This topic has been opened at the owning Capsuleers request.
As told on The Summit channel yesterday:
Once upon the time before humans left Paradise and God was still whole, the Fox came to Her, and asked, God, if you’re all-powerful, can you make a stone so big you cannot lift it.
And God said, why would I do that? And the Fox said, oh come on, I just want to see that rock.
(audience) A stone that can not be lifted due to its is in direct violation of the Laws of Physics and should be arrested.
So God shrugged and she said fine, dear Fox, and she made a stone that was very big indeed, even if otherwise it looked like any rock. And she attempted to lift it, and she could not.
The Fox looked at God try and lift the Very Big Stone and it laughed and mocked God and said, I see you are not all-powerful after all! You cannot lift the stone.
(audience) “Ah,” Said God, “But you are wrong, Fox - for the stone cannot be lifted only because I will it so. And my will is supreme to all others. Just as your will is free, only because I permit it. So cherish those limitations I place upon myself, for they permit you to exist.” That’s how it ends.
No, this is how it ends: but God said, are you stupid or what? And She made the stone lighter, and lifted it with ease, and tossed it to the ocean, and it raised a big wave, which carried the Fox away from Her sight. And God went on about Her godly business, and the Fox went away, but still today you can hear it laugh at God in the night among the rocks.
Once upon a time, several pew pew happened around the cluster.
Oh noes, some cried.
Doom looms on the horizon threatening to crack the foundations of the universe, some feared.
Worry not, some replied.
Doom shall not respond to such nonsensical call, some affirmed.
And while some and some exchanged words, arguments, blows and pew pew, little did they know.
The universe was already cracked, it could not be done to it
Doom never left, it did not be called upon
And among all these things, there were sweet juicy red strawberries
Some took their time to taste them
As told on a boring moment on The Summit channel today.
The One Duty
Once upon a time in the vindication wars there was a Nefantar clan that was torn on which side to pick.
Some of them said, we much remain loyal, we must follow what is traditional, we must support our Holder. It would be wrong to stray from the one Path. And some of them said, we must be what we are, we are Matari, we must rise, we must shove aside the Holder, and make our own Fate.
As a result, the clan was locked in this internal conflict. And the conflict is so strong it conjures up or maybe be creates, a spirit, a powerful spirit of conflict.
This spirit, it manifests to a Nefantar of this clan, and it says, here is a dagger for you, a dagger made of obsidian, and if you kill your brother the Chief with it, I will grant you eternal life, and victory in all battles, and eternal livelihood.
And then, the same spirit, it manifests to the Ammatar Chief of this clan, and it says, here is a dagger for you, a dagger made of obsidian, and if you kill your sister the Heir with it, I will grant you eternal life, and victory in all battles, and eternal livelihood.
The Chief and the Heir, they both say yes, and they take the cursed dagger with them, and they hide it, and they go to a dinner together, and they sit down, and they make pleasant talk, and the daggers burn on their belts.
And during the dinner, they get into a heated argument, and in the height of it, one of them takes out the dagger, and raises their hand… and then the other pulls out theirs. And they look at each other, and they realize what each has done, and they put the knives on the table.
But the clan, witnessing this, they see that each of them sold out the other. And with that realization, the clan is done, it is broken, it is dispersed, it is split into two, and into those who want nothing with either of them. What is left is the Chief and the Heir and the two knives, and once they are alone, there is nothing left.
What is the morale of this story?
One True Law
In a certain land there stood a tower, great and high and majestic, so tall that it could be seen from every town and every village and every farmhouse in the land, without exception, and this was understood to be right and just and appropriate, for this was the Domain of Law, and this tower was the Tower of Law, and at its pinnacle, beneath only the dome of the heavens and the great sheltering parasol that was present, or not, as he willed, sat the Speaker of Law.
From the Speaker of Law the Law flowed, for his will was Law made manifest, and from his high seat went forth to every corner of the land the Deliverers of Law, who brought Law to the people, and also the Hands of Law, who enforced Law and punished transgressors, and the Eyes of Law, who watched always to guarantee compliance with Law.
This was a peaceful land, for by Law to raise one’s hand against one’s fellow was to lose it.
It was a mannerly land, for by Law one who spoke a curse would have their tongue seared with a glowing hot coal, and by Law one who jostled others would be made to stand two days in a dark and narrow box, its sides lined with wicked thorns.
