and had a long neck and thick lips. King Farsaid and Nel were astonished at the ostentatious display of his wealth and power. When they reached the foot of the tone, Nimrod raised his long boney fingers decorated with onyx and rubies and pointed to the king. The servant jabbed them with his staff. "Who ehre ye that I should bow when I am King of all Scythia?" King Farsaid said indignantly. Nimrod bristled, then leaned forward and took a long stare into the eyes of the king. "Then why have you journeyed from so far a kingdom to see my greatness?" "I heard of your tower and came to see it with my own eyes." "What gifts did you bring from your country?" Nimrod asked impatiently. Farsaid was insulted. He did not tell him of the herds of oxen and mules he'd brought for the tower or of Scythia’s precious metals, nor did he tell him of his prized herd of arabian horses. All intended gifts to Nimrod. Instead, he ordered that his servants bring into the room a smaller treasure of spices, bronze spears, gold and silver. Nimrod was unimpressed and spit on it. The rudeness was beyond repair. Prince Nel's distrustful eyes were on the guards and his right hand eminent to his sword. The king stepped backwards and they departed in haste. The insult was compounded when they discovered that they could not drink water from a local well nor pass through the gate without first paying tribute, so gave up their coins to the guards. Their
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camp was in the plains, a far distance from the city of Nimrod's posh gardens and water pools. That night King Farsaid doubled his guards around the camp and took the precaution of pasturing his fine arabian horses in a distant valley hidden by a grove of palm trees. That evening Nel sneaked back into the city to spy on Nimrod. A great noise attracted him inside the walls. It was a festival of sacrifice to the god Re. Nimrod's priests walked through the streets carrying torches while drinking from goblets the blood of animals. And as they paced themselves through the crowd, wreaths of flowers were thrown after them. The intended sacrifice was a group of frightened naked women and children following in a long queue behind the priests. Following them was a chorus of chanters, singing and beating drums. Then came the black-skinned people carrying large vessels of fermented grapes and mystic potions on their head. They all seemed poised for the great moment when Nimrod would appear among them and grant the sacrifice. When he did, those intended for sacrifice screamed wildly but were overcome by the cheering spectators. Nimrod had gained popularity because he claimed to have the power to build a tower which God could not destroy. The crowd separated for him to pass through. He wore audacious robes trimmed in bear fur which dragged in the dirt along the street. A breastplate covered his chest similar to the garment worn by Noah, except that the head of Re was woven into the threads.

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