I truly struggled with this one, likely because of the time of writing this. I think some pieces really require a nemesis, someone who stands against. Religion is definitely not an exception to this rule, and so I go about the task of working up my dark figure. Yet a character you cannot sympathize with, is not one you will believe in. Though that begs the question of who can be sympathized with here? Oh well, enough digestion on my part, here is Kno's Ledge.
As man lived and died, they found no purpose in anything except the subtle words of Uertu's children. Man or woman, all ate, slept, lived, the echo of Uertu's divine will.
Then a leader emerged. One man above tribes, respected by many and honored for his dedication to the betterment of his fellow man. The tribes crowned him as King of men, above all local tribes, the first of his kind, King Kno.
His kingdom's walls did not reach far, but his word spread well beyond. The great city of Triel served as the seat of power, a land of learning and exchange, where many men of many sorts convened. Triel was a calculated work, a plan come to life. Within it, understanding was fertile, enriched to grow mighty.
The city itself was set along a great cliff, the castle up against its ledge, a perilous drop to rock and rapids far below. Kno nested there where he could not be easily assailed, but could not retreat once found. Kno's ledge was his badge of confidence, and contention.
Cloistered within, Kno sat facing Gealla's advice. For as Kno stood to rule over many tribes, not all respected his word. In Uertu's name, Meret called for action among the tribes who wished for Uertu's grace, which were many. These Meret tribes moved among those that crowned Kno, and between them there was talk.
“They say,” Said Gealla, “You seek and seek, yet you will never know Uertu.”
And so they did, the people whispered amongst themselves at his futility.
“Meret claims you must stop your search, relinquish your crown,” Gealla continued, “There is no Lord of men but Uertu. Meret unites the people in his name.”
That King thought hard, yet still his words were, “A world lead by Meret will not stand.”
Kno's reply was spread on the wings of words said, each man and woman whispering to those close. Till Meret, among the people, heard the message clearly.
A crowd waited on Meret, to see his reaction to Kno's arrogance. The child of grace did not flicker, or turn, he merely spoke among those present.
“Does he not know Uertu's word?” Meret asked the listening many, “We cannot seek him, he will find us.”
These words echoed in the others. Their Lord was distant, but within they knew that proper fealty was the path to Uertu, his Crystal Haven just beyond the clouds. Why would Kno take on such a journey? One he knew you can't complete? Maybe Gealla's words confused him, or quest engaged him, but his kingdom stood on a dark precipice.
“I will go to him,” Meret offered, “So he may see Uertu's light, and spread it as quickly as he spreads his words.
So Meret did, Uertu's tribe his escort. They walked to the city, then through its walls, to the castle then to the hall. Kno waited there, just him and Gealla.
“Speak,” said Kno, “So your wishes are clear.”
Meret stayed among his crowd, “I do not come here to speak of my own wishes. I come to warn you.”
Kno stood, “So I do not make a habit of speaking to those with no stance of their own, I ask that you are quick.”
Eyes in the tribe fanned between the King and the Son. Whispers spread, a wave of hushed thoughts.
Then Meret spoke, “You take on a fool's quest, to understand what you cannot experience.”
A sharp cry of agreement assaulted the King, and harsh words rained from the tribesman.
Kno raised a hand to silence them, “Any lord I cannot fathom, is no lord of mine. I wish only to grasp what I can.”
“You have what you can grasp,” Meret said, “Yet you clamor for more. These people know Uertu's wish, they know how to serve Uertu's will, so I wonder who you serve.”
With this the crowd grew angry with Kno, even those undecided turned against the King and his Gealla. Kno took one step forward, yet none respected his motions. Only his aide stood by his side, besides this he was alone.
Meret turned his back to the King, yet still he spoke, “You may decide what you wish. Though if you do not drop your foolish search and your rule, I would not be surprised if these tribes wished for war.”
Then Meret left the hall, the crowd's rage following with.
Alone again, Kno was left to decide. He believed in Uertu, and Kno's learning was in his Lord's name. Yet the more that Kno found, the further Uertu's light became. If he continued his reign as King of Triel, it was only in hopes that grace would be revealed, no matter how far the light seemed to have gone.
Kno dismissed Gealla, so he could be alone. Then he spoke out to his Lord, in one last hope to be heard.
“Uertu the great Lord, who brings light to this world, why do you hide from us till its too late?”
The room lay silent.
Yet Uertu heard, and Uertu listened. This man's case was quite different, as first King of men, so Uertu made plans of what to do with him. Kno's kingdom was strong, yet their leader was lost, his actions lead many away from Uertu's cause. They sought purpose where Uertu meant nothing at all, and devoted themselves to learning and knowledge.
Kno's words went unanswered that night, yet the next day he called for Meret in his hall yet again.
This time Meret came alone, so Kno dismissed Gealla. They met as two leaders, one for his people, the other for Uertu.
“I know you have questions,” Meret said as they met, “Your words to our Lord did not fall on deaf ears.”
Kno stood silent, defiant before proof was submitted. Yet Meret spoke truth, for the night before he visited his father Uertu, upon request. All of Kno's words were spoken back to Meret, and Uertu requested Kno be given one last chance.
Meret continued, “You cannot know your Lord from here, for this is the test of life. If you are not worthy, you will not pass on.”
Kno's brow furrowed, and his heart hardened up. He believed he was being fooled, played with by this leader of tribes.
“Enough,” Kno snapped, “You have no proof.”
Meret did not falter, “I need present none, you will believe me soon enough. Either drop your crown now, or forsake your Lord and all those who follow you.”
Kno was ablaze in his rage, and he stepped forward with purpose. He stepped past Meret, to the great doors behind him. To the steps of the castle, where many stood waiting. Then Kno raised his voice, his words spreading far on the quick moving wind, and he told all the people his dark decision.
“I rule from this place, by the allowance of these tribes. I rule for the sake of the people, and of our advancement now in this life. I have been told to choose now, to continue or back down, my grace the forfeit. Let every man, woman and child, know I will not drop my crown.”
As many men cheered as there were that rained jeers on that crowned fool.
Uertu watched from above, his head shaking in shame. His first King had chose wrong, and a special case needed to be made. It would be a lesson for all, they would learn then who was wrong. So Uertu reached down and cast Kno from his light. The man was yanked up and flung far away, set down in the shadows the great Lord's light created.
Kno fell to his knees in confusion and fear. Then Uertu spoke to him, creating great awe.
“You could have grasped me, experienced me, the thing you wanted most.”
In the night where he stood, Kno saw his mistake. Yet he stood, in contention.
“Lord,” He said, “I only wished to have you here and now. If that is my crime, I will not be the last to commit it, I assure you.”
“Your impatience was your downfall,” Uertu replied, “You want your reward before you have earned it. You lead your fellow man astray. Many more will follow you into this darkness, but you will be the first cursed stay.”
Kno's eyes tried to glow against the blackness, but he was refused.
“You will never know me, nor those that followed you,” Uertu said, “Let this be your final lesson.”
Then Uertu left him, King of shadows, from the far side of the light to the dark side of the moon, King Kno.