Reconstruction of A Shattered History

“History shattered. It was the only thing that could give. Very strange event. There were cracks left all over the place. The… oh, I can’t remember the words… the fastenings that tell bits of the past which bits of the present they belong to, they were flapping all over the place. Some got lost for ever…”

Terry Pratchett, Thief of Time.

This was, perhaps, the area of research which simultaneously offered the greatest challenges and most intriguing opportunities.

The deeper we dug, the further back we looked, the more we realised that a lot of what is considered “established historical fact” is so much guesswork, gossip, and what we might call ‘fake news’ in this age.

We all know the saying that “history is written by the victors” and we know this is true. The apocalypse of the Mayans, the holocaust of the Native Americans, the genocide of Columbus; history tried to hide those stories from us but failed in the end. Sooner or later, it seems, the Truth will turn up, mopping its brow and muttering something about the traffic.

Eventually.

A Hole on History

There is a great deal of History we know nothing about, that we make educated guesses, make educated stab in the dark (first establishing with what to attempt said stabbing and the correct intensity of darkness to attempt to at least wound), hold fingers of investigation to the wind, and so forth.

Up until quite recently, your average person want to school and was taught what we could call the consensus version which, obviously, they accepted without question. Then most people get on with their adult lives after school and leave history well alone. Those who maintain an interest or take history as a profession tend to not attract too wide an audience.

Those ‘In the business’ know which way the trench is dug (or better said, the budget granted) so keep their mouths shut about ‘the secret’, wouldn’t you?

The simple fact is that a lot of the historical record was commited to perishable materials because that’s all they had available at the time. Of the vast cache of documents recovered from Qumran in 1947, it is said that at least one third were used as fuel before someone told the shepherd those foreigners paid a fortune for that stuff.

So much could have been lost that way, or been sequestered away in private collections, locked away in the fabled Vatican Archives or similar hidden vault of Forbidden Knowledge.

We know that many Mayan books and scrolls were burned as “heresy”, Aztec monuments defaced. Early Islamic expansion contributed to the destruction of ‘haram’ or unholy items such as stuff the priests didn’t like or that disagrees with what kept them in nice clothes and palaces.

The library of Constantinople contained a lot of what was saved or recovered from the fire that destroyed the Library of Alexandria centuries before. In 1204 AD., the Library was burned to the ground by crusaders and, we hear, nothing survived.

How much history was lost due to ignorance, war, ideology, brazen stupidity and, perhaps, a bit of intent?

Stitching it Up

The possible irony of that heading is indeed intentional, thank you for noticing…

When it comes to studying the history I needed to in order to properly research both The Chronicles of Enoch and Hegemony, a lot of information was missing. The main source of material, The Bible (various versions), translations of the Torah and midrash, the Qur’an and other works, ancient codices, the Book of Enoch itself, and numerous works of ‘uncertain canonicity’ (apophryca etc).

I noticed a lot of missing information, contradictions, plot holes, and explanations lacking.

Now, I know Sir Terry’s works are as fictional as ours are (we think) but we wonder sometimes…we’ve often heard of something called ‘parallel creativity’; inspiration coming from…ah…somewhere else and fiction accidentally reporting reality. Sir Terry mentioned something called ‘unwritten books’ and has a magical library containing books that haven’t yet been written, implying that information can, perhaps, persist and ‘leak’ as it were.

We wonder whether some of this information and history was intentionally repressed and hidden as The Chronicles of Enoch assert. Has history been filled with individuals or groups that do not want the truth reported; not just Lucifer (and through him, The Vatican and other Church organisations) but others too? In The Chronicles, we have the Unknown Men, the Illuminati, and others we’ll stay quiet about for now.

Hidden History?

Each one of these organisations has an agenda and aims as well as being very keen to hide their existence from the world at large. 

In The Chronicles, we have the example of The Hidden War of 79AD. The world’s greatest Heroes gathered in Meggido valley to face down a horde of monstrous Nephilim led by Lucifer and his Horsemen. Sable, Conan, and Gilgamesh led the charge and, though countless heroes of legend were killed in the battle, Lucifer’s forces were decisively broken; two Horsemen were defeated and the others fled.

The world, however, did not end and the forces of Heaven were conspicuously absent. Everyone, except for the dead, simply pretended that the battle never happened. Asmodeus erased even the vaguest of references regarding the battle from history. They existed, of course, there had been mortals present in the fifty-thousand strong Army of Heroes, there were witnesses, there were armaments and weapons as well as bodies left behind. A great many of those bodies did not look even close to human; there were giants, orcs and goblins, beast-men, and dragons among them and their bones decorated the Meggido valley.

