The Tale of Caiveen 4

Dark Sorcery

The Power
Time moves, and events follow. Both small and medium and big events. A small event was the birth of a human male whom at first led a typical life. His name would never make it into history, yet his discoveries would change things. From humble and unimaginative beginnings he became a great scholar who would study ancient writings, and in so doing would come across the stories of Kab'Alos. He read on about the world of Brutalos and the demons from there whom a long time ago waged war against the world of Caiveen. He did not fully understand what he was reading, yet he was fascinated by it. Of what he read he could not tell what was true and what was false.

He grew old and died, and he left thoughtful writings of his own for later generations to read. Among what he had written was his limited understanding of the power of the gods. The Dark God had once created the demons and brought them here, and the land itself still carried scars from this ancient war. But one thig had been made clear in this one man's writings, and that was that the powers used by the gods might one day be handed over to the mortals.

A new Order arose, but not one dedicated to a superior being. At first small, as all things start, yet it soon grew. The New Order worshipped the Human Soul itself. A search for self-glorification. A search for release from the Gods. This New Order accepted that the Gods were real, yet did not acknowledge them to have any claim over humanity. In other words, the New Order sought for humanity itself to become a higher being of mystical power. Naturally the other religious Orders all had this New Order banned.

Yet some Kings and Queens were intrigued, or at least not bothered, by the New Order. Thus it was allowed, if not tolerated, to expand its followship. Part of what the New Order preached were the forementioned writings of a forgotten man who claimed that humans might learn to wield powers similar to the Gods themselves. Naturally an internal group of the New Order became dedicated to the study of divine powers. Another, more realistic group, went another way and studied the world with it's nature and whatever other wonders they could find. The latter group had a lot more luck making discoveries, and the end result was a bitter rivalry between what eventually became the Wizards and the Alchemists. Of course the Wizards didn't have any divine powers, and the Alchemists weren't actually trying to make gold, but most people found the terms fitting and didn't really care to change them.

With time the New Order became the Old Order, and eventually the Universe once more came to oversee the progress of Caiveen. Lavion of Life was making life worth living. Kiila of death was making muffins. Zamar of War was making a goal. Ekhor of Wealth was making sure that goldcoin wasn't fake. Miroon of power was making a spelling error in a law. Kodd of Weather was making a snowman. Elma of Nature was making out with someone. Areda of Dreams was making snoring noises. Naida of Destiny was making drawings on Areda's face. And Kara of Illusion was making herself scarce again. The only interesting thing the Universe could find was what now was called the Old Order.

While the Gods themselves did not seem to give any interest in the old Order, their religious Orders themselves did. But it was not the conflict that interested the Universe, it was the teachings themselves. The Universe could remember a time when humans would make up stories of normal people with magical powers, but back then that belief had been nothing other than a product of hope and wishes. But the old Order were being serious about it. Well, the small number of Wizards were. The Alchemists were having a much grander success and a lot less abuse from the other Orders.

The Universe knew the Wizards were right, that "magic" could be learned. But painting complicated drawings on the floor with lighted candles and other such strange concepts were just plain ridiculous. They would have to learn to feel it, to know it, to be one with it, and not just imagine up crazy things like this. Then again, the Wizards had been quite inventive about it and written all kinds of books with hypothetical solutions to the use of magic. Naturally, none of it worked. But maybe it could?

Everything was a system. Basic mathmatics with a promise of inconcievable proportions. While the Gods could do what they do with just a thought, it was clear that humans now liked to think quite a lot of what to do. The Universe could easily create a new system much more easier for humans to use, yet there were three questions it had to ponder. One, what kind of system? Two, how complicated? And three, would this actually be wise in the first place? The Universe decided to ignore those questions for a while in order to read through as many of those weird books as it could. Not easy, considering the different languages, alphabets, dialects, spelling errors, side notes, coffe stains, and so on. Eventually the Universe came to the definite answer for all three questions: Forget this!

So the Universe shifted once more it's attention away from Caiveen, but not before blowing up the Wizards library and let all these crazy papers scatter across the winds and forever be forgotten. Well, it all would have been frogotten if not Kodd had picked up all those papers, read them, then gotten his idea to grant magical powers to his priests. Shortly after several of the other Gods picked up on this, and did much the same thing. The Wizards gave up and became Alchemists too, and soon the Old Order was just a really big Academy.

Except for one Wizard with an ancient knife in his belt...

- - -

The Summonings
Kara, Goddess of Illusion, once more beheld the World of brutalos. Without it's Dark God, Kab'Alos, the demons had come upon a path of self destruction. All they now knew was death, and Kara found she shared their despair. She had lived among them, been one of them. She is of their kind, if not in body, at least in mind. The violent structure created by their Dark God to improve upon them for a war against Caiveen had been cruel, but effective. But without the continuing twisted guidance of Kab'Alos, the demons were doomed to extinction. Brutalos, with all it's blackened life, would not last more than five generations, maybe not even the current one.

