By Roger Carbol.
Funerary Rites for a Gam Thane
Hear now our clash of steel on steel! Hear now our cries of battle! Hear now the wailing of our victims!
Hear now our prayers!
We, who are sent into this world by Thy unerring order, who live in this world under Thy holy rule, who leave this world to answer Thy divine will, humbly beg Thy audience.
To Thy direct command we return the warrior Cobra Par, son of Mountain Par, thane of Valley Tangim, father of many, slayer of countless.
Deeply we feel the loss of his blade among ours, and we are weaker. Deeply we feel the loss of his shield among ours, and we are vulnerable. Deeply we feel the loss of his voice among ours, and we are silent.
Cursed is the day he fell on the field of battle, laid low by the treacherous blade of Venetra the Dac — long may his agonies be.
We beg Thee, Kemmak the Devourer, to take Cobra Par and keep him safe in Thine Ever-Gnashing Maw.
We beg Thee, Kemmak the Butcher, not to destroy him, for his soul will serve Thee well and true on the battlefield at the End of Ages.
Kemmak the General orders us to avenge our dead. We wreck our vengeance upon the thrice-cursed man called Venetra the Dac.
We curse him to find no haven, wheresoever he may flee. We curse him to find no comfort, with whomsoever he may lay. We curse him to bear the Mark of Death as long as he still breathes.
Sons of Cobra Par! Eagle Par, mothered by River. Bear Par, mothered by Rain. Vulture Par, mothered by Snow. Take up now your sacred burden.
Strike down the dog Venetra! Soak the earth with his blood. Strike down his wailing orphans. Burn his tents to the ground. Scatter the ashes across the face of the deep.
You are commanded to pursue the sacred vendetta, even if it should take you to the Edge of the World.
Return when you have done this, or die in the trying.
Mark well the price if you should fail.
Cobra Par, dead and burning, will find no rest while his killer walks among the living.
Cobra Par, dead and thirsting, will again rise, soulless and undying, to extract that vengeance which you could not.
He will punish you, sons of Par, who shirked your duty. He will judge you, Venetra the Death-Marked, who wronged him with cowardly attack. He will stalk you, people of Valley Tangim, who failed to honor his life.
Kemmak the Restless! Take now Thy faithful servant, Cobra Par, son of Mountain Par, who zealously awaits Thy next command.
We pay his life-debt in the blood of Thine enemies.