The scale of the operation he mounted in the 1960’s, the disinformation, the sequestration of both information and remains, the neutralisation of those that couldn’t be ‘financially convinced’, and the practical rewriting of some history books is almost impossible to imagine but he did it.

Fragmented accounts remain in folklore, mythical accounts of Heroes, strange legends, they are even encoded in the “Approved Modern Version” of the Book of Revelation. It is odd to think that the great Battle of Armageddon there mentioned refers to an actual historical event rather than a future one or (as many today claim) a more allegorical struggle.

The account in Revelation is said to have been Asmodeus’ greatest gamble and success simultaneously.

Conclusion

History is written by the victor and the most powerful; money and threats have made inconvenient pieces of the historic record disappear almost as well as accidental occuraces such as fire and misapplied zealotry can.

We know there are parts missing, we see repetions, fixes, and inventions applied over some of the holes and rarely do people question them. One has to be looking in order to spot the important ommissions and fabrications. One has to pay attention to the stories and folk tales for explanations at times, the evidence that should be there at others.

Sometimes the evidence or information is glaring in its absence.

We are not talking about those shows seen on a certain channel sharing a name with the field we keep mentioning. We are not talking conspiracy this time, we’re making logical and educated forays into what is so obviously there.

Or, of course, obviously not there but has left a hole like a missing jigsaw piece will…you can imply its shape in its absence.

Maybe not all of our fictional history is as fictional as we think it is…

Subverting the Genre

The Wordsmith’s Anvil


It is tempting, as a writer, to conform to one of the popular genres; fold together the de-rigeour plotlines, bend and hammer in reader’s favourite character types, heat and finally temper it into a shining example of sure-to-sell. It is so easy to do.


If you do it right then you may have a functional knife, decent sword or even another hammer to shape more words on your anvil. You may well be successful. That is good, do you not think? Maybe. Molten Words Cast Out of the mould it pops. Smooth off the cast lines and flash, polish it into… …into what?


Exactly what the mould tells it to be. You see, you take your mould, fill it with the molten result of your works and leave it to cool. After a time, you crack it open and out comes….an exact copy of what the mould was made from. Vampires who have various existencial crises. Angels who, in spite of having god-like powers, still chase after a much ignored young girl who secretly has reality shattering powers.


The all-powerful evil overbeing who commands legions of fanatical followers and can murder anyone they like with a mere thought with the hidden weakness that everyone had forgotten about, killed by a precocious pubescent… Funnily enough nobody asks what happens once the hero and love interest share a kiss and the final page is turned.
The vast army or empire does not simply shuffle it’s feet and decide that unfettered evilness was a poor career choice. Will the minor villains and henchpeople turn good and they live in the cliche everyone loves? What do you think?


A Mighty Sword Forgéd


Yes, the accent is intentional for we are about to enter into a fantasy-based extended metaphour…(spelling intentional for pedantic accent)
The hero of the tale will often be seeking a weapon of some sort with which to end the Evil One forever.
No simple sword, hammer, arrow or pointy-murder-thing will suffice: a simple and enthusiastic poke into a convenient soft bit will not end the threat which means to end everything that is Good forever! It is never that easy.


A Quest must be undertook, many dangers faced and disparate characters who do not get on will find common ground and form an incredible team. Some of them might die, a traitor will be uncovered, maybe a deathbed (or death rock) redemption or two might take place. All good and fine.


The weapon being sought will be of incalculable power meaning that the Bad Fellow will be utterly destroyed by it. It might be somewhat harmful or devisive to our Bold Adventurers too but that adds to the depth and drama does it not?


A Sword is not Simply a Pointy Metal Stick


Now, not to bore you with the technicalities involved in turning non-sword-shaped metal into edged death, it is a long and arduous process.


One must select the metal, have a picture of the end result in one’s mind. One must bend, fold, hammer, smooth, beat, heat, temper and quench just right or one’s weapon will break the first time you try to beat someone with it.


For this example, too, one must also enbue the item with magic, secret knowledge or really, really fancy ornamentation in order to make sure said Evil One becomes the requisite number of Evil Pieces (none of which will be placed in a microwave oven to burn the hero’s house down and kill his parents).


One can make a sword mould and pour all the right ingredients into it. One can wait for it to cool and free it from its prison. One can tidy it up, polish it, give it a decent edge. One can even make it shine like a mirror.
One can do all of that but the first time your weapon meets a master (or mistress) forged equivalent, it will snap in two with a rather disappointing crack sound. The crack of disappointment, they call it.
Whomever it may be that they are.


