pretentious cosmic picture

~OSYNARLANS, stories of the Emperors~

7. Japhyp

Gymde's son Japhyp, after Gymde died, was terrorized by Gymde's husband, who ruled until Japhyp was of age, and wanted to rule afterwards, claiming he was sickly and like to die. Gymde's husband, Tusoran, was an ex-soldier and military man, and was a tyrant, who arranged "accidents" that killed many of Japhyp's younger siblings, but he didn't dare do it to the heir apparent, but kept on talking about Japhyp's sickliness and unfitness to rule. Of course, he only wanted to extend his power. Finally rebelling against the constraints put on him, Japhyp escaped, and wandered long until he found Promeagri.

Promeagri lived on land where Linfal, during a Lunar eclipse, had been wounded by Tuao, and had fallen to earth. The young Promeagri had bound her wounds, and her blood had fallen into the well. In gratitude, Linfal told him,"Since my blood has poured into the well, part of my wisdom has poured into it also. Drink from that well, and you will become the wisest of giants."

So it was. There was little in Tu or Under-Ocean that Promeagri did not know. He was too wise to use his wisdom for his own gain, knowing others would only fight for his Well, so he lived a quiet life. Hearing of Japhyp's problems he said, "Unfortunately, while Tusoran lives, your life will never be safe, and a good part of the soldiery would follow him rather than you. The only solution is for him not to live. I do not like to say that."

"Kill him? How? With what?"

Promeagri made a sickle, such as was used to cut down tall plants. He made it very sharp indeed, and bathed it in mantichore's venom, so that a simple pinprick would kill anyone who it touched. "Be very, very careful, my young Emperor, with this. If you scratch yourself, you yourself will die."

"Now," continued Promeagri," I will summon the Regent and tyrant Tusoran."


"You lost your memory in your fever. I found you, and put you to work at my farm. I could not believe you were the 'sickly' lost Emperor, so dismissed any such idea until I saw your likeness. I will still be doubtful. When they drive up, you must be working with the scythe in common farm garb."

So, sending a message to Titays, saying that he might have found the lost Emperor, but he was doubtful, he reqeusted the Regent to journey there and see for himself. He came, but with twenty of his best soldiers.

"Where is the Emperor?" Tusoran bellowed, demanding.

"See that farmhand in the fields? I have trouble believing he is our sickly Emperor, yet his resemblence is uncanny. Perhaps you, great Tusoran, could see?" Striding up with his men close behind, Tusoran was at first doubtful. Months of being on the run and working at odd jobs had made Japhyp tanned and more muscled than Tusoran remembered, and he wore a hat to shade his eyes from the sun. But when he came close, and Japhyp looked up, he had no doubt.

"Your are not yourself. Let us take you back to where you will be...taken care of." Kept imprisoned for the rest of your days, Tusoran thought.

Japhyp, feighning incomprehension and sticking to his peasant's role, bowed. "Regent? What would you want with a humble farmhand? I will do as you say of course, but let me put up my farm tools...oh! I scratched you!"

Tusoran winced slightly, but laughed as he brought the scratched hand up to his face. "I've had worse scratches in the battlefield, right, men?" He sucked at the wound.

Japhyp put up the tools, while Promeagri slightly nodded when only Japhyp was noticing. They started to escort Japhyp off the farm, when suddenly Tusoran gave a cry of, "It burns!" and fell to the ground.

The soldiers looked concerned at Tusoran, but Japhyp suddenly said in a commanding voice, "Your Regent seems incapacitated. Make up a litter, and we will take him back to Titays."

"Who are you to give us orders?" said one of the soldiers, looking at the peasant garb of Japhyp.

Japhyp smiled. "Tusoran himself identified me as 'your Majesty'. That means your own commander acknowledged me as the Emperor of Tesut, son of Gymde. Do you question your commander and Regent?"

"No, but..."

"Then if I am the Emperor, can you question me?"


"Will you argue legalities while your Regent dies? Will he die for your incompetence? We can get him to Titays, but every second counts!"

