Storytime

(As told Jan 7 YC121 by yours truly to some kinsmen, while drunk.)

The God Beyond The Gate

In the beginning, all humans lived on the other side of the EVE Gate. And we lived with God, and with all human spirits, and some say there was perfect harmony. (But knowing humans, probably not.)

Humans are by nature inquisitive and brave. So when the EVE gate opened, we ventured forth. We explored, and we conquered, and we brought our God and our spirits to this cluster that had never seen them.

When a cataclysm closed the gate, we were cut off. Humans were cut off from their ancestors, their spirits, and God - God was cut off from Herself .

This cluster is not made for humans. It is an alien place, with alien planets, and alien spirits. Many people died when the Gate closed. Many suffered greatly. And God-in-Exile - He went insane with pain, with grief, with fear, with the infinite and compassionate need to protect His people.

Some humans found refuge in this cluster. Some learned to live with local spirits. Some found new gods. And some God-in-Exile kept safe. Generations passed, and we had ancestors again. God-in-Exile never recovered, but He grew, and His people grew in number and in strength.

There are many gods in this world, but God-in-Exile - the one we know as the Amarrian God, the Evil God, the Nameless God - is the most powerful of them all. He has the power to judge over people and to tell sin from virtue. What He desires is to all in this world to be His subjects, for only then can He be sure humanity is safe.

That is the story of God in this world, and it is true. The Amarrian religion is not wrong in this. The Reclaimers are not completely wrong. The Blood Raiders, even, are not completely wrong in their searching for God’s power in the power and blood of men.

But it is not the whole story, for there is still God-beyond-the-Gate. There are our ancestral lands beyond this world, where we of the Tribes can escape God’s judgment to, if we live our lives true to our kin and our Fate. There are many stories now, many gods and spirits, many ways to live. And they are all true.

The Sisters believe that if we can re-open the Gate, and find again God-beyond, we can bring forth a new era of peace. Who knows? Maybe we can. Maybe there was that original pure harmony after all. (Knowing humans, probably not.)

What we certainly can do, is to open the Gate in our hearts, and see that all stories are incomplete. Protection is incomplete without freedom. Freedom is incomplete without honor. Honor is incomplete without power to uphold it. And power is incomplete without compassion, and the wish to protect the weak, it creates.

15 Likes

(As told by this Keeper of Traditions to The Summit channel on 15 Nov YC121, after Aldrith Shutaq Newelle of PIE Inc professed he’d rather be insulted than see another round of greetings.)

The Brutor and the Sephrim

As you know, all peoples have an Elder god. In the age of legends, after the Cataclysm, the Matari Elders lived on Matar (well, duh), and they did not always get along. So there was a war. The Brutor were fighting the Krusual and they were losing some fierce.

So, these beautiful spirits of war show up, and they offer the Brutor God their power and their weapons of mass destruction to aid in the war, if just the Brutor promise that after conquering the Krusual, they will fight another one for these spirits. And, well, insert a long story about negotiations and whatnot, but in the end the Brutor say no, they are not going to use such weapons and they are not going to make such a deal, they will win over their brothers with honor, or not at all.

The spirits intended to go to Krusual Elder next, but the Brutor Elder guessed this, and so his tribe went to the Krusual first, and offered peace instead. So when the spirits came with their offer, the Krusual negotiated, but they did not promise to fight the spirits’ war, but tricked them to accept something else instead, and took the weapons, but did not use them against the Brutor.

Disappointed, the spirits, who were in fact not nice at all, but evil spirits trying to push the world into war, went away, and they went to the Amarr Elder god, and offered the same deal to him, and he was dazzled by their beauty and their power, and he agreed.

And this is why the Amarr God fights to conquer the world, because his people were tricked by the evil spirits, and some say these spirits are what the Amarr call the Sephrim. And this is why the Brutor fight them with honor and the Krusual fight them with cunning, and they will never lose.

And what did the Krusual promise to the Sephrim? To this day no one knows. Such is the way of the Krusual.

11 Likes

This a pretty good retelling of the legend. For the most part accurate.

1 Like

Thank you! I am sure there’s variations, but I tried to tell one that rang true to me.

In ther version told by my clan:

The Brutor and Krusual were at a stalemate, neither being able to gain the upper hand. The Brutor Elder went to speak with the ancestors, and during his ritual, that was when the Evil spirits came to him, offering false strength and venomous power.

The spirits words were coated in sweet honey, and the elder was almost swayed by them, for they offered a way to end the war quickly and decisively, however the ancestors also came to him, and warned him against their trickery. With the strength and wisdom of his fore-bearers the elder was able tor eject the spirits, and go to the Krusual to offer peace.

