The Book of the Sons of Fire -The Korbrain Bible

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From the Ruins of the ancient abbey at Glastonbury, the site of the Christian church founded by Joesph of Arimethia, the uncle of Jesus, comes this ancient manuscript.

THE BOOK OF THE SONS OF FIRE
this being
THE FOURTH BOOK OF THE BRONZEBOOK
Being all that remains of the Sacred Writings formerly contained in the Great Book of the Sons of Fire
 

Chapter 1 – THE RECONSTRUCTED CHAPTER
Chapter 2 – THE HIBSATHY
Chapter 3 – THE BROTHERHOOD
Chapter 4 – AMOS
Chapter 5 – THE LAWS OF AMOS
Chapter 6 – THE TALE OF HIRAM
Chapter 7 – THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 1
Chapter 8 – THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 2
Chapter 9 – THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 3
Chapter 10 – THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 4
Chapter 11 – THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 5
Chapter 12 – THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 6 (Incomplete and Fragmentary)
Chapter 13 – THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 7
Chapter 14 – THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 8
Chapter 15 – THE BOOK OF KADMIS
Chapter 16 – THE RECONSTRUCTION BY KADAIRATH
Chapter 17 – PART OF A MARRIAGE PLEDGE
Chapter 18 – THE MASIBA AMENDMENTS
Chapter 19 – THE LETTER OF MATA A SON OF AGNER
Chapter 20 – THE TEACHINGS OF SADEK
Chapter 21 – THE LAWS OF MALFIN
Chapter 22 – SALVAGED FRAGMENTS RECONSTRUCTED – 1
Chapter 23 – SALVAGED FRAGMENTS RECONSTRUCTED – 2
Chapter 24 – THE LAST OF THE METAL PLATES



CHAPTER 1
THE RECONSTRUCTED CHAPTER


We took refuge with the sons of Uteno whose fathers had been in the land many generations, for they had come out of Egypt in the days of Pharaoh Nafohia. There on the borderland, we dwelt in caves above Kathelim. We were without books or possessions, but we were diligent and laboured to make the land fruitful. We knew ourselves as The Brothers in Light, but others called us The Children of Light, even as we are called to this day.


This is a good and fertile land, it is a wide land of flowing streams where wheat and barley increase a hundredfold. Figs and pomegranates flourish here and it is a land of olive groves and vineyards. All the needs of life are supplied with an overflowing bounty. It is a land where sheep and cattle multiply without fear and a land where the sickle of famine never reaps. It is a land where even an effortless search is rewarded with the materials of copper, but it is not a manless land.


We are not alone in this land and must live among people whose ways are not our ways. They have Gods with many names and even now those beside the sea strive among themselves, for some say God is called Mamrah, while others say he is called Aneh. All about us men are in dispute and the strife among them arises out of the bounty of the land. Gaining their livelihood with little effort they have much time for argument and strife. We must build, for these people, a court of peace, the four pillars whereof shall be Love, Consideration, Justice and Truth.


The land of our fathers and our inheritance has been lost to us forever. Their homes have been returned to the sands and their altars where they worshipped cast down. Their temples have been destroyed and the forms of worship practiced there are no longer known. The songs once sung are now mingled with the winds and the voices of the singers are silent. The wisdom once revered has departed, the illuminating flame no longer burns and the lamps lie broken in the dust.

The honoured writings have been used for kindling and the sacred vessels turned into vain ornaments. The very names held sacred by our fathers are now defiled and held to represent wickedness. Those who would have been our brothers are sold and their leaders slain. Those who would have been our wives are violated and degraded in servitude. Therefore, brothers, it is time the memory of these things was put aside and forgotten.


What cause have we for sorrow? We are in a bountiful land, we have hope for the future and an unshakable faith. Better by far than all else, we have with us the key to the ancient Portal of Communication. Our memories must replace the books, and decrees of former times. Let us, therefore, be thankful for our blessings and diligently preserve the flame from which the lamps of Truth will one day be relit.


In days gone by you have had leaders to guide you, but before them were even greater leaders whom you have not known. The inspiration of their words is something that must never be lost, it must be preserved for all time. We must be like a man who has traveled far with a heavy burden. He rests and seeks among the things he carries to find what can be discarded, knowing he has still a long way to go. The choice you must make has to be made soon, for the years remaining to our father cannot be plentiful.


We must establish a community where men can live together and where they can enjoy the companionship of women. Men always benefit from united effort, but this is inseparable from necessary restrictions. Let the restrictions imposed be such that no man can feel resentment because of the restraints set upon him. Let the only ordinances and restrictions imposed be founded on the nature of man and upon spiritual and moral values.


We must seek to assure freedom of action for every man and woman, so long as it does not prejudice the equal rights of others. We must work for the benefit of the many, but in doing so must not overlook the provision of rewards for those who serve best. The rewards must go to the men who are best in all ways and not to the worst. We must see that good lives are rewarded and evil ones punished. We must place the greatest value on things spiritual, and no man must be unduly rich or unduly poor.


We must provide for the sick and helpless, for the old and incapable. We must assure the integrity of the family. The first objective must be the spiritual goal, which is the only proper one for all men. After that all instruction and law should be bent towards an increasingly harmonious relationship between every living being. The upbringing of children must have as its objective the attainment of well balanced manhood and womanhood. We must make men high-minded and above all pettiness. They must be upright and rejoice in their manhood. They must possess courage and fortitude equal to any trial, for there will be many.

They must be prepared to endure oppression and persecution with self-control and a calmness which no misfortune or calamity can shake. They must also be such men that good fortune and abundance does not weaken them.
We must teach men to be quick in decision and deliberate in judgment. Because in numbers we are like two grains of sand in the desert, we must seek converts diligently. We must be a guiding light before the eyes of all men, leading them along the paths of honest labour rather than power. We must teach men their duty towards others, so that no man ever says, “Unless I place my own welfare first no other will”.


We must seek out and accept suitable converts and they must be particularly precious to us. We must hold them in high regard, not because they have accepted our beliefs, the good within them can be developed within their own, but because they assume willingly and cheerfully the great duties and obligations peculiar to us. We must always remain a brotherhood engaged in an organized quest for Truth. We must ensure that the teachings we expound are valid everywhere and among all men as a code of goodness. If a brother become powerful he must not glory in that power, if wise in his wisdom or if rich in his riches. If a brother have to glory in something, then let it be in the fact that he is always the best of men. By this is not meant the victor in the earthly struggle, but he who best serves the purpose and good of mankind.


We found refuge in a place where men spoke our tongue, though now they are no more. The land of our fathers is denied to us, so we must seek another, for a man without a nation is more heavily afflicted than any orphan. Egypt was a land destined for greatness, its people should have led all others towards the Great Light. Egypt failed in its destiny because those who were entrusted with power and position proved unworthy. Its kings, who should have reared families dedicated to goodness and inspiration, betrayed their trust to satisfy the weaknesses of men.

The leaders to Godhood were misled and became ensnared in the deserts of worldliness, and those who followed them were betrayed. The priesthood became corrupt when it offered a life of ease and abundance, instead of a life of service and austerity. The ideals of man were above reproach, but man himself was unworthy of them. We have no need to change ideals, but to attain them we must change men. The sacred lore of Egypt, enshrining the treasure of the ages, was possessed by only a select few who safeguarded it as nothing else has ever been guarded, because of its greatness. Not only this, but even a little knowledge of it could be dangerous in the hands of any who sought to utilize it improperly.


Of all desirable things attainable by man, the assurance of his immortality, clear insight into the purpose behind his creation and true knowledge of the road towards the fulfillment of his destiny are the greatest. Those were the things so closely guarded, and just as they are the most desirable things on Earth, so are they the most highly priced and difficult to attain. Religion records the efforts of men, its doctrines and inspiration are the measure of its success or failure.


The paragraphs just written replace some difficult to decipher and translate, but they preserve the essence of what was recorded so long ago. Much is too fragmentary for use, a great amount is therefore lost. There is one very applicable fragment which states, ‘unless they would be open to mockery, Revealers of Light must possess more than a dim, smoky glimmer.’


CHAPTER TWO
THE HIBSATHY


These things must not be entrusted to common folk, neither must they be degraded by disclosing them to such as would profane them. They were once reserved for those who were exalted in wisdom and virtue. In those days of Harempta, Mouth of God on Earth, they were hidden from those in high places. This is one among the Lesser Mysteries, the Ritual of the Twice Born. It is a ceremony to regain spiritual vigour and to restore spiritual power, whereby a Chosen One dies and rises again. It is a grim undertaking fraught with danger. It is not for the spiritually weak or for the faint-hearted. Not all survive to walk again upon the friendly ground of Earth.


Only the older men who had completed the three cycles of seven years were accepted. They had to be men with wisdom and courage, with the strength and fortitude to survive. Other essentials were absolute purity and complete self-discipline. The ability for self-sacrifice and a strict sense of duty were demanded. Only men possessing all these qualities could cross the border in consciousness and return.

To be deficient in any essential quality meant death. The Tree of Life has many branches and that which is initiation bears the best fruit. It is about this that your brother writes. It began in that far away glorious period before the days of wickedness which caused men to walk in darkness, in the days when they walked in the light of Truth. A House of Hidden Places was maintained, so that all who had any part in governing the lives of the people, whether as king or priest or official, could prove themselves worthy before becoming encumbered with the office.

Later, it came about that the Hidden Places had to be further secured and only men long established in goodness could enter them. Those in high places and those with power shirked the austerities and dangers demanded, and thereby they cut themselves off from the light of Truth. The kings and governors who ruled in Egypt, during all the many long generations of twilight and darkness, were born to the frailties of the flesh. Seeing only through earthly eyes they lacked the clear guidance of revelation and knowledge. The Serif Egg remains, it will give up its secrets on the distant day when hatched under the breast of understanding. Then it will open its eyes, unfold and spread its wings to reveal the light of Truth.


The spirit of man is like an unweaned child which has wandered away and become lost among the rocks and cave. Unless it is found and given sustenance from the source of its life it will perish.


The first Temple of the Shrine of the Hidden Places was built on the Scared Heights. It was a temple within an inner court where there were lesser temples and the rooms of priests and teachers. The whole was surrounded by a courtyard and gardens, and beneath the main temple were the three Caverns of Initiation. Later the Temple of the Shrine of the Hidden Places was built during a time when the light was revealed throughout the land.


Though previously the shrines of the Twice Born had been concealed in the smaller temples, when Ramsis built the Great Temple of Ramen it contained, within itself, both temple and shrine of the All Highest God. Also there were Caverns of Initiation underneath. In the hall of the temple which faced East and West, between pillars of pure stone, was the portal of the outer sanctuary. As the sun rises in the East, to give life to the day, so was the Devoted Priest placed in the East of the sanctuary, to open the services of worship and to instruct, like a father, those who came to him with understanding.

In the ceiling above the candidates was the symbol of the sun and from it extended seven hands. This represented the sun of life dispensing the vitalizing forces of life from their fount within the circle of creative consciousness. Behind the priest were representations of the ten rays of power that flowed out from the All Highest God when He created Earth, and which became the attributes of His Spirit. They are: Love, Foresight, Wisdom, Insight, All Knowledge, Strength, Resolution, Justice, Mercy and Courage.


Between the Devoted Priest and the wall behind him was the triangular representation of the three Sublime Essences -Supreme Spirit, Soul Spirit and Forming Spirit – the three parts of Spirit ever in unity. The entrance to the sanctuary was in the East and above this was a representation of the Great Eye, the secrets of which cannot be written. Before the Devoted Priests was a hidden doorway and this led down to the Marriage Chamber. In this chamber were performed the rites known as The Marriage of the Soul. Here, too, spiritual nourishment could be inhaled through fragrant smoke of incense prepared from secret essences and ingredients which activate life. Here was learned the profound Secret of the Soul, the secret that was in the silence. Behind the sacred place in the temple, behind the place of flame, was the Thrice Hidden Door and this led down to the Chambers of Darkness, which were before the Caverns of Initiation.


Before the first Chamber of Darkness there was an antechamber containing a small lamp and light. Cut on the walls were representations of Life and Spirit. The candidate had studied with the priests of the upper temple for seven years and been observed by one of the Twice Born for seven years. Now, here in the antechamber he became an Anointed One.


The Anointed One went into the first Chamber of Darkness for testing by one of the Twice Born of a lesser order. Here it was discovered whether he truly desired The Great Illumination and whether he had all earthly desires and ambitions under control. Here he was warned of the dangers he would have to face and was tested for courage and fortitude. Before him now there was only one choice, victory or death. This was the Chamber of the Red Light. Now the candidate and he who attended upon him stood before the next door, and the priest said to one who stood there.

“Having realized by his own preparation, that the external is unreal and having eliminated earthly desires and substituted spiritual ones, he who aspires stands ready. He has tamed the wild steed of his body, so that it is completely under his command. He has awakened the man within the man, and the eyes of inner vision are open. He has made the irrevocable decision and is one ready to go forward”.

The Anointed One was admitted into the second Chamber of Darkness and here he was uncovered and placed within a bath of cold water where he remained for a period determined by the burning of a lamp. This was the Chamber of the Purple Light.
From here the Anointed One passed into a small chamber which was the entrance to the Caverns of Initiation. He now stood before the Portal of Restuah and recited the Prayer Before the Portal,

“O Unnamable God, give me a burden of suffering to bear and place about my shoulders the yoke of tribulation. O God, fill the empty spaces of my spirit with pain. O grant me such fortitude that even under an almost unendurable load of distress I may be willing to lighten the burden and suffering of another. Even as I stand prepared for the awaiting test, I ask that should I be returned to the light of Earth, I be granted a share in the afflictions of others, for I need the strength given by suffering and sorrow, and will welcome them for the benefits they bestow”.

Then one who stood in this place gave the Anointed One water to drink and said this prayer,

“O Unnamable God, hear the prayer of the Anointed One. Strengthen him with such courage and fortitude that he will not fail in his hour of awful trial, but shall pass beyond the Place of Terror through the Portal of Death, and so may shine with the protecting radiance and therefore return unharmed in spirit and body”.

The Anointed One entered the first Cavern of Initiation and was tested there in such manner that no ordinary mortal could endure it. After three days he came out saying to one who stood there, “O acceptable suffering, what has been decreed is indeed best”.


After passing through the first two Caverns of Initiation the candidate became an Enwrapped One, and in the last small Cavern of the Lord of the Twice Born released his spirit. The Enwrapped One was then placed within the Womb of Rebirth and there, within the tomb of stone, he was left seven days. Here came complete liberation of the spirit. It floated out through the confining stone and went as it willed. No words of men, however learned, can ever describe this experience.


The spirit of the Enwrapped One returned to the body at the behest of the Lord of the Twice Born, and he who had survived became a Twice Born One. When led forth into the Place of Glorification his face shines with an inner beauty indescribable. From that day onward his conduct and attitudes are changed and he is at peace with all men and with himself. He needs nothing from earthly life and seeks nothing. He accepts and enjoys whatever life offers, for he has learned the answer to the riddle of life and solved the Secret of the Ages.

Your brother was one who underwent the Initiation of the Twice Born, and he has drawn the curtain aside a little to reveal only what is permitted. It is little enough but sufficient for you to understand why, when kings and governors rose to position and power, they declined the ordeal. It is understandable, for the final ordeal brought earthly life as close as possible to extinction, without complete severance of the spiritual umbilical cord. Before this, went more than twenty years arduous preparation. Yet long and terrible though it was, the time and austerity did not exceed the necessary limits by even one jot. In sorrow your brother must say that it was not an ordeal required to obtain something man has never possessed, it was to regain something he had lost. It was, however hard as it may seem, the lowest price payable for the Secret of the Ages. For long years he who aspired to become one of the Twice Born had to practice the awakening of his spirit and bring his body under complete control.

The first thing to overcome was met long before any threshold was approached, it was something which lurked in the uncontrolled thoughts of men. The frightening experiences during the years of preparation had to be modified and their effect channeled off, otherwise the awakening spirit would have been completely overwhelmed. As the material body of man cannot come too close to a blazing fire, so cannot the spirit approach too close to the sphere of divinity. Having arisen from the Womb of Rebirth, the spirit is completely freed from any doubt about the immortality of man. Can a man doubt the source of sunlight when he can see the sun arising in glory before his eyes?

Having joined the Twice Born each man has a choice, he can go on to higher development within the Realms of Light, or he can remain to help others. Your brother chose to remain. This wisdom of the Twice Born has spread to every corner of the Earth, and Caverns of Initiation are opened everywhere. But increasingly, through the years, men have declined to undergo the austerities and trials essential to bring them into the clear light of Truth. Therefore, the places of initiation decay and their secrets are lost, men grope in the dark and try to open a door to which they have no key. If a man has not the courage or the time, the inclination or the ability to sail to a far distant land, then if he would know about that land he must listen to those who have made the journey. So it is with those who would know the Secret of the Ages.

Men possess creed of little value because they are unwilling to pay the price of something better. Your brother has no way of explaining his ultimate experience to others. Although he has looked upon the face of Truth and now understands the purpose of life, what he has seen must remain locked within the heart. Though he no longer has to be satisfied with belief alone, he cannot extend his certainty to others. Yet men forever seek him out hoping to share with him the wonderful knowledge which has so gloriously transformed his life. This he tries to do, within the limits imposed by his own expanded enlightenment, beyond that he cannot go. The spirit of the Twice Born can be liberated at will. How often have you seen your brother in a state of ecstasy which he cannot describe? It is a state beginning in quiet bliss, flowing outward in bright radiance from an inner light which can even illuminate the material darkness about him.

He hears the music of the sacred spheres and sees the throbbing pulsations of life heaving about him, like waves upon the great seas. He becomes aware of an inflowing of unspoken knowledge from a surrounding power. It does not come from any one point, but appears to flow out of all things and to penetrate all things. Material objects lose their density and become visible within, they become as though compounded of ten thousand whirling spheres of brightness. Colours are no longer dull and restricted, they become infinite in depth and number. The spirit becomes lost in adoration and wonder at the beauty revealed in everything. The soul is aware of something glorious within all this and knows it for the spirit outflowing from its source.


There is a complete unconsciousness of others, for the greater sight transcends their material bodies. The spirits of men are seen in a harmony of colours and their bodies as whirling masses of power. The experiencing soul is lost in a sea of sensitivity and feeling. There is a swelling surge of harmony, a sounding of glorious chords. It is the sea that washes the shores of eternity lapping upon the nearer strand.


It is an experience that no one can give to another or adequately describe to him. It is the earned reward of those who have paid the price. It is not he only reward, for throughout the life of one who is Twice Born there is boundless feeling of wellbeing, sickness and disease are unknown. There is an abiding love for all men, a sense of brotherhood, and over all this the certain knowledge of the immortality of the soul and its unity with the source. The impressions received in moments of illumination are everlasting. They fill the spirit with a glorified splendour. There are flashes of inspired visions, and the future unrolls and can be read as the past.

There is a form of joyous rapture experienced by those who have risen from the Womb of Rebirth, and when it comes it can no more be held back than the sun can be stayed in its rising. When the body of your brother lay enwrapped within the Womb of Rebirth, his spirit was carried out as on the wings of a serif and became lost in a sphere beyond understanding. He knew not which way to go or what to seek. Then, like a roll of distant thunder, there was a swelling sound and there came an over dazzling light. It grew steadily more brilliant until your brother saw a beautiful form of divine glory arrayed in a splendour beyond all earthly bounds. The cumbersome words of Earth cannot do justice to what your brother wishes to describe. It is like trying to sew a silk garment with rope, or to eat sweetmeats with a spade. Words are wholly inadequate symbols. The vision of glory which had been granted passed away and your brother found himself in the familiar sphere of the Spirit.


Once the mysterious border has been crossed it remains open ever after and can be recrossed almost at will. You are told of these things because your brother knows that the age of the Twice Born draws to its close. Because of those who have devoted their lives to the discovery of Truth, there is progress in the sphere of the spirit. Nothing has been lost, nothing has been in vain; the Great Gates are still closed, but they are no longer bolted. Now they will open at a knock. The road is better marked and the way more clearly indicated. They who lit the path have departed from Earth, but their service has not ended. They serve still in another place. While life on Earth moves forward, life in the sphere of the spirit does not stand still.
 


CHAPTER THREE
THE BROTHERHOOD


Brothers in belief, there are two roads through life, the Road of Good and the Road of Evil; they are not clearly defined roads and often run side by side, and sometimes cross each other. Those who travel without a guide or in darkness often mistake one road for the other. We are those who have chosen to walk in light, a brotherhood of men who travel the Road of Good together in companionship.


We are companions on the Great Path of the True Way, and when an instructing brother speaks of the Great Path of the True Way he speaks of a double path. The Companions of the Right Hand are those who bear the burdens of earthly labour and advancement, for they require strength, dexterity and steadiness. The Companions of the Left Hand are those who bear the burdens of spiritual Labour and enlightenment, things closer to the heart of man.

The brotherhood is separated into two parts. There is an Earthly Brotherhood, and though it may be small in numbers and have few possessions, this will not always be so. There is also a Heavenly Brotherhood comprising certain of the Twice Born and their followers who have gone before. Their task is to clear the Netherworld of demons and dark spirits and to prepare the way for those who follow. They are like men who enter a new country and must clear it of wild beasts and bring the land under control. It is the task of those above and those below to build a road joining the two territories.


Your brother is not well equipped to instruct in earthly matters, and therefore leaves it to another. The caravan moves quicker when each man rides his own camel. In spiritual matters the most important is that each man should awaken his own soul, a task far more difficult than it may appear, but for which Earth is the dedicated instrument.


The first objective to attain towards this end is self-taming. Just as a horse has to be broken in before it can be of any service, so has the mortal body of man to be tamed and brought under control. To do this requires not only self-discipline, but also the ability to rise above earthly conditions. No easy task, for the Earth is a hard taskmaster and worthy adversary, and the mortal body of man an unruly steed.


The duties, the obligations and the restraints by which those who follow the Great Path of the True Way direct their steps are not imposed capriciously. They are, in fact, no more than the bare essentials covering the first steps. That is why everyone, before admittance to the brotherhood, must accept every obligation and decree covering our way of life. We do not claim to know the only path, undoubtedly there are others, but we can claim to know the best. The top of the mountain may be reached by many paths, but the shortest one is always the hardest.


Supreme personal spiritual experience is undoubtedly the best source for the foundation of true spiritual faith. It begins with the development of latent spiritual powers through meditation. When you are ready seek out a place of solitude, a place that is away from the abodes of men, a place that is restful and quiet. Take a skin and a little food and water, just sufficient for your needs. now turn your thoughts inwards, harmonizing them with the rhythm of the body. Let your spirit seek harmony with the spirit flowing about it, so that the two become one. While at your meditations, neither over-eat nor under-eat, for there must be harmony in your eating and sleeping, in your relaxation and activity.


To become one who knows the joys of spiritual self-consciousness, to have a Truth-revealing vision transcending anything knowable by the senses, to rise above the bondage of pain and sorrow and to free the spirit from the shackles of the body at will, is something unattainable by spiritual meditation alone. Leading to this road is the path of moral self-discipline and courage. The creed that teaches spiritual things alone is as barren as one concerned only with earthly things.


Your brother will not set forth in writing all things concerning the awakening of the spirit, they would be of no use until the moral foundation is laid. Such teachings must remain within the higher circle of those who travel the Right Hand Path and not disclosed to the uninitiated.


Let the prayer upon your admission be always fresh in your memories:

“Great Supreme Creator, Craftsman of Earth and of the multiple spheres, grant that our brother may always remain loyal. That he will, day by day, become ever more worthy and so dedicate and devote his life to the service of mankind and the completion of its purpose, that he shall forever walk in the light of Truth. Grant him the crown of wisdom, the garments of knowledge, and let him be shod with diligence. Grant him the strength to abide by our instruction and discipline, so that with these and by his own efforts he may awaken within him the true beauties of the spirit. Add your strength to his weakness, that he may overcome all selfish motives and unworthy desires. Help him in his self-taming, so that he may combat the tendency inherent in men towards anger, greed and self-pity. Strengthen him, that he may overthrow the evils of tale-bearing, malice and jealousy. Grant him the ability to see with the eye of understanding the defects and shortcomings of his brothers and to emulate their goodness”.


CHAPTER FOUR
AMOS


Amos led the congregation and the people down from the mountains and brought them into the land of Heth, a good land was opened up before them. But Amos warned the people that they were like gems among pebbles, therefore they were not to provoke the people who had accepted them because of their skill.


Amos said, “We will build a city for ourselves and our children, and within it a temple for those who follow the light of the Right Hand Path. The temple will be like the pearl within an oyster, or the heart within the body.”


The congregation with Amos were the Children of Light and the people were Kenim who worshipped Yawileth, and Galbenim who worshipped Eloah. But Amos taught the people to walk in the light of Truth and said, “To each of you his own God, but above any God which can be named is something that cannot be named and you shall know it as The Supreme Spirit”.


The Galbenim built the city and the temple, while the Kenim set up forges among the sons of Heth, and Amos went among them and saw that all was well. The number of those who followed the Right Hand Path and resided about the temple was one hundred and forty-four, and it was never any more or any less. The number of those who laboured in and about the city and dug the soil or attended to sheep and cattle, was two thousand four hundred and thirty-five. The number of the Kenim who followed Amos was eight hundred and twenty, and the number of the Galbenim was three thousand and fifteen. These were the numbers of those who could labour or bear arms.


As Amos went out among the sons of Heth he taught the way of light, but they would not listen to bis words. They were like men walking a circle in darkness, one behind the other, each having his hand on the shoulder of the man in front. Therefore, when the king of the sons of Heth came to buy what Kenim had made, Amos spoke to him about the way of light, and sometimes the king listened. When they came upon priests of the sons of Heth, Amos said,

“What manner of men are these who prance about as though the ground were covered with hot cinders? Before their altars they are like drunkards who go about shouting and singing. They leap like horses kicking at the wind”.


“What manner of spirit possess them, is it a spirit of light or a spirit of darkness? We have seen this often among your people, it is seen even among the princes and those who sit in judgement. Who can understand the words that pour from their lips? This is not prophecy but a drug-induced delusion. The people who listen to their words are as misguided as those who resort to a tomb at night and sit within a vault. If a spirit comes, it is a restless one whose words have little value, for they are hollow, empty things”.


“Surely the Gods of such as these are demons in disguise, whose powers are a myth, for they are unhearing and unseeing things. They are unfeeling idols clothed in garments of delusion woven within the tormented thoughts of men”.

The king said,

“I have seen your own holy men as they sat beneath their trees and they, too, acted in a manner strange to the eyes of ordinary men. Where is the difference?”

Amos said,

“Our holy men sit in quietude, at peace within themselves and if their mortal eyes are unseeing it is because their spirits roam freely as birds. There is a test whereby the difference can be made known, if you will agree to it”.

The king gave the sign of consent.


Then a place of absolute darkness was prepared, a place to which light could in no manner be admitted. Into it went two priests of the sons of Heth and two of the Holy Ones from the congregation, the king and two attendants, and Amos. Then, while the king and his attendants watched, they saw the Holy Ones radiate a light that lit up the whole darkness, so that the faces of all became visible. The priests of the sons of Heth remained in darkness, for their spirits were feeble things without power. This is the test of true illumination.


Because of this the king looked even more favourably upon Amos and his people, but he did not change his ways or seek to walk in the light. For Amos refused to perform acts of magic before his court or to foretell the future, and the king believed that magic could accomplish all things. He believed there was an effortless way to accomplish all things, if the secret were known, and could not understand that the secret was safeguarded behind the doors of austerity and self-discipline.


There was a city called Migdal within the kingdom and some of the Kenim laboured there for the temple. When Amos came to the city it was the festival of its great God and no man laboured, neither did the Kenim, for it was the day when their fires rested. When Amos sought the overseer of the Kenim, he could not find him and none of his people would say where he had gone. But Amos found him at the temple of Belath and awaited him in the courtyard outside, and was filled with anger against the overseer.


When the overseer came out Amos chided him, but the overseer said,

“What have I done wrong? This place provides the food I eat, and is its God not brother to mine? There was a decision to be made, should a door of brass be cast one way or another? I sought an answer from the God by means beyond the control of men”.

Amos said, “Might not even the God answer according to his own pleasure? By what means was the decision sought?” The overseer said, “By the ebin which only the God could control”. Amos said,

“You say this is beyond the control of men, it may be so, but there are men who are more than men, men even as this God whose smallness I will prove. Come, let us put this matter to the test”.

