Chronicle 4 SECOND FOUNDATION

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                    the heft and the edge                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     26/5/2017 wkj fantasy
 

 

 

 

 

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AN EPISODIC HISTORY OF ASTERANOR

The count of years here follows the standard used in The Chronicle of Errensea where dates are counted from the occasion of the Second Foundation of the Collegium Magi.  Dates prior to this event are commonly given as xxxxAF (Antare Fundatum); dates following this event are given as xxxxPF (Postare Fundatum). Dates Postare Fundatum are accurate; dates Antare Fundatum become less reliable the further we journey into the past.

SECOND FOUNDATION AND THE EMPIRE OF THE BLOOD

0

PF

Lindis 3
Lindis 1

MAP  
SE
NE

Second Foundation of the Collegium Magi.  Despairing of the complete collapse of the tribal system bringing on a dark age where progress would become impossible, and dismayed at the inaction of the Collegium Magi upon Lindis, the greatest of the itinerant wizards, Fors Haldeem, (now thought to have been the Keeper of Anshan before its fall though the Keepers have ever been secretive about their mission) called for a Great Congress to be held of all the Magi of Asteranor that they might determine a proper path for the future, for all the races of Asteranor, that the True Magi might now dedicate themselves to.

To this conference, held in the open air by the shores of Lake Aecumen upon Lindis, came magi from Bulidzhan and Dirio’sdarfod, from Zorost and Ravenna, from Garassa and New Eszola, from all of the communities of the continent; even the Blood Magi made journey from Lusk to speak their thoughts though it was not many days before they were cast out again because of the evil lies they were spreading.

At first there was little in the way of communion between all of these people. It became clear that the representatives of the Collegium Magi considered themselves superior to the magi of the mainland. They had become comfortable in their ways and were disdainful of the needs of the common people. Over the years their allegiance had been given over to the Priests of the Temples of Lindis in an indiscriminate manner that had little to do with truth and a lot to do with power and money.

Haldeem grew angry with the lack of progress even in the discussions of the Magi still less the more general progress he hoped to promote, and angry too with the wizards of the Collegium who seemed determined to maintain their ways whatever the cost to others.

When he stood before them it is said he blazed with the righteous anger of the God of the Just and cried out with the Voice of Ahura so that all dissenting words were silenced. He said:

“This Collegium is as a carcass torn apart by priests like Jackals and Hyenas and Vultures disputing every last morsel, each claiming their piece of flesh to feast upon. But no more! No longer will the True Conference of the Righteous accept this savage destruction of what was once noble and fair. No more will our Collegium bow to false gods and false prophets motivated only by pride and greed. The Collegium must be beyond such dubious allegiance. Our task is nothing to do with spiritualisms but everything to do with mankind and the nature of this world. Our Collegium was made to learn all that can be learned and to teach what should be taught so that man can progress, can become better able to govern this existence, and not for the benefit of these gods you fools worship but for the benefit of his children. Great Ohr’mazd does not need you to kneel before him. He knows his power and does not need petty man to remind him of it.
Let us remove ourselves then from these temples and these chanters who weary the very stones with their devotions.”

His words were not of universal appeal. There were accusations of heresy, there were arguments that led to the formation of factions, there was fighting between factions, there was riot among the temples, there were some deaths.

Finally, Haldeem called an end to the conference and called too for any who took his side to travel with him to the Island of Errensea, an unfashionable place of hard-working farmers and fishermen, where he intended to lay down the foundations of a New Collegium Magi. And there were 270 magi that went with him at that time while the rest went home to their communities to ponder what had been done and what they had seen.

Back upon Lindis, those magi that remained loyal to the discredited First Collegium thought to continue their studies as they pleased, and so they did, but over the years the Temples became ever more powerful, and numerous, and the magi for convenience’ sake became ever more attached to one religion or another, working their way into the priesthood or administration of their chosen Church. Whatever Power Inherent now resides within the various churches ultimately derives from these magi. It is a matter of some amusement to the more critical of the historians of Errensea that throughout the ages several of these priestly magi, or their descendants, became elevated to Sainthood by their devoted followers. There is not a magus upon Errensea that ever wanted followers.

Excepting Haldeem himself?

