The Great Eastern Love Story of the Gods Age
In the early God Cycle the antigod Togaro vomited forth an army that conquered Duravan, and then a sea that drowned almost the whole land.
Queen Hrenseneso sought help against her foes, and she walked barefooted a hundred miles to seek Venforn. When she got there, he had been gone for a century. After hearing her pitiful story, two monks, Sivoli and Kamboli ,agreed to return to Beneren, her home, and teach what they could. Thus began the “Affair At Dusk,” a story treated as tragedy and bawdy farce, but which also holds the roots of ancient knowledge.
Sivoli and Kamboli loathed each other, thinking each other a prude and a lewd. Sivoli had vowed to forswear all sex except once, after which he would quickly die, while Kamboli believed the Venfornic Way required frequent sexual intercourse. Kamboli spent the entire cycle seeking to have sex with the queen, who avoided him entirely with many clever and amusing traps and tricks. The warrior, meantime, served her and the Ministry and eagerly negotiated to arrange the trysts of great beings who sought
the beautiful queen’s favors. Those famous love affairs are still remembered by many descendants today.
Alas for all, Queen Hrenseneso truly loved Sivoli the most, though he never knew it. She was unable to tell him, he unwilling to ask, even in his eldest dotage when he finally submitted to his urge.
Long ago, when deities and mortals walked together was the eternal garden called Farashanalash. In there lived a man called Dovarilor, who had fallen in love with a star. Though mocked by his friends, insulted by his neighbors, and abused by strangers, he prayed and sacrificed to the star for a hundred years. On the next sacrifice he was visited by Ombalavor, the Celestial Lover, who made a night, a day and another night be a year for Dovarilor. When Ombalavor retired again to the sky she left behind a daughter, who was named Hrenseneso.
Hrenseneso was incarnated pleasure in the world. She was a delight to all who knew her, and many sought to live near her in the land called Beneren, noted for its many beautiful statues and luxurious living quarters, and where no one bought or sold anything, nor even traded, but gave away everything when asked. She was honored when great Govmeranen asked her to be one of the appointed rulers to oversee the world. He cited her wisdom, strength, harmony, and popularity as her virtues.
Among her subjects were the particular race called the Keets. They were a populous and creative in that era and filled Duravan with their song and art. One day a delegation of their leaders came to Hrenseneso and complained of injustice. They showed her that their great sage Kerendak had been attacked by the sea god named Enderalath, and therefore, they said, their counterattack upon that deity was justified. However, their follow up attack upon the Keets was a terrible injustice, even worse than the first, and thus she had to go and correct it.
Hrenseneso was unconvinced, and went herself to speak to Endaralath. She found that the lands where the keets had lived were entirely under water now, and though many of them could swim, it was not inhabitable for most keets. At the beach she ordered the bullies of the sea to come forth to see her, They did, because she was the rler, and for punishment she turned them into very small things, about the size of cats.
As soon as they left their father Togaro turned them back into their old selves. “No one can be a greater shape changer than us,” said Togaro, laughing.
Hrenseneso was infuriated, and uttered a curse to make it so her rules won’t be broken again. She went then with her household to scold Endaralath again. However, the sea gods changed their shape to be a different water, and she couldn’t recognize them. Angrier than before, she lay another command for them. “You Sons of Togaro, come to me now, and if not then may all the strength of the land haul you before the Justice Makers, without end until Justice is done.” Then she returned home.
The sea gods considered it all to be play. They stayed in many strange shapes, laughing all the time at their thwarted foes. After a while they decided to engage in a tug of strength against the land, and they began to call all the waters to help them. They resisted the pull of the command as long as possible, and with a great roaring laugh gave up and rolled over all the land between them and Hrensenesco. They drowned nearly all of Duravan, and left only sacred Beneren, surrounded by seas.
Queen Hrenseneso sought help against these foes, and went to her leader Govmeranen to get advice. He told her to meditate to contact the High Gods, but she was impatient and did not understand, so she got the priest Ombardaru to make a sacrifice for her He did, and announced that the Cosmic Dancer said that only Venforn, the Immense Sage, could help her. She walked barefooted for a hundred miles to the land of Churen where the sixth of the Huge Dynasty ruled. When she got there, she learned that Venforn had been gone for a century, and was so stricken that she began to weep pitifully.
