The Book of Tales

The Legend of Rah and the Muggles

Introduction

On the far side of the earth Aura citizens fought great wars with other nations. They had lived a peaceful coexistence with nations throughout the world for one hundred years. A worldwide peace agreement, designed by the Congress of United People, C.O.U.P., had kept Aura safe from other nations and colonies much more powerful, until peace and prosperity were interrupted by an unhappiness that spread through the population.

As prosperity grew, so did the need to have even more material possessions. Greed began to eat-away the moral foundation that maintained the peace. Within a few years the need for power and control infected the Congress like a virus. C.O.U.P. was established after the Great Island Wars to prevent any nation or colony from attacking another without good cause. Every nation and colony had agreed to live by the rules in the Constitutional Peace Charter.

The Peace Charter had been signed in blood by every leader, of every nation or colony, so that no leader would ever forget how important it was to keep peace throughout the world. It had always been respected, because of the bloodshed by the Forefathers of every citizen on earth. For generations this Charter was revered, but as the privileged youth began to assume positions of power, itsí importance became diminished. The simplicity of the Charter is what made it possible for every nation and colony, with many different forms of governments, to accept it as the most important part of their own laws. It was created to allow nations the right to have their own beliefs and traditions without criticism, or threat from any other country. It respected and guaranteed human rights, and supplied guidelines to protect natural resources. It encouraged cultural, educational, and artistic exchanges, and guaranteed fair-trading. It supported emergency help, and ample food and medical supplies worldwide.

Representatives of C.O.U.P. met one time every year, unless there was an emergency that needed their attention. It was headed by a democratically elected leader given the title of Commander. Its headquarters were always located in the country in which the Commander lived, and at this time in history the headquarters were on Aura. The Constitutional Peace Charter had prevented governments from taking their disputes to battlefields. Even though there had not been any threat of war in years, there had always remained tension caused by citizens with a need to have things that only a privileged few seemed to possess. When world citizens began to loose hope in their ability to someday experience what privilege could give them, they became restless and weary.

Before long, unrest within countries all over the world began to threaten the stability that C.O.U.P. had managed to preserve for a century. Leadership evolved into a representative body for the wealthy minority, who began to believe they were untouchable. The average workers and citizens out-numbered the wealthy by millions, and as they became more impatient and angry with their government leadership, they became more convinced that they were going to have to force the changes they needed. Militias formed, they gathered arms, and before anyone could stop them, their anger turned to violence. They considered themselves true freedom fighters, an "Army of the People". These revolutionaries were determined to reclaim land taken from their families by the government. A law of "eminent domain" gave them the right to buy land from private citizenís to build schools and roads, but they were abusing their power. They used this law to literally steel land from property owners, and had even forced people to move from their homes under this law. They didnít use the property to build schools or roads. They were selling these homes and the land to construction companies, who then built mansions that sold for millions of dollars. The government had become "Robinhood" for the rich, and the "Army of the People" was determined to reclaim what belonged to ordinary citizens, but what they would really accomplish is the near total destruction of human life.

Militia leaders were soon tracked down and imprisoned. Their families banished from communities, and their children shunned by others who were not willing to risk supporting them for fear of retribution. Even though the governmentsí military had been fairly successful causing damage to the "Army of the People" and their leadership, the determination that drove them had already lit the fire of insanity that surrounds every war.

To most of Aura's citizens it appeared that all of this unrest had occurred suddenly, when it had actually taken generations of corruption and political maneuvering to tear apart the very fibers of the Constitutional Charter. This Charter made democracy possible for all nations, and gave its citizens inalienable rights. It was masterfully written to insure that all citizens would have a voice in the control their governments, and was intended to prevent government intrusion into private beliefs and lives. As government authorities began to interfere more with the lives of citizens, a world war unlike anything known to man was looming in the near future, but Auraís citizens had no idea just how bad it would become for them.

Aura citizens had lived for generations untouched by any of the horrors they read about from history. They had been comfortable for so many years, and there was a part of them that believed that if any war did take place, it wouldnít touch their homeland, nor would it really affect their lives in any big way. They had no way of knowing how wrong they were, until it was too late.

Average citizenís, worldwide, firmly believed that C.O.U.P. had become a very ineffective organization to represent them. They still believed that even though they hadnít done other things very well that they could and would prevent any threat of nuclear or biological weapons from ever becoming part of the doom and gloom of the war that was now spreading. A war that was raging, and had now had reached the peaceful continent of Aura. Again, the citizenís were not only wrong, but they were completely unprepared for what would come next. War had cost them the freedom, and liberties they had worn as you would a comfortable pair of old shoes. The "Great Thirty Year War" would be recorded as the most vicious and evil in the history of Mankind. Senseless battle, after battle, had nearly destroyed everything, everywhere.

