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Here is my ancient civilization story. I did it on the Mayans.
Kinich Ahau smiled down on the beautiful city of Tikal, blessing every Mayan with his divinity. A boy named Taavi laid in his bed daydreaming, not a care in the world. Just as he began to doze off, Taavi’s sister -Abha- burst into the bedroom.
“Taavi!” she yelled, “We’re going to be late! There’s an important ceremony to the gods today at the temple and mother says we have to be there.”
Taavi jumped up and pulled on his leather foot wrappings. He grabbed Abha’s arm and ran out of their home, pulling her with him. They ran down the bumpy road, heading towards the huge temple pyramid in the distance. As they got closer, they saw their mother waving towards them.
“What took you children so long? The ceremony is about to start,” she scolded, lightly slapping Taavi’s arm. With a frown, Taavi’s mother turned her head and directed her eyes at the temple.
At the top of the pyramid stood a shaman in ornate robes holding an obsidian knife. At the top of his lungs, the shaman bellowed, “May this ritual bloodletting satisfy the gods! May it be their will that we have a bountiful harvest, and continue to live in this glorious era of peace and prosperity!” And with those words he sliced his tongue, allowing the blood to fall onto a piece of paper beneath it. Another shaman walked up and burned the bloodied paper, transferring the sacrifice to the gods above. The citizens in the crowd began to cheer, excited for the coming harvest. Thanks to this ritual, there would be plenty of food to last the winter.
Taavi smiled, and looked at his sister. Their mother grabbed their arms and began to lead them back home, chattering about the ceremony. “This is amazing children. We won’t have to worry about starvation this winter, and will just be able to live comfortably. You’re not very old yet, so you probably don’t understand how important this event was…”
Taavi tuned his mother out and looked upwards at Kinich Ahau. It was simply amazing that all of his people would always have a god watching over them. If not Kinich Ahau during the day, then it would be Ix Chel at night. No matter what people were doing, or when they were doing it, divinity would always be watching over them. Taavi finally broke out of his daydream as they arrived back at home. He shook away from his mother’s grasp and jumped onto my bed. Taavi pulled out a codice, ink, and a pen. Zoning out from the rest of the world, he focused on my notes. Taavi was learning about astronomy, and it’s important impacts on the Mayan way of life. While studying, Taavi drifted off, and was awoken to the screaming of his mother.
Taavi’s mother was crying hysterically, screaming about “the end of times”. Rough shaking could be felt outside of the house, and Taavi began to get worried. He attempted to calm down his mother, but soon realized that she was in an altered state and that his efforts were useless. Running outside of the house, Taavi finally understood what was going on. Tikal had angered Kisin in some way, and was now being targeted. The earth shook violently, crumbling building and dropping rubble onto civilians. Fearing for his family, Taavi ran back inside and grabbed Abha and their mother. They ran back outside, and began to head towards the temple pyramid, which was known as the safest place in the city. Unfortunately, just about everyone else in Tikal had the same idea, so massive groups of people all rushed within the same space. Screams could be heard as unlucky civilians were crushed underfoot by the mob, and as others were trapped underneath falling rubble. Suddenly, Taavi realized that he and Abha had been separated from their mother, and were stranded alone in the masses. He began to search for her face and found his mother; she was stuck between two large families.
“Mother!” he yelled out to her desperately, grasping at the air.
“Taavi, Abha! I’m not going to make it to you in time! Leave without me. Get to the temple. I’ll meet you there, I promise,” Taavi’s mother called back.
Tears beginning to stream from his eyes, Taavi slowly nodded his head. He grasped harder onto Abha’s arm and began to run faster towards the temple. As they ran, Taavi noticed that Abha seemed significantly lighter than before. He looked back and screamed in horror. He was grasping onto her torn off arm. Blood dripped down off of it, and Abha lay gasping for breath under a large piece of rubble. Taavi dropped the arm, and Abha let out her final breath. Frozen with shock Taavi could do nothing but stare at his crushed sister. How could any god do such a thing? He finally realized that the same would happen to him if he continued to stand here, and then his mother would have no family left. Salty tears streamed down his face, but Taavi continued to run until he finally reached the temple. Inside the large pyramid, families cried over their lost loved ones, and children searched for their missing parents. Shamans performed sacrifices to attempt to appease Kisin but to no avail. The ground continued to shake, and Tikal continued to fall. Everything had fallen to disaster.
