I'm currently working on a religion for my fantasy setting, a religion based amongst other things on Christianity, Islam, Gnosticism, Buddhism and certain other religious traditions. I'm working to make my setting less of a cookie-cutter "medieval Europe" setting, and I've been taking a great deal of inspiration from the Elder Scrolls more esoteric texts in this. As part of this, I've been writing some short allegories to serve as a kind of cultural and philosophical underpinning for characters to reference in actual stories. Anyway, I thought I'd drop some of them here, for amusement.
These stories (provided I write more) will usually take place around 1600-years before the "present" of the setting, and so is deliberately archaic and just plain weird
in many places. There's also a mix of mundane and fantastic elements (although, in a fantasy setting -- how can you tell them apart?), unreliable narration, and language which might or might not actually be intended to be to literal or metaphorical. In my mind, it's quite fun. But then I'm a bit weird like that.
"And so the wise folk of the heathen gods came to Lughes, him that they call the Light Incarnate, and queried him: "Oh, Teacher, we hear great revelations have been brought to you, and that deep truths have been made apparent to you. Tell us then, what is the nature of the world? In what manner was it made, and what end is it facing? Is it infinite in size and measure, as the Kurrarin say, or shaped like a circular disk inside the Cosmic Skull of Ghatum, as the Ghataea say? From whence does the world come? Was it first created from the Giant Wars, in which the stars were lit to remind the people to stay hopeful of the future, and the sun as the pyre of all those blessed dead, like the Awrja-doz and the Utamthiuza say? Or did the Ancientmost Firstings build it from their bodies when they achieved wit and goodly hue, so that they might live eternally in those whom are their children, like the Kertannoya sing of?"
And Lughes looked at them all, and he did not retort, but instead drew wavy lines in the ground before with a stick Direk, his shield-bearer and friend, handed to him. In it he drew the face of a man in anguish and of fearful look, for lo' he was drowning. And Lughes looked up and spoke unto those there gathered, both in earnesty and those who had come to test the new wisdom against the folly of old.
"If I were a man drowning in the river, and another extended to me their hand; would I then ask that one's name before taking it? Would I demand to know the name of their village, their lineage back to the ancient Borough-builders? Would I ask them of what make their clothes were? And if I did not know their tongue, would I demand they learn to speak in my own before taking the hand there outstretched? If I did any of these things I would be pulled beneath the minnows, and I would surely perish."
Lughes sat down then, and lit his briar-root pipe to smoke. And he spoke unto those there gathered, both in earnesty and those who had come in arrogance borne of fevered notions of truth.
"I bring only a hand extended in aid. Ask of me not the make of the universe, nor the lineage of aeons, for much has not yet been revealed, and the mortal life is short, as unto the breath of a man drowning in a stream. Man is a bubble; ephemeral and ready to burst. Take my hand if you will, it is freely offered."
And those who were there were either damned by their insistence on deceitful shadows, or were enlightened in the light of the Apocalypse Man. Verily."
It came to pass that Lughs and his Palatines travelled northwards along the lands of the Heiwyaz, who lived in deep, black forests, and there met a delegation of hearth-chiefs and mound-kinglets. They were arrayed in finely crafted rings and bracelets, and the foremost of them, whose neck was ringed by no less than six torques of gold, stepped forth.
"Ho, Teacher. Your arrival was made known to us."
"It was not a secret," spake Jandra, who as ever was a free speaker.
"We come peacably and with no ill will," said Lughs, his walking staff in hand and sword across his back. "In what manner may I help you?" He asked this, for he sensed in the chief a question, not a threat.
"You speak of many new things, this much we have heard. You speak of unity and fellowship among Men, and a new age a-coming. But you only speak to men. Us, we are already in fellowship with each other, but we war but constantly with the Cynocephaloi, the dog-headed Woses of the darkmost woods. Why do you not spread your message to them, so that they leave us and our clearing alone?"
Then Lughes sat down on the ground, and began drawing with his walking staff in the ground. In the ground a man was walking from a flock of sheep to a flock of pigs. Add Lughes spoke to those there gathered, the kinglets and chiefs of the Heiwyaz and his own Palatines.
"A shepherd once achieved great reknown for his knowledge of sheep-tending and breeding. He was loved by his flock and cared for them greatly. But he realized that many flocks out in many different fields were not faring so well, so he vowed to wander the lands to teach how to make the flocks prosper.
One day he came across a sty of pigs, and he set about helping them as well, for he thought of himself so highly that truly, what he knew of sheep would be good for pigs as well. But he accounted for too little water, so some died of thirst. And he accounted not for the winter well enough, so some died of frost. He struggled and struggled, but in the end only a few were left, and the shepherd boy was exhausted and embittered."
Lughes beckoned for his briar-root pipe then, and Direk brought it for him to smoke, as they sat down with crossed legs. And he spoke unto those there gathered, the Heiwyaz Heads and the Palatines:
"To me has been revealed many things that are good and prosperous to Men, those of my own kind. Should I attempt to counsel those of other kindreds my advice would be ill-suited and my revelations wasted."
And so those there gathered knew wisdom as they saw it unfold, or their hearts grew hard and they threw salvation away. Verily.