Amos then sent an attendant in haste to bring back a Holy Man of the congregation, who was with his caravan. When the Holy Man came, Amos showed the overseer and the priests that such things were not beyond the control of enlightened men, for the Holy Man could foretell the issue, whatever was done with the ebin.


When Amos left the temple he took with him a woman named Kedshot, whom he had won from the priests, and made her free. The degradation of women to serve the temples was common in the land of Heth and Amos raised his voice against it. When next in the presence of the king, he said,

“The common feelings of all men condemn fornication, and it is not allowed by your own laws. Yet if fornication is sanctified to your God the priests permit it for their profit. Is it not true that this wickedness is now so common in the temples of Heth that the woman who seeks to sell the services of her body in the drinking booths can ask no more than a handful of meal? “

The king said, “Such is the custom of Heth, which is of long standing and cannot be changed”. Amos said, “Does the long standing of a custom make it good?”


Amos said,

“If your desire is to walk in the light of Truth you must choose between your form of worship and righteousness. You must choose between your Gods of this land, and Truth. If a nation sow the wind it must be prepared to reap the whirlwind, for no other crop can spring from such seed, except through violation of laws which are never inconsistent”.

The king said, “I have long been patient with you, stranger with the unbridled tongue, but do not overvex me”. Amos held his peace, for he had disregarded his own command to his people.


Yet the king heard the words of Amos and was kindly towards him. When the king came to Lethsan to buy the wares of the Kenim, Amos was there with them and the king said to him,

“The Gods of Heth are many, added to those of other places the Gods must be beyond counting. Why are there so many and which one is it most profitable to serve? The priests say each has power in its own place, can this be so among Gods?”

Amos said,

“There is only one God, but each man views Him from a different standpoint and in his own light. It is even so with lesser things of Earth, how much more so with the greater things of Heaven! A mountain rises up from a plain and men see it from all sides, and to each it appears different. Some see it in daylight and others in moonlight, some at dusk and some at dawn, it is never alike to all men. Even so do men view God in different aspects. As no man knows the whole mountain but sees it only in part, so men see God in part, and each man names the part he sees according to what he sees and his understanding. Therefore, though it seems that the Gods are numerous because of their names and differences, each is no more than a part of the whole. There is, in Truth, only one God, but what mortal man can see Him in wholeness?”

The king said, “If this be so, as well it may be, my eyesight is as good as yours and I see just as far”. Amos said, “He who has ridden around the mountain and climbed to its summit knows it best”.


The city built by the Children of Light grew in strength and the people prospered under Amos and forgot their trials in Enshamis. When Amos led them into the land of Heth he was still a young man, but as the people became many and strong, so he became heavy in years. The king who knew Amos died and the young king did not look upon him with favour, for Amos did not forbid the Kenim to go out into other nations.


CHAPTER FIVE
THE LAWS OF AMOS


These are the decrees of Amos, which he made so that justice should prevail in the land of his people. That wickedness and wrongdoing should be destroyed and the strong prevented from oppressing the weak. Amos said,

“In the days that are yet to come and for all future, let these decrees remain as a memorial”.


“When they are used in judgment, let the judges have wisdom and give attention to the words that are written. Let every judge seek to root out the wicked and evildoers from the land and promote the welfare of the people. If he seek Truth and Justice among these words, when they are before him, let him remember that no written words can serve him fully. Truth and Justice are but dimly reflected in the writings and laws of men and must be made clearer by the light of righteousness within his own heart”.


‘The seats of judgment are to be raised above all small thoughts and unworthy aims. If petty-minded men are permitted to argue over the form of sentences or pick out particular words for attention, then there will be no end to pettiness. Let no deduction or interpretation be made from the decrees, which alters them”.


“Judge every man with the scales weighed in his favour. Do not be hasty in rendering a decision, time will make it more just. Be patient and calm in speech, whatever the provocation. The impatient and bad-tempered judge is an unworthy judge who sits astride an untamed horse.”


“The words of a judge must be shaped to fit the ears of his listeners. They must be spoken at the right time and in the right manner. His speech should not be too long or too short and every word should be well chosen.”


“The frailties of men accompany judges to their seats, therefore no judge shall sit in judgment alone. Where no punishment is provided by decree, then the judges shall fix the punishment according to past judgments. Where the words of a decree refer to men, then women shall be treated in the same manner, unless it be otherwise stated elsewhere. A child is one whose body has not reached manhood or womanhood.”


“When two persons stand before a judge he should look upon them as though both were likely to be in the wrong, and when they have gone, as though both may have been in the right. The motives of men are many and strange, and even though they bow to the judgment the dispute between them may not be settled with justice.”


“When a rich man and a poor man come before a judge for a decision between them, he cannot say in his heart, “How can I say the poor man is wrong and the rich man is right and add to the misery of the poor man?” Neither can he say in his heart, “How can I say the poor man is right and the rich man is wrong, when the rich man is powerful and I may be delivered into his hand?”


“If there is a dispute between men the judges shall not let one sit and the other stand, or be patient with one and impatient with the other. Both may sit or both may stand and unless one be afflicted they shall at all times be equal before the judges.”


“A judge shall never say anything that will indicate a way to win his favour or to obtain a favourable decision. If all men walked in righteousness there would be no need of judges to punish the wicked. Therefore, righteousness is more desirable than the laws of men. If all men walked in the light of Truth there would be no need of judges to settle disputes between them. But as men see only a pale reflection of Truth, and that distorted by their own understanding of it, there are times when two men in dispute each believes truly that he is right. It is then that they come before the judges, believing them able to see Truth more clearly. Let the judges be able to see Truth better than any who come before them.”


“When a man comes before the judges, having his life or freedom at stake or the freedom of one of his family, then the judges shall first hear reasons why they should consider him innocent or in the right, and not why they should consider him guilty or in the wrong.”


“Every man who comes before the pillars of the judgment place to bear witness shall be given a drink from the cup of marat and shall swear the judgment oath before the shrine and fire. Every man shall be allowed two months to discover those who speak for him, and if he ask for another two months with reason it shall not be denied him”.

These are the decrees of Amos for the Children of Light:

“It is decreed that no man shall worship in the temple of any God or stand in homage before any image or idol. No God shall be joined with The Supreme Spirit in worship and the whole of his devotion and worship shall be given to The Supreme Spirit.”


“It is decreed that no man shall swear an oath in the name of The Supreme Spirit or in any other name which shall bind him to do anything against the Scriptures of The Supreme Spirit. Neither shall he swear an oath which will incline his loyalties and obligations away from those who walk in their light. But as kings and governors must be served, and loyalty and obligation together with duty are our declared principles, to swear to serve them well or be faithful to a trust or an obligation is not denied him. The only solemn oath binding upon a man shall be that sworn on his immortal soul, for to swear in the name of The Supreme Spirit is forbidden.”


“It is decreed that no man shall sell or barter spiritual knowledge or knowledge of The Great Path of the True Way. He shall not come into a sacred place or enter into prayer while drunk. Neither shall he do these things when unwashed, unless he be a wayfarer or one who has come from a distant place on the same day. If water is unavailable to purify himself, clean sand is not to be despised.”


“It is decreed that all those who truly follow the Great Path of the True Way and those who are of the Brotherhood of Men who serve The Supreme Spirit shall be called the Children of Light. If any among them shall turn from the Children of light through fear of others, then he is unworthy and shall be cast out. He shall not be numbered among them here or in Heaven, where there is a special place for the Children of Light. But those who remain loyal to the Children of Light, even though they have to flee to strange places, if they continue to struggle there is no wrong in them.”


“It is decreed that if a man hear anything about an evil deed or know something about it and fail to disclose the knowledge before a judge or to the judge’s servant, he shall not go unpunished.”


“It is decreed that if any man will not bear witness to murder, to theft or to adultery, he shall not go unpunished. If he bear false witness according to his own understanding, before the flame and shrine, if it be grievous he shall lose his tongue.”


“It is decreed that if any man make a false accusation of adultery against his wife, without just cause and without her acting indiscreetly, he shall receive seventy lashes.”


“If any man slay another he shall die, unless it be done in his own defense or in defense of his house and family. He shall not die if he who is slain be an adulterer or a seducer of one within the household of the slayer.”


“It is decreed that if any man slay another in anger, during an argument or dispute, and if the fight be fair and equal, then he shall be exiled. But if any man slay another by lying in wait, or by guile or by coming behind him, he shall not live.”


“It is decreed that revengers of blood shall be appointed by the judges, and no man shall revenge another of his own blood unless he be appointed by the judges.”


“It is decreed that if a man slay another without intent to slay, without hatred or malice, then he shall not die for the slaying.”


“It is decreed that no man shall be put to death by the word of one witness. If a wife cause the death of her husband through neglect or malice, she shall not live. The law of blood shedding is: a freeman for a freeman, a slave for a slave and a woman for a woman. The free can be enslaved to repay a death.”


“It is decreed that when a man must die because of his deed, it shall be by the sword, by drowning or by entombment. A woman shall be smothered or entombed or drowned.”


“It is decreed that if a man strike his father or his mother or curse them, he shall be seized and sold into slavery and the money received shall be given to his father and his brothers. But if a man stand between his father and his mother and his sister because he fears for their lives, then he shall not be punished. In this case the matter shall not fail to come before the judges, for if the father be a man of such violence, how can he claim to be numbered among the Children of Light?”


“It is decreed that if a man seize upon another to sell him into captivity, he who seizes shall die. If a man smite another so that he lose an eye or a tooth or suffer any wound, and this without provocation, then he who committed the wrong shall make it good in kind, according to the judgment.”


“It is decreed that if the beast of any man injure another man within its own place of confinement, then there shall be no blame upon the owner of the beast. But if the beast be outside its place of confinement and loose, he who owns the beast shall make restitution in kind. If the beast has been savage in times past and this made known to he who owns it, and it strays beyond the limits of its enclosure to harm a man, then who owns it shall make restitution to threefold the damage. The beast shall also be slain, but the carcass shall belong to he who owned the beast.”


“It is decreed that if a beast stray beyond the limits of its confines and being savage to the knowledge of he who owns it, if it cause the death of any man, then he who owns it shall die. But if it be so decreed by the judges his life may be ransomed.”


“It is decreed that if a man shall cause death or injury to the beast of any man and the beast be within its proper place of confinement or upon the lands of its owner, then he who caused the death or injury shall make restitution to threefold its value. If the beast be outside the lands of he who owns it and be the cause of no danger or damage, then he who caused its death shall make restitution to its value. If it was seeming that the beast would be the cause of danger or much damage, then providing there was no choice but to slay it, there shall be no restitution, but the carcass shall be returned to the owner.”


“It is decreed that if the beast of any man cause the death of another man’s beast, then the beast causing death shall be sold and the money received divided between the owners. But if the beast causing the death was known to be savage and its owner informed, then he shall make restitution in full to the value of the dead beast, but the carcass shall be his.”


“It is decreed that if a man shall cause anything growing within the pastures of another or upon his cultivated land, to be damaged by a negligent or purposeful deed, then he shall make restitution twofold its value. If a man find the beast of another man going astray, he shall not pass it unheeded but shall provide for its return to its owner. Having done this he shall not lose or go unrewarded, but if the owner of the beast be a poor man, then bear with him.”


“It is decreed that if a man set off a fire he shall make restitution for whatever it consumes to a like value in kind. But if he be careless or seek to bide his deed, then he shall make restitution twofold. If a thing be scorched or there is a blackening of wood or stone, the amount to be paid for restitution shall be agreed by the judges. If the fire was caused by accident, then he who caused it shall make restitution to half the value of whatever it consumes. The fire a man handles is like the arrow he shoots, for the bowman is liable, no matter how far his arrow flies.”


“It is decreed that if a man steal any beast or fowl and dispose of it so that it is not recovered, he shall make restitution of threefold its value and shall not go unpunished. But if the beast or fowl be recovered and restored, then he who stole it shall pay its value and shall not go unpunished.”


“It is decreed that if a man give anything into the keeping of another and that thing be of gold or other metal, or of some other nature and it be stolen, then the thief, if caught, shall pay twice its value and the money shall be divided equally between he who owns it and he who held it. If the thing is not restored to its owner, then the thief, if caught, shall pay its value threefold and one part shall go to he who held it and two parts to he who owned it. The thief shall not go unpunished.”


“It is decreed that if the thief is not found, then he who held the thing in safekeeping shall be brought before the judges and questioned about his integrity. If he took the thing for bis own use he shall restore its value twofold and shall not go unpunished. If he dealt with it carelessly, then he shall make restitution to its value, but if he was not careless he shall not be called upon to do so. But if he were paid for the safekeeping of the thing, then he shall restore its value.”


“It is decreed that if a man give a beast or fowl into the safekeeping of another and it be stolen or injured and die, then if he in whose keeping it was be found careless in its keeping, he shall make restitution of its value. If he be not found careless, then he shall not be called upon to make restitution. If it be stolen from him and he be paid for its safekeeping, then he shall make restitution of its value. If the thief be found, he shall make restitution to threefold its value and shall not go unpunished.”


“It is decreed that to take from a child, or from a man who is both deaf and dumb, or from a blind man, or from an idiot, is stealing and shall be punished as theft.”


“It is decreed that if a man steal the boat of another or push it into the water so that it goes away or loose any rope that holds it, so that it is lost, he shall restore its value twofold and shall not go unpunished.”
“It is decreed that if any man steal from a house on fire or from a house abandoned by flood, he shall become enslaved to the owner.”


“It is decreed that if a man steal from a temple or holy place he shall be whipped and sold into slavery and his price given to the temple or holy place.”


“It is decreed that for all manner of disputes regarding beast or anything without life, whether it be lost or not, where different men make claim to own it the dispute shall be decided by the judges. He whom the judges decide to be wrong shall pay its value to he who was the true owner. If he who is wrong has been malicious or avaricious, then he shall not go unpunished.”


“It is decreed that if a man borrow a beast or anything without life, the owner not being with it, and it be lost or damaged or injured or die, then he who borrowed it shall make good its value. If a man find a thing that was lost and keep it, or he withhold from another that which is rightly his, then he shall restore it and make payment of its value in kind. If he swear falsely about these things, then he shall make restitution to twofold its value. If the thing be not restored he shall also restore its value.”


“It is decreed that if a man make a false report regarding another so that he be harmed in substance, then he who did the harming shall make restitution of twofold the amount of damage done, according to the decision of the judges. If he knew not that the report was false, then the judges shall judge him according to his dealings in the matter. If it be not done carelessly and with bad intent, then he shall make a smaller payment and shall go to the man he wronged and make amends with words. It is an obligation on every man hearing a report to discover its truth before letting go. Carelessness with words should not go unpunished.”


“It is decreed that if any man bear false witness against another and he be not otherwise punished, or to a lesser extent, then he shall bear upon himself the punishment he would have brought down upon the other and shall also make payment as the judges decree.”


“It is decreed that if a man take a bribe to turn a judgment, then he and the man who gave it shall make restitution twofold to he who was wronged, and neither shall go unpunished.”


“ It is decreed that no man who sits in judgment in any place shall take a gift or benefit from any man because of his position. If any man seeking a decision shall give a gift or benefit to another to speak words in his favour, or shall forbear to do anything that words may be turned, he shall not go unpunished.”


“It is decreed that if a man take advantage of the ignorance of another, or gain advantage from his dealings with an idiot, he shall make threefold restitution. If a man deceive another to his loss, or take anything from him by violence or threats, he shall make threefold restitution.”


“It is decreed that if a man declare a falsehood to the loss of another, the loss shall be made good in kind twice its value. If a man deceive another who has entrusted him with goods, he shall make twofold restitution. If a man deliver a beast or thing without life, making payment to another who deals with them, if the one who deals with them or carries them loses them or fails to deliver, he shall make restitution of their value. If he be found careless in his dealings by the judges he shall make restitution to twice their value, but if he be waylaid or struck by powers above man he shall not make payment.”

“It is decreed that if a scribe alter a record or make a false writing he shall be punished with thirty lashes. If a man suffer loss because of the scribe, the loss shall be made good by twice its value. He who does wrong or causes any loss, be it done with purpose or without purpose, and seeks to blame another who is innocent, shall bear the guilt of his deed. He shall not go unpunished for his deceit and shall make payment to the man he sought to blame.”


“It is decreed that if a man have a maidservant or slave and he seek to give her to his son in marriage, he shall deal with her as a daughter. If he smite a manservant or a maidservant so that they lose blood or cannot move about, or if they suffer pain for three days, he shall be brought before the judges and they shall decide upon his dealings and bring justice to the one injured. It shall be within the power of the judges to free a slave from an unworthy master and place him with another, either as a slave or a freeman.”


“It is decreed that if a master die and all those of his blood be absent, his servant or slave shall send for them without delay. If the servant or slave steal anything with life or without life from the dead man, he shall be whipped. If a servant, he shall be made a slave. If one who is of the same blood as the dead man steal, he shall be denied his inheritance. If he would not have inherited, he shall make twofold restitution.”


“It is decreed that a master shall not allow his servant or slave to remain unmarried if they wish to marry. No man or woman having a child above the age of marriage should forbid a marriage because of their selfishness. It is their duty to see that their child is not left without children. The duty of a child towards father and mother is great, but the duty to marry is greater. If a man have a slave who serves him loyally and is righteous, he should set him free to serve as a servant. Slave-keeping is not forbidden, but it is not goodness, the truly righteous man sustains the poor by finding work for their hands. When a land is divided into large portions worked by lowly men and slaves, it is in a weak condition and ripe for the plucking. It is a truth that if men are so oppressed with toil and servitude they lose the manliness which would make them rise against their oppressors, they will not have the stomach to withstand those who invade the land. But whether the land remains at peace or is invaded, it is no longer great.”


“It is decreed mat the inheritance of a man shall not go to his sons alone, for the daughters are not to be denied their portion. If he have no sons it shall pass to his wives and daughters. If he have no wife or daughter it shall pass to his brothers. If he have no brother it shall pass to his sisters. If he have no sister it shall pass to his father’s brothers. If his father have no brother it shall pass to the next nearest to him in blood, but not to a woman.”


“It is decreed that if a son or daughter be adopted, they shall be as though they were of the same blood as he who adopted them. Those who stand together in blood shall not be given their portion by decree, for a man knows those of his own blood best. The portions a man declares shall be fair, when all his reasons are known. If it be not thought fair the judges can decide, but they must remember that a man knows those of his blood best.”


“It is decreed that no woman having an inheritance shall marry a man who is not of the Children of light. If she does so her possessions shall not go with her. A man should not forget the portion for his father and mother.”


“It is decreed that if a man who bears witness to an inheritance and its portion shall change it so that a man suffer a loss, then he shall make twofold retribution and not go unpunished. If he who bears witness fear that he who died made an error and seek to adjust it, there shall be no blame if he deal justly.”


“It is decreed that if a man die without wife or children his inheritance shall go to his mother and father, and when they die to his brothers and sisters. If he have wives but no children the inheritance shall be theirs, but if one die while his mother and father live, her portion shall go to them.”


“It is decreed that no man shall be denied his portion, if he be worthy and righteous and not an idiot. A man’s inheritance should be shared out fairly among all of his blood.”


“It is decreed that if a wife die and have an inheritance, the portion of her husband shall be half and the other half she may leave to her mother or father, or to her brothers and sisters. But if she have children, then the other half shall be theirs.”


“It is decreed that if a man die and have wife or children, they shall not be put out of their habitation. If a wife remarry and there are others of her husband’s blood within the habitation who are not children, she shall not remain there.”


“It is decreed that the wives of a man who has died shall be able to marry again after one year and no restraint shall be placed upon them against remarriage.”


“It is decreed that no man shall cause his daughter or any other woman to remain a maiden under oath. Strife between the children of the same father to the same mother is worse than bloodshed. These things are the obligations of a father towards his son: to teach him a craft, to teach him to defend himself and his wife and children, to teach him the wisdom of the Sacred Books and to find him a wife. These things are the obligations of a mother towards her daughter: to teach her housewifery and the care of children, to teach her the craft of clothes and to teach her the womanly virtues according to the Sacred Books. A father should never show favour to one son over another. A child should be instructed in the Sacred Books as soon as it is able to talk. A wife should be able to prepare flour and bake bread, cook food and brew, gather herbs, wash and mend clothes, keep her dwelling neat and clean. She should be able to make all things and do all things for the comfort of her husband; to suckle his children and work in linen, wool, pottery, basketry and tapestry. If she brought one maidservant from her father’s house, she should give her the least important of the tasks, but no matter how many maidservants accompanied her, she should never neglect the care and upbringing of her children or be idle. There is an excuse for the poor woman whose children are willful and unruly, but none for the rich woman who has all the time to devote to them. They and her husband are her greatest obligations and her most important concern. The husband who permits his wife to be slothful or idle inclines her towards unfaithfulness. A man without a wife may not be man, but one with an unchaste wife certainly is not.”


“It is decreed that a man shall not pledge his daughter in marriage while she is still young, but must wait until she can say “yes” or “no” to his choice. A worthless wife or one who is lewd, a wife who displays herself immodestly before other men, or is over wasteful, may be enslaved within her own household but cannot be sold outside of it. A woman may become an inferior wife by decision of the judges. It is intended that the pledges of marriage shall be maintained until death.”


“It is decreed that if a man divorce his wife and she be of good character, he shall leave their dwelling or provide another suitable for her until she marry again. A man and wife shall not be intruded upon and their enjoyment of each other shall be unhampered by any other. Every child is entitled to proper shelter, bed, food, upbringing and instruction. If a child have no father or mother or if they be proven worthless, the judges shall appoint a guardian for it. If an unmarried woman become with child it shall be a disgrace upon her father who shall be called before the judges. If she have no father, then her mother or her brothers or the person having care of her. If a wife fear she cannot be trusted or remain faithful to her pledges she shall not deceive her husband but declare herself truly, and he shall decide whether to put her away or not. If he decide to keep her and she prove unworthy, her punishment shall be lessened. The punishment of an unfaithful wife is not only for the deed but for the deception.”


“It is decreed that if a man divorce his wife they shall not come together again without renewing the pledges of marriage after they have the permission of the judges. If it be done it shall not go unpunished.”


“It is decreed that if a wife fear for herself at the hands of her husband, she may come before the judges who will decide for her welfare. Men should treat their wives with kindness and generosity. It is the duty of a wife to be faithful to her husband; to be modest in the presence of others and to be prudent during her husband’s absence. A wife must not only be faithful, but she must give her husband no cause to suspect her of unfaithfulness. A wife must never forget that marriage was ordained for the benefit and protection of women. Therefore, they have the greater obligation in upholding it. Wanton women for fornicators and good women for good men, that is the rule! Thus shall the cause of mankind be advanced and calamity kept from the heart. The upright man who walks in the paths of duty and obligation is allowed all things wholesome and healthful. He should marry only a chaste woman who would be a good mother to his children. He should live with her in cleanliness of heart and meet her without the stain of fornication. It is not wholly good to maintain a concubine, but an unchaste woman may be kept as one or lain with if a slave.”


“It is decreed that before a man and woman come to judges seeking a divorcement, there shall have been a meeting between those of their blood. There shall be a man or woman of the wife’s blood and a man or woman of the husband’s blood who, between them, shall choose another not of their blood to deliberate with them. Let them try to reach agreement and strive to heal the breach with goodwill, and if anyone have a grievance it should not be hidden.”

“It is decreed that before every marriage there shall be an announcement of betrothals in a public place. If anyone have something to say regarding the man or the woman, not in their favour, he shall declare it to the nearest of their blood and one who witnesses. If any man hide within his breast something that should be declared, or speak about it after the marriage, he shall not go unpunished.”


“It is decreed that if a man say a betrothed woman is unchaste, without proper cause, he shall be punished with twenty lashes and if a woman do so she shall be punished with twenty stripes. If a man know a betrothed woman to be unchaste and fail to make it known, he shall be punished with forty lashes and shall make repayment as the judges decide. If a woman, she shall receive thirty stripes. No marriage shall take place until seven weeks after the betrothal. No fornication shall be committed during this time, for it would be a betrayal of marriage, and your soul bears witness to your deeds.”


“It is decreed that when a man takes to himself a wife and is newly married he shall not be called upon to take up weapons or to serve away from home for one year. If he is taken away he must not be separated from his wife. A marriage is the union of flesh with flesh and of spirit reaching out to spirit. It shall be witnessed by two men and two women and declared before men by the man giving the woman a ring and bangle and piece of silver, and by her giving him a lock of hair and piece of woven cloth.”


“It is decreed that all women who are not unchaste are women reserved for marriage. They shall, be sought as wives with respectful conduct and without fornication or deceit. A man who seduces them shall not go unpunished. It is not wrong for a man to make a proposal of marriage to a woman within the time she is denied to him. A promise of marriage shall not be made in secret, for such promises often cover shame and deceit.”


“It is decreed that if a man accuse his wife of adultery or lewdness and there be no other witness, he shall swear three times on his immortal soul that he speaks the truth. His words shall be accepted, for if he swear a falsehood he has condemned himself and his soul to most grievous punishment. But if the wife likewise swear three times that the words sworn to by the man were false, then it shall not before the judges to decide which has damned their soul. Both shall go their own ways and if one speak to the other, that one shall not go unpunished; if they both speak, then both shall be punished. The judges shall receive reports on both and if one of them cease to live a righteous life, that one shall be cast out.”


“It is decreed that if a man divorce a woman who has done no grievous wrong, he shall support her in the household of one of her blood for six months. If the woman be with child and she hide it from the father, she shall not go unpunished, neither shall they with whom she dwells. If she be found with child, then she shall be treated with kindness and consideration and those of the child’s blood may seek a reconciliation between its mother and father. Both must act fairly towards the other and in righteousness and good faith.”


“It is decreed that a wife may be divorced once and taken back, but if she be divorced again she shall not be taken back. The things a man gives his wife during marriage remain hers. A woman who is divorced without committing any grievous wrong is to be treated kindly and generously by her husband. A woman shall not be divorced while carrying a child or suckling it, unless it be the child of adultery. If a man be called to high office with the Elect of the Children of Light and his wife prefer earthly things to spiritual things, then they may agree to a just and fair divorce. Such a woman would be a burden, for her soul is heavy with darkness.”


“It is decreed that if a man divorce his wife he shall put no restraint upon her. She shall not take his heir with her and if children go with her their father shall sustain and clothe them. A true man makes fair provision.”


“It is decreed that if a man seduce a maiden he shall endow her with goods as though she were his wife and bestow upon her all the benefits due to a wife. He shall do this even though her father keep her from him.”


“It is decreed that if a man permit his wife to become a whore, he shall be declared unworthy of a wife and shall not marry. His wife shall be removed from him so that he has none, and he shall not go unpunished. If a man permit his daughter to become a whore he shall die.”


“It is decreed that as a woman may be taken in lust with her consent, if it be done, both man and woman shall bear the guilt alike and neither be more deserving of punishment than the other. But if the woman be a child or an idiot, or if she be protected by the judges, it shall be as though she were ravished without consent. When a woman is taken with force it shall be punished with death. If the deed be done in the fields or in places where women go away from the abodes of men, or in a forest or uncultivated place, or where no man can hear her cry, then it shall be taken by the judges that the deed was done without her consent, unless otherwise proven. But the woman shall explain her presence alone. If it be done in the city, among habitations, and the woman made no call for help and did not cry out, it shall be taken that she consented, unless threatened with death or mutilation by a weapon. Where there has been no struggle, then it was with her consent, for no man can take a woman without her consent while she is conscious.”


“It is decreed that if a man commit adultery with his son’s wife or his wife’s mother, both shall die by stoning. If a married women commit adultery, both she and the man with whom she committed it shall die. A husband may ransom his wife, but if he does he shall be cast out from the people, lest he bring corruption upon them. When a woman is ransomed from adultery he who shared the blame with her shall not die, but he shall not go unpunished. When judging the adulterer or adulteress, the whore and the whoremonger, deal with them strictly and without compassion, for they are the enemies of love. They place man back among the beasts. A fornicator should not marry a chaste woman, but it is not forbidden. A whore shall not marry among the Children of Light. The sins of whoredom are not unforgivable and those who truly show repentance over many years may be accepted back into the Children of Light. A woman who becomes a whore to feed a starving child has committed no great wrong. The wrongdoing is by the people.”


