Land of the brave. Home of the truth.
In a faraway place, on a remote island nation known as Aotearoa, a tribal meeting is taking place in the most isolated of marae in the far eastern corner of the North Island.
Outside, the sun is beginning to set, filling the surrounding subtropical forest with dark hues of green and the quirky whistles and squawks of native birdsong. A rich orange glow seeps through the two front windows of the marae but otherwise the light in the large room is beginning to grow darker, adding to the sombre tones of the fierce humanoid creatures carved into the support posts, and the curling black-and-red painted motifs lining the rafters.
The air is heavy with anticipation and solemn respect. An elderly tohunga is about to be heard by his tribespeople, who have a powerful presence as they commune quietly with each other while they await his entrance.
With fearsome strength the tohunga releases his first few words in a roaring bellow.
“Listen my people, for the time has come.” The marae falls silent.
“The prophecy is upon us. A new force beckons in the world now.” An audible few sniggers escape from the crowd.
“Beware. This is no laughing matter. For many years we have followed the path the gods laid down for us by the prophesy of the wise holder of the crystal lamb and his ancestry,” he continued implacably, yet somewhat cryptically.
“Here I stand today, of his blood, speaking his voice through my tongue.”
A frightening facial expression forms on the old tohunga's rugged face and he reveals his tongue with the accompanying blood-curdling cry of a warrior.
“It was six hundred years ago to this day that my ancestor and the leader of our tribe was declared a prophet by his people. He was given a story of the future, a future that his great-grandchildren’s great-grandchildren would be alive to see and hear and survive.”