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The Legend of Ekibastus

by MailicedeNamedy


Ekibastus would never have set out on the pilgrimage if he had known that he would be venerated as a saint after his demise.

It had not occurred to him to set out on this long journey if he had not heard the sound of these wonderful bells in a dream. They were meant for him, only for him, and led him far away from his home. He interpreted them as the voice telling him to set off.

The old man, probably already blessed with white hair, left his family behind and pursued his goal with only a stick and his coat. For years he travelled across the vast prairies, along rugged coasts and parched lands. Ekibastus lived from begging.

He met the good and the bad. He saw being human in all its forms - as human and as animal. He learned to distinguish what was lacking in human beings, which needs they were conscious of and which were unconscious. Ekibastus recognised the diversity of the human being and wrote down his findings.

He was always eager to share his stories with the people. He told them how to live and how to find happiness without harming nature, without harming themself.

Wars had become commonplace when Ekibastus disappeared from the scene of his homeland. When the flames of death tried to attack him, he fled across the water in a sailboat and lived away from humanity for many months. The old man had it good. His previous writings were lost, but not his deeds. He was remembered by many people.

The longer he was lonely, the sooner he became clearer in his mind. He recognised the many weaknesses and faults of society and believed that one day there would be a change. He no longer wanted to write anything down, but speak directly to the people. He wanted to go back to tell stories and explaining his ideas.

Years had passed since he had begun his pilgrimage. Ekibastus had long since abandoned his faith in the deities and lost himself in his eccentricity. His life followed the stream, steadily towards the sun, when it set he was drawn across many miles of water without land. He now saw it as his destiny to travel the long way, to travel to distant cultures to offer them the good in man.

After five or six years, Ekibastus arrived on his sailing boat in a bay with two islands. He stayed on one of them, where the fruit ripened by itself and fortified himself for his onward journey. He marched on foot, deeper into the vast land, in the hope of encountering an educated civilisation.

While he always found villages, he retreated into the surrounding mountain ranges. He urged the people to think instead of act, and so to believe in tomorrow that it shines as beautifully as the sun. He told not of fate or chance, but of faith in oneself and the power inherent in everyone. He taught to decide for oneself instead of relying on deities.

His words remained unheard for a long time. He was called the old crank and no matter where he appeared, his reputation had already overtaken him and he was chased out of the settlement. The old man followed his white beard, which led him further west. His stick was already rotten and yet he kept it with him. His coat was torn by his deeds and his help. He renounced the yarn he had been given, by the few who had listened to him.

Ekibastus found himself lost in the mountain forests when he met the fox and the wolf.

They had a discussion that went on for ages, with the fox demanding not to be eaten by the wolf. After all, they were after the same game. Ekibastus was convinced that if he could manage to appease the two enemies and negotiate, he would be allowed to go back to humanity and talk to them about peace and tomorrow.

With his knowledge, Ekibastus managed to get the fox and wolf to paw each other and now hunt together to feed their families. Ekibastus was satisfied with his deed and travelled out of the confusing forests.

His journey took him further to a large freshwater lake, where he wandered along until he reached a settlement where the tribe had named themselves northerners.

The inhabitants there worshipped a nymph who introduced herself as Ponor. She liked to show herself on the shore in the evening hours. She was the deity for harvest and fertility. But even though she did not speak a word that people could understand, the tribe interpreted it as something important and sublime.

Ekibastus learned that there was another tribe living nearby who worshipped a similar deity. The two tribes hated each other and fought each other regularly. His path led him to the southerners at the saltwater lake. Having gained a lot of experience over his years of wandering, Ekibastus was sure he could talk to them without being chased away straight away.

They worshipped another nymph, Doline, who, like her counterpart in the north, Ponor, no one could understand. She too was presented as a deity and her word was law. The old man was thrown out and almost killed when he started arguing about the foolishness. He now realised that the two tribes were making life easy for themselves and shifting the responsibility onto someone else, someone who was not human.

