The Second Virgin

This is a work of fiction. All characters and incidents are fictional.

Chapter seven of the novel
The Great Goddess

Please read from chapter one.

Sandhya was on her way to Thimor in the swan form to meet Sanuya, with the gold ring in her claws. At the same time in another part of the northern mountains, somewhere around half of a thousand miles east of the cave in which Sandhya meditated, a sister was praising her elder brother. “Oh great lord of fire, storm and water.” Yes, he was the lord of fire, storm and water, but only for Thimor. No one in Thimor or other parts of the kingdom knows how he got the right to be lord of those three elements in Thimor.

He carried fire in his bare right hand and a pot of water in his left and his breath was storm. The sister continued with the praising. “One who sustains with fire, storm and water when calm and destroys with same when angry.”

After she finished her honouring, he got up from his throne, both the fire and water pot vanished from his hands. He approached her and said. “My sister, the lady of marriage, I am very pleased by your words.”

Yes, she is the lady of marriage in Thimor, she decides who marries whom and informs the parents of both the bride and groom.

But in the case of Sanuya, from her childhood her parents said she would make a good wife of the son of that city’s administrator, she too was fixed on that. But on the previous day the lady of marriage had informed her parents about her future husband, it was not as she expected, her marriage is about to take place with the son of the admistrator of another city.

She decided to end her life by jumping off her balcony, she walked towards the balcony, at that moment she felt a sensation of peace.

——————————————–

Vihani was lying on her bed thinking about all the incidents that had taken place. She had asked Javanthi about the union of sun and moon, but Javanthi had told her that she will explain it the next day. She became interested in learning magic. Next morning she opened her door slightly and peeped out and watched her brother’s room door, it was still closed.
She waited, after sometime she heard the door open, it was her brother. She closed her door. She waited until her brother walk away, then she again opened the door, she saw her brother at the end of the corridor, near the main hall. She then walked into her brother’s room.

“Good Morning sister” She said.

“Hey, good morning Vihani, what brings you here so early?” Javanthi asked.

“The events of yesterday, I want to ask something from you, a favour.” Vihani replied.

“What is it dear?” asked Javanthi.

“Can you teach me magic? how did you learn it?” asked Vihani.

“Oh! it’s a very long story, I will tell you later.” Javanthi said.

“No! Tell me now, I can’t wait any longer” said Vihani.

Javanthi smiled and took her to the small table at a corner of the room. There were two chairs on either side of the table. Javanthi made Vihani sit on one of the chairs and she sat on the other.

“Fine dear, tell what you want to know?” asked Javanthi.

“How did you come into the world of magic?” asked Vihani.

“It happened when I was fifteen years old, a lady came to our castle, she said that she comes from a secret intellectual group called The Order of the Northern Mountains which was in a village at the base of the Northern Mountains. The village is not part of any kingdom. It was outside all the kingdoms. When I heard it, I was very much exited and wanted to know more about that village, the order and the lady herself.” said Javanthi.

“I went to her chamber and met her personally, she was only eight years older than me but after few days we were more or less like mother and daughter.

She started to teach me many things, magic is just one of them.” Saying this Javanthi removed a chain from her neck and placed it on the table between them. It was gold, It was a regular tetrahedron. All four side had a symbol, its vertical height was around half the length of Javanthi’s middle finger.

“What is it?” asked Vihani.

“It is the symbol of Sandhya, It was given to me by that lady and to her by Sandhya, those who are in the order learn directly from Sandhya. Sandhya appear and teach to each one of them in a different form. For this lady she appeared in a dark blue silk saree with the pallu spread over the length of the left hand and holding an orange flame on the palm of her right hand.” said Javanthi.

“Explain the symbol.” said Vihani.

“The space within the object is the Great Mystery, from it comes Sandhya, represented by the top vertice. From Sandhya comes the three set of creatures the serpent, the three beasts that is the horse, bison and boar and the crocodile represented by the three edges that comes down down from the top vertice. 

The three base vertices represent the three human forms of Sandhya, the queen, the one who rules, below the edge of the three beasts, as the three beasts symbolize dominance.

The maid, the one who is ruled, below the edge of the crocodile, as the crocodile symbolize sorrow.

The lady, the one who neither rules nor is ruled or who sometimes rules and at other times is ruled, below the edge of the serpent, as the serpent symbolize balance and neutrality.

Three three represent the three states of nature, the electron, proton and neutron of atoms. The plus, minus and zero of number and all other things.

The three faces below the top vertice represent the lords and ladies that came from Sandhya, they are grouped into three based on their characteristics, based on the three edges. Each lord and lady has a mixture of characters of the two edges at either side of the face of which they belong.