“It is decreed that no man shall permit a female slave to engage in fornication and it is his duty to keep her modest and free from lewdness. If, after marriage, slaves commit adultery they shall not be punished to the extent of a free person, for they have been brought up as slaves. Though the punishment of a slave be less, the master may be punished, if the slave warranted punishment because of his neglect.”


“It is decreed that a man shall not be guilty of adultery except with a married woman. If a woman have three witnesses against her for whoring, or she does not deny it, she shall be shut up in a place alone where no man can come at her. There, she shall weave or work for her sustenance, and if any man come to lie with her he shall be punished. If the judges decree and a man be found willing to take her, with obligations for her keeping, she may be enslaved to him. If a whore run away from her place of confinement or from her master she shall die.”


“It is decreed that if a man have a woman slave who is a maiden and the intended wife of a freeman, he shall not lie with her. If a man he with a slave and she become with child, he shall not sell her or cease to support her. If a woman slave marry the slave of another master, then her master shall not restrain her unduly, but he shall meet with the master of her husband and make an arrangement concerning her that is fair and just.”


“It is decreed that the punishment for whoring shall not be upward of two years. If a woman be accused of fornication and three bear witness against her, she shall be treated as a whore. A maiden cannot be guilty of whoring after a man.”


“It is decreed that the Children of Light shall not deny their servants or their slaves, or the ignorant among them, their own Gods, for they have no better light. Even as the dim glow of an ember comforts a child in darkness, so are they comforted. The Gods Teloth, Yole, Yahwelwa, Bel, Behalim, Elim and all the lesser Gods of light may have a shrine in the city and lands about it, to serve those who would be blinded by a greater light. Better the glow from rotted wood than no light at all. Negil, Mudu, Hani, Neflim and the Gods of darkness shall not be permitted to the servants and to the slaves and to the ignorant. But the stranger shall not be denied his God, for the Children of Light are not denied their light and dwell in peace among strangers.”


“It is decreed that if the tongue of the stranger stray to lewdness in the presence of women, or he cast lustful looks upon them, he shall be spoken to and warned. If the warning is not heeded he shall be dismissed, so that the women be established in their goodness and be honoured among men. In the lands of strangers, where deceit is considered a virtue and vanity a womanly charm, there is no understanding of women who are modest and restrained. Men treat women as they find them, therefore women should restrain their glances and conduct themselves with modesty. They should not display too much of their body or reveal clothes that are not overgarments. They should not reveal the nakedness of their bosoms. It shall not be wrong for woman to uncover before woman, or before young children who’will grow to be men but have not reached the age of full talking.”


“It is decreed that if a wife be guilty of lewdness before the eyes of men, or provoke them to lust after her, she shall not go unpunished by her husband and can lose her rights of inheritance. If any man complain to the judges about her, then her husband shall be called before them to account for her. If a maiden be proven guilty of lewdness, then her father or guardian shall not go unpunished. If a man be so punished he shall not revenge himself on the maiden or her mother, for the fault is not theirs alone and he must bear his burden manfully. It is well to deal with daughters kindly, so that they are not estranged. In chastising a daughter for something bad in her, do not overlook the good. If the wife of a man in high position be guilty of any lewdness or other unwomanly thing, her punishment shall be doubled, for she is unworthy of her trust.”


“It is decreed that if a man slander a woman who is virtuous but careless, he shall come before judges to swear to the truth of his words. If he decline or his words be proven against him he shall not go unpunished. If the man swear, then the woman shall be brought before the judges to swear likewise that his words are false, and if she decline, his words are established. If both swear they shall go out, but one soul has condemned itself to punishment.”


“It is decreed that when a woman is beyond the age of childbearing it shall not be wrong if she lay aside the garments of modesty, providing she does not degrade modesty or is unmarried. It shall not be done so that she display some part of her body not commonly displayed by women. Neither shall she display any ugliness, but what she does shall be done with decorum and grace. No woman slave shall be made to do any deed of lewdness and her modesty shall be honoured. If she be forced into lewdness or immodesty she shall bear no sin, but he who forced her shall not go unpunished. Lewd talk about women and foul speech shall not go unpunished,”


“It is decreed that the fat of a beast that has died of itself or been torn by another beast may be used, providing it is not eaten or placed upon the body in any way. The flesh may be given to another beast to eat, but if any part of it is given to a man without him knowing its nature, he who gave it shall not go unpunished. No man shall eat the flesh of the falcon, the vulture, the eagle, the crow, the raven, the ibis, the owl, the hawk, the pelican, or of any bird that wades in water and has legs greater than the height of its body. These creeping things shall not be eaten: the beetle, the snail, the ant, the slug, the grasshopper, all manner of lice and all creeping things less in size than a finger joint, and everything that creeps upon the ground without legs. The cat, the dog, the mouse, the mole, the weasel and the fox shall not be eaten. To overeat is as harmful as to starve. To fast is not an empty deed and is healthful for both spirit and body.


It teaches discipline and self-control as well as moderation and frugality. Food is never lacking in the places where justice holds sway. Consume food slowly and with content, for a restless stomach robs it of taste and goodness. The man who overeats is worse than the beast who knows no better. If any man pollute food he shall not go unpunished.”


“It is decreed that if a man steal water from the land of another or cause it to run away, or if he pollute it, he shall not go unpunished. If there be loss, then he shall make threefold restitution. Water in which there is a carcass shall not be used to drink. A man may drink wine or beer, or anything that is not unwholesome, providing he maintains his self-control and decency, but no longer. He who causes strife or harm to another because of something he has put into his mouth, shall not go unpunished. Wine taken in moderation is not wrong, unless it lead the hand to wickedness. No fruit-bearing tree shall be cut down until it ceases to bear or dies.”


“It is decreed that no man shall leave a dead beast undealt with. If he do so he shall not go unpunished, for if it be not eaten or used it must be buried. If a man place anything that is foul into a storage pit or among stored corn, he shall make fourfold restitution and shall not go unpunished.”


“It is decreed that no man shall cut his flesh for adornment or make any mark upon it which cannot be removed, though the ears of men and women may be pierced. Circumcision such as the strangers practice is mutilation and is forbidden.”


“It is decreed that no man shall engage in usury, but shall deal with men in fairness and moderation. Payments and punishments shall be decided by the judges.”


“It is decreed that no man shall associate with another who deals with spells or calls up the spirits of the dead. If he do he shall not go unpunished and those who practice sorcery shall be cast out.”


“It is decreed that no man shall cheat in weight or measure and he who does shall make threefold restitution and not go unpunished. No man shall take advantage of the misfortune of another of his own blood and shall not buy their house, their field, their beast or anything without life, to his own advantage. No man should lend upon interest to another of his own blood or to a friend, for this is the cause of much strife.”


“It is decreed that if a man remove a beast or a fowl or a fish from a trap laid by another, he is stealing. If a man is collecting fruit from the top of a tree, it is stealing to take whatever falls to the ground. If a man borrow something and sell it, or sell something in his keeping belonging to another, it is stealing. If a man do any of these things he shall make restitution as though he had stolen them.”


“It is decreed that if a man receive a beast or anything with life or without life from another, and the two do not have proper witnesses, whether it be sold or given the two shall be punished by making payment as the judges decide.”


“It is decreed that no man shall cut the living flesh from any beast or remove a limb or a piece of hide while it lives, and if he do he shall not go unpunished. The law of life demands that men eat and that beasts be slain for food, but this should be done with least pain and distress to the beasts. No beast shall be tormented for the enjoyment of its suffering and shall not be confined with cruelty, and he who does so shall not go unpunished. A beast and its young shall not be slain within sight of each other, or where the blood of the other can be smelled. No man should partake of food or drink while beasts in his charge go unprovided and uncared for.”


“It is decreed that if a man carry weapons without the right to do so, he shall be punished with thirty lashes. If another be hurt so that blood is drawn unjustly, restitution shall be made for any loss and payment made according to the decree of the judges. If a man who carries weapons without the right wound another grievously, he shall die. It is cowardly to slay a man who has cast down his weapons in surrender, or to slay a woman or child. It is cowardly to torture a man who is helpless in your power or a bound captive. These things are unworthy. Treat a captive with firmness and dignity. When in battle raise your thoughts above the spoil, look to Heaven for your reward. Peace is the proper course for all men to follow, but peace at any price is a delusion. Therefore, it may better become a man of peace to stir up the righteous to fight. Ten courageous men can overcome a hundred of lesser courage. Prepare for war with peace in your heart and with regret, but for the sake of the cause press forward resolutely. Be at peace within yourself through gain or loss, advance or retreat, victory or defeat. The peaceful man who shouts “Peace at any price” does not prevent war, he only steps aside to put another to the fore who will slay and be slain. That is contemptible and worse than if he had stood his own ground.”


“It is decreed that if a man or woman be bound to another for a debt or payment, they shall be fed, clothed and given shelter. They shall not be beaten or ill-treated, but they should do a full day’s work. Their welfare shall be in the hands of the judges.”


“It is decreed that if two men enter upon the same wrongdoing together, or one against the other, both shall be punished alike, except if one be in the power of the other.”


“It is decreed that games of chance played for money shall be undertaken only in moderation and if any man cheat or weigh the game unfairly, he shall not go unpunished.”


“It is decreed that no man or woman who is of the Children of Light shall marry another who is not, for this is wrong against their children, whose upbringing is divided against itself. A slavewoman who believes as her master is better for a mate than a freewoman who does not, even though the freewoman be more pleasing. No man shall permit his maiden daughter to marry a man who is not of the Children of Light. A slave who is righteous and walks in the light would be better, even though he be unacceptable to her father.”


“It is decreed that if a man withhold from an orphan or anyone under his care that which is theirs, if it be done without cause or to his benefit, he shall not go unpunished and shall also make twofold restitution. He shall not deny them the right to marry, or if it be a man the right to his own livelihood. If a man or woman of a man’s own blood be in his care because they are an idiot or incapable, then let not the burden of responsibility for their own sustenance fall upon them. Keep them from harm, support them with food and maintain them in clothes. The man who is rich and powerful has a duty to protect the destitute and ailing woman from the afflictions of life and from the wiles of men.”


“It is decreed that if any man or woman die, those who stand next to them in blood shall be responsible for the disposal of the body. Those who declare the need to burn the body so that the departed one may use its essence in Heaven, indulge in a vain superstition.”


“It is decreed that if anyone seek refuge within the sanctuary of the temple, it shall not be denied them, and if any violate this sanctuary they shall not go unpunished. The labours of the sanctuary shall not be diminished.”


“It is decreed that the measure within a logua shall be equal to the water which can be contained in twelve blown eggs of the groundfowl. The weight of a silver shekel shall be the same as barleycorns numbered according to the days in the year. The length of a cubit shall be the same as forty-eight barleycorns. From these all things shall be weighed and measured.”


“It is decreed that a man may be declared to be outside the law, and then though he be liable to all restrictions and penalties which it imposes, he can enjoy none of it benefits or its protection. If a man be declared fully beyond the law, no other shall speak to him or supply him with food or clothing or shelter. If a man be declared an outlaw, he is to be slain on sight. If exiled, he is to be slain if he return from his place of exile.”


“It is decreed that no man shall make an image of any God or make anything in the likeness of a God, but all objects of beauty can be made. Anything can be made bearing the likeness or image of a man, woman or beast, providing it be done with good taste and without obscenity.”


“It is decreed that if anyone attempt to slay another with poison, they shall die, even though they have not succeeded. All who aid them in the deed or seek to hide it shall also die.”


“It is decreed that if anyone take their own life they shall not be buried or burnt for three days.”


“It is decreed that if a man die having no son or daughter, and no one of his own blood who can claim, a son or daughter born to his wife after remarriage may become his heir.”


“Justice and Truth are not in the safekeeping of the judges. They are, to those who sit in judgment, as the sun is to other men. Every man who comes before the judges should walk in the light of Truth and Justice, even though he speak against himself or against those of his own blood. The man who bears witness should take no heed whether he be on the side of the rich or the poor. He should not follow the road of passion or the paths of his own prejudices, lest he lose the guiding light of Truth. The man who hides within himself knowledge that would assist the cause of Justice and Truth inflicts an injustice upon his own soul.”


“A too hasty decision by the judges often inclines towards injustice. Therefore, when the judges have heard all and every word has been spoken by those who have a right to speak, the judges shall retire and pray. Each should say, within his heart, “I will consider my words carefully before I speak and they will be uttered in the purity of Truth, untainted by falsity or hypocrisy. I will not be harsh in my judgment and it will be bent towards a benefit rather than a loss. My speech will be directed towards the safeguarding of others and be without any taint of malice or evil intent.”



CHAPTER SIX
THE TALE OF HIRAM


Thute, the son of Pelath, a freeman of Elanmora in the land of the Hethim, wrote these things in the harvest years of his life, when his heart was filled with wisdom and understanding. He who reads them with the eyes alone will derive little benefit, but he who receives them with an enlightened and uplifted heart will find a response within the depths of his own spirit.


While Hiram Uribas, son of Hashem, was still a beardless youth taking his pleasure among the riches and splendour of his father’s house, a wise man came from a faraway land. He came, not as a great man riding with a rich caravan but weary-footed, begging water and food. These were not denied him and while he sat in the shade, slaking his thirst and satisfying his hunger, Hiram, the youth, came up to him with courteous greetings. The wise man was pleased and poured out words like jewels, so that the young man became filled with the desire for wisdom and Truth, swearing that from that day forward he would devote his life to the search for them.


After the departure of the wise man, Hiram became restless under his father’s roof and it was not long before he set off with a bundle of food and skin of water for Uraslim. Arriving there he slept in the house of Gabel, a servant at the temple of the Winged God of Fire, and from thence he journeyed towards Bethshemis, which lies past Tirgalud, on the road to Egypt. Hiram was a young man of his people, tall of stature, with a darting bright-eyed glance. His long, band-bound hair hung low on bis shoulders and his stride was wide and firm.


He came upon Bethshemis close to nightfall, when it was not good to enter the city, and therefore as darkness closed about him he prepared to lay himself down beneath the wall of a vineyard. This was owned by a wealthy widow who, seeing the young man preparing for the night, sent men out to bring him into her guest house. The widow was neither old nor unbeautiful and when she saw the comeliness of the young man her heart was gladdened and she bade him welcome. Hiram did not depart with the light of the morning and it came to pass that the widow offered him a high place on her estates. Hiram accepted, for he was young and pleased with the honour, but in the course of time the widow had become enamoured with him and sought to make him her husband. Hiram sought a way of release from this, for he had already heard tales of the woman’s many lovers.


The widow said to Hiram,

“Be my husband, for the one I had has died and left no heir. Let us enjoy the fruits of your manhood, for I desire the seed of your body, so that I may have a splendid son. I will give you robes of blue and red and they will be laced with chains of gold. You shall ride in a high chariot wheeled with brass and poled with copper. Many servants will attend you and wise men brought from East and West will fill your heart with wisdom. You shall lack nothing that satisfies your desires.”

Hiram was not at ease with himself, for he was young and lacked the wisdom to deal with the situation. He answered the widow hastily in these words,

“You are a woman of beauty and this alone makes you a desirable treasure to men, but how would it fare with me in marriage? It is said that you have had many lovers and they find you as a smouldering fire in a cold room, a door restraining neither wind nor sand, a roof that falls in upon the sleeper beneath it, a boat that drowns the boatman, the crust over a quicksand, water that does not slake the thirst and food that sits heavily on the stomach. Which man did you ever love with constancy, so that he walked in the joy of contentment? Which man could ever call you his?”

The words from his mouth stung the widow like hornets and she flew into a rage after the manner of women. She called upon her servants and they beat Hiram with sticks and drove him off her estate. With a little more wisdom in his heart, he continued on his way into Egypt and after many days he arrived at the city of On.


Hiram dwelt among the Southern Men on the outskirts of the city, for many had been captured during the wars and made slaves. When lustfully aroused the bodies of these men exude a sweet odour like honey, which no man can detect and it makes all women succumb to them. This is the manner in which the nation of Egypt sacrificed its purity. In the days when Hiram came to Egypt the Pharaoh Athmos ruled.


In those days Egypt was at war with the Abramites, for their great red-headed king had committed adultery with the wife of a prince of Paran. The remorseful king reaped as he had sown, for his favourite daughter was ravished by her own brother and his wives were humiliated and ravished before the eyes of all men. Because of the war, there was much coming and going of strangers in the city of On and Hiram went unnoticed.


Hiram dwelt long in Egypt and absorbed its wisdom, but the thing which delighted his heart the most was the tale of its long-hidden treasures. He learnt about the nest-burning bird whose wondrous many-hued egg granted men the gift of eternal life. He heard about the serpent pearls and the bright jewels which glowed with the light of the sun even on the darkest night. All these things he desired to possess for himself.


The nesting place of the nest-burning bird was among the Mothbenim, eastward of Egypt, but among the treasures of Egypt was one of its eggs. The egg, the pearls and the jewels were safeguarded in a dark cave upon an island called Inmishpet, which was set in the middle of a lake called Sidana. In the waters of the lake were fearsome watermonsters, part beast, part fish. On the shores of the lake dwelt the shapeshifting priests, guardians of the treasures.


Northward of the lake was a broad pastureland where the shepherd Naymin tended the temple flocks, but Naymin was old and had no son who would follow him. Therefore, he took Hiram into his household and Hiram became as a son to him, tending the sheep of the temple, and no Egyptian was with him.


One day, while the sheep still suckled their lambs, Hiram was out in the pastures, sitting near the cool waters because of the heat. As he reclined in the shade he played gay shepherd tunes on his flute and in the many times he had been there no one had ever disturbed him. Yet not far away was the House of the Virgins of Elre, but the maidens who dwelt there rarely went abroad.


This day, however, Asu, daughter of the High Priest, walked abroad and hearing the melody of the flute drew near to listen, but Hiram did not see her because of the bush between them. The maiden sat down, taking the sandals of her feet.


Hearing a cry from one of the sheep in the distance Hiram stopped playing and stood up, his back towards the maiden. She, seeing him standing up, sought to creep away before he saw her, but as she did so her foot was pierced by a thorn and she let out a cry of pain. Hiram turned and seeing her distress hastened to help her. He withdrew the thorn tenderly and carried her down to the pool, so that she could bathe the foot in cool waters. While she did so he entertained her with sweet melodies on his flute.


The maiden fell in love with Hiram and he with her, but because she was a dedicated virgin and daughter of the High Priest neither could open the doors of their heart. The maiden spent nights weeping, for she had a love for which there was no remedy. Hiram took his flock to other pastures, but still their hearts drew them back to the place of meeting and they met again and yet again.


Now, the wife of Naymin noticed that Hiram pined as with a sickness and she spoke to him about it, and he told her of Asu, the maiden from the House of the Virgins of Elre. The wife of Naymin spoke words of consolation for this hopeless love, knowing they helped but little.


In the fullness of the year Hiram took his flock to distant pastures around the other side of the lake. While he was away the wife of Naymin took herself down to the place where he was wont to meet Asu, and one day Asu came. She was known to the wife of Naymin who was the gatherer of herbs for the temple. They spoke of many things, of Hiram and of the Gods, of priests and their ways and of temples and those who served in them, of life and of man and of woman.


Now, when Hiram returned it was nigh the feast of sheepslaying and at this time sacrifices of lambs were made to the watermonsters in the lake. While away Hiram had thought about Asu and about the treasure of Egypt, both seemingly equally unattainable. The wife of Naymin spoke to him rarely and Hiram wondered, for this is not the way of women.


On the eve of the feast of sheepslaying the lake boats were prepared for the annual pilgrimage to the island. Among these was the great boat of Erab, kept in memory of the day when the Scorcher of Heaven rose with the sun, and earth was overwhelmed. From this boat the sacrificial lambs were offered to the watermonsters and on it served Asu and eight virgins. There, too, the High Priest officiated.


Hiram had conceived a plan within his mind whereby, at the risk of bis life, he might possess himself of the treasures of Egypt. This year, Naymin being now frail, he alone would be in charge of the sacrificial lambs, together with two boy priests to assist him. They came from the Temple of the Lake dedicated to the Bright Bearded One who once saved Earth from destruction through fiery hail by making a third round.


On the night before the festival, Hiram slept with his small flock beside the boats and at first light they were put aboard. As the sun rose upon high the High Priest came with many other priests and princes, and the virgins came also. They offered sacrifices at the Temple of Departure and then set out upon the waters. In another boat were Naymin and his wife and there were other boats filled with people.


After making offerings upon the waters the boats arrived at the island and preparations were made for the Island Ceremony, which lasted throughout the night. The lambs were offered as darkness came and the waters became red with blood, and the watermonsters satiated with meat.


Now, the cave on the island was protected from men by the Spirit of Mot, who had died there in days long forgotten, and the priests guarded its entrance. But Hiram did not fear the Spirit of Mot, for it could do no harm to one who carried upon his body the same bloodscar as Mot had borne. Hiram the stranger had been so marked out from other men in his childhood.


At the sixth hour of the night three virgins entered the cave to bring forth the treasures, and with them went a priest protected by sanctification in the blood of a lamb. Five priests who were Guardians of the Treasures and never left the island also went into the cave with them, garbed in skins and masked with the heads of beasts. The treasures were brought forth and placed upon the altar against the rock wall beside the cave, so that all might behold them. Over the altar was laid a cloth of linen and gold. While the people passed before the treasures and danced and sang, priests came and went in the cave.


Before the cave and away from the road leading down to the lake, there was a pathway which went down to the Pool of Purification. Here, after the maidens had bathed, men and women came down one by one to be purified in its waters. They then went through an opening into the lake and, passing through the waters along the shore where they rose not much above the waist, ascended by steps through a small arched temple back on the road. If they were truly purified they were never touched by watermonsters.


Never had a maiden been taken by the watermonsters, but on this awful night, while a maiden passed between pool and temple, there was a loud cry of agony quickly stifled. The island fell silent with forboding and as the night passed the name of Asu was whispered from mouth to mouth. The treasures were carried back in gloom and silence under a mantle of dread, and the head of the High Priest was bowed in sorrow and disgrace.


When the boats departed none noticed that Hiram was missing, for his duty done he could return in any boat. And none was the strange craft that clove the waters of the lake of Sidana that night. Hiram returned to the shepherd hut of Naymin and nothing was said to him, for Naymin thought he had joined with the people sorrowing in the temples, and always many remained about for several days.


When Hiram had refreshed himself he left Naymin who was weary and weighed down with age and sorrow, and prepared to return to his flocks. In his grief, because of the death of Asu, he could find solace nowhere, except perhaps in the familiar solitude among his sheep. But the wife of Naymin said,

“Let me walk with you a little way, for I, too, suffer and yet must seek herbs which are needed and not easy to find.”

When they had gone some distance, she said, “I go this way, will you not accompany me and humour an old woman who may need your aid?”


Hiram did so, for the woman was even as his own mother, though he could not understand her strange manner. She brought him to a place in a hollow enclosed by thickets, and lo there was Asu. When the embraces and the greetings were over and the explanations given, the wife of Naymin said,

“Here you cannot remain. There are clothes and food and no pursuers will follow the maiden, and none will query your departure. Go this night, taking thought for nothing here, for you are young, with a lifetime of joy before you, after the pangs of parting have passed.”

Hiram said,

“No gladness, no joy can ever surpass what I now feel, yet this thing increases a burden already upon me and is less simple than it appears. For this you must know, I have taken the treasures of Egypt and hidden them in a place where no man can find them. Who would suspect me if I went about my task without change, a shepherd with no thought beyond his sheep and flute? The cry may be raised even now, though I think another day will pass first. Then who could trace the passage of every man who has departed, even though pursuit is made in all directions? Why did you not tell me of your plot?”

The wife of Naymin said,

“How could you be told of something which might not have been or which you might have betrayed by glance or bearing? We, too, thought you no more than a simple shepherd with no thought beyond flute-playing, except love. What now will you flee with the maiden and abandon the treasures? Or shall she flee alone, for she is committed to flight.”

Hiram said,

“I cannot abandon love for treasure, but neither can I abandon this treasure for lif e or let it corrupt. Therefore, let Asu, the maiden disguise herself and together we will depart to a safe place without the treasure, none suspecting she still lives. Then in the fullness of time I will return and recover the treasure, for no man can discover its hiding place. However, I will not depart in haste but wait and bid Naymin farewell and go in the fullness of time.”

Hiram left Asu and returned with the wife of Naymin. Coming in to Naymin Hiram told him he had had a vision such as no man could disregard and must go to the land of his fathers, but would return before the coming again of the season. That night a great cry went up among the temples and in the light of the morning men came and questioned Naymin and those with him, but found them simple shepherds.


Hiram departed, taking the ass of Naymin and with him went the wife of Naymin. They were joined by Asu, cloaked as a beggar girl who earned her food by ungainly dancing, whose face was unwashed and clothes unclean. They accompanied men who hunted for the stolen treasures and their possessions were open before the eyes of all men. After seven days the wife of Naymin returned.


Hiram and Asu went onwards until they came to Bethelim near Fenis. beyond the borders of Egypt, and they dwelt there among the Kerofim. In the fullness of time Hiram returned to Egypt and recovered the treasures, bringing them inside skins hidden within other skins filled with water and oil. Now, when Hiram had left Egypt and drawn nigh to Bethelim, he saw that the dwelling he had left no longer stood and the fields about it were overgrown with burning bushes. Within the burnt out ruins he found remains and bones and knew them for those of Asu and the Kerofim with whom she dwelt. He saw that they had died by the sword.


Hiram did not linger at the place of death and thought to take himself to a place of safety, but knowing the dangers of the land he sought a place where he hid the egg of the nest-burning bird and the pearls, all except two, and most of the jewels. Having secured them in safety, he went on his way.


Hiram kept going until he came upon a small wooded place nearly two days journey away. Here, while he slept, two wild swine came and swallowed three of the jewels which he had tied in a piece of hide. Later he lost one while fording a river, and one was taken from him when he sought shelter in a temple. Two pearls and two jewels were taken from him by other priests who placed them in the treasury of their God. The remaining treasures which he had with him were lost when he was waylaid, and though his life was spared he was left bleeding and near to death. As Hiram lay by the roadside he was succoured by wandering metalworkers and brought back to health by them, for they were men of his own blood.


Hiram remained with the metalworkers for some years and learned their craft. He became skilled in the making of weapons and in their use. In the fullness of time he returned to the place where he had secreted the treasures and recovered them. He then went down to a city by the sea and took ship to a far off land. No man has seen him since, but it is said he married the daughter of a king and became a prince among foreign people.


This is the tale of Hiram. As written, it was a wordy tale and well preserved but without great import. It has imaginative descriptions and indulged in valueless flights of poetic fancy. Therefore, it is rendered in outline and reduced to a few paragraphs.


CHAPTER SEVEN
THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 1


By the hand of Raben, son of Hoskiah who was the Bowman of God and brought the Children of Light to the Land of Mists.
Hoskiah was a mighty man whose bow shafts struck like the lightning flash, and his enemies went down like corn before the reapers. He was a Captain of Men in the War of Gods and those he slew where numbered like barley in the measure. His enemies were spread before him hke a carpet at his feet and there was no other like him.


He was a man who knew the Almight God and looked up to Him as the God of his fathers. But Hoskiah worshipped Him after the customs of his people and therefore knew Truth only in part, for having stolen Him they were unable to know Him fully.


Now the days of fighting were past and Hoskiah and those who remained alive with him slept in strange places, for they were sought by the king who had been victorious. His wives and his children and all his household dwelt at Kadesh, against the mountain, and awaited his coming there. But he came not while being sought by the king.


So it came to pass that his brother Isias, who held stewardship over all his household and his possessions, seeing that Hoskiah could not come unto this place, possessed himself of them. Isias had the ear of those in high places, and Hoskiah lost his birthright.


So all that was Hoskiah’s passed into the possession of his brother Isias. He took even the wives of Hoskiah, for such was the decree of the king.


But Athelia, the first of the wives of Hoskiah, spurned Isais and called down the wrath of Helyawi upon his head. And Isais was afraid and did not possess her. When they saw this the other wives, being jealous of her, for she was ever in high favour with Hoskiah, stirred Isais up against her. They mocked him, saying, “Are you truly the master here, or are there fruits you cannot pluck?”


So Isais sought to take Athelia by strength, but she strove against him and his manhood was hurt, so thatddid did not take her. Then Isias had her bound and her hands were tied for seven days, so that she could not of herself either eat or drink or do the things required by her body. She was humiliated and her womanhood betrayed, for an idiot man attended her wants and he mocked her modesty, and she was tormented by her needs.