Two monks, Sevoli and Kamboli each offered to return with her to Beneren, and to teach what they could to restore justice to her land. Hrenseneso couldn’t decide which to invite, and so invited them both, and both agreed.
The Two Venforns
Though both were wise and liberated holy men Venforn, Sevoli and Kamboli loathed each other, each thinking the other to be a prude or a lewd. In common was their intense devotion to being united with the ultimate through personal integration into the world. However, Sevoli practiced integration of the world, while Kamboli practiced integration with it. In everyday terms, Sevoli had vowed to forswear all sex except once, after which he would quickly die, while Kamboli believed the Venfornic Way required frequent sexual intercourse.
Kamboli taught the Pillow method of learning and strengthening the venfornic senses, which he called Six Selective Indulgences. These provided the source for many subsequent sexual cults, erotic and courtesan arts, so that most people today first consider Kambolic to mean sexual, and don’t even imagine the powerful magic which lies at the core of the practice. Today we find Kamboic practices degenerated to be hedonistic orgies without redeeming spiritual objectives, without objective beyond self-indulgence. The danger in this is that such careless indulgence often slides into antigod territory, with conjured lovers being summoned, and among them come conquering demons. But of course, in Kambolic’s lifetime no such dangers were possible, because of his presence and great power.
Kamboli’s own sacred place in Beneren was called Zon Tonian, or Limitless Pleasures House. There was spawned a merman race, a dozen founders of dynasties, and also the Strong Spear Army. To believe the Kambolists all of humanity was afterwards descendant from Kamboli himself. Indeed, every person who claimed to be his daughter or son was acknowledged by the Master. Indeed, of all the steamy atmospheres that one about Kamboli was the most lusty, from which magical power was taken for Kambolic magic.
Nonetheless, Kamboli grew continually more unhappy during his long life, for he increasingly felt unfulfilled. “My Iste has no Yothenara,” he would say, “Thus am I urged ever onward by Desire to form the perfect Union.” And thus, through the entire Gods Cycle, he sought to have sex with the Queen Hrenseneso, who avoided him entirely with many clever and amusing traps and tricks.
Ombalavor, the Celestial Lover, was named to be the way for ordinary people to worship, though other stars were always included too. The people often bore children with or by star people afterwards, and one group formed the Great Dancers of the Beautiful Dynasty times.
Sevoli the Striker, meantime, taught the Sevolic Disciplines. Sevoli taught the Whetstone method of learning and strengthening the venfornic senses, which he called Six Selective Disciplines. These disciplines developed the normally latent Venfornic Organs through successive temptations and denials to make them grow magically stronger. Sevolic Practices are often called “Disciplinary and health practices,” and good health is required to properly work Venfornic magic. Sevoli’s meditation allowed the acquisition of Venfornic energies, and also taught how to then project that energy in six different ways. This formed the basis for the earliest unarmed martial arts.
The Sevolic system acknowledged and anticipated failure by its members, and consciously incorporated this “spiritual backsliding” into a socially responsible organization, called the Strikers of Chains. Afterwards, when mortals became less than gods, most settled to master a single portion of Venforn’s required disciplines. Today we know the Star Seers as one group of them, and the Pure Hand School to be another. Others are far more “debased” from the perfection that the Immense Master taught, but by Venfornic philosophy even these offer a new pathway towards Venfornic integration.
Sevoli’s life was spent serving Queen Hrenseneso and working to preserve Govmeranen’s Ministry. He performed great tasks and led masses of beings to perform others. Thus the Waterwalls were built, being great damns which first held back the waters from Beneren, and then later reclaimed more. They did that by building a wall an isolating a region, then causing the enclosed water to evaporate and die. The Keet’s hero Nekwelkakel led a similar action, but without the walls. He performed the Sitting Beach Remaking magic and created New Keetela, where their descendants lived for one hundred generations.