The face at the base directly below the top vertice represent the dragon form.

The other three faces also had symbols of three birds, a swan on the face opposite to the queen’s vertice. A peacock opposite the lady’s vertice. A rooster opposite the maid’s vertice those represent the form Sandhya takes when meeting those three human forms.

The members of the order call the whole thing as the teacher and represents the form in which Sandhya comes to teach them.

“Tell me more about your magical journey” said Vihani.

“It is a journey of space, time and thought. We spent many hours together walking around the castle discussing all kinds of things. I will tell you all that little by little. I shall teach you as she did, let’s walk around the castle gardens discussing all sorts of things. I think this is enough for today.” said Javanthi.

Vihani got ready to leave, then she remembered something. “I want to know one more thing.” Vihani said.

“What is it my dear?” asked Javanthi.

“Sandhya told about the union of sun and moon, what does that mean?” asked Vihani.

“It means when the sun and moon are close to each other.” said Javanthi.

“You mean, new moon?” asked Vihani.

“Yes, but to be precise, not just any new moon but a solar eclipse. Where you can see the sun and moon embrace each other.” said Javanthi.

“That makes sense.” said Vihani and walked out of the room and into hers.

———————————————

Sanuya’s whole body started to shiver, her legs became weak and when she was about to collapse, Sandhya flew in, as the swan, went behind Sanuya and turned into her true form. She walked close to Sanuya from behind and held her by the waist from behind with her left hand. Just as Sandhya touched, Sanuya’s shivering stopped.

Sandhya brought her mouth close to Sanuya’s right ear and whispered. “Relax my dear, everything is fine.”

Sandhya took her hand from Sanuya’s waist and touched her shoulders with both hands and slowly turned her around. Sanuya looked into Sandhya’s eyes. Sandhya smiled. Sandhya held Sanuya’s left hand with her left hand and slowly raised it and slipped the ring into her left middle finger using her right hand.

TO BE CONTINUED

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The First Virgin

This is a work of fiction. All characters and incidents are fictional.

Chapter six of the novel
The Great Goddess

Please read from chapter one.

By noon, eight days later, a messenger from Javariya, met Avinya and delivered a message. It was from her father, king Rashor.

The message read as follows, “I heard about the new laws that you and king Valeth, has passed in your domain. I am very much disappointed by your actions. I wish you change your interest towards the lower classes and concentrate more on the royals and nobles. If not, sorry to say this my dear, I and my domain will have to support the proposal made by Srila, which I received, this morning by Tanor, our city administrator.

There was nothing surprising in this message, Avinya knew something similar to this would happen. Javariyan royal house and the provinces under it are the most traditional of all the Nihariyan lands. They believe in the superiority of the royals and nobles, they also believe in the myth that the codes give upper classes the right to dominate the lower classes and prohibits the labours and peasants from interpreting and questioning the codes.

Early morning the very next day, Sandhya left Panishcham, the city of Valeth and Avinya, and flew towards Marahim, in her swan form with the platinum ring held in her right claws. Marahim lies around two hundred and fifty miles east of Panishcham.

Of all the royal cities in the Kingdom, Marahim royal house and its provinces are the least traditional and most liberal. The exact opposite to Javariya.

Vihani was alone in her room standing and looking out of her window, both her hands rested on the window frame. As Sandhya neared the palace, Vihani got extremely excited. She didn’t know the cause of it, she didn’t even know what was happening with her. It was the same feeling she had two weeks back, but more extreme. She moved back from the window. She walked backward till she reached the centre of the room, where she stopped moving. She stood there motionless and thoughtless. Then suddenly her body started to shiver, she couldn’t stand anymore. She sat on the floor. She felt extreme happiness. She wanted to scream, but her jaw bone was motionless. She didn’t have the strength to move her mouth. Her shivering increased with time.

Just then, a swan flew straight into her room, through the open window. It flew straight up towards the roof and circled the room thrice. Then before descending it dropped the ring, and flew downwards faster than the falling ring. Right before its legs touched the floor, it turned into a woman. She caught the falling ring with her right hand. Sandhya stood a yard before Vihani. It was night by that time, around two hours past sunset.

When Sandhya fully morphed into a woman, Vihani’s shivering stopped, she regained her strength. At once she jumped up and hugged Sandhya. She kissed Sandhya’s forehead, cheeks and every inch of her face.

At the same time in Panishcham, Valeth and Avinya were in a tight embrace. They were standing on the balcony of Avinya’s room, under the moon lit night. Their eyes looked right into other’s. Their lips were only a tiny fraction of an inch apart.

Then Valeth spoke. “Oh my beloved! Oh sweet one! Oh wonderful one! All these days I didn’t know that you are a goddess. Will you leave me, when you fully discover yourself?”