A part of Kara told her that the end of Brutalos and it's insanity would be for the best. Another part of her thought it would be mercy for there not be be further generations to suffer the brutal structure. Even the demon part of her agreed, though for more selfish reasons. Yet a small part of her believed there could be hope for Brutalos and it's demons. She had been a spy, Kab'Alos most trusted general, a demon among demons, and in the end the death of the Dark God himself. The demons grieved for their hated God, and suffered all the more for wishing him to return and restore order. Kara knew that by their Law, as the killer of Kab'Alos, she had the right to take his place. She could become their new God, and guide them like he had not. She was one of them. She had seen moments of unsuspected tenderness among them. A part of her knew there was hope for them, but all she could offer them was illusion. They needed more. Much more.

Maybe if she showed the demons the wonders of Caiveen they could learn to leave their current violent structure. But if she were to bring them all the way there, and back again, they might gather together afterwards and start the Demon War on Caiveen all over again. They did not know the way, and it should stay that way. Besides, if she were to bring more demons back to Caiveen her siblings may not react well. But she is Kara, Goddess of Illusion, and she had yet to fail in reaching her goals.

And so she once more took the guise of a demon, and once more she walked among the demons, and once more she was a demon. She travelled by foot and air, telling wondrous stories of Caiveen, of tenderness, of love, of friendship, of all that Kab'Alos had taken away. It was far from enough, but it was a beginning. The tales would spread, and the demons would gain hope of a future less cruel. But tales of a place they had never seen and could not imagine would never be enough. Only by seeing it could they really learn to believe.

Kara then travelled back to Caiveen after making a few preparations. The other Gods could not know of her plans. They might not understand. How could they? She understood secrets and darkness, and she was certain that the Dark Order still existed. She sought them out, she joined their ranks, and she learned what she could of their ways. Without the manipulation of their Dark God the Order had changed slightly, yet they still believed Kab'Alos was alive and guiding them from the blessed shadow. She knew she could work with that and change this highly misguided Order to her own purpose. But in secret. Always in secret.

Eventually she made the Dark Order accept that their God was gone, but his demonic underlings remained back on Brutalos. If she could make these people worship them instead, then she could teach them to bring a few to Caiveen in an instant. In this way they would get all the blame if things went wrong, and if things went right the demons could bring tales back to their own world of a better way of life.

Thanks to the preperations she had made back on Brutalos, all she had to do was teach the Dark Order a few special phrases in the demons own language. She should probably just teach them their whole language right away as well, but that might make them a little too suspicious, so she decided to take that part slowly. She had placed some special designed lines of energy all across Brutalos, and once the Dark Order spoke the demonic phrases they could instantly summon a specific demon by saying it's actual name. Kara had made sure to only give them names from the more nicer demons, though she doubted the first summoning would go well. She was right, though luckily she had made a few fail-safes in the summoning spell. Should all the summoners who spoke the phrases die or fall unconscious, the demon would be banished back to Brutalos. Should another, much more simpler phrase combined with its name be spoken, the demon would also return to brutalos. And should the demon die, all the summoners would die as well. Kara wanted to make sure the demons actually had a chance to return home, otherwise what was the point.

And so she, Kara, Goddess of Illusions, left what remained of the Dark Order to their own devices. Soon tales spread of demon summonings, and what remained of the Dark Order was hunted down further and properly. But the ability to summon demons remained, and the special phrases was spread far and wide. None of the other nine Gods supected that this was Kara's work, they all thought it was Kab'Alos final plans which had been planted before his death and defeat. Most of the time the reasons for demon summoning was that of selfish and power hungry people, though not always. And back on Brutalos things started getting really weird as tales of Caiveen received quite a lot of fodder.

Kara knew that these summonings might eventually prove a real problem, and that it might not be enough to improve Brutalos, but it was the best solution she could think of. She could not, would not, rule Brutalos herself. They had to learn to rule themselves without an almighty Tyrant God. It would be slow, but it could be done. She would not leave her fellow demons to a fate ending in total death.

Eventually an old Wizard with a rusty, old knife would learn these phrases of demonic summoning...

- - -

The Desire
Ekhor. Ekhor. Ekhor. Who was he? What was he? The God of Wealth? Of money and other riches? He had never thought these words before. Before, there had always been the pleasure of having. To own. He was Luxury itself in person!

Ekhor. Ekhor. Ekhor. He could hear his worhippers chant his name. He could see his servants bring him stuff. He was the Master of the Golden Pyramid! He had more than any of his brothers and sisters! Gold! Jewels! Items! Furniture! Yet he always desired more...

