Sunday, 17 April 2011

The Gods in the Heather

The bonny, bonny heather - by Aqwis at Wikimedia Commons - released under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.A Kateverse folksong, of Morgan the Man and his struggle with the would-be gods of Cassander's Diadochi. Bold, brilliant, insanely loyal and intoxicatingly charismatic; riddling and maddening; something like his culture's King Arthur, and just a bit like its Robin Hood... I still haven't got much more of a handle on him than his inheritors have twenty generations later. I did discover yesterday that the hostile and severely ill nation next door to his Morgander was founded by his favourite son, Rhuvawn. Morgan's pronounced allergy to deity seems to have taken an unfortunate turn there.

This song hints at where it came from.

The Gods in the Heather

August Lord Summer with piper and drummer
Preached he was God, at the point of his spear.
Otho Lord Winter said "Stick it right into
The place where no Sun shines, 'cause I'm the God here!"

Grey geese are flying, wild harps are crying.
Summer or Winter, to bow or to ban?
Sailor or Singer or Thunderbolt-Flinger?
Who will you worship now, Morgan the Man?



Morgan said, "Worship's in deeds that are manful.
Prayer is for ears that are dear in the night.
Who'd be a God, when the World-Winner would not?
I'll send 'em word with the goose-feather's flight!"

Red swords are falling, wild horns are calling,
Summer and Winter are trampling his tents.
All Gods together, they hunt him through heather -
Manhood in men must be mortal offence!



Morgan defeated, each God stabs his fellows,
Backwards and sideways, like such fellows do.
Deep in the valleys, mortality rallies,
And men come to Morgan in comradeship true.

Grey geese are flying, wild harps are crying.
August we reap, and old Otho we scan,
Flying through heather from grey goose's feather,
And good men together with Morgan the Man -
All men together with Morgan the Man!


Diadochi references:

August Lord Summer is the would-be Octavian/Augustus figure, the successor to Cassander's legionary general Romolo Aquila. He claimed to be the New Apollo.

Otho Lord Winter is an interpretation of the northern warlock-king associated with Mercury and Wednesday. This episode is conspicuously absent from his own myth-cycle.

'Sailor' is certainly the Navarch Phaon, alias Sailor Flash, who claimed to be the son and heir of Neptune.

'Singer' is probably Stateira Hetaira, alias Stacey the Singer. Famous poet and briefly tyrant in the far West, who loved Venus but never claimed to be Her. Long dead before the events of this song took place.

'Thunderbolt-Flinger' is Anthony Fulmen, alias Tony Thunderbolt and Ranty Tanty, who claimed to be Jupiter incarnate. Defeated by August, he fled far away to the South shortly before August, Otho, and their unspecified allies launched their holy alliance against the impertinently mortal Morgan.

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