Ancient peoples held to ancient standards, ancient laws, and ancient morals. This is a story of ancient times, and its contents may walk the edges of our current sensibilities. In fact, I am not the correct person to be writing it. I hold not only a less severe view of morality, but also a sharp partiality, as the members of these stories are relations of mine.
I asked my parents, how did you two meet? Neither would answer for a very long time. Years of pressing my mother and my father culminated in fragments spread across centuries of time and parsa’ot of space.
Eventually they sat down and threaded these stories together, and put them in order. This is the result of their words and my labours. Let me tell you the story of my parents, the man and woman who founded my home, The Solune Kingdom.
99 Years Prior
There are inherent issues with the beginning of this story, but one thing is clear; my mother was born first, and thus a chronological approach would begin with her. However, at the start, her story is more complex, and thus I have elected to open this recounting with the words of my father.
I have lived far too long for one man. I am not yet a monster, but I fear I will soon other related troubles will arise. To live to ninety is not an impossible thing, but it is certainly an astounding feat, and evidence of incredibly robust health. However, a man living to ninety and appearing to be in his twenties all the while, this is either the result of some heavenly blessing, or perhaps due to some fiendish curse.
What is the reason I was not already burned for demonism, or perhaps simply to be rid of this freakish aberration? Perhaps, unlike the civilizations of old, the Sol are a good people, and thus I would have survived regardless. And yet, for the last four decades, I have been their leader, and have walked among them, charged into battle beside them, and fought in front of them these many years. Is this the true reason behind the lack of animosity? Perhaps not. And yet, I am more than a leader, more than a civil mayor, and more than a military general.
I am Rhye, Warden of the Sol.
Finding friends is hard, when each and every one of those whom you grew up with either left in jealously of your apparently eternal youth, or simply passed on, returning to the other worlds from which we came. Both of my parents, of blessed memory, lived long and healthy lives, and yet still, they returned from this world decades ago, when I was in my forties. My only friends are those of my mother’s order, the mystics. Besides them, there is my doctor, Jeahn the Mediologian. I did not consider him to be a friend in the proper sense, as he was an adolescent, a trainee. Yet now he is nineteen and has been found qualified enough to be my personal physician. Although this is perhaps because my previous physician suffered an untimely ceasing [Chloe: death; as in, the soul was ceased from the body involuntarily or unnaturally, and returned to the other worlds. This reflects a primitive, though not incorrect metaphysical theology. We now know, of course, that the soul returns to the upper worlds, and not simply to the generic “other” worlds], and he was able to study and train fast enough to take on the post before anyone else.
It was the mystic who first relayed the rumour changing mouths among the youth.
She told me, “They say you may be an angel, or perhaps a deity.”
What could be done? I immediately called an audience with all the mystics over the age of forty; those who knew it was not true. The youth, I am of their grandfather’s, or even great grandfather’s generation and so they have no clear evidence that the realities of my birth, while disturbing, are completely mundane. At that time, I began to wonder if, in a few more generations, my origins will become part of the mythic past, so that even the greatest and most clearminded of scholars argue how I came to be and ignore the testimony of the living man who stands before them, stating that I like them am natural-born.
When everyone gathered, I told them of this and they all reassured me that they were well aware of my mundane origins.
“It is natural,” said the ancient mystic, so old that she knew my mother many years ago. “In many civilizations, the great men of old and men of renown are elevated to the point of deification. How many of our neighbours on the other side told stories of heroes apparently born without parents, or assumed directly into the heavens, never tasting true death?”
“And you believe it? Weren’t you there when I was young? You know I did not simply spawn fully formed upon this earth,” I said.
“Of course now. Yet, how will we stop up these stories? Soon none my age will be left, and you will be surrounded in a community where even the scholars doubt the story you yourself tell of your origins.”
“And what then?”
“I do not know. Perhaps you, leader, will come to some solution. You may take your time, although we both know that with each day passed, this trouble will deepen rather than fade.”
“Yes of course…”
The council continued, but no true solution was found. I wouldn’t come up with one for many days.
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The Solune Sovereignim is a project that is currently on hold as of writing this. The Beta version is sections I wrote during Nanowrimo 2021.