Although the C.O.U.P. arms treaties had boasted the elimination of nuclear and biological weapons, it was the reassembly and use of such weapons that brought this anguishing war to a devastating conclusion.

Forest and valleys, farms and villages, lay in waste. Only barren battlegrounds were visible where beautiful estates had dotted the landscape, and productive farms once thrived. Here the lingering radiation made it nearly impossible for ordinary human life to be sustained.

The nuclear holocaust had blanketed the sky with dark, poisonous clouds of radiation. The sun disappeared behind the radiated eclipse just as Aura citizens fled their homeland. Beaten, tired, and nearly starving, they deserted the ruins, leaving behind the imprisoned "have-nots" who had taken refuge in caves after the bombing had begun. They were injured, and handicapped for many reasons. The unfortunate soulís who were considered to be ethnically impure, too old, or simply undesirable for one reason or the other, were abandoned.

No mercy was shown to even the children of the abandoned citizens. Their cries for help went unrecognized as they rang out with piercing screams for help. Despair painted their faces like a mask of terror. Moans of pain and anguish echoed in the air with dizzying repetitiveness, as the "have-nots" struggled to clear the debris from the entrance of their cavernous prisons.

The self-appointed "chosen-ones" gathered in crowds along the shoreline to escape on the few remaining cruise ships, where most of them had once enjoyed luxurious vacations with their families. Now all that these luxury liners represented to them was a way to escape Aura. They pushed and shoved, trampling one another like a stampede of cattle to secure their place on a vessel. Ladders and ropes, and planks of all kinds, were filled with people trying to crawl and climb aboard.

The ships captainís had armed, and locked themselves inside control rooms to maintain absolute command of the vesselís. As the ships filled to an overflowing capacity, the command was given to leave the port. Planks broke away from the ship decks, while desperate people futilely reached out for a helping hand to lift them aboard. Others were left still clinging to ropes and ladders that dangled along the sides of these iron ocean monsters. As the mammoth ships floated off to sea, the ropes and ladders were cut from their sides, dropping the desperate stowawayís into the murky and stormy water, never to be seen again.

It is hard to imagine that anyone left behind on Aura could have survived, but they did. The power of the human spirit was never more vivid than it is now, nearly five hundred years later. Against all odds, a primitive generation of human beings would evolve. "Muggles", ancestors of the "have-nots", survived the devastation of the war, and still thrive on Aura. They have never experienced the warmth of sunlight, nor the beauty of an evening sky filled with glittering stars. Their world is lit only by moonlight shining through a purple haze left behind by nuclear warfare.

"Muggles" look much like human babies, but none of them have hair. Their shoulders are narrow and delicate. They have round, plump bellies, which make their legs and arms look very thin.

"Muggles" have smooth, soft skin. At one time their skin was blue from the lack of sunlight and oxygen, but now they have creamy white, beige, or brown complexions, and little, pink cheeks. Even when full-grown they look like children.

"Muggles" speak many different languages and understand all others, even those of the animals. Some think "Muggles" voices sound faint, but that is because they are very tiny. Their average height is three and one half feet.

The only knowledge the "Muggles" have of their ancestorís, and the history of Aura, are the stories that have been passed down from generation, to generation. These stories are found within the pages of an historical ancestral diary known as the "Ancient Book of Tales".

The "Ancient Book of Tales" has become a record of every event that has taken place, or is taking place on Aura, and in the lives of the "Muggles". It describes traditions and survival methods, and records births, deaths, and achievements. Every "Muggle" child is educated by guidelines set forth in this book, and expected to live by the moral standards described in this historical diary. The tradition of record keeping continues to this very day, and is the "Muggles" only link to the past, their legacy to the future, and is the most treasured possession of the "Muggle" community.

It has been said that history repeats itself, and many, many years after the "Great Thirty Year War", another nation was growing restless. Their actions would bring about change that reached far beyond their borders, and would profoundly affect the lives of the "Muggles".

In this distant land, the chilling sounds of a raging war echoed in the background-this land too, had nearly been destroyed by great wars-

and so it was recorded in the Ancient Book of Tales-that in "The Year of the Purple Haze", people had forgotten the power of love, and sought power in place of love.

A home may be of simple structure, And yet yields more beauty than mansions; For the timbers from forests of dreams, That built this simple place, May crumble to bits and pieces with age, But the love that gives this home its grace, Will keep flowing for years yet to come

Down rivers and streams of time, Quenching the thirsts of mankind, Bathing your soul from time to time, Healing the sick and mending the blind; For within your heart, not your mind, Is where all love is truly defined, And its symphony plays on and on, Long, long after we have gone.


Excerpt from The Legend of Rah and the "Muggles" © 2006 by N.K. Stouffer. All rights reserved.

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