From Dark Beginnings
The Chronicles began - in common with the many Great Works it aspires to join one day - with an idea. The seed at its heart which bore little resemblance to what it has become.
It began with a rather simple idea: What if all the stories were true?
All of them, from the very beginning; including The Bible itself. What if each and every story, at least, began as the truth but then, the storytellers, the novelists of the ancient world, got involved?
Of the Tallest of Tales
One thing shared by the umbrella term of writers; novelists, journalists, poets, bloggers and, ultimately, storytellers is this: that ability to observe true happenings and then make them much more interesting than they originally were. To use what we like to call dramatic license.
Imagine, if you will, this scenario.
An initerant story-teller - let us call him Obaro the Crafty - wanders into a village blanketed with thick snow. Obaro has just slogged through snowdrifts taller than he is, battled frigid temperatures in clothing much too old and travel-worm to serve for comfort. The soles of his shoes were letting the freezing slush though his socks into his feet, which he often felt had abandoned him a few miles back. His food had run out back in the pass two days ago when he had 'negociated' with that family of bears, flinging it towards them as he ran. His scrolls may well be useless now, his chance to make a bit of gold from the monks a week's travel away unlikely. He was sure that they were near-indecipherable now.
He had chosen this route on a whim, thinking it would be quicker than the river. The short and sturdy mountain men who ran the series of barges which plied the shallower valleys had raised their prices again and his purse was much too light to cover their fees.
He was half dead, exhausted, and in desperate need of the food, fire, and board he could scarce afford to pay for. If he didn't raise some coin and make it to the monks on time...Well Fargus the Fat would call in his debts very abruptly. Obaro would be strumming no more lutes once Fargus found him....
Now, Obaro was indeed crafty but no thief or merchant was he. His craft lay in the use of one very special part of his anatomy. Many ladies delighted in it, many more men were jealous of its reported skill. Thanks to it, his legacy was growing to maturity in every settlement and town across the length of the Kartai mountains and down into the valleys of Morngah. Little growing bundles of potential which, though they resembled the original in many ways, were fast becoming unique in their own right.
His gift was his tongue and his legacy is, of course, in his tales.
In order to ensure a comfortable stay through the snowy season, Obaro knew that he needed to use this skill brilliantly and entrance his upcoming captive audience (it'd be weeks before the passes cleared of snow enough to safely travel down to the next valley) in such a way that they would want to hear more and more.
To ensure a nice warm bed, amble food and, more importantly, plenty of company (ideally paying company) to hearken to his words and music.
To do that he might need to be inspired by his journey so far. He might have to, for wont of a better term, lie a little bit about the things he had encountered.
A normal journey through the mountains might be interesting in terms of social study and general news but, after a night or two, it would bore even the most enthusiastic of gossips. He needed an angle.
Being captured and having all of his food stolen by mountain trolls sounded better than his unheroic flight from some bears. Fleeing towards the town after his money had been stolen by a band of avaricious dwarves made him sound less like a possibly bigoted skinflint. That he took to the travelling life to escape a dangerous orc gang after liberating a great magic treasure from their exceptionally corpulent leader, a treasure he was carrying to a secretive order of magicians in their mountain retreat, was indeed more compelling to hear that the truth about his gambling problem...
He showed them the arcane scrolls he carried with great reluctance, having harried solemn oaths from them all. Those few who could read claimed the documents were written in no language they had ever before seen.
A story was born. Orcs, Dwarves, Trolls, magicians...who didn't want to hear about those?
Much better than a cowardly, judgemental man who appeared to fear commitment and had a serious gambling problem, right?
Of course, Obara shared other tales once his ability to embroider his own travels started to wind down. Tales he had heard from other story-tellers he had met and shared camp with. Each tale was received, enjoyed and remembered though he never told the same the same way twice...
Eventually, each story would be retold after Obaro left. Parents told their children, traders entertained the crowds in the taverns. Crowds who paid for free drinks, often many free drinks.
With each re-telling, the original facts withered and dried up just a little bit more. An event or two was tweaked or added. Names changed to favour local flavour. The number of enemies slain increased. The number of claws, teeth, and so on grew....
The stories evolved...
A Return to the Point...A Stroll into Controversy
Imagine, if you will, a story. A story of such fantastic scope that everyone that heard it was amazed, inspired, filled with the fires of love and fellowship. Its secret was not buried in meaning, hidden behind heavyily protected codes or within riddles. The message was abundantly and obviously clear...
"Do unto others...." it began...
Now imagine that this message could set all human beings who heard it free from oppression, dissolve national and dogmatic boundaries, encourage fellowship and...well, need no fancily-dressed important people to explain it to everyone. What if the so-called 'villains of the piece' realised that they could not possibly win if people knew anything?
The Interminable Maze of Research
Research for the Chronicles of Enoch was slow to begin with. Of course, the titular Books of Enoch were found and deeply studied, as a first step. Next came the Bible itself and what was, to me among others, quite a few surprises.
The Bible, as we know it today, is one of the most heavily edited and incomplete works in existence. It has been compiled from a wide collection of Gospels, writings, letters, and observations over centuries. Books were added, passages were removed, translations were redone, emphasis was shifted.
What began as a rather simple story became quite different with the passage of time. The Books of Enoch were quietly removed among others, it is rumoured.