Further, by Law once the Deliverers of Law had carried Law forth-- and, in full, it was voluminous indeed!-- all were deemed to know it and failing to know it by no means excused trangression, and so, too, this was a knowledgeable land-- at least in matters of Law!
And, too, it was a quiet land, for by Law one who by undue shouting and alarum disturbed the neighbors would for a year be gagged, and a repeat offender’s tongue be impaled on a spike, ownerless, at the tower base, there to rot along with the tongues of liars and slanderers.
But for the tongues of those who spoke against Law, no spike awaited; rather, for them it would be their vocal cords severed, along with their necks, by the Grandmaster Hand of Law; and their heads would fall through the air from the very Seat of Law itself, wind whistling in their ears, a full minute, it was said, before their skulls cracked against the wide and winding stair up which ascended the endless procession of those presenting petition-- or presented for judgment-- to the Speaker.
This Grandmaster Hand sat day in and day out below the Speaker on his high dais, and lower than no other save the Speaker’s voiceless attendants when the Speaker wanted his parasol (and they hardly counted). Bound beyond any other by heavy oaths to the ponderous weight of Law, it was his grim duty to carry out certain dictates of the Law and judgments of the Speaker. In a land of many Laws and many penalties, his was a specific and singular duty: the dealing, only, of death. Though he was, in truth, a soft-hearted man and could often be seen to weep as his swift and heavy blade cleaved the bodies of those his duty bade him slay, he never hesitated.
The Grandmaster Hand was head of his order, and the Law had many Hands, but when a single Hand was spoken of, throughout the land all knew it was this one, dread Hand.
Now the present Speaker was a troubled soul who had himself been once a petitioner on the stairs far below, where he had borne witness to his predecessor’s unfortunate demise from a false step while descending the dais. From this dramatic introduction to his high seat he had acquired a morbid fear of heights, and among his first acts as Speaker of Law had been to lay in Law that on pain of death the winds themselves must bear the Speaker aloft should he fall and on no account let him plummet to his splattery doom. The Speaker possessed perhaps some skepticism of his own powers, for he had thereafter sought at every opportunity to persuade himself of them. The Deliverers hurried day and night, the Hands were never idle, and the Eyes kept such constant vigil that their numbers nearly tripled for the purpose (for a sleeping eye sees only dreams).
As for the Hand, his duty was absolute and his Speaker of temperamental disposition. His blade sang through flesh and bone, hewed dog (for the Speaker loathed dogs, the noisy, smelly brutes), woman, child, and man-- and, twice, a horse, lifted to the Speaker’s high seat through great difficulty and by different means each time, only, once cleft in twain, to descend again by the graceful method afforded to all, regardless of rank or station, who dwell at the bottom of gravity wells, and at a rate that much dismayed the line of petitioners waiting in orderly queue on that wide and winding stair at the tower base.
And with every pointless, cruel, and senseless death, the Hand wept. During the daylight hours when the Speaker of Law held court, neither the Hand’s eyes nor his blade were often dry.
Throughout the slaughter, the Speaker took great comfort in his Hand’s unending tears, for the Speaker feared also traitors. Here, at least, was one who wept unceasingly at what he was called to do, yet did it without fail: a servant the proof of whose loyalty trickled constantly from his cheeks and dripped from his chin.
And so it might have gone.
Now it was Law that the Speaker’s court was to be held by day, every day, during the daylight hours, and for the most part this suited the Speaker fine, for aside from heights, dogs, and traitors, the Speaker possessed also a morbid fear of the dark, which seemed to him to conceal at every turn a bottomless abyss. Associated ever with the sun, he ascended his dais with the dawn, descended with the dusk, and was ne’er to be found in the dim hours between. On cloudy days he was assisted by a helpful timepiece, the only one of its day, built into the structure of the tower itself. Tuned with precision to the perceived motions of the sun, it traced also the paths of the moons. This device should ever match the cycles of the heavens: this, too, was Law.
And so it was with alarm that the Speaker one morning observed upon his daily schedule a notation that around midday the sky and land would darken for a time. Upon assuming his dais the Speaker proclaimed that he would first see his Timekeepers, and, in accordance with Law, they were brought. The Speaker then demanded of them the cause of this unseemly and disorderly incidence of darkness.
