Unholy empire chronicles.., p.14

Unholy Empire: Chronicles of the Host, Vol 2: Chronicles of the Host, Book 2, page 14

 

Unholy Empire: Chronicles of the Host, Vol 2: Chronicles of the Host, Book 2
 



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  “All these holy angels,” Tinius said with disdain. “Have they nothing better to do than stand about all grim-faced and serious?”

  “Well, there is a war, Tinius,” said Kara. “Hadn’t you heard? And these stalwart holy angels of the Lord are preventing you and me from…” He turned and addressed the angels of God who remained stationed at the main tent entrance. “Exactly what are you preventing us from? Killing Abram? I promise you that won’t happen. That would spoil everything.” He walked over to the sentries. “You see, I want to see the finish of this little drama when Hagar gives birth to the creature who will become heir. That will be delicious, won’t it?”

  The angels didn’t even flinch, but remained silently at their posts.

  “Bah! Is it any wonder that we sought refuge from the Host? Heaven is filled with such dull spirits!”

  He walked back to Tinius, who was quite amused at Kara’s taunting of the angels. Kara ordered the spirits of discord and gossip to continue their work, and promised that he was sending more devils to create tension within the community. He and Tinius then continued on to their pre-arranged meeting with Lucifer’s recently established inner circle of leadership.

  “I think we will be able to report something quite satisfactory,” said Tinius, as they reached the edge of the camp. “Lucifer should be pleased with the progress here.”

  Kara smiled at Tinius’s naïve take on things. “Lucifer will never be satisfied until he can rest.” He looked back and saw Sarai speaking to Abram and Hagar. “And he shall never rest as long as the prophecy hangs over him.”

  The seven demons who made up Lucifer’s Supreme Council had convened in an abandoned temple complex outside Ur-Nammu, the place of Abram’s birth. Ur was a flourishing city-state and, along with Isin and Lasra in Sumeria, had become religious centers well exploited by some of Lucifer’s more capable agents. Of all the people in the region, however, the Amorites showed the greatest promise. They were in the midst of a great cultural and spiritual revival, and the Amorite nations of Mari and Assyria showed promise—as did an emerging city called Babylon.

  Lucifer’s Supreme Council was made up of seven demons, each given authority over a different region of the world, and each with great numbers of fallen angels under their control to engage in the political and religious affairs of nations. Though the central battle remained as always in the region of Hebron in Canaan with Abram, Lucifer realized that he must think globally as well.

  They had divided the world into regions, with the area that had formerly been Eden at its center. Lucifer had vowed to one day make his throne there—at the heart of the garden where the two trees once stood. After the dispersion at Babel, the world was sectioned by Lucifer into seven geographical regions. Within each region were large numbers of nation groups, with the principal devil being the regional prince, aided by a hierarchy of other demons who helped govern the affairs of men from the greatest to the least. Each of the seven rulers on the Supreme Council was given authority over one of the seven great regions that comprised the fallen earth.

  “No nation on this cursed planet must be given an opportunity to discover the true Creator,” Lucifer had said when he established this advisory group. Lucifer had come to view these seven primary rulers as the cornerstone in his strategy to deal with the world at large. He had taken his cues from Heaven, and entitled these seven lieutenants “elders.”

  With the help of the seven elders of the Supreme Council, he had devised great systems of philosophy and religious fervor that fed the minds and hearts of men the world over with empty nonsense. He spawned scores of religious expressions the world over, inspiring priests and shamans, prophets and oracles, sorcerers and charlatans, who oversaw ritualistic and often carnal acts of devotion—to everything from simple woodland gods of the forest villages, to the great gods of Memphis and Luxor in Egypt.

  “Religion is our greatest weapon,” Lucifer had said. “It is the stuff of deception and war—of devotion to things invisible—and a leash on the feeble minds of men who desperately need to be loved by something greater than themselves. It is something that arouses passion among men so that in an effort to become one with the divine they will sink even to killing one another! Let men be religious—zealous even—so long as they remain blinded!”

