The following is exerpted from Lord Vincent
Aquella's massive seventy volume series entitled: "The Wonders of Ardania."
It is used with his permission. The careful reader will note, however,
that this is not intended as a manual for worship, and should not be
used as such.
It was on the third month of the New Year that
I stumbled upon a mysterious cult-ceremony of the disciples of Fervus.
I had been travelling for many months and was to begin my research into
the fascinating living plants of East Cheswick when I haphazardly stumbled
into a "Festival of Fervus." At each new moon, as far as I can surmise,
the disciples of Fervus flock to regional temples to engage in what
can only be described as an orgy of dance and song.
Of course I had heard of the Madmen of Fervus.
What schoolchild can honestly say they had not been frightened to bed
with tales of their cannibalism? (As far as I can tell, they do not,
in fact, eat newborn children. How this rumor started is anyone's guess.)
Once in a great while, as I wandered through the woods, I would stumble
upon a Cultist gathering wild flowers or mushrooms. In their painted
dress and masks, they seem the very picture of the solitary, wild savage.
In the light of the new moon the cultists began
their strange dance around a pile of animal bones and hides. As the
blaze grew brighter they began to chant in unison. (Curiously, cultists
of Fervus refer to their deity as both male and female.) The following
is an incomplete transcription of the fire chant of the Festival of
Fervus. (N.B. Where I am unsure of the verse, I have marked the stanza
with a question mark.)
Fervus! He of the Tooth and Claw!
Fervus! She of the Tangled Vine!
Fervus! With your ragged fur, and moist nose (?)
Fervus! With gnarled root, and scaly bark
Fervus! With yellow eyes and prickly-prickly (?)
Fervus! Mossy-mossy, wet and black
Fervus! Firy-wiry-willy-nilly (?)
Fervus! I call to you on rock and hilly!
I am unsure of the rest, for it seemed to me
that the chant deteriorated into random, nonsensical shouting. As the
night wore on, the ring was joined by all manner of beast. Though I
would have been a tasty morsel on most evenings, these beasts seemed
focused on joining the chorus. Soon the night air was filled with the
cries of dozens of animals. As I looked about the fire it became increasingly
difficult to differentiate between man and animal.
Drunk with fatigue, I succumbed to sleep somewhere
near dawn. When I awoke in the midday sun, all signs of the previous
night's festivities had vanished. The old temple looked abandoned and
surrounded by an impenetrable thicket of brambles. As I wandered back
to my cabin, I had to ask…had I imagined the whole thing?