In the Age of the Brown Sword, at the first decade following the Second Council of Deities, the Deities approached a new degree of their self-awareness as a Governing Body. They were sensing a newfound unity, but had not yet come into a profound recognition of their status as the Unique Universal, aspects of the All-in-All. The Deities for the most part conceived of themselves as separate beings, not Naves of the Wheel of Spirit.

Together, hundreds of Deities watched a very thin moon crescent appearing at sunset, and many came to realize that the time had come to go ahead with their plan to rearrange the Heavens in accordance with the vision first communicated to them by the Son of Kairon the Healer and Karen the Pure.

Unfortunately, in those days, Kalen O’Tolan, the holy warrior-monk who walked as a semi-immortal man on the Earth, was dead (felled as you have probably heard at the Battle of Red Cliffs in his battle with Capricorn and his cronies in the Old Zodiac). After Kalen’s body went missing in the eyes of the world, the premiere card of the New Tarot, the Ace of Stones, came into the possession of Aupaiaaqua, the gray-bearded Wizard of the New Tarot.

In the Indonesian islands, the Wizard Aupaiaaqua and his supernatural allies were confronted with an effort to counter the New Map in favor of the Divinity Resettlement Plan of Lucifer, the Dark Lord of the Old Tarot. Many angels and demons, deities and devils, devas and deities, lined up along one side or another until at last there was a victor.

The New Map of the Heavens was saved from the demonic rebellion near to the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan, but at a terrible price. Aupaiaaqua was ill and no longer fit to serve in the New Tarot, and little is remembered about his denudement. Moreover, the New Map would remain a secret hidden from the race of human beings until they had arrived at a station of consciousness capable of handling the profound new levels of Unity, Peace, and World Harmony that it outlined. Until then, the Old Tarot would continue to exercise dominion over wide swaths of magic.

These were the first days of the Second Millennium of the Common Era. With Kalen O’Tolan dead, who knew how long it would take for him to return? Who even knew if he would take up the New Map that he had brought in his previous form? According to prophecy, Kalen would return again in a New Body… but in those days, few had hope of his return. Only a handful of clandestine Allies of the Bei knew the secret of his missing body. They were human beings, Animwaa of the New Zodiac, Archetypes of the New Tarot, and Deities of the New Map who kept it in protection high in the mountains near to the spot where Siberia juts into the Pacific.

Surya, the semi-immortal daughter of Kalen and the Princess of Jewels, was for many years the lone mortal who possessed the New Map of the Heavens. She often wore a pentagram-shaped amulet around her neck when she bathed in hot springs or ran naked through the soft grass of meadows in the moonlight. The amulet was given to her by the Five of Eggs, an Archetype of the Deck of Yin, who said that it would reconnect her to her ancestral spirits.

As the Age of the Brown Sword passed into the Age of the Golden Egg, Surya kept faith with God — who she addressed by many names but especially the Holy Names of Utu and Allah and Yahweh — despite many soulful heartaches. Her nomadic lifestyle was not easy and her children complained of the constant disruptions to their routines. Nevertheless, she believed herself to be the heir of Kalen’s own world-spanning mission to seek out the Artifacts of Orr, wherever they might be found… and she went in search of the legendary Golden Egg, arguably the most extraordinary of all the Artifacts of Orr.

She explained to her children that their grandfather, Kalen, perished in the cause of performing his divine errand. Many times, they sheltered themselves indoors from harsh oceanic storms and told tales of the bravery of their family lineage. The children kept alive the memory of the immortal Animwaa who perished in the War of the Zodiacs and the immortal angels of the Tarot who perished in the War of the Archetypes. Last but not least, they remembered their departed father, Anurak, who tried unsuccessfully to retake the missing Ace of Jewels from demented cards of the Old Tarot.

It is said that when a Deity perished in the War of the Deities during the Age of the Brown Sword, their Name was wiped from the memory of all who lived so that it was as if the Deity never existed. Nevertheless, Surya knew that her father Kalen had divine assistance in his travels across the world and adventures in gathering the Artifacts of Orr. She did not know the Names of the fallen Deities, but she felt sure that their sublime power remained as an abiding presence in the world that would one day surface again…

Surya memorized the New Map of the Heavens and transferred the written text from one parchment to another to keep the ink from fading away. She was instructed by a divination from her house oracle to sleep with it under her bed, like a mother hen who keeps her eggs warm. One day she would be given instructions by God for what to do with it. Meanwhile, she spoke of it to no one.

In those days, there was a swashbuckling adventurer who we shall call Benedict Curtain who fell in love with Surya and her children. He lived a nomadic existence on the Eastern shores of Australia (these were the days before the rise of populated city centers on the continent). Benedict followed Surya and offered his services to be her guardian, which she refused out of pride.

Benedict was a rare mortal who befriended cards of the New Tarot and listened to their myths and legends of an alternative reality that he wanted to believe was true despite lacking much hard evidence for it. Above all else, the thing that convinced him was the fact that there were uncanny, inexplicable parallels between the stories of the New Tarot and the geographical formations shown on a magical map that he possessed. He may have even known more about Kalen O’Tolan than Kalen’s own surviving daughter, though what he thought he knew came from the Archetypes’ perspective only. Through kindness and hard work, eventually he won Surya’s love.

The blonde-haired mortal man listened many times at the knees of Eros, a card of the Major Arcana in the Deck of Yin. Gradually Benedict accumulated bits and pieces of the story of what really happened to Kalen after his death, as told by the immortal New Tarot. He learned that the body was kept in stasis for many years by the Three of Swords and his allies until it vanished in a bright white light at the inception of the Second Millennium.

Kalen would return again, it was said, when the Light in the world grew Enthickened and Encased and Enholent enough for him to make his return in a Body of Light. No one knew what he would look like when that day came; they could only speculate about the date and place of his arrival. According to the magical Atlas of Uvoha, Benedict Curtain’s most prized possession, Kalen would most likely return from death in the year 1243 CE somewhere along the true line of 172.5° E. Longitude.

The year had come at last: it was now 1243 CE by the reckoning of The Kalendar.

Benedict and Surya were now married and they had children of their own to join their familial brood. The Curtain family came to the place that Benedict’s Atlas suggested was the most likely point of return for her father’s rebirth: a small indigenous village on the South Island of New Zealand which today is known as Christchurch.

THE SAGA OF KALEN O’TOLAN CONTINUES…

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