Then on the seventh day she was brought forth by Isias to trial, and she was stripped and lashed and her hair was burnt off. She was branded on the face and her lips and tongue were cut. She was given a robe and a pitcher of water, and dried fruits and flour. She was driven forth by Isias who said, “Go woman, and perhaps, should you even find him, Hoskiah will understand your babble.”


Athelia went out into the wilderness to die and at night she fell in pain and weariness, under an elan tree and lay there. In anguish she cried out unto her God and cast her soul from her, that she might not feel pain. And her soul found Hoskiah.
As it became light next day, Athelia awoke and praised God, saying,

“I have slept amid my pain, for God is good and merciful. And I know that Hoskiah yet lives in a far off place, but my soul and my God will lead me to him.”

And she went, guided by her soul.


On the same night, Hoskiah lay in a cavern amid mountains, but he slept not, for one had come bearing tidings of his brother, saying,

“Isias has possessed himself of all that once was yours. Even your wives has he taken, and between you and he are many men who would slay you.”

As Hoskiah lay thus in agony of spirit it came to pass that he felt the presence of Athelia’s soul, and peace came upon him and he slept. And as he slept he dreamed, and in his dream Athelia stood at his feet, fairer than he had ever known her. And she said, “All is not lost unto you, for I come seeking you in the wilderness and I will find you, so be at peace.” And Hoskiah awoke refreshed and strong in spirit.


And he came down out of the mountains, and over the wilderness came to the Place of Bitter Waters where men find refuge. And men were hiding there from the wrath of the king. And Hoskiah enquired of them, saying, “You have come from many places, which of you has seen a woman seeking me?” They said, “No woman travels abroad on such a quest. Or has she many attendants, and what is her appearances?” And Hoskiah said,

“She is fair as the dawning, with hair like the raven’s wing and skin like fine oil. Her touch is like cool waters and her bearing like the gazelle.”

Then the men mocked him and talked much, saying,

“How long would such a one as you describe travel alone? It is not in the nature of women to leave their household and come into the wilderness. Would any man pass her by? Who, then, now possesses her? Seek her not in the wilderness, for is she not clad in fine linen and perfumed with sweet smelling oils?”

Then Hoskiah took counsel with himself and said, “I am indeed a fool who chases dreams. This is no time for dreaming when there is a man’s task at hand”. So in the morning he said to those with him, “I go up against my brother”. But they pleaded with him, saying, “Have you a host of men or even a company? Abandon such foolishness”.


Now, at that time Athelia dwelt beneath a mountain where there was a spring, for she was weary from many days journeying. And she was sick in spirit, for men, when she came among them, beat her with sticks and drove her from the place of their habitations. She offended their eyes and none desired her.


No man came to the spring, for it was an accursed place where voices came from the rocks and the dead spoke. Therefore, it is called the Audience Chamber of the Dead. And none but witches go there, for these the dead do not harm.


Now, when night fell Hoskiah slept, and those with him were not watchful. And evil men said among themselves,

“Let us slay Hoskiah in the night, for he has gold and silver and spoils of war with him. Let us cut off his head and carry it to his brother, that we may be rewarded and made welcome.”

So it came to pass that in the morning hours of the night men came to fall upon Hoskiah and those with him to slay them. But one among them was heavy-footed and Hoskiah awoke as they fell upon him, and he seized his sword and leaping up as a lion springs smote about him, and there was a slaughter. But he was without helmet and his head was bare, and so he was wounded. They who came against him died or fled, but of those with him just one remained, and he sorely wounded.
In the morning they left with their asses laden, and Hoskiah held his bow and none came near him. And as the sun mounted on high the sight departed from the eyes of Hoskiah and he became blind.


So Hoskiah and he who was his companion abandoned hope, for there were men who would destroy them in front and behind, and the wilderness enclosed them. And they said, “Let us, therefore, go to the place called the Audience Chamber of the Dead, which is by our side. For are we not as those already dead? There we shall find water to quench our thirsts and soothe our wounds as we end our days.”


And as they entered the pass at the place where the waters entered the sand, the companion of Hoskiah died. Then Hoskiah heard voices of the dead calling him from among the mountains, and he arose and said, “I come, for this is my hour.” And he passed up the watercourse. So it was that being blind he dashed against the rocks and fell to the ground, and lay there as one already dead.


Now, on that day the soul of Athelia was troubled and she wandered abroad, straying from her tasks. And she looked up and saw a raven descending from out of the sky, and her soul said unto her, “Behold, it comes for the soul of Hoskiah, for he is near by and close to death.” So Athelia sped away guided by the bird.


She came upon Hoskiah as his soul was preparing to depart, and she took him in her arms and lifting his head gave him water. And her soul communed with his soul and bade it stay, and because of the bond between them it stayed. And she remained with him three days and built a bower and ministered to him, but he lay as one already dead.


On the third day, as the sun prepared to enter into his night kingdom, Hoskiah stirred. He groaned in anguish from his wounds and Athelia comforted him, and he slept in peace. When it became light next day he awoke and felt Athelia’s touch upon him. And Hoskiah knew her and said, “Athelia are you here? How came you to this place and found me in my hour of need?”


But Athelia answered not because of her tongue and she drew a veil around her face, for she knew not that Hoskiah was blind. She wept and her tears fell upon his face. And he held on to her, for her hands told him that she could not speak to him as once she did. And he said, “I am blind and cannot see”, but she drew not the veil, for she feared for him when his hands sought to be his eyes.


Days passed and Hoskiah grew strong, and he knew the tale of his brother’s deeds and swore vengeance in the name of his God. He said, “For this purpose life has been left to me”. And Athelia grieved that he spoke thus, for he could not walk without her.


The waters of the valley were cool and there were herbs and wild fruits, and goats upon the mountainside. So it came to pass that after many days Hoskiah was whole and strong again. But he remained blind, so he could not see Athelia and therefore she remained fair in his eyes. But the soft speech was gone from her. This, Hoskiah did not mind, for what he heard daily was the speech which greeted him as he lay in her arms before she knew he had come back to life. Hoskiah and Athelia were no longer troubled by the voices among the rocks, for no harm was done to them in this place.


When Hoskiah became strong again he desired to go from that place and fretted to be gone, but Athelia bade him stay. She said, “You are blind and therefore like a child. And will we not die of hunger in the wilderness, or be slain by men who seek after you? Let us stay here.” And Hoskiah listened to her words, for it was not unpleasant in this place.


And it came to pass that one day, as Athelia gathered herbs in the valley, she espied a stranger drinking at the waters and he was weak and weary from much journeying. And she took Hoskiah and together they went up to the stranger and Hoskiah greeted him, saying, “May the peace of God be with you, master, how may we serve you?” The stranger answered them saying,

“I am Lokus, Son of the Fire Bird and physician to the king of Tyre. I have travelled from afar to this place, that I may hear the wisdom of the dead. I came to talk with my soul in solitude, for I am weary of the ways of men. I no longer seek to be the companion of those in high places who concern themselves overmuch with wars and the affairs of men”.

And Hoskiah knew Lokus for a magician of great renown.


Hoskiah dwelt in a cave in the mountainside, by the waters of a spring which came forth from a smaller cave nearby. The land before the caves was flat and there were ancient gardens and enclosures. Beyond these were trees. When Lokus had been brought to the abode of Hoskiah, to the place where he camped, he was given food and rested. The Hoskiah said unto him,

“You are great even among great magicians, for your magic is greater even than the magic of Egypt. I beg you, master, look with pity upon my blindness, for it makes me even as a child, I who am a man among men and have a man’s task before me. Pray, therefore, cast magic with fire, that I may be made whole again.”

Lokus said unto Hoskiah, “Is this then the one desire of your heart, is there nought in Heaven or Earth you desire more?” Hoskiah said, “There is nought above this.”


Then Lokus spoke to Athelia, saying, “What is your desire, is it that you may be as you once were?” And Athelia said, ‘This indeed I desire, especially for the sake of my lord. But, master, above all I desire that he may see again; but, oh, let not his eyes lead him from me to destruction.” Lokus said to Athelia, “You know what his eyes will see.” She answered him, “Let his eyes see what they will, but let them see.”

Lokus said unto her,

“So it shall be, for you have but one desire between you. I will make a covenant with Hoskiah, so that his eyes may see again. This is the covenant: That Hoskiah will stay in this place until Athelia has borne him a son and until six months after his son’s weaning he will sit at my feet and absorb my instruction”.

Then Athelia said unto Lokus, “Master, when he is no longer blind and sees me as I am, will not the burden of the covenant be too great for him? Lokus answered, “He has more than two eyes.”


Lokus took Hoskiah and cast a spell upon him, so that he fell asleep. And Lokus opened his head and let out the evil which blinded him and encased his head in clay, that the demon might not resume its residence. And Hoskiah was left asleep for six days and six nights.


On the seventh day Hoskiah awoke, and behold, he was no longer blind. And he called for Athelia, but she came not unto him. Then Hoskiah cried, “I see, but the woman is not here, is this not a time for rejoicing? But lo, she stays away”. Lokus said unto him, “It is the manner of women, let her be.”. And when night had come Atheha came and sat at the feet of Hoskiah and said unto him, “It is well my lord, and my heart rejoices.” And Hoskiah, stretching out his hand, caught hold of Atheha, saying unto Lokus,

“Long have I been with this woman. And I was blinded that I could not see her face; now I say, bring me my torch quickly, that I may look upon the face I desire to see with all my heart.”

And Athelia, bowing her head, remained cold and still beside Hoskiah, the veil held before her face. And Lokus, placing the torch aside, drew the veil and lifted her head towards the light, and the woman looked up fearfully.


Hoskiah looked long upon her in silence. Then he lifted her towards him and kissed her face, saying, “Wife of my bosom, the years have taken nothing from the loveliness of your youth”. And Athelia fell before him in a swoon.


Now, when morning came Lokus sat outside the cave and Athelia came, and kneeling before him said,

“Great master, what magic have you wrought? The waters do not lie, yet my lord sees me not as they”.

And Lokus answered her, saying,

“Nor does the soul he, but the eyes of men are deceivers and not to be trusted. One desire only have I granted, for my magic has not touched you. Hoskiah sees indeed, but if he sees not wholly with his eyes and in part with his heart, seeing not with the eyes of other men, then perhaps my magic is imperfect and I am not the greatest of magicians”.

Unnumbered days passed and Athelia was first delivered of a daughter and then of a son. And Hoskiah sat before Lokus and received his instruction, and many books were opened unto him. He learned the Mysteries of the Secret Way and the Songs of the Fire. He knew the wisdom that had come down through the ages.


So it came to pass that one day Hoskiah went unto Lokus and said, “All has been done that the covenant required.” And Lokus answered him, saying, “It is well, prepare now to follow the path of your destiny.”


Then Hoskiah took Athelia and his son and his daughter, and with Lokus passed out into the wilderness. And when they came to the habitations of men Atheha was veiled. And Lokus journeyed as a great magician, following his stars, and Hoskiah served him as though bis slave.


Thus they came to the lands held by Isias and Lokus made masks of animal skins, with tree gum and clay, and gave them unto Hoskiah and Athelia. And he clothed them in strange garments and dyed their skins, saying,

“Men expect all things of a magician and make no query concerning the strange things they see about him. Therefore, let not the men of this place be disappointed in my attendants”.

To Hoskiah he said, “Be as one dumb, for your tongue would betray you to those we come amongst in this place”. And Hoskiah answered, “My tongue shall be dead in this place.“ In this manner they came before Isias.


Isias had looked well upon the fleshpots and his body was filled with fat. He was clad in fine linen from Egypt and perfumed. And Hoskiah said within himself, “Can this be the son of my father and the companion of my childhood? It is truly written, in the hands of a weakling gold turns to fat”.


Lokus spoke unto Isias, saying,

“Lord I have come far and therefore beg that I and my servants be given food and drink and a place to lay our heads. I am a magician of magicians and a physician of physicians. Mayhap there are those within your household who are sick or possessed by demons, whom I may serve. Or may I enliven your leisure with wonders and magic and show you strange things beyond the understanding of men?”

Isias said unto Lokus,

“Remain with us, for there is little pleasure here. If you enliven our days you serve us well.”

So it came to pass that Isias prepared a great feast to which came many lords with their households. The fame of Lokus had spread afar, for he had healed the sick and cast out demons and shown many wonders beyond the understanding of men. And among those who came were many who knew Hoskiah.


When the day of the great feast came there was much feasting and merrymaking, and Lokus worked great wonders, so that all men acclaimed his magic. And there were games and feats of strength and dancing.


When night had fallen great fires were lit and many torches. Tables were spread with all manner of good things and the guests assembled within the great courtyard. Isias sat beneath the tall sycamore tree and before him was a table laden with every kind of meat. There were breads and sweet things and spices in abundance. And Isias was sitting among half men and wanton women and with him were gluttons and drunkards. There was much loud laughter in their company and many sly gestures. There were singing women and dancing girls. There were half men who performed as women, and the night was heavy with the scents of wickedness.


The feasting and dancing went on well into the night and Lokus displayed his powers before the assembly. When the clamour was at its height Isias spoke to Lokus, saying, “Show us now the greatest of your wonders which we have not yet seen. Let the night be more enlivened”.


So Lokus stood before them and lo, before their eyes he changed stones into gold, and a dog into an ass. He drew wine and milk from an empty pitcher and caused a rod to become a snake. Standing before a table that was bare he drew all manner of foods and wines out of the air and furnished it for a splendid repast. Then he called Hoskiah as his slave and stood a comely maiden before him. And Hoskiah shot arrows into her and they stood out from her body, so that there was not space for a man to place his hand. And the blood flowed down her robe as though she stood in a rainstorm of blood, before she sank to the ground and lay there dead before them.


Then Lokus went up to her and after wrenching the arrows from out of her body threw a cloak over it. The arrows he carried to Isias and those about him, saying, “See the blood of amaiden”, and they held the arrows and looked at them. And behold, as they held the arrows and looked the blood went from them and the arrows were clean. And Lokus cried out in a loud voice, “Lo, the blood returns”. Then, passing over unto the maiden, he lifted the cloak off her and behold, as he did so her robe became clean again. And Lokus took her by the hand and said unto her, “Arise”, and she arose and stood before Isias. And he was silent and those about him did not speak. Casting aside her garment, which was the outer robe, the maiden danced before the gathering, and all there wondered greatly, for her body was unmarked.


Isias spoke to Lokus, saying, “How can such things be? What manner of magic is this?” Lokus answered him, saying, “Lord your eyes saw as I bid them see, for I am the master of men’s hearts, not the master of flesh and wood. The eye is the greatest of deceivers. It is the magic of Egypt which undid the work of the Ethiopian’s bow”. And Isias said,

“Who is this Ethiopian who stands there so strangely garbed? It is indeed a bowman among bowmen to loose his arrows so that one has scarcely struck ere another left the bow. Has Rasfamishel come among us? “

Lokus answered him, saying, “Lord he comes from beyond the Land of Elephants, in the place where the Earth tips over. The magic is in his bow, which can shoot at a wild ass and bring down a lion.”


So saying Lokus took up a clay pot and stood it on a table, and Hoskiah, standing off, loosed an arrow at it. And the pot was shattered and as it fell apart lo and behold, a silver pot appeared in its place. And those who saw these things were amazed and spoke one to the other about the magic of Lokus.


One among the gathering, a speechmaker, stood up and spoke words praising the magic of Lokus, but Isias sat quiet, deep in thought. Then bidding Lokus come to his side, Isias said,

“This night I have seen With my own eyes a maiden slain with arrows and raised from the sleep of death. I have seen the magic of the bow change clay to silver. Is then your magic great enough to change age into youth and weakness into strength? It is said that the greatest of magicians can do even this.”

And Lokus lifted himself and said, “Even this I can do”.


Then there was much whispering back and forth and talk among those who sat about Isias. They that stood in the place of his favour said,

“Master this is the hour, let the magic of this great magician cast the years from off your back and renew the vigour of youth”.

And while they spoke there was much whispering and sly laughter among the half men.


Lokus stepped back from the presence of Isias and he raised his left hand, and there were loud thunders. He raised his right hand and fire leaped forth from the ground, and a great cloud of smoke went up. And he said unto Isias,

“Great Isias, this is your hour. You are the lord of this land and place, therefore command as you will. Already the night is more than half spent and speeds to its closing. Hear now my words, this I say unto you: Enter now into my magic tent which stands strangely adorned over against the edge of the feasting place. The tent wherefrom I issue forth my magic, to which I return to replenish my strength when it is done. Therein is the fount of my magic, the hub of the great circle of power. Remain in there until the first red glow from the fires of the underworld appears in the night sky. Then lord, I will come into the tent and, standing against it, will call forth the lord of this land and place, and behold, a new lord will stand before the gathering in manly strength and vigour. A man among men and a fitting master for this household. He will be such a man that I, even I Lokus, the master of magic, will be the first to proclaim him.”

So Isias entered into the tent of Lokus the magician, and as he passed within, Lokus gave him the great bow of Hoskiah, saying, ‘Take this with you, for its magic is great and may well be needed. It is a worthy weapon for the lord of this land.”
Then the gathering spoke amongst themselves and waited. Singing women whiled away the hours. And as the first arrows of morning light struck the night sky, Lokus arose and stood against the tent of magic. Lifting up the door he cried out in a loud voice, “Great Lord of these lands and place, come forth to your heritage, behold your lord.” And as he spoke, lo, Hoskiah stepped forth into the morning light, arrayed as a lord and girded about with belt and sword. He wore a helmet and in his hand was the great bow.


The sound of a great sigh passed through the gathering and men looked one at the other. They were bemused, not knowing what to do, for there was magic about them. And Lokus lifted up his voice in the silence and cried,

“Behold, I have brought forth a man among men as lord of these lands and place. Will you not, therefore, receive him in a befitting manner?”

And men spoke among themselves, saying,

“This is one having the appearance of Hoskiah whom we know, in truth the lord of these lands and place. He is a man indeed, if it be he; has magic drawn him back from the grave, or has the spirit of Isias clothed itself in the form of Hoskiah?”

Then first one and then another hailed the man before them saying, “This is a man among men, if not our lord Hoskiah.” Then a great shout of, “Hoskiah!” went up, and Hoskiah stood stern before them.


Now, there were those among the gathering who stood silent. The half men and wanton women who were about the table where Isias had been, sat pale and silent, clinging to each other. They said among themselves, “If indeed this be Hoskiah, where then is our lord Isias ?” And a man stood up among the gathering, shouting,

“This is not Isias transformed by magic, but Hoskiah, who, with this evil magician, has worked a trick. Isias is not transformed but murdered. Let him be avenged”.

And reaching back he took a javelin and sought to hurl it at Hoskiah. But the bow in the hand of Hoskiah bent, and before the javelin could be sped an arrow pierced the man’s throat. Then the bow sang twice more before the enemies of Hoskiah departed.


Now, it came to pass that those remaining gathered about Hoskiah and rejoiced, saying, “Hoskiah is indeed the rightful lord and none but he ever bent bow as we have seen a bow bent this dawning”. And Hoskiah passed through them to the seat of Isias. And those gathered there shrank from him, and he swept the table clean and drove away those who stood about it, saying, “Begone, lest I have you seized and beaten, for you befoul the Earth and serve neither God nor man.” They departed, saying, “This is indeed Hoskiah and not Isias.” And Isias was seen no more by the eyes of men.


Now, after three days had passed Lokus said to Hoskiah,

“The time has come when I must depart. I shall go unto my king who is now your king and speak with him concerning you. It is well that I go now and dally not unduly here, for mayhap as things are he will lend a willing ear to my words. But if I dally here with you, others will gain his ear with another account.”

So Lokus departed and Hoskiah was grieved.


Before he left, Lokus was given horses and servants, also slaves and asses with food for the journey. And Lokus said to Hoskiah, “We shall meet again, for it is decreed in the Book of Heaven.”


Athelia came before Hoskiah many times and said, “Lord let me depart from your residence and dwell in a place not too far off.” And Hoskiah was perplexed within himself because of her manner of speech, for he did not understand what she wanted. He said, “Have no fear for the women of my household, for there is none I desire but you”.


And it came to pass that on his way to the king, Lokus was stricken with a sickness and lay as one already dead, and for many days his soul was prepared for departure. And while he lay sick the power that bound the eyes of Hoskiah became weakened and the eyes of Hoskiah were no longer bound.


Now, Hoskiah purged his household and spent the days dealing with his estates, and his lands flourished. His servants no longer bickered among themselves as before and contentment reigned within his shadow.


So when many days had passed and all things were ordered, Hoskiah called his steward and said unto him, “Let a feast be prepared. As the land has given generously to me, so will I give no less generously.” Hoskiah said this and it was done.
Now, there was a woman called Mirim of the household of Isias, who was fair to behold and she sought the favour of Hoskiah. And among the women there was much talk of Athelia who remained ever veiled, for there were those among the women who knew her. But none spoke to Hoskiah, for he was a man who talked little with women and Athelia stood first in his eyes.


Mirim had not seen the degradation of Athelia, nor had she seen her unveiled. But it came to pass that she spied upon Athelia one day, while she was about her toilet, and seeing her unveiled Mirim took counsel with herself.


Now, the day of feasting came and many were the guests, but of half men and wanton women there were none. And among the women Athelia sat apart, and among the men there was much talk of riches and battles, and of spoils of war and husbandry.


Among the guests was a young lord who sought the favours of Mirim. And while the feasting and dancing were at their height, they came one to the other. And as they dallied beyond the torchlight Mirim said unto him, “Am I fair indeed?” And he answered her, saying, “You are fair even among the fairest”. Then she said unto him,

“Yet there is one more fair by far, so fair that she needs go veiled before men. She is Athelia, wife of Hoskiah, who keeps her thus. He fears for himself and does not trust her, for this is his weakness”.

And Mirim moved away from the young lord, saying, “Go look upon her face, and if you can then say I am the fairest of the fair, I shall know that your heart speaks sincerely of itself and not at the behest of your body.”


The young lord returned to the feasting and sat in a place nearby to Hoskiah and spoke to those about him, saying, “Have any among you seen a woman here who rivals the fairest bearers of myrtle and palm?” And the men rebuked him, saying,

“It is not meet to talk thus about the women of a household wherein you are a guest. Are they to be judged as are women of the night?”

But the tongue of the young lord was not stayed and he replied, saying, ‘That which causes talk will be talked about?” And Hoskiah heard him and was angry and said, “What, in my household, moves foolish tongues to gossip?” The young lord said, “That which a man tries to conceal ever arouses the interests of others. Does any man conceal that of which he is proud?” And Hoskiah looked about him, saying, “This talk I do not understand”. The young lord said,

“My lord, men talk of what lies beneath the veil of the woman you brought here, is she indeed as fair as men say, or is there truth even in the gossip of women?”

And those who knew about the degradation of Athelia muttered among themselves, for her secret could not be kept hidden. They said,

“This is loose talk and wicked, let the evil which belongs to the past remain buried. Does this concern any man but Hoskiah? Are we among women that the talk should be thus? Is our custom to be lightly set aside? Let the veil remain”.

But Hoskiah, hearing the muttering, thought wrongly of what was said. And he spoke to the young lord, saying, “This woman is fair as few women are fair, should I not know? This you shall indeed see for yourself”. And Hoskiah said within himself, “Long enough have I indulged Athelia her whims, does a pearl give pleasure withinits shell?” And Hoskiah sent his attendant for her.


So Athelia came with her hand maiden, and Mirim came too and stood close behind them. And Athelia stood before Hoskiah and said, “My lord what is your wish?” And he said to her, “Woman, remove your veil.” And Athelia put her hand to the veil and pleaded with him, saying, “My lord there are many men here and strangers. There is a custom of my people by which I abide.” And men, hearing her voice, looked one at another and the oldest among them said to Hoskiah,

“Let the woman be, for this is of no importance and of no interest to us. Allow her the whim, for such is the nature of women. Shall we deny them their small pleasures?”

Athelia inclined her head towards the man who spoke and as she did so Mirim stepped forward and caught hold of the veil, snatching it aside. And the stricken face of Athelia was revealed to the gathering.


All men were silent and still, like statues. And Hoskiah looked at Athelia and she at him. And Hoskiah saw her as she was, and Athelia knew whathe saw. Then came the voice of the young lord, saying, “Behold the pearl of Hoskiah.” And Hoskiah turned upon him in rage and slew him.


And Hoskiah turned to Athelia who stood still and alone, saying, “What evil has been wrought here? Begone, take your face from me.” And Athelia went out between the gathering. And passing into her bedchamber she took a draught of poison. And her handmaiden sped to Hoskiah, saying, “Come my lord, my mistress dies.”


Then Hoskiah, his heart filled with remorse, sped to Athelia. And as he came unto her she died.


And Hoskiah wept over her and his heart was filled with grief. And he looked upon the body of Athelia and said,

“I have slain the life within my own heart. I have slain the one who cherished me in my blindness, the one who loved beyond the bounds of love.”

In his anguish the eye of his soul was opened and saw the soul of Athelia standing nearby. And Hoskiah was dazzled by the vision of her beauty, for she was radiant as the sun. He stretched out his hands towards her, but could not touch her, for she was beyond the reach of earthly things. And she shook her head at him and raising her hand departed to the Antechamber of Eternity.


Hoskiah raised himself up and strode out from the chamber, but he returned not again to the place of feasting. He sorrowed many days.


Now, while Hoskiah still sorrowed, word came to him that a company of men was coming against him.


And he sent out his servants with laden asses and went forth himself. And with his true men he prepared a place on the heights above the road, to meet those who came to take him. And Hoskiah met them with arrows and with stones and left them with their dead.


And Hoskiah and those with him passed out into the wilderness and lived there many days. And it came to pass that word came to him of Lokus and he arose and went into the land of the Sons of Fire, passing into Tyre as a merchant from Kithim.
 

So it came about that Hoskiah came with sons of the Children of Light on ships of Arad, by way of Hawnibo and Mesilonas, where there are many temples. The ships made one harvest towards the Land of Trees, where the great river flows to the West. And his sons he left in Tyre, that they might receive instruction in the household of Lokus.


Hoskiah governed many years in the Land of Mists and made laws, and died in his old age. And he was buried by the river where the ground rises, beneath stones and soil carried in many baskets. A fence was made and trees, which still grow, set about the place.


When Hoskiah came here he had been forty and four years on Earth, and two score and five years passed before he died. May his God fulfil his hopes! Raben, the son of Hoskiah, was born of a daughter from the house of Lokus in this land.


CHAPTER EIGHT
THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 2


Lothan, Captain of Men of Valour, Victorious over the Sons of the New Moon and Guardian of the Hidden Wisdom. Maker of Roads in the Red Lands and Builder of the Secret Fort. By Abisobel, once Scribe of the God Eloah in Ladosa, Keeper of Records in the New Temple, to his Fathers in Wisdom at the Temple of Iswarah, Greetings. May you live long on Earth in prosperity, peace and health, and depart in knowledge.


We left the good land, hearts heavy-laden with grief. The ships were five and I looked to mine and found it good. It was built of alonwood and stout-masted. All about it, casks were lashed. Along the planking the cords that moved were free, but all clear spaces were filled with things wrapped about and bound. There was much leather for the sails and leathern scoops. There were half a score of large buckets of wood hooped about and handled with plaited leather. Between the eyes of the ship the guide pole was raised, beneath which were stored all kinds of unusual things made of wood and cordage used by men of the sea. There was a machine for slinging stones and another for hurling fire. There were high shieldguards which could be strapped to the side. A store contained every kind of weapon and much armour. There were pots for cooking and braziers.
 

There was a store behind the mast and in it were over five score jars of oil and not less of wine and vinegar. Casks of food there were and more stored in baskets. Many large pitchers were lashed about and dried meat stored in cloth. Dried dates and figs and small fruits there were in large quantities. Water was not lacking, nor the dishes for eating. There were nets for fishing and hooks for catching birds.


The chief among the men of the sea was skilled in the notched stick called ‘thumb of the night’, which guided him across the widths of the sea. We brought up against Keftor, where Nebam departed, for they were troublesome. Men of Melkat came who had been wrecked, and we took a score who were men of valour. We passed many lands by the sea, where once broad sea-girt Posidma reigned, before blown apart by underworld fires. By the lands of Hogburim we went over the wide sea to the gate of Athlesan and beyond it across the sea of Tapuim.


