A fiction fragment

From: David Cake (davidc@cyllene.uwa.edu.au)
Date: Mon 28 Apr 1997 - 09:16:46 EEST

        A small fragment of fiction. I may flesh it out a bit more.

        A note for pedants and scholars - King of Sartar and Wyrms
Footprints have different names for the King that Hon-Eel marries, Wyrms
Footprints calling him Pymaro III. I have gone with what is presumably the
more recent source.

From the foreword to the 'Walking the Spiral Path', a scholarly respected but
notoriously complex book of Lunar moral teaching...

The Goddess says 'before you tell my story, first tell your own'. So this
is my story. I am Aristarus the Learned, born among the hill clans of the
Rockwoods. I was educated by sages in my youth, and then spent several
years travelling between the cities of Holay and Tarsh. Eventually I became an
advisor to King Pyjeemsab of Tarsh.
        I was his chief advisor in matters of law and religion, and close
to his
council, in the years when the woman known as Hon-Eel first visited Tarsh.
I watched her manouver her way through a maze of politics and hostility
with unerring skill, and watched the way the King gazed at her. All his
advisers feared her, but feared what the King would do if they spoke ill of
her more.
        One day I took the King aside, and told him we were to spy on a
pair of
lovers. He accepted this invitation, for his morals were no better than any
other King (and in truth, mine were no better than any other Kings
advisor). I stole him away into his garden, where two spiders were
locked in congress. I bid him watch carefully what happened at the
conclusion of their mating, and his eyes narrowed as the female bit off the
males head and consumed him. The next day he had me flung into the dungeons.
        I lay in the dungeons for several weeks enduring starvation and
beatings. Eventually I heard tell that the King was to marry her. In due
course I was dragged from my cell, and told the unwelcome news that the
King had
died in the bridal chamber, and Hon-Eel ruled as regent for her unborn
child. I feared for my life, and feared still more when I was dragged
before her, for her first words were that I had come closer to defeating
her plans than any man before me. I awaited the death penalty, and then
in amazement as she offered me a post as a personal advisor, saying that she
would not waste such wisdom.
        I served her faithfully for seven years. In the day we would talk
politics and discuss matters of state, at night we would often discuss
philosophy. I am not sure of the exact moment that my sevening came upon
me - sometimes I think it was in that first moment when she offered me a
post in her service, and I only came to understand it later. When it came
time to leave her, I made pilgrimage to Glamour. I sought to understand
how the worldly arts of politics and war could be turned to
the service of the transcendent goddess, and eventually I understood. I hope
my small insights will make some faltering steps along the journey to the

                Aristarus the Learned.


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