[RP Episode][Canon] Forgive Me Father for I Have Sinned


#1

It was an early Saturday evening. The great tournament was scheduled to begin the following Monday. The stars only just just started sparkling in the abyssal blackness and the moon showed her beautiful face. A bell in St. Siilvus cathedral tolled ominously, the deepest toned bell, ringing in long intervals, calling all of Smertangelk’s residents to evening vigil. As the last of the people entered through the great engraved spruce doors, the priest opened the doors to the altar and began to chant the starting prayer for the vigil service, swinging a gilded censer with rose scented incense.

Vadim was fortunate enough to be off-duty tonight and was able to make it to the service. He didn’t consider himself a god-fearing man, but his heart and mind were heavy with doubt and fear, it was visible in his worn, distressed features.

As the priest began chanting the first prayer of supplication, the choir joined him, responding to every supplication that the priest requested of Svetlitsa, both praising her and beseeching her.

“Grant this holy city peace and prosperity for many years…”

And the choir would sing in response with,“Have mercy!”

Vadim has payed little attention before, but listening to the words of the priest, he wished sincerely in his heart for all these blessings, because he feared the worst.

The service continued for a long time, it was almost a full hour of prayers until the great Canon began. This was mostly the choir singing select hymns for the saint of the day, so the priest was free to come out of the altar to hear confessions. Vadim, seeing the priest bring out the holy book and put it on a table, starting walking to him. As he approached, the priest greeted him…

@Siilvarra


#2

The man descended from the altar, the sounds of hymns ringing through the cathedral. A sound that brought a simple joy to the old Fathers heart. The sounds of the faithful, the people in union.

H placed his hands on the holy book, its familiar texture on his old skin. He knew this tome so well, its creases, the detailing, the weight. Yet he still lifted it gently, with care every time. He was fond of it, a comfort in these times of peril.

He placed the copy of the holy book on the table, ready to hear the confessions of the community, when a man, haggard, steps forward towards him. The priest looked over the man, reading the look of worry and weariness on his face.

The priest has seen many people over the years. In this city so plagued by corruption, crime and bloodshed, he had more than his fill of young men come through his doors, troubled by their lives and their actions. Yet still, after all this time, it saddened him to see people in such a way. A pain he knew he would never be comfortable with. He addresses the stranger:

Good evening to you my child. Please, step forward.

The priest gestures towards the table. Besides the book, icons of Svetlitsa and the saints sit on its clothed surface. He offers for the man to kneel if he wishes.

Speak my child, what is it you wish to confess this evening?


#3

Vadim didn’t look at the priest, or the icons, or the holy book. Instead he looked at his feet, with a strong look of regret.

Batyushka, I am a sinful man. My sins are numerous and unaccounted for. To begin, I must confess I haven’t come to church in over fifteen years… I was afraid… afraid of Svetlitsa’s judgment.”

He paused for a moment, and then continued.

“I’m not proud of my past. Most of my youth I was a pirate…what I did during those years are shameful… abominable… they need not mentioning in detail. But I swear on my honor those days are over. I renounce my former self.”

Vadim shifted uncomfortably. He felt very disconnected from the man he knew he once was. Those memories were very faint, but they hung over his conscience like a black cloud.


#4

The Father listened to the man’s words, calmly and quietly, allowing him to speak.

“Do not worry my child; you have nothing to fear from Svetlitsa, for you have stepped forward to confess your wrongdoings. Our goddess is kind and compassionate to those who have come to seek her forgiveness for their sins.”

He waited a moment, giving time for his words to sink into the mind of the man in front of him. He was like so many who had stood before him. Now, this man needed to know that there was hope, a way forward out of their own personal hell.

“All men who walk the path of life inevitably fall to sin. Our impulses, rashness, emotions can all cause us to commit crimes against Svetlitsa. But we can atone for our choices, to better the world we walk in for all.”

He sensed more was yet to come forth.

“Please, continue, speak freely of your burdens and of your wrongs, let us wash away that past and seek a new future in her graces eternal light.

appologies for the delay!


#5

“Ehh batyushka,” Vadim sighed “Things did not get better.”

He was about to continue his confession, but he hesitated and instead asked a question.

“Father, is it wrong to fear death?”


#6

The Father paused for a moment, considering his answer.

“No my child, it is not wrong to fear it. Death is a natural part of the cycle upon which we are destined to walk, but should not be rushed towards. It takes from us what we hold most dear, yet it drives us to fight harder, be stronger. We should not embrace death, we should embrace life.”

The Father pauses, having finalised his thoughts to the young man. The sound of hymns and prayers continued in the background, warmth of heart on yet another cold night in the city.

“Why do you ask my child? Does something plague your mind?”


#7

Suddenly, Vadim felt a wave of nausea come over him. He gripped the priest’s arm tightly and gasped, “Before I leave, batyushka, I have one more confession.” The priest’s eyes widened in surprise as the hand that held his arm began to change, they sprouted silver hairs and the nails began to grow at an alarming rate. Vadim’s voice changed to a low snarl, “Father, I have cheated God and death, and damned myself! Pray for me…”

He threw the priest’s hand aside and turned away, barged swiftly towards the exit of the church. Not many payed attention to the scuffle, as the end of the canonical hymns were coming to a close, and the bishop came out of the altar to address the congregation…

The service ended as usual, and as the priest left the church, locking the doors behind him. As he walked down the street to his home, the lonely howl of a wolf echoed through the city, which sent shivers down his spine.


#8