Sheep and Shepherd

Sheep and Shepherd

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
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Sophia and Khord receive a history lesson from Yesh

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44.

Sheep and Shepherds

 

 

“Sophia, Khord; imagine what it would be like for you if everything you desired or wanted in your life - absolutely everything- could be fulfilled by mere thought.   But more than just what you desired or wanted - imagine if everything went absolutely perfect for you at all times.   You were at peace and perfectly happy at all times; you were in complete harmony with everything.”

“I can’t imagine how that would be.”  Sophia replied after trying for a moment.

“It is impossible for you - or anyone- to imagine that.”

“The perfect state, where all things are perfectly in harmony with all other things is really a state of singularity, where all that exists is in perfect union.   It can also be the state where all that exists is one thing or being.   At one point in time - or rather, before time existed- the only thing that existed was God.”

“Lord, you mean yourself, don’t you?”   Khord asked for clarification.

“Yes, Khord, but it was before I took the shape of the half-Elf Yesh, or any other mortal form.   It is very hard to explain, but all that existed at this point was the spirit of God.   There was no time or space, only myself, and in this state I was completely in harmony and totally satisfied.   There was nothing I needed, nor longed for; my state of being was complete.   It was a state of perfection.  As I was all that existed, it was a state of singularity.  Am I confusing you?”

 

Khord and Sophia glanced at each other and both shook their heads as Sophia answered, “No, Lord, we’ve read Kinzer’s book and she outlined everything fairly well.”

 

 

“She has a very good grasp of it.    Well, to continue; you might think that the state of perfection would be so wonderful that there would not be any thought of anything, but this is not the case.   After a long period, I began to desire something else.”

“Lord, what could be desired, if everything was found within you?”  Khord asked, and Yesh seemed very pleased with the depth of his reasoning.

“The only thing possible, actually.   You see, I began to desire intelligence that was not unified with my being.”

 

“You were lonely?”   Sophia queried.

“Well, no, not exactly, Sophia.   There was nothing lacking in my perfect state, except for understanding of the concept of separation.   I decided that I wanted to have a fellowship with beings that thought and acted independent from me.   I should explain that, actually.   You see, singularity and unity are not the same thing.”

“Singularity means that there is one being, form and mind and no individuality.   Unity is the joining of minds and spirits into a single purpose or state, but each mind or spirit joining into this state are individuals.”

 

“But wouldn’t souls that are individuals mess up that perfect state?”  Khord wondered.

 

“No; my perfection exists regardless of what is outside of me.   I expanded existence, though I remained the same.   What I created was time and space, and into this time and space I created other intelligent beings who I gave free will to think as they pleased.   Of course this came with a danger that their choice might be to go against me, but you cannot experience true unity if those who are united do not have the freedom to accept or reject this unity.”

 

“So what happened?”  Khord asked.

“At first I made beings that were much like me.  Spirit in form, immortal and in my presence at all times.   I called them ‘Malakim’; and they were my messengers.   Then I created a universe where I placed many living things, including the first humans and the Malakim were my messengers to them.   These humans were created mortal and not always in my presence, so their devotion to me would be based on love, not an exalted status.”

 

“This was in the Prime World?”  Sophia interrupted.

 

“It is what you know as The Prime World, but at the time, it was the only universe.    As I mentioned, free-will is essential to unity and a third of my Malakim desired singularity with me so greatly that when I rejected their desire, their love turned to defiance and rebellion.   These Malakim were thrown out of Heaven and became the demons and devils.”  

“Shortly afterwards, their rebellion led to the taint of defiance and selfishness among the humans.   Eventually all would fall away due to selfishness causing them to stumble, but I came amongst them to show them the road back to me.   Those who trusted in me to lead them, like a sheep follows his shepherd, would not be thrown into Hell.”

“Lord, all of what you are speaking of; this occurred in the Prime World?”   Khord asked, always wanting clarity when he learned something.