Suddenly, a large cloud of smoke rose up from the temple floor. When the smoke cleared, a large skeletal figure could be seen standing upon the ground. It had an owl resting on its shoulder, and the ground around it resonated with earthquakes. Kisin had arrived.
With booming laughter, Kisin raises his arm and spoke. “Pitiful mortals. Just accept your fate. Back after your creation I attempted to defeat the ‘upper’ gods, and they condemned me to captivity within the realm of death. So today, I am taking my revenge. I will take their greatest accomplishment. Mankind.”
Everybody in the temple screamed at the words of the death god, horrified by what he had just said. Taavi scrambled back, attempting to sneak away from the temple and find his mother. Kisin noticed him.
The earth rumbled under Taavi’s feet, knocking him down. Kisin walked over to Taavi and picked him by the scruff of his neck. “You showed bravery, defying me just now,” Kisin proclaimed, “I think you will die last.”
At that statement, an aura of death opened up through the room, and civilians began to drop dead onto the floor, bodies decaying and flaking away into skeletons. Taavi watched in horror as he saw his friends and fellow citizens fade away. Kisin laughed loudly, and looked deep into Taavi’s eyes. “Goodbye human,” he whispered with a grin. Taavi began to feel very sick, and slowly drifted to unconsciousness.
Pleased with himself, Kisin dropped the human skeleton onto the ground and walked out into the larger section of Tikal to observe his handiwork. Soon all of these Mayans would be nothing but dust.
Um... Why was I the only one who submitted an entry here?
As the boy walked into the establishment, his eyes turned to the man in the corner. He had a lute in his hand and was playing a merry tune.
The boy approached, "Hello, can you tell me a story?"
"Why of course young man, what do you want to hear about?"
"I'm not sure. A friend said that dragons used to rome China, is that true?"
"Why yes it is, would you like to hear about it?"
"Okay then, though listen hard an true, cus I'm only gonna say this once."
"Back in the olden days of China, there were dragons going around. Though there were many humans not many dragons existed. While the cause is not known, it is speculated that the dragons were stealing the humans livestock for years until war broke out. Funny how humans took years to be outraged. Just goes to show how humans will keep their voices quiet until they have a force to rally behind."
"Ya but why did the dragons do this? I mean if there was peace then why would they disturb it?"
"Dragons always were a blood thirsty race. Their thirst for war combined with the fact that to sustain them they need a lot of meat, no wonder they would instigate something.
Anyway the humans started actively hurting their livestock in caves that the dragons were too large to enter. This sort of passive aggressive retaliation angered the dragons. Soon rumors started going around that a group of dragons were attacking villages, though at the time they were little more than rumors."
"Well if they hated each other why not openly declare war? It seems like they have to go much greater lengths to attack without fully declaring war."
"Because politics are bullshit. Though after a time what you mentioned did happen. When the rumors became more than rumors, they started attacking each other. While the dragons may have won some battles it was clear that the humans far outnumbered the dragons. It was that fact that lead to the extinction of the dragons."
"Wow! I can't believe that dragons could just become extinct like that! Were they not strong and powerful enough to crush men under their foot?"
"While they were powerful, humanity outnumbered them. You have to remember that their were not that many dragons. The estimate is a couple dozen. With the tens of thousands of men there were, it's no wonder they lost."
"Okay fine, but please tell me another story!"
"I don't know, you pick!"
"Okay fine. What about a empire so selfish, that it only got destroyed because of fighting within itself?"
"Yes! I would love it!"
"Okay fine, but remember through this that humanity is cruel, selfish race.
Rome started out as a promising empire. It was conquering every piece of land it could get its hands on. One would think that their downfall would simply be the fact that they were destroyed by enemies, but no Rome had a much more ironic fate."
