by Author = unknown
And it came to pass that I was permitted to witness the birth of Typhoon. Not just a typhoon. For while the name is similar to others, this birth is unique - never to have occurred before, and never to occur again. And I, being nothing in the eyes of the master, I was witness to it all.
Out of the mystical treasure room comes several gleaming brass tubes. I am unworthy to know the source of the metal - it is a secret kept very strict. However, there are stories that it comes from a deep sea mine where the purity of ancient salt water - devoid of dissolved oxygen - matures the metal into a grade unknown on the face of the Earth. It is said that mermaids deliver this metal to the master when the moon is high and full. On rare occasions, when there is an eclipse, an especially fine metal emerges from the sea. Called "Classic" metal, these stores are reserved for the exceptional birth of a new deacon in the Palmer community. The metal I am witness to is not of this rare nature. I am told that of the followers of Palmer, only a handful have ever seen the raw "Classic" metal, and no outsider has ever laid eyes upon it.
Squires in full white robes use a silk-gloved hand to lift the magic metal high as it is brought to alter. The long hall is draped in rich velvet tapestry and shod underfoot in deep red carpet. Above, the vaulted mural painting on the ceiling is lost in the mists. I can only stare in awe at the size of the temple. To the side, lesser beings are being created. I see Rock Regulators and Stabilizers being fashioned by green clad artists. I am told that these men and women would be considered gods in any other shrine, but remain here to learn from the master. The altar is a sight to behold. High above the myriad of serfs, a large stone slab lies delicately balanced on thin glass supports. To each side hangs the symbols of Palmer fertility and power. Overhead hangs the Guillotine of Death. This is a large steel blade emblazoned with the creed "Where Custom Still Means Something". For if any who stand at the alter do not hold thoughts pure and true - if they for even a moment think of anything but the conception of the task before him, the blade will come crashing down upon the alter forever destroying the work. For in the shrine, no product will ever be a copy, all will be conceived of original thought, built of original will, and polished till it gleams of original light.
The offering is rested in the center of a pure white silk cloth. This cloth will cradle the newborn marker and then be removed for an honored release in fire. For, as no two markers are equal, the cloth which bears witness to the birth must never touch another offering of brass - such would condemn the next marker to being a second and diminish the glory of both.
Soon, the most sacred metal will be fashioned in an ageless ceremony of light, music, and incantation. Angelic heat is applied and the careful application of blessed solders flows. Metal becomes bonded such that no man may ever part. The ritual lasts hours as grip, barrel, trigger, 4-way, and ram all merge in precise quantity. The rhythmic sound of inspirational music rises to a zenith as the final prayer is offered. I find myself unable to move, speak, or even blink. And yet, time passed quickly, the methodical skill in evidence was a ballet of power and precision.
And then, when once again the miracle of birth is complete, the squire again steps forward. He strips and bathes in the baptismal pool. As he emerges, he is wrapped in a new robe. The shuttle robe is crafted of pure cotton from a remote mountain farm. The finished garment is then carried in reverence to the peak of the mountain where a young scribe spends 40 nights adorning his visions upon the garment. The language is ancient and the ink is blood. On the 41st day, the squire begins the four-day journey to the shrine to deliver the robe. At no time during this journey must the scribe allow the garment to leave his grasp, or touch the ground. He is assisted by serfs, but they are forbidden to so much as look at the sacred cloth. And under no circumstances may any man don the robe, serf or scribe alike.
The squire accepts the newborn and holds it high. All bow as the Squire passes. The newborn is passed to the hall of women and the squire retreats to the meditation room. Here, the robe is removed and placed on a shelf bearing the serial number of the new creation. There are many empty shelves, ready to accept the shuttle robe of several generations of markers. A few shelves are sealed up with a mixture of monkey dung and urine. These shelves contain the robe and bones of a squire whose marker has been forever damned. None speak of the marker, and the fragrance of their shame acts as a reminder to the squires of the penalty for failure. Damnation is the penalty of all that fall short of glory in the master's eyes.
The marker is now lying on a red silk pillow; young naked maidens lovingly anoint it with the sacred oil. A grand royal lifts it to the sound of trumpets and causes the marker to breathe life. Slowly, with great patience and love, the newborn is taught the secret ways. Carefully molding the report, adjusting the flow - until the young apprentice brings pleasure to the master's eye. For the master, astride his throne can tell by the pop of CO2, the metallic click of the machine, and the faint snap of the sear just how his creations are performing. But he says nothing. His well taught royals know the penalty of failure. They have been trained well and only when they are willing to bet their very soul do they take their charge to the master.
The master is never perfectly pleased. After all, these are mere mortals. But he is a compassionate deity and is willing to overlook minor imperfections. And then, with a careful eye, a perfect ear, and several hundred star balls, he declares the creation worthy. He reaches deep within his flowing robes and retrieves something. To the certified piece he cradles in his arms as a proud father, he presses a white square to its surface. The royal accepts the gleaming work of art and smiles when he sees the Palmer decal affixed to it.
With more anointing of oils, more incantations, and a Four Hundred step process, the marker is wrapped and packaged for delivery.
For somewhere, there exists a worthy player. A man, woman, girl or boy who so loved the game that he asked the master to provide them a child a piece of himself - so that they could overcome and dominate all who oppose them. And whoever believes in the master shall not be sidelined, but have everlasting performance. Such is the sacred word of Glenn. As it is emblazoned high above the alter, so it is emblazoned in the hearts of his followers "Where Custom Still Means Something".