Nodding, they made a litter, and bore the agonized Tusoran to Titays, where people had trouble believing this bronzed, muscular giant was the sickly child that Tusoran had continually described. Tusoran died with a day of reaching Titays. Japhyp began a process of purging the army of Tusoran's supporters, and when it was completed, a year or two later, he told the full story.

Promeagri came to Titays and became his greatest advisor. The head of the masons was let in on the secret of the Well of Wisdom, and was told by Promeagri he could drink...once...but only if the mason-leader gave up the eye he hid, in earnest of the oath. So the head of the masons became one-eyed indeed.

Tusoran's son (an illegitimate son, with no royal blood in him) in the meantime, was gathering Tusoran's allies who had been dismissed from the army, and were also gathering exiled criminals and other malcontents under them.

Several times, though, Promeagri's advice stopped them from getting the weapons they needed. All the best smiths, of course, would not help them, being bound by loyalty to the Emperor and sharing the wisdom of Promeagri. So Tusoran's son Bogerd determined to kill Promeagri first.

Meantime, those who had colonized Kaanarho, sent a gift. There was a cauldron they uncovered, built by elves in preparation for the Elvenwar led by Gandichaun against the Kaanho. Promeagri's eyes widened when he saw it, and read the runes on it.

"This cauldron will reconstruct anyone who had died, and return their ka to them. Zaer himself ordered this built at the dawn of Tu, so that those who died and were dismembered could nevertheless serve him physically as well as in ghost-form, if he so desired. This is precious beyond belief. Theoretically,if someone died, you could toss the body in here, and they would become revived, although their soul would still go to the Greater World. They would be like a ghost, obedient to orders, but still physically active."

"I could bring--Vranagri back to life, for instance?"

"If you had all his body. If you just dug up his head, however, it alone would come alive. But it wouldn't really be him. It would have his memories, his body, but some vital spark would be missing."

Japhyp remembered those words.

A condemened criminal was to be executed. After he was beheaded, they tossed the remnants of the body into the cauldron. The criminal rose again, whole, and everybody cried out in fear. There was something in his eyes that were empty. He would obey commands, but otherwise would lie listless, and some said there was a fell light in his eyes.

"What will Zaer think about this," Japhyp said nervously.

"Put him on a ship to Kaanrarho, and tell him when he reaches there, to walk until he reaches Zaer's misty lands. The temptations in Mayalaph's lands will be no temptation for him."

Japhyp did as Promeagri suggested. Then Promeagri wanted to travel back to his farm, to get another draught from the Well of Wisdom.

"Will you not take an escort?"

"And call attention to the Well? Better I die than that secret given away."

When travelling back, he was set upon by Bogerd's assasins. They killed him and dismembered him (for the fame of the cauldron's power had spread like wildfire and tossed part of his body into the nearby well, part of his body was fed to griffins, and part of his body was buried in pieces. His head, however, they put on a pole by the entrance to his farm.

Soon the outrage was reported to Japhyp, who was both incensed and alarmed. Promeagri knew there was a plot against Japhyp, and they had both worked against it, but Promeagri's wisdom was not absolute, and he didn't know where the blow would be falling from. The soldiers who found the head brought it before the Emperor, who looked at it, and cried.

Then he got an idea. He ordered Zaer's Cauldron brought before him, and he tossed Promeagri's head into it. A few minutes later, the head came to the surface, and Promeagri opened his eyes.

"Good. I hoped you would do this. Now we must plan."

"Is it...really you?"

"No. I am but the ghost of Promeagri, brought back to his head to advise you. My true soul is on the Greater World, learning from C'don. But advise you I shall."

When Bogerd and his army finally attacked, they found themselves outmaneuvered at every turn, falling into a trap designed by the head of the man they killed. Bogerd and his men were executed.

Promeagri's head advised Japhyp during the rest of his reign. His scythe became a symbol of the royal house. Upon Promeagri's advice, the Zaer Cauldron became part of the dragon-guarded horde of the Titans.

Those interested with comments, suggestions, things I have forgotten, things I messed up, contact me at...

Return to TU


Copyright © 1997 Al Schroeder