 

“Yes, for there was no other.   Now, among the Malakim, there were a small group that had not rebelled against me with the others, but in their minds felt like they could create and maintain a universe better than I could.   I knew of these thoughts, and though they never acted upon them, I knew that these thoughts were the seeds of rebellion.   These Malakim would meet secretly (or so they thought) amongst themselves upon the Prime world I had created.   Their meeting spot was upon a chain of tall mounds on a fair green island, and these meetings so terrified the humans living on this island that they called them in their language, =Daoine Sidhe= which meant ‘people of the mounds’.”

 

“These Malakim liked this term and took the name ‘The Sidhe’.   Of course I knew of their secret meetings and it was very foolish of them to think that I would not know.   Finally I appeared amongst them during one of their clandestine meetings and confronted them.    They were caught and confessed their arrogance and pride, which was that they felt they were as creative as me,  and knew how to best control a world.”

 

“So I decided to show them their folly.   I made a covenant with them.   Each of them would be allowed to create as many universes and worlds as they desired.   I would bestow upon them the power of creation and they could set up their own universe as they saw fit.   There were only a few stipulations.”

 

“First, all the universes had to follow the basic physical laws that I set in place.   Second, all intelligent beings would be given the free will to think for themselves and seek for me, if they were wise enough to determine that I existed.    Third, all these universes could, if the Sidhe chose to allow them, be inter-linked together, however, my universe would not in any way be accessible to their universes.”  

 

“These Malakim would be aware of what was happening in my universe, but they would not be able to visit it, nor could they contact it in any way.   It would be completely off-limits to them.   I’m sure you both have heard tale from Kinzer and Drake.”

 

“Yes” Sophia replied, “But hearing from you is far better.”

 

Yesh smiled, “Then you know that the Sidhe agreed to this, along with the most important condition of the covenant; that one day I would appear in their universes and at that moment, I would judge their workmanship according to their wisdom.”  

 

 

“Those in their worlds that still lived at the time of this judgment, along with those in their universe that had died before I revealed my presence in their world, would all be brought incarnate, to another world that I would create, to allow them the chance that all intelligent beings deserve, to seek my face.”

 

“You mean the Great Gathering!”   Khord exclaimed.

 

“Yes, but at this point it was many eons away.   They agreed and immediately I bestowed the power of creation upon them.   There were several hundred of them, and when they received this power, they were immediately banished from my creation and were placed in a dark void, where they would be allowed to try their hand at creation.  They went to work with enthusiasm and gusto.”

 

“Lord, I read in Lady Kinzer’s book that the Sidhe created thousands of different universes and some of them were extremely different from each other.   Were the Sidhe really so imaginative as to create so many variations?”

 

“Yes, Sophia, there were some very different universes and worlds created.    Some were full of magic; some were devoid of all magic.   Many were extremely close copies of the Prime World.   These were the majority of the worlds.   These Sidhe would very closely mimic my universe except for whatever they felt was wrong, and this would be the difference.  They were really just variants of the Prime World and some were managed very well.   But never perfectly.”

 

“They created worlds where science took the place of the divine.    In some worlds, the Sidhe were their gods.   In others, they would create divine beings and allow them to create everything.   A few Sidhe impersonated me very closely and made their universe a near mirror of mine.    Some changed events that occurred in the Prime World and thus created alternate realities.   Many were totally devoid of anything from the Prime World other than life forms.”

 

“How many races did they create?”   Khord asked.

 

“Countless races, but many of them were very much alike.   For example, the majority of Sidhe favored Elves of various races as either their universe’s primary race, or else the very greatest of the intelligent secondary races.”  

“It was a theme that I beheld over and over in their worlds, and there are no Elves in the Prime World.   They were the Sidhe’s greatest creation.”

 

“Lord,” Sophia said, “I have a question.   If the Sidhe created countless races, and if these various universes had long periods of time to develop before you appeared in these worlds, wouldn’t there have been too many people to gather them together in this world at the time of the Great Gathering?”