The Timekeeper-senior explained that the cause was a confluence of the moons, most rare and miraculous yet long predicted, in the skies above. Any single moon was too small to hide the disk of the sun, and indeed the passing of one’s shadow across it was a not-infrequent event, and could be observed in the spot of sunlight shining through a pinprick hole or, more directly, through a piece of smoked glass. Today, for the first time in almost two centuries, the moons would converge, all three at just the right time and at the right angles to, briefly, cover the sun.
When the Speaker of Law asked why he had not learned of this sooner, the Timekeepers pointed out that by the Speaker’s Law discussion of happenings in the sky was forbidden, as talk of weather was boring and distracted folk from their proper toils on the ground.
At this, the Speaker, frustrated and enraged, declared that he forbade it, forbade it absolutely, and declared by Law that the Timekeepers must cancel these celestial shenanigans at once.
But this, the Timekeeper-senior explained, was impos–
And proceeded no further, on account of a parting of body and head at the middle of the voice box by the Speaker’s loyal and ever-watchful, weeping Hand. The Timekeeper-junior observed the Senior’s expression in the moment before it tumbled off the platform edge, then haltingly noted that by Law, indeed, the heavens and timepiece must ever match, and hurried off to adjust the timepiece accordingly while the triumphant Speaker got on with his day.
They had cleared a light morning docket requiring only six executions, much to the Hand’s relief, and were in recess for lunch when the light of the fine clear day began noticeably to dim. The Speaker checked the elaborate timepiece dial which, indeed, displayed a brilliant and unoccluded sun. The Speaker then demanded the return of the Timekeeper-senior (recently promoted), who was, in this moment of crisis, nowhere to be found.
The Speaker was frantic. Law forbade the Speaker to descend the dais until sundown, and to re-Speak such firm, established, and weighty Law sufficiently to make descending permissible would take hours, at least! A weird and tainted gloom descended over the land, and with terror piercing his heart like a spike of smoldering ice the Speaker stared into that traitor sky and demanded its death. Bring before me the moons, bring before me the sun, let them all bow before my Hand and taste his swift, sure sword!
The Hand took in the spectacle as these panicked cries of the avatar of Law itself smashed into his duty-hobbled mind-- and like a stone to a glass pane, broke through. Cold clarity blew between his ears, a window he had never known was closed now irrevocably open. His sword, that ugly chunk of sharpened metal, moved, rose, feather-light in his hand, and its ringing sang in his heart as he struck.
They came at dusk, the Hands, their duty-laden boots trudging up the wide and winding blood-stained stair. The day had been calm, with no wind to scatter falling objects, and they picked their way past seven large pieces of fallen meat and eight smaller ones, and ascended the tower.
The Hand, the Grandmaster, knelt, leaning on his heavy sword, now stained with dried blood, by the Seat of Law and the ruined, lifeless form still seated there. The attendants had fled, and the setting sun painted the whole scene in wine-- in white, rose, and red. They gathered round, his students, his disciples, voices rustling like leaves, armor clattering like so many empty cans rolling before the wind.
The Hand of Law hefted himself to his feet, hefted his sword-- his prop-- to his hand. He looked at them, this legion sworn and bound to the old order, and let the sword sway in his hand, feeling its weight-- trivial, paired with his own profound strength.
He looked, then, at the enthroned corpse, and the smile he hadn’t realized he’d been wearing faded, if only a little.
“We must locate his successor,” he said.
Why is the sea salty?
Once upon a time before the Darkness, the ocean we call the Great Wet Desert wasn’t a desert at all, for its waves and winds were gentle and predictable, and its water was fresh like that from the ice of the North, and it was full of sweet fish and delicious seaweed. Ships could sail around it and never starve or thirst or be threatened by a sudden storm.
During the Darkness on the coast of Coricia lived a Holder who was known for being a stingy and ruthless lord, and he had in his service an Ammatar governor known for being equally stingy and ruthless.
That man’s clan sailed the sea, and they were equally stingy about it as they were about everything else; they controlled all ships and all ports and all trade in that Holding, so that they alone and their lord that they bought this right from benefited and grew rich and fat, while every other tribesman and -woman in the area grew poorer and poorer and starved.
