From Belintar’s Book. (updated 1 Dec 1999)
The instinct of family is to protect. No one can blame any person who acts to protect their child, sibling, or parent. No wrong was done when this mother protected her dear daughter.
The Flood of Oslira
In the reign of Emperor Oravinos in Dara Happa lived a great warrior named Kendathalus. He was the fourth son of Shargash’s brother, and so had been raised in the house of the war god, learning the brutalities of war.
When the great and mighty emperor Yelm died many deities and powers revolted. One was the blue River Goddess, Oslira, who said that the old laws no longer held, and that now many new laws would begin. To prove her point, she began to make her own body flood over all the ancient dams and ditches that criss- crossed Dara Happa. The diggers and workers ran to build them higher, but the goddess was determined to have her own way, and no longer be constrained by the irrigation ditches.
Emperor Oravinos sent Shargash, his best warrior, to attack Oslira and force her to return to her bed. Shargash armed himself in crimson fury and came down from the heavens to attack. Oslira didn’t have a warrior who could stand up to the red war god, and they all ran or swam or paddled away when the crimson lord howled at them. Only Oslira herself remained there. From the waist down her great aquatic body flowed about in a figure eight current, a great crashing river that flowed ceaselessly nearly in place. From waist up she was like a huge fearsome monster, with eight arms crossed resolutely over her breasts, her broad face openmouthed to show rows of teeth. Several tongues lolled out, dripping poison that was washed away in her body.
Shargash had a bucket full of burning hot ingots. He took them and threw them with perfect accuracy, each striking a vital place on the goddess. Yet they all just hissed out, dead, and were washed away with the rest of the junk in the river of her body.
“Embrace me,” taunted Oslira, “Come and hold me with those big manly hands Shargash. Come and touch me once again, you who were my husband. Come close and wrestle with me, you who betrayed your oath when you left me. Come and let me surround you once again, you who have sworn never to touch me…”
Oslira laughed a roaring laugh, for she was right. Shargash had made those oaths and he could not, dared not, to touch her. He had broken one oath already when he rejected her, and for him touch her again meant he would break another which would cause a terrible weakening of his soul. He knew he would hiss out of existence himself, as his red hot bolts had done. So Shargash tore up a mountain to crush her, but Oslira let it splash into her while she laughed at him and tumbled around the broken pieces, still laughing. Shargash departed, enraged, back to his home again. One the way he killed an entire race of birds which had made nests in a cloud bank.
The emperor was shocked by this. He had been watching from his throne, which is on top of a pyramid. He could see anything in his realm from that seat. He had become Emperor sitting upon that seat that is called Yelm’s Tower.
His advisors, standing around him, needed no explanation of what had happened. They saw the black vulture which was the bird-shape of Shargash flying back up to his castle in the sky. They knew he was defeated.
Kendathalus was the first to speak. He was the brother of Emperor Khorventos who had been raised by Shargash. He said, “I am a warrior. Let me do what my lord could not do. I have no fear, and the river has no hold over me.”
Kendathalus armed, and he bore a spear that was named Entika. Entika had been forged to conquer Oslira. He had no trouble finding the river, and Oslira roared and rushed forward to meet him. Kendathalus cast the Entika and its points plunged deep into her watery body, but instead of being washed away it stuck there. Immediately a gout of liquid burst out and ran along the shaft of the Entika, and spurted even further past like blood bursts from an animal’s arteries. It sprayed about and disappeared, going away forever from the body of the river.
Oslira shrieked instead of laughing, and with all of her arms grabbed the Entika. Immediately her hands washed away, and the rushing current even tugged her arms deeper until her arms disappeared too. Now Kendathalus laughed.
Oslira turned to him and said, “You have defeated me, fighting man. I surrender. I submit my will to yours, and will return to my bed as you tell me to.”
“Not so fast,” said the man, “I have not stated my will yet. You will have a new bed before I am done with you.” Oslira looked at her gushing wound and spoke.
“Then tell me, conqueror, so I may do it before I am weakened to be like a worm instead of the mother of all serpents.” Kendathalus replied.
“You shamed my lord, you drowned my brother’s people, you frightened the Great Emperor. I am in no rush to declare judgement upon you. You will wait for me.”
“If I wait too long, I will be gone,” said the river. And Kendathalus laughed again. Oslira knew then what his will was. He would kill her. And now she laughed, not in a great roar but in a bitter ironic knowing way.