One ship and forty men and the households of six men were lost on the way. Three ships have I left, with one brought up on the land. Twelve men have I lost in battle and ten have gone with sickness. There are, with me, two hundred fighting men. One hundred and ten men of skill and one hundred bondsmen. Sixty households with their cattle and sheep and corn and tools and wagons. All things with us are numbered and the tally grows daily.


The encampment is well made and encircled with a wall where water does not lie. Trees and soil are the material of its construction. Great trees are about us, but no stone for building, for the soil is deep. The waters rise not over the fields where men have cut water passages, but there is much rain.


Wild men are in the land, who write on their skins.


They are hairy ones whose Gods are the plants of the field. Their quarters are like baskets over the ground and they are unwashed. The women are like hellcats, uttering wild cries among the trees, but the men are quiet and come in silence.


They have temples of poles, roofed over in part and encircled by great logs, with logs laid over. Skins and painted leather are hung about, but no cloth. They place plants on altars, that their high Gods may consume the essence of life within them and draw it back into themselves.


Virgins they keep in cages, why I know not, but the women in cages are virgins and well cared for. Is virginity uncaged like a hound unleashed?


The wild men are unlearned and without soft speech. They are cousins to the wild dog, yet with children they are gentle. The children of Fikol, the stoneworker, were lost among the trees and wild beasts beset them at night. The wild men found them there and carried them away and fed them. Then came the searchband of men of valour upon the place, and the children, seeing them, ran away from the wild men. The men of valour slew the wild men, thinking they had taken the children, for they knew not their speech. Since then we have seen their ways.


One hundred and ten of the wild people we have as bondsmen and bondswomen. The men work with the soil and wood about the encampment. The wall I caused to be built out into the water and it encloses a pier against the bank, where ships can moor.


Within the wall and circle of water I have built the temple, but not all go in there with me. We are not one people. The gates of the temple are on pillars of wood and turn on a stone, and wooden are the pillars within. Great beams support the roof, and the walls are of wood and mud brick. The floor is of sand finely raked, and before the heir the altar rests on stones. There are no images designed to confuse men, for though the temple is poor it does not enshrine ignorance. We have no evil men with us. There are men of valour and men of skill, men of the land and men of the sea, no more.


Beneath the altar is the Grave of Life, kept dry with mortar. In its place is the Great Chest of Mysteries and in the Urns of Life are the records. Well kept they are and safe from the unlearned, all the records of the Eastern Quarter. Thus all things have been done according to your divining, and it is good.


(Between that just copied and that which follows there was a full plate, but the writing upon it was ineffective.)


In the land at the edge of the Earth there is little sun and the people grow sick with water. The dampness causes a sickness among us, where the teeth become loose in the gums and skin peels. Flesh puffs up and holds the marks of fingers.


The people of the land beset us and we cannot find them among the trees. Lothan was slain, with twelve men of valour, three days journey inland among the trees. He died in the night. Two men were caught by the wild men who burnt them in cages.
Men have come in ships from the Land of the Sons of Fire, who are our brothers. Alman, the scribe, and Kora, the builder, came. Hoskiah who is a man mighty in battle, having gone from us brought them here by Kedaris.


Of the Sons of Fire there are four hundred, but few are fighting men. They are not men of valour. They are men of the sea and cultivators and men who trade. There are builders among them and men skilled in the ways of wood and stone, for they came to establish a city in this place.


This, the Kingdom of the Trees, is no place for a city. Trees shut us in and hold us captive. They conceal those who lie in wait to do us harm. A house is built and trees take over the roof, and plants creep over the walls. Corn is planted and rots, while weeds smother other growing food. Greyness is everywhere, even the face of the sun is pale here.


Men shiver without heat and the air is not pure and mixed with water. Wild dogs lurk among the trees, to tear the unwary to pieces. There are few stones and they are covered with slime. The wild fruits and herbs are poisonous and men have died eating them. The wild men in this place eat their own children and anoint their bodies with the fat of the dead. There is a race of men with great hairy bodies and the heads of dogs, who carry children off to feast on them. Arutha, wife of Amora, died in the embrace of one. They have hides that no arrow can pierce.


The Book of Heaven is open to the Sons of Fire, in it they found the road across the waters. They are filled with the wisdom of wanderers. As we came by the sea in the hands of seafarers, so shall we go out. We long for the welcome omens of the shining arrows of the night. Our people are weary and there is muttering among the men of valour, for they fear the Spirit of the Trees. His breath surrounds us. His grey fingernails corrupt our possessions. He has caused our cattle to die and our crops to wither. Against him we are powerless. He was robbed of this land hewn out from among the trees, he will never forget.


The Great Secrets and Sacred Wisdom are secured for our children. We place them and ourselves in the hands of the Sons of Fire. We shall leave this place and sail towards Hireh, towards the West, where lies the Land of White Stone. There we may build with stone and brick.


Here is the tally of our departure: Of those who came with Lothan, ninety men of valour and the households of thirty-five. There are seventy men of valour who came later, and those of the Sons of Fire. Eighty-two men of skill and eight households newly formed. There are the men of valour who came with Hoskiah and the households among them. There are nine households which came later.


There are two hundred and forty bondsmen. Of these one hundred and ten carry slings and clubs. Some have fighting axes of stone and stave shod with metal, but there is no sharpened weapon among them.


One hundred and four among all the households are children and unmarried women, for many have died of the sickness belonging to this place. There are slaves, but most have died or perished among the trees.


The cattle are gone and there are a few sheep and goats. There are, for each man of valour, two measures of corn at morning and for others one measure. Of corn there are sixty great baskets. Of herbs dried by fire, forty-five ankrim. There is fish fried by fire and some meat.


There are a hundred and ten baskets of cuped nuts, which are bitter and go sour. The Men of the Trees eat them and for such people it is proper food. There are narah nuts which grow in this place, sweet but not stomach filling, and nuts which are good for cakes in quantities.


There is much weapon metal melted down and gold and silver in pieces. There are all kinds of tools for the men of skill and much pottery in the households. But much has gone to the Men of the Trees, and of cloth there is little, and men are clothed in skins and the woven fiber of plants.


The Harbour of Sorrow we leave behind and with four ships sail towards the sunsetting. One ship goes to the Land of the Sons of Fire. Spirit of Lothan, remain among us as we go far away among men who are strangers to us!


CHAPTER NINE
THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 3


The Sons of Fire came to the Land of Mists, they and their households and their cattle, and all the tools of craftsmen. With them came others, men of Egypt and men of Javen. Also strangers who were not as valiant as are the Sons of Fire. Many among them were sickly and distressed in their hearts.


They took land among the barbarians and built a city and a port at the place called Sadel, near Saham, and cut roads about it into the forests. But they were kept in by the barbarians, and strangers in a strange land. The city was a place for buying and selling and men came and went. Ships came bearing cloth and pottery, instruments and weapons of war and all manner of things. The ships went away bearing things from the barbarians who dug in the soil. The place of the city was good, for it was fertile and well watered, and the bay was guarded by a great rock.


When he came, Hoskiah caused statutes to be set up for the city and they were kept in the courts of the temple. This record was made at his command:

“It is unlawful for you to curse your father or your mother, or their father or their mother, or to raise your hand in anger against them. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with fire and iron upon the left shoulder and a task and time set upon you.”


“It is unlawful for you to steal the reputation of another man by lies. If the forbidden be done you shall be branded by fire and iron upon the lips of the mouth.”


“It is unlawful for you to defile the wife of another man. If the forbidden be done you shall be branded with fire and iron upon the soles of the feet and upon the backside and the armpits, and upon the mouth and nose, and shall be cast out from among us, unless bearing arms in war.”


“It is unlawful for a wife to lie with any man not her husband. If the forbidden be done she shall suffer her time upon the adulteress’ saddle and shall not be healed with skyfire.”


“It is unlawful for you to penetrate a child in lust. If the forbidden be done you shall be castrated and the wound healed with iron and fire.”


“It is unlawful for you to place your hands between the legs of a womanchild. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the palm of the left hand and upon the left cheek and between the thighs.”


“It is unlawful for you if, being a guest, you defile the household of the man who harbours you. If the forbidden be done with a free man or a free woman you shall be burnt with fire and iron on the soles of the feet and in the armpits, and shall die in the waters, after the custom of the barbarians. If with a slave or bondsman or bondswoman, you shall be burn upon the backside and the armpits, and shall pay their price to their master.”


“It is unlawful for you to speak falsehood against another so that he suffer at trial. If the forbidden be done you shall suffer the same as he and be burnt upon the tongue with iron and fire, and pay the recompense set by the council.”


“It is unlawful for you to give a daughter of your house to the barbarians in marriage, unless she be one who has brought shame upon you. If the forbidden be done you shall be dispossessed of your property and household.”


“It is unlawful for you to allow any man within your household to fornicate with the barbarians. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the left thigh. The man within your household shall be burnt upon the soles of his feet and in his armpits. If it be done again you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the backside and dispossessed of a tithe of your property. The man within your household shall be blinded in the left eye with iron and fire, and burn upon the soles of his feet.”


“It is unlawful for you to allow any woman within your household to fornicate with a barbarian. If the forbidden be done and she be a free worn an you shall be dispossessed of your household and property, and she shall die as women die. If a slave or a bondswoman, you shall be dispossessed of a tithe of your property and she shall be burnt upon her private parts, after the manner of burning women.”


“It is unlawful for you to fornicate with the barbarians. If the forbidden be done you shall be dispossessed of your property and household and made a slave of the council.”


“It is unlawful for a woman to show her breasts to the eyes of men not of her household. If the forbidden be done she shall be burnt between the breasts, after the manner of burning women.”


“It is unlawful for any woman to show her private parts to any man, unless he be her husband or master. If the forbidden be done she shall be burnt daily, after the manner of burning women, until each of the seven points have been burnt. If she do so with a man not of her household, then her husband or master shall be burnt with iron and fire upon his right thigh.”


“It is unlawful for you to show your nakedness willfully to any woman or maiden not of your household. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the backside.”

These are the statutes made because of the things done before the eyes of the barbarians who hold their women in high esteem:

“It is unlawful for you to slay or maim any man or woman, or any child among us. If the forbidden be done, then a life shall be taken for a life, by water, after the custom of die barbarians. A limb shall be taken for a limb and an eye for an eye. Except that if it be one among you who is a bearer of arms in war, he shall not be maimed so that he cannot fight, but he may be slain for a slaying.”


“It is unlawful for you to steal or dispossess by deceit. If the forbidden be done the harm done shall be restored double. If it be done again to the same man or another you shall also be burnt with iron and fire upon the right forearm. But if a man act foolishly so that he is easily dispossessed, than only that taken shall be restored in value.”


“It is unlawful for you to willfully destroy a writing or record in writing, or marks of meaning or name-marks. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon each palm of the hands and be dispossessed of one quarter of your property.”


“It is unlawful for you to willfully damage the property of another man among us. If the forbidden be done you shall make it good by paying its value to the man you wronged.”


“It is unlawful for you to change worked iron with the barbarians for other things. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the sole of the left foot and upon the palm of the right hand.”


“It is unlawful for you to deal deceitfully with the barbarians or to steal from them. Or to cause hurt to them or damage to their property. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the palm of the right hand. You shall be cast out without weapons outside our boundary in a place where you can be taken by them, so they may deal with you according to their own customs,”


“It is unlawful for you to increase gold or silver with other substances. If the forbidden be done you shall be dispossessed of half your property and possession, and burnt upon the ears with iron and fire.”


“It is unlawful for you to enter secretly into the habitation of another man or within the enclosure about it. If the forbidden be done you shall if within the habitation, be blinded in the left eye with iron and fire, and if it be done again, in the right eye. If you enter secretly within the enclosure about the habitation you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the soles of the feet and upon the backside. If you be found with weapon you shall be made a slave to the owner of the place.”


“It is unlawful for you to use an animal for lust. If the forbidden be done and one penetrate the other, you shall be castrated and the wound healed by iron and fire. Unless a bearer of arms in war you shall be driven out from among us, and the animal shall die. If neither penetrate the other you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon your private parts.”


“It is unlawful for you to befoul the well of another man or the clear water from which he drinks. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the backside.”


“It is unlawful for you to cause damage to the herds or the crops, the goods or the property of another man. If the forbidden be done you shall make good the damage. If it be done again to him or another man you shall also suffer burning with iron and fire upon the sole of the left foot.”


“It is unlawful for a woman to sell herself for the use of men, unless she first proclaim herself a public woman by standing from dawn to dusk, for two days, at the market gate of the temple. If such be done no guilt shall attach to her, but if the forbidden be done she shall be burnt after the manner of the burning of women, upon the cheeks and on the arms and on the belly. If she do it again without proclaiming herself she shall be sold as a slave. Her price shall be given to the governor.”


“It is unlawful for the wife or the bondswoman or the slave of any man to sell herself for the use of men. If the forbidden be done the husband or master shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the mouth and upon the backside and upon the soles of the feet, except it be done secretly from him. The woman shall be sold and her price given to the governor.”


“It is unlawful for you, if a man with womanly ways, to conduct yourself as such, unless you first proclaim your nature by standing from dawn to dusk, for one day, at the market gate of the temple. If such be done no guilt shall attach itself to your conduct as a man with womanly ways. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the belly and the backside, and sold in the market place and your price given to the governor.”


“It is unlawful for an unprotected man with womanly ways to be the master of a household or to take a wife. He cannot own anything, except it be required for eating or sleeping, clothing and the practice of his craft. He may own a dwelling of one room, but if he bear arms in war he may own a dwelling of any size. If the forbidden be done he shall be burnt with iron and fire on the backside and chest, and sold as a slave and his price given to the governor.”


“It is unlawful for you to satisfy your lusts with a man of your household. If the forbidden be done you shall both be burnt with iron and fire on both armpits, unless one be in the hands of the other.”


“It is unlawful for a woman to slay her child or let it die by neglect. If the forbidden be done and the child be unweaned the woman shall be sold into slavery and her price given to the governor. If the child be weaned a life shall be taken for a life.”


“It is unlawful for you, if the master of a household, to go beyond our boundaries for upwards of two days and one night, unless you appoint a steward in your place or have a son in manhood. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the sole of your right foot and upon your backside. If you be detained by force you shall not be burnt.”


“It is unlawful for you to touch a woman not of your household upon her private parts, unless she be a woman who sells herself to men. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with fire and iron upon the palm and fingers of the right hand, and upon the left cheek and upon the backside. If it be done again you shall also be blinded with iron and fire in the left eye, and if again in the right eye also.”


“It is unlawful for you to take a woman not of your household by force for lust, unless she be a woman who sells herself to men. If the forbidden be done you shall be blinded by iron and fire in both eyes.”


“It is unlawful for you to enter the sacred places of the barbarians or their temples, or to pass within a thousand paces of the Rabukimra. You may attend their festivals outside these places. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire on the sole of the left foot,”


“It is unlawful for you to carry upon yourself or to have within your household the talismans of other Gods. If the forbidden be done you shall pay a tithe of your possessions and property to the temple.”


“It is unlawful for you, if a guest, to conceal a weapon upon yourself or be in the dwelling of your host, while within his habitation. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt upon the muscle of your left arm and upon the forehead.”


“It is unlawful for you to act seemingly towards an unlawful deed so that men will say, “His thoughts are towards an unlawful thing.” If the forbidden be done it shall be as though you had already done the unlawful deed, except that the council shall look upon you with mercy, if it be deserved.”


“It is unlawful for you to talk to another man towards an unlawful deed. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the lower lip and the left hand palm. The man among you who denounces this thing shall not be burnt.”


“It is unlawful for you to he so that another man be harmed. If the forbidden be done and it be not serious, or without evil intent, you shall pay recompense. If it be more serious you shall be burnt upon the upper lip and if more serious still, upon the tongue.”


“It is unlawful for you to allow a woman of your household to be drunk in an outside place. If the forbidden be done you shall, if it happen twice, be burnt with fire and iron upon the left thigh. If it happen again you shall be burnt upon the left armpit.”


“It is unlawful for a stranger to remain within our boundaries after sunset, unless he be a guest within a household or under its protection. Or unless he remain within the strangers’ court or he be proclaimed. No man shall remain beyond ten days, unless he be proclaimed. At this proclaiming nothing of his past deeds or his comings and goings shall be bidden, and lies shall not be told. If the forbidden be done he shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the nose and placed beyond our boundaries. He shall not return and his goods shall be taken to the governor. As the sun goes down all men shall bid the stranger be gone and shall not hold him.”


“It is unlawful for you to delay the departure of a stranger when he must go and has done no wrong. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the left backside.”


“It is unlawful for a woman to depart from her household or to remain outside her home after sunset, unless she be protected. If the forbidden be done and she be a wife she shall be burnt upon the sole of the left foot. If she be a slave or bondswoman she shall be burnt upon the soles of both feet, and if she be a freewoman or servant woman she shall be burnt upon the left leg. If she be a virgin she shall be beaten with a leathern throng.”


“It is unlawful for a man to raise his hand against the master of his household. If the forbidden be done he shall, if a freeman, be burnt with iron and fire upon the right shoulder and upon the backside. If a servant, upon both shoulders and upon the backside, and if a slave or bondsman, upon both shoulders and upon the backside, and upon the soles of his feet. But if the master be hurt so that he is put to bed, then he who struck him shall be seized and confined and shall also be burnt on the body each day, until the master be up again.”


“It is unlawful for you to maim or mark in chastisement beyond repair any woman of your household, or any freeman within its protection. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire, as the council declare.”


“It is unlawful for you to strike in chastisement any woman not of your household, or touch her in anger. If the forbidden be done and she be without marks, if a freewoman you shall be burnt with fire and iron upon the right thigh and the right armpit. If a maidservant, upon the right armpit and if a slave or bondswoman, upon the left thigh. But if she be marked or maimed you shall make payment to her master or her household and be burnt according to the declaration of the council.”


“It is unlawful for you to drive a woman or a child from your household unlawfully. If the forbidden be done you shall recompense the one driven out with a fifth part of your property and possessions. They may then enter any other household and shall not be held back.”


“It is unlawful for you, if placed in stewardship or in guardianship, to do an unfaithful thing against anyone under your care. Or to cause loss or harm to the man who trusted you. You shall not conduct yourself unseemingly in the household under your stewardship or cause the man who trusted you to lose his reputation. If the forbidden be done, and it be serious, the council may put you to death by water, after the custom of the barbarians, but if it be less serious you shall be burnt as the council declare.”


“It is unlawful for you or any man or woman within your household to eat uncooked meat, unless it be dried by sun or fire, or be pickled. Blood shall not be drunk. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the left forearm.”


“It is unlawful for you to become drunk or quarrelsome while among the barbarians. Or to curse them in their hearing, or to use unseemingly language in their presence, or to talk against us to them. If the forbidden be done, the first time you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the left leg; the second time you shall be burnt upon the left armpit, and the third time, upon the lips of the mouth. Each time of chastisement you shall be bound from the time of burning until sunset, and displayed on the boundary.”


“It is unlawful for you to pass water within the temple enclosure, or to befoul the grounds or floors there. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the backside and the soles of the feet, and between the thighs. If it be done again you shall be blinded in both eyes.”


“It is unlawful for you to spit or use foul language within the temple enclosure. Or to shout or raise your voice unseemingly or act irreverently there. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the mouth and right ear.”


“It is unlawful for you to destroy anything within the temple enclosure. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the palms of the hands and between the thighs. This may be increased to death by water, according to the custom of the barbarians, if the council think it fitting.”


“It is unlawful for you to steal anything from within the temple enclosure. If the forbidden be done you shall die by water, after the custom of the barbarians.”


“It is unlawful for you to strike any priest or servant of the temple or anyone under its protection. If the forbidden be done you shall be blinded by iron and fire. But if you maim someone you shall die by water, after the custom of the barbarians. If it be a slave of the temple or a bondsman, then for striking him you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the soles of the feet and between the thighs. If he be maimed you shall be blinded in the right eye.”


“It is unlawful for you to be within the temple enclosure at night, in secret. If the forbidden be done you shall be blinded by iron and fire.”


“It is unlawful for you to carry weapons of metal or sharpened weapons within the temple enclosure, unless with the sanction of the temple guardians. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the soles of the feet and the palm of the left hand.”


“It is unlawful to seize any wrongdoer within the temple enclosure, unless it be done by those who serve the temple. If the forbidden be done he who commanded the deed shall be blinded by iron and fire. Those who did the deed shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.”


“It is unlawful to speak against the governor or the council or the commanders or princes, unless it be done before them or at the market gate of the temple. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon each side of the mouth. But no man shall suffer for anything he says in public at the market gate of the temple, except he talk about the God of This Enclosure.”


“It is unlawful for you to speak against the God of This Enclosure within this His enclosure. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt upon the tongue and upon the mouth and driven out beyond our boundary, and may not return for seven years.”


“It is unlawful for you to speak against any priest of the temple, except before the High Priest on the days when any man may speak freely without fear. If the forbidden be done you shall be burnt with iron and fire upon the backside and beneath the chin.”


“It is unlawful for you to approach the Place of the High Altar or the forbidden place about it, or to touch the Sacred Treasures, unless you be a priest or high servant of the temple, or a man admitted by them. If the forbidden be done you shall be blinded by iron and fire.”


“It is unlawful to take a virgin to wife if you have a wife, but if without wife you may marry a virgin. You shall not have more than three wives. If the forbidden be done you shall be dispossessed of a fourth part of your property and possessions, which shall go to the wife you have taken unlawfully.”


“It is unlawful for you to have intercourse with your mother, your daughter, your father’s sister or your mother’s sister, your brother’s daughter or your sister’s daughter, your father’s mother or your mother’s mother, your wife’s mother or your son’s wife, whether they be by blood or by law. If the forbidden be done you shall die by water, after the custom of the barbarians.”


“It is unlawful for men to wear the garments of women or women to wear the garments of men, unless they have proclaimed their natures. If the forbidden be done men shall be burnt with iron and fire on the left cheek. Women may not be touched with iron made hot and therefore are to be burnt with skyfire. All men shall be burnt with iron and fire.”


“Men may be put to death by water or fire and women by water or by smothering. Women shall not suffer chastisement so that their blood flow. When men are castrated it shall be done with a knife of stone.”


“Men shall be punished in a place where all men may see them, but a woman shall suffer away from the eyes of men, though she may receive punishment at the hands of a man. The punishment of a woman shall be witnessed by two men of the council and two women from the household she wronged.”


“A man punished by burning shall suffer at high noon and then be laid on his back or his belly, according to which eases him most. Each of his limbs shall be drawn out and fastened to a stake and he shall be left until midnight, and then let go. A woman, having been punished, shall be placed within a room which has a pole lengthwise at sitting height and left there from noon to midnight. Any man or woman suffering punishment shall be allowed one attendant after it be inflicted, until their release. No man shall refuse to let another go to attend his friend.”


“If a woman do something for which a man would be punished she shall suffer likewise, except that the burning shall be with skyfire. The council shall not overlook a suitable punishment for the master of her household.”


“If a man become indebted by trial and fail within the season to pay whatever be demanded of him, he and his possessions shall be seized and given into the keeping of those to whom he is indebted.”


“A woman having been declared by her husband before the council as unsuitable for a wife, and the council having found this to be so, she may remain within his household without being his wife. Or she may return to the household from which she came or that of her father or her brother or her father’s brother or mother’s brother, as she wills. But she may not go elsewhere and having chosen where to go cannot choose again.”


“It is unlawful for a man to use whatever force and chastisements are necessary to maintain order within his household. He may make any adjustments within the household to endow it with contentment, but all things must be done with justice and moderation. All disagreements within a household shall be judged by its master.”


“That which be done by a wife or a daughter, a youth or a child; or a servant or his wife or his sons or his daughters, or his servants; or by a freeman or his wife or his sons or his daughters, or his servants or slaves; or by a slave or a bondswoman or a bondsman, or their wives or their sons or their daughters, within your household; or by a freewoman or by a guest or by the stranger within your gates, shall be as though it were done by the master of the household and both shall suffer alike. Except that the council shall weigh all the actions of the master of the household and set his punishment according to them.”


“If, upon marriage, it be found that a woman taken to wife as a virgin be not a virgin, evidence of this may be given at the Seat of Truth before three witnesses. One witness shall then go to her household and declare this before its master. Then, except the matter come before the council, the woman may be put aside as a wife and returned to her household, and her bride price reclaimed double. Or, if her husband choose, she may remain in his household as wife or concubine, but he may reclaim her bride price.”


“If a woman be put aside by her husband as no longer his wife and she remain in his household, she shall be as a concubine.”


“The rights of a concubine are those of a bondswoman, but she is a bondswoman to her master for life.”


“When the master of a household dies his eldest son shall become the master, and brother shall follow brother, until there are no sons. Then the brothers of the master shall follow in the order of their ages, and their sons, according to their kinship. The new master shall provide for the wives and concubines of his father in the same manner as previously. His brothers and sisters shall become as sons and daughters. Within a household the death of its master changes nought but the master. After the death of its master a household cannot divide, except it be done lawfully by the new master after he has been master for one year.”


“All who stand at the market gate of the temple shall be proclaimed by the hours, and under the proclaimer’s voice all men shall cease exchanges and be silent.”


“A child may be adopted into house and household according to the custom of the Sons of Fire, and it may be one of us or a barbarian from across the waters, or a barbarian from outside our boundary. But if a barbarian from outside our boundary it shall not be adopted unless a foundling under seven years if male, or a child if female.”


“If a man take a barbarian woman to wife and have no other wife from among us who is her superior, he shall not become the master of a household, and a younger son shall step over him.”


“A man with womanly ways who has proclaimed himself shall stand before us as a woman and be treated as one. Except if he bear arms in war he shall then stand before us as a man, unless he choose otherwise.”


“If the master of a household have within it a woman who is not a virgin and is a concubine or slave, and he give her to a guest or another within the household, that he may go in unto her, no wrong is done.”


“If a man be proclaimed a man with womanly ways, an arrangement may be made with the governor and a price paid to become his protector. He shall then enter the household of the man who paid the price.”


“A slave or bondsman may be bought for any woman of your household. But if she be a freewoman, then the slave shall be made free, and if a bondsman the debt paid so that he be free.”


“If a woman be a concubine and within five years of her loss of virginity or admittance into your household have not become with child, she shall pass into the household of another after the custom of the Sons of Fire, and returned according to the same custom.”


“During the proclaiming of a stranger his deeds, good and bad, shall be made known. All things about him shall be told to all within hearing of the proclaimer’s voice. Any man may question the stranger concerning such things and if aught be hidden or lies told, the stranger shall be dealt with lawfully by the council.”


“A virgin shall not be burnt, but is to be whipped with wands and the council shall set the number of stripes.”


“A man who has been punished by trial three times shall be driven out from among us after the fourth punishment, unless he be a bearer of arms in war.”


“Records and writings, name-marks and marks of meaning can be destroyed or altered only by permission of the council and the governor.”


“The man who is the companion of thieves is himself a thief at heart and may be taken to trial if his companions steal.”
“If the rightful master of a household be under age of manhood, the council shall appoint a steward and guardian for the household and heir.”


“A stranger may not enter our boundaries bearing weapons of war made of metal. But the lords of the barbarians about our boundaries may come bearing weapons.”

These are the statutes between the council and the governor and men. Those between man and man are in the keeping of the court of the market place. There are others between the court of the temple and men.


It was Hoskiah who set the statutes up and Racob recorded them. I, Brigadan of the Gulwa, preserved them, but many are unknown. Those are the statutes of Hoskiah.


This was misplaced from its text.

“It was decreed that the iron for burning should not glow, neither should a blinding be made by contact with metal but should be through heat alone nor should it be absolute.”

CHAPTER TEN
THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 4


Now, even in the days of Hoskiah the records were not whole and Hoskiah caused it to be that this was written. It was set down in the manner of Kahadmos.


It is written, in the Book of Mithram: The True Man has many qualities and among the greatest is the inclination towards his duty. A man has a duty to his soul, to his God, to those who govern and to his household.


The weakling runs in battle and says, “See, I have done my duty, I am alive.” The True Man stands resolute and grim, his enemies are like chaff before the wind, he is the master of life. Duty is the Goddess of manhood and she demands no mean sacrifice.


The grim Goddess says “Die”, and the True Man steps forward. The ranks of the Everlasting Lords of Life open and he takes his place among them.