"What? I mean if they go around attacking everyone, how come no one stopped them. Surely someone had a big enough army."
"That's the thing. As they acquired more land, their army grew until it was so massive it was unstoppable"
"Wait then how was it stopped?"
"Well if you would shut up I was getting to that! You see as Rome grew it became too big for one emperor to control. While they tried, this eventually lead to their downfall. As Rome rained in its prime, and expanded parts of it were even more likely to get away with acts that defied the emperor."
"Wait so there was a revolt that destroyed them?"
"Not exactly. As they grew larger, and more and more began to defy the emperor their enemies had a much larger chance to destroy them. With their enemies attacking from all sides Rome fell. Not because the enemies were too strong, but because Rome itself was too strong."
"Can you please tell me one more story?"
"Don't you need to be home soon? Your parents might worry."
"Oh come on, please! Just one more!"
"Okay fine, but just one. In fact I have the perfect one in mind."
"What is it?"
"This one regards the Greeks. Specifically the Greek gods.
So one day the gods Zeus, Athena and Prometheus were having an argument over who could create the best thing. To avoid bias they called in a judge. His name was Momus. With him as judge the contest begun.
Zeus produced a man, Athena produced a house and Prometheus produced a bull. Momus had no good word to say about any. He criticised man, saying that his mind should have been placed on the outside of his body to enable everyone to see his bad thoughts and qualities. He criticised the house saying that it should have had wheels so it could be easily moved and he criticised the bull saying that its eyes should have been placed on its horns so it could see what it was attacking.
This deeply upset the Gods as this form of criticism only presented faults, with no mention of merits that could easily lead to feelings of failure resulting in overwhelming depression. With anger Zeus banished Momus from mount Olympus."
"Oh wow. Your stories are very captivating. I don't know what to say. I'm very grateful that you would tell them to me."
"Heh it's my pleasure. Though in return can you tell me a little about yourself?"
"Sure, I'm fourteen years of age and live with my mom and dad."
"Well what do you desire to be. Everyone has their own aspirations."
"I want to join the army! I will fight for the emperor no matter what! He has my mind, body, and soul!"
"Are you not afraid of death?"
" I would happily die for a cause. Serving the empire is a cause worth dying for!"
"Sounds like empire propaganda. Though it surprises me how happy young people are to die for a cause. I guess it does give your life a meaning in a way. What do you parents think?"
"They are worried and don't want me to do it, but I will. Not matter their protests I will serve the empire."
"Well in any case you should head off. Your parents will be worried if your not home soon. Come see me another time if you want more stories."
"Thanks! I will! See you another time!"
"Goodbye child. Though before you go, I ask only that you respect your parents. I'm not saying give up your dream of being a soldier, but at least consider their concern. Alright?"
"Okay I will. Goodbye!"
The Nile, the most precious source of water in all the land. It swells and flows, providing the land around to become an excellent location for crops to grow. The Nile was a way to travel across the sandy lands quickly and efficiently. Once a year the Nile overflows, layering the ground all around with black silt, but one year it never came. Instead a darkness arose. The great God Seth had enough of the low life Egyptians roaming the lands. Once these same Egyptians prayed to him, for they believed that he helped the dead and was a beneficial God. Jealousy took over. Horus and his people began to want more and more until finally they broke Seth’s followers. Then everything changed. Seth was the God of darkness and chaos and lord of the deserts. Whenever there was a drought that plagued the lands it was blamed on Seth. When people were up to no good, they told everyone Seth put them up to it. It was always Seth’s fault and because of this, his followers were punished. When the other priests began destroying his statuary, Seth was tired of the disrespect and will finally show the Egyptians what he was capable of. This was the beginning of the end of what will be known as Egypt’s Old Kingdom.
2155 B.C. Northern Egypt
“Pharaoh, the lands are still dry, and the Nile has yet to flood. What are we to do to please the Gods,” quietly spoke the kneeling servant?
“Gather a hundred bulls and three hundred slaves and offer them up as blessings to the Gods,” the Pharaoh thundered.
The servant nodded silently but still stood in front of the Pharaoh with his head bowed down.