 

“That is a good question.”  Yesh replied, “The Sidhe often would duplicate individuals in two completely separate universes that they created.   As a result, many individuals appeared in vastly different worlds, and these duplicates were combined into one being at the time of the Gathering.”

 

“How long did you give them to try their hands at being gods?”   Khord asked.

“Khord, time flows differently in the Heavenly realms, and this was true in all the various universes that the Sidhe created.   In one universe, it could have been 20,000 years, whereas in another, different universe of a different Sidhe, only 500 years had passed.   Suffice to say that they each had a very long time to create, learn from their mistakes, make corrections and even try again.   There were even three Sidhe that made the decision to destroy their universes and give up in defeat.”

 

“Lord, did you know about Kinzer and Drake’s charting of the various universes?”

 

“Oh, most certainly, Sophia.   That was one reason I established the Watchers, as I was impressed at their logical, scientific approach at indexing the various universes.   I knew they would understand the changes I would make very well, so they were selected first for the position.”

 

Khord glanced at the sheep grazing on the hillside, “Lord, how did the Sidhe react when you appeared in their universes to judge them?”

 

“They responded in various ways, but most were resigned to it and many actually were greatly relieved to relinquish the responsibilities.   A few tried to oppose me and they were thrown into the Outer darkness.”

 

“Are all the other universes now destroyed?”   Khord continued to question.

 

“Yes, all of them except this one, and of course the Prime Universe.   Oh, and Flux as well, though it is not actually a world or a universe.  This universe is my creation, though, as you know.”

 

“Is our universe like the Prime Universe, Lord?”   Sophia asked as a small lamb came up to her timidly and touched her foot with his nose.

 

“It is much like it, but also much different.    I crafted it this way, Sophia, so that each person gathered here would not have more knowledge of the world than the others.   It horrified me how quickly after I spoke to all the multitudes assembled that they fell into warfare.  Many races were extinguished terribly fast.”

 

“Lord, I don’t mean to question you, but Sophie and I have read the book of Kinzer and I always thought that the first years after the Great Gathering were horrid.   All those displaced people with nothing from their own worlds, all fighting for survival in a place that they did not know.   Kinzer said that at first they used rocks and sticks and behaved like animals.   I’m sorry, Lord, but that seems so horrible to me.   I remember my early childhood in the Underdark, and that place was a nightmare, but even in that setting there was some sort of order.”

 

Yesh nodded, understanding what Khord wanted to ask, “You were wondering why I allowed it to happen?”

“Well, yes sir, but I know that most races are instinctually selfish and sometimes even evil at their core due to the hunger to survive, but I guess I was wondering why it was set up like it was.   They had no weapons, clothes; not even their full memories of their old world.   Also, the people from high technological worlds were at a distinct disadvantage as they had nothing to use, whereas those from universes ruled by magic could often time recall their spells for their defense.   It just doesn’t seem just to me, to be honest.”

 

Khord looked nervously from Yesh back to Sophia, for the two of them had talked at length about this and now he was admitting it to Yesh himself!

 

“Khord, it saddened me to see the races of the thousands of worlds that the Sidhe had created so quickly dissolve into war only minutes after I had spent an hour explaining where they were, who I was, and why they were here.   But fear and desperation overcame many of them.”

“It was the Elven races that were the biggest surprise to me, for they had always been the crowning achievements of the Sidhe and were almost always proud and aloof.   But they fought against each other with more savagery then any other group of people.”

“Most amazing was your race; the Drow.   Unlike the other races of Elves, the various Drow from several hundred different worlds, all unified extremely fast and were the first group to withdrawal from the great plain of gathering.   They, of all the Elven races, found unity and fled to the Underdark, yet they were the most evil and depraved.”

“The Dwarves tried to do the same thing, retreating to the northern mountains, but unlike the Drow, they had a terrible time battling their way from the mass of races.”

 

“It must have been terrible to watch.”

 

“Yes, it was Sophia.   It was worse for the Watchers, for they saw their own people or races battling.   I sent them many times among the groups they were responsible for, to strongly encourage them to give up this warfare and withdrawal from the plain.   It was many days before most of them finally did this and as a result, the plain of gathering was saturated in the blood of thousands of people.”

