Chapter Seven: The Ice Sheets crumble

So, the Aryans claimed with zeal, he who gives praise to the Sun that is eternal; offers resistance to evil and to the darkness, offers resistance to the thief and plunderer, offers resistance to sorcerers. He who gives praise to the shining sun; reveres Ahura Mazda Himself, reveres the eternal holy laws, reveres his own soul, whoever reveres the Sun that is eternal, brilliant and emitting strong light.

This was why the pure, the noble Aryan race had always paid homage to the rising Sun on the break of dawn; and this was what they were doing now; ending their hymns with a fervent prayer to the Sun to lend them its pure and mighty strength, the greatest strength created by God; so that they could struggle against the evil which threatened to extinguish their race and so that they could surmount all the difficulties in the great migration to the south.

Ahead of that long and courageous line of Aryan families lay a long wide expanse of frozen ice; utterly cold and lifeless and unfriendly. All around them, on every side; stretching as far as their eyes could see was that same chilling whiteness. Wherever their tired faces turned, they saw frozen ground and huge mountains and chunks of ice.

Yasmin, the flower of the Aryan race was among the great line of families. Her beautiful face was aglow with devotion as she praised the rising sun with upraised hands and put on her sacred Aryan girdle or Kusti. She then paid tender respect to her mother and father at the break of the day, as every Aryan whether man or woman was wont to do.

Noshirwan, her father drove the Rath with the ease born of experience. He had grown old, yet the same strength, the same courage had not left him as when he had fought with wild animals barehanded in his youth. His faithful wife, Havovi stood there at his side, her hair blowing in the breeze and one arm around her husband's waist.

Yasmin sat her tender body down on a small seat in the Rath. Her lovely pure and innocent face, deep blue eyes and golden tresses shone shimmeringly in the rays of the Sun, as she looked at the hills of ice all around. She looked breath-takingly beautiful. The suffering she had undergone so far in the journey had brought a greater light to her face.

She was thinking of the brave warrior Peshotan, and of the day she had first seen him when he had delivered the great Aryan King Jamshed's message to the people. Her mind wondered whether she would ever meet him again. Her eyes were lost in deep thought when it happened.

Suddenly, with a gushing roar, only twenty feet away from Yasmin's chariot the ground split with a tremendous force. The ice sheets on which a number of Raths (chariots) were driving crumbled devastatingly beneath their very wheels and a huge chasm split the earth into two great halves under Yasmin's and her parents' terrified eyes.

Piteous cries and screams and the neighing of horses rent the air as the Raths that followed were desperately forced by their riders to a grinding halt. People rushed forward to the edge of the yawning chasm, but there was nothing they could do.

The Raths and their unfortunate screaming occupants were lost in the tons of snow and ice that cascaded into the chasm down from its opposite sides.

It was an icy grave, a grisly icy death for many Aryans.

It was a victory of the evil spirit over Man, Ahura's finest creation. Albeit, the victory was a temporary one. The evil spirit would be vanquished by Ahura in the end. And man as the Ratheshtar, the warrior of God was an important tool that would bring about that end.

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