 

0

 

PF

MAP   SE

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The Chronicle of Errensea. At the time of the Second Foundation Haldeem was keen to make a break from all that had passed and look now only to the future, but wise voices made a case that the future would be better informed if those who lived there were more aware of the mistakes of the past.  It may be that the traditional secrecy of the Keepers was, even in his desire for progress, still holding him back. He yet thought there was a portion of the past we should not know in fear that it might corrupt what was to come. But he bowed to the notion that the history of man upon Asteranor was worth recording.  Not only did he promote the study of antiquity but also he instituted The Chronicle of Errensea to ensure that nothing of the years to come would be forgotten.  As we now know, that was a fine aim but ultimately impossible.

The Chronicle begins with a study of the states of Asteranor in that first year of founding. It marks out in words and maps the political arrangements, the languages spoken, the religious beliefs held, the causes of disputes or agreements between different groups and it makes analysis of whatever threat to order and peace there might be in the near future. And so the Chronicle has continued ever since: a matter of event and analysis. Many lives of men and women have been devoted to its growth and it now fills the entire ground floor of the Escartine Library.

 

It is worth mentioning here, I think, that the foundation stones of the Collegium Library were laid in this year in despite of the fact that Haldeem had no books. The library of the first Collegium remained inaccessible to him. However he sent out some of his best negotiators to talk to the scattered Gothaen descendents rumoured to be holding yet the remnant of the Library of Thibes. It is not known whether it was by some Gothaen generosity of spirit or by some wizardly means of persuasion that these many thousands of texts found their way to Errensea over the following twenty years or so. The matter was only briefly written up in The Chronicle.

 

199

PF

 

Foundation of the Church of the One Father. The Blood Magi cast out of the Great Congress and at the same time banished from Lindis returned to Lusk and to Hyrcana and to Tumboll to continue their studies and their practises. They bided their time knowing that years soften memories and determinations. Stealth was ever their preferred means and so it was without fanfare and without mention of God Devourer that some of them  established a new Church, at first in the south Masachean city of Polz and then upon Lindis. Meanwhile the followers of God Devourer worked openly in Lusk and covertly in Nai’vedya to reclaim their authority over the whole nation once more. It would be two hundred years before their plans for a New Holy Empire of the Rightful King would come to some sort of fruition.

 

417

PF

Devu 2

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Assurba’s Vision and the Birth of the God.
High Priest Assurba 1st had a vision. He was not a well man and his doctor, by report a very learned Black Magus from the city of Hyrcana, had determined that controlled starvation would be the best cure for his illness of the bowel. Remarkably in despite of his illness, he yet managed to get his wife pregnat with their first child, and he considered the pregnancy nothing short of the miracle they had been praying for in the ten years of their marriage. God had seen, no doubt, that Assurba’s tiime was nearly done and would not countenance him leaving Masachea, God’s own true country, without an heir.

But one miracle would be followed by another for as his wife’s time of confinement approached Assurba’s dreams were disturbed by a vision of Ah’remmon himself seated upon his throne. In his right hand was a sword with a blood red ruby in the hilt and nestled on his lap was a bundle of swaddling. This dream repeated night after night and each time he could see that bundle a little more closely. On the night before his child was due the dream came again. In his vision the Mighty God, with his left hand drew back the covers to reveal a newborn child, naked except that he wore a circlet of gold upon his dark hair. The circlet was in the shape of the crown of the High Priest of Masachea.  With dark and knowing eyes the child stared at Assurba. And then the God reached out his hand once more and with one talon scored the boy’s chest right to left, from nipple to nipple, and the blood trickled down though the child did not cry; instead he raised himself to stand in the lap of the God and spoke to High Priest. “Know you, little father, I am come as Child of the Rightful King. I will carry his word to the People.”

And at that moment his wife screamed out her last breath and his child cried his first cry and Assurba awoke from his dream. With unlooked for energy he leapt from his bed and ran to the birthing room and there bloodied and lying calm and still in his nurse’s arms was a boy child with dark eyes and dark hair and a bleeding scar running across his chest.

Assurba fell to his knees and cried: “See you, all gathered here, this is the presence of God for all upon Earnor to worship. God is come.”

The High Priest Assurba lived long enough to explain his vision and to declare his son nothing less than the living incarnation of the great god Ah’remmon. And so the child was named Devuaassayo: God is Come.

