Forgotten Tether to the Waters
One of the few remaining tethers to the Waters lies far beneath the hustle and bustle of New York City. Long forgotten by celestials and humans alike, it was rediscovered in early 1999, and is now under the care of Servitors of Stone. Much of what is now known about the tether and its Seneschal has been unearthed by these Servitors from Yves’ library, interviews with former Servitors of the Waters, and the Seneschal himself, who is now inextricably bound to his tether.
Over one hundred feet below the city streets there exists a peculiar cavern, seemingly cut from the Manhattan bedrock. It is filled with the remains of a cedar forest that was covered by a glacier over 10,000 years ago. Many of the long-dead trees are still standing, their trunks seeming to grow straight up into the rock above. Boulders of all sizes and shapes are scattered among the trees, deposited there by the glacier.
Manhattan Island sits on a series of small fault lines. Several thousand years after the forest was first buried, a series of minor earthquakes created a spring, and simultaneously a small tether. A war-scarred veteran Cherub of the Waters was word-bound as Seneschal in this lonely place. The solitude was his solace after so many years of fighting, and he spent his days carving abstract sculptures from the boulders surrounding the spring and its small pool. He also carefully enlarged the cavern, until it reached 200’ in length.
A thousand years after his appointment, another earthquake opened up a tortuous path from the surface to the cavern. When local Indians discovered the cavern, the Cherub petitioned for and received the vessel of an elderly Indian shaman, wise beyond his years. His visitors were necessarily few, since the path was so difficult to travel, but those who came revered the place and its custodian. They brought offerings of food, shells, and flowers, placing them in a depression on top of one of the boulders that the Cherub had shaped into an exact model of the spring.
When Oannes was destroyed, the Cherub refused to be transferred to another Archangel, preferring instead to be left alone with his tether and his memories. The Indians still travelled to the cavern, and legends grew up about the Old Man of the Spring. It was probably these legends that first attracted demonic attention.
Although it is difficult to determine when it happened, it seems that around 500 BC the tether was attacked by a small band of Calabim. The Cherub’s well-loved isolation turned against him, for there was no one near enough in Heaven or on Earth to respond to his calls for help. Close to death, he sent out one last desperate call, and was heard. The Calabim were crushed in the divinely-inspired earthquake that also sealed the tunnel to the surface. Feeling the last of his celestial forces slip away, the Seneschal chose to bind himself permanently to his tether, mingling the few forces he had left to its own.
Since then, the tether has existed in relative peace. The Seneschal cares for it, although he can no longer affect things outside of the spring itself. He still loves to carve, and the sloping sides of the pool are a marvel of stone lacework, intricate and beautiful. He also carves shells out of the rocks of the pool, imitating the gifts the Indians no longer bring. Like any remnant, his mind has become small and confused; he no longer remembers his name or even why he is here. The spring and the pool are his whole world.
The tether is slowly dying; David’s servitors feel that the next earthquake will cut off the spring’s water source and it will finally lose the last of its power. Until then, the angels of Stone have resealed the cavern to hide it from prying eyes. For with the discovery of this tether Heaven has regained something thought to be lost with the destruction of Oannes and Vephar: the Ethereal Song of Water. It is this that the Seneschal uses to carve his rocks and shells, and David’s Servitors are confident that they will be able to learn it from him.