He wanted to speak more, ask more, but Avinya stopped him. “Shhh, I will always be with you, my dear.” Saying this she kissed his lips, a deep kiss.

Lovers use all their senses to communicate with their beloved, they see, they speak, they smell, they touch, they hold, they kiss, at extreme they even taste. So did Avinya and Valeth, and so did Vihani.

Once Vihani relaxed a bit, Sandhya took Vihani’s right hand and put the ring, on her middle finger. Then Sandhya kissed Vihani’s forehead and moved her right hand fingers through Vihani’s untied hair, from head to waist.

Sandhya spent the next two hours with Vihani. “Where is Javanthi?” asked Sandhya at last.

“Next room, to the left” replied Vihani. Javanthi is Vihani’s sister-in-law, her elder brother prince Norim’s wife. She is the daughter of the king of Varkariya, king Aranth. Marahim royal house is the only one in Nihariya that marries into the royal families of the neighbouring kingdoms. Others marry only within the Nihariyan royality.

Sandhya wanted to meet Javanthi because she is one of the three expert magicians in the kingdom. The other two being Srila and Prince Goridh, son of king Ivanon, of Nihabath. That makes her the ideal person to oppose and compete with Srila both directly and politically.

Javanthi is a master of two branches of magic, namely ether magic and blood alchemy. Ether magic deals with space and time, in all its forms and all the interactions among them. Srila has mastered wave magic. This branch deals with electromagnetic phenomena and sound. Gorith’s mastery is in material magic, which deals with fire, water, air, and organic materials like sugar and alcohol.

Sandhya walked out of Vihani’s room, to the central corridor, the place was more familiar to her, because the corridor had an arched roof which resembled the curved features of the cave, and was more feminine compared to the masculine rectangular architecture of Panishcham.

A palace guard saw Sandhya entering Javanthi’s room, he knew she is neither royal nor noble, because as a guard of the personal chambers of the royal family, he knew all royals and nobles by name and have seen all of them, at least in portraits. It was part of his training.

He also knew that she isn’t a maid, as he knew them all too. Even if she is a new maid or someone else authorised to enter the royal chamber, he would have already been informed by the captain of palace guards. So he assumed that she is an intruder and must be stopped from entering the princess’ room.

He ran towards the door and pulled Sandhya out and pointed his sword at her neck. Such an incident had never happened before, no one has entered this part of the castle without his knowledge. Out of nervousness he brought the sword too close and injured her. A drop of blood flowed along the blade.

Vihani felt something was bad, she came out of her room and looked around. She saw the guard pointing the sword at Sandhya, then she saw blood, both on the sword and Sandhya’s neck. She ran towards the guard and screamed at him. “How dare you injure a goddess!”

Sandhya calmed her. Hearing Vihani’s voice Javanthi came out of her room. As a magician on seeing Sandhya she knew there is something special about her. “Come in” she invited them into her room and walked into her room. Vihani followed her. Sandhya looked at the guard, he was clueless. She got hold of his right hand and pulled him in with her, once in, she closed the door.

Vihani and Sandhya explained everything to Javanthi. Then Sandhya turned her focus to the guard and said. “My blood on your sword is permanent, use another sword instead of this one, you will need this in future.

Then Sandhya spoke to the ladies. “I should leave now, I must give the rings to the other girls before the union of sun and moon.

“Union of sun and moon?” Vihani asked with confusion.
“Javanthi, why don’t you explain her.” Sandhya told Javanthi, then took her swan form and flew out of her room.

TO BE CONTINUED

The Codes Revealed

This is a work of fiction. All characters and incidents are fictional.

Chapter five of the novel
The Great Goddess

Please read from chapter one.

Both King Valeth and queen Avinya were waiting in the king’s chamber for Sandhya’s arrival.

Sandhya came at four hours past sunset. She carried something in her closed fist.

What is it?…. Goddess” asked Valeth. He was not sure about the way he should address her.

Sandhya understood his confusion. She dropped the contents of her hand on to a table nearby. “Just call me Sandhya, that will be fine.

There were seven rings, made out of seven metals, one for each class. Platinum for royal, gold for noble, silver for military, copper for scribe, aluminium for merchant,  tin for peasant, iron for labour.

Each one represents a class.” Sandhya explained. “These rings must be worn for a period of one lunar month by the seven chosen virgins. Then all of them should be melted together and made into a new medal which Avinya must place at its rightful place in the hall of rules. Valeth should also go with Avinya, it is your duty to assist and protect your wife.

Where is this hall of rules situated?” asked Avinya.

