Authors: Igor Ljubuncic
Copyright © Igor Ljubuncic 2011
All rights reserved.
ISNB 13: 9781466323490
eBook ISBN: 978-1-62112-599-0
Library of Congress Control Number: 2011916380
Createspace, North Charleston, SC
This book is dedicated to my wife
for all her love and patience
No man is an island. I did write this book, indeed, but it came to be with some help from others: John, my publishing consultant, Erin the editor who fixed all the English wrongs I put in there, Andrea, Nicole, Margaret, and the rest of the team at
, who all deserve thanks for their professional touch and patience. But most of all, my wife, my first fan and critic.
ord Erik opened the book and read:
“The gods Damian and Simon were best friends. Damian was a hearty kind and a poet. He was a dreamer and a rebel. Simon was quiet and humble and often withdrawn, but he was thoughtful and passionate and full of vision. Together, they helped mankind and worked to create wonders. Damian and Simon made some of the most beautiful things in the world.
“Then, one day, as the two friends traveled abroad from the City of Gods, they met a goddess they had never known before. Her name was Elia, and she was very beautiful. Both fell in love with her instantly. But Elia’s heart could only love one, and she chose Simon. From that moment on, everything changed.”
Lord Erik flipped a page.
Lord Erik lifted his eyes from the book. “Yes, Rob?”
“You told me that all gods lived in the city. Why hadn’t they met Elia then?”
“It is difficult to say, Rob. All books on the affairs of the gods were written by men. It is very difficult to tell truth from tale. But you should not think of the gods’ city as a real city or a small town where everyone knows each other. It’s more like a large forest, where each…animal controls its own territory. That is why the friendship between Damian and Simon was so special. And that is why when Elia fell in love with Simon, Damian took it so hard.”
Lord Erik continued reading: “For countless generations since their makings, the male and female gods lived side by side, in peace and harmony. They protected the world of men around them, and in return, men prayed in their names, adding to their power and honor. Each deity had his or her cult of followers. There was perfect balance in the world.
“There was no envy or ill feelings among the gods. It was a time when humans did not wage war unto their brethren. For when the hearts of the gods were pure, so were the hearts of men. Lies, deceit, and sin did not exist then.
“But Damian’s heart was not restful. He was torn between his loyalty to his best friend and the sense of betrayal that he felt. Some say that Damian fathered jealousy.
“Simon was unaware of his friend’s ill feelings. He believed there was no bad blood among them. Although the gods rarely fell in love amongst each other, it was not unheard of. Mostly, the gods mingled with their followers and birthed Special Children. Yet, some goddesses gave birth to young gods. But there had never been strife over one’s love for another.
“Many years passed, and Damian grew bitterer. He spent time in isolation, in his temple, surrounded by members of his cult. He neglected the company of his friends. But no other deity took these signs of distress as alarming. They all lived in bliss and peace amongst each other. Until it was too late.
“One day, Damian murdered Elia.”
Lord Erik wet a fingertip and flipped another page.
“Grandpa, he killed her?” Rob exclaimed, shocked.
Lord Erik held his gaze fixed on his grandson, without blinking. “Yes.”
“Grief and panic overtook the City of Gods. No one knew how to cope with murder. It had never been done before. But Damian had no qualms. Heralding unprecedented masses of men and wielding immense power from their belief, Damian swept against the other gods and waged war against them. He ruined their temples and killed their followers. Gods began vanishing as their followers dwindled.
“Some of the weaker deities rushed to his side, afraid of perishing. Unknown feelings of destruction and hatred were born as gods took weapons and turned against one another. As the war raged, pure souls grew corrupt with the poison of doubt and greed and fear. Men followed like sheep, caught in the web of catastrophe that their gods had woven.
“The Age of Sorrow had thus begun and reigned for a thousand years.”
Lord Erik flipped a page.
“After an eon of killing, the world was weak. Many gods perished, and those that survived were like shadows. There was little magic and power left in the world. Man almost became extinct. And gods on both sides slowly began to realize the sad truth of their self-destruction and saw Damian as the cause for the looming doom.
“One day, Simon, who now led the other faction in the war against his best friend, sent a secret message to Damian’s allies and urged them to meet him. Without Damian’s knowledge, the two sides parlayed and decided to bring an end to the war lest they all perish forever. And they agreed to banish Damian from this world forever. The Pact of the Damned, it was called.
“And so it came to pass that Damian was betrayed. His temples were razed and his followers massacred. Almost without any power left and barely alive, Damian was brought before the Great Court of the Gods.
“Reconciliation was called between all of the warring factions. It was agreed that all the surviving gods would help rebuild the torn world. However, the deities also realized that mankind would never be pristine again. Men had known sorrow and evil now. And gods had no power to take those away and start all over again. With great sorrow and reluctance, they decided to leave mankind as it was, forever changed by war and violence.
“Finally, they decreed that Damian would be forever banished from the world. They called his sin the First Sin of the Gods. They banished his soul and sent it to the Abyss of Making, where it wails in impotent anguish to this very day. They tore down his shrines and burned his books and killed all his remaining followers. And his name was not mentioned ever again, except in the secret books.