Duty says, “Glory and honour will never be yours, your miserable lot is to labour in the brickpits, so that your wife and children will not go hungry”. The True Man faces his task with fortitude and cheerfulness. Courage is the greatest quality of manliness, and duty the greatest expression of courage. What chastity is to woman duty is to man, the willingly assumed burden of their kind. Man and woman travel the same road together, but each bears a different burden.


Hoskiah said, ‘This shall be added to the records”: Even the wild beasts have a duty to perform, for duty is the handmaiden of life. All things that have life have a duty, for life itself is duty. When a man has no obligations he is dead.


The greater the standing of a man the greater is his duty. The Captain of Men shall serve better than the footman. Greater men have greater duties, lesser men have lesser duties. Wherever there is life there is danger.


It is written, in the Book of Mithram: The True Man is generous in word and deed, meanness has no place with him. He who gives with one hand gathers with the other.


It is also written thus: All men must seek to rise above their estate. They either rise or are cast down. Only man knows discontent and seeks to improve his lot, for discontent is the maker of men.


Hoskiah added this to the records: Aim your arrow above your expectations. The man who sends an arrow towards the moon shoots farther than the one who sends it to a treetop. Choose your bow according to your strength. A strong bow without a strong arm is of no more value than a weak bow. Judge a man by his aim and not by his bow. A plain bow for service, a fancy bow for display. The strongest bow ever made is useless without an arrow.


Hoskiah said, “These are things which are written but have been lost. Let them be recorded again” : Success is the child of diligence and persistence. It follows the footsteps of the wise, even as failure dogs the foolish. Men have the choice of either success or ease, they cannot have both. To be beaten and still not surrender, that is true victory.


Failure is the yardstick of success. It alone adds value to achievement, but there can be no real failure except through the acceptance of failure.


These things were added to the records, but we cannot tell when, though it is said by Hoskiah: The manly spirit rejoices in freedom and cannot bear the yoke of servitude. It will admit no master who imposes his will by force.


A man may submit to leadership and command in warfare, and be a better man, for true service is not servility. Never demand your rights before you have earned them.


A man is unworthy of freedom unless he also recognises the rights of others to freedom. The freeman is his own governor and his rule is more rigorous than that of a despot. The only man entitled to be free is the one who governs himself strictly and wisely.


Every nation moves either towards freedom or towards servility, for none can remain suspended between the two. It is free men, if they are weak, who are the greatest enemies of freedom. Great events do not make either heroes or cowards, they just unveil them to the eyes of men.


Hoskiah caused this to be written, saying, “This too was once written but is now lost to us by decay”: The way of the evildoer is the path of sleeplessness. The wicked follow a road of darkness, they tread in constant fear of falling.


The evildoer is caught by his own wrongdoing. He is imprisoned by his own wickedness. The evildoer becomes trapped in a snare of his own making, he flees when none pursues.


It is truly said: The wicked in heart praise the wicked in deed. More men think wicked thoughts than commit wicked deeds, for many who would act are cowards. Observe the man who talks much about the deeds of wicked men, would he not be among them did he not lack the courage?


This was written in records which were lost even in the days of Racob: In a hundred generations men will be less wicked, for such was written in the Plans of God. When a thousand years have passed, women will be more fair, for this was written in the Plans of God.


A day will come when a great nation will rise above all others, to lead the nations of the Earth, and it will survive even the Day of Visitation. Much was written of this nation, which is now lost.


As the generations pass, the Earth will become more fruitful, for this was written in the Plans of God.


The body of the Great God contains all that is and His Spirit is contained in all that is. The spirit is perfect, but the body is imperfect.


Hoskiah said, “Let this now be written, for it was written before”. No man shall walk in ways set against the will of the people. No man shall bear an unjust grudge or take personal vengeance unjustly.


These things shall be punished: If a man take a wife before he be one score of age, though he may have a concubine; if he empty his body, except in private; if he purify himself, except in flowing waters.


Because of his birth Hoskiah could not become governor over the Sons of Fire, but he sat equal with the governor at the council, for he commanded all in this place.


The council made these statutes and set them together with those of Hoskiah: A stranger, even a barbarian, may become one of us if he be supported by three members of the council, but he shall not sit in the council, unless he has carried arms in war for us. He shall not become one of us until one year after his proclaiming, and any man may come before the council and speak his objections to the acceptance of the stranger.


Each man shall have his assigned place at the council and may speak at his time according to his place. No man shall interrupt another while he is speaking.


No man shall speak before his turn and any man having spoken may speak again. If a man has spoken twice and desires to speak again he shall stand and remain silent. If one man in five raise their hands for him he may speak again, but if they do not he shall be reseated and not speak. If more than one man stand up at a time those of lesser placement shall reseat themselves. On the third time no man shall speak, except on some matter spoken about by one who came after him, and he may not speak about any new thing. No man shall speak beyond his own time.


The old statute shall be changed, so that no man shall sit on the council except he be one score and five years old, but those over three score years may remain on the council. A man who has carried weapons of war in battle shall take a higher position than a man entering the council with him who has not.


If a man go to sleep during a meeting of the council he shall not come there again for one season.


A man shall not leave a meeting of the council while another is on his feet speaking, and when a man goes outside no man shall speak in debate.


A man shall not spit or laugh foolishly or make body noises during a meeting of the council. No man shall whisper or talk, except in his talking time.


A man shall not revile another at a meeting of the council. If a man wish to make an accusation or call something into question he shall state it when he is speaking and ask that a time be made for it to be debated.


This shall be the stranger’s oath upon admittance:

“I swear before The God of This Enclosure that I will dutifully follow His ways and obey His commands. I swear to be steadfast on the Great Path. I swear to submit myself to all your statutes and to remain faithful to you in warfare and before the face of terror, even under torment by the barbarians. This I swear for all time.”


CHAPTER ELEVEN
THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 5

“Supreme One Above Greatness, illuminate the hearts of my people and let them see the path ahead. Permit them to understand the meaning of life. Make their hearts fearful for the responsibility they carry with regard to the future state of their souls. To this end help them towards achieving a humble spirit and a kindly heart. Grant them some glimpse of eternity while here on Earth, so that they may better understand what lies before them. Bestow upon them the ability to make contact with the fount of wisdom and Truth and let them draw near the well of holiness to sip its waters. Help them to make right judgments and guide their hearts, so they hold fast to the teachings of our Masters who have gone before. Make them steadfast in the light and show them the falsity that glitters in the darkness. When they come to the end of their journey, Supreme One Above Greatness, grant them immortality in the Region of Eternal Light. Incline towards them in mercy, for You can even mitigate the impress of wickedness upon their everlasting souls”.


“Our Masters taught that the soul of man is the seed of a spirit implanted within the body of a beast. Supreme One Above Greatness, send down the refreshing waters of Your wisdom and compassion upon my people, that the seed may be nourished within them, to spring to life in the Land of Light. If the seed wither within the body or be consumed by the beast, we are condemned to the doom of everlasting nothingness. Let none of my people suffer this, for even the most wicked among them will be missed by others in the Region of Eternal Light”.


“Supreme One Above Greatness, who reads the hearts of men as an unrolled book, what can I ask for myself? I who, though first in rank among my people, fall far below many of them in strength of soul. I am a man of battles and not a man of prayer, therefore I cannot know how I stand with You.”


“Indeed, Supreme One Above Greatness, I have brought about much sorrow and suffering in my days. The burden of my manhood has weighed down heavily upon me. But, Supreme One Above Greatness, I have never robbed the widow or fatherless, or struck at the helpless and those without protection. I have not mocked the afflicted or stood aside in fear when wickedness was being done. I have slain no man unless he has been my enemy and would have slain me. When I served any man I served him well. I have never deserted a friend in distress or violated the sanctity of another man’s home. Yet, Supreme One Above Greatness, I have done much that men condemn and therefore cannot know my standing before You. Yet, however I stand in Your eyes do not consider me too unworthy to plead for my people.”


“I was not born among those who are now my people. I am not of their blood, and once I called upon the God of My Fathers after the manner of my fathers. Yet, are You not the same Being, by whatever name called? You are the Being before Whom my spirit bows, the Sustainer of its strength. You alone know the conflict which has twisted my heart in its resting place, for I cannot know what, indeed, is Truth. I do not expect to know, being unworthy of such knowledge. I did not desert You, but sought only to see You more clearly and serve You better. When I could not understand You in one place, I sought You in another. I looked for You where there was more light. Amid the people of my youth You seemed close, yet I could not understand You, for they wished to enclose You in a box. Now, though You appear further away I see more clearly and know Your nature.”


“Supreme One Above Greatness, I cannot say, as others do, that I have no doubts, for indeed I am often torn with conflicting thoughts. I do not doubt Your existence, for I have been granted a manifestation of its reality. But I am full of doubts about my relationship with You. Then, too, there is so much I cannot understand, yet others turn to me for guidance. When I make an error affecting only myself I do not complain about the consequences, but should I guide others into error my heart will be torn apart.”


God of My Heart and Father of My Soul, incline towards me a little, for of myself I cannot reach You. Enlighten me, so that I may lead others into the light. Death and destruction I do not fear, not even everlasting nothingness, but I do fear being inadequate for my task. Supreme One Above Greatness, give me confidence and strength, I ask no more. If I cannot find these with You I can find them nowhere. Guide me, Supreme One Above Greatness, what shall I do for my people?”

This was not written for the eyes of men, but will he who wrote it object if by being recorded for men it adds even a mite to the storehouse of goodness available to men on Earth?


When Hoskiah was past three score years of age he sent to Pelasi for the remnants of the Children of Light. None of them came, for they said it was not meet for them to journey to the edge of the Earth to dwell among barbarians. They said, “We will retain the light here, for out there it will surely be extinguished”.


Later, four ships did come, but they carried the standards of Ashratem. With them came Enos Husadim of the Sons of Dan, a learned man from the slopes of the mountain which rests in darkness and reaches up to the limits of light. He knew Hoskiah when a child. There came also one named Zodak, who had dwelt in Twalus, and he brought with him all the books of the Children of Light. With Zodak came many men who knew the mysteries of metal, and they brought with them the light of Amos. When they came, the spirit of Hoskiah had already joined his fathers.


Before his spirit took wings Hoskiah wrote this for the guidance of his people:

“My trusted ones, the time draws near for my departure on the Great Voyage and I cannot complete the tasks before my hands. In one thing I have been neglectful, for though the Chief Guardian of the Records, the time I devoted to their care was little enough. Thank the priests for their care. I have recorded many statutes needful for this place. Their like was known before, but were not set down for men to see. Now they are made known to the ears of every man. Your welfare and safety has ever been my first concern, but I am a man of battle and a commander of men, not a scribe and recorder”.


“My trusted ones, we are few and the barbarians about us are many. For a while they are well kept in hand, for Cladwigen wishes us well, and his sons are our friends. We have toiled to raise a city and men come and go freely among us. Many ships come in their season. Yet stout warriors who are not friendly press down from the Northeast and therefore vigilance can never be relaxed. We cannot sleep peacefully side by side with the barbarians and must ever be alert. Danger hangs over us like a boulder upon the mountainside, and our safety is like a playstone in the hands of a child. The barbarians do not forget that we are strangers in this land and only while we serve a purpose are we welcome”.


“Yet, my trusted ones, with all the dangers around us it is the dangers threatening within that I fear the most. We are few indeed against the numbers of barbarians, yet we weaken ourselves with foolish strife one with the other and people with people. Our city is a place for buying and selling, a place where things are exchanged. Outside it is a market place where men come and go as they please and they buy and sell without hindrance. We have laws for the city and laws for the marketplace. Amongst us are many craftsmen who exchange the things they make with the barbarians who bring things to eat. We have a good life here, but it is not a life I fully understand. We came from afar to set up a city dedicated to the light, to hold the light. Yet, is this such a city? Do men seek the light and worship it, or do they seek luxury and worship wealth and possessions?”
 

“When some of us came from the Harbour of Sorrow we were full of praise at our deliverance from death, but amid the forests of fruitfulness much of our gratitude and will was lost. Why must men always be better men in the face of disaster and in the midst of privation, than in the green fields of peace and plenty? Does this not answer the questions of many who ask why there is sorrow and suffering on Earth? Why is it the lot of men to struggle and suffer, if not to make better men?”


“My trusted ones, my eyes may be clouded to the things before them, but I am not blind to your ways. Already our women cast their eyes towards the barbarians, and when women seek men outside their own kind it is a sign of a people’s degeneracy. I read what is written and I fear for the future.”


“Many who are with us in the light will join us and then we shall be stronger in arms and strengthened in belief. (Annotation: How few came!). Yet our destiny lies among the barbarians. They are fine, upright men endowed with courage, do not belittle their ways, but bring them into the light.”


“Our city was not founded as a marketplace, a place for exchanging only the things of Earth. Neither did we come here as conquerors, but as men seeking refuge.”


“My trusted ones, remember that the road of life is not smooth, neither is the way of survival a path of grass. The most needful thing for any people who wish to survive is self-discipline. Think less of gold and more of the iron which protects the gold. Remember, too, these words from the Book of Mithram, The keenest sword is useless unless it be held in the hand of a resolute man. Also, the man who has gold keeps it in peace if he tends his bowstring.”

The remainder of Hoskiah’s words to the people has been lost.


CHAPTER TWELVE
THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 6
(Incomplete and Fragmentary)

Before we left Droidesh they brought living sheep and goats and hung them upon a tree standing in the place of assembly. Birds of bright colours and things of worked gold and silver were hung upon the branches. Perfumes and oils with garments. They danced about the tree and hewn wood was brought and laid against it. Three maidens came and it was lit and burnt as an offering to success.


We went Northwards and came to a strand where many ships were drawn up and armed men such as we had not seen before were disputing among themselves with great noise.


We drew off, for they were foreign to us, but others came behind and we were taken in among them and brought before Albanik, the Leader of Armed Men. They pushed around about us and some cried out for blood. They wished to take our ships and possessions, but the leader said, “Leave the deed until the morning, for if blood flows now it will not cease with the foreigners”.


That night the wife of Albanik spoke to him and said,

“It would be a foolish thing and an evil deed to slay these strangers, for they have wisdom and are men of learning. Why destroy something you may use to good end?”

The leader listened to her advice, for he knew there were many wounded men and none more skilled than we to attend them. Because she was carrying a child our lives were spared and our goods restored to us.


The commander among the captains was a warrior who, while hunting, had slain his own father and so had to flee his own land. With him he had taken the queen captured by sly and subtle means, but we feared him not, for Albanik looked upon us with favourable eyes.


Of the warriors who came with us there were a score of score of men from Ilopinos. They wore helmets of bronze with plumes of scarlet and purple. Their shields were of bronze burnished, so that they shone like the sun and were edged with a band of hardened metal. In length they were two and a half cubits, and in width one and a half cubits. They had spears of unknotted wood six cubits in length, with blades of hard metal set in sockets.


Their swords were of pure hard metal worked in a strange way, and in length one and half cubits and in width three fingers breadth. They were horn-handled and bound about with wire of copper and silver. Some among them were armed with war javelins and darts. They had a curious dart that turned over itself in flight, and another that struck in from the side.


In battle they stood three and three to withstand the rush of the enemy, but they were weak in attack, for they moved heavily. With them were slaves and six score attendants who were plunderers of the battlefield, pillagers of the land, the cooks, the baggage keepers and the carriers of burdens. The warriors were the battle craftsmen.


In seven days all the ships sailed together and in seven days came upon some land by the sea. It was a place of the dead where all was desolation. In the centre of the land by the sea there stood a temple which had fallen into itself, for there were no people to keep it. The leaders and the chief among them went up to the temple and made sacrifices to their Gods whose voices they wished to hear.


The daughter of Laben, the armourer, had hidden herself in the opening behind the flame and spoke to them in a strange tongue. They heard her voice and thought it came from a shadow God. She told them of the land of her mother, called Belharia, and bid them find their way there. She told them to take the Bethedan with them, for they brought good fortune and were beloved by the Gods. The leaders went out from the temple believing they had been granted a vision.


We sailed with a large company towards the West and had nothing to fear, except the whirlpool, for the Red Men with us knew the way of the waters. For long days we saw only the sea, and the landsighting birds all came back.


We went out through the mouth of the sea into the sea of the Great River. Past the lands of white copper to the Place of Painted Men, where we drew up the ships and staked them.


Among the fighting men were some from Sparsia whose leader was Korin, called the axeman, but whom we named ‘the cunning one’. These went out into the forests to hunt and the king of that place sent men to take them, but they refused to go and there was a loud dispute.


The bodyguard with the leader of the Painted Men were bowmen and one shot an arrow at Korin. He slewed aside behind his shield and the arrow turned into the throat of a Painted Man who held a sword against him. This started a great fight between forest and sea, and though surrounded by many enemies Korin fought through them. The battle was his because he went forward through the forest and attacked the houses of the Painted Men.


The ships were divided and those who wished to set up the eagle and serpent went to the Harbour of Giants in Belharia. The same giants are builders of great temples and they are six cubits tall.


The ship with Korin stayed with us and he hunted them out of their caves and slew them all, save one giantess. She came to us, bound as a surety for the life of the wife of Albanik.


We came to a bay on one side of which was a forest and on the other a plain where herds grazed. For the men of that place it was the time of the feast of fires and they held games upon the shore and ran races in cleared land behind. At this time they would not fight, so we met them in peace. They wore garments woven in two parts and belted with hide. They had caps of skin or leather, and the tunic which hung about them was darkly coloured in blue, green and brown. They enclosed their legs and feet in dressed skins bound in front with throngs. They had many ornaments of copper, but little gold or silver, though their armbands and brooches shone like silver. They had the art of making copper like silver or gold.


These people hold a great feast before the beginning of the heat, when their God Mago appears. Inside the God were the spirits of men whom the God had eaten, and their voices could be heard calling for deliverance from darkness. Because of the feast these people demanded the giantess, and she was given over to them for the days of feasting.


We did not know the ways of these people and when we saw they wished us to drink blood, we drew apart from them. The headman sent a messenger to us and Korin and the giantess wrestled together, but the giantess was the stronger, so Korin lured her towards the cliff edge. Korin taunted her and laughed at her clumsiness, and then at the break of the cliff he tricked her, so that she rushed forward. As she passed beside him he turned behind her and pushed, so that she fell over the cliff edge on to a large black rock below. Her back was broken. The same black rock was later split and taken up to be worshipped.


In the place to which we came the deathless stars ride high. The adze rests on the morning and the watchman at the gate of the sky sits at the eastern tiller in the evening. The falcon is rarely seen clearly. This is the Land of Dada.


We warned them, but they would not listen. They were fasting before the battle, the sacred fast before they ate the meat of the offerings. We buried salt beneath the floors of their houses, so that no man would live there again. When the horns sounded the alarm and danger threatened, these shrewd bargainers came running to us. Their faces were wet with the sweat of fear and their lips trembled. When the danger was past they came out with chests puffed up and tongues bragging about their deeds. They were the first to push forward for a share in the plunder.


Korin left to seek them. He took two ships but did not return to his children. The leader may be carried away, but the lowliest of those who followed him has a will which need never be broken. Now when men wish to say a thing is impossible they say, “Where is Korin?”


CHAPTER THIRTEEN
THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 7


In the seven and twentieth year came Emos who was a learned man, and with him came Zadok who was one of us. Mosu, son of Shonthel, came also and others in four large ships. Keeta came in a ship apart.


They were welcomed and Keeta set up a place of learning, and many came and sat before him. When Keeta died, those whom he had taught said, “Let us record the knowledge of our master, so that it may be added to the records and not lost.”
We who are the pupils of Keeta and have been blessed by him and purified by water, shall be one. From this day we will call ourselves by the name he gave us, which is ‘Bartha Hedsha Hethed’ The meaning of the words is lost.


God and goodness are one and alike. God is not a person, but The Supreme Spirit. He made the Earth so that it brought forth man and woman, and they lived together in a far away land where everything was pleasant, even the forests. Woman tempted man so that he ate something which was part of God, and man was punished, for he is responsible for woman.


Children were born in their generations and multiplied, until Earth was filled. They built cities of stone and cut channels for water to flow away, and made lakes. They were cunning workers in stone and in wood and in ivory. They made instruments from firestone and pottery in many colours. They raised up temples to the sunlight and worshipped inside many pillars, but within the temples were inner temples where greater things were known.


In the Land of Copper, which was the Land of The Golden Light, one man in twelve was a priest. There were priestesses who took care of them and watched over the sacred elements within the temples. The headdresses of the priests were red and they wore feathers and cloaks of black. They had circlets of gold and beads of silver, and there was a spiral of blackstones at their waist.


There was war between those who lived within the city and those who lived beyond its limits. Those who lived within the city grew all kinds of things and clothed themselves with the labour of their hands. Those who lived outside the city were hairy hunters clad in the skin of wild animals.


Outside the grounds of the city there was a holy mountain and priests lived within it. The men of the city brought them herbs and fruit with bread and wine. The men who were not of the city brought them sheep and goats and beasts of the chase.


The men of the city loved wealth, like city dwellers, and were less generous than those who gained their food by strength and hunting. The men of the city held back portions of their dues and caused the priests to look upon them less kindly. When the great day of the sun came and the High Priest gave his blessing of fruitfulness, he withheld it from the city dwellers and gave it only to the hunters and herdsmen. That night, when those who had received the blessings were rejoicing beside the mountain, the city dwellers fell upon them and slew many. This was the cause of a great war in which many men died.


Men did to men what their natures inclined them to do, but they also ravaged women and children. The evil grew in greatness, until the land could no longer contain it and had to be purged clean. Therefore, the revenging dragon was called up out of the heavenly abyss and it lashed the land with fire and thunder. The whole land was filled with its smoky breath and men choked to death.


The land was split apart between the city and the mountain and the sea rolled in upon it, so that the city was destroyed. The valleys of the mountain were filled with dead men and animals and with trees.


The High Priest survived with seven others who were priests. He brought these, together with one hundred and ten men and their wives and children, into Labeth, which is a land among high cliffs at the edge of the Wide Plain.


Here the priests sought to preserve their wisdom and knowledge and pass it on to the children, but it became distorted and misunderstood. They did not understand the radiating power from the bodies of the dead, which could guide the living. Even we do not understand these things clearly.


The priests who came from the Land of Copper could make their soul depart from the body at their command and return as they willed. When ignorant men saw seemingly dead bodies return to life when the soul came back into them, they thought the same could happen to a dead body if kept long enough. Even this superstition stays with us.


Later, when they had left Labern, men believed that if they kept a dead body so that it remained whole, the soul would not finally enter the Sphere of Accounting. Such was the knowledge of their wickedness and fear of their fate that they used every art to prevent the body falling apart and entering decay. They may have believed that until the soul entered the sphere above Earth it remained flexible and capable of acting to counter some of the ill-effects of a life of wickedness and ignorance.
 

Later still the light of Truth dimmed until it could scarce be seen, but always there were the few within the many and the many hid them. The light of the few was a precious thing safeguarded with diligence and care. The people knew the many, but the few remained unknown, their treasure safe. Gods multiplied, but those who sought Truth among them could always find it if they were sincere and diligent seekers. It was then as it is now.


A nation was once made from the blood of kings and it became great and good. The light of Truth was revealed to this nation and it rejoiced in the light, but in a few generations it accepted the light as being something to which it was entitled by heritage. So the nation became careless in the preservation of the light, it was kept in a poorly built and neglected shrine. The winds of adversity came and the light was blown out.


Another nation was made from the blood of sturdy herdsmen and the lamp of Truth was lit among them. They, too, rejoiced in the light for a few generations and cherished it in a house of gold. Then a powerful king coveted the house of gold and came with many armed men and drove out the guardians, together with their light. The guardians built a house of reeds for the light, but because the house was so humble they no longer bothered to guard it closely. Then some drunken men came by, staggering like ships with broken steering oars, and the house of reeds was knocked over.

The light within burst into an all consuming flame, and not only the house of reeds but the house of gold was destroyed. Still another nation was made out of slaves and they lit a lamp from the Eternal Flame which belongs to all men. Because they had no veil over their light they were blinded and thought it the only light. They became arrogant and called themselves ‘The Chosen of God’. But it was they who made the choice not He. Though their God was a God above Earth and their God, he was not the God of Mankind, and though he serves The Supreme Spirit he is not The Supreme Spirit.


So it is that the Children of Light understand that the majority of men who seek the light are like children playing about a brazier. As a man long-confined in darkness is blinded by the sunlight, so are most men blinded when brought into the presence of the Light of Truth, even though it be heavily veiled. Only gradually can men be brought out of darkness into light.
Yet even the Children of Light have become divided among themselves and one institution became two. The institution of the East claims it is the true guardian of the written records, but now we have books written even before those copied by the scribes of Hoskiah.

We are not the Children of the Lesser Light and we know the mysteries of the Hidden Light. Only we in the cold north will survive, for did not Amos write. “Our destiny lies in a much bleaker land where our seed will be planted in strange soil. It will lie within the bosom of an untamed land, until quickened to growth by the warmth of the desires of men”.


Keeta taught that this means we should not seek to spread or reveal the light until our day of destiny, which must lay ahead. Therefore, those who say we must multiply our strength or be lost like a bead among the wheat harvest, are mistaken. They talk against our destiny, which is written and unalterable.


We know nothing of our first leader in Light, except that he was a priest warrior skilled with the spear, and he lived in times of war. His name is not recorded, for he said, “True Masters are to be known by their works and not by their names. They who seek to stand forth from other men and raise themselves up to increase their stature before the generations, seek vain glory”. He said, “I am no more than the storehouse into which the harvest is gathered. The good grain within comes from many fields and is produced by the labours of many men. If I said all this is my own growing, I would lie. Therefore, so that men cannot attribute undeserved greatness to me I make myself faceless and men may see as they will.”


In those days the Children of Light were sought out and persecuted, and no man knew another by his name, for the tools of the tormentors awaited them. Many were hung by the riverbank, feet uppermost, for the governors said, “These people read their books upside down”. The women, they consigned to houses of pleasure, so that many died in their degradation.
We know that the first Leader of Light was among the highborn of Egypt and his name was struck on marble pillars. He was cast down because he carried the lamp of Truth and his name was removed from the records of Egypt. He raised an army, but it was like a goat attacking a wild bull and he was slain in the great marshlands lying near Ethiopia.


He wrote the book which is known to all and the Book of Rites and Ceremonies, which is known only to the elect. He did not write the three books in the Lion Urns, which we alone know, or the Book of The Secret Way. He may have written the Book of Instruction For The Children of The Written Word Within The Children of Light. The manner of keeping the book is taught from generation to generation. The books are our foundation, our shield and our sword. They are our promise and our hope, our guide and our defense.


It is said now, as in the days of our fathers and their fathers in the generations before them, that men steal our words and light their lamps from our flame. This may be so, but we have gathered seeds from the flowers of wisdom wherever they grew and planted them within our own garden. Shall we then deny to others what we ourselves have taken? Is it not written that no man can make Truth, but many can find it if they seek? Therefore, is not Truth the property of all men, even though most spurn it? For Truth is not a pleasant draught.


Nevertheless, it is true also that we may keep the Truth, as we find it, secured to ourselves. If a man seek for unwrought gold and find it, he has not made it, yet it is still his. Is it not also written, ‘Gold is the treasure of a lifetime, but Truth is the treasure of eternity. Gold can nourish the body, but it may poison the soul’.


Which do men treasure most in this place, gold or wisdom? Is it not the earthly thing they can hold in their hands and not the treasure they can safeguard in their hearts? The things they hold in their hands and hearts are already being weighed on the Scales of Fate and our destiny decreed accordingly. Many in this place, who seek the light and have gone so far and no further, declare this is not what they sought and go back discarding what they have. Yet if a man seek gold and find silver, does he throw it away? Better half a loaf than no loaf at all.


If gold were as plentiful as copper it would be valued less than silver. Only the things hard to obtain have value, and what is more difficult to discover than Eternal Truth, which must be sought beyond the boundaries of Earth? Only the beginning of the long road towards it is here and it is this beginning you must seek. Every journey has a beginning and an end, and you can make your way only in one direction. If you are dispirited, be comforted by the knowledge that you need only find the beginning of the road. Then, having found it, let every step you take be in the right direction. The journey is long and the road rough and stony, but do not turn back before you reach the first staging post, you will find new strength and encouragement there.


Our light was lit in the land of our beginnings. Many books were made and kept in four places, and we were in truth Children of The Written Word. There were scribes and readers, officials and guardians. There were servants and those who served in the courtyards.


