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Pearson Mary E, “The kiss of deception”, public translation into English from English More about this translation.

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Both were thin, small books bound in soft embossed leather that showed signs of damage, burn marks on the edges as though they had been tossed in a fire. One was more heavily charred than the other, and its last page was missing almost in its entirety, appearing to have been hastily ripped away, except for a few letters in the upper corner. The other book was written in a strange scrawling style I had never seen before. Neither was similar to any of the dialects of Morrighan that I knew of, but there were many obscure tongues that had died out. I guessed these strange words were one of the lost languages.

I had turned the brittle pages carefully, studying them for an hour, but in spite of my facility for languages, I made no progress. Some words seemed to have the same roots as Morrighese words, but even seeing these similar root words wasn’t enough. I’d need a more in-depth key, and the only archive in Terravin was at the Sacrista. I might have to become friendly with the clerics here.

The priest came down the steps, walking among the worshippers, calling out more of the story, his voice strong and ardent.

They coveted knowledge, and no mystery was hidden from them. They grew strong in their knowledge but weak in their wisdom, craving more and still more power, crushing the defenseless.

The gods saw their conceit and the emptiness of their hearts, so they sent the angel Aster to pluck a star from the sky and plunge it to earth, the dust and seas rising so high they choked the unrighteous. But a few were spared—not those strong of body or mind, but those of pure and humble heart.

I thought of Pauline, no one more pure and humble of heart than she, which made her prey to the darkest of hearts. Though it was the holiest of days, I let a mumbled curse escape under my breath for Mikael. An older woman near me smiled, thinking my earnest muttering marked me as devout. I returned her smile and turned my attention back to the priest.

Only a small remnant of the whole earth remained. They endured three generations of testing and trial, winnowing the purest from those who still turned to darkness. The dark of heart they cast deeper into the devastation. But one alone, First Daughter of Harik, a humble and wise girl named Morrighan, found special favor in the sight of the gods. To her they showed the path of safety so she could lead the chosen Remnant to a place where the earth was healed, a place where creation could begin anew.

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