The Heptateuch of Eve - Part 2
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Missive to Iskander the Exile, from Secretary Rushaim of The Wanderer’s Library:

Valued friend,

I regret to inform you that the eminent priest-scribe Issa Antar is at this time unable to respond personally to your last letter, for reasons I am sure you will understand. Knowing as you do the peculiar temperament of one so wise and aged as they are, let it be explanation enough that a deep nostalgia has overcome this section of the Library.

A recent discovery of a tome of Dust Geomancy1 demands all of the great scribe’s attention. There are new tablets to examine for traces of Neith’s hand (may Her Name never be forgotten), and glyphs within glyphs formed by the random drifts of red sand found amongst the papyrus of the great tome. Antar is therefore in a twilit world of memory, and it is my sacred duty to secure the peace of that Holy desk for the time it takes for the scribe to circumambulate the temple of the lost fragrances.

In light of this, I have been delegated the task of responding to all ciphered missives until further notice. I have also been fully briefed of your mission, and can confirm your position is indeed still secure. The cipher seal on your message bore no evidence of tampering. The only detail worth mentioning is that it was profoundly waterlogged when it came to us, having arrived floating in the Library fountain. The cork had unsealed slightly, and so the bottle was partly filled with salty water and an oily substance that set fire when brought too close to the reception desk candelabra. Yet the message contained within and its ingenious seal were both adamantly secure.

Here I must relay some information you may find interesting about your ward, the entity who you suspect to have some association with the Fifth Church.2 She is known to us from some outstanding borrowing records under the alias Sharon Greve. The outstanding books are mostly self-help guides by Shirley MacLaine and Jasmuheen the charlatan, which to be quite frank the librarians are in no hurry to reclaim. Beyond that, we have every suspicion her hippie drug smuggler persona is a fabrication meant to disguise a canny occultist.

Although we cannot be certain of any direct link to the Global Occult Confederacy, I would treat the transcript you have provided with the utmost caution, and employ preparations for potential cognitohazards embedded within the text. If you have any canned chickpeas at hand, I highly recommend a quick cognitohummus3 to earth any stray thaumatological charges that may exit the tape recording upon transcription. It also makes for a tasty snack with a light dressing of lemon juice.

All this being as it may, the transcription itself is certainly a thing of interest to the scribe’s office. If proven authentic, it will make a worthy addition to the Library’s metasection on alternative biblical universes. My initial reading may interest those searching for a tale preceding the time the Gods were made, and a place beyond where the great winds of Seth beset the holy river Iteru from barren deshret.

Before the pillars of Karnak rose by my master’s hand on the terrace of white stone, older tales spoke of a land to the southeast across the waves, where precious frankincense and myrrh were found glowing like wild apples on the trees. I cannot say if Saul was that place called Punt in Hatshepsut's time, as the desert surroundings, reed beds and abundance of incense may indicate. But there are fragments of immeasurably old story here: from before the scribes even had glyphs to record them. They sound deep within my falcon-winged soul, like echoes ringing from a shattered vase. Pilgrims and wanderers of the Great Goddess leave their traces in that pliable fabric between the worlds, and it may be that this tale is one of them.

I thank you for the latest instalment, and wish you luck in your next stage of your mission. Our flippered allies are nearing the final stages of their great working; it may be some time before you hear from me again.

Yours in myriad,

Secretary Rushaim


Begin transcript:

2

The Forebears of Adam witness the Column of Darkness and Embark upon the Bridge of Suna

As it is retold by the forebears of Adam one thousand fathers hence by three, and five hundred fathers more, it was in the epoch of Eve in Saul that the people came to learn the history of their kind and to perform sacred dances and sing paeans in the language of humankind and beast alike.

And it came to pass that they dispersed throughout the dry lands of Saul and into the many regions where provision was to be found descended, by the grace of the First Kingdom of Heaven, like dew upon the wild grasses. Fish and fowl were their provision, and wherein the ground was soft from recent fire, they cultivated the Mur root whose hidden glory is marked by the flag of its yellow bloom. Round breads they baked from the pounded grain of grass-stalk and acacia, and such granaries as would feed their multitudes did thereupon rise across the verdure of their realm, alike to so many banquet plates set before the celestial host.