When the Midsummer feast was approaching, a tribeswoman and a speaker for many clans in the region went to this stingy governor, and she said: “In the name of all that is holy, hear me. My people are starving. We’re starving and it is Midsummer. Make any request you want but have mercy on us, give me something to feed them with, at least this one night, that should be one of celebration. Or I swear on God and on all gods, the people will rebel, and the township will burn.”
The stingy governor did not like the idea of his township and easy living burning to ground, so grudgingly he ordered some food to be sent to the slaves of the Holding, in celebration, and then he said to the woman: “You got what you wanted, now go to Hel, and never come back into my sight.”
This was not the request the speaker woman had expected, but she had given her word to follow any request, so she went to the ocean’s shore, wandering it and wondering how she could find an entry to the underworld. When she was sitting at a great rock and considering if she should just jump into the water and hope she would be dragged to the world under the bottom of the ocean when she died, a great shark rose from the ocean and to her amazement it spoke to her.
“Why are you crying, daughter of the Tribes?”
“O Great Shark, I owe a favor to fulfill a request to go to Hel, but I do not know the way to that underworld.”
“You have paid that favour by coming to me, for I am Hel the Great Shark. But never before have I heard of such a favour; how did you come to owe it?”
The tribeswoman told the Great Shark the story, and the woes her people were suffering in the hands of the stingy Holder and the even worse governor. The shark grew pensive. “How terrible it must be to have been born a human,” it said. “Here, I will give you the gift of endless bounty. Here is a small mill that once was lost in the sea by a careless person of your kind. Put some pebbles from the shores of the great ocean in it, and with the spell I will teach you you can grind the sand into any food or drink you like. But keep it secret, keep it safe! It is not a tool for greed.”
And the shark coughed, and out of its mouth flew a small hand grinder, like the ones you would use for corn or coffee. As instructed, the woman put some pebbles into it, and the shark told her the magic words, and she said them, and asked the mill to make her bread and cheese, and those things appeared, and when she had eaten her fill, the shark told her how to stop it.
She thanked the shark, and she took the mill, and her people never had to starve again.
Come next Midsummer, again, the only thing keeping the people alive was the mill. By now, many people knew the woman had something from which sustenance flowed, for no matter how careful she was, bread and butter and herring and apples can only be eaten if they are known about. So many people came to her and they said, please, sister, we have nothing to have a feast on, can you help us?
She felt sorry for them and she told them to come back on the Midsummer night, but be careful, and there would be a feast. She spun bread and meats and fruit, and wine and ale and stronger spirits, all sorts of sweet things and savory things, and little snacks that people loved to eat even after they had eaten enough, and set out to have a feast. But of course, that could not be kept secret, and when the feast started, also the stingy Holder sent his governor and guards to figure out what rebellious act it was that allowed this extravagance to go on.
When the woman saw the governor on site, she withdrew, for she had not forgotten the request she owed, “and stay out of my sight”. But while she was away, the governor spoke to the people present, and a lot of them were drunk, and some wanted to boast, and some were scared, and too many of them told him what they knew of the mill. And with enough bits and pieces, he ordered the woman arrested, and demanded to be given the mill and shown how it could be used, and then he took it with him.
The governor of course already had enough food and drink so he did not need the mill for that. Instead, he put it on one of his trade ships and filled that only with empty sacks and barrels, and sailed out. When he was arriving in the city we now know as Mithuris, he took out the mill, poured some sand in it, said the magic words, and commanded: “Mill, grind me salt!”
The mill started to grind out salt. It poured and poured out of it, filling all the sacks and barrels. But it did not stop there: it just kept on going, salt falling on the cargo deck’s floor, spilling everywhere. “That’s enough now, mill!” the governor said - but he had never asked the woman how to stop it, and she had not told him.
Salt kept filling the ship. The crew begged the governor to throw the mill into the sea, but he refused, searching frantically for a way to stop it instead. When the ship started to tip to one side from the weight of the excess cargo, the captain of it had had enough, and she ordered the mill to be taken from the governor and indeed thrown into the ocean, lest the ship be lost.
The crew like the crew of any ship - space or sea or air - obeyed their captain first and any visiting dignitaries only as the captain tells them to, so they overwhelmed the governor and took the mill and threw it away and it sank to the water - still grinding salt.