  “Reports,” said Lucifer gruffly.

  The members of the Supreme Council began recounting the situations within their areas of global influence. Apart from the activity centered around Abram and his progress, where a tighter control and a more watchful presence were warranted, the world was largely quiet—and deceived. The council had divided the earth thus:

  Kara—whose influence was centered around and in the great Nile region and the peoples of Egypt—proudly spoke of the great temples being erected to the pantheon of gods that the Egyptians found irresistible. He believed that Egypt would be a key to the war and was encouraged by the advances that its people seemed to be making. The great religious center at Luxor, also called Thebes, was where he ruled.

  Pellecus was governor over a vast area that stretched from Assyria westward all the way to the great ocean and across to the coast of Tarshish, to the great northern seas where very few men had explored. He sensed however, in the Macedonian plains and the Greek islands, a people who were given to debate and the pursuit of knowledge. He believed that from his region he could launch many pet philosophies. There was something almost noble in these people’s desire for human truth. Mycenea was his seat of power until the city of Athens became the dominant site of culture and influence in the Greek world.

  Rugio was given all of the lands of the Indo-Aryan peoples east of Jordan and into Cush. He also maintained a hold over sparsely populated Arabia. He was rallying the warlike attitudes of the many nomadic and mountainous people in his domain, and hoped to create in them a great world power built upon the might of arms and violent conflict. He chose Babylon as his seat of power.

  Prian, former Angel of the Watch, was given authority over the great peoples of the east—vast stretches of land that encompassed the nations of the Orient. He too was very encouraged by the established families of Xia and Shang, who were driving the nation toward world empire. Prian and his many charges had introduced the worship of ancestors into the hearts and minds of the people, and his demons often appeared as recently departed relatives to give counsel and comfort to the living. He preferred the Henan Valley as his stronghold.

  Lenaes, an Angel of Light, was given the vast tropical and subtropical regions, from the great nation of Ethiopia and all the nations that lived in the great jungles south of the great desert, to the west of Egypt. Lenaes created among the great peoples of Africa a network of forest gods and animistic spirits that he used to keep them under fearful and superstitious control. He preferred Ethiopia as his center of authority.

  Rega, who had formerly served with Kara as one of the Twenty-four Elders, had been authorized to rule over the vast numbers of native peoples that populated the great northern and southern continents across the great ocean. He saw much promise and great intelligence among the peoples there. Envious of the great pyramids of Egypt, which by earth standards were already ancient, Rega dreamed of establishing cultic centers of worship dedicated to a sun god with great pyramids as well. He also intended to create bloody spectacles of human sacrifice to further demonstrate his complete control over the hearts of the people. He looked to build his seat of authority in due course.

  Belron, an ambitious angel who had been promised a place of authority by Kara during the attempted rebellion in Heaven, was given domain over the peoples scattered among the great islands of the seas. Though not as prestigious as his brother demons, he enjoyed the simple, nature-worshiping peoples of these islands. They were easily deceived and quite fearful of the gods of the many volcanoes that dotted the ocean.

  So far as those lands that God had now promised to Abram and his son, should he ever have a son, the council had determined that each one of them wou
ld have a hand in the areas in and around Canaan. This would be the center of the conflict until the end of the age, or until they had wrested the prophecy from Abram’s hands…

  “And how does one wrest a prophecy, if I may ask, dear prince?” asked Belron. He had become bold of voice since being named to the council and was determined to cast as great a shadow as any of these rebel angels. Lucifer glared at him.

  “You must forgive Belron, my lord,” said Kara. “He is new to positions of importance and is therefore given to foolishness.”

  “I intended nothing foolish, my lord,” said Belron, feeling the iced looks of the other elders on the council. He looked across the cracked altar that once served as a sacred place for the people of Ur. “I am merely asking what our next move should be.”