To the north of the northern mountains, before that you should find the lady of the key. She resides in a place west of the Tanoshiya forest, once you reach there you can cross the northern mountains through the Bahl pass.” replied Sandhya.

If we both leave, who will look after the kingdom?” asked Valeth.

Your brother will take over before that. He and Srila is destined to be the last king and queen of Nihariya.” answered Sandhya.

How could that be? My brother will not do anything that brings harm to me.” asked Valeth.

Srila will convince him to do so.” replied Sandhya.

Even if she convince him, won’t it be against the code?” asked Avinya.

No, the code has nothing to do with succession. There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding the code, especially the code of ruby.

There were only two reasons for the royals to come up with the codes. One, to keep the system stable.

By keeping the system stable, there won’t be any trouble to their rule. Stability is achieved by fixing each class in its place in the class hierarchy.

By fixing the peasants in place, there will be a continuous supply of food.

By fixing the labours, the merchants will have a steady supply of human resource.

By fixing the merchants you have a continuous supply of resources. These three ensures a sound economy.

The fixing of military gives a continuous supply of soldiers, providing a perfect defence system.

Fixing the nobles provides an excellent administrative system.

Fixing the scribes gives a continuous supply of technicians for the administrators. Further to keep the government fixed all administrative and executive posts held by the nobles were made hereditary. The royals maintained close connections with those families.

To prevent the military and scribe consolidating power within families, those posts were made to be skill based, thus non hereditary.

But people can move away from the duties of their class in two ways, either by leaving the kingdom, which is prevented by the code of emerald or by moving to a different class, which is prevented by the code of sapphire.

Apart from that, the code of sapphire has a second purpose, to keep the royal class pure by not letting anyone from the lower classes marring into the royal class.

The other problem the royals had was safety. The royals are just five families, all the other classes had a larger number of people. Right from the beginning, the royals knew the other classes could take over power, the labour class, which had the largest population can take over by a popular revolution, the merchants can influence the government with money, the military can take over by the use of weapons. To prevent all these as well as to prevent clashes among the other classes which could lead to anarchy and instability, the royals came up with the code of ruby.

As you can see, these codes are made by the royals, for the royals, not for the people. So in the end of each code they added the clause “except royals”, which made the royals immune to the codes.

To further consolidate power, the royals included two more codes, which are not discussed much.

The code of pearl, which states that only the royals can practise magic. And the code of amber, which states that only the royals can mint coins.

Just having a few rules will not prevent people from doing what they want. So in a final move they locked the codes with the help of a higher power, the lord of war and the lady of wheat.

But today, just like the cosmic rules, the code too have changed. Mainly the code of ruby, many things unrelated to the code are associated with it.

One such law is the sub class hierarchy. Which makes the following hierarchy within the royal class. King first, then queen, their children, king’s parents, king’s siblings from elder to younger. Such structuring exists in all the classes but has got nothing to do with the code of ruby, it comes from a joint order made by the kings. The code of ruby treats all members of a class equally.

Similarly the law of royal and noble succession has nothing to do with the codes. All these laws could be changed by a joint order by the kings or by having a majority support of the assembly.” explained Sandhya.

Assembly?” asked Valeth.

Sandhya continued her explanation. “Yes, as you know, the assembly is formed by members of the noble, military and scribe class, who hold government positions. Any member of the royal family can change laws made by the kings if they have secured the favour of the majority of the assembly. The code only prevents lower class members from taking power. Lower class members are free to support anyone in the upper class. They are also free to question anyone in the upper class. This law was made by the first kings of Nihariya, but no one has ever used it. Srila will be the first and last to use it. She will use it to change the law of succession.

What will happen to the kingdom after Srila’s rule?” Avinya asked with fear.

Don’t worry nothing bad will happen. Nihariya will become a republic. Other kingdoms will follow in that path. With it the fourth age will properly take shape.” Sandhya clarified .

How can that happen? Isn’t taking over power by the lower classes a direct violation of the code?” asked Avinya.

Yes, but when you place the medal, the lords and ladies of nature will stop intervening in the politics of humans. So, even if it is a violation, there is no one to stop them.” said Sandhya.

You didn’t tell anything about the seven virgins, who are they?” asked Avinya.

Sandhya listed down the seven virgins.

Princess Vihani, daughter of king Urok from the city of Marahim, represents royal.

Princess Sanuya, daughter of Prince Marik, the governor of Thimor province represents noble.

Bavya, a soilder’s daughter from Narish village represents military.

Lavina, a doctor’s daughter from the city of Garisha, represents scribe.

Tanisha, a spice merchant’s daughter from the city of Thillinum represents merchant.

Chulashi, a vegetable farmer’s daughter from Bannur village, represents peasant.