Full of fear, Ekibastus returned to the northern settlement and stayed quiet. One evening, he was invited by the Quaestor. He listened attentively to the old man as he told of the origin of the conflict between the two tribes.

---

Once the goddess Myriad created the world and retreated to the mountain that could be seen from the northerners and the southerners. No one dared to climb the sacred mountain, as they would die if they did so. The goddess who lived there was gentle and noble, she gave man speech and conscience. That is why, every full moon, the life of a firstborn was sacrificed to thank her.

One day her child came from the mountain to the valley of the northerners and settled in the lake. She was the daughter of Myriad and was called Ponor. With her appearance, the fish stocks in the lake grew and the harvest became abundant so that no one had to suffer hunger.

The people honoured and idolised the nymph and presented her as a new deity. Almost forgotten was Myriad, who learned nothing of all this until the next full moon.

Myriad looked at what had happened and asked her daughter to return. But Ponor refused to return to the lonely mountain, preferring to stay with the people where she could be worshipped.

This enraged Myriad and she ordered her second daughter, Doline, to go to the southerners to fortify the word of the goddess there and to attack the northerners. There, too, the people fell for the beauty of the nymph and the harvest increased immeasurably. The southerners built Doline a temple. Myriad, who learned of this, was so furious that it was said that the mountain smoked for days as she plotted in her cave to bring back the two daughters.

One stormy night, she formed a valley with her bare hands and divided the plateau that separated the northerners and the southerners into two. From then on, there was a connection between the freshwater lake and the saltwater lake.

Myriad made the grain grow and flourish there as if by magic, and brought every fish from both lakes to the river and tamed the cattle so that the two peoples became aware of it. Her plan had succeeded. The two tribes met in the valley and both claimed this territory for themselves. Then, when Ponor and Doline learned that their sister had ascended to a deity herself, they refused to believe it, seeing themselves as the only true one.

A war began between the northerners and the southerners, led by the nymphs.

Many decades had passed since that day and Myriad continued to wait for her plan to bear fruit, but she seemed almost forgotten.

---

Ekibastus was shocked and surprised at the same time when he learned about this conflict. He did not understand how Myriad could commit such a crime, it was not only her daughters she was goading to defeat herself but also her creation. He saw it as his destiny to put an end to this war.

The northerners were happy about this and believed he would come with a secret weapon that would kill everyone in the south, but he wanted to talk. He wanted to climb the mountain where Myriad lived and talk to her to put an end to this.

He was warned and his coat was almost torn apart when he did not come to his senses. Ekibastus climbed up the mountain. The old man was gone for days and weeks, they already thought he was dead when he came back one night before a great feast.

As proof of his meeting with Myriad, he raised his stick, which was now made of the precious minerals from the mountain. It was now his duty to end this war.

Ekibastus sought conversation with the southerners and he was received festively. The rumour that he had climbed the mountain was known to them and they wanted the man with them to underline the superiority.

He refused and spoke to Doline personally. The power of the stick gave him the ability to speak and understand the language of the nymph. The nymph did not see the mistake she had made and Ekibastus came to his end.

The old man stayed with the southerners while a new battle had begun and one night received enlightenment. What he wanted to preach to the people had become action here and now. He knew how to solve the problem.

Ekibastus took the staff and turned Doline into stone. The southerners gradually realised what had happened and acknowledged their folly. The old man travelled back to the northerners and there too, after a conversation where Ponor did not realise her mistakes, he turned her into stone.

It did not take long for the two tribes to realise that they were under the influence of magic and regain their sanity. Peace finally came after many decades and the two tribes wanted to make a big banquet for Ekibastus, right in the middle between the two territories, to thank him.

With that, Ekibastus brought down upon himself the wrath of the goddess. Not only had she been completely forgotten, but now they were paying homage to a mortal. During the feast, Myriad personally appeared from the top of the mountain and demanded that Ekibastus be handed over.

The two tribes were firmly against betraying their hero, but suddenly the old man voluntarily stood before the goddess. He explained to her what he wanted to explain to the daughters and what he had come to.

