Upon a plain of dust, under the
radiance of the summer sun, a battle was fought a thousand years in the past, a
thousand miles from this place. Two
great armies moved against one another. They
had come to fight for many causes, but as arms clashed and blood flowed, the
conflict was an end to itself.
A thousand feet and a
thousand hooves dancing the jig of war had turned the ground to brown powder, so
great was the motion. All the
animals had long since fled before the armies, and all the plants had long since
been snapped at their roots, ground into the earth from which they sprang.
All save one solitary yellow blossom that still stood among the falling
feet, under the spray of blood, next to the dead and dieing.
On that field there were two
gods, one was War, the other was Beauty. War
grew strong, sweeping through the souls of the men, filling the warriors with
lust for war, until it mattered not who they fought, as long as their blade
could be swung and the man before them felled.
War saw all, heard all, felt all, yet he did not see the flower that
stood motionless next to three warriors fallen.
There was nothing of War in the blossom, and thus the blossom remained
unknown and unknowable to War.
Beauty was with the flower,
reveling in its strong color, in its fragrance, in its solitude.
For a thousand miles, the only thing that Beauty heard, beauty felt,
beauty saw was the lone flower. Beauty
could not see the struggle around her flower however.
There was nothing of Beauty in the battle, and thus the battle remained
unknown and unknowable to Beauty.
Then by Fate's hand, a man
was struck through the heart with a warrior's spear, and he fell to the earth,
his body crushing the flower into the soil, bathing it in blood.
Beauty was no longer on that plain.
Beauty could not recall that there was once something of her nature that
grew in that plain. In an instant,
Beauty ceased to exist for a thousand miles.
The last man standing upon
that plain, he carried with him a mortal wound, and he fell to the earth,
resting atop his enemies, and he soon died as well.
And War ceased to exist for a thousand miles.
War could not recall that he had once been the only existence upon that
plain; to him, the field did not exist for there was nothing of War there any
The gods are blind to the
world, are blind to their followers. The
only thing gods know is their existence and nothing beyond it.
Those who would walk with gods will suffer for the privilege, so the Lore
Giver tells us, and is painted in the story of Beauty and War. A god recognizes
not his follower but what in him belongs to the god.
A man that has much of his god in him will be favored by that god; a man
that has nothing of that god will be indifferent to that god.
It is the nature of man that
we know of many things, of many gods, and fill our souls with many passions, and
thus we are known by the gods. The
measure of man comes at his end, when the gods take what is theirs and depart to
their heavens and hells. Is it
Fate's will that the soul be divided evenly between many gods?
Or are we to fill ourselves so full of one great immortal's being that we
are unknowable by all others. These
are things of mystery, things that I seek.
With Hajama as my guide and with respect to all the immortals, named and
unnamed, who might take interest in this humble journey, I will try to find the
will of Fate.
Into the anvil of the
north I arrive,
Alipour al Malik