Kanali, a tin miner’s daughter from Kaushar village, represents labour.”

TO BE CONTINUED.

The Goddess Is The Queen

This is a work of fiction. All characters and incidents are fictional.

Chapter four of the novel
The Great Goddess

Please read from chapter one.

As Sandhya came near the two farmers, they got scared and ran towards the village centre.

Sandhya smiled and again turned into a swan and flew in the direction of the royal palace.

————————–

Srila went to Avinya’s room. Avinya spoke with Srila as usual, she asked Srila what she thinks about she being the queen. From Srila’s answer to this question Avinya understood Srila’s desire for becoming queen. After sometime Srila left the queen’s room.

After that she made the trip to the administrator’s office.

When Srila arrived at the city administrator’s office, his secretary took her to the administrator’s residential quarters. They walked through a long corridor. He knocked on the very last door.

Who?” Srila and the secretary heard the administrator’s voice.

Me Sir, The princess has arrived.” the secretary replied.

The door swung open and the administrator welcomed her in.

“Welcome! Your Highness!” Apart from the administrator there were ten people in that room. As Srila walked in, the administrator closed and locked the door. All ten were seated around an oval table, five on each side. The two seats on the two small sides were vacant.

Srila walked towards them, when she reached the table, all of them stood up. The administrator asked her to take one of the vacant seats, and he took the other directly opposite hers.

All sat again after the princess. Srila recognized all of them. The four close to her on the left side were provincial governors and the fifth is the administrator of her birth city, which is also a capital city.

Kingdom of Nihariya has five capital cities, one for each royal house, the city of Nihariya is one of them. Each king has authority over the day to day administration of two or three near by provinces. All five kings acted as a single person when dealing with matters of national importance, but they dealt local and provincial matters separately. 

On her right side the two seats close to her were occupied by two national ministers, while the other three were occupied by three provincial ministers.

Why are you all willing to help me. I know you wouldn’t help me without any gain.” She asked them openly.

The city administrator spoke on behalf of the group. “The new king and queen cares a lot about the two lower classes. They have brought new laws in favour of the lower classes. Now we should pay them more, as well as provide them with many facilities. We should help educate their children. These laws affect our activities. When you come to power, you should give priority to us, the upper classes.

How would you bring my husband to power.” asked Srila.

The codes doesn’t speak anything about succession. The laws of succession could be changed if someone from the royal class brought out the problem. If you challenge your sister’s rule, we would support you, many members of the military, scribe and merchant class are also willing to support you.” replied the administrator.

The discussion continued, they surrounded Srila like bees around a flower. All of them wanted a large share of nectar. But there’s one thing they don’t know, all flowers aren’t roses, some flowers stay open to consume the bees. Srila is one such flower.

————————-

A few minutes after Srila left the room. Avinya heard the sound of flapping wings in her balcony. It was a swan, a beautiful swan, no, it was more than beautiful, it was perfect. Avinya thought it should be the dragon. After all it has told her that it will return to her in its true form. Maybe this is its true form. She quickly walked towards the balcony, when she reached halfway, Sandhya turned into her true form. This time she was in a golden yellow saree with metallic gold border. Avinya stopped walking, her emotions were beyond explanation. Both Avinya and Sandhya looked alike, same face, same height, same everything. Avinya looked at her costume. It was of the same material and colour as Sandhya’s, except that she was wearing a lehenga instead of the saree.

Who is she?

Avinya turned back, the king was standing behind her. He was shocked, confused and some what afraid.

Avinya didn’t expect him at this very crucial moment of her life. She had just seen the true form of someone who had been with her from birth. Someone who had consoled her during hard time, someone who had guided her through all her problems. Avinya never made any decision without consulting Sandhya. Today she is here as queen because Sandhya told her to accept the marriage proposal brought by the prince. Sandhya gave her permission for Avinya’s marriage by turning blue in her dragon form, blue is the colour of positivity in Nihariyan culture.

Avinya’s experience with Sandhya is not complete yet. Her fingers wanted to touch Sandhya. Her arms wanted to hug Sandhya. Her legs pulled her towards Sandhya. But, she knew that before doing all that she must answer the king.

She, She is…. ” She tried to answer but she couldn’t.

I am Sandhya.” Sandhya answered from behind. Avinya turned around. The king changed his focus from Avinya to Sandhya.

Sandhya continued “It’s time to reveal everything.” She explained everything to the king.

From now on both of you should work together. Avinya is the one who is going to ensure the proper beginning of the fourth age.

But how can I? I am just a queen.” Avinya asked puzzled.

Avinya, you are not just a queen, you are me and I am you. Avinya is Sandhya in human form and Sandhya is Avinya in cosmic form.