Man does not need a deity to determine their life. Each person is responsible for themself, what they do in their life span, not the gods. Myriad didnĀ“t want to hear any of it. In a thunderous rage, she took the stick from him. With a blow to Doline she wanted to free her from her bonds, but Myriad smashed her daughter and killed her with it.

The goddess, already red with rage, blamed Ekibastus and turned him to stone and smashed him.

The northerners and the southerners, standing in fear before the goddess, did not know what to do. She asked them to start everything as they had done many years ago, to sacrifice a child to her every full moon. When she returned to her mountain, the two tribes made a plan to kill the goddess.

Many people died while climbing the mountain and the few remaining fought a fierce battle with the goddess. In the end, the people prevailed through sheer willpower and freed themselves from the chains of oppression.

They saw neither Myriad nor her daughters as their deity, but Ekibastus, who had helped to unite the two tribes with his words. They collected the debris of his destroyed body and laid it in a grotto.

They threw the remains of the goddess into a deep shaft on a small plateau, a remnant of the plateau that had shattered into several pieces during Myriad's rampage, while they left Ponor standing in the freshwater lake and the rock needles in the saltwater lake, Doline's remains also lingering. They were to be remembered forever as a memorial.

This legend of Ekibastus is still told today among this united tribe, which, despite linguistic and cultural differences, celebrates a great festival every year in honour of Ekibastus, the liberator.


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Fri Sep 17, 2021 2:58 am
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ForeverYoung299 wrote a review...



Heyy!! Forever here with a tiny review!

He saw being human in all its forms - as human and as animal.

This line is a bit unclear to me. I do understand what you actually tried to mean through this line but I do feel that the sentence structure is a bit off.

Now to the story itself. The first thing which I wonder about is the tone of the story. It's not very happy or sad. It's kind of has a tone which can't be called neutral. I will just try to examine it from the POV of different characters. First of all with Ekibastus, he seems to be a man with a lot of emotions or no emotion at all. The former seems to be more prominent. Also his emotions have a nature that is kimd of... Well, that is great. His heart doesn't cry for himself but for others. I am not really sure if he was very happy at any moment of the story but he doesn't seem to be. There is a everlasting melancholy in him. Now with the two tribes, initially no one of the tribes was very happy with the war but the desire to win took over their feelings, I guess. Then when Ekibastus made them realize and they were united, it should be a happy occasion. Then when the Goddess did the cruel act, they were sad again. About the two daughters of the goddess, I think they enjoyed the power a lot but it was the cause of their decline. Now I think the story had a devastating tone. I don't think it's the best word but well, the characters seem to be devastated for one or the other reason and is trying to do something not very good(with an exemption of Ekibastus).

Now with the plot. It was a pretty good one. I liked how you first decided to flesh out the protagonist and then take us to the main plot. It was good to know the person at first. We got an insight to all his beliefs in general and also a brief view of how he spent his life. Ekibastus did a good job convincing the people of the two tribes. As you mentioned his words played a great role in making the people realize, I think you should include what he told. That would be clearer then. Also I wonder what really happened to Myriad. What they actually did to her? They can't kill or finish her... She seems to be immortal judging from the fact that dhe regarded Ekibastus as a mortal. I am just a bit curious to know what happened to her at last.

Overall, it was quite a good short story. I will get to the poem and see if I can review it.

Keep Writing!!

~Forever






Thank you very much for your review! :D



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Thu Sep 02, 2021 12:02 pm
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RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hey Mailice!

RandomTalks here with a review!

I really enjoyed reading this story. You have a very well-developed writing style that makes it really easy to follow the text and gives it this 'folklore' kind of vibes. You maintained a very smooth pace and rarely swayed from it. The way you narrated the story without any dialogue in simple yet elegant text, makes me certain that you will be great at writing period pieces.

Ekibastus would never have set out on the pilgrimage if he had known that he would be venerated as a saint after his demise.