Sevoli also obediently arranged many of the famous trysts which form the love stories of the Affairs At Dawn. He aided many of the great beings who went to Beneren and sought the beautiful queen’s favors. Those famous love affairs are still remembered today. Tuan Anglou was a son of the Last Huge who gave his birthright to Sevoli for a night with the Queen. Sevoli gave it to the daughter born thereby, who was the first Queen of the Beautiful Dynasty of Churen.
One of his greatest satisfactions was when Sevoli helped his Queen to meet and beguile Savrunian, the Lord of the Walled Lake north of Beneren. From this union came the Masters of Water Lords, but more importantly made peace with the waters for Duravan, so Queen Hrenseneso was at peace once again with Govmeranen’s Justice.
Similar triumphs of the queen produced the Tern Sages of Deselenro, and especially Ern Garnoun, the greatest hero of Memb’s Emerald Ring Dynasty and the leader of the Five Defender Heroes.
The Five Defender Heroes
The Five Defender Heroes were a band of Selvolic warrior sages who drove back the Endaralath Sea and restored Duravan to Govmeranen’s Justice. They were:
Ern Garnoun was the leader, called the Head Striker.
Nekwelkakel Redhead led his followers to reclaim a huge tract of land without any fighting or successful opposition. He considered this to be final retribution and justice for the legendary assault on great sage Kerendak many centuries earlier.
Faralsta Noun, the Water Breather, who inhaled entire lakes for practice, and then even went under the oceans and frightened even the gods to flee from there.
Sudanar Marnoun, the Lord of Veldru, who acquired the personal service of that mighty god who had offended the High God Vith, and so earned such lowly servitude. Sudanar Marnoun didn’t abuse his charge, and set the propoer ways for worshipping the gods.
Sori Marnoun, the Lord of the Shade, protected everyone from the powers of the dead that the sea gods commonly brought forth. When the drowned legions slogged ashore they were met by empty spirits so that each cancelled the other with a negative double magic.
Sevoli, participated only as advisor and elderly sage from his monastery, but is often considered to be the Sixth Defender Hero, and he speaks mysteriously of the Great Seventh, the Immense Defender, as well.
Against the friends, worshippers, and family of Endaralath the Five Defender Heroes and their many followers drove the seas back. Old Duravan was often called Serestes Tau after that, meaning “Resting and Pleasure Lands.”
Alas for all, Queen Hrenseneso truly loved Sevoli the most, though he never knew it. She was unable to tell him, he unwilling to ask, even when he finally submitted to his final urge and had sex. The queen was personally devastated when she was not asked to be his mate, for he properly chose the Mother of Erdires as his mate. During his only intercourse Sevoli disintegrated entirely and became one with Cosmic Love.
It was that disappointment which brought the downfall of Serestes Tau. The Queen never understood the lesson of her life, and with her weakness came the darkness of the antigods to her land. Thus later when Endaralath turned his revenge into Sshorg she was not ready. The Sevolic Defenders had grown weak, seduced say many by their neighbors of Kambolic inclinations. Others see the downfall to be the revenge or triumph of the Oguangites, an antigod Venfornic practice which practices liberating meditations to certain points, at which it encourages the practitioners to voluntarily break the practice and acquire a certain type of mystical Feat. Another understanding is that the old worship of Veldru had no magic to combat the priests of the new races of the ludoch and ysabbau. For these reasons, and probably others as well, the great antigod Sshorg overwhelmed all opposition and gained himself his great sea bed.
Queen Hrenseneso was entirely engulfed by the seas, devoured by Sshorg and his minions. Most of the people of her land were drowned, their corpses and houses serving as a feast for a mertribe. Her memory is preserved in Forng, with their sad love songs, and by the keets who remember her with fondness and glum pleasure.
The keets escaped the seas invasion once again. They were led away over the wave tops by Great Eral, whose cleverness let them outdistance the pursuit by the gods Bezarngay and Diendimos, aided by the ludochs. Pursuit stopped only at the isle of Sesre, as is well known. They settled among the East Isles, and are the ancestors of most of the keets of the north.