Gangus Abram was a hundred and four. Many claimed he bore the blessings of his god. For though his hair was white like sheep’s wool, his back was as straight as any man’s half his age, and his eyes were as clear as an eagle’s. His body shone many scars from battles; the deadliest he’d sustained in the Great War against the Nordoxz.
And as it was the custom of his tribe, Abram sat in the midst of his tribesman to recite the history of his people to a new generation. The large fire crackled, and sparks dispersed into the night air like red fireflies. Never tiring of the story, the adults settled back with a smile as the children’s eyes focused on the lips of this great monarch.
They once said of me, Abram began, that I was a man of great courage. I was revered for my faith in our god and my obedience to his will. But I can’t take credit for that. Who wouldn’t live or die for such a god as the one I serve?
I lived a very simple life in a land that had no name. For the land had existed so long that the name was forgotten. It was truly a paradise, and the land yielded abundantly: there were fruit trees and vast gardens as far as the eye could see. The lakes overflowed with every kind of edible creature, and the weather was always favorable. Now, I know this will be hard for you to believe, but there was no sickness in our bodies or our minds; no hatred or bitterness towards our brethren; and all men dealt fairly with one another.
“Then, why would you leave such a splendid land, Great Grandfather?” one bright-eyed boy asked as he sat cross-legged in the inner circle with the other children.
Well little one, he said with a smile, I was awakened one night by a mysterious voice. It was like no other voice I had ever heard. It spoke boastfully yet, in a whisper; it came from everywhere, yet nowhere could I pinpoint it. It reeked with such authority that I had to obey.
‘Rise quickly,’ the voice said, ‘and seek a man called Naman who lives at the north end of the forest. There—you will find a single cottage.’
So, I rose and dressed—grabbed my cloak and a lantern and headed for the north end of the forest.
“Where you frightened, Great GrandFather?” a little girl asked.
Let’s just say old Great Grand was as scared as a caterpillar riding the back of a Jay Bird, he said with a chuckle. The children giggled and squirmed.
When I arrived—sure enough there was only a single cottage and a light was shining through a thin curtain at the window. No one was usually awake at that hour, so I assumed I was expected. But, before I could knock, a voice called me by name from beyond the door. That’s when I put my hand on my whittling knife, he said, making a funny face and grabbing his side.
The children giggled, and the adults grinned widely seeing their little ones reacting to the same parts in the story they also had reacted to as children.
'Abram,' the voice said again.
I am here, I said.
I found the door cracked. I laid my lantern aside, and with my right hand still on my knife, I pushed the door open with my left. When I entered its one room, it was dark and a single candle sat in the middle of a small table near the window. From a dark corner, a shadow spoke.
'Come into the light.'
Who are you? I asked with a strong voice, masking my fear.
'I am the oracle Naman. I was told of your coming.'
Told by whom? I asked boldly.
'No one knows his name,' he said.
Then I will come into the light and meet you, I said. For now I know it was the voice of my god that spoke to us.
I stepped forward and sat in front of the light, and the oracle came close and sat before me. I saw that he was short and fair--more hair on his face than his head. I found him to be quite peaceful looking for a man with such an overwhelming presence. And... he was blind.
What does god want of me? I asked him.
'You are to leave your homeland. Take with you what you may and go to a distant land that god has ordained for you.'
Abram squinted at the children. I tell you, my heart sank. Then with a straight face, he continued. No, I said to the oracle; this cannot be what He wants. I looked to the ceiling. Where are you? Why don't you show yourself, I yelled. The poor blind oracle just sat and stared through those lifeless eyes as I carried on like a spoiled boy. You want me to leave the land of my fathers and my father's fathers and go where? I yelled at the ceiling and the four dark corners of the room. I was born here and hoped to be buried in the rich, black soil next to my kin. Then the oracle spoke softly.
"It is a hard, hard thing to ask any man. But you are not any man, Lord Abram." And he slid a map across the table to me. I took it and left.
Suddenly one of Abram's granddaughters stood. Grandfather, it is our fault that you started the story so late, but it is time for the little ones to be in bed."
"No! No!" the children yelled one by one.
"Now, now children, I promise I will tell more of the story during the Bull feast," Abram said.
"I want to hear it now," said a little girl tearing herself away from her nurse.
"Aw goose feathers," said a pouting five-year-old.
The children were led single-file out of camp and into their various homes and were prepared by the servants for bed.