“You don’t know what you do, fighting man. You win, I shall fight no more.” and with a rushing all of her vanished out along the shaft of the Entika.
Thunder rumbled as Shargash beat upon his drum of victory. Clouds gathered, and a great rain fell all across Dara Happa. All across the great length of the empire the irrigation ditches filled, and the wide body of the river slowly settled into its old place again. When the rain cleared it showed the land calm once again, with water sitting motionless in its place.
The Revenge of Sshorga
The water remained motionless. After a while many fish and eels and gleks and other underwater animals floated up and began to smell very bad. And after a while green and blue and brown stuff began to collect on the surface, and it smelled bad too. After some more time some strange creatures were seen swimming in the waters, and people near the waters began to disappear. The people of Dara Happa began to be very unhappy about what had happened to their beloved river.
The kin of the river mourned greater than any humans could have. Sshorga was called the Mother of Oslira. She was a dragon, when she let herself be seen. She was not one of the little dragons that human heroes kill. She was not one of the real dragons either, like we have up north which are a range of hills when they sleep, and wake to swallow cities. When Sshorga moved herself higher on her side of the earth, the waters on the other sides all lowered. The God Learners called her a daughter of Sramak.
Sshorga was halted from action at first by a strange thing. She could not move because she felt vengeance. She wanted revenge on the things that had made her daughter dead. She wanted to drown Dara Happa. But she could not, because she was bound to be balanced. She had to obey the laws of creation, and so although she felt for revenge, she had to remain neutral.
Then once day she heard a small prayer. It was from some Dara Happans who were very thirsty. Their water had turned into poison by now, and not even the dark things were lurking in it to prey on people. The family prayed for water to come again.
This freed Sshorga. She went there balanced in her feelings, for both good and bad at once. Sshorga raised herself up and all the rest of the waters in the world lowered. The whole great block of the earth tilted when she put her weight on it. Her tongue, big enough to float a flotilla of warships, probed the way before her as she slithered across the land. She accidentally drowned cities and kingdoms as she passed.
The noise of Sshorga’s approach warned everyone of her approach. From atop his pyramid the emperor could see a huge wall rushing his way. He called Kendathalus, and told him to take his Entika and stop Sshorga. The War Man did as he was told. He stood on a large knoll, and he prepared himself as he had when he fought Oslira. He poised, and he closed his ears to the deafening sound, his eyes to the blinding terror, and his heart to the damage he wished to cause.
He shouted a challenge to Sshorga, but the daughter of Sramak had no interest in replying. Without further challenge, Kendathalus raised the Entika, and though his senses were mostly closed he aimed perfectly and hurled it deep into the approaching body of Sshorga, where it stuck with its great shaft pointed skyward, as it had before with Oslira. And as before a fountain rose from the wound. This one was huge, though, , the size of Oslira’s body, so a torrent, a flood, an inundation rushed from it. The arching water roared so high that it nearly reached the planet of Shargash, where the god himself watched the combat. Perhaps it would have gone that far, but Shargash himself leapt down, shield forward, and struck the water. It splashed away, gone forever. A river which could destroy a kingdom could not touch Shargash. But he didn’t go any lower, nor did he try to stop Sshorga herself. And she was unharmed, despite the damage done.
Torrential Sshorga, one hundred mountains of water for her head, washed over Kendathalus like the man was not there. He was a hero, and had blessings from Shargash, and fought for his life with great courage and strength. But he drowned. Even the knoll went too.
The Emperor and his advisors had watched the entire event from the top of the great pyramid. The lords did not have to sit on the throne to see what was going on. They saw wall of rushing water that roared their way from the south. It was as wide as they could see, from east to west across their world. They felt nervous and looked to their Light of Justice for comfort.
“I am the Emperor,” said Emperor Oravinos, “And let me remind you that this throne is on the top of the world. No flood can harm us, and I promise I will apologize to you good lords if your feet get wet.” They all laughed daintily at his joke.
Sshorga washed over them all, her wide forehead more than ten miles over the highest decoration of that very high throne. They all drowned. All the advisors, and all their subjects, and all of the priests and the farmers and the people who took care of the pigs. And the pigs, horses, cattle, chickens, cats, lions, and dinosaurs and everything else that had to breath air.
Dara Happa was destroyed, save for a single noble family who had been pure, innocent, and guiltless; and lucky too. All the works which had been made by humans or deities since the Golden Age were quenched. The Golden Age ended.
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