Dreamscape

Creation Myths: The Dreamscape

All began with the eternal and ubiquitous Id. A sea of life churning in the void. In that sea Androgiin swam alone. Androgiin, Ego and First Consciousness, the Builder, saw the nothingness that was the Id and the glory that might be. There Androgiin decided: they would give all for the world that is.

Let it begin again. The Builder proclaimed. And so began dancing. Androgiin whirled, a dervish through tenebrous emptiness, its steps a blueprint, its self the stock of creation.

From twinkling eyes that saw and sacrificed swelled the heavens, the sun and blinding stars.

From a body that nurtured and died grew the earth, an expanse of high mountains, deep valleys and endless desert.

From a mouth forever lapsed into silence whispered the wind, followed by a procession of howling storms. From its tears came the rain, filling basins that became the lakes, seas, and the boundless ocean.

From begetting loins, castrated and cast about the cosmos, sprouted flora and sprung fauna of every stripe. Birds to cloud the skies, creatures to leap through forest and field

From a mind that gazed at the deep and wondered, then forgot itself as it dispersed, came awareness, the seed of humankind and of Gods.

From a soul that yearned came the Dreamscape. The demesne of the Id, the Dreamscape floated above, behind, and just beyond the realm Androgiin created, flitting always out of sight, trembling with power. Here lay tamed a limitless potential.

And from its self, the many aspects of One, came children most prized—five faces of the Eternal: Angaama, paragon of justice, wise Wysheid the teacher, Alur, ardent and carnal,  Jev, the avatar of destruction, and Eleazar, the smiling fool, one of tricks, of shadows.

With all parts given to this new beginning, Androgiin faded, subliming into all it had made. What little that remained drifted to the corners of existence, no more than bits and pieces of the once glorious Ego. As it diffused, the Gods wept and beat their breasts, terrified babes in the wilderness. They were young, powerful being who could not countenance being left alone.

Father/Mother, Mother/Father!

My children…

Why do you leave us?

Leave you? Look at yourselves, at Creation. Every bit of every thing is me. Do not think of me as gone, but transformed.

Naked, still on their knees, damp tears dripping down their cheeks, the Gods were not satisfied. Most wounded of all was Eleazar, the God of Tricks. He who was born his face draped in permanent shadow, a wide smile etched like a scar from cheek to cheek and two large eyes—small black irises swimming in seas of white.

Why make us at all?" He muttered. "What are we for?

Androgiin's reply echoed from the world itself, from frosted mountaintops and streams hushing through nascent forests, from the stars above and cyclones rumbling across a newborn Earth, from creatures tottering out on unsure legs and blinking at the bright rays of a neonate sun.

You are stewards. Guide this crafted Ego with passion, wisdom, fervor, righteousness… humor. Protect them from the Id that is their baser nature.

Stay with us! Show us the path. Came their pained reply.

I am. Have been. Will always be of and with you. Remember that my children. Remember…

And with that, The Builder lapsed into silence and was no more. The Newborn Gods were left alone on their freshly molded world. Only Eleazar heard the quiet voice, whispering in his ear as they began to wander a still soft Earth.

Remember, one day the time will come. I will return.

 

A Fallen King

                Between the openmouthed gate and through hedgerows of ancient stone fled the fallen king, Justice chasing relentlessly after. His sins finally came to bear. Mist choked the maze he stumbled through, leaving all but a few inches in front of his face little more than indistinct shadows that swirled in the dark. He ran, clutching to his heart the power that augured his downfall, that which he had stolen from a God most frightful and most divine. The secret to eternal life. Immortality to seal his clutches on his kingdom.

                But one cannot steal from a God without consequence. Her powers trump even those of the greatest of great men. Her will, though slow, is inexorable. Her decrees sacrosanct. And so, along with her graces, the king watched all he held most dear slip from his grasp: His kingdom, his family, his respect among peers—fellow leaders of nearby nations all laughed at his misfortune. They knew better than to tangle with the Warrior, than to disrespect the most implacable of Gods.

                The white walls of stone extended far above his head, and from them rained down giant boulders, shaken loose by the footfalls of Vengeance. Each step grew further imperiled as he had to dodge falling death. Soon, he knew, his flight would be at an end.