Or did he...?

Why? What did he use it for? To look at? To hear? Smell? Taste? Feel? It all got boring after a while, and so he sought out more to fill the void in his... His what? His heart? He didn't have one. His servants had. They all went thump, thump, thump. Boring! It's all boring! They're all boring!

Ekhor had lived... Had existed this way for as long as he could remember. He had everything he had wanted, and now he didn't want it anymore. Weird thought. Why did he have these servants anyway? Back to Caiveen with them. Just like that. Here's a lot of money. Enjoy your life.

Ekhor thought of his... Siblings? He had been close to Zamar and Miroon once, back when Babel was alive. Babel had bribed him to behave ever since he left his residence, though the payments had eventually stoped. He could remember a time when owning things hadn't meant everything to him, to have friends, to enjoy chatting with his siblings, to simply... What? To simply what? He couldn't understand! What was he missing!? What did he want!?

What did he want? What would anyone want? What did the others want? Maybe... Maybe... Just maybe...
Ekhor sought out Lavion in his palace and asked him what he wanted above everything else. Lavion answered, "To live Life."
Ekhor approached Kiila in her Citadel and asked her what she desired most. kiila answered, "Who knows?"
Ekhor met Zamar and asked him too. Zamar pulled out his sword, then said, "En guarde!"
Miroon said, "Power."
Kodd said, "Fun."
Elma said, "Well, there's this lovely dress I saw in this shop once. Could go well with some lace and such, you know..."
Ekhor escaped and asked Areda, who said, "A new pillow. The old one has lost it's fluff."
Naida said, "You wouldn't understand. No one would understand."

Having given up making sense of his answers, Ekhor still sought out Kara to ask her as well. Wasn't easy, but in the end he found her after he had talked with the other Gods about his very weird question. And so he asked his question of her, he got his answer, and thus he returned home to his Golden Pyramid on Divinos. There he would ponder and ponder for quite some time until he could understand what he himself truly desired.

Eventually he gave up, then went over to his things to behold them once more.

But there was no pleasure left. They were just pretty things. But to him they were truly just useless. He didn't need it. None of it. Not gold. Not things. Not even food, for all their wonderful taste and smell. He didn't really need anything! Remembering back he now realized that everything he had meant nothing to him. When was he last truly happy? Could he even remember it?

Remember it?

Memories!

Kara said she wanted good memories!

But these things did not invoke any good memories. No memories at all. He got them, that was it.

The last time he was happy was when... When...

Ekhor finally saw how stupid he had been! He didn't want these things! He wanted the memories that went with them. They were merely reminders! Away with them! They didn't have memories with them! He didn't want this Golden Pyramid either! He wanted memories! He knew what he wanted!

Shortly after the idiotic pyramid crumbled to dust as Ekhor moved his power to what remained of Babel's old residence. He restored it, then moved into it, then invited all his friends and siblings to a party. The party went well until Ekhor started handing out presents.

Everyone asked him who he was and what had he done to the real Ekhor.

Then they got violent and tried to take off his head...

- - -

The Lack of Will
Miroon, God of Power, looked into the mirror. He looked good. He shifted it's perception, and behold, now he could see himself from behind. It just wasn't as funny as it used to be. With these mirrors he could see any place of Caiveen he pleased, though the others thought he was just being vain. The joke's on them.

He liked to wander among his mirrors. His simple fortress contained wast amounts of them, though not in a very organized manner. It didn't matter, because he could use any of them just as well. None of them in themselves had the power, they were merely a surface to unleash his own unique power onto. Any reflective surface could do, though liquid water always made the sound and image greatly distorted.

He was the manifestation of power, yet just about everyone misunderstood the meaning of this. With a sigh he looked at himself again. His very appearence, his very presence, radiated power. People could feel themselves as inferior when in his presence. All except his siblings. And it was frustrating. He couldn't turn it off! Everywhere he went, even if in disguise, people would just suddenly bow to him out of reflex. Was it any wonder he prefered to stay with his mirrors. In this way he could see from afar how the lives of mortals truly were, yet he would never have the chance to try it for himself.

Yet his radiance was not his sole problem. He had always been superior, even if he truly wasn't. He harbored skills and knowledge beyond any of his siblings, always the better fighter, always the better tacticician. He was the best, because he was power made manifest, and the result was automatic arrogance. It was not in his nature to bow before anyone, and even his own equal siblings he deemed inferior. He just couldn't show weakness. He had to be the best because he is the best.

Miroon smashed the mirror, making it shatter and spread to all corners in his fortress. He did it with elegance, with skill, with power. Power! He couldn't shut it off! Always there! The others called him cold. They called him arrogant. All they saw was the power, and nothing else. All except Babel had seen the truth. All except their father...