The only problem with that is that the same source stated that each and every complete copy of those Books was rounded up and destroyed. Before the dawn of printing presses, the texts were copied and translated by hand using multiple sources. Translation was decided by concensus, sometimes by those not necessarily expert in either the source or target language. Political opinion and biases coloured many of the decisions made and the general population remained much too illiterate to question.
Some inconsistencies remain to this very day, just look at Genesis!
It was almost as if they were left in place to tease people is it not?
The Seed Beginneth to Sprout
Just like the act of undoing a complex knot, progress is often slow to begin with. One must study the mass and try to identify which strand to begin with, to spy out the connection which will lead to the undoing of all the others. Once this junction of string is uncovered, quite often the whole mass comes undone rather quickly.
Or, of course, one can grow tired of all that and simply cut it with a sword.
We might call it serendipity, fate or Meant to Be. Themes which run strongly through the Chronicles from beginning to end. It might mean that we are, in fact, on to something?
To the Victor, the Spoils
One thing of which we can always be certain of is uncertainty. When one studies history one learns one key 'fact' as it were, that facts change. What was once certainty there quite often no longer is. New facts will regularly take the place of the old.
Once it was fact that the Earth is flat, that heliocentricity was a lie, that the New World was found in 1492. Now, we believe that people from much further back were far more advanced than we had believed. History is found to be wanting and questions are being asked.
The facts, much to their shame, are being found to be inadequate.
But what about these gaps? What happens when an archeologist finds an artefact which does not fit current ideas, when everything anyone of authority has held as - aha - gospel for quite some time no longer seems to fit properly?
Conspiring towards Conspiracy
If there is anything more common than confusion these days, it is the sheer volume of Conspiracy Theories.
The human race was visited in antiquity by aliens.
God is an alien and so was Jesus
Humans are a slave race engineered by aliens
The pyramids and other monuments are alien artefacts.
There was and advanced civilisation on Earth before the human race existed.
The Government is covering it up.
The Government is not the government
Aliens are the government.
Secrets societies are subverting everything.
In all honesty, there are more secret societies than unsecret ones; the Illuminati, the Freemasons, the New World Order, The Bildenbergs, Opus Dei, the Vatican, the Majestic 9, the Quiet Men....surely they cannot all be real? Surely that would mean....
A war, a vast and secret unseen war that we can scarce imagine? A vast web of chaos with unrelated groups fighting their corner? A chessboard in either three or even seven dimensions with pieces of every colour in the rainbow and more?
Seems a little far-fetched does it not?
The Unseen War
Asmodeus likes to explain it thusly;
"people will look where they are told to but, more importantly, they will want to look where they are told not to. If this mysterious 'they' are adamant that a thing did not happen, the humans will scrabble to find ways to prove them wrong!
"Aliens, hidden masters, plans to enlsave the planet...they will be so busy proving a conspiracy that they will actually fail to see that which is right before their eyes..."
In the Chronicles of Enoch, the human love of conspiracy is just another tool in the armoury of quite the brilliant individual; Asmodeus.
His hidden little "Evil Genius Lair" is full of proof that he is not only aware of many of the most popular conspiracy theories of the day but also the source of a great many of them. He is a great believer of the axiom that the best place to hide a thing of value is in plain sight.
He became Lucifer's 'chief of intelligence' under circumstances nobody can accurately recall. He is much maligned, joked about and insulted by his fellow Fallen. He is seen as inferior to them, somehow, a being that is truly beneath contempt.
Yet he holds one of the most vital positions in ensuring that Lucifer's plan suceeds, greatly influencing the hearts and minds of the entire human race thanks to his mastery of technology and, most importantly of all, of the internet which he is credited with helping to invent.
It is hinted that it was his idea to set the whole UFO movement off by having Abaddon and everyone else vociferously deny it while simulataneously leaking 'classified' documents judiciously.
He actually finds it hilarious that humans are perfectly capable of believing in the influence of mysterious beings from other planet yet at the same time say that religious texts are works of fantasy. He thinks simple truth should be easier to convince people of than complex lies but, he would laugh, that has yet to take place. Maybe the aliens everyone talks about do exist but he, personally, has yet to see convincing evidence of the fact.
Except for the evidence that he himself has manufactured of course.
It is very easy to assume that just because something has reached a sufficient level of concensus to be deemed credible that it is truth.
It is very easy to assume, period.
It is also very dangerous to make assumptions, especially if you are being influenced to make those assumptions.
As writers, that is our job in many ways, is it not? We know how it ends, we know what is coming so we know what that little trail of breadcrumbs we left behind means. We know where it leads to. I feel that our job is to manipulate how our readers think as they read our words.
To direct them down a certain path only for them to find that they are going in completely the wrong direction the whole time.
To make them laugh, cry, shout out in rage (ideally unexpectly and in a very public place), sympathise, empathise and, most importantly, be surprised.
Ultimately, that is our job, I feel, to dress the mundane and important up in their best clothes so that they are noticed, commented on and admired.
That will be The Chronicles of Enoch's job; to drastically change the way people think about things which they thought they already knew everything about. To challenge assumptions, break habits, and open a few eyes.
If one person reads it and tells me one day "...gosh, you know I'd never thought about it like that before..." then I have done my job well.
What is your job?
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