Let’s continue where we left off, and discuss the Four Days. These days would be some of the most critical days for humanity as we know it. Its success rested on one woman, First Mother Kinera. Her wisdom and insight was able to keep Elhal from sliding into war. Rather from the brink of war would come the greatest period in human history.
Setting The Stage
As a quick summary, a grain blight in Kotkala had prevented the nation from trading its surplus grain to its neighbor Stammiglin. Stammiglin, heavily armed and militant from its recent campaign against the giants, felt that it had no choice but to attack Kotkala for food. Before the situation descended into a full war, the Church of the All-Father was able to persuade members of all four Kingdoms to meet in Ceradome to try to find a peaceful solution.
First Mother Kinera
The First Mother was a Monatobean woman in her mid-50’s. She was a late-comer to the Church, having been a wife and mother as a young lady, and widowed after both her children grew up and left home. She joined the Church at the age of 39 and was gifted in her understanding of the scriptures, as well as her spiritual insight.
Kinera was a well liked First Mother, known for her motherly demeanor in both the warm and loving ways, as well as sternly warning both clergy and worshipers who strayed. What Kinera was best known for was her prophetic visions. Regarded as being in tune to the Will of the All-Father, she was able to hear and interpret his will after mediation and prayer. She wrote a good deal of letters and scrolls on various topics, adding to the body of understanding of the Church.
Ceradome was a natural location for the meeting, as the Seal of the All-Father would protect all the visiting dignitaries from aggression. The talks took place in the City Hall rather than the Great Cathedral. Kinera was nervous about the Church interceding in the affairs of the Kingdoms and wanted to have the talk in a non-religious place.
The Kingdoms sent their delegates:
- Prince Vanak (Vaasari) – Vanak was a strong angler and trader, but was not well-educated and spoke with a thick Vaasarian accent.
- Princess Dois (Kotkala) – Dois was from Eastern Kotkala, raised in Inkala and educated at the University in agriculture. She was responsible for halting the spreading grain blight.
- Prince Dyan (Stammiglin) – Dyan came from the powerful Zosos Clan, and was a fierce warrior in the Giants War. He was loud and arrogant.
- Queen Iorum (Monatobe) – From the line of Sea Kings, Iorum ruled alongside her Husband, Kaim. Raised in Monatobe, but educated at the University of Inkala in human studies, she was a devout woman, and a passionate follower of the All-Father.
These four, along with Kinera, met in the City Hall of Ceradome. Kinera’s role was mediator.
The first two days were trying. Dois and Dyan argued continuously. Vanak watched but offered little input, disinterested in the bickering of his Southern neighbors. Iorum tried to bring balance to Dois and Dyan, but was fearful of making an enemy of either neighbor.
By the end of the two days, the only accomplishment was for Monatobe to supply additional fish to Stammiglin. There was no progress on ending the hostilities between Kotkala and Stammiglin.
At the end of the second day, Kinera left the meetings and returned to the Cathedral. She was feeling defeated, and feared that this meeting would do nothing to avoid war. She knew that a war of humans would bring out the worst traits that Humanis had imparted upon us; something that the Church worked to avoid. In the temple, she went to the shrine of Jaalom and prayed.
While she prayed, she reflected upon Jaalom’s scolding of the various factions of the early church, leaning to their eventual unifications. Then she had a moment of inspiration; an insight to a solution so bold that she did not feel that the idea was truly her own. An idea placed into her mind by the All-Father.
She raced to her study in the Cathedral and through the night wrote out this idea, which would become known as the Precepts of the Empire. Many Church scholars believe that Kinera may have been a Defender that evening, but it was never confirmed.
The next morning Kinera joined the delegates, excited and animated but still having not slept. She began to explain to them her insight and plan.
Kinera’s proposal was that the Kingdoms were in essence factions of humanity, acting on behalf of their faction before others. In this configuration there could only be coveting, strife, and domination. Each kingdom and its people needed to be part of something greater, and have loyalties for something more than their faction.
She proposed that there should be an Empire, a kingdom of kingdoms. Every citizen would then be part of something more than their kingdom, they would be part of the greater commonality of all humans. In doing this it would be harder for each human to marginalize any other, because they were all equal parts of the greater body.
The Empire would govern over all the Kingdoms mediating trade and all disputes. It would assume protection of the kingdoms and enforce the law of the land.
The delegates were not at first swayed by Kinera’s insight, but as she reviewed the Precepts, she begun to win them over. We will review the Precepts in detail in our next lecture.
The group spent the remainder of the Four days working out details of the Empire. All members contributed ideas, and the Precepts were amended and expanded. Meeting ended with all delegates full of optimism. Each promised to return to their Kingdoms with the proposal. In addition, they all agreed that there would be no hostilities during this time.
The delegates returned home and presented the proposal for the Empire to their rulers. Monatobe was the first to send confirmation to Kinera, a week after the conference. Surprisingly, Vaasari sent their confirmation next, sending their messengers through the Vaasarian tundra in winter, to reach Kinera. Stammiglin and Kotkala held out and tensions increased as the winter grew colder.
Kinera travelled to Stammiglin and visited the Zosos clan to try to persuade them to sign. There she saw the effects of the Grain Blight. There were food shortages and there was malnutrition among the people. She met with several clan leaders in different cities and saw the same situation. The people of Stammiglin did not want to fight, but they were suffering in pain.
She then traveled to Kotkala and spoke directly to King Eniald, Dois’ father. She explained the plight of Stammiglin to Eniald, and in her motherly way lectured him about how the love of the All-Father extended to all Humans. She reminded him that as a follower of the All-Father his responsibility was not just to his people, but to all people.
Eniald agreed to take an amount of grain from his people, and sent an envoy to Stammiglin to provide the grain as a peace offering. It was not a lot of grain, not enough to feed all the people of Stammiglin, but the gesture was enough to break the tensions between the two Kingdoms. It was enough to get them to agree to the proposal.
The Formation of the Empire
When spring came, all the Kingdoms sent their delegates back to Ceradome. On the 15th of Planting Sky, the delegates and Kinera signed a treaty to form the Empire. The Empire would take the name of the continent, and be called Elhal.
Establishing the Empire did not occur overnight. Its formation occurred in stages, which spanned over forty years. Once formed, it would usher in a golden age for humanity.
In our next lecture we will look at the Precepts of the Empire, the rules which established the structure of the Empire and how it would function. After that, we will look at the steps required to form the Empire, and how the Church guided the Empire during those early years.