It’s been said that before the cataclysm he was simply a character in a children’s book. But I can’t bring myself to believe that.
There’s too much to his tale, and it’s too inspiring, to be meant for children.
What child would read a tale of a man born in such tragedy? Before the cataclysm such tragedy would only disturb them.
In the time that followed, with the roving bands of marauders going from town to town, we needed his wisdom, we needed to believe that one man, with sufficient dedication to his cause, could stand up against criminality and barbarism, and could prevail.
The name of the first man to apply these lessons in this new world has been lost, but the lessons themselves will be with us forever.
When the marauders come, we stand against them, to protect those who can not protect themselves.
Though we are no longer just one man.
We are an army, a brotherhood, and we travel from town to town through the wastelands, defending the weak and spreading hope, our masks, modeled on his own, leaving no doubt as to whose name we work to glorify….
And once a year, we pilgrimage back to our holy order’s capital city, to remind ourselves why it is we risk our lives for strangers. We gather to hear his stories told, though we know them by heart, and to feel the wonder of his presence.
The high-priest takes his spot at a podium built in a cave beneath the city, ancient text in faded color before him, and readies himself for the telling.
“Are you prepared,” he asks us, “to receive this holy sacrament?”
“Holy sacrament, Batman!” We reply as one…