The rest is as you tell it. There are a couple more legends and myths floating about the Brutor. When I have some more time I’ll write up a few of them.

2 Likes

Thank you for sharing your kin’s legends. We are honored.

What a fascinating parable.

No historical veracity, of course, as I doubt that the Krusual and Brutor tribes even existed during the Amash-Akura golden age (roughly 16,450-16555 A.D.), which is the period that the Sefrim first are recorded as having visited the Amarr Empire. But that doesn’t truly lessen it’s value as an artifact for understanding the remarkably multifaceted Matari heresy.

4 Likes

I believe that was actually a compliment. Received in the spirit it was intended.

Myth and history are indeed different things and they serve different purposes. What is not literally fact can still be true.

Kind of like God.

4 Likes

If I may be so bold, I’m going to take this thread as a chance to share a story that was often told to me as a little girl by my nanny. I suspect that opinion on the moral of the story will be mixed, but it may prove interesting even to those who disagree.

Some time ago in a small village on Amarr Prime lived an old man named Abbott. Abbot was always miserable, pessimistic, ill-tempered, and rude. He was the most miserable, unfortunate man on the planet. The entire village was so very tired of him; all he would do is complain about everything and insult everyone around him. Everyone would avoid him as it was impossible to remain in good spirits if you were in his presence. His misery and misfortune were contagious, and he became worse and worse as the years went by.

Then one day, on Abbott’s 180th birthday, a rumor spread through the village like a wildfire: Abbott was happy! He was smiling! This was unheard of. The villagers gathered together to speculate why Abbott had suddenly, after all these years, become happy for the first time they had ever seen. Eventually they decided to go seek him out and ask.

His response was, he had spent so long uselessly chasing after happiness that he finally decided he was just going to live without it and accept what he had in life. He gave up worrying about what could be, and accepted what was, and this lifted a terrible burden off his shoulders. With that burden lifted and his worries gone, happiness finally came to him.

9 Likes

Thank you for sharing your esteemed nanny’s teaching.

1 Like

(As told by a local [translator: shaman, priest, wise person, mentor] to yours truly in YC107, in an attempt to convince one to leave one’s own ghosts behind.)

The Woman Who Loved A Ghost

Once upon a time before the Darkness, there lived a Shaninn woman, who so dearly loved a Sarinde man that they never had eyes for any others. The elders of the clan shook their heads at their passion, the chief tried to reason with their obsession, their families tried to introduce them to other opportunities, their cousins frowned on their indiscretion, but such was the strength of the bond between their spirits that in the end there was nothing to do but to let them marry.

Theirs was a proper and a happy marriage, but it was a short one, for after only three short years he was killed in an accident while hiking in the mountains with his cohort. The woman was devastated. When the pyre was lit, she had not slept, not eaten for three days, and had barely drank a drop of water, and had to be carried to the place. The goodbyes were said, all proper rites followed, and the clans returned to their regular lives.

At first, the woman seemed to recover. She stayed under the shadow of the grief for six days more, but on the seventh she rose, and had something to eat. In two weeks she sat evenings with her cohort, and in three she returned to work. All seemed well.

As time passed, though, she became more and more irregular. She seemed fine one day, and possessed another. She fell into dark moods: sometimes fits of temper overtook her, other times a shadow seemed to pass over her, and she never got up in the morning and never spoke to anyone. Sometimes her cohort heard her talk and laugh and sing in her room, or quarrel with someone, but when they knocked and went inside, there was no one there but her.

Then one night, they found her in the communal hall at the heart of darkness, with a knife, muttering to herself, and when they spoke to her she did not seem to see them, but raised the knife to attack, and they had to bring her down by force and confine her to her room, where she seemed to find rest, but kept on talking to spirits no one else could see.

Many doctors and shamans and priests came to see the woman, and she was prescribed many medicines and therapies, and they tried to banish whatever evil spirit tormented her, but nothing they did helped. Nothing was to be done, so she was left to her own devices, but kept a close eye on.

One afternoon, when the weather was cold, and a nice fire was burning in her room, the cousin who was supposed to keep her company fell asleep by it, and when he woke up, the mad woman was not there anymore. Alarmed, the cousin ran outside, and found her lying crushed and barely conscious on the pavement tiles, for she had climbed to the tower at the old mansion, and attempted to jump to her death. In her hand, the cousin found a ring weaved of red reeds, that he did not recognize.