  “Well done, Belron,” said Kara with delight. “After all, one must learn to crawl before one learns to walk. At least on this council!”

  “Enough!” said Lucifer. “His question is incisive.”

  Lucifer stood at the head of a dais where once stood the priest of this fallen temple, recently destroyed by an earthquake. He indicated the carved reliefs on the walls, marvelously stylized bulls and lions and serpents. Many of them showed the cracks of the recent disturbance, and some of them had all but been destroyed.

  “At one time in this temple, great words were spoken through some of our most creative demons. They were worshiped by men and depicted by them as the creatures you see around you on these walls. Men like to see what they are worshiping. That gives us an enormous advantage over the Most High. While those like Abram, who are in covenant with the Most High, strain to even hear his voice, we as gods of this world can appear readily before the eyes of men. Thus we are more believable.”

  He picked up a broken piece of the altar that had fallen to the temple floor and threw it onto the top of the altar that was serving as their meeting place. Dust from the rock’s forceful landing flew into the air and created a haze above the altar. As it settled Lucifer spoke.

  “But like this crumbling center, which once held great promise for us and now is abandoned and disgraced, so too does the prophecy spoken in Eden and again to Abram speak of a dismal future for all of us.”

  He looked at the crew of elders, his eyes glowing a slightly reddish tinge through the cloud of dust and repeated the words, “All of us.”

  Lucifer continued talking, taking his place once more at the head of the altar. The seven demons, fully aware that they were tied together in an uncomfortable but unalterable destiny, hung on every word he spoke.

  “You asked about the prophecy delivered to Abram, dear Belron. There is much to be said about that particular word. Most of it is dreadful news for us, to be sure.”

  “All the nations in the world are to be blessed by this man’s descendants,” said Pellecus. “All of them.”

  “It isn’t all of the nations that concern me,” said Lucifer. “It is one descendant in particular—foretold in Eden. He is the one with whom we ultimately contend.”

  “Arrgh! The Seed! The Seed,” growled Rugio. “Ten thousand blasphemies upon that accursed Seed! Are we to sit and plan and play gods in our temples while the day of this avenger draws near?”

  Rugio’s eyes burned fiercely blue as his aura manifested itself in an intense burst of anger. Those seated next to him moved away during the demonstration. Lucifer gave him a quick look, and Rugio slowly calmed down.

  “And what would you have us do, Rugio?” asked Kara snidely. “You showed us once how well your warriors could hold an archangel—do you really think you can prevent a prophecy?”

  Rugio leaped across the altar and barreled into Kara, who shrieked in fear at the sight of the charging warrior. Kara didn’t even have time to draw his sword before Rugio had him pinned in his massive arms. Rugio picked Kara up and flew to the ceiling of the temple. Kara was screaming for Lucifer to force Rugio to stop the attack. Pellecus looked at the two and shook his head in disgust. Others were howling in laughter. Lucifer watched for a moment and then ordered the scuffle to stop.

  “Is it any wonder that we have been ineffective until now?” Lucifer finally asked, as Kara seated himself once more at the altar, albeit a bit more humble than he left it. Rugio also sat down, and gave one of his warrior aides a nod of satisfaction. “If my leaders cannot maintain order, how can we expect the rest of the legions to stay intact? I forbid you to fight among yourselves anymore. If you must war, use the humans, fight each other on earth’s bloody fields—but NEVER again in my presence.”

  Kara and Rugio both nodded in agreement as Lucifer continued.

  “Now as I was saying, we have been ineffective up to this point. Oh, we have learned a great deal about warring with humans—how they succumb to temptation, sin, and disease; how to deceive them and lead them through dreams and visions. But in regards to our goal of winning this war, brothers, we are at a loss.

  “We have tried outright conflict, and have been stopped by Michael’s angels. We have attempted discouragement but have been overcome by simple faith. We tried with Job to run a case against the true nature of men, and found that Job proved faithful. All of these and many more weapons we have found to be effective among humans in general.” He was almost growling in frustration as he went on. “But these…these covenant leeches have proven most resilient to our every tactic.”