“I’m glad I wasn’t there.”   Khord stated, shaking his head at the thought of the scene.

“It was very, very difficult for all the races.   There was no unity among them, at least not in great numbers.   The Elves all continued their struggle after withdrawing to the nearest forests.   The Gnomes tried to join the Dwarves in their retreat, but were nearly all slain by Orcs, Goblins and men.   The Goblin races all survived, but had to withdrawal to the more desolate lands.    Some of the more wicked races were also annihilated.”

 

“We read about those.”  Sophia said, “Let’s see… there were the… uh, Kobolds, and  those hyena headed things…”

“Gnolls”   Khord spoke up.

“That’s it!  Then there were the Sea Elves, The Digger Folk, the winged humanoid races…”

“There were many.” Yesh interrupted her listing, “The proud Trilang, the snake-like Snariss, most of the giant races and true Dragon species; even half of the surface Elven races perished.   Those few of each destroyed race that did survive usually merged with other, friendly species.   The surviving Gnomes mixed with Dwarves and Halflings and are long lost as a race.”

 

“So there was some unity among the races?”   Sophia asked while she now petted the little lamb that had sniffed her earlier.

“Yes, all the races tended to form at first into small bands of the same species, then into larger groups.   The humans accepted the Halflings among them, which saved those little people from the same fate as the Gnomes.”

“The Dwarves also formed an alliance with the humans, though they were withdrawing as far away as they could.   The humans were more worried about the threat from larger, more dangerous races and fought them first.”

 

“But the Orcs and Goblin races survived.”  Khord stated.

 

“Yes, and I am very thankful that they did.   They are a violent, somewhat ignorant group of races.   But look what Queen Eioldth and King Haroldris have achieved with the Orcs in their kingdom.”

“They treated them with respect.”   Khord commented.

“Indeed, and look at the results.   Look at us, sitting here.   Most people in your world greatly fear the ‘diabolical Drow’, yet two of them speak openly to their God.”

“Another one will work diligently to rebuild my Church, while two others will become two of the most important people in the Kingdom of Northmarch, while furthering my faith throughout this kingdom.    There are no stereotypes in my eyes, only souls that need changed or who are already my children.”

“Master, what is our purpose as Watchers?”   Sophia asked as the lamb she was petting decided to join the sheep down the slope of the hill.

 

“I have told you all of this history to show you how intelligent beings tend to allow their selfishness to taint them.   It has happened time and time again.   It happened many times in the Prime World, and many more times in all the worlds that the Sidhe created.”  

“There is no magic formula of creation that could make intelligent beings with their own free will into perfect creations.   Free will is both a great gift, but also a great danger.   Yet without free will, there is no true love.   If someone is forced to do something, even if it is something that they like to do, usually their loss of freedom makes them look at their task differently.”

“So free will brings evil into the world?”   Khord asked, somewhat hesitantly.

“Well, in some ways it does, because that free will is used to do evil.  Almost all evil has at its deepest roots, the heart of selfishness of some sort.   A need to feel superior, to get something wanted, or to punish others for some perceived slight or hurt.”

“That is why I have set up everything as I have.   The people created by the Sidhe all have free will, but they have to have the right to choose before I can fairly judge them.”

“The Great Gathering was set up as an opportunity for those gathered to either help their fellows or to try to destroy them.   It was their first test of free will and for the most part, they failed.   But this didn’t surprise me, for all intelligent beings fail sooner or later when they try to act right.”

“Even in the Prime World?”  Sophia wondered.

“It is no different there.   All intelligent beings with free will come to a point of time when they choose their own selfish desires over the common good.   That is why I came to Synomenia in the form you see here.   It is tough for people to believe in a God they cannot see, who does not live among them or act like them.   As Yesh, I came and experienced Synomenia with all its joys and agonies.”