Avinya still couldn’t believe it. She told herself “How can it be? but if Sandhya is telling so, it has to be true.

Sandhya continued her explanation. “When all the lords and ladies of nature appeared from me at the beginning of the first age, they had no duty to perform.

Then from my mind appeared two ladies, the lady of the rules and the lady of the key. The lady of the rules appeared with three objects, two parchments and a medal. She had to build the hall of cosmic rules and on its walls she should inscribe the duties of each lord and lady of nature. Once completed she must keep the medal in the platform allocated to it in the centre of the hall, so that the rules get locked in place.

The measurements and structure of the hall was in the first parchment, while the rules were in the second.

Once completed the lady of the key should lock the hall’s doors with the key that was already in her hand.

Everything happened as expected, except one thing, the lady of the rules desired to be the cosmic empress, she let the lady of the key to close and lock the hall without the medal in place. Without the medal, the rules will slowly change with time, once the rules get chaotic, she could influence the natural order of things and be the cosmic empress.

She threw the medal into the  volcano behind the cave. By melting and destroying the medal, the lord of the volcano helped the lady of the rules in achieving her evil desire. As a result of it he became evil, finally I had to break his spine to purify him.

Where do I fit in this picture?” asked Avinya.

You are the one, who must restore the medal.”  Sandhya answered looking at Avinya.

How?” asked Avinya.

I’ll explain later tonight, after dinner wait for me at the king’s chamber.” Sandhya replied and took the swan form again and flew out of the room.

TO BE CONTINUED.

The Goddess Comes In

This is a work of fiction. All characters and incidents are fictional.

Chapter three of the novel
The Great Goddess

Please read from chapter one.

Avinya

The queen took her fingers from the necklaces and looked around. There was no one in her chamber.

Avinya

She heard it again, this time a bit louder. It was a woman’s voice. Avinya hasn’t heard such a melodious voice before. She looked around again and then looked up.

The dragon was floating, close to the roof. This time it was in a golden brown colour and unlike all previous occasions, it was opaque and solid.

Was that you?” she asked with confusion and excitement.

Yes.”

She heard the same melodious voice again. She stood up and walked a few steps closer. As usual it came down and coiled around her, partially floating, at the same time exerting some of its weight on her. It rested its head on her left shoulder and continued speaking.

Avinya, this is the last time I meet you in this form, and I have got something very important to tell you.

What is it?

My dear, there’s a conspiracy happening against you?

Against me! but who would dare to conspire against me, the queen and the protector of the codes. Everybody in this kingship except the king is below me in the class and sub class hierarchy. Conspiring against me is a severe violation of the code, anyone doing so will also know it. Even if they could escape the authorities, they fear being punished by the lord of war and the lady of wheat. No one would want to die in the hands of their enemies or out of starvation. No, no one would do that

Dear! dear! calm down. Anyone would fear the wrath of the lord and the lady,but what if it is someone from your own class?

A royal? But who?

Srila

Srila! you mean my sister?

Knowing that Avinya needs space to express her emotions ,the dragon uncoiled itself. As soon as the dragon unwrapped, her legs trembled and she dropped herself on the floor. Tears flowed out of her eyes.

No one would have loved her the way I did. WHY?

Because she wants to be the queen. It was her desire from childhood. And now you took it away from her.

What can I do? I can’t stop giving birth to my son and as a princess I too have a responsibility to the state.

No dear, except you no other queen till now have considered being the queen as a responsibility. For them it was a luxury, a way to show their dominance over others, especially other ladies.

What should I do now?

Srila will not let her dream slip away easily. Your son is her main enemy. She’ll do all that is needed to get rid of him. All that you have to do is protect yourself and your son from her.

The dragon floated up towards the roof and before disappearing spoke again.

I shall return to you very soon.

After partially disappearing, it spoke again.

In my true form.

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While floating, Sandhya named the river, Avanthi. It flowed a few yards to the west of the Nihariyan border. To the west of the river is Tanoshiya forest, which is populated by the tanos. Tano means intelligent beasts like centaurs, sphinx, and other similar beasts, in the Varkariya language. It is the common language of all the kingdoms since the empire. Shiya means forest, so Tanoshiya means forest of the tanos.

During the middle of the second age, there had been many clashes between humans and the tanos. Later humans and the tanos split the land, the tanos took the western forest while the humans took the eastern plains, which is named Tihapanum. Tihar means east, tiha means eastern. Panum means plain, so Tihapanum means eastern plain.

