Greg Stafford

Part 1 Issue 5, Aug. 2010
Part 2 Issue 10, Autumn 2011
Part 3 Issue 11, Winter 2012
Part 4 Issue 12, Spring 2012

The Path of Immortality

Those persons of ignorance who do not live under Her light mock and scorn the fact that we, mortals all, walk in the path of a goddess. Presumptuous, they call us, and foolish, and deluded. They think there is a difference between Her, Our Immortal Guide, and us. Fools!

Sedenya had been born immortal, beginning life in the aetheric realm and feeding upon the ambrosia of the gods. Yet She became mortal, a limited and finite being who had lost all memory of Her former divine existence. She worked and played, suffered and enjoyed, loved and hated just as all humans do. And She found her way back to godhead. Sedenya, The Great Being, did this because She wished to show human beings how to assist in the recovery of Godtime.

Her journey is just like everyone’s. We all know that in the Green Age everyone was equal, a blissful being without care or worry who had the universe at their fingertips. We were all supernatural beings who smelled of flowers and cast no shadow. Yet, sometimes one by one and sometimes en masse, we fell into the traps of desire, mortality, and the realms of limited consciousness. Unity shattered; love confronted hatred and failed; and peace gave way to war.

The world has always been a worse place since the Otherworld Beings destroyed it in the Gods War. Humans have been the primary victims, and are now the primary methods of recovery. Humans didn’t destroy the world, for they had no power in those days. Yet now they are the repositories of Free Will, and as such, wield the key to reconstruction. The endless cycles of being require that the world recover its former glory, and it is the job of She Who Cycles to lead the way. Hence Her life of suffering and love as a human being, to be the model for us all. Her ascent into the Heavens shows us the way for our own ascent, and Her promise is that the cosmos will follow.

Her blood runs in the veins of millions of people—perhaps in everyone, as some of Her teachers claim. We mortals are mixed, bearing portions of everything that existed before. In that mixture, we have all been carrying out Her struggle, inching the cosmos forward toward its objective. It is the responsibility of all conscious beings to assist in this momentous transformation. It is the destiny of our empire.

Her journey took many lifetimes. It was blocked by the old and established powers. The last incarnation as Teelo Estara was only the final step, not the whole journey. But She served us with Her life, and so we can serve the cosmos by following Her principles.

Enlightenment takes many lifetimes to acquire. She does not expect us to succeed at once. She expects us to struggle forward, under Her guidance and protection. She also expects us to fail, to be hurt, and to love and be loved. We must make mistakes in our earlier lives to acquire knowledge of everything, just as our last lives must be full of assisting, perseverance, and success at the Great Test. As we approach Enlightenment, we remember the keys to success, and these determine how we act, the powers we wield, and the success and happiness of our lives.

At some point, determined by each person, the individual must undertake the Path of Proof. This can be attempted only once each lifetime, at most—some say it is only once every seven or ten lifetimes.

Some say that many paths towards immortality and eternal bliss are possible, but success among the Lunar peoples has always been to follow Her Hero Path. She showed us, we are Her people, and it is foolish to innovate under such guidance. Let others seek new ways and continue to fall, as they do, into the abyss of failure. When it is your turn to attempt to find your immortal self, take Her Hero Path.

Teelo Estara

Let us discuss her early life as Teelo Estara.

A being woke up in the body of a young girl. She discovered Her true selves and Self, and became immortal.

First, at her growth. Teelo Norri had been a girl, young and breastless, with neither the hair nor the hips of a woman. Powerful people performed the Renativity. Then the innocent street girl with the black eyes and the dirty face was no more. Her identity disappeared, submerged by the flood of lives and memories that overwhelmed whatever she had been before. Her first words were “We are all Us.” Teelo Norri vanished, and we know that Teelo Estara felt the girl slip beneath the waters of existence with some regret, at first, which disappeared quickly in the face of a hundred new selves and the immensity of the daily life that was set before Her.

Hence Her new name, Teelo Estara. And Her new body—that girl grew preternaturally quickly, without the anxieties and discomfort of a human being. She had Her memories to call upon when She bled for the first time, or Her breasts ached with rapid growth, or Her blood heated from the looks that men gave to Her, or She to them. She did not have the trouble of innocence in deciding whether to take a first lover. She might instead have had the problem of too much experience, except that She remembered, and so made wise choices.

