In the beginning, worship was fraught. Orn was mistaken for a wrathful, bloodthirsty god.

The oracle used her saber to draw a line of blood across her palm, then set her hand upon the Tongue to channel Orn. The lingual muscle flexed beneath her grasp. The oracle gasped.

In shaking voice, she told the gathered congregation, “Orn requires sacrifice.”

She paused. The tongue writhed and squirmed, instructing her.

The oracle spoke again — “Five deaths, and they must come by tongue.”

“Not the Tongue,” she clarified, “but ours.”

There was silence among the congregation. They thought in horror of glossal dispatch.

From the oracle — “The sacrifices must offer themselves freely. Here, in front of all. We must spread the ceremonial rug atop the central slab and one by one the sacrifices will lay their bodies down and …”

The oracle deeply blushed. Candlelight flickered upon the temple walls. The sacred Tongue had stilled beneath her palm.

Once more she spoke. “Orn has made his wishes clear and our sacrifices need not be the end. In oblation, Orn will accept our little deaths.”