Three of Wands
The powerful fire understands its responsibility
Ayesha was about to scold again, but then looked at Jim again and held silence. She was now curious and wanted to know more before she would tell Dagon what she had discovered about these strangers. She dismissed the magistrate.
She led the trio into the temple compound.
The crowd was somewhat stunned. Their high priestess seemed to accept these strangers as if they were her lost family. Absolutely no leaks were being released as to what was about to transpire. Shocked, many had heard the strangers profane their city god in the presence of the high priestess as well as the crowd, and still she had taken them into the sanctuary.
Some scurried to the palace to inform Dagon that something was up. Certainly Ayesha would not conspire against Dagon.
By Artemis law, If Qblh commanded, Ayesha was forced to comply. The trio using the name of Isis as protection, demanded very important persons status.
"You are not a normal man, and you are not normal women. You claim to be from Artemis. I want to believe you, but no one has ever been to Artemis. No one knows where it is, but it is my home. It is said to be a star. If what you say is true, can you please explain? I am having a difficult time understanding this. I do remember Isis granting the title “Qblh”, but cannot remember his face very well. Come to think of it, he does look a little familiar. I dare not say more, as it is forbidden. Just these few words are great secrets. "
"Ayesha, I shall take you to Artemis if you get the population to flee the island. We are from the constellation Sirius and Isis named me Qblh last week."
Ayesha was startled. This strange man, now not quite so strange, was offering her a dream. How could he promise such? Yet nothing about these strangers was common. He had offered her fulfillment of a dream, as if he understood her. However, if it were indeed him, the empire of Isis, Venetia, had left clear instructions to the priestess covens as to what to do. Sensing this and seeing that Ayesha would soon be making love with him, Antiope and Helen decided to add a few more trials to Ayesha's initiation.
“So you are he? From the stars and only last week? No one but him could say that and be truthful. You can take me there?”
"Don't listen to him Ayesha. He tells all the girls what they want to hear. True, he'll take you to Artemis all right, but don't expect him to bring you back. He's tried to dump us both a couple of times, but we've always managed to keep him from breaking free. He's quite a beast to handle, and it takes the both of us to keep him under control."
"You can take me to Artemis?"
"He can take you to Artemis. We're not interested. I like Earth. How about you, Helen?"
"Sure, Ayesha. Go with him. We don't mind. Perhaps he can give you a child as well. Believe me, it will be worth the effort."
"But you can't keep him."
Ayesha became increasingly curious concerning Jim. It had been too many years since she had left Artemis. The account presented by the trio sounded impossible, but she had to believe it. They mentioned facts that were written nowhere on Earth as they were sacred to Isis, but were still quite vivid in her memory. It was amusing that he appeared as their servant and did not appear dominating at all. So unlike Dagon. Dagon was not unique among the great rulers of his time. He magnified himself above all other kings and even proclaimed himself as a god. Dagon even referred to his kingdom as Atlantis in memory to Pharos of old.
Atlantis, like other city states protected by the Cretan Empire, had a rich trade route established through Avaris in Egypt which was another city state under the “protection” of Crete. Avaris was a great cultural and economic hub and the center for learning the medical and mathematical arts of Egypt. The local population had many gods as they were very much of a cultural mix, and the priests kept the best knowledge concealed among themselves and those initiated into the mysteries taught in the temples. Many came to Avaris to marvel at the wonders of Egypt and to possibly learn her secrets. Many years of study were associated to qualifying for the priesthood to learn the mysteries, and competition was tough. The priests had to master two styles of writing, ad this fact as well as being a major port, was very related to the business climate and extreme political power of Avaris.
The high priestess, a very ambitious Anat, another Amazon from Artemis, was Dagon's mother. She was the mother and high priestess to Salitis, the pharaoh controlling Avaris. Anat was, also the mother of Dagon’s “father”, Salitis. Sobekhotep VIII refused to pay tribute to Isis and Salitis. Instead he was only concerned about regaining lost Egyptian military power. He was extremely unhappy with Anat concerning Salitis who had taken control of the Lower Nile, and was continuously conspiring to take Upper Egypt as well.
