Tradition speaks of the way:

I – Assembly

The stone circle dais on the ground floor of the Temple of E-ana is ten strides in bisection. Carved around the edges are hieroglyphics and symbols depicting Her sense, meaning and will. The people of the Valley filed in and gathered around the outside of the dais, leaving only space for an entrance to the East; for that was the direction of Her entry, should She deem to honour them with Her holy presence. The people stood in rows as deep as four and five in places, for many gathered for trials. It was their duty as part of the World to be witness and testament that justice was served truly, for if doubt remained, they must stand and speak for any wrong is everyone’s wrong.

Holding torches aloft for justice must be seen as well as served, the people are respectful in their silence, awaiting the entrance of the actors of the drama to be played before them.

For She is Illumination and perfect in every way.


II – The Magistrate

From the West approaches the Magistrate, a village elder of unsullied repute. Wise and honest, considered and just, he has served as Magistrate three times previously. A greying man with long beard and robust red nose. Stooped but stocky, arms rusted by many long days toiling in the sun and eyes that boast clarity and distinction.

He takes his place, seated upon a bench on the edge of the dais. For the Magistrate hears the accusations and the pleas in good measure, but remains one of the people and as one of the people performs his duty.

For She is the Witness and perfect in every way.


III – The Accuser

The Sakrisan E-Azad-kutu-ana, the Ninth Life for Her, Priest of the Temple of E-ana, enters the dais from the left, palms held out for all to see. Only the truth may be told in trial, nothing may be hidden. Resplendent in red robes of office, grey eyes and fine hair catching the torch light of the people; he begins his litany:

“Brothers and sisters my tongue may not lie. Brothers and sisters I come before you torn apart by grief, ripped to pieces by shame and with the Blessing of our Goddess, the holy Inanna, O Lady of the Night Sky looking down on us from above.

Brothers and sisters, I tell of a tale that is not of fantasy but of devious human intention and the greed for power and glory; for the woman, the Sister Delah committed High Blasphemy unto our beloved Light. She is guilty O brothers; she should be shamed O sisters.

For She is our Guide and perfect in every way.

The Sister Delah did come to me the night of the Festival of Fire; where in the blessed blaze of She, the harlot Delah did try to seduce the Sakrisan on return from the Heavens. I- I was weak O brothers and sisters and did not resist with all my might; but eventually coming to my senses in my love and the Light of the Goddess I did shun the temptress Delah from me before harm could be caused.

Upon my refusal to concede to her animal and carnal lusts for I, the Sakrisan, the Ninth Life for Her can only serve but one Goddess, the immortal and holy Inanna; She who holds our fates within Her holy hands; was to be accursed by the dread witch Delah. ACCURSED. She did curse the Ninth Life for Her, putting all our destinies at stake O brothers and sisters. She has harmed not only the people of the Valley with her witchcraft and blasphemies but also deeply offended the gods. For She has visited me twice in my dreams, to that our visitor can testify.

For proof of the damnation, the liar and hypocrite Delah has brought upon us all, look to the Clerk of the Mercy Well. For she has given me the effigy I hold aloft. Yes, it wears the robes of a Sakrisan, that you see truly. Yes, it bears the resemblance of the Sakrisan, that you can observe. Yes, my name and our combined fates brothers and sisters were written in the book of the Clerk. She has condemned us to the wrath and dire destiny of the accursed. The murderer Delah has condemned us all O brothers and sisters. Listen unto the Sakrisan, justice must be served. We must be free of her evil clasp; her careless disregard for life; her harlotry and blasphemous lusts; her crafting of knowledge that harms not heals, for the traitor Delah has betrayed the order of the Sisters of the Valley. They are there to assist Her and the wrongdoer Delah has gone against the sacred teachings.

Save us all O brothers and sisters and see justice in flame is served to the treacherous lecherous Delah, the fallen Sister of the Valley. Save us I beg of you, I beg of you.

For She is Truth and perfect in every way.”


IV – The Accused

The accused Sister Delah escorted from the right by the Bailiff of the Lands, stood off centre within the dais before the Magistrate and the people. She stopped and looked at the Sakrisan, E-Azad-kutu-ana long in the eye, for he remains until the verdict is passed. Long into his eyes she did stare. Motionless and fixed to the Earth the Sister Delah looked into the being of the Sakrisan. She broke away, looking to the gathered people of the Valley to begin her plea:

“O fair folk of the Valley; I am but one of you, the maiden Delah of the Sisters. You who know me well stand and testify to my innocence. I delivered many of the children of the men and women before me; I have blessed and aided wherever I can. I have tried to offer the love of the Goddess, She who is Perfection to each and all. I have failed.

If I am to be delivered to justice, let it be in the knowledge that I accept my failings; for if I had showed the glory of the Goddess but once, then I should not be standing today before you all.

For She is Mercy and perfect in every way.”


V – The Right of Witness

The Wife Ezi did call to the Magistrate:

“The Sister Delah is no blasphemer, for she was blessed by Her Husband the beautiful lord of Nature with child. The Sister Delah is innocent.

For She is the Mother and perfect in every way.”

“Lies,” snarled the Sakrisan E-Azad-kutu-ana in reply:

“For if the poisonous Delah had been with child of the lord Dumuzid, it should not have perished so. For the children of the gods are half creation and cannot become lost unto us without the blessings of the Holy. The child was falsehood, nothing more than the offspring of an itinerant shepherd, fated to ill health and low life. It died for the Sister’s noxious lies and deceit.

For She is Immortal and perfect in every way.”

The Sisters of the Valley cried together in unison:

“The Sister Delah is but good and true; she has shown compassion and tender mercies for many moons over. This trial is a travesty. The Sister Delah is innocent of all. The Sakrisan does tell falsehood many times over.

For She is the Child and perfect in every way.”

“Silence,” responded the Sakrisan; red robes billowing as he whirled before the gathered people of the Valley:

“Silence O Sisters for you do not know of what you speak. I, the Sakrisan am but Her hands in this land. Where I touch, it is becalmed because She made it so. Sisters, O Sisters, you perform admirable duties, you help as you can. But you do not know of the burden of Priesthood or the zealotry of the pious. You are but simple woodland folk and not versed in the laws of our lands, the laws She did give unto us. A child? One who would lead others into the darkness.

For She is the Law and perfect in every way.”

No further stepped forward from the assembled and made witness before the people and the Goddess.


VI – Judgement

The Magistrate did ponder, sat upon the bench. Of each he looked into the eyes; the Sakrisan’s aflame with zeal, the Sister Delah’s filled with simplicity. The Magistrate looked unto them with sadness and much regret.

He rose to give the judgement:

“Gathered and assembled people of the Valley and Temple; you have come to see justice done in Her name and that it shall be. So be it!

The Sister Delah offers but little in defence but the actions of her life. The Brother Azad-kutu-ana, offers much in evidence and the sacred word of the Holy Inanna. So it must be that the Sister Delah meets with the flame, for the gods have sanctioned and we have witnessed. So be it! So be it!

The Sister Delah is found guilty of High Blasphemy. So be it!”

For She is Justice and perfect in every way.

To Chapter Sixty-Nine – Wreathed in Flame