Annual vigils of thanks the people did make at the tomb of the giantess Masseba. The forebears of Adam erected camps and made burnt offerings of sweet chrism on altars of cedar, so that they might recall the sacred odour of her ancient crown.

So it was that twelve vigils had passed ere the people saw a column of darkness arise in the North Sea, as tall as one fourth of the azimuth and all crowned with white like lamb’s wool.

Whereupon they cried to their patron Eve, “Alas! What distant calamity is this cloud of black smoke, with which new fears oppress the hearts of us so lately aggrieved? No sooner have we endured much disarray than another concern has arisen in its place, as albeit yet unseen this portent gives the aspect of something untoward.”

Whereupon a shade did pass across the face of Eve and she replied to them, “Have I not given you the power of speech, with which to ask the beasts of the sea? Woe, and hearken to their cries: a new mountain of fire has arisen in the Northern sea and so has cast the distant land of Suna into devastation.”

Verily as she spoke to them the people turned their ears to the wind which carried the cries of the keen sea beasts, who indeed were grieving thus, “Woe to us, and woe to the people of Suna, who have borne the wrath of a fiery mount. Great burning stones were raised from the deep and have paved the sea with a bridge of flame. It spans the sky from edge to edge, and white clouds of destruction blot out the clear day, and black clouds of destruction cast the land into night."

Then the mothers of Eve, who had known the pains of childbirth, and their sons also, who had known the pains of initiation into manhood, suffered in sympathy for their fallen brethren across the seas. They made haste to fashion boats of bundled reeds to cross into Suna and bring relief to those who might survive. Yet when they came upon the isles that marked the borders of that country, they found only a blasted waste. For the bridge of flame had left not even a mite still living.

And then Eve, who had accompanied them in their rescue party, called a conference of the elders to offer salve for their heavy hearts. “Friends, the bridge of fire has extinguished all that was once good and green in the isles of Suna. Seven months and seven years and seven epochs we will offer prayers on behalf of those lost, and burn young boughs of frankincense to honour their memory.

"Yet beyond this land there is a greater effort still, for a deep winter is even now falling upon the wide and still-peopled land beyond even Suna. This cruel season is not of the natural season's length, but will last years above the girdle of the earthly sphere, and the people there will surely suffer from what is yet unbeknownst to them. Still, we who are yet gifted with the grace of our provisions and the language of men owe a duty to them in this suffering that will surely come.

“By the tomb of Masseba we are bound to fulfil this charity, to remember to them the skills of game hunting, and the cultivation of grain, and how to store it in the cruel season, and the songs of hope that put garlands of sweet herb upon their hearts and release them from the bondage of coagulate fear, that they might endure until the happy season returneth.”

So listening to her words, and reminded of the grace of the First Kingdom of Heaven, the people were moved to piety. Reverently they anointed themselves with white earth and cedar ash and with holy oil, that they might be purified of misfortune and strengthen their resolve for the necessary task. A multitude of birds flocked in the sky, and crawling beasts leapt across the hills in company with the people as they descended to the Northern shore of the land of Saul.

From the reed beds the people fashioned a fleet of sea vessels, and stocked them with grain and woollen furnishing, and also their nets and spears. Whereupon a great number of the forebears of Adam were ready to embark upon their journey, while a greater number still were to remain in the land of Saul.

Exceeding bitter were the tears of brother and sister at their leave-taking, yet steadfast were they in their hearts. At the last sight of the shore they gave thanks and praise to the grace that descended from the First Kingdom of Heaven, innocent still of the tyranny of God.

Thus their party went into the Northern lands beyond the primordial realm of Saul, to find what they knew not, but that Eve of wise comfort did lead them.

In accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License, the character of Issa Antar is attributed to Wanderer's Library author MalyceGraves. More of their work can be found here.

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