The Golden Emperor

The following is a piece of Octavius folk lore.  There are many versions, each varying slightly, but the story remains fundamentally the same.  There is no know date for the origin of the story.

by Anonymous

In the time before time, Octavius was a wild, unruly place where the tribes warred and ignorance and poverty flourished.  But through all of the wars and the ignorance, every morning at dawn, the People would to look to the skies and shout praise to the creator, giving thanks for the new day.  The God of the Skies looked warmly upon the faithfulness of the People and decided to send them a gift.

And so one day there was a great storm.  There was lightning and thunder such as the People had never seen.  And out of the midst of this great storm came an ivory chariot pulled by eight dragons. And in that chariot stood Ren.  And on his shoulder sat a phoenix-bird.

The people stopped their hunting and gathering and warring to look upon Ren and the dragons and the phoenix-bird and their hearts were filled with joy.  They cried out to Ren and said, “You must become our Emperor and you must teach us and you must make us a great people so that we can better honor The God of the Skies!”

And so Ren became the leader of the People and they made his a throne of pure gold, and Ren sat upon this throne. From his throne, with a single gaze, he could see, the North and the South . . .  the East and the West.

Ren divided the land into eight parts and named eight Regents to govern them.  And he wrote down the great laws of the land and gave them to each Regent so that all would be governed equally.  He traveled from Province to Province in his ivory chariot, pulled by eight dragons with the phoenix-bird on his shoulder . . . and the People were happy.

Ren also declared that the People needed to have more to do than hunting and gathering and warring.  So he touched their minds and hearts and they began to sing and to dance  . . . they painted pictures on the walls of their homes and made statues and wove beautiful cloths.

But far away, in another part of the sky lived Luchen-Ba, Ren’s older half-brother.  Luchen-Ba was jealous of Ren and the love he received from his people.  And so he plotted against his half-brother.

Luchen-Ba and his Generals rained lighting down upon the land and the People ran to their huts and caves and screamed, “Ren, save us!”  And Ren walked down from his golden throne and rode out in his ivory chariot drawn by eight dragons and met his half-brother in a field where they fought and wrestled for sixteen years as the lightning of Luchen-Bas’ Generals continued to strike all around them.

And after sixteen years, Ren drove-off his jealous half-brother and struck his Generals from the skies.  But sixteen years of lightning and cloud and rain had laid-waste to the Land where floods had inundated everything killing many of the People. Ren wanted to weep, but he dared not, fearing that his tears would only worsen the floods.

The God of the Skies saw the despair of Ren and the People, and so he blew warm breath across the Land and dried the floods.  And the people came back out of their huts and their caves, praising Ren and the Lord of the Skies.

Ren led the People for eighty years.  They grew strong and wise and no longer lived in huts and caves.  They built beautiful cities and wide roads and many statues of Ren.  And Ren built many chariots for the People so never again would they suffer at the hand of evil.  They had chariots for the Land and chariots for the Skies.  Lightning sprang from their swords and their enemies quaked in fear.

But as the years wore on Ren began to grow tired.  He knew that the People no longer needed his strong arm. This made him happy . . . and made him sad.  And so Ren called to the God of the Skies and said, “I came and did for the People what you asked.  But now they are strong and I am tired!”

So the God of the Skies smiled upon Ren and built him a simple hut in the courtyard of the Imperial Palace.  And then he lifted Ren’s tired body from the golden throne and placed him in the hut, where Ren happily retired to fast and pray and meditate upon the simple wonders of life for many years.

And then one day a servant reported that Ren was gone from his hut.  The People searched the courtyard and the palace and the cities and the mountains and the fields, but Ren was nowhere to be found.

Then the next day, the sun rose more brilliantly than ever before.  And the People realized that Ren had gone to rejoin the God of the Skies.  They laughed and they wept and they danced and they sang and they took his golden throne from the Palace.  They built a huge pyre and melted the throne.  The re-cast the gold into a huge statue of Ren and they placed it upon the spot at the center of the palace courtyard.

And from thenceforward, the People and their children and their children’s-children and their children’s-children’s-children would come to that place to praise and honor and remember Ren — The Golden Emperor.

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