Upon the Plains of Adoration

In dappled groves of ancient, hulking oaks standing god-like among endless oceans of emerald moss, a voice rises up from the black, fragrant earth strewn with forgotten ruins and grim stone shapes hidden beneath mountains of ivy. Thin and airy at first. A mere dream of lurking things at the edge of thought. Suffocating darkness that reaches its tendrils deep into the well beneath the trees. A memory, only half-recalled, that wanders like a hungry ghost among the empty, cobwebbed corridors of the ruined mansions and submerged palaces of consciousness.

It floats and drifts like smoke, becoming fuller and stronger as it climbs above the crowned heads of the trees. Now like a chorus of monstrous chthonic angels, the song rings out over the land, bursting with glory and rage. A name that has been cursed for millennia shrieks out like a thousand dire pipes and shatters the foul torpor of a world lulled to dreamless sleep by the lies of the machine. It spits its proud wrath upon the face of heaven itself: Cromm Cruaich! The Crooked One of the Mound!

The corn-headed one rises up upon his bloody pile. His bony shoulders stooped and the horns upon his brow piercing the sky and the sun blazes above him like a halo of fire. Shrouded in mist, he sits enthroned on the Hill of Kings surrounded by his wizened idols. In his dread claws he holds the gifts of milk and grain and in the timeless deep Tigernmas marches to Cromm with his host and there upon the plains of adoration does homage to the Bent One on Samhain eve. With wild eyes and bloody fists they did beat themselves raw and weep and fall to the ground overcome by lamentation and there surrounded by a circle of stones arranged in ranks of four times three did Cromm find their offering to be pleasing and the mighty host was there slaughtered to a man for the gift of milk and grain.

For thousands of generations after the bloody place was held in reverence by the folk, who brought their own sacrifices for the gift of milk and grain. For life on the plains was hard in those times and the secret powers of the god demanded the pouring of bright blood in a circle around the barrow. Then came Patrick of Ravenglass, from the home of the Raven Woman, who defied the Ones who Stood in the Grove and spewed impieties from a table in the front of his house. He cursed Kings and Tribes and Nations and came with iron and fire to tear down what had stood since the dawn of ages. So was Cromm sundered and dragged from his holy seat upon the mound.

We shall no longer speak of Earth, the Mother. At least not the Mother that gives and gives and gives until her teats are withered and raw from the cruel teeth of her most wretched and ungrateful spawn. No, if we speak of a Mother it shall be a one that is deep and clouded and dark and full of terror. Not without love but a love that is weird and mysterious and to be feared. A love that is not understood but craved. A maddening love that comes upon us in the light of the moon. A love we would do anything to protect.





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