                Finally he turned down a corridor that ended abruptly at a wall. As a shadow loomed behind him, he inched up against it, the world trembling with its steps as the God approached. Alas, he was trapped. The Warrior came to reclaim what he had taken. There was no other option. The fallen king took to his knees in supplication, and prayed that she would be merciful.

                The Warrior approached, appearing in the mist, herself a moving wall. A 20 foot spectacle. Of dark marble, of muscle hewn from obsidian, of flinty brown eyes, of unkempt dark curls. She was naked, and all the more terrifying for it. Strapped around her bare waist, a simple leather belt with an ornate scabbard. A scabbard from which she might pull a thousand blades. Each member of her arsenal waited for her call in the aether.

                And as she menaced, the king began to beg.

                “Please, Warrior, forgive my foolishness. I meant not to offend, only to-”

                SILENCE! The Warrior did not speak, at least her mouth did not move. The words seeped from the porous stone around them, like the whole world was made of God, like the maze was her bosom, like the king merely fled deeper into her folds. You think I don’t know what you intended? You yourself had dreams of a seat in my pantheon!

                “Mercy, I beg of you mercy.”

                The Warrior got down on one knee, meeting the king’s gaze, and did not respond right away. He felt as if she measured his soul. She snorted dismissively and rose again.

                You think you stole from me. It was not a question. You think you can move without a God’s notice. You think one can become a God without sacrifice, without enduring great pain. Without losing everything. Such is man’s arrogance I suppose.

                These next words she spoke, surprisingly quiet for one of such power. “I was like you once. Only focused on how to grow stronger. I was obsessed with conquering the world, extending myself past humankind’s earthly limits. I dreamed of becoming a celestial creature. And so I did. And the cost…”

                The Warrior paused, her eyes far away, remembering a fateful night on a desolate plain. A plaintive look on a lover’s face. An oasis built on death.

                “But you will not get that chance, ‘king’. You dreamed of power without dues, and connived of shortcuts.”

                “My Queen, my omnipotent liege, I-“

                “You thought you could take from me without my notice. But I am everywhere in this world, from every grain of sand, from every brick, I peer out. You stole Godhood from me because I. Let. You.”

                To this the king had no response. He close his eyes, and shivered. Suddenly it was cold in the maze. The mist clung to him, iron shackles chaining him to his fate.

                “Such a pain it is, being all knowing. At first I wondered why Gods toy with men, dangling before them everything they’ve ever wanted only to affix to it a most burdensome price.”

                The mist began to fade, and the maze with it. The stone became clouds. And for a brief moment, the king floated in Paradise.

                “But now I see… it is because we grow idle.”

                And with that, she let the king fall, robbed of the prize that sheltered him from death.

                It felt like an age passed before he hit the ground.

The Warrior Dreams

            The Warrior sleeps and dreams of her lover. She sees her bound to a stake in the desert, melting into a pool in the sand. From her death, life flows like a river. An oasis sprouts from the desolation, fed by the blood and tears of the woman the Warrior treasured more than life itself. She dreams of the look in her lover's eyes as she transcends the mortal plane, transfixed by the power allowed the Warrior by God into nature itself.

The Warrior lies alone in her yurt, high above a newly fertile plain. Her arms empty, grasping in the dark for a heart, a soul, long gone. The heart she sacrificed to the Lord of War in the name of her preordained conquest.

The Warrior shudders in the quiet cold. Not even the gloom frees her from a prison of her own devising, from the choices that led her thus. Behind her in the past, everything falls away, leaving nothing but the intemperate present.

The Warrior weeps, and is swept into her mind's eye on a flood of tears. There hides the desert she erased from the world, but not her soul. Through it she walks. Behind her, what was once a set of a thousand footsteps in the sand dwindles to hundreds, then to dozens, to two and now one.

Though she walks in darkness, ahead there is light. Flickering as if cast from an enormous fire. Indeed she feels the heat, hears the roaring flames. After a span following the light, dancing bright on the horizon like the sunrise, she finds a giant forge: a wooden hovel perched atop a hearth. Under its auspices a naked giant works the bellows, sweating and frowning with concentration.

The Warrior gasps: Its face mirrors her own. The same arched-broad nose, the same eyes the shade of burnished oak, matching the smooth brown skin of her face, the same sad wrinkles in the corners of her eyes, only magnified, like deep canyons on a bust carved into the side of a mountain.