Start with the Basics


As the metalsmith starts with – you got it – metal, what does the wordsmith start with? That’s right! With their brain! We got you, drew you right in and played one of those awful context jokes on you! Actually, some might call it inspiration, that ephemerous output of the Muses, others call it research. It is the same thing though, a wordsmith’s base material.


Words are, afterall, simply a process of re-arranging 26 letters into different configurations. This brings us to the First Contentious Moment; writers and storytellers. Anyone can be a writer but few have what it takes to be a story teller.


Five Minute Argument Break…

You clicked on it, didn’t you? I know, it’s an awful joke but it keeps me amused.


Author’s Self-Promotion Moment.


So, of course the author is going to mention his own work here. Why not? This is my Blog, thank you very much! In this case, I am using it as an illustration so please forgive my cupidity.


To those who have read either the current draft or the prequel: Collected Preludes one thing may well stand out. Not just the odd British spelling and strange sense of humour. What might draw the most inquisitive of minds is this; the subversion of assumptions, the twisting of expectations and the fact that the mountains of source material are questioned at each and every point.
All the stories are true, or at least that used to be. One popular genre these days involves the Bible of Christianity, just like The Chronicles of Enoch does.


This, in its way is a subversive genre started by that rather popular series of novels which started everyone wondering about what that ancient Italian Polymath was really up to with his religious paintings.


A whole sub-genre has since emerged, feeding on the doubts and controversy Mr. Brown stirred up. The good ones among therm ask the most important of questions; how did it truly begin and how did it change so drastically?


What would happen if we could prove that the carpenter from Nazareth actually meant something quite different to what was later attributed to him?


The Dramatic License

Oh, it looks like mine expired. That could be embarrassing (also I am not that young, please don’t tell)!

I have mentioned this before because, you might be surprised to learn, it is very important .


Dramatic license; not the terrible mockup I created for a few seconds of amusement but the less physical kind.
Storytellers predate writers because, should we believe the archeologists, speech predated writing. Before people discovered that making symbols mean words was the latest thing (all the other up-and-coming civlisations are doing it!) there was only one place to store all the important stuff and make sure it did not vanish forever.


The Oral Tradition.


Travelling storytellers would move from placed to place and, often for a space by the fire, free food and alcohol, would entertain their hosts with stirring tales about the exploits of some heroic figure or other.


Perhaps they would include religious or moral instruction into the mixture. They would leave but the story would remain behind, now resident in the heads of those who had just heard it.

The Travelling Story Now


Seeing as the storyteller earned their living from the quality of the stories they told, it was not unknown for a good one to…well…add bits to the original they had heard previously. Some local flavour, a bit of cultural relevence, seemingly casual observations made on their way into the village/homestead/farm/tavern as well as their own opinions and biases.

When they left and a copy of the story remained with the latest recipients thereof, the story may well not be the same as the last version told. In fact, the same story could be getting told, in a variety of slightly different incarnations, in a number of different places at the same time.


One day, newcomers would come the village or, gathered around and, lacking decent television and WiFi, the villagers would retell the story. Perhaps they would go to a local gathering and tell it there.


Storytellers being as they are, the urge to stamp their own individuality onto the tale was rarely easy to resist. Lessons and themes important to their culture and society would find their way in.


Names might well change in the process, locations, even the ending. The more the story travelled, from mouth to mouth, ear to ear, the more it changed, the harder it became to recognise the original from the new and shiny version. It is possible that facts were exchanged for the kind of drama which promised food, wine and a warm bed for the night.
Maybe the overwhelming need to ensure that an important lesson was learned or vital information passed on was factored in.


That favourite childhood game of “Ethinic Stereotype Whispers” is suddenly quite a significant learning experience. Gilgamesh became Noah and the list goes on and on.


History is as stable and as reliable as the human beings who study and repeat it.


The Point is Reached


It is easy to conform to a popular genre.


Anyone can, with effort and focus, produce a half-decent tale of what people on certain platforms like to read but will your story, neck-deep in the morass, ever be more than one of hundreds?


The point of this article was to illustrate how seemingly mundane and everyday events may well become something quite different.


A young boy on the way to market sell his family’s only cow returns with a handful of beans and concocts a fantastical lie.


Two children bearing bread through the dark forest get lost for days and agree on a spine-chilling tale to explain their absence and, to their thinking, avoid a good thrashing.


The human race prefers the gentle lie to the hard truth. That is, as writers, our job; to bear them along the path of a fantastical tale towards the final truth, the point.


Along the way, we entertain them, we show they joy, dispair, shock and perhaps horror.