  “You paint a most encouraging picture, my lord,” said Belron gloomily. “Shall we surrender now or later?”

  “But I believe in Hagar we have a new opportunity—and a deadly one,” Lucifer said, ignoring the comment of Belron. “As you all know, the woman Hagar, the servant of Sarai, has conceived Abram’s child. It will be a son undoubtedly. And I have assigned Berenius to the coming child to give it the proper guidance it will need.”

  Pellecus smiled as he watched the downcast faces around the table slowly begin to perk up. Another plan! Lucifer always had another plan. Even Belron’s countenance lifted. Only Pellecus and Kara knew what Lucifer was about to divulge and they were enjoying the effect of the revelation on the group.

  “The child presents an interesting dilemma for our enemies. In Abram we have a rather peculiar faith—a flawed faith if you will. He has hoped for the promise of the Most High; waited for years. Then in his own wisdom, and encouraged by Sarai’s desperate pleadings, he has now thwarted the plan of God. Rather than have the legitimate heir as promised through Sarai, Abram will spawn a pseudo-heir from Hagar.”

  “And she is an Egyptian, no less,” offered Kara. “That is delicious!”

  “More importantly, she is a fool,” said Pellecus. “From the moment she conceived she has become proud. Even now we are hammering Sarai with a spirit of jealousy, in order to drive a wedge between them.”

  “To what end?” asked Belron.

  “Don’t you see?” Pellecus asked in an astonished tone. “Once the child is born, he becomes the heir-apparent. He becomes the caretaker of all that is Abram’s. The prophecy will travel through him—and instead of all the nations of the world being blessed, they will be abandoned. Abram will have settled for an inferior heir and the world will find itself seeded by a very different family indeed!”

  “And the bloodline of Seth will be finished!” added Kara. “It will disappear within the dregs of these human creatures.”

  Belron nodded silently as if finally understanding. “This child becomes the seed…a new seed…a false seed,” he said.

  “More important that that,” added Lucifer. “He becomes our seed! This is why Berenius is assigned to him. To nurture him—to bring him up in the proper respect of the gods of this world and to lead the world in a glorious revival. I tell you this child and his seed shall one day rule this planet! The world shall finally become that for which we have fought so hard and we will finally have the freedom for which we long.”

  “What about the mother?” asked Belron.

  “Once the child is delivered the woman becomes immaterial to us,” said Lucifer.
Besides, from what I understand, Sarai will handle Hagar for us.”

  Lucifer nodded to an aide, who brought out a large book. The Prophecies of the Morning Star was a collection of Lucifer’s inspired words that he was keeping as a testimony to his role as spiritual authority on earth. He opened the book, which was fast becoming sacred among the angels who had vacated Heaven.

  “I wish to share with you a word of hope for us all,” he began. “The Most High is not the only voice in the cosmos. When once before we met and I opened this book, these sacred writings became the impetus of our movement. They have survived our expulsion from Heaven, and they shall bear witness of our triumphant return!”

  He began speaking loudly now, his purplish aura casting an eerie light on the temple walls. “I promise you, brothers, that one day our voices shall be heard over the pretenders in Heaven! Let these words stir your hearts to courage and the continuance of this struggle.” He then began to read:

  Rise up, O seed of Morning Star

  Rise as a dawning day over Eden bright and glorious before

  its shame;

  With all creation, host and human, trembling at thy name.

  Rise up, O seed of Morning Star

  And take thy place among the earth, among the nations of men,

  Remaking in their hearts and minds an image born of sin.

  Rise up, O seed of Morning Star

  The Host of earth and Heaven watch thy destiny unfold

  Until that grand and glorious day,

  When Heaven sees the shame of its way

  And we, the true Host, will increase the glory of our fold.

 
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