Oh, those lovers. Surentholm, Maskore, Burdendarus, Venwhiser, and Eserela are known and revered today. Surentholm, who was at first so anxious and reluctant, and afterward so well-taught that he became known as the “great lover of Jalthil,” until killed in battle outside his city. Maskore, ambitious and loyal and unselfish, who became the first Satrap of First Blessed. Burdendarus, so sympathetic and understanding, who stayed with Her the longest. Venwhiser, who had sung to Her and made poems for a decade. First he resisted Her invitation to Her bed; then, after he made ten more poems, he reluctantly accepted, and after that, he fiercely and jealously defended it. She might have stayed with him forever, except that Mahedres Redbeard thought he was Her weak point and tried to torture him to death. Let us remember how Venwhiser sang “Ten Ways to Love You” on the rack, and how his lack of suffering nearly brought Mahedres to an apoplectic death. Nor will we overlook Eserela, that sweet woman who was hard where Teelo Estara was soft, cruel where She was kind, and, most importantly, kind where She was cruel.

Teelo Estara was born to rule. We smile indulgently now at the story of “The Ten Rules of Rule,” when Deezola sat the girl down to start instruction, and was instead instructed. That good Queen was afterwards content to advise the goddess. She also learned, so that Deezola’s own city of Torang was always well ruled, and has been ever since. Teelo Estara coordinated the jealousy of warlords and dukes, balanced the ambitions of suspicious rivals, rewarded the just and trusting, and exploited the despoilers. It took the many lives of Teelo Estara to acquire the knowledge and experience to balance the likes of Deezola, who became so unquestionably good; against the unbridled corruption of Duke Pestenus and his archpriest, Aggavrimak; and yet to keep the loyalty of those famous lords and ladies like Entholm, Aggebeskora, Feneazura, Dardanog, and Aggatholm, who were neither so good nor so bad. Too, Her diplomacy brought the blue trolls of the plateau to friendship, and once even gained the commitment of the bat-winged ones, who won the Battle of Dorid.

And what of Her leadership in war? First, no one questions Her wisdom in leaving battle leadership to Yanafal Tarnils, save for the Second Battle of Memkorth when the great warlord was humbled (and no general dares to forget the subsequent admission of Her wisdom by the great man afterwards, which led to his reinstatement and later caution whenever he saw the flocks of eagles). And it was She who advised the promotions of Aggavaskaru and Paktalus, and She who named Manazura to defend Dorid, Pesdarau to be the quartermaster and Opada to command the river fleet, though the boatmen so resisted the idea of a woman to lead them.

But of all these actions, the most important to Her was to study. Irippi Ontor was rarely far from Her elbow, except when he was researching some history or divining some fact. She would always ask his advice and information about whomever petitioned Her, but She just as often seized odd moments to inquire of him about some landmark that piqued Her memory, to discuss some philosophy alluded to by a visitor, or to pump him for knowledge of a genealogy, a famous person, or one of Her own previous incarnations. No doubt the candor of that brown man was instrumental in educating Her of the faults of her past, as well as the virtues. She Herself credits Irippi Ontor with teaching Her to avoid the obscurity of Nysalor and the unbridled arrogance of Morga. And everyone knows it was She who discovered the secrets of the Mernitan Altar and of Taraltara’s Net, but it was Irippi Ontor who told Her about the cave where the altar was hidden, and of the impossibility of knowing Taraltara with Her mind. It was he, also, who revealed to Her so many secrets that he had learned from Buserian, such as the conjunctions of Ulurda with the stars Miningu, Plura, and Beto, and the knowledge of the invisible bodies of Aggatherada the hummingbird.

So with all those new facts and hidden insights, with the experience She had gained and remembered, She was prepared for when she departed from the everyday world.

Artwork copyright Issaries Inc.

Part 1 Issue 5, Aug. 2010
Part 2 Issue 10, Autumn 2011
Part 3 Issue 11, Winter 2012
Part 4 Issue 12, Spring 2012