He had been close to Zamar and Ekhor once, in a brother-smashing-in-skull-of-brother kind of way, back when they had been growing up at Babel's residence. Babel had managed to get through to Miroon by showing him how much more powerful he was. Miroon had since then been able to lower his radiance when together alone with Babel, to just simply sit down as equals and chat. But Babel was dead, and Miroon was alone.

Ekhor was holding yet another party in his new home. That guy had changed. Preparing himself for that party by putting on his best appearence, Miroon stepped out of his fortress of mirrors, and headed to yet another gathering of gods. And once more he would be superior. Once more he would tower over everyone. And once more he would have to listen to them telling him, the God of Power, to loosen up.

Miroon was trapped inside himself, and he had no escape.

Unable to sigh he joined the party and pretended against his will.

Once more his will was gone...

- - -

The Barbaric
The Wizard died. Old, haunted, forsaken and alone. What had once been a man could no longer take it. The knife had twisted his dreams for so long. All his knowledge, all of his memory, everything he had been had slowly peeled away by the force in that dreaded knife. And now he had plunged that very same knife into his very own heart. Dead. Gone. Free.

Kab'Alos was furious! He had been so close! Through the eyes and ears of this Wizard he had learned the most amazing things. A way to restore his powers. Words to summon his own demonic creatures. He had pushed the Wizard with dreams, with promises of power, glory and pain. Lots of pain. At first the Wizard had complied, but it had driven him insane. The Wizard could not part with the knife, so he had travelled far and wide to the barest of wastelands, there to once and for all unite it with his own flesh. And Kab'Alos was now stuck in a corpse deep into nowhere.

The Dark God waited. He was used to waiting, but not like this. The Goddess Kara had killed him, destroying his entire physical being, and everything that went with it. Now only the knife itself remained. Almost powerless, gaps in memory, not even a shadow of his former self. Yet he had survived. Yet he had learned. He had regained much of what he once was. And then his transportation drops dead.

Waiting.

Still waiting.

There! Someone approaches!

The shepherd saw something catching the light, then approached. It was an old corpse, long decayed, with a rusted old knife plunged into the ribcage. The shepherd gave a prayer to his god, then pulled out a shovel and digged it a grave. He made a small rock formation in which he placed the dull knife, then gathered his herd of sheep and continued his walk. His mind could never catch the idea to take it with him, he cared only for his sheep. Luckily for Kab'Alos, one of those sheep suddenly gained the desire to take the knife with it into a glorious battle against the human oppressors! The sheep had absolutely no understanding of what this meant, but it sure was a wonderful feeling.

Shortly after, by god standards, the shepherder and his herd of sheep reached human settlement. The sheep with the knife in it's mouth was among the lucky ones to be sacrificed to the human's god. Ironicly the very same knife this sheep had carried became the instrument of it's death. The human brabarians could easily restore the knife to a more sharp and glittering tool once more, and it was superb for the slaughter of cuddly sheep. It was useless for anything else, though.

Though these barbarians were difficult to affect, Kab'Alos could once more continue his plans for revenge upon the Gods of Caiveen. They slaughtered their sheep with ritual, and so many of them would use the knife, and thus it could affect more at once. It was slow, but soon the delusions of grandeur would root seeds and grow into weeds. The barbarians soon learned to make proper weapons, to hunt down their rivals, and to make proper human sacrifices of their supposedly enemies. Shepherds no more, warriors in full. Kab'Alos was pleased.

The steppes was filled with blood. Barbarians marched, bringing war upon their brethren, and those who would not join were slaughtered and sacrificed with pain and mutilation. Marching, always marching, growing, always growing, killing, always killing. A priesthood came into behing, doing the sacrifices, and through their blessed knife learned to harvest unnatural forces stolen from nature. A death cult. Death chants. And soon they would also learn the words to summon demons.

United, finally, the barbarians sought ever onwards for something to kill. Any human, any animal, any insect, anything was to be sacrificed with or without ritual. All had to die. Caiveen had to die! And it's gods were next. The barbarians marched, then marched further, until they left their wast lands and entered true sivilization. Then they attacked the farms of wood, the cities of stone, and that wast army headed straight for them...

The barbarian horde was wiped out. Only a few of the death cult survived, escaping back to the wilderness. Against armor, swords, horses, discipline and proper intelligent tactics they hadn't stood a chance. Their numbers were too few, their minds too dumb and rotten. The sacrificial knife was lost, taken by the knight's commander, taken away from the death cult, a memento, a trophy, a gift for their beloved King.

It proved a harmless knife...

Unknowlingly poisoned...

Kab'Alos would soon be King!

The Emperor of Darkness...

The Tale of Caiveen is far from over...

Agnar Idsøe
11. July 2009

End

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