We teach them without their even being aware of it and then, when they arrive at the final page and – in a mixture, we hope, of pleasure and sadness – read the final words they mutter


“Now it makes sense! Now I understand!”


And they smile as they stare off into the space you took them to.
They have accepted the truth without even realising it!

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Giant Killer

Here, we join Enoch and Sable on one of their earlier adventures. It would appear that Sable had thought to teach him quite an important lesson but only managed to ruin his robes and nearly get him flattened.

Enoch decided to ask the question which had been nibbling at the back of his mind for a while. How had Sable just appeared right when Enoch had needed him to exactly when he’d needed it? Had Sable been following him?
“No, Enoch I was spying out that patrol and you just happened to cross my path.” He laughed and raised an eyebrow. “Or The Creator sent you into my path as that stupid lad said.”
Enoch ignored the obvious sarcasm and agreed that this was likely. He was still interested about what had brought Sable to this country in the first place. Enoch was of the opinion that he seemed to know his way around quite well.
Sable looked over to the stand of what were probably the last vertical trees for miles around and grinned. “You’re about to find out.” He said cryptically with a grin.

The tops of the rather tall trees were waving as if stirred by a brisk breeze, only there was no breeze. Something was making them do that, something rather large … oh dear! He realised that he would probably regret asking that question earlier, he usually did when Sable was around. Speaking of Sable…

The Nephilim had run out onto the churned land close to the little wood. He had drawn his swords and was waving them in the air. He was also screaming at the top of his lungs in a language Enoch did not recognise. There was something almost familiar about the words, but he could not place them. He did his best to reconstruct them;

“Gå! Lakuna mácà semba, ke!” Sable yelled at the trees as if they would answer. “Geleh pala kume mah lekka!”

Enoch stayed right where he was and watched this with a very bemused expression on his face. He sat down and pile of earth to watch his crazy friend be crazy. He heard what sounded like thunder in the distance and looked up at the sky; it was clear and blue; he could see no clouds anywhere. It sounded almost like… no, that couldn’t be right…

“Makâla felu mesa kå!” Sable bellowed. Was he replying to the thunder now? Enoch began to wonder whether Sable had actually gone terribly mad, were his actions yesterday not at all spiritual and actually due to a broken mind?

Again, there was a noise of thunder … no wait…it sounded….it sounded like words … “Fee Fi Fo Fum!” Enoch thought he heard, followed by unintelligible rumblings.

“Fyafe Kiloh Ful?” Sable echoed, still waving his swords. “Naka hëla fyè sah muh!”
There was a bellow like nothing Enoch had ever heard before followed by the splintering of and cracking of trees. The earth shook and Enoch realised he had stood up only when the moving ground made him fall down onto his behind painfully. Panic seized him as he thought back to what Sable had described the Flood being like round the campfire last night; that the earth shook and broke before the waters – and the angels – came to destroy the land of his home. Was Heaven coming for Moab now too? As was his habit he looked around for options; there really were none.
It was when he looked at where all the racket was coming from that Enoch felt his bladder loosen against his will for the second time in as many days. It came from the trees, bellowing and booming. It was as tall as the trees and hugely muscled. Enoch forgot his shame and struggled to rise, the desire to run was overpowering but his legs would not obey him. The giant, easily ninety feet tall came out from the trees, pushing them aside like they were grass. It was bellowing and spitting with incoherent rage. As Enoch watched it took hold of a tree, a big and long one too, and easily tore it out by its roots. It weighted its new club and thundered across the plain to where Sable was calmly waiting, swords held loosely in his hands. A tree! A big whole tree! It was using a tree as a club and Sable was waiting to fight it – for his words had clearly enraged it – with splinters! Enoch was now completely convinced that the Nephilim had lost his mind.

The giant surged toward Sable, swinging his cudgel as he came, bellowing what Enoch was sure were withering obscenities. Sable did not move. He simply adjusted his stance a little, widening his legs, shifting his feet a bit, he swung is swords and appeared to take, hold and then slowly release a breath, it looked like his lips were moving but Enoch heard nothing. Twenty seconds, it could be no more

… Enoch did not see what happened. One moment Sable was at his ease, apparently muttering away to himself the next, the giant swept by and Sable had swarmed up its back. It bellowed even more now, swinging the tree round and round. Enoch narrowly escaped losing his head, he was sure time slowed, like one was moving through syrup as he watched the tree trunk pass within inches of his face, and he fell onto his back and stayed there. The ground continued to shake and, this close, the giant’s screams were deafening, making his teeth feel funny. A foot the size of a cart smashed down into the ground beside him and Enoch regarded it stupidly, not really knowing what to think. He observed the foot coverings of wound cloth or leather. He remembered thinking oddly why giants wouldn’t have giant shoemakers or tailors for this one wore nothing more than a huge loincloth of who knows what material. He could see its toes through the ‘shoes’ it wore and was sure even the pinkie toe was longer than he was.