Later that night, Abram knelt down beside his bed and prayed. He hated not being able to call his god by name; yet he felt he really knew him like he knew no other. He loved the heart of this nameless deity; and knew through his dealings with Him throughout the years, that He was a fine and just god--someone worthy of worship and praise. Abram longed to hear his voice once more--to feel his presence--to be given another commandment. But the great voice was silent; at least to him. It was his grandson Glinas, whom god spoke to now.
Abram had two sons, Khimah and Dinary. Dinary had two sons, Glinas and Petruss. Petruss, the eldest had five daughters. Glinas, the youngest had two wives and twelve sons who headed the twelve kingdoms of the Abramites. Inspired by the visions god had given him, Glinas directed each of his sons to erect a city using indigenous servants and to live there with their own children--making them the first Lords of each new empire.
After finishing his prayer, Abram climbed into bed and pulled the covers up to his chin. He felt the empty pillar next to him--the place where his wife of ninety years had slept. He never remarried, though he could have. But who could replace such a jewel as Brehira. He had called her Bree in private.
Oh, how she missed their eldest son, Khimah who had chosen to stay behind in the old land. When Abram and Brehira first came to this land, all Brehira talked about was returning home to see Khimah and her grandchildren. Abram had made many promises, but god never spoke to him again. After many years, she mentioned Khimah less and less.
"I guess," Abram had said, "that it was just too painful." Finally, she never spoke of him at all. Such a sweet soul, she never blamed Abram or god. She just said it was god's will and left it at that. It chilled Abram's heart to see her die without ever having seen the mature face of their eldest son.
Turning over on his side to fall asleep, Abram felt a sharp pain in his left hip. It was a wound he'd gotten from the Great War. When the Abram clan first settled here, they found that the land was even more fertile than the land in paradise. They became prosperous and lived in peace with the original inhabitants for thirty-seven years. Then, the Nordoxz--an evil tribe of nomads broke the peace by pillaging and burning towns and villages of the indigenous people. By the time the Nordoxz had burned and pillaged their way to the Abram lands, the great clan army was waiting for them.
Although Abram was near eighty-years-old, he stood against the intruders along with his son and grandsons, resulting in a war that raged for seven years. Though the Nordoxz conducted devastating raids, and many lives were lost on both sides, in the end, the great clan army headed by Dinary along with Abram's strategic prowess swung the war in the clan's favor. The soundly-beaten Nordoxz were forced to flee to the west, where they were never heard from again. Abram suffered a broken hip and a concussion that left him in a coma for a day and unable to walk for months.
Abram shifted his body beneath the covers. He ignored the pain, grabbed the pillar that held Brehira's scented oil and pressed it to his chest. He slept with it, as he usually did, all night.
Early the next morning, Abram was rudely awakened by screams, and shouts. He grabbed a cloak, and in his bare feet ran across to the window to peer out. What he saw was chaos among his people. The Bohaus had entered the land and were killing the livestock. The last time they had dealt with this problem was three years ago. The Bohaus were wolf-like, long-fanged creatures with dark, coarse fur, and long snouts. They were eight-legged and foamed at the mouth. Their foam was poisonous. They would spit the foam on their prey, which acted like acid. When nothing was left but bones, they would crush the bones with their mighty jaws and devour the entire skeletal remains. What the bones contained was what gave them their nourishment and contributed to their overpowering size.
These creatures proved a deadly nuisance--killing off every farmer's herd, wildlife, even domestic animals were not safe. It was reported that some landowners gave a portion of their herds so that the creatures didn't become desperate and kill them--for fear they would develop a taste for human or elf flesh.
Abram, half dressed and in sandals, ran outside with his sword. His son, grandsons and fellow clansmen had steered many of the herds of cattle, sheep, horses and mules into the barns and were standing guard against the beasts. With sword in hand, Abram sliced at one of the Bohaus--severing its spine then finishing it off with a stab through the eye. He slashed several times at another, cutting off its head.
Every clansmen's sword was bloody, and fifty to sixty Bohaus lay dead. Still more crowded into the area where the clan stood with weapons ready. They attacked and swords were swishing in every direction. Heads, huge spider legs and other body parts of the beasts flew up into the air. Still, the Bohaus weren't finished.
Then something that Abram nor his relatives or fellow clansmen had ever witnessed. These creatures showed some intelligence. Perhaps they weren't animals at all. They appeared to be communicating with one that appeared bigger than them all. A few scurried out of view. Everyone looked at each other and around their surroundings. Then suddenly, Bohaus appeared on top of the roofs of houses and barns.