Doctors and priests and shamans were called again, and the ring was shown to the elders of the clan, and they did recognize it: it had belonged to the father of the dead Sarinde man, and then to the man himself, and then given to the woman as a gift of love.

New Year was coming, and when the fires of remembrance were lit, the woman was again well enough to walk. They walked her to the fires, and they burned the ring in front of her, and as the flames took it and turned it into ashes, she let out a wail of grief, and grasped thin air in front of her, and then collapsed, sobbing.

The ghost finally gone, the woman started to recover. She grieved now, again, but like Shaninn, not like a madwoman. She no longer talked to ghosts, and no more fits of temper or depression overtook her. She became quiet and soft-spoken, and come Mid Year, she left the clan with a shaman she had befriended during her troubles, to become one of them.

Love is strong when you are young, and loss is hard when you love, but time moves on like the river, and all ghosts must be laid to rest. That is andesh.

6 Likes

Sea of Tears told by @Literia 's kin.

2 Likes

Also Love from Clan Ramijozana.

3 Likes

While not a Minmatar story, I would like to share my favourite Caldari fable:

A villager in the mountains grew jealous of Eagle overhead. “Why can’t I fly too?” He cried. One night he became so jealous he killed all the chickens in the village and stuck their feathers to his arms with wax. Climbing up the highest cliff he threw himself off to fly like Eagle but only broke his neck upon the rocks below.

Pyre Falcon found his wandering spirit and laughed at him with Mountain Wind: “Feathers alone don’t make a man fly; and jumping off a cliff doesn’t change your fate!”

3 Likes

Thank you all for sharing.

…It is written that shortly after the Reclaiming of Assimia, St. Romon of Gesht travelled across the steppe to the White Court for a religious dispute.

One night, Saint Romon and his companion, known today to us only as Alp Kilij, camped near the ruins of Kibureh, and an old man put the tents of his family nearby. That old man told St. Romon a local legend that is now written, as well.

The Shaman and the Snow Woman

…Before meeting the Amarr, before the Reclaiming, when the Khanid people lived as simple nomads all across the face of Mother Athra, there was a young shaman, the last one of a lineage, who was skilled at talking to the spirits. But he was also quite far from handsome as the fashion of young flesh went those days, and no free woman of the tribe would ever share a bedroll with him.

As the years grew, so the man grew desperate. One cold winter, when the rivers froze and the snowstorms sweeped over the endless steppe from east to west, towards the sea from which the ships carrying the holy symbols would one day emerge, he sculpted himself a woman of snow and ice, a woman of his dreams, and he pleaded to the spirits and spilled his blood as food for the daemons, and they did answer.

In a cruel joke, the daemons of the snowy void made the ice woman of his dreams come alive, feeling, curious and clueless. The shaman’s foolish dream was now made flesh; but the spirits also warned him, that she must never face the full wrath of the summer sun, or the magic might fail and she’d turn to snow again and melt like the snow should.

And so, the shaman led the newborn snow woman into the sacred cave where he, as well as his ancestors and those who came before them once dwelled, and taught her how to eat, how to sleep, how to dress herself, how to make fire, and, eventually, how to lay with him as his wife. He became obsessed with the snow woman, madly in love with her, and this seemingly innocent, so clueless, but quickly learning creature became his only reason to live on, as nothing else would bring him joy in this world, but her.

So was the man obsessed with keeping her safe, with fear that she could be gone forever, that he ordered her to stay in the cave at all times, because the sun might kill her. At first, the snow woman obeyed, but she learned fast, and her curiosity soon got better of her. One day, when the shaman was away tending to a wounded hunter, she sneaked out from the cave and into the plains near the river.

It was late spring, and the low sun was setting towards the endless horizon. And the snow woman was mesmerized by the sunset, by the clear deep sky and the endless plains below, blooming with a million flowers; and she decided that the shaman lied to her to keep her for himself in that dark, cold cave filled with bones and dried herbs, because he was jealous and didn’t want her to know the true beauty of the world.

After that day the snow woman became unruly and rebelled against her master. They spent weeks quarrelling and tossing insults at each other, and soon he resorted to force to prevent her from leaving. That didn’t help, and, finally, his snow woman packed the few belongings she had and ran away from the cave.

It was a blistering hot summer afternoon, and in less than a hour, the spirits’ magic was gone. The shaman caught up with his ex-lover only to find what’s left of her on a hill overlooking the river - a pile of quickly melting old snow laced with clay and dead grass.

Mad with grief, the shaman went to the river, where he thought most of the meltwater ran, and drowned himself to be one with the snow woman, forever.

So ends the story of the spirits’ gift.