 

417-492

PF

Devu 3
Devu 1

MAP   NE

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Devuaassayo and the Apadana of Nai’vedya.  The Child God Devuaassayo was raised by the Priests of the Temple and by that same doctor magus who had served the father of the God. To say that his influence upon the political landscape of Masachea was strong would be to understate the matter.  Throughout the God’s childhood years Doctor Nipkedushta acted as his mouthpiece and as his regent. He ran the Priesthood and the Priesthood ran the country. His aim it seemed was to re-introduce, as indeed he must if he were the mouthpiece of an avatar of the Dark God Ah’remmon, by stages, the true religion of God Devourer and the Rites that accompanied that religion. Change of course could not be sudden or the Priesthood would rebel. But who would rebel in the face of the obvious Godliness of the Child God who passed here and there across the country performing miracles as effortlessly as he drew breath? God was Come, and that was an end to all speculation, and end to any form of dissent.

By the time the God’s body achieved maturity the benign conservatism of the office of High Priest had passed out of memory. The God Man was energetic and full of ideas regarding the glory of the nation of Masachea being as it was the Nation of God. He embarked upon a programme of building on a scale unseen upon Asteranor in all the years of its existence. There were temples of course, buildings of state, museums and galleries but there was no work begun that was greater than the construction of The Apadana of Nai’vedya. It was a statement to all that Masachea was the greatest nation of the world and home to the Divine, the King of all Earnor. On a great terrace of hewn stone an audience was built. There were seventy two columns, each more than seven canes in height, ringed by opal and carnelian at capital and base, and carrying a magnificent roof of dark red cedar, laid and carved with geometryk designs. Rising onto the terrace was a grand stairway, ten canes wide but shallow of step to allow for the passage of an army on horseback. Two stone winged bulls guarded the Gate of all Nations at the top of this stairway; the central processional from that gate led to a dais raised high in the centre of the hall, and on the dais sat the throne of the God, made of some dense black stone of unknown provenance. Beyond the dais another processional ran down to reach the Gate of God. None walked that processional or passed through that gate but the God himself. It was a mighty building which over the years witnessed the arrival of embassies even from the ends of Earnor. It was then, and still is, a great wonder of our world though the passage of time has done damage to it and none of the decoration of the past now remains.

 

492

PF

Devu 4
Devu 2

MAP   NE

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The God in Lusk. It is a sobering thought that even an Avatar of Ah’remmon, powerful though he may be, must like the least of men, eventually grow old. At the age of 75 Devuaassayo looked about at the great glory of his reign, he wandered from his palace and passed through the Gate of God into the Apadana and climbed wearily up onto his throne. He tried to recall the pomp and ceremony of his younger years. What was the purpose of such a life if all that he was, all that he knew and all that he made would eventually come to death or destruction?  He was God and yet, whatever he wished, would soon die. Was he nothing more than a man after all? Of no more worth than these servants that accompanied his every faltering step? It is accepted that as he studied the expressions of his servants one face stood out. It was the face of his doctor: Nipkedushta of Hyrcana. “They are a long-lived people: my subjects of Hyrcana?” inquired the God with a sudden suspicion growing in his heart. “Nay, Almighty One,” the doctor replied, “Only those who have made pilgrimage unto Lusk.” “And what is there in Lusk that may extend a life beyond measure.” “Only that which you, yourself gave mankind of your gift. Now is the time to take back some portion of that gift.”

And so Devuaassayo made his pilgrimage to Lusk in a mighty caravan of his people. It is said that ten thousand soldiers there were to guard him, that they journeyed little more than ten miles in a day, that his travelling palace was greater than the stone houses of the rich, that his carriage was as a house with wheels and separate rooms and it was pulled by elephants sent to him as a gift by the Emp’Radis of ar’Andala.

Many things have been said about that journey but the point is that when the God entered Lusk he was taken into the inner sanctum of the Blood Magi and there shown a wonder; and after that he took back into himself a portion of his own blood and became immortal as was his due. He returned to Persepolis after two years, refreshed and invigorated and ready for new adventure.

 

One amusing point here is to do with the elephants.  They were indeed a gift of the Emp Radis but as ironic a gift as anyone could give. The Emperor declined to travel himself to make obeisance to this so-called God but sent along with the elephants one of the least of his ministers. The minister bore with him the message: “The weight of thy presence on Earnor is sufficient to make us all tremble, thy footfalls topple mountains. How then could mere horses transport thee? Take from me these Elephants in their stead for they are used to heavy duty and have a constancy of pace.”

It is thought that perhaps the meaning of his words was lost in translation and so the God was very pleased with his gift.  But on Sullinor elephants are considered brutal beasts useful only for shifting large weights and ridden only by the least of men.

