Chapter Four

 

THE STORY CONTINUES

Well my friend,” he said, placing his hand on Jake’s shoulder, “we have a long night ahead of us, as the story has only just begun.”

With a deep sigh, he recounted the story of sorrow.

There was once a time when our world was a very different place. War was unheard of, death had not yet discovered the sons of men, and we walked freely with the children of the other tribes.”

Do you mean like tribes in Africa and stuff?”

Well yes and no. In those times, the sons of men didn’t consider skin colour, or country or worlds as of any importance; the thought had not entered their minds. But the tribes I speak of were from, ah... ”Bert scratched his head trying to find the right word. “Well, I guess the best way to describe them is from other realms. But in those days they weren’t seen as other realms, as everyone could come and go freely regardless of where they lived.”

Where are these other realms Uncle Bert, do they still exist?”

Yes they do, but it’s hard to explain exactly where they are, just trust me for now that they exist. Well, the worlds were peaceful, and life was good. The one thing that all the tribes had in common was a book called the Book of Woade.”

Where did the book of Woade come from?”

That question has kept the minds of the tribes occupied for thousands of years; no one knows the answer. But all agreed that its words were wise, and everyone lived according to its precepts.”

Is that why everything was peaceful?”

Well it was a big part of it, but from what I have learned from those times, it was also because the tribes had no comprehension of harming others or acting selfishly, such illogical thoughts didn’t exist. The Book of Woade, however, didn’t just tell people how best to live their lives, it also told them things about the worlds that they would otherwise not have known.”

What sort of stuff?”

Many things Jake, but we only have time to talk about one for now.”

Not only did the Book of Woade say many things about the worlds they all knew, but it also spoke of a place called Nocturne and warned them never to go near the place.”

Why did it say that?”

The Book didn’t need to give a reason, as the tribes had never questioned its wisdom. And indeed for many centuries that was the end of the matter as neither the sons of men nor the children of the tribes would ever ignore the words of the book.”

But something happened, didn’t it Uncle Bert?”

Yes it did. The Book of Woade revealed that Nocturne was connected to the world of men by a Tear in the Sky. The children of the tribes and the sons of men had never seen a tear in the sky, and for centuries it was the topic of many a friendly debate, yet none sought it because of the Book’s warning, until ascholar rose up by the name off Melkaz. He was a very learned man, and study was his passion. After much research, he came to the conclusion that it would be possible to look at the Tear without going directly against the warning of the Book of Woade. This was food for many a discussion and eventually led to a new way of understanding the book, which Melkaz called the spirit of the book. The tribes and the rest of the sons of men, however, rejected this notion and stayed with the old way of understanding, which they called the letter of the book.”

What on the earth did they mean by that?”

Ah,” sighed Uncle Bert, with a sad smile. “The answer to that question is both simple and complex, but I will try my best to make it simple. Imagine if someone was told to leave something alone, let’s say it’s a bottle that’s sitting on the kitchen table, and the reason they warned others to leave it alone is that it contains poison. Well if a person believed in the letter of the book, they would stay away from the bottle. But those of the spirit would say that it was okay to go near the bottle, and to touch it would be fine as long as you didn't drink its contents.”

Jake nodded “I get the picture.”

Well, the more Melkaz thought about the Tear in the Sky, the more convinced he became that he would not be breaking the spirit of the Book in just having a look. After more study, he thought he knew where to look, packed a few things and disappeared.”

Did he find it?”

It took him a long time, but eventually he did. Legend has it that Melkaz was so fascinated by what he saw he forgot to eat and drink and was skin and bone when he got back to his village.”

Did he tell them where it was and what it looked like?”

No, the people didn't ask, and Melkaz kept quiet about his discovery.

Wow, you'd think they would be curious.”

In the world, we now live in; that would is true. But this was before the time of the shade, so curiosity was not what it is today. As time went on, Melkaz became restless, until his every thought was about the tear in the sky and he  said something that was so incomprehensible to the people that they called a council of all the sons of men.”

Gosh Uncle Bert, what did he say?”

He stated that perhaps the Book of Woade was trying to stop them from discovering an even greater truth and that it was to be found on the other side of the Tear in the Sky.”

Wow that must have upset them, what did the council do?”

They were unable to decide what to do. Some wanted to ask the children of the tribes for their wisdom on the matter. Others wanted to leave things as they were, and that is what they ended up doing. On the night of the meeting, Melkaz disappeared. When they discovered he was gone, they held another council. Some thought they should go and find him. Others thought they should leave things as they were. When they held a vote, it was decided that the easiest path was to leave him be. So that is what they did.”

Do you think that was the right thing to do Uncle Bert?”

No,” he sighed, “it turned out to be a wrong decision. If they had warned the children of the tribes and gone after Melkaz, the world would still be............”Shaking his head sadly, Bert left the sentence unfinished.

Come on Jake, I think we owe ourselves a hot drink.”

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