The Great Shark felt it fall and it became very angry at the ungrateful humans who had not kept its gift safe as it had instructed, and it thrashed and turned and splashed its tail in its anger. A great storm rose, and the ship already tipping under the salt load tipped further, toppled over, and sank, taking with it all the salt, all the crew, the captain who acted too late and the stingy governor who owned the mill.
And there, even today, in the bottom of the Great Wet Desert, sits the salt mill and grinds salt. And that is why no matter how many fresh rivers run and fresh rains fall into the ocean, it will always remain salty. And the Great Shark is still angry with humans, and has not spoken to our kind since, and its unpredictable spirits make the ocean unpredictable, and that is why sudden storms and scissor-tooth sharks and great serpents are now a threat to all who sail it.
There was once a young fish
He swims up to this older fish and says,
“I’m trying to find this thing they call the ocean.”
“The ocean?” says the older fish, “That’s what you’re in right now.”
“This?” says the young fish, “This is water. What I want is the ocean.”
Is this story supposed to be a parody ?
No. Heresy possibly, but not parody.
Well. If you are within the Amarr Empire this will be swiftly taken care of …
This is an obscure legend I learned in Amo, retold in a party. I believe it is originally Nefantar, but I might be mistaken. Pretty sure this one’s also heresy, even if such myths are not intended to be taken literally as truth. Such is the nature of these origin stories.
How God lost his name, and the Khanid lost their God
Alright, so, this is a party for those who fight the Evil God, no? So I figure I will tell you something about the Evil God.
We, I mean, most of Minmatar people, who follow the Matari ways, we recognize there are many gods and spirits. Infinite numbers even. Everything has spirit in it, so you cannot even count the gods present in this hall. There’s spirits of hospitality here. The spirit of wine seems to be present, and maybe even those of revelry. Spirits of all the trees and flowers, and guardian spirits of cooks and waiters, and maybe we have an ancestor or two keeping an eye on us, no?
The most powerful of spirits we call gods. Everyone knows the Seven Gods, the spirits of the tribes. So as we each have our spirits and gods, so do the Amarr people have their spirits - their ancestor-saints - and they have their One God.
One thing is curious when you think of it. All other spirits and gods have names. The Amarrian God does not. It is just ‘God’. It is as if we all had names, but we called… if we called Arsia just “Person”.
Some people say that once upon the time, long before the Darkness, the Amarr God was not a particularly powerful one, and it still had a name then. And it was, if not friendly with the other gods it came to contact with, still in contact with them.
On the same planet with the Amarr lived another people, the Khanid. The Khanid, of course, also had their own God, and this God was beautiful and witty and all things anyone could desire in a lover.
The Amarr God fell in love with the Khanid God, but the Khanid God wanted nothing to do with him, and rejected all his offers. And the Amarr God got very angry, and he told his people to go into war with the Khanid people, and they did, and when they won the war, he said to the Khanid God: come be my wife, and we will rule these people together.
And she said; very well, but what will you give me as dower?
And he promised him all the palaces in clouds and all the minds of mortal people and all riches and powers he had to give, but she wanted nothing of them, and she said: I have all those things, and had more before this war. No, give me your name.
The Amarr God was perplexed by this request, but agreed to do as she requested. So they wed, and they had their first night, and when the morning came and the Amarr God woke in his palace in the clouds, he could not recall his own name.
He was alarmed, and he went to his guardian angels, and he asked them, who am I? They were confused, but they answered, “you are God”. He was angry with them, and asked again, “What is my name?”, but they were even more confused and said “You have no name. You are God.”
He went around to everyone he could think of, even showing himself to some mortals. and asked the same question and got the same answer, and it was driving him crazy. In the end he went to the Khanid God, and demanded to get his name back. But she laughed at this demand, and he got angrier and angrier, and in his anger he pulled his sword of God, and he killed her.
And that is, some people say, how the God lost His name, and how the Khanid people lost their own god and became to follow the Amarr’s. Other people tell other stories of how those things came to be.
But all the stories of the Nameless God agree: the loss of the name made God angry, and in search of what was once his he now conquers and destroys.
Do you think the author of this narrative was aware that the Khanid joined Amarr of their own accord?
Hard to say; you cannot trace authorship of legends like this really. The teller of the tale in this instance is aware of the Amarr/Khanid telling of the history now that it is mentioned, but did not consider it at the time.
