The World of the Child-Prophets
But now I am alone
Abandoned by the gods I served
Feared by the younger races
Buried in the depths.
So sings the child in “Song of the Child-Prophet.” The child encased in amberite is a relic of a by-gone age, a being created by his gods, the empire-building Highborn, for the specific purpose of world domination. These child-prophets did not speak but could sing across the whole spectrum of human emotions, inducing fear or pain or ecstasy in their listeners. At their worst, the singers could reduce whole civilizations to madness and chaos.
There came a point when the Highborn god-creators decided that child-prophets were too powerful, too destructive, perhaps even too threatening to their creators. They were methodically hunted down and destroyed. Why one of their number would remain encased in amberite is a mystery. From the surprise and despair the child generates when told that his gods have gone, he is evidently unaware of the fate of his own race and may have been trapped in amberite long before the end. He even says, “I shall go where your kind will not find me and sleep until my gods call me home.” At face value, this is a naïve expectation.
But in the unfolding history of this world, it is known that the Last Highborn seeks out the few surviving child prophets as weapons against the Cold Darkness when ancient Chaos again threatens the world. It is not known whether this particular child is involved, but with so few surviving, it seems likely that all are drafted to duty. So the child’s instincts for the future are truer than the facts of the past.
What is revealing in “Song of the Child-Prophet” is not the destructive power of the child-prophet, but the destructive potential left untapped. Without instructions from above, the child has no particular inclination to destroy. To survive, yes, but not to bring down civilizations as he has done in the past. He is even kind, though clumsy, in his interactions with Cara. When he departs, he leaves his blessing, an act totally at odds with the purpose of his kind. It is likely that he is touched by her loneliness, an emotion he knows all too well from being buried and forgotten for millennia.