Halfway through his study Enoch realised what a stupid idea this was as the immense foot rose and crashed down even closer. He scrambled backward .and tried to get to his feet, but he was just digging holes in the loose soil. I am going to die! He realised. Squashed flat by something I hadn’t believed in until it killed me. Murdered by accident as a giant is trying to get my insane friend off its back. This close the stink of it was immense. A powerful earthy and musky stench mixed with offal and refuse. Enoch fought to resist the urge to gag and tasted blood in his mouth. He had bitten deep into his tongue in his panic … He started to laugh, the complete strangeness of the situation and his panic subsided, replaced by a very curious calm. He breathed, only then realising he had not been and was starting to feel light-headed. With a strange kind of detachment, he watched the foot move away, felt the booms and shaking of the ground but heard nothing. Had the roaring giant deafened him? No, he could hear the pounding of his own heart….it sounded like the ocean at night only sped up. Slowly and with great care he got to his feet and began to back up as unnoticeably as he could. The giant was not looking down at him though; it was trying to find Sable. The further away Enoch got, the more he saw. What he saw was beyond even his ability with words to describe.

Sable had dug his swords into the creature’s back and was struggling to hold on as the giant wove and jerked about, keeping himself flat or occasionally letting go of one sword to slash at a questing hand with his knife if it got too close. He had positioned himself in what Enoch called the can’t quite reach the itch spot’ though; all the huge and blunt fingers could do was brush him. He clung on grimly, waiting for his chance. The giant was tiring and breathing heavily. Blood was running for a multitude of small cuts and gashes Sable had made. Ichor weeped around his embedded swords too, caused rivers of life-stuff to steam down the giant’s back. The Nephilim waited and Enoch found he was holding his breath again, frozen to the spot. Sable adjusted his grip on one sword; the giant was sagging and breathing like a hurricane, sweat pouring down its flesh. It rested its house-sized hands on its thighs. Carefully Sable prepared. The giant was clearly exhausted now, Enoch almost felt sorry for it until he remembered the stories he had heard about them. Sable tore first one, then the other sword loose, held both in one hand and, dug in his knife instead, clinging on grimly with just one hand.

Enoch replayed this moment in his head several times later and believed it less with each repetition. With incredible agility, Sable vaulted up onto the top of the monster’s head leaving his knife where it was as he took a sword in each hand. The giant, almost falling from exhaustion, took a moment to realise what had happened. A moment was all Sable needed, it seemed. He leapt off the building sized head and executed a twisting backflip in the air, arms held out wide. Time appeared slow down for Enoch again as he marvelled at what happened next. Twisting in mid flip with no apparent effort Sable swung with both arms and buried a sword into each of the giant’s temples. The swords bit to the hilt as if not encountering thick skull along the way.

The giant made no sound, it just stood there, humming stupidly to itself, Sable hanging on like some odd form of headdress. Its eyes crossed, trying to look at him to see what he was. A drop of dark blood easily the size of a horse, fell from its right nostril and hammered into the mud. It was followed by another, then another from the left. Before long, a torrent of bright blood was pouring from both nostrils and running down its chest. A sudden powerful gout of blood struck Sable where he hung and flung him through the air, dropping him into a surprisingly intact tree. The giant chose that moment to fall flat on its face, causing a huge dust cloud to explode into the air and an impact which threw Enoch from his feet and Sable from his tree. The giant was dead.

By the time Enoch absorbed all that he had seen and decided that the giant was definitely not getting back up again, by the time he was sure it was safe enough to walk over to where it lay, Sable was back on his feet and approaching the corpse. He smiled at Enoch as he set a foot to the huge head and pulled his sword out with both hands, his face going bright red, the cords on his neck standing out. He looked like he’d bathed in blood and was swaying slightly, his breathing was even but heavy and he had an odd look in his eye. Saying nothing he cleaned his sword of blood and brains with the giant’s hair and sheathed it, moving around to, with equal effort free his other blade. As he cleaned this one the same way, he looked at Enoch and smiled again. His eyes were glazed, Enoch realised and staring at nothing. He continued to smile.

“That was my fav’rite knife an’ tha’ big bugger s’gone an’ broke it!” Sable slurred drunkenly. He gestured behind him and made to step over to the old man but fell instead into a heap beside the dead giant.