The Wrath of Mool

Prelude to the Prelude: In The Beginning

(A sort of explanation on how we came to have magic)


"In the Beginning... well, there is no beginning for everything is cyclic." - Book of Kim


Once upon a time, perhaps in the not too distant future, things on the planet Earth - called Mother Earth by some and with good reason - were getting out of hand.

Now Earth is actually a child of Nature, and though Mother Nature has many children, Earth is one of her special favourites and Nature allowed her special privileges. What sort of special privileges, one might ask? Well for one thing, Nature allowed Earth to have children of her own.

And so Earth became Mother Earth to countless species of plants and animals, and was happy for millions of years.

Nature (now a grandmother, I suppose) was happy too, to see her child content and gainfully occupied.

However, a new creature began to evolve.

At first, Earth watched over him and nourished him, for she had a feeling that he and his kind were different and special. For one thing they had wild imaginations and darted here and there inventing new things like the wheel - and steam-powered motorcars.

Earth chuckled over Man's antics, but Nature, looking over her child's shoulder, wasn't so sure these so-called 'antics' were a good thing.

"Be careful he doesn't throw off the Balance," she told her child, "Or there will be Hell to pay."

And she wasn't kidding.

For everything has a balanced opposite; light and dark, day and night, good and evil. So Nature, who is of Creation, has an opposite as well. He is of course, of Destruction, and his name is Chaos.

And it is the Law that everything in the Universe must be in balance one way or another. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction and things will continue in their state of inertia until acted upon by an outside, unbalanced force.

Mankind was an unbalanced force.

Thus it came to pass that one day Earth realized she wasn't feeling well.

Where once she had been amused by the antics of Mankind, now she was worried. Humans were producing all manner of toxic substances - toxic both to themselves and to the other creatures of the planet, as well as to Earth herself. Plants and animals died daily from their polluted environment and no matter what she did, Man continued on his path of self-destruction.

"But that's not the whole of it," she explained to Nature who was worriedly regarding her favoured child. Once green and verdant, the planet was now marred by vast areas of brown. Poor Earth went on to explain that Man had a major character flaw in that he loved to fight with his fellows.

"Whether over vast reaches of my surface, or over a mere fizzy beverage at a friendly gathering, his species will pick a fight about anything," she said tiredly. "Millions have died in the name of a thing called Religion, for instance. I have even sent prophets to preach peaceful doctrines and try to steer Mankind onto the right path... except they actually crucified one such man - hung him on a wooden crosspiece! It was horrible! I could scarcely believe it!"

Nature said nothing, but let her daughter rave. She'd seen this sort of ailment before.

"And Mother?" Earth continued, "I've tried several other remedies as well, such as global warming, drastic weather systems, floods... I've even shifted my tectonic plates and caused tremors, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions."

"And did that work?" Nature already knew the answer and moved her cosmic force to surround her child with loving concern. Earth's oceans heaved with emotion as she sobbed gratefully into the cosmic embrace.

"No! Some few are aware and try their best in their small way to help; they recycle, reduce and re-use, but others... the vast majority are drunk with power and greed. One whole country - with a population of over a billion souls - was actually allowed to opt out of a rehabilitation programme aimed at fighting climate change and global warming."

Earth sobbed harder. Tremors rocked Japan and all up and down the west coast of Canada and the United States.

"I just don't know what to do!" Earth finally wailed. "Help me, Mother, help me! I'm out of Balance!"

"Did I hear correctly? Is something out of Balance?"

The sheer glee in that gravelly, cosmic voice sent fresh tremors through Earth and a chill that very nearly shocked her into another ice age.

"Oh no!" She whispered, "Chaos has heard us!"

Mother Nature, however, was not surprised and said, "Come, child. Surely you might have expected this? Especially since this is not the first time."

"Nooooooo!" Earth wailed, "Not THAT again!" She was well and truly agitated now and category 8 hurricanes (yes, I know) swept ferociously across the Atlantic Ocean lashing the Eastern Seaboard from Nantucket to the State of Florida.

"Hmmm... yes," the abyssal voice of Chaos mused as he regarded the brownish surface of the sickly planet and the untidy clutter of space-junk orbiting above her stratosphere. "This would be the second time I've had to offer my services in order to restore Balance to your Mother's realm. If I recall correctly, the first time was over a matter of... um, thunder lizards was it?"

"Dinosaurs," Nature answered for her weeping daughter. "I believe they were called dinosaurs and yes, they were a little large and were threatening to get out of hand. But Chaos, dear, was it really necessary to throw that meteorite at her?"

"It did the trick."

