03. God Of Heaven And Sea
Legends abound in the south sea isles of whales which soar through the skies, and Shockmaw may be but one of these majestic creatures. According to Kalika, another flying whale known as “Ketuduke” was worshipped by Aloalo's people as a messenger of the gods, and the countless figures carved in his image are an expression of their devotion. It is therefore within the realm of possibility that the creature which attacked Matsya and Player was in truth this Ketuduke.
When faced with this revelation, Matsya wrung his hands and wondered if he had brought ill fortune upon them for angering a divine messenger. Kalika reassured him that any potential calamities could be averted by making the proper obeisance, and he instructed me to write down the ritual for posterity.
First, one must trek to where the three carven deities of Aloalo await their subjects, and there stand before the whale and chant, “O messenger from beyond the horizon, hear me.” Next, they must twice circumnavigate this isle of gods: first passing before the sparrow and then the turtle before returning to the whale's auspice, then retracing the steps of their journey in the opposite direction. Lastly, the faithful must perform a dance, thus ending the ritual and securing Ketuduke's blessing.
When Kalika described this rite to me, I was struck by its similarity to certain Thavnairian practices. Although the particulars differ, both religious traditions recognize and honor the divine nature of beasts.