Saint Romon says:

Woe to those who make deals with the daemons of fire, wind and water and the ghosts of the dead, for all their gifts are cursed.

Woe to those who repress people in their care, for all their good deeds will be wasted as the repressed turn against them.

Woe to those who obsess over anything in this world, for selfish desires cloud the mind and corrupt the soul, turning one away from God and towards things that will one day be gone, like the snows of last winter.

3 Likes

Thank you for sharing this story from old times.

As it turns out, ship crew are a superstitious bunch, and in my spacefaring years I have derived great enjoyment from listening to the products of their collective imagination. While they aren’t particularly thought provoking or aesthetically sound, they are nevertheless a culture to their own. Below is an accounting of a story from the days of Gallente-Caldari expansion. The details show great variation from one storyteller to another, but I’ve done my best to capture the gist of it.

The Ghost Stargate

The story goes back a few centuries when the federal/corporate expansion to outer space was in full swing. An infrastructure company at the time decided to send an expedition to the northwest, in order to link the constellations Velvet and Sole to the stargate network. For those unfamiliar, those two constellations are a long string of systems that extend to the western expanse of space, from the region known as Outer Ring. While the surveys conducted had revealed little promise of wealth, these constellations were known to Gallente long before their spacefaring times, subject to tales of Old Garoun mythology. There weren’t any shortage of eager colonialists either, so before long, the colonization of this western fringe was laid out as an ambitious project.

It is said that two stargate construction ships were launched towards the outermost systems of the Sole constellation, from where they would build their way back to the stargate network. The Iora-Lennera expedition -the surnames of the two captains- departed with this plan in mind. It would be two decades before they would reach their first destinations, and at least another two before they could return to the fold. Although the dangers were abundant, the two ships silently weaved their way through the stars as New Eden carried on, and they weren’t too behind in schedule when they started the construction of the stargate that would bring them home.

If the last messages traded between the ships and the M-NKZM gate six months before were any indication, the wormhole connecting the systems could appear anytime now. The stargate crew kept their eyes peeled for the slightest sign of distortion in spacetime, and to the relatives who had been separated from their loved ones so long, the hour of reunion simply couldn’t come too soon. So the appearance of the wormhole and the first messages received in real time, must have indeed sparked a big round of cheering in the stargates and the ships alike. The connection was stabilized and all values appeared to be within normal parameters, thus Iora gave the order to jump. The stargate crew promptly let loose the connection and waited for the ship to appear.

It turns out fate is a fickle mistress however, and one needs no further proof than what happened next. Just after Iora’s folk took the plunge into hyperspace, the circuit between the gates collapsed, and the crew of M-NKZM gate were suddenly left with radio silence. After the initial shock started wearing off, the stargate operators came to realize that the short-lived connection wasn’t coming back, and what remained of it were nothing more than faint reverberations. The devastated relatives left with tears, their beloved buried somewhere far beyond their reach and imagination, most likely forever. And with the ultimate failure of the project, the already strugging company went bankrupt, bringing the future of the constellations to an uneasy standstill.

A few years later, a Federal surveying group set out to investigate what happened to the stargate, and the starships that had the misfortune of building it. Upon arrival, they discovered that neither the stargate nor Lennera’s ship were anywhere to be found. Appalled, they limped back home with the news. For twenty years no further advance was made.

Eventually, the Federal government decided to send the starship Renaitra on a mission to connect the systems and seal this debacle once and for all. Swift progress was made in building the new gate, and another connection was established. This time the first jump would be made from the M-N side, by another starship that were to pick up the crews of the stargates left behind. The jump was conducted successfully, with seemingly no one’s little finger devoured by the fabric of space-time. It took a while before the ship’s bosonic coating dissolved however, and what it revealed was not the ship they were anticipating from M-N, but a rather dated stargate constructor- none other than that of Iora. Upon inquiry, the M-N side denied having made any jump request. They were however being flooded with them, seemingly after Iora’s ship appeared on the other side. Failing to establish communications, a reluctant order to board the ghost ship was given.

According to the story, it appeared as if the whole crew of the ship had dropped dead at the snap of a finger, and their bodies had not started decaying yet. The date and time on the ship’s system indicated that it was four hours after that fateful jump request almost twenty-five years ago. The jump announcement kept repeating itself at regular intervals. The captain quickly ordered everyone back on Renaitra, vacated the stargate and made a hasty return to M-N. The incident was apparently swept under the rug and rumor has it that the connection was not reactivated for a long time. It’s speculated that Renaitra had its cryostasis bays fail in deep space five years later, resulting in the perishing of its entire crew.