 

682

PF

MAP   NW

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Dukedoms of Drafasia and Valdesia.  Drafasia and the land of the Lagados had communities far away from the prosperous Aegardean nation and might have been left so politically but for the increasing demand for horses and for beef products. The Aegardean Shilling was a common unit of currency because of this trade; the people of those two countries were by descent Aegardean.  Was it not then a natural development for the Aegardean King Artis 1st to want some means of drawing them into a Greater Aegarde. Especially when each of the parties looked to the east and saw the growing power of Masachea and its God. Politics and trade were bound together in an agreement which saw both of these northerly countries become largely independent Dukedoms under the Aegardean banner. Because there were no changes made to the boundaries of Drafasia it was agreed by all that the Dukedom would hold to its traditional name. The estate of the Lagados, however, was married to that country of the Hueccan exiles, the fertile valleys nestling under the high cliffs of the Plateau. As the first Duke was to be the Lagadocian leader Oswald Valdez it was decided to give that combined land the new name of Valdesia.    Some have suggested that Artis was something of an empire builder but preferred the pen to the sword as his best weapon. At this time the people of Kelle were approached by Artis’ legate but that people remained unimpressed and decided to continue in political isolation. The Cymrais of the Dirio’sdarfod were aggressive in their rejection of Artis’ approaches, preferring the sword to the pen as their best weapon.

 

683

PF

Devu 3

Great Sacrifice

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Birth of Empire and The Death of the God. It has been said that the God wearied of life. Unlike other users of the Blood Rite, Devuaassayo found that even the freshest most unpolluted blood could not slow the advancing atrophication of his vitality. Nipkedushta himself took charge of all his treatments but finally had to explain to the God that there is variability in human flesh, and though Devuaassayo was undeniably God, this flesh he walked in was all human and therefore inferior.

The God had become weary too of the disdain of his neighbours.  In the early years of his dominion embassies came frequently to bow before him. There was a time when 10,000 would stand in the Apadana before the Throne of God to sing praise unto him. But now, though the nation of the flesh seemed stronger than ever he found himself ignored beyond his borders: the Aegardean people thought only of trade; the tribal people of the centre were scattered and unconcerned with affairs outside their daily lives. And worse than that each of these peoples had found their own Gods to worship. Minor Gods they were and an insult to his Divinity.

In 683 Devuaassayo made a declaration that he would no longer suffer the insult of pagan disregard. He would make foundation of an Empire of the Blood to rule all of Asteranor (he was not so mad yet that he could think of taking on all of Sullinor too) and all of its people would bow to the Great God Ah’remmon and to Devuaassayo his Avatar upon Earnor. And he would begin this Empire with a libation of his own Godly fluids. Some historians have suggested that the doctor Nipkedushta had undue influence over the God’s utterances at this time. It was certainly the Doctor who brought down a delegation of Blood Magi from Lusk to perform the Blood Sacrifice.  It may be that Devuaassayo believed only a representational portion of his blood was to be spilled; but equally it may be that, wishing to bring an end to his increasingly difficult existence that he insisted the full rite be performed.  Whatever the truth, the fact is that God Is Come was sacrificed upon his own altar and his sacrifice gave Godly strength to the birth of Empire.

The Blood Magi dedicated themselves to making sure that the God’s designs were brought to fruition and to that end they remained in Nai’vedya thereafter under the rule of the new High Priest Nipkedushta.

 

683 – 1210

PF

MAPS
NE
SE

 

 

 

 

 

 

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End of
Empire

The Empire of the Blood. This was the most terrible period in the history of Asteranor. It was not terrible because of the war brought to the tribal regions by the new Masachean High Priest for the tribal peoples had been no strangers to wars of their own making. It was not terrible in that within fifty years all of the lands east of the Hypodedicus had been claimed for the Empire and the people therein subjugated to the rule of the Masachean nation, for they had known subjugation before. It was terrible because of the nature of their subjugation. The Blood Sacrifice was institutionalised by the Blood Magi and spread throughout the empire. And sacrifice became a daily practise in all the new temples built in all the major centres of population, and the soldiery of the Temple Guard daily went in search of fresh victims. No village or community was untouched. And sometimes the victims were grown men or women, and sometimes they were children and sometimes they were babes dragged from the arms of their mothers. And this foul Empire lasted over five hundred years and the descendents of the once proud tribes were become nothing more than bloodstock. God Devourer had returned with vengeance for all the many years of his exile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilf Kelleher Jones
A Song of Ages