"Well, she's managed to keep the reptile family within reasonable bounds since then - and to more reasonable sizes as well; it's all a learning experience for her."

"So what's the problem this time?" Chaos sounded avid and didn't bother to hide it.

"A species called Man," Nature sniffed. "He won't listen."

"Ah, I see. Well, I can fix that, too."

"No--"

It was all the distraught planet had time to squeak out before a huge asteroid the size of Quebec came hurtling out of the Cosmos and hit poor Earth right in the Himalayas.

She listed drunkenly several degrees off her axis but finally managed to stabilize herself somewhat and continue in her original orbit.

"Ouch!" she muttered to herself. "Damn you Chaos! Now my poles are all messed up and I have a raging headache!"

Chaos and Nature watched complacently as Earth wobbled off toward the other side of the Sun with her pet satellite, Moon, trailing after.

"She'll be alright eventually," Nature commented, "But did you have to do it that way? I had a plan in place you know."

Chaos regarded his cosmic counterpart smugly, "Just doing my job."

"You just like throwing things. And explosions; you like explosions, too. Speaking of which, how is that project you're working on coming along?"

"The Horsehead Nebula? Very nicely, thanks for asking. It'll be quite a few eons yet, but when the time comes, I'll appreciate your help with the Genesis."

"No problem, I'd be happy to."

They regarded Earth for a moment longer until she disappeared. Then they meandered amiably off in the other direction.

"So what was your plan?" Chaos finally asked.

Mother Nature sighed, "I'm not even sure it would've worked, but I have a Guardian in place. There was a mix-up a while ago with some human King or other - I think his name was Archer, Artur, Artie... anyway, an odd thing happened and a Guardian was created. Things should be okay, though; they're are a bit like cockroaches and can survive just about anything... well, you know how it goes. If necessary, said Guardian can be our backup plan. Plan B, if you will."

"A Guardian, you say! Sweet. And very rare indeed!"

"Yes, and up until now, I haven't really been able to think of a good use for her."

"Her? It's a female?"

"Yes, I always find the females more resourceful than the males."

"Sneaky and devious, you mean."

Nature smirked. "They 'get the job done' as you yourself mentioned earlier."

Chaos chuckled then paused. After a moment, he said, "You may want to implement this Plan B anyway," he said thoughtfully. "Things are back in Balance with her for now, but if ever they start to get out of hand again... well, three strikes and all that."

"Yes," Mother Nature agreed, thinking how young Earth was and how she still had so much to learn. "You may be right about that - good idea."

Time passed.

For millennia, Earth struggled to maintain her orbit while her surface heaved and sunk only to rise again, tectonic plates gnashing like giant molars.

Cracks opened in the planet's crust to expose her tender, molten core while countless volcanoes spewed magma and hot ash into a toxic atmosphere. Areas that had been temperate, froze solid. Her poles melted and swelled her oceans which then receded as ice once again formed at new axes.

The very face of Earth's landscape changed far beyond any recognizable geography that had existed before. All evidence of previous civilization was buried deeply under miles of ash, rivers of lava or megatons of ice.

It was an apocalypse of monumental proportions and billions died. In fact, nearly every living thing perished.

Nearly.

There are exceptions to every rule, of course. Cockroaches, as previously mentioned, flourished and small remnants of many other species managed to survive in the few habitable pockets they were lucky enough to find. For not all the Earth's surface had become deadly. Of those fortunate species - or unfortunate as the case may be - that found sanctuary on or in viable pieces of land or sea, most found ways to continue their precarious survival, for life on Earth had suddenly become very difficult indeed.

Mankind, that most defenceless animal of all Earth's children, was one of these for he is also one of the most resilient and resourceful species. And although only a ragged remnant survived the turmoil, devolving back to an extremely primal existence of hiding and living in caves, some humans - a few - managed to weather the apocalyptic storm.

One small area, which once might have been known as the Caribbean, emerged, now much changed, to form a rough circle of habitable islands.

It was in this place that a few surviving humans managed to gain a tenuous toe-hold and hang on. Over time, they slowly flourished and began once more to evolve.

The descendants of these survivors called their small corner of the world The Granestella or The Granestella Circle. It was a rough translation from one of the Old Languages meaning 'Great Star', for by then it was a common belief, a legend if you will, that their planet, Mother Earth, had been stuck by a falling star which had brought magic to the world and had created a great whirlpool where the star struck.

Fanciful perhaps, but they weren't far wrong.

Magic had indeed come to the world and magical beings had evolved alongside the surviving wildlife of the apocalypse. And although details had been blurred by the long mists of time, it might not have been a star that had wiped out evil and good alike...

But something had.


To Be Continued...

NEXT



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