She watches her 15-foot twin work a while, fans the flames hotter and hotter, feeding the greedy blaze the oxygen it craves. Even at this distance, the Warrior fears she will burn. Soon the flames burn so bright that, though it remains night, the Warrior can see shadows dancing on the dunes many miles in the distance. Soon they burn so hot, the sand around the forge begins to melt, burning red and translucent, pooling at The Giant's feet like liquid glass.

If the scalding heat bothers her at all, The Giant shows no sign. She leaves the bellows for the fire. Amaranth metal gripped in her tongs. The metal hisses and warps, no die, no hammer and anvil needed. It shapes itself according to The Giant's will, hewn into being by her mind alone. From the fire a sword is born, the color of flames. In the hazy brightness of the heat, it turns orange, then crimson, then deep purple.

As The Giant slides the blade into a reservoir filled with silvery, viscous to cool. It is not water. Any water would have long since evaporated in the heat comparable to that of the sun. The Giant's sweat sizzles and steams as soon as it leaves her pores. It appears that at any moment she herself may start to dissipate into vapor and disperse with the wind. Finally she speaks.

"He takes everything from us. Surely you see that by now."

She removes the blade from the water, regarding it by the firelight. The silver liquid slowly drips away, leaving words carved on the blade's flat, somehow, though the Warrior knows the language, their meaning escapes her. They are not meant for her comprehension. Not yet.

"That's what they do, these Gods, they take and take, demanding we sacrifice more and more to prove our fidelity. We are left with nothing."

Finally The Giant faces the Warrior, sword in hand, as she approaches the whetting stone. She presses the pedal down with her foot and the wheel of gray coticule begins so spin, soon rotating so fast that it begins to whistle with the wind. Sparks fly as she hones its edge.

"We are alone now… once we had love but sacrificed her for power. Once we had an army, but left them behind."

The heat lessens and the Warrior creeps closer.

"And for what? Promises of Godhood? Pride and ambition? All ashes, I tell you. Ashes."

The Giant watches the Warrior approach and grimaces.

The Giant tests the edge against her palm. Satisfied, she tosses it aside on a pile of blades, each sharper and more deadly than the last.

"I wish I could reach you. She may be lost, the one we both treasured, but it's not too late for our soul. I wish you would remember this dream, but we will not."

She turns back to the Warrior, her diminutive doppelgänger, crouching down so that they may look each other squarely in the eyes. "Do you know why I brought you here little one?"

The Warrior shakes her head mutely, finding herself unable to speak, though whether that is caused by some trick of the dream or if she is simply choked by fear she cannot say.

"Not to warn you, or for redemption. Our fate is sealed. Not to leave you with some ill-omen or premonition of what is to come. That path through the desert, leaving dwindling footsteps, that tale of consumption is one we've lived a hundred, a thousand times. No… I wished merely to look at you. The woman I once was."

The Giant takes the Warrior's head in her massive hand, and the Warrior can feel its power. If she wished it, she could squeeze all the moisture out of it, drain her and leave her husk on the desert floor like a date, like dried meat in a smokehouse. She was dwarfed by the woman she would become. Awed by her and humbled, but she could be see the sadness in her eyes, which too dwarfed her own, and pitied her future-self.

Is there no escaping this fate? She wondered silently.

"No," The Giant replied, as if she osmosed her thoughts through touch. "Not for us. Not anymore. Soon we will meet again on this plain. I the Warrior in the palm of your hand, you lost and alone, like all Gods and Goddesses must become. But the sun rises. Time for you to return, little us."

"But I-" Finally the Warrior finds her words.

"-There is not time, soon the cycle will start again. So it is written and so it shall be. We are trapped in the whirlwind. Open your eyes. Open your eyes and wake."

And so she does, the Warrior, unsure of why tears stain her cheeks. She rises, leaves her hut on the ridge, overlooking her army feeding on the bounty left by her love. She can feel in her heart, somehow, that every moment leads her further from the woman she thought she would be: happy and fulfilled. She can taste the ashes in her mouth. She can see, in the distance, reaching towards from the future, the flames that will consume everything, everyone, she holds dear.