Strangers came into the land of our beginnings and brought practices which were different but more acceptable. They promised an easier road, they displayed deceitful marvels, the usual baits thrown to the ignorant. Their hands were heavy against us, and what could we show except Truth arrayed in her earthly robes of simplicity? Even the princes turned against their own customs and the twin priesthoods of the undergods became earthly-wise and corrupt. Few were ready to undergo the perils of initiation, no more were prepared to accept the austere life prescribed. As spiritual barrenness spread, evil practices crept in to fill the places vacated by the Sacred Mysteries. The candidates accepted into the body of light became fewer and fewer.


As the name, The Children of Light’, is written in the old characters, it may also be read as The Children of The Written Word’ and this is a truth. We alone preserve our secrets in this manner. The Children of Light followed a destined course by abandoning their altars in the land of their beginnings, and went to dwell among strangers where many ate at one table. We do not know what befell of their books, for those we have are rewritten. We know the Children of The Written Word went Northward after the scattering, but we do not know what were their journeyings.


We know about Lothan and Kabel Kai, designer of houses, who sailed around the edge of the Earth. With them was Raileb, the scribe, who knew hidden mysteries. They gathered the records, which were in Kindia, and carried them the long sea journey, believing the records safer among the barbarians than among those who sought to destroy them. If the records are destroyed by barbarians it will be done in ignorance and not in the knowledge of wickedness. Many books were laid open to the eyes of ignorant men and destroyed.


They came to the Harbour of Sorrow, which lies by the Hazy Sea, away from the Land of Mists. There great trees grew and smaller trees upon them, and moss hung from them like door curtains. It lay near the great shallow waters South of the Isle of Hawhige and North of the Sea Pass. Green pearls are found there.


Many died in the Harbour of Sorrow, for it was a place with a curse upon it, which caused an evil sickness. The Sons of Fire came with Hoskiah and saved them, and they came to this place and built a city. Labrun, the son of Koreb, was governor.


CHAPTER FOURTEEN
THE ROLLS OF RECORD – 8
(This was originally transcribed in full, but many portions of the written pages are missing.)

The sister of Kabel Kai was born in the House of Sothus and her name was Amarahiti. There were four children and one still remains among us. Amarahiti was said to be a lovely-faced woman.


In the days when the city was being built, the barbarians came and went freely among us Many came but stood off and watched from afar, for they did not understand our ways. Among those who came was Cluth, the son of Cladda and brother of Cladwigen, and he talked with Amarahiti in the days when she was still in her father’s household. In those days she sat at the Place of the Talking Stone, which still stands in its place, for she was among those who sought to know the speech of the barbarians.


In the season of fruitfulness the true wife of Cladda was overcome with a sickness which no one among her own people could cure, not even the wise men or priests who were able enough in such things. Therefore, Cluth came to Ramana, the mother of Amarahiti, who was known afar for her skill with herbs. Amarahiti came with Cluth, to speak for him. When Ramana understood his needs she and Amarahiti went with him, taking two armed men and men of the barbarians. The peace of Cladwigen went before them. They came to the place where the true wife of Cladda lay, on the evening of the second day.

The wise men and priests went among the people, muttering against the women and dark looks were cast upon Ramana.
The mother of Amarahiti cleansed the sick woman with ashes and made a brew of herbs and bitter bark of the river ash. She sat by the true wife of Cladda and in the morning the sick body no longer burned, neither did it consume itself.

When the priests of the barbarians heard about it they declared it was not a thing of goodness, but something brought about by evil arts. They told people a devil was loosed among them, whose trailing vapours they saw going among the huts. When darkness came that night there were loud cries among the barbarians, for many were seized with weakness and vomiting, but this was something brought about by the priests and not by the devil.


Among the barbarians the priests were held in high regard and so the true wife of Cladda sought to appease them. She called the highest of the priests to her and asked him what should be done to make the evil depart and leave the people in peace. The priest told her that if the two foreign women were sent away, their evil and the devil would depart with them. He asked her to let her own people treat her after their own manner. He told her that the things which cured sickness in another race would not cure sickness in theirs. The true wife of Cladda, seeking to avoid strife and being already half cured, said it would be done as he wished.


So Amarahiti and her mother departed, together with their servants and the armed men who accompanied them. On the night after they left the true wife of Cladda died, with vomit stopping in her throat. Then the priests made their voices heard among the barbarians and told them to behold the work of the devil which remained among them. They said it had not departed, nor would it leave until it was appeased. They spoke in such a manner that men of the barbarians set out in haste and came upon the women and Cluth, who with armed men were preparing to leave their camping place. When Cluth heard the words of the priests spoken by those who came he was dismayed and knew not what to do. There was a man among those who came, who spoke many words to Cluth, so that he was stirred up against our women. For Cluth was a barbarian and their ways were his ways. (Here some three hundred and fifty words are missing).


It resumes: Amarahiti turned her face towards Cluth and told him that by strength alone he had brought her to this distant place and its stronghold. That through his stubbornness her people had died and her mother had been wounded. She said that though the priests called for the sacrifice of her modesty, after the customs of his people, she was already made sacred to a man of her own and would rather die than be degraded.

She asked him what would be his pleasure, and would it not be even less than that given by a woman with a price, who would at any rate be willing to please. What a small pleasure that is set against the pleasure women can really give. (Indistinct, then several lines missing). Cluth stood apart with his arms (Part missing). The priests prepared the cage and Amarahiti was fetched (some words missing) stood by with dignified modesty. Her mother sat apart before the image (large part lost here).


It begins again: Away Cluth lay against the bole of the tree and when they fetched her to him he raised himself up. He hardly stood, for he was bloodied and weak. Amarahiti told him that never had woman beheld a braver man, though a foolish one. Down at the water’s edge lay Kabel Kai and the men who had cut the lashings of the structure laved his wounds.


The old man who had read the omens and divided the people bade those nearby to carry Cluth to the riverbank. When they came nearby Kabel Kai had disappeared into the thickets of the forest. The men of Kelkilith remained on the other side.
They left the destroyed place and the buried dead behind them and Amarahiti stayed in the keeping of the priests of Cladwigen. In this manner they came to the place where Cladwigen and his warriors were assembled to meet the enemy. They were received joyfully, but there was sorrow for Kabel Kai whose cunning had carried the day. They feared for him, thinking he had been taken by the Wictas.


Cluth was slain in the battle with the Wictas and the Men of Broad Knives at the crossing of the river now called by the barbarians Cluthradrodwin. Kabel Kai was not taken, though he was sorely wounded. His face was torn from the blows of the spiked club, so that flesh hung loosely down. He was twisted, for his shoulder was broken when the logs fell upon him. So he remained hidden within the forest, the companion of beasts, for his appearance caused men to shudder.


When the leaves left the trees in the fall of the year he came close in to the city, near the boundary where Amarahiti was wont to sit, by the side of the flowing stream. In the winter he was clothed with skins and moved hardly.


At the time of the midwinter feast of the barbarians the people of the city met them on common ground beyond the city and before the forest. Fires were lit and there was feasting and revelry. Gifts were exchanged between the people of the city and the barbarians. There was an image (part missing).


Amarahiti was sorrowful because of this and withdrew into some bushes close by the stream. With her were the two hounds. The hounds smelled out Kabel Kai, for he had come close, being drawn by the warmth and cheerfulness at the place of feasting. They leaped upon him gladly, for they knew him. Kabel Kai sought to escape back into the forest, but Amarahiti caught him by the hand. She looked at him and fell on his neck with tears. She covered him with her cloak of coney fur and when her two attendants came they carried him to a sheltered place close by the stream. (Some five paragraphs are missing).


It goes on: The most skilful with herbs among them. In the spring of the year they returned as husband and wife and were welcomed with a great feast. They were remarried within the house of Kabel Kai.


The fortress of Cluth was built up again by Kabel Kai according to his promise, and the sons of Cluth live there in these days. It stands on high ground rising out of the waters, surrounded by a high wall of logs.


The city was built and finished with a wall which was two walls of wood with soil between. Men came in ships, with cloth and pottery, with things of metal and shells and beads. The barbarians gave much for cloth dyed scarlet, for their tree blue is not fast in cloth. Scarlet is made nowhere except in the land of The Sons of Fire, where a white fish turns scarlet under the warmth of the sun. Men say that those who bring the scarlet cloth declare it to have been found in this manner: A man was out hunting with his dog and while they walked along the strand the dog caught a fish which it carried to its master in its mouth. The man saw a scarlet stain on the dog’s mouth and wiped it away with a piece of linen. When the colour could not be withdrawn from the cloth it was taken to a dyer who sought out the thing that had made it.


The temple was built within the city and raised up on logs. Beside it was the Place of Instruction and just before it was the Place of Exchanging. It stands today as a sanctuary and a centre for those who seek the light. In its keeping are the records of the Children of Light who are the Children of the Written Word.


But all is not well with the heart and spirit of the city, which is the people. A city lives not by the wood and stones with which it is built. Therefore, since the coming of Samon of the Barhedhoy and those who follow Ameth, we who are the heart of the Children of Light prepare our departure. (Some words missing). By the waters of Glaith not far distant where we may dwell by ourselves.


The first books we leave in the temple with those who guard them, but we have made other books which will go with us. In another place we will make them incorruptible, (piece missing). This we leave with you, as we also take it with us, so that it may not be lost. The names are written and the seals placed.


CHAPTER FIFTEEN
THE BOOK OF KADMIS


By command of our master Lodas, son of Kadmis and Karla, by the hand of Orailuga, the writer born of the Hortheni. Set down in the seven and eightieth year of the temple, which is the fourth year in the cycle of Balgren and the nineth year of our oath.


As man moves in air, so does God move in goodness. As God is incomprehensible to man as mortal man but comprehensible to him as man in spirit, so is God not a Being with the mere attributes of men but The Supreme Spirit among spirits. As man stands at the apex of material creation, so is The Supreme Spirit the Ultimate Unity above the spiritual sphere.


From this day forward we shall be known as the Craftsmen of The Supreme Spirit, and this place, upon the waters of Glaith which we call the Valley of Reeds, known to those about us as Carsteflan, shall be called the Smithy of The Supreme Spirit.
 

The boundaries of the land pledged solely unto us are the waters below, upward of the markpost three thousand and two score set paces. Downward of the markpost one thousand and twelve set paces. In the water and its divisions you may fish and gather reeds and cut water herbage over to its further bank.


Landward of the markpost, at four thousand four score and ten paces is the stone placed by Calraneh, set upright, and there is the boundary to the East. Out ward from this, two thousand and five hundred set paces on each side is placed a markstone set that all may recognize it. From these stones to the markposts on the waters edge are the boundaries North and South.


Within the boundaries the land shall be clear of trees and shall be pastured and sown, and therein we shall have our habitations. In the forest about us may be gathered wood, and swine may be fed there and we may hunt.


The House of Men shall remain as before, but no longer shall we be divided into parts. Men shall be made men as they have been in the past. If any man be in years and without wife and children, or having a son who is a man placed in his stead, he may enter wholly into the House of Men.


No man shall absent himself from the House of Men at his times, unless by dispensation of the Houseruler, or if it be impossible for him to be there. But all time not served shall be served doubly later, unless, with the dispensation of the Houseruler, it is waived.


The Ruler outside the House of Men shall be a man chosen by the council, which shall be four men chosen in meeting together at noon, one day before midwinter’s eve. The Ruler and the council shall govern and judge in all things among us, but they shall not alter these decrees, which shall stand among us as a rock. We will govern our lives by them and abide by them and pass them on to those who follow. These, together with the words of the Holy Writ, are the candle stick and container for the mortal Light of Truth which is among us. They shall be honoured by all who walk in that light, now and henceforth.


They shall be written on copper made incorruptible and placed within the sacred urns, together with the records. Yet they shall remain with us and be among us written on tablets of wood.


We shall keep the decrees of Hoskiah and abide by them and their punishments. Though the punishments may be changed by the council, so that men are lashed with the whip and the women with leathern throngs or wands of wood. We now have with us the decrees of Amos and they alone shall stand before those of Hoskiah. All other laws shall stand according to the order of their numbering. Where laws are at variance one shall not be set against another, but that which is latest shall stand highest and the others be subordinate.


The decrees of the Old Law, which is not written, shall be kept only if their keeping be the custom in judgement. Let no man build a habitation of brick or stone upon these lands, for this is an unlawful thing unto the people within whom we dwell.


If any decree be set against another, the last written decree shall prevail, except between the decrees of Amos and Hoskiah. Let no man change to his benefit the brandmark upon the beast of another, for this is an unlawful thing. If done, the wrong shall be adjusted by restoring double the value and if done again by restoring treble.


Let no man among us worship otherwise than in the manner of our brotherhood. To the rituals nothing shall be added and nothing taken away. Our beliefs shall be supported manfully, without shame and with all our strength. You shall not be faint-hearted when danger threatens, nor indifferent when hard-pressed. No man among us shall be voiceless when our beliefs are ridiculed, or remain passive before their enemies. If anyone become a coward or fail in this, he shall not be numbered among us.


The works of men are imperfect and no man has ever seen the Light of Truth in absolute purity. Therefore, though two things within the body of our written records may appear contradictory, if not capable of reconciliation through greater understanding, the thing written later, unless a manifest error, shall be more acceptable. Be men of good faith, goodwill and commonsense. Nothing passing through the hands of many men escapes contamination. Only sincerity and diligence will maintain its purity. Nevertheless, having established something, uphold it steadfastly. In this sphere of falsity, cling to every truth, as a man swept out to sea by the river torrents clings to a log.


All men held captive for anything they may have done, and not yet brought before the council or punished, shall be kept encaged at the waters edge. A man may be encaged as a punishment and the cage either covered or uncovered. If a man must die he may die either in clean or unclean waters, as is done by the people who surround us. No man shall draw blood to slay in judgement.


A man shall take his brother’s wife into his household, if his brother die and leave her unprotected. The unprotected of any man’s bloodkin or lawkin shall become his responsibility. Inasmuch as the Lord of Heaven mated with the Queen of Heaven, brother and sister are not forbidden to each other under the Old Law.


A man shall not gaze upon the nakedness of any of his bloodkin or lawkin in lust, and no woman shall expose her nakedness to any man not her husband. Punishments may be executed either by burning or the cage.


Every man shall learn to fight and defend himself with the axe, the bow, the spear, the sword, the javelin or the sling, and all weapons of the hand shall be sharpened.


Every man among us shall know the words of the Holy Writ by understanding of the writings or by memory. They shall be cut into his heart, as they are on copper and wood.


The records shall now be written in the Sacred Characters and not in letters of the Sons of Fire. Line for line the letters of the People of the Five Red Gods shall be used, the letters from the sky-signs seen by the Master of Writing.


(Many following chapters are lost.)


CHAPTER SIXTEEN
THE RECONSTRUCTION BY KADAIRATH


The Master was seated at his table, and, about him in a half circle, were those he instructed, and he taught them in this manner:

“My brothers, these are the ordinances of living and the laws which are the ordinances of men. No law, whether it be of The Supreme Spirit or of man, wholly produces happiness and causes no sorrow. So, to be worthy and good an ordinance or law must produce more contentment and happiness than it prevents. It must also prevent more sorrow and confusion than it produces, or it would be a work of wickedness and a memorial to the follies of men”.


“Pleasure never comes unadulterated and no form of goodness which man seeks to promote is unencumbered with restriction. Nonetheless, there is no form of goodness which is unproductive of happiness in the hands of those governed with wisdom. Joy and sorrow, pain and pleasure, success and failure are all moulding processes operating on the spirits and natures of men. Neither of the opposites is of less importance than the other.”

These were the things taught:

“The nature of every person is different and all tend to drift towards the circles which accord with their natures. Therefore, we set a standard, which not all will find acceptable, so that only those whose natures demand the best find our company congenial.”


“Unless the soul of each man and woman is developed and disciplined by the restraints of spiritual and material decrees, it cannot rise above its earthly elements. As the earthly body must be kept fit by discipline and self-control, and become gross and weak through overindulgence or indifference, so is the spirit controlling the body required to exercise restraint.”


“Every law, whether arising in the sphere of the spirit or the sphere of matter, suppresses something arising out of the nature of man and therefore calls for the exercise of restraint and forbearance. Yet is it not true that though every just law restrains something within men and women, it also restricts evil and things which are not good? The less a law imposes upon men and women and the more it imposes upon the things detrimental to their welfare, the better the law. All laws are paid for out of treasury of freedom, the lower the cost the better the law.”


“The laws of earthly rulers are kept by force of arms, but the keeping of the higher spiritual laws can only be ensured through enlightenment and wisdom. The causes of misjudgments, sorrow and remorse stem more frequently from breaches in spiritual laws than in earthly ones.”


“Moral laws and restraints are essential to the progress and welfare of mankind. When passions are unrestricted and weaknesses unfenced by moral laws, various forms of vice and perversions become accepted and sap the stamina of nations. When the abnormal is given free access to intrude upon the normal, the nation degenerates, the race is contaminated and mankind suffers a reverse. The Great Law places an obligation upon mankind to improve itself. Every man and woman must safeguard their heritage and raise themselves above earthly sordidness. This is one of the reasons for living. The struggle of life is with man, the struggle of man is with himself.”


“Wise leaders in every land and age have made laws restraining the weak and abnormal from satisfying their carnal appetites and immoral urges. If their own uncontrolled desires were allowed freedom to dictate their actions, then not only would the weak and abnormal destroy themselves, but they would be like a cancer in the living body of mankind.”


“The Sacred Books tell us that the nature of man contains a sense of shame. This is so, and it is there that he may also know the meaning of decency and be proud of himself as a man. It is there to make a better state known to him, a state of spiritual cleanliness and purity.”


“Such knowledge does not come naturally to man, any more than good pastures come naturally to the husbandman. The city over the hill was founded in goodness, and its founders were not men who found pleasure in wickedness. Nonetheless, as the years passed it became apparent that all was not well within its walls. Now, because of the inclination of its inhabitants, the city’s days are numbered.”


“Men come across the sea in ships from the South, bringing things much sought after by the people who surround us, who go into the city to exchange the things they have caught or grown, or which have been dug out of the ground. Things are exchanged in the marketplace of the city, but they are for the enjoyment of the body, not the satisfaction of the soul.”


“Nonetheless, men will always be driven, by their very natures, to seek for and obtain things which do not satisfy any earthly appetite. Such things are those which delight the hearts of men by their beauty, or bring inward joy and contentment. Also things which bring pleasure to loved ones and things which inspire men to noble deeds. With all the earthliness of man the things most sought and desired are those which stir the forces within the soul, and not the forces within the body. When it is otherwise mankind will slip backwards towards the beasts.”

This is rewritten in our tongue, through a rethinking of the text by Anewidowl.


CHAPTER SEVENTEEN
PART OF A MARRIAGE PLEDGE


My name is Farsis, from the house of Golaith and I am without wife. These are my pledges to Awerit of Glendargi:

“Here, in the light of day, before The Supreme Spirit and before all men, in the sight of my father Bealin and your mother Goronway, I establish you as my wife.”


“I shall not fail to consult you before I take another wife and you will never be other than headwife. You will never lack for food and clothing, though the food may be uncooked and the cloth unwoven. A roof shall always cover your head and a weapon be ever ready for your protection. I will always be considerate of your wants and always careful in things relating to your welfare. Whatever good fortune comes it will be shared with you and our children.”


“I will protect you through every year of my life and shelter you from every calamity to the best of my ability. An insult to you shall be an insult to me and every man of my blood. As from this day, my house is your house. What your father and your father’s house were to you before, now am I and my house.”


“Should greater duties call me from your side, I will take every precaution for your safety and welfare. Should I leave you, through any change of heart or darkening of thoughts, or should I slight the pledge given here and take to myself another woman in your stead, then, unless you have brought shame on me and my house by committing the great wickedness of women, I shall pay to your father’s house twice the bridal price. I shall also bestow upon you a half share of our property and possessions joined together since marriage. Each of our children shall be given its proper portion of all my property and possessions, and it shall be established in the hands of the king’s servants.”

“Whatever comes to you as bridal gifts or is brought with you as your own shall be yours. I shall always safeguard and defend it. I will never take it to myself so that you are deprived of it, unless for the one wrong which defiles my house and mocks my name. Whatever your father gives shall be ours, after the custom of the great laws.”


“Your infirmities are accepted, to be shared with you, and the children you bear shall always be mine. No man shall ever mock you or abuse you without my hand being against him. No man shall ever wrongfully lay hands upon you, for you are mine, now and for always.”


“I will not neglect the upbringing of our children, but they shall be raised according to my own light. You may follow your own creed even as I follow mine, each being tolerant towards the other.”

Those are my pledges, my hand and my token.


CHAPTER EIGHTEEN
THE MASIBA AMENDMENTS


These are the lawful changes witnessed before Masiba:

“No man or woman shall own a slave, and no maiden or woman shall enter the household of another except as a wife or maidservant. To possess a concubine is no longer lawful. A maidservant shall be under the protection of the master of the household wherein she serves, and he shall render her up in due time. If he lay hands on her in anger he shall make due payment for it, and if he seduce her he shall forfeit to her household a third part of his possessions and may be otherwise dealt with lawfully.”


“If anyone strike a half wit or injure one in any way he shall be severely dealt with lawfully. Courtfathers shall be appointed, who will be protectors of widows, orphans, half wits, the afflicted by fate and those assigned to them. The Courtfathers may be responsible themselves or they may appoint guardians. The property and possessions of any person may be placed in their care. If the Courtfathers act without good faith, deceitfully or carelessly in their trust they shall make restitution without stint and be punished otherwise.”


“If two men fight without weapons, using their hands, without wood or stone except that they may use staves or sticks, and one be injured so that he keep to his bed upward of three days, the other shall pay for his loss of time and full healing. If any man gain deceitfully by keeping to his bed declaring himself to be hurt sorely, he shall not keep his gains and shall be punished otherwise. If a man fight with wood and stone in his hands, or unlawfully with weapons, he shall be punished severely. If an armed man attack another who is unarmed he shall pay heavy compensation and be punished severely.”


“If, when men fight, a woman with child is hurt so that she suffer, or if at any time a man cause injury to a woman with child so that either die, he shall pay with his own life. If it can be doubted whether a man caused an unborn child to be stillborn he shall not die, but can be made to pay compensation to the husband of the woman,”


“After her punishment the life of an adulteress shall be in the hands of her husband. If he redeem her he may deal with her as he wish. If he redeem her but do not wish to deal with her, she shall still be denied the status of wife.”


“If a woman use a substance so that she may not conceive, her husband may punish her by whipping or beating, providing he does not draw blood or maim.”


“If a woman make a substance which prevents conception, or give or convey this substance to a woman, she shall be whipped with wands, as before. From this time the whipping shall be done on three days following each other and she can be made to pay compensation. If a man make, give or convey this substance, he shall be severely dealt with.”


“If a woman cause her unborn child to be stillborn, she shall be secluded in a place of confinement for a month and whipped with ten strokes of the wand every third day. If anyone supply a potion to cause an unborn child to die, they shall be punished. If a woman, she shall suffer double the punishment of a mother who causes her child to be stillborn, and can be made to pay compensation. If a man, he shall be much more severely dealt with.”


“If anyone poison an animal belonging to another, that person shall pay compensation to no less three times the value.”


“The flesh of horse, squirrel and rat shall not be eaten. The badger is a creature sacred to our fathers because it was their salvation, and it shall not be slain.”


“When a child stands on the threshold of manhood and his manly organs become active, he shall be made a man after the old custom. He shall be handed over the threshold stone and welcomed as in times past, but this shall be the new declaration: “I know without doubt what I am. I am the seed of divinity implanted within a body of flesh. I belong with those who walk the Great Path of the True Way and my place is beside them. I am a man knowing manly ways and I will do what is required of me as a man”.


“My duty is to always protect those who walk with me and never deny my beliefs. I shall be steadfast even under persecution. The tormentors’ instruments will not open my mouth. I undertake to bring at least one convert into the light”.


“My duty is to take a wife and beget children who will be raised in the light of the Great Path of the True Way. My duty is to provide for them in every way within my power and to instruct them in the paths of wisdom.”


“My duty is to learn a skilled craft. I will be kind to animals, to vegetation and to the soil. I will not wilfully harm a wild creature or a tree. My duty is to oppose all forms of disorder and lawlessness. It is to learn the purpose of life and to try to understand the design of The Supreme Spirit Who laid all things out in orderliness. I know I must always keep my thoughts clean, my words true and good and my deeds manly.”


“I know there is a path of evil. It is the way of weakness and cowardice, which leads to self-destruction. I will fight all forms of wickedness and evil wherever I find them and I know I cannot go manfully through life without opposition and struggle”.


“I know that all men are born mortal and all must die in body, but I believe I am a soul with the potentiality of everlasting life. If, during the trials of life, I am assailed by doubt I will not remain passive before it”.


“I promise to obey the code of manliness and to follow the paths of wisdom. My tongue will ever speak true and my hand do good. I know that just to do good is not sufficient, but I must attack evil. My duty is to oppose wicked men and their ways, and I will abide in peace with my brothers”.


“My duty is to learn and to understand the teachings of the Holy Writ, so that I may direct my children by its light. I will uphold and support the Brotherhood all the days of my life and expound its teachings to others. I acknowledge that only by example can I be a true and worthy exponent.


“I will never oppress any man for his belief, unless he first attack mine. Even then I will bear him with tolerance, until his oppression threatens to overwhelm me. I will never agree to the conversion of men by force, even for their own good, for this is an evil thing. My only arguments shall be example and commonsense”.


‘The faith I hold shall not be something imprisoned within my thoughts, but something lived and expressed in deeds. I give thanks for the knowledge that I am a living soul, but I know full well the grave responsibility I bear towards my future being. I will not be a disgrace to Earth when I pass to the greater realm beyond.”


“When I become a father of children I. shall accept responsibility for their wrongdoing, even as credit is claimed for their goodness. I shall not seek to blame others for my own failures. I shall be ever mindful of the good things of life and grateful for them. I shall suffer adversity and affliction with fortitude, rising above them like a man and not cringing before them like a dog under the stick of his master. Doubts, fears, unnatural desires and unmanly urges may lurk along my path, like forest demons which waylay those who travel, but I shall overcome them.”


“I will not hide my contempt for the workers of wickedness and servants of evil, and though they may be in the seats of the mighty I will accord them no respect. I will never commend that which is wicked.”


“I recognize that my soul and body compete for the satisfaction of their separate desires. I know that each day the body dies a little, that every day it draws nearer to the dark shore. Therefore, I will follow the precepts of prudence and each and every day will be a step forward in the awakening of my soul. I shall not punish my true-self for the sake of satisfying a decaying body”.


“I will live in the light as revealed in the Holy Writ, the Written Light as revealed to the Brothers of the Book. I will live as a man, acknowledging my duties and obligations as a man, and I will die as a man.”



CHAPTER NINETEEN
THE LETTER OF MATA A SON OF AGNER

The barbarian asks, “Who and What is The Supreme Spirit?” Say unto him, “Conceive it as a Being even above your greatest God. If it helps in your understanding, see The Supreme Spirit as a God reflecting His image as yourself. It is He who fills Heaven and Earth with His might, and His powers are displayed in the elemental forces. He is now as in the beginning and will be no different after the end.

He formed men by building an earthly structure around a heavenly seed and into this he infused the vapours of life. He maintains the order of the Heavens and stabilizes the land in the waters. His breath is the breath of life and He causes water to fall and greenery to live”. Say to the barbarian, “Look about you and see God reflected as in a mirror. No mortal man has ever looked upon Him directly, but His reflection may be seen with immunity”.


The barbarian seeks a God he can see, but try and make him understand this is impossible, because of God’s very greatness and the littleness of man. Take the barbarian out next time the sun shines at its strength and ask him to gaze upon it. He will be forced to admit that it is beyond his powers to do so. Then say unto him,

“See, it is beyond your power to look upon even the shield behind which Haula hides himself because of his brightness. Yet even this great God is no more than a faint, far off reflection embodying the ray carrying power from The Supreme Spirit. How then could you hope to look upon the source of power itself?”

The barbarians are still children and these things do not easily come within their understanding. Because of this it may be best if they were taught by simple tales, like children, and so brought into the high gradually. A behef in The Supreme Spirit is of no great importance. An inquiry into His nature by the ignorant is purposeless foolishness. It is of much more importance to men that they believe in their own souls.