They also left a small neutral strip of land between the two. The river Avanthi flows through this neutral strip. As Sandhya reached the village, see saw two men working in their field along the border. Sandhya turned ninety degrees from the river’s direction and swam towards them. As she reached the bank, she flew to the top of a wooden pole of the fence. The men were so consumed in their work, they failed to notice her. She flapped her wings. They looked in the direction of the noise.

Since birth they haven’t seen a single creature coming from the forest, none of their ancestors have seen anything come from that direction. When the border was drawn all the tanos moved to the centre of the forest, all the other animals followed them to the centre.

Sandhya jumped down and morphed into her own form. This time she was in a floor length white silk skirt and a waist length white silk blouse with short sleeves.

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Avinya was still seated on the floor deep in thought when her personal maid arrived. At first she was sad, she had sacrificed many great things of her life to her sister. With time her sadness turned into anger. The maid had never seen Avinya so depressed before. The maid came near Avinya and asked.

Your majesty, what’s wrong?

Avinya turned her head upwards to look at her maid. Tears still flowing from her eyes. At once Avinya turned down and removed the maid’s left anklet.

Your majesty, what are you doing?” the maid asked shocked. Unless they need something, a royal wouldn’t even speak to a servant and no royal would ever touch a labour. After all, labours are the lowest of  all the classes. Here the queen, highest of the royals is touching the foot of her maid. She at once sat down and tried to prevent Avinya from what she was doing. But, Avinya was quick, she had already removed the anklet.

You have served me loyally and without any expectation since you were twelve. Let me have this anklet as a remainder that I should honour all those who deserve it, and care and protect the innocent, no matter which class they are. This is a promise and I sign it with your anklet”  Telling this, she wore the anklet around her upper right arm.

Then she spoke to herself “All these years I have given all my love and support to someone who don’t deserve it. I have spent the greater part of my life doing her chores.I rejected all the marriage proposals that came to me before she got married. If she had told me that she’s so serious about being the queen, I would have stayed single. Even then someone else would have taken my place. No, Srila is taking the wrong path, as a sister it’s my duty to save her from the hands of evil. I must speak to her regarding this.

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While Avinya wore the anklet, Srila heard someone knock on her room window. It was a black hawk. She ran to the window and opened it at once, the bird flew inside and walked around the large table next to the window and spoke.

Meet the administrator of this city, he will introduce the others who’ll help you to bring your husband to power.

She heard someone open the door. She looked in the direction of the door.

Srila!” 

The prince suddenly entered her room. She was shocked, slowly she turned back. The bird had already flown out. She sighed, and replied with a smile.

Yes, your highness

I met the queen’s maid in the corridor. The queen wants to meet you, she’s waiting for you in her chamber.” Her husband replied.

TO BE CONTINUED.

The Ideal Queen

A housewife cares for,
the house she belongs,
so does the queen,
as the kingdom is,
her very house hold.

A mother protects her,
own dear children,
so does the queen,
as the citizens are,
her dear children.

A lady who is, a friend,
of many, loves them all,
so does the queen,
as she is a friend of,
all other nations.

The Goddess Comes Down

This is a work of fiction. All characters and incidents are fictional.

Chapter two of the novel
The Great Goddess

Please read from chapter one.

The Kingdom of Nihariya has just recovered from the troubles caused by the crocodile. Sandhya closed her eyes and reviewed the history of the land below. During the first age all the lands below the cliff were uninhabited. The cyclic systems of nature struggled to find balance in the first half of this age. During the latter half of this age, things started to fall in order, they were inspired and commanded by the sound and movement of her breathing. And found order in her tied hair. When everything settled in place, the serpent emerged and marked the end of that age. As a result, that age is also known as the age of the serpent.

Humans arrived at the beginning of the second age. Their place of origin and the way they came here is still unknown. They settled at various places and formed various tribes. At the end of this age, most of the tribes were living in organised villages. At the very end of the second age a few of these villages had grown to become cities ruled by tyrants.

When the beasts arrived, one of those cities, Varkariya, invaded all the others. The empire of Varkariya was born. After the death of its first emperor, his sons and a few other claimants of the throne fought a bloody civil war among themselves thus breaking the empire into many kingdoms. The lands around the city of Nihariya became the Kingdom of Nihariya while the lands around the city of Varkariya became the Kingdom of Varkariya. With the appearance of the second one and the third one, these kingdoms entered a period of structured government and rule by popular kings. And when the beasts returned to the cave, the second age came to an end. This age is called the age of the three beasts.

The arrival of the crocodile marks the beginning of the third age. With its arrival corruption and poverty entered these kingdoms. Frequent wars occurred among the kingdom. This continued until she called the crocodile back. With it ends the third age or the age of the crocodile. Even though the animals have returned to her, their presence is still felt.

