Friday, April 11, 2008

"The Sagas of the 70,000 Gods" -- Part One

Since 2000, I've been working on a collection of tales that my friend Jason Ho has dubbed 'The Pirate Epic'. The tales are truly about pirates and perhaps is epic in that the stories chronicle the world's first major war.

As part of the world creation process for the pirate epic, I started writing "The Sagas of the 70,000 Gods". It is a holy text, also a collection of tales, telling about the gods of this fictional pirate epic world and recounting the world's creation.

In February 2007 I began truly writing these sagas.

Here I present to you for the first time anywhere the first four "books" of the sagas. I will present them in two parts. Part One will be posted today. Part two will be posted next Friday. Let me know what you think.

As always, enjoy!



"The Sorrows of Amir"


Let it be known, in the time before Time when all as yet did not exist but the seventy-thousand gods and Nothingness, the blessed gods, with all their strength, wisdom and undying lives, could not yet exist peacefully together, but instead each god and goddess raged angrily, waging war upon his and her brethren and sistren.

Woe, these were not joyous times, this time before Time, for our Holy Parents. For, as gods immune to the mercy of death, they could not end their suffering. Neither could they end their wars. Great and mighty battles were held, wars that would make the future wars of mortals pale with frailty and weaken with wonder.

Lo, no war is ever without pain, regardless of scale. It is a matter destined to be relearned.

Despite the great battles of the seventy-thousand gods, no victory was ever won for no god or goddess allowed defeat, even by the capable hands of a peer. None could die, none could experience triumph.

The most warmongering gods were also the most numerous. These were the Immortal Dragons and they numbered ten-thousand and one. With malicious breath, poisoned teeth, claws of such length they could pierce the chests of a dozen mortals or more at once. The Dragons reigned in these wars as they would often form alliances with one another against all other gods.

Pity now the gods for their hearts are not shallow nor their collective conscience unadorned, unweighted nor free. For a mortal's fleeting lifetime of suffering, theirs is eternal sorrow. For a mortal's span of defeat, theirs is forever unvictorious, unaccomplished. The lay of the gods is stagnation. Ruminate upon this, for blessed are endings.

In this time, when Time did not yet exist, a time the gods themselves named The Forever Wars, there was one god above all others who warred the least. He found friends with most other gods, alliances and even adoration. The Dragons, too, called him brother. He was Amir, God of Wonder and Justice; The Quiet One; The God of Inspiration and Love.

Behold the sorrow of Amir's heart to bear witness to the fury of his kind against one another. Feel the sadness of the insults hurled by one god unto another that Amir felt. Echo Amir's love and fairness, inspiring the plight of justice to wash out hate, fear and ugliness.

Now feel Amir's pain take form as a tear, filling space within the Void, in the time before Time.

Lenius, the great Dragon Goddess of Fertility and friend to Amir, witnessed this tear and was perplexed by it. She studied upon it for some time before speaking with Amir.

"My dear Amir," she began, "what is this thing you have made? With it you have created a thing of form that cannot exist as we do and, since I can remember when this thing did not exist where now it does, you have also created Time. How is this so?"

"I cannot answer, for I truly do not know. This droplet is sorrow manifested. Forever we fight, forever we ridicule and mock one another, forever we breed hate.

"War is logical, for not one of us could ever be expected to think or feel or desire as every other one. From that comes misunderstanding, belief, passion and even deception and from those come war. War is natural. However, since our wars are never conclusive, since we never tire, I fear this is how things shall forever be: hate upon hate, war upon war, without respite. The hate will grow and drown the hope of love and peace. I fear this must be the fate of all gods. In my sorrow I wept and in my weeping grew this tear."

Lenius was astonished. Never had she heard such wisdom and compassion.

Amir said, "I implore you, dear friend, leave me to reflect upon this droplet."

Lenius did as her friend asked.

Let it be known that the whole of the seventy-thousand gods beheld the Tear of Amir. Though their wars did not stop, they slowed as the vast and many gods were held in contemplation.

The tear hung silently in the darkness of the Void and all the gods came to speak of it, studying upon Time.

Amir returned to his friend's side. "Lenius, my friend," said he, "I ask of you a favor. Whether it is great or small is your choosing, but if you fulfill this request I shall forever be indebted to you. I shall make repayment my destiny."

"Quiet your thoughts," said Lenius. " I will do this favor and refuse any debt. Yet, I am confused. Is not Amir a god like the rest of us? What could I could do and not yourself?"

"I could easily fulfill this task myself. Yet, for reasons I do not fully understand, I must ask this favor of you. I feel it is the effect of Time that brings me to you. I know that as you do this task for me, should you agree, I will be provided more time in which to ruminate. I cannot explain fully. I feel we must leave reason alone."

Lenius was disturbed by her friend's notions, but she said, "As you wish, friend. What is this favor?"

"I ask that you gather the seventy-thousand gods around the tear to hold audience with me."

"Seventy-thousand wills gathered at once would be impossible, even for a god. However, curiosity for this droplet may make it an easy task after all. I will do as you ask."

Amir showered Lenius with gratitude and they parted.



"The Gathering of the Gods"


Let it be known, the whole of seventy-thousand gods gathered round the tear as Amir desired. Lenius, as she had suspected, found implacable curiosity within each god, thus making her task easy. They drew near Amir and the droplet.

"O sistren and brethren! Woe is our lay and this droplet we now surround is evidence to such, for this droplet is fear and sorrow manifested into form."

"It looks silver. I would wager it would shine in the light," interrupted Sharafar, The Elephant God, Ruler of Curiosity and Courage.

"That is no wager. We can all see it would shimmer grotesquely," whispered the hoarse voice of Cloak, The Unseen, Ruler of Shadows.

"Perhaps a blast of my fiery breath will settle the matter," spoke Krogan, The Fire Dragon, his comment joined by the laughter from many of the Dragons.

Lenius called for silence and Amir continued.

"Our wars will never end, I fear, as long as we give no pause for breath. Suspicion will fuel hatred, hatred will feed these Forever Wars. We all grow tired, weary. Hatred and anger drains the self and only more hatred can fire the gut, fill the heart."

Watching eyes lowered in sadness at the truth Amir spoke. Each god in turn thought how wise Amir was.

"With this one tear," Amir continued, "I give to you a solution."

The gods crowded to listen, a great mass of Nothingness surrounding minute form.

"We must create more," Amir proclaimed. "Perhaps not tears, but we must create form from our Nothingness. Let us fill the Void! Let us cry or roar, bellow or sacrifice to create more from ourselves, spreading all things out in growth and motion and Time. Let us create worlds to rule and call our home, to separate ourselves from the bitterest enemies and gather with friends. Let us fill this Void so as to breathe, so as to never war again!"

Amir knew the folly in his words, for war is logical. It was his hope, however, to appease his kin, to end their wars so hatred would not completely consume them, so that peace, at least at times, could be within their destiny.

The congregation broke into smaller groups, discussing Amir's wisdom through low mumbles.

Lenius and Amir remained at the tear's side.

"Will they think I have gone mad?" asked Amir.

"They are gods. They will find wisdom," Lenius assured.

And so it came to be that it was so tempting for the gods to have worlds of their own, so tempting to end their Forever Wars, that all the gods would agree, though some reluctantly.

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