Belief in a God of any sort without belief in the immortality of man and his Godlike-ness serves no end. If a God existed without man deriving any benefit from his existence, it would be better for man to ignore him. This, however, is not the case. Man seeks unity and communion with The Supreme Spirit only for his own benefit. Man has a destiny founded in something greater than himself, and hence his need for that something.


The existence of a Supreme Being is not just something to accept, believe in and ignore. A belief, faith alone, cannot be ends in themselves, for nothing exists without purpose. Simple belief in a Supreme Being is not enough, we must know the purpose or intention of the Being. If we believe this Supreme Being created us, however this was brought about, we must seek to discover the purpose behind our creation. If we were created to serve some purpose, to do something we were intended to do, we must do it or earn our Creator’s displeasure. Does the potter keep the pot useless for its purpose, or the smith keep unwrought metal? Only things which serve the purpose for which they were intended are kept and cherished.
 

Therefore, we who are brothers, were taught not only to believe in a Supreme Being but also in our similarity to Him. The Supreme Spirit is not a stranger beyond our ken, the powers of The Supreme Spirit infuse every fiber of our bodies.
If we have difficulties among the barbarians, the difficulties here are no less. The Truth we have seems not only unpalatable but also indigestible. Men seek tastier food, even though it is less sustaining, and few replace the brothers who depart. Would we serve better if we presented Truth as a draught diluted with water and honey?


The threat of the barbarian king is something upon which you shall be counselled. If you are threatened with the alternatives of death or transgressing our laws, you may transgress them within reason and the bounds of conscience. If, however, you are required to deny all that you hold to be good and true, to betray all that we hold sacred, then you must accept death for the sake of your soul. You will be informed about these things by Kuin of Abalon who comes later, so only the things you enquire about are answered.


For the sake of the barbarians it is perhaps best to call The Supreme Spirit, ‘God, The God without a Name.’ This will solve some difficulties, and if the barbarians think themselves superior because they contain Him within a name, let it be so and hold yourself in peace.


Say to the barbarians,

“As the soul of man fills his body, so does God fill His domain. As the soul surrounds and contains the body, so is it with God and his creation. As the soul sees but cannot be seen, so does God see without being seen. As the soul feels, so does God. As the soul oversees the nourishment of the body, so does God revitalise the whole of His habitation. As the soul occupies an unfindable place within the body of man, so is the residence of God unfathomable. No man can know the seat of the soul and no man can know the seat of God.”

The barbarians make images of God to make Him more understandable. Are we much better who make images of Him in our likeness within our thoughts? Not perhaps because we believe Him so, but to make Him more understandable.


As man’s understanding of God increases, so does God recede; so that though through the ages man comes to understand God better, He ever keeps the same distance away. We who dwell in the light of The Supreme Spirit have come closer to understanding, not because we are better men but because we have devoted our lives to the search. If any man seek carefully and diligently enough he must find whatever it is he seeks.


The rest of this letter is missing, but on a small recovered scrap dealing with buildings, it refers to Galheda. Elsewhere it is stated Galheda rewrote it.


CHAPTER TWENTY
THE TEACHINGS OF SADEK


All men within the Brotherhood are to be taught to live by these ordinances, which provide for the discipline of the spirit:
Men shall be made to abstain from all manner of wickedness and hold fast to all that is good. They shall become speakers of Truth and followers of uprightness, and justice shall be upheld in their hands. The virtues are staffs which will aid man in his long journey through life to the gate of his soul’s unfolding.


There are guides upon the path, guideposts and places of rest and shelter for the weary. There is provender to be found by the wayside and there are many things to be discovered along the trackways. (About two paragraphs missing).


The Master shall admit into the Brotherhood all who have, by diligent study and rigid self-rule, established themselves. They shall become one with those who climb the steps, and find their appointed place.


The Master shall instruct them in the School of Light and Life, revealing unto them all the secrets of their nature and the manner of the soul’s release. There shall be no unnecessary chastisements here and no particular rewards. Austerity for its own sake shall not be practiced.


Every man who comes under the Master’s hand, led forth by his nominator into the presence of the acceptors, shall bring with him all his skill, knowledge and possessions. He shall have been properly observed, judged and questioned before coming before the acceptors, and shall not do so until he has been here for one year.


The next symbols shown are those representing the Design and The Law, these are the great unchanging things, lasting forever, they were the same in the time of our first forefather, as they will be in the time of our last descendant. (Much missing.)


No man shall remain within the Brotherhood, who does not live by these our ordinances. The man who walks in filth befouls not only his own floor but also the thresholds of his neighbours. Unless a man walk in cleanliness of body and purity of mind he shall not be counted among us, and no one shall call him brother.


The soul must be wrought with the hard smiting blows of adversity and sorrow. It must be gently moulded by the waters of humility and charity, it must be chased by understanding and patience. These are things which form a shape of harmonious beauty. But other things shape it in ugliness, these are: falsehood and greed, deceit and malice, cruelty and haughtiness, together with other evil qualities.


The just reward of those who follow the path of ease and indolence is condemnation in the recesses of disgrace and shame. There will be sorrowful groans and tear-shedding in the misery of soul loneliness.


These our ordinances are not made to provide for the comfort and ease of man, not even for his bodily welfare, but for the benefit of his eternal soul. Here his soul is to be purged and quickened to life by the strong waters of wisdom infused with the greatest amount of Truth he can tolerate. Only by himself submitting his soul to our discipline can any man acquire benefit from our mode of life.


Man was raised out of the womb of Earth to rule its surface, but here the existing powers gather into two camps of everlasting hostility. Life opposes death, the champions of light challenge the champions of darkness, Truth confronts falsehood. There is a leader of light and a leader of darkness, a commander of life and a commander of death. The legions of wickedness oppose the legions of the upright.


At birth all are cast out upon the battlefield of life and join the legions arrayed on one side or the other. According to his rank in the legion of Truth, so does a man fight against falsehood. By his standing in the eyes of the commander of light, so is a man placed in opposition to his adversary in the legion of darkness.


The wicked will be delivered to the sharp edge of the sword, but the good will be remembered. So it was in the first days, when our ancestors left Kaburi and followed the Master who guided them across the seas. They came over the pathless waters, forsaking soft living and delusions which amused the eye.


The wicked are not only those who knowingly do wrong. An evil man is one who seeks to justify the wickedness and weaknesses of others. The fires kindled against them became a raging flame in which their legions were swallowed up.


Now that you are invested with new life, open your eyes and behold the works of The Supreme Spirit with understanding. Always follow the path you have been shown, so that your steps lead you towards perfection.


Never incline towards degrading thoughts or look into the eyes of lust, for these things have led great men astray and brought down mighty ones. Be clean in all ways. Never profane the temple of man by lying with a woman whose flow is upon her. Be clean within and without, in body, thought, word and deed.


Such things were done by those from whom we were divided. They lit their temple lamps in vain and the smoke from their dark altars was blown aside. You shall not be as those who walk in darkness. Though we are oppressed on every side, this is the time of travail heralding the birth of the Great Master. You are not like those who shall be cut off from the tree of life, to fall to the ground and return to nothingness. You shall always attend to the welfare of your brother and not deceive your neighbour.


You are to live in dedicated communities, marrying and begetting children. Your sons will grow up like strong oak trees and your daughters modest like the violet. Your sons are to wear swords and your daughters a headdress with a veil which may be drawn across the face.


So, too, shall it be with those who are counted with us but are faint-hearted in the performance of their obligations. They are men who melt away in the furnace. Here we do not practice discipline and austerity for the futile mortification of the flesh. We do these things for the sake of our souls, even as a warrior exercises to keep his muscles supple for the fray and so preserve his life.


Ninety-two generations have to be born. Then Gods and men intermingled will do battle, and there will be great carnage on that catastrophic day when war is waged in the red-hued darkness amid mighty blast. That is the time of which it is written, ‘fire shall leap forth from the heart of a stone’.


These things have been written about, so we concern ourselves only with the ordinances governing the Brotherhood. This is the place to which you belong and if you leave unsecured it will be upon your own head.


Those who declare that beyond the gate of death there is a place of torment where demon torturers inflict unspeakable agonies upon the wicked, are led by a misguiding light. Certainly, there is a gloomy place of sorrow haunted by Dark Spirits, but they do not inflict torment by fire. They are there because they are evil and their companionship is awful enough to bear.
 

Do not come to us holding heathen Gods in your heart, even though they are within a hidden and closed recess. Purge yourself of all false beliefs outside the gate.


Here all brothers are to practice the way to full soul realization in common. Here Truth will bind one with the other. Humility, modesty and justice will govern our lives. There is to be no straying of heart and eye towards improper and unworthy things. Every man is to command or obey according to his rank.


If anyone is found to have lied upon admittance, whether it be about the past, the tribal allegiances or possessions, amends are to be made by labour. No madman, no simpleton, no one who is blind, deaf or dumb is to be admitted.


If anyone strike someone of higher rank or refuse to obey instructions given, then if the striker have rank it is to be lowered and amends will be made by labour and restraint of food. If anyone strike another of equal rank, without just cause, the rank of the striker is to be lowered and amends made by labour. If two men fight, the ranks of both are to be lowered.


If anyone lie with intent to deceive, or if injury or sorrow be caused to another, amends will be made by labour. If anyone cause damage or loss to something belonging to another or to all, amends will be made by labour. If any man expose himself improperly and heedlessly before another he is to make amends by labour.


If anyone defame another behind his back he is to make amends by labour, but anyone may accuse another to his face before witnesses. If anyone rebuke another in anger, amends will be made by labour. If anyone bear a grudge and make it known, an apology will be given with humility and accepted with good grace.


If anyone speak filthily to the hearing of another, amends will be made by labour. If anyone wastes metal or cause the loss of metal, amends will be made by labour. If anyone bathe in water used by another or in unclean water, amends will be made by labour.


From the hour of darkness beginning the seventh day, until the hour of darkness beginning the first day, is a time of rest and meditation. It is to be a time of tranquility for soul communion and sacred study. The only labour to be undertaken is the providing of provender for animals and their care and attention. Food may be eaten, but it is best if prepared the day before.

Decorative trees and plants may be attended to; relaxing pastimes may be indulged in and all essential tasks undertaken.

An essential task is one which cannot be done on any other day or is made absolutely necessary by circumstances. On the day of rest all are to wear clean raiment, and the chastisement of children is to be deferred until the morrow.


The first concern of a man should be his wife and children and anyone else under his care. He should not cause them to go unfed or underclothed to provide for the needs of another. If anything belonging to anyone or to all is lost or taken away and hidden so that it is not known who has it, the thing is to be made accursed in the hands of its possessor. If later it is found in the possession of anyone, that person is to be expelled from the Brotherhood, not for what has been done but for the curse.
When something is found which has no owner, it is to be taken to the sanctuary and remain there for one month. If it remain unclaimed it is to be restored to the finder. No one is to take anything from an outsider except for fair and full payment, and no one is to join an outsider in buying and selling.


We are ruled by a council and this is to be twelve men and a master. There will be a high council of five and a low council of seven within the full council. There will be a half council of four chosen by the full council, to be judges in disputes and overseers of chastisements.


The high council is to appoint headmen who will lead the brothers in groups of twelve. The low council will appoint beadles who will report to it. All are to obey the headmen and beadles and those of higher rank than themselves, but they may complain to the low council about any instruction given them.


(The larger part of this and the next chapter are lost and it has been difficult to assign a proper place or order to anything. Perhaps no more than a tenth of the original remains.)


CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE
THE LAWS OF MALFIN


May your souls be enlightened by the Central Light. May all you who assemble between the great pillars at the appointed times be cared for by The Supreme Spirit, as you care for His earthly affairs. May He keep you, as you keep His laws. May you receive the grace of enlightenment from the centre of the Sacred Circle and may an eternal fountain open for you, from which your souls may drink and be refreshed. May you receive the gift of everlasting regeneration.


These are the laws of the outsiders, which you have to obey, and they can be justly added to those you have, for right recognizes no origin. They are in two parts: those which are to be wholly yours and those which govern you among the outsiders.


If one whose position requires him to bear witness to a transaction give false evidence concerning it, so that an outsider is at a loss, he is to be bound and given over to the outsiders. If an outsider suffer loss the one causing it is to be deprived of his rights and made to labour in the place of captivity, until the loss is made good and twice the amount has been paid to the council. He must not be re-established in his rights.


Only a man of good repute having no interest in the things being judged, can witness to it with immunity. If he accept a payment his voice is not to be heard.


No one who gambles or lends money, or who buys to sell, or collects payments or taxes may sit in judgment. Neither may a man whose house is in turmoil or who has been condemned in judgment.


No one may sit in judgment on a kinsman, a friend or an enemy, unless no other judge can be found. No one may attend upon a judge in the absence of those who oppose him, so that he may gain favour. The words of a lying witness are to be disregarded, unless otherwise proven.


If voices be raised in anger before the seat of judgment, or anyone behave unseemingly, the matter is to be left until the morrow. When sitting in judgment a judge must remember that it is more wicked for a rich man to steal than for a poor man. Or for the wellborn to act basely than for the lowly to act likewise. It is more wicked for the strong to strike unjustly than for the weak to do so.


If anyone by boisterous behaviour cause damage within the grounds of a man’s dwelling place, or injure anyone, he shall go to the place of captivity until the damage or injury is made good, and the same amount is to be paid to the council.


Every landowner must have his land hedged in and if it is not hedged, or the hedges are broken, he will have no claim for any damage caused there by strayed animals, but they must be driven out without hurt or harm. If anyone damage a hedge or fence he will be responsible for anything happening through the damage. If anyone damage any property or cause harm to an animal belonging to the outsiders, he will be handed over to them.


If a man find a beast straying upon his land, he may secure it and demand a payment in compensation for loss or damage.
If anyone offend against the laws of the outsiders, he will be given over to them for judgment under the laws of the outsiders. No one is to be given over to the outsiders until he has been heard by his own judges. If anyone is to be judged by the outsiders a man from the council is to sit with him.


If a man draw a weapon in an assembly of people he shall surrender the weapon to anyone who ranks above him. If he refuse to do so he shall be seized and brought before the judges for punishment. He may not recover the weapon except by payment of its value. If anyone threaten another with a weapon, it is to be taken from him and may not be recovered without payment of its value to the council.


Men are entitled to the privacy of their wives, men to the privacy of men and women to the privacy of women. A family is entitled to the privacy of a family.


Anyone who commands another in his power to do a deed shall stand as though he did it himself.


If in company with a man whom many come to take and slay or injure unlawfully, then draw your weapon in his defense. If anyone use the language of slaves in your presence, it is not sufficient to remain silent. If you do not rebuke him because he is powerful, then depart from his company. To do nothing is wrong, for men are told not to remain passive before the face of evil.


The scandalmonger and scaremonger may both be delivered to the place of captivity to requite the harm done. If no harm is done the liar is still a person without repute and his punishment is that he will not be believed even when he speaks truthfully.
Hypocrites are two-tongued loathsome creatures who, like grass snakes, cannot be grasped in the hands. If any establish themselves as hypocrites, drive them out and let them afflict the outsiders.


There are punishments prescribed for wrongdoing and much advice given to prevent it. Punishment is only acknowledgement of failure. Wrongdoing arises from failure to deal with weaknesses, failure in upbringing, failure in teaching, failure in establishing rules of conduct and failure in discipline, whether imposed by self or others. When a man comes before the judges for punishment they do more than half their duty when they condemn him. They should also enquire within themselves, “Wherein have the people failed with this man? Was he guided rightly or wrongly, and have we no responsibility towards him?”

Punishing a wrongdoer without seeking out the cause of his deeds is hypocritical justice. If a man walk in darkness and stumble into a pit, is he to blame? If a light guide falsely or be too feeble to keep men from stumbling, it is of no value. Therefore, if a brother fall into a pit by the wayside the bearers of light cannot be guiltless.


These things are recorded unto you, so that in the day of freedom you may not be without law. That day will come as surely as the sunrise. Never fear because your numbers diminish. One wise man is better than a pack of fools, and a stave of solid oak better than a pillar of reeds.


The man who supplies weapons to another who uses them in a wrongful deed is not guiltless himself. If he knew their use he is no less guilty. Anyone possessing things wrongfully taken is not without guilt, and if taken knowingly is no less guilty. One who is not yet a man in age cannot be equally guilty in robbery or violence. Neither can a simpleton, a madman or a woman.


If anyone bind another unlawfully or cause anyone to lose his freedom, he shall requite the harm done and may be delivered to the place of captivity. Everyone has the right to solitude and privacy, and those who deny him it are not without guilt. If anyone destroy the hair of a woman he must requite the harm to the limit of fullness.


If anyone come upon a thief in his deed, or upon someone about an unlawful deed and slay or injure him because of his resistance, no wrong is done. If he submit to capture and is slain or injured unlawfully, those who do the deed must bear the guilt. If a man come upon his wife in adultery and slay both he has done no wrong. If a man come upon another dealing wrongfully with his son or daughter or another child and he slay him, he has done no wrong. If a man slay a thief in the night or one who seeks to injure him, he does no wrong.

If a man find another with his wife behind bolted doors and slay the man, he has done no wrong. If he come upon them in a secret place and slay the man, he has done no wrong. If a man commit a deed unlawfully, in lust, so that he may be lawfully slain, he may be castrated instead. If a man lay his hand in any way upon a virgin, without her consent, he is not guiltless.


If two men quarrel and one bear insult with forbearance, the other must requite him for the insult. A brother, a father or a son coming upon his kinswoman in adultery or behind bolted doors, is to stand as though he were her husband.


If a man slay another who provoked him in fair contest, he does so in self-defense. The guilt of a deed done while drunk is not lessened. If anyone become drunk so that he cannot stand upon a stool, he is not guiltless.


If anyone destroy a tree belonging to the outsiders and not on common land he must requite the outsiders its value. If anyone destroy the tree of another he will stand as though he stole it.


The man who is betrothed to a woman, coming upon her in fornication or behind bolted doors, is to stand as though he were her husband. If he come upon her in a secret place he is to stand as her husband. If anyone, knowing a woman to be unchaste, permit a man to marry her behaving her to be chaste, he shall bear the guilt and may be called upon to requite the husband.


At the trothing a man must pledge the father of his betrothed, or the next of kin to her father, that he will maintain and protect her. The bride price is to be paid seven days before the marriage and it is to repay her father for bringing her up with all the womanly virtues.


Marriage by deceit or force is not valid. It does not bind the victim but binds the other in every way, as though married. If a man marry a woman by deceit he is not guiltless and must requite the wrong. If a man marry by force and she was a virgin, he is to stand as though there were no marriage, but the woman has all the rights of a wife against his possessions.


A husband may punish his wife for these things transgressing the law without being punished by the law: Talking freely with men while her husband is absent. Cursing her husband or his house. Cursing her own house. Talking loudly, so that her voice carries to the habitation of another. For slander and gossip. For lewdness or immodesty. For betraying him in her talk. For being slothful or neglecting his children.


A wife is not wholly delivered into the hands of her husband and he must provide all things for her wellbeing and treat her with affection and consideration. He is to be tolerant of her shortcomings and overlook her frailty as a woman. A man has a duty to see that an adulterous wife is dealt with.


If a wife become mad or sick or injured she cannot be put aside, even though she cannot be a wife to her husband. These things are the dispensations of life and must be borne together.


No man may know the nakedness of his sister. No man may lie with his wife except in a place of privacy. No one is to permit a mad man or woman, a child or a simpleton to slay a beast, but a bird may be slain by a woman for food. The one who permits the deed is not guiltless.


If the head is unclean it will lead to blindness. If the garments worn are unclean it will lead to madness. If the body is unclean it will lead to sores and sickness.


Eat to fill a third part of the stomach. Drink to fill a third part and leave the rest empty. Eat only when hungry and drink only when thirsty. Always sit to eat, taking two meals each day and three on the seventh day. Do not overeat or oversleep, for body rust is not an unreal thing.


The threshing place is not to be less than fifty paces from a habitation. A grave is not to be within a hundred paces, a carcass yard within a hundred paces, or a tannery within two hundred paces. The midden is not be within fifty paces and hogs within thirty paces. The privy hole is to be within twenty paces and is to be screened and covered. No beast except the dog, the cat, the horse, the cow, the goat and the ass may come within the dwelling enclosure. The barn must not adjoin the dwelling. Corn for eating may be kept below ground, but corn for sowing must be kept above ground. Water should not be drunk under a roof without herbs.


Roofs must not be thatched by bending the reeds under a lath, but by laying them straight over an underpinning. The middle and pillarpost should rise a third part above the crossbeam and either rest upon itself or lie on the cumber. The outer posts should be pegged and not bound. Inner walls should be caulked with moss and not with grass or bark. The roof should lie down over the outer wall an armslength and the openwork of the wall should not be left unplastered. The foundation should go down two cubits and rise one. The door is to turn upon itself, either to the side or upward and should not be hung. The wall hangings within should be of fibre or skin. Overlay outside with wands of bethom.


Stones should not be pressed without heat and their outer parts should be kept. The herb offerings must be burnt on each day when the sun does not show its face. Flour must not be used to purify sharpened metal. The offering log must be burnt at its hour.


A man must teach his sons to swim, to ride and to hunt. The stranger is not to be denied a sleeping place and food at nightfall, but he may not remain during the day without labour. Any man who deals with metal shall be as a brother. Anyone may come before the high council for justice.


In all assemblies, opinions will be given first by those of lower rank, so that their words are not influenced by those of more knowledgeable men. In the lands of the outsiders you will abide by their law, but you will keep your own law within theirs. Where laws conflict, let conscience, duty and the Holy Writ be your guide.


(This is not the end, but the remaining writing on three plates cannot be read. It is transcribed in meaning and not in word.)


CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO
SALVAGED FRAGMENTS RECONSTRUCTED – 1

If any who have joined in cause with you or become allies act treacherously, grant them no quarter. Deal with them in such a way that their fate will be an example restraining others from doing likewise. Never join cause with anyone proved treacherous or unreliable.


If any hold the same belief as you and have suffered for it, they are your brothers. Those who fight for the betterment of mankind or suffer for it, are your brothers. To surrender to the threats of those who demand you abandon your beliefs or ideals, is something which must not be done. Any man who has fought with you in battle is bound with you in the tie of blood and becomes even as your own kin.


Though you fight in the cause of Truth and justice, be reluctant to commence the bloodshed and never do so if any other means, except cowardice or capitulation, lie open to your hand. If, however, you truly believe the foe will launch an attack, you are justified in getting in the first blow. You are answerable to your own soul. When battle is joined, you may slay the foe wherever you find him. Never acknowledge defeat and never submit meekly to domination. If the battle goes against you, withdraw to fight again. The live dog eats the dead bear.


Never fight among yourselves, for such quarrelling is worse than the bloodshed of battle. Differences and arguments among you are to be settled in an orderly and just manner, so that there is no severance or weakening among people. You are the People of the Light, the Law and the Book.


In the place of captivity men and women will be kept apart, for it is a place of requital and retribution. They will no longer be free, neither will they hold the rights of the free. They are to labour according to the judgment, but the labour of their hands is to be accounted to them. Each one must be used to get the greatest benefits from their ability, and no one must be kept even one day over their requital.


CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE
SALVAGED FRAGMENTS RECONSTRUCTED – 2

These are the sayings of judges set down by the law scribes, and all that remains out of nearly eight hundred:

We have learned that whatever a woman does she should not be cut off from her household, for this leads to other wrongs. If a wife be put aside for her wrongdoing it may be well to let her remain under the same roof without any rights of wifehood.

We have learned that not only are there women who are unworthy to be wives, but there are men unworthy to be husbands. If marriage remain open to such as these, those who sit in judgment are not unblameworthy for whatever follows. Therefore, man or woman may be forbidden marriage.


It is the law that adultery being a furtive deed done in deceit and betrayal, if man and woman are found in a position for adultery it would be as though they were caught committing it. This can lead to misjudgment. Therefore, when no certainty of adultery can be seen and the woman can only be found to be indiscreet, she is not be dealt with as an adulteress. It is better for men to believe in the natural goodness of woman than otherwise. Yet when a woman has placed herself in a position where there can be no doubt, the husband may decide to keep her or not, but he must declare himself. If he put her aside as a wife the judges will decree whether she go or stay. If she stay she may be bound to her husband, though no longer his wife.


We have learned that though adultery is a loathsome deed done in deceit while displaying a hypocritical allegiance to love, it is often not without preventable cause. Therefore, an adulteress can suffer a lesser punishment by being bound into the care of her husband while ceasing to be a wife, for she is unworthy. Then she is to remain within his household and submit to his direction. He must maintain and protect her and not allow her to wander. If she wander he may restrain her as he will. If she commit fornication while bound, the man who was her husband is not blameworthy, for she is under his restraint. The three must suffer their own punishments.


We have learned that when men fear for their safety and the sanctity of their own wives, they are less inclined to act adulterously with the wife of another. Therefore, if a man be found in adultery and married he will forfeit half his possessions to the wronged husband, and his wife will also pass into the house of the wronged husband, or if he have neither dwelling nor land, he shall be bound into the keeping of the wronged husband.


We have learned that the minds of men are like a maze and therefore the rights of marriage are to stand against all others and prevail at all times. All children born within a marriage union are equal in rights. Their inheritance is not to be diminished, even though they be the offspring of adultery or incest, for the wrongdoing was not theirs. Such children should be received with mercy, for they are helpless and will repay in full with love and devotion.


We have learned that it is unwise to give a daughter in marriage to an outsider, for if her husband die she shall be given to his father or his brother. Therefore, no woman may be given in marriage to an outsider, unless the contract of marriage be heard by one of the council and given his approval.


We have learned that these things should never be taken from a man or shared:

His wife, excepting he commit adultery; his children, his clothes, his nightcovering, his weapons and his tools of craft.

We have learned that it is no longer necessary to forbid the eating of swine’s flesh in this land and its eating is allowed, but the flesh of horse is not to be eaten except to prevent starvation.


We have learned that the soul departs with the last breath and whatever is done to the body does not affect the soul. Therefore, a body may be either buried or burned, but a high mound is not to be raised over the body or the ashes. Only husband and wife, parent and child, or brother and sister may be buried in the same grave within a graveyard. No one may be buried within his habitation.


CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR
THE LAST OF THE METAL PLATES


In the containers I have gathered together all the books given into my care and I have done all the things I was instructed to do, and the work of my father is now complete. The metal will stand the test of age and the cutting is the finest workmanship.


The five great book-boxes contain one hundred and thirty-two scrolls and five ring-bound volumes. There are sixty-two thousand four hundred and eighty three words in The Greater Book of the Egyptians and eighty-one thousand six hundred and twenty-six words in The Lesser Book of The Egyptians, of which eight thousand nine hundred and eleven are in The Book of The Trial of The Great God and six thousand one hundred and thirty-four are in The Sacred Register, and sixteen thousand and fifty-six are in The Book of Establishment.


The Book of Magical Concoctions has six thousand eight hundred and ten words and this was the most difficult to remit, for it was a work of mystery and hidden things.


The Book of Songs and The Book of Creation and Destruction were not worked under my hand, but they are well constituted and will not perish. The Book of Tribulation was beaten under my eye and there are the books in The Great Book of The Sons of Fire which are not of my workmanship. I helped in part where the words were marked out and I struck them.


The Book of Secret Lore and The Book of Decrees are joined into The Great Book of The Sons of Fire and they, too, are enabled to last forever.


The metal is as our masters desired, made cunningly by the secret methods of our tribe and it will never perish. The marks are cut so that when seen to the right of the light they stand out clearly.


The bookboxes are of twinmetal founded with strength and turned with great heat, so that there is no joint where the ends come together. When closed and sealed water cannot enter.


When you read these things in times ahead, think of us who made the metal so imperishable and cut the words on it with such care and heavy labour, using such skill that in the years of rest they have not been eaten off. Observe its brightness and wonder, for it will never tarnish.


We are the sons of The Sons of Fire, men so called because fire was necessary to their metalworking. Today we name our sons over the fire and forge, as they did, and each one of us belongs to the same fire.

Read carefully the sacred words which are written and may they be a lodemark to a greater life.


I, Efantiglan, and my father, attended to the making of these books and their covering containers. Those who mixed the metal and worked it by forging and those who cut upon it are members of our tribe, and it is well made and will last forever.
Malgwin recorded these books before they were consigned to the future and the name by which they were called is The Living Book For The Living’.

**** Ends at Chapter 7
 

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