  

“But I showed to the world what was expected of one pursuing good.   Faith in me requires fellowship with me through prayer and confession of selfish evil.  Thankfully, my work among the people has changed the world somewhat for the better and faith in me grows.   But there are great dangers and that is why I need both of you as Watchers.”

 

Yesh stood up and gestured to the sheep below them.

“Do you see those sheep?   If I left them alone and did not tend to them, then what would become of them?   Unless another person had compassion on them, many of them would fall prey to the wolves and predators.   The role of a Watcher is much like that of a Shepherd, but your sheep are people.”

“But Lord, when we were under Kinzer and Drake, we were told that the Watchers were not allowed to interfere with the course of events in the world.   You know that Khord and I got in trouble several times for breaking this rule.   How could we serve as shepherds if we can’t interfere?   Surely a shepherd would not watch a wolf devour one of his sheep!”

Yesh smiled, “What they didn’t tell you was that they were actually reacting with the people under their jurisdiction.”

“How, Lord?”  Khord asked, “Surely they weren’t physically coming to assist.”

“No, Khord, usually this wasn’t the case.   But one of the duties of the Watchers is to whisper into the ears of those they are watching, giving counsel that the people often perceive as their own thoughts, or more often (and quite correctly, I must stress) as an answer to a prayer.”

 

“Well, why did Kinzer and Drake sometimes have to physically appear and help out Aurei and her companions, if they were whispering counsel to them?”  Sophia felt a bit frustrated, for she remembered numerous times that she had felt helpless to assist those in need in the world.  

 

“That was because the words that you speak into their ears are not always followed.   People are very stubborn and Kinzer and Drake, though they knew it was interfering, felt too strongly the need to do good and so they intervened.   I was not always upset at their decision.   But their intervention cannot override a person’s free will.   When this happens, I do take offense.”

 

“So we literally come to people unseen and speak to them, though they can’t hear us?”   Khord asked.

“Yes.   The faithful will hear your words in their soul, though they may attribute it to their conscience.   The faithful will hear you, though often they will choose to exercise their free will to ignore you.”

 

“That will certainly be frustrating!”  Sophia sighed, “So we’ll be constantly running from person to person?   Also, will we be told what you want us to say to them, or will we use our own judgment?   I’m not sure our judgment will always be right, Lord.”

 

Yesh tilted his head back and laughed hardily at her comment, “My dear girl, I am VERY sure your judgment won’t always be right - or anyone’s judgment, for that matter.”   “Do not worry, I will only be sending you to specific people at specific times, and every time you will be given the message to tell them.”  

“The rest of the time you will have to learn more about the people of the world and how you can help them.    I know that while both of you are immortal, you both do not have minds that understand the mysteries of the universe.   That only comes after death.”    

Sophia picked at a blade of grass, “Are you sure we’re the best choice for this job, Lord?   We don’t have the years of experience and wisdom of Kinzer and Drake.”

 

“No, you don’t, but you have the interest and now know what I expect of you both.   I will guide you through any problems that you have during your duties.   Would you like to receive your first assignment?”
“This soon?   I guess so.”   She looked over to Khord who just arched his eyebrows.

“I think this is an assignment you will enjoy.”  

Sophia and Khord leaned closer as they listened to Yesh and began their new jobs.

 



© 2014 Eddie Davis


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"...I always though that the first years..." I believe "though" ought to be "thought."
"...and why there were here." I think you were wanting "they," instead of "there."

I quite enjoyed this... Even though it's not the same, it reminded me a little of Lewis's Space Trilogy. Really nicely written.

Posted 10 Years Ago



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Added on February 9, 2014
Last Updated on April 23, 2014
Tags: Drow, Elf, Fantasy, Adventure, Good versus Evil, God, free will, alternate realities, magic

The Chronicles of Aurei Book 3: Bane of the Necromancers


Author

Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis

Springfield, MO



About
I'm a fantasy and science-fiction writer that enjoys sharing my tales with everyone. Three trilogies are offered here, all taking place in the same fantasy world of Synomenia. Other books and stor.. more..

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