“Is there more?”
“Yes, yes my Pharaoh. There is a lone man demanding to see you. He says it is important and vital for you to hear the information he carries.”
“Bring him to me then.”
Quickly the servant scurries back and is out the door. The Pharaoh sits tall in high golden throne and gazes across his hall. Twenty armored soldiers line the path in front of him. All is quiet within the hall, since no one can speak unless given permission by the Pharaoh. A couple minutes pass and the Pharaoh begins tapping his shepherds crook on the ground, sending a deep echo reverberating off the walls. A nervous look passes among the guards as the tension rises from the Pharaohs impatience. He was known to be a ruthless ruler and that was on his good days. When he was impatient or annoyed it meant someone would die. A couple more thunderous taps sounds when finally, a young man approaches. This man walks slowly as if time is on his side, his clothing is nothing remarkable only a slightly reddish cloth. The man gives a curt bow to the Pharaoh and then stands silent.
“Well, speak, you already kept me waiting,” Shouted the Pharaoh.
The man just gives a sly look at the Pharaoh and slowly begins talking as he appraises the throne room.
“I know a way to help you and your people.”
Silence. The man says nothing after this.
“Quit stalling, if you have information than spit it out or I will have your head be my foot stool,” The Pharaoh spits the last part out as his face shines bright red.
The man still gazing around stops as soon as the Pharaoh threatened him and gives the Pharaoh a death glare. The guards share a silent look without moving and tighten their hold on their weapons.
“You want answers Pharaoh? Fine. You have displeased the Gods, but you knew this right. That’s why you are sacrificing the bulls and the slaves. Here lies the problem though, you are sacrificing them to the wrong God,” As the man said this, he slowly paced in front of the Pharaoh.
“Then what God do I need to be sacrificing to,”
Immediately, the guards lowered their weapons at the man and the Pharaoh jumped out of his chair.
“Seth is the God of destruction and chaos, how dare you tell me to sacrifice to him,” Screamed the Pharaoh.
The man stepped back and then froze when the weapons aimed at him. Once the man heard the Pharaoh’s response, he finally lost his temper and shouted at the Pharaoh while pointing around the room until he settled on the Pharaoh.
“You have made Seth become this. He once was a benevolent god. Now you, Pharaoh, you have ordered that his statues be destroyed, his image ruined. All because your God Horus cannot share the throne. Not how dare I but how dare you not sacrifice to Seth!”
Time stood still as everyone in the throne room processed the words that were hurled at the Pharaoh, half of the guards were bewildered while the other half were secretly laughing.
Shaking with rage, the Pharaoh yelled “Who are you to talk to a Pharaoh like that!”
“I am the chief priest of Seth and he trusted me with this message for you to hear. This is your final and only warning.”
“Guards…take this “chief priest” to the butcher and we will let Sekhmet decide his fate,”
The man shoots daggers at the Pharaoh as the guards roughly grab him by his arms and drag him out of the throne room.
After the man is no longer in sight, the Pharaoh throws his crook and flail across the hall and growls with anger.
Hours later, the Pharaoh precedes to the butchers. He wants to see what has been done to the man who dared speak against him. As the Pharaoh approaches the room, he hears a hollowed whimpering. Upon entering the room, he sees the “chief priest” tied on a to a stake covered in blood. The priest of Sekhmet bowed deeply to the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh waved his hand for him to continue his work on the prisoner and showed a small smile. The butcher went back to the “priest” and slowly continued carving into the man’s flesh, carefully peeling away the skin. After a time of this tedious task most of the man’s skin was stripped and the next phase of torture began. The butcher would heat up a slate of metal until it glowed bright red and then press it against the raw man. Throughout this whole torture the Pharaoh and his guards watched the man wither and scream and cry. Only one person enjoyed this scene and that was the Pharaoh. After hours of torture, the man finally died and with him the final warning of the Great God Seth.
This was the final chance for the great Egyptian people and their Pharaoh ignored it. It is on the Pharaoh for what was about to happen, and it is this Pharaoh who ended the great Egyptians.