While she viewed the past, seven virgin girls from the seven classes of the Nihariyan community felt her presence. Her arrival. At first they felt extreme bliss which they couldn’t explain, they expressed their joy by dancing and after some time they experienced intense peace which made them to sit calmly and dissolve into themselves. All this happened when no one else was around.

The seven classes were formed at the beginning of the third age. During this period each kingdom adapted its own strategy to maintain order. Unlike the other kingdoms which were formed by the sons or other blood relatives of the emperor. Nihariya was formed by the emperor’s five most trusted ministers. They made all five of them kings. Even today Nihariya is ruled by five kings simultaneously. They behave as a single person, to give orders all five must agree. To maintain their rule, the five of them together with a few other aristocrats designed the code of the three gems.

The code has three rules named after three gems.

The code of Ruby: Obedience to the superior class, that is, each class should respect and obey the members of the class above them. There are only seven classes but the kings claimed that they received the codes from the lord of war and lady of wheat, so the higher lords and ladies formed the first class. Higher lords and ladies are supernatural entities that appeared from The Great Goddess.

The classes are,

Higher lords and ladies

Royal, this includes the families of the five kings.

Aristocrat and bureaucrat, this includes central and provincial ministers, provincial governors, village and city administrators and bureaucrats at all levels.

Scribes.

Military, Warriors and soldiers.

Merchants, traders, large land and ship owners who use labours.

Peasants, small land owners who work on their own fields.

Labours and Servants.

The code of Emerald: Attachment to the country. A law that prevents people from traveling beyond the borders of the kingdom. Even travel between provinces is discouraged.

The code of Saphire: Attachment to the class, one should only marry within the class and should not try to move up or down the class hierarchy.

Those seven girls were not the first to feel the presence of the first one. The first person to feel the presence of the Great Goddess is the youngest queen of Nihariya, Queen Avinya. Her husband was coronation just two months ago. In Nihariya the throne passes from father to the eldest son, but he can become king only if he is married and his wife gave birth to a son. The king’s sons can get married only after reaching their twenty first birthday. The kingship passes to the prince who has a son first. He is coronated one month after the child’s birth.

Avinya married the king’s second son fifteen months ago. The elder prince’s wife gave birth to two daughters but Avinya gave birth to a son, therefore her husband was coronated king and she became Queen Avinya.

Sandhya got up and jumped off the cliff, halfway down she morphed into a swan and flew down and landed elegantly on the pool at the bottom of the cliff, formed by the falling river. Then she let herself float down with the river, while floating she thought about Avinya.

Avinya, it is not the name given to her at birth. Kings and Queens has the right to choose their name during coronation. Many preferred their old name but some chose a new name. So did she.

She has been personally using that name since she was three years. She doesn’t know what it means, she doesn’t even known how she learned it. But that doesn’t matter, she loves the way it sounds and has been using it to refer to herself ever since.

Sandhya presented herself to Avinya in the form of a dragon. She chose that form because the dragon is a symbol of feminity. Not only the dragon, anything curved and which flows is a symbol of feminity. Rivers, fire, curved vases, robes, chains, creepers, snakes are all symbols of feminity. Things that are straight and still are symbols of masculinity. Mountains, towers, straight trees, poles, wells are all symbols of masculinity.

The dragon was immaterial, just floating light and colours. The colours and shape changed with time. It never made any noise, all the emotions and messages were conveyed by the changing shape and colours. Avinya managed to understand most of the messages except a very few complicated ones which she hasn’t deciphered yet.

As she grew older and taller, the dragon started to coil around her body instead of floating in the air. After coiling it kept its head on one of her shoulders.

Being a princess, the codes and all other laws derived from it were taught to her from childhood. The idea that the royals are superior to the other classes is reinforced in her.

From her side, she too believed in the importance of the codes for the sustenance and stability of the kingdom. On the other side she believed that there is someone greater than the lords and ladies of nature.

Sandhya returned from her thought to the present, as she reached a village. At the same time Avinya was also thinking about her last few days. The dragon is becoming more material over the last few days. First she heard the sound of air displacement as the dragon moved, then later when it wrapped around her. she heard the sound of friction as the dragon rubbed over the silk of her saree. Finally, for the first time in her life, yesterday she felt the pressure exerted by the creature, specially on her shoulders. She moved the fingers of her right hand over her breasts and her necklaces. Like all the other queens, she too was wearing the three necklaces. The shortest one was a chocker and contains a large ruby in the centre. The next one was a bit longer and passed along her cleavage and has an emerald. The third one was long enough to reach the bottom of her breasts and has a sapphire. She is wearing them because along with the other queens, she is one of the protectors of the codes.

TO BE CONTINUED.