Comparing to other stories of the Nameless God, I think it could be that the origin of this tale is in explaining why the Khanid felt compelled to join the Amarr - when their own God was dead they needed one - and it has then been transformed into or mixed with a story explaining Amarr God’s conquest, one of the archtype topics of Matari legends.
This is the only story I know of that mentions the Khanid God, but maybe I could find others if I look.
Dear ms. Rhiannon, thank you for sharing this tale. Your story reminded me of the beautiful prayer of St. Gregory of Nahyeen (or ‘Gregorius Naziancis’ in the old tongue). My own crude translation of this prayer is:
"God beyond all things earthly,
By no other name could I call You!
You are beyond words,
when all words stem from You.
You who name all names,
You are the only unnameable one.
How could I call you other than
God beyond all things earthly."
For this saint, the reason why God does not have a name like John, Lisa or Freddy is that he transcends named things and people, and even the named spirits such as Molok the deceiver.
Thank you for sharing this!
I recently led a summer camp of young crusade scouts in Mehatoor. I remember scary stories being a big part of my childhood so I had to come up with one on the fly. It’s terrible, but it got a couple adolescent screams.
“one dark night, in this very station in Mehatoor. The BUTCHER Nauplius was chopping the heads off of Slaver Hounds that had shown mercy to runaway slaves. And as the third moon of Mehatoor VI rose into eclipse, Nauplius slipped on a condom filled with ostrich milk. His mighty scimitar gleamed in the fading moonlight and with one sweep, he cut off both his head and the head of the next slaver hound. Now the lower docking gantries of Mehatoor VI-24th Imperial Crusade Logistic Support are cursed by the horrible HOUNDBODY! A beast with terrible claws and an even worse understanding of theology! OOOOOHHHHHH!!!”
I found this Story to be Quite Disturbing.
This narrative was relayed to me by Devin Lok’ri, who learned it from Terrana Lok’ri, who learned it from Shirin Lok’ri, who learned it from Ajram Varaz, who learned it from Ximena Ramir, who learned it from Aritcio Tarum, who learned it from Valeria Tarum, who found an account by Dari Tarum in the Tarum family archive. Dari’s text claimed to be a personal account of these events, though this is not verifiable. I pray that God and the Faithful find this story pleasing and edifying.
In the days of the Udorian wars, when Saint Junip was alive and campaigning in the name of the Faith, Dari Tarum was a ship captain tasked with maintaining supply lines. The leader of the fleet was one Zaragram Arda, a man full of hubris who when sober believed himself greater than all the military leaders of his day, and when drunk believed that he was greater than the Emperors and Saints.
The night before the fleet sailed out from Dam-Torsad, Admiral Zaragram got extremely drunk. After a night of pleasure seeking and intemperate behavior he was heard to loudly declare “I am Frisceas returned! I will conquer this planet for myself, not for God, and I will become the greatest war leader Amarr has ever had! When I return they will surely make me Emperor!”
When this outburst was relayed to Captain Dari Tarum, he became gravely concerned. He spent all the remaining hours before the fleet left, and any hours he could spare while underway, leading his crew in communal hymns praising God and Frisceas.
As the fleet approached Ves-Udor, a great storm appeared out of nowhere. The sky went completely dark. The winds picked up, capsizing ships that did not adjust quickly enough. Hailstones the size of boulders slammed down on the ships, opening great rents in their decks and hulls. Admiral Zaragram saw his fleet being torn to pieces and he went out onto his deck loudly proclaiming curses against God and all the Saints. Halfway through his rant, a thunderbolt from on high struck the hubristic fool, instantly killing him.
Alone among the fleet, Captain Tarum’s ship was saved. The winds seemed to go around it. The hailstones missed it. The ship might as well have been sailing on a clear day. As the rest of the ships sank around it, the light broke through the clouds in the shape of the holy monogram of Frisceas.
When his ship made landfall, Captain Tarum ordered the construction of a holy shrine that can still be visited to this day.
I pray that all who read this concentrate their thoughts on their Duty to God and on the Communal Faith which binds all Amarr together in service to the Emperor and to God. May you never prioritise your own desires over your duty and faith. By God’s light and God’s word, Amarr will remain forever glorious.