"My god," Abram said. "These beasts are planning to dive upon us."
"Don't worry, Grandfather. I have an idea." Glinas yelled and pointed to several clansmen. "Get into formation."
The men scrambled and stood beneath the roofs, looking up at the creatures.
"Don't lift your swords until I tell you," Glinas shouted.
The Bohaus moved in from the front, sides and rear, while those on the roofs lowered their heads and bore their long, sharp, yellow fangs. A hundred clansmen faced the creatures from the front. Another hundred and ten faced them at the rear, and fifty to sixty standing looking up at the roofs.
Life grew still, as if nature itself had braced for the attack. There were no birds flying overhead; no small creatures scattering to and foe; not even an insect was in motion; no one moved--the creatures stood like statues, as if they were actually waiting for a sign. Then, the father beast stood on three hind legs--with three pointing upward and let out a deep growl that sounded like thunder and that nearly shattered the ears of every clansman. With acid dripping from their fangs, the beasts leapt from every roof top.
"NOW!" Glinas shouted. Sixty to seventy swords flashed upward as the beast fell on top of them--some that were impaled, were still able to tear off the faces and heads of their captors. Other creatures managed to miss the blade altogether, and had squashed the men so deeply into the earth, the place where they lay resembled a shallow grave. Screams from hundreds of clansmen rose into the air as the acid dissolved them alive. Nothing but skeletons with swords still gripped in their bony fingers remained.
The Bohaus moved in from the front, sides and rear. The brave clansmen's blades were tearing into the beasts from all angles; their blades flashing so fast, they looked like the sparkles of stars in a day sky. Blood covered Abram from head to foot as he drove his blade again and again; gutting and beheading and downing one beast after another at his feet. There were shouts and death cries and growls and howling from Bohaus that were injured. There were screams from the children who were hidden and protected; but nothing could protect them from the sounds they heard coming from the outside where their fathers and grandfathers, brothers and uncles were all engaged in a battle for their lives.
Suddenly and without warning, the great father Bohaus roared, but it sounded different--higher pitched than before. The beasts froze, then turned and retreated. Badly wounded--with ears, eyes and limbs missing, the Bohaus fled into a thick wooded area and disappeared.
The clansmen gave a great shout that scattered the birds out of the top of trees--their blood-dripping swords held upward in victory.
"They'll be back, god help us," Abram said.
"And we'll be waiting Father," Dinary said with a smirk.
The women emerged out of hiding with the children in tow; they cheered their men while the children wiped the tears from their eyes--seeing that many of their fathers were alive. But the tears soon returned with the death count of the clansmen who had so bravely fallen. It took an entire day to load and haul away all the dead Bohaus and body parts, and to prepare the dead clansmen for burial.
It was a day that the Abramic clan would never forget, and stories that the little ones were sure to tell to their own children and grandchildren someday.
Exhausted and retiring to his room, Abram counted the new scars on his body. No bones broken this time, just deep scars etched across his body like a map. He prayed to his god and thanked him for victory. He asked that the fallen men be given a glorious place in His mighty kingdom--then he ate, drank and took his afternoon nap.
Weeks later, Abram's scars had healed, and he was able to put the whole Bohaus incident behind him and focus on the upcoming event, The Bull Feast. The children were all perked and ready; they had waited months for this day. After the feast, the children gathered in an inner circle--their little ears waiting and their bright eyes on the lips of Abram.
Let me see. Abram pondered, pulling on his chin and pretending his head was fuzzy. The old trickster, he never forgot a thing. He had many stories in his head and could recite them all as accurately as the day they had happened. Oh, yes, he said sticking his index finger in the air, with map in hand, I left the blind oracle Naman and returned home.
This story takes place on an earth-like planet.
This book contains a Frame Story ( A story within and story)
I know the first chapter is rather lengthy; all others will be shorter. Hope you'll find this story interesting. Thank you for reading.
There is one font: When the narrator is speaking--Times Romans; when Abram is speaking--Times Romans, Italic.
Cast of Characters
Gangus Abram Main Character
Brehira (Bree he ra) His deceased wife
Khimah (Kee ma) Eldest Son
Dinary (Di nary) Youngest Son
Petruss (Pet truse) Eldest Grandson
Glinas (Gli nus) Youngest Grandson
Lurah (Lew ra) Glinas first wife
Kemi (Kem me) Glinas second wife
Most below characters are for historical reference/some may have limited or temporary roles.
Twelve Sons of Glinas/Twelve Kingdoms of Abramia
Five daughters of Petruss
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