Like with any horror story there are all sorts of wild speculation regarding loose ends. There are those who speak of powers that lurk in hyperspace, whose wrath can be inadvertently provoked. Some say it was Lennera’s doing, who was supposedly upset that Iora finished constructing her last stargate before he could his, and set up her demise. Many seem to agree that the ghost stargate and Iora’s ship are still out there, capturing warp tunnels headed to the new stargate to swallow those who can’t know until after the jump. Some who claim to have served in the M-N outgate in W2F-ZH, say that they have observed sudden surges of jump requests with no one coming through, seemingly coinciding with times when a ship goes missing in the system. And finally, you’ve got all sorts of experts, officials, archivians and historians going so far as to claim that very little of the story somewhat resembles the truth, that no one by the name Iora ever took a command position in an expedition, that the ship Renaitra was long ago left behind in a forgotten shipyard, that the stargates in said systems were anchored in a least incidental manner. It’s hard not to believe them, but for those who’d rather think of reality as something imagined than something that is, such claims are only the skeleton upon which all kinds of outlandish theories are built. I am always interested in hearing them, but if it ever comes down to actually taking that jump, I am afraid I won’t hesitate. Hopefully the crew will have other stories to keep us occupied in hyperspace, till our impending deaths.

5 Likes

Thank you for this delightful ghost story.

The Gallente also have their share of legends and histories.

Once, there was a mid-level district office assistant to the assistant manager of some small renown. He was not a great man, but he was a man of great ambition. And so, he worked hard, he worked long, and he attended every meeting and conference call offering what networking optimization suggestions he could. Each day his secretary would bring him a schedule of prioritized meetings and folders with the various projects he could synergize, and he would dutifully attend all he could. In his family life, he had his secretary remind him of all important anniversaries, births, deaths, and the names of each member of his extended family, to whom he always assigned an appropriate cash deposit from his expense account for significant gifts, or at least a nice card, as appropriate. And it was not long before he was noticed, if for no other reason than his constant presence.

And so, when there was a vacancy, the mid-level district office assistant to the assistant manager became a mid-level district office manager (probationary) in charge of assistant-supervising supply management. And his secretary now brought him a folder of meetings that were that much more important, with more important conference calls, sometimes even catered. And his folders now included ideas for synergizing and quantifying outputs that caught the eye of more senior personnel.

And so even before the six-year probationary period was up, the mid-level district office manager in charge of assistant-supervising supply management became the mid-level assistant secretary to the divisional general operational cost oversight sub-committee secretary treasurer. His wife’s various anniversaries or birthdays or relative’s funerals or whatever had been so successfully handled that she wanted a second honeymoon. His secretary’s color-coded notes meant he always got his children’s names correct. And he finally had dental and vision coverage, which was good, because he hadn’t been able to chew quite right these past few years.

It was as if all his dreams were finally coming to fruition. He was a somebody’s assistant secretary! And it was finally time to seize everything the universe had owed him. So, late one night, digging through the financial records, he found line items for vacation pay for secretary’s secretaries listed at 4% higher than industry average, and at the next meeting, his coup de gras to save the company millions, presented the item as something to be cut.

While for a time things were good, a strange curse soon befell him, and no one could explain it. He found himself in meeting rooms with no other attendees, as if the other members of his team had been abducted. He found himself waiting for conference calls that mysteriously never came. His calls went unreturned, as if his colleagues had ceased to exist. His co-workers were being disappeared, and when he tried to find out what had happened to them, he found their names had somehow vanished from his memory.

His wife went on the second honeymoon without him, and even blamed him for not coming. Angry memos in his inbox gave way to furious performance reviews. And his children… wait, did he have children?

It was a nightmare, as pieces of his world seemed to vanish before his eyes. Seeing the end coming, he used his medical benefits and severance package to reach for psychological counseling, was hospitalized with delusions of paranoia, and was never seen or heard from again.

Meanwhile, his replacement was eager to reverse all his changes so as to position herself as a bold new direction for the firm. She restored the 4% above industry standard vacation pay benefit to her secretary’s secretaries, justified it as tax-deductible, and spent a long and happy career receiving memos about important meetings from her secretary, which she dutifully attended, offering her suggestions for brave new synergies and efficiencies from the project folders she received each morning. She spent her long years with her husband and favorite mistress both satisfied with the gifts and cards her expense account covered, which her secretary always kept up with. Until the company was liquidated and everyone was forced into early retirement by vulture capitalist hedge funds, as is traditional among my people.

3 Likes