Salitis also considered himself a god, was the greatest general and leader in the entire civilized world currently plotting the conquest of Upper Egypt after having taken Avaris from the landowners. All nations paid him tribute in order to have access to his trading hub, Those he conquered were conquered and forced into slavery. Almost all but the privileged in a Avaris were slaves. As a friend to Minos, Avaris had an alliance with Crete and were protected by Minoan naval forces and the army of Salitis. The smiths of Atlantis had not been Minoan but an enterprising group of Egyptian trained artisans who were allied with the Amazon priestesses and had created a very technically advanced community which made its fortune by refining metals, copper being their major commodity.
The pyramid builders were successful at devising an amazing network of cooling tunnels which tapped the heat of that volcanic isle. Their designs took advantage of the many faults which existed within the mountain. They also being expert in mineralogy and the great mountain furnace had knowledge of explosives. Being expert in geometry and explosives, the citizens of Kuftia were experts at tunneling and mining. The hazardous nature of mining meant high pay and extremely short working hours for the citizens of Atlantis. There was a mining exposure limit as delegated by the Amazon priestesses who were keepers of the old wisdom. Each miner was allowed only a few hours exposure a week. After the tunnels were blasted, scalding sea water would be channeled to scour the passageway of the loose rock. The effluent would be filtered and the extracted rock would be further broken down and processed.
Great forges were set up throughout Luftia. Prisoners and the less fortunate had the dismal duty of transporting material to and from the fiery caverns. Task overseers themselves, because of occupational exposure limits would only have to endure these conditions for a brief time while they coordinated the refining itself. The Amazon descendants were permitted to select any male of their choosing for sacrificial rites. The temple priestess maintained the traditional secrecy concerning the true nature of the sacrifice. Dagon provided the authority which commanded the enterprise.
The priestesses would have nothing to do with the mines. They found them much too uncomfortable. Instead they were pampered with luxury within the domains of the temple and its gardens. The high priestess and her senior understudies were human-Amazon hybrid. They were still fatal to the human male, and had to conduct sacrifices in order to have children. There were a few minor males.
Anat was Amazon and mother to both Salitis and Dagon, but Dagon was also the son of Salitis. The apparent incest meant nothing to Salitis who was an Edomite prince closely allied to and supported by Babylon. Anat, as was the custom, required a human male to be sacrificed in order to bear child, and the Babylonian empire made this easy by offering human sacrifice to Baal.. A king wanted his son to be as powerful as himself, and since breeding with the Amazons produced genetically advanced children, he felt that there was a need for another male like himself, an Amazon half-breed. The genetics provided an enhanced possibility for another male child, hence Dagon was born. Salitis wasn’t fond of being his mother's consort, but she gave him great power.
Because of Anat and Salitis, Sobekhotep VIII played down the importance of Isis. Instead he would reinitiate kingship in Egypt by rebuilding a dynasty and a great empire which would be ruled by men and not flowery women. She had made Egypt weak and submissive to foreigners. He would set the foreigners in their rightful place. Egypt would rule all again. Isis had in mind to deliver some more Amazon witches including Hatshepsut a few years later to set matter straight.
There was no Amazon royal blood in Dagon. Anat claimed some relation to Morgana. As far as Jim was concerned, Morgana was inferior to either Antiope or Helen.
Dagon, however would be able to survive mating with a human hybrid-Amazon because of his mother. He could also breed with human females.
Ayesha warned Jim, "If Dagon knows that you can breed with an Amazon and live he will try to kill you. Can you? I am guessing that you can. Shall we find out? If you survive me then I shall abandon Dagon and do your bidding. My people will follow me."
Jim glanced at Helen and Antiope. They were giggling at him. They both encouraged Jim to seduce Ayesha. Ayesha passed a sign to the captains, Helen and Antiope.
Antiope walked up to Jim. "It's my dream darling, and you promised to satisfy me. Qblh, Yoni her. Isis would approve, and Helen complies. We'll answer to our queen if we are wrong and as her agents we command you to do her bidding. Ayesha, we give you Qblh, our slave to be your slave until you decide to abandon Dagon. We will have your answer by the next meal. Will that be sufficient time? Ayesha, do you also understand that if you are not of our race then you will perish?"
"Only he shall perish, if we are not of the same race."
"Then blessed be your union, sister."
Ayesha escorted Jim to her private chamber.