As introductions go, this was a really great way to begin a story like this. It instantly hooks you to the story and makes you want to read more and find out what exactly happened. It is a great way to catch your reader's attention.

I liked how a major part of the story was spent in familiarizing us with the character, giving us an idea about his background and who he is as a person. It was interesting to follow his journey through different civilizations and see him get rejected everywhere. It made me as the reader, sympathize with the old man, especially because we know how much he desired to be accepted and heard by the people.

He saw being human in all its forms

I am a bit unsure about what you meant in this part. Did you try to convey that he saw human being in all its form? Or that he believed that being human is possible in every form? That you don't need to be a human being in order to be a 'human? I am not sure about this, but the sentence sounds a little awkward.

He told them how to live and how to find happiness without harming nature, without harming themself.

I don't think that 'themself' is an actual word. Since you mean the plural form here, it will simply be 'themselves'.

The old man had it good.

This sentence does not match the context of the story. From the beginning, it had seemed like you were narrating an old tale from times gone by. However with this sentence, it breaks the flow that had developed since the start and throws off the smoothness of the story.

He wanted to go back to tell stories and explaining his ideas.

The word 'tell' does not fit in with the story, 'go back to telling stories and explaining his ideas' sounds better to me.

His life followed the stream, steadily towards the sun, when it set he was drawn across many miles of water without land.

I think I get what you were trying to say with this sentence, but because of the length of this sentence, the meaning gets lost somewhere. The sentence needs a pause and I think it can be fixed as simply with just an 'and'- "His life followed the stream, steadily towards the sun, 'and', when it set he was drawn across many miles of water without land."

He now realised that the two tribes were making life easy for themselves and shifting the responsibility onto someone else, someone who was not human.


I liked reading the legend about Myriad that you included here. It felt like a story within a story, and while I thought it was appalling the way she murdered one of her daughters simply because they had been loved and worshipped by the people while she had been forgotten; it still set a different tone to the story that was highly appreciable. I also like the bit of a lesson about shifting responsibilities that you have conveyed here and I know that several people can relate to it or recognize the same habit in themselves.

I did feel like the ending was a little rushed though. Throughout the story, Ekibastus was longing to be accepted and heard, but when it actually happened, he was killed and that was that. I feel like you could have expanded that part a little. The story seems to have become divided into two parts - before the legend about Myriad, when everything moved slowly and was more focused on the character and his journey; and after the legend, where everything just happened too fast. For example, we don't know how he climbed the mountain, or how his stick can now turn people to stone. Getting into those details would probably have made made for a smoother transition.

Other than that, this was a really interesting story, and I enjoyed reading it. I hope I was able to help somehow with this review.

Keep up the good work and have a great day!






Thank you, RandomTalks for your review! :D I see now that the end is a bit too fast.
I am a bit unsure about what you meant in this part. Did you try to convey that he saw human being in all its form? Or that he believed that being human is possible in every form? That you don't need to be a human being in order to be a 'human? I am not sure about this, but the sentence sounds a little awkward.

I meant that Ekibastus has seen all the different kinds of people, all the characters, like good and evil, etc...



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Fri Jul 30, 2021 7:53 pm
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InuYosha wrote a review...



Alright, I just got back from lunch! Since I'm low on review points, I'll get back to reviewing (hopefully on your works. Also, I promise to review LoaMR, but I still have no idea which one is the first chapter lol)

Anyways, let's get started!

Ekibastus would never have set out on the pilgrimage if he had known that he would be venerated as a saint after his demise.


I like this introductory sentence! You introduce a lot of important information along with a short, easy-to-read sentence! 1, we find out the character's name, 2, we find out he's going on a pilgrimage, and 3, you add this part about him becoming some sort of saint after his demise, which he also happens to dislike.

I would say this introduction is a 9/10!

It had not occurred to him to set out on this long journey if he had not heard the sound of these wonderful bells in a dream. They were meant for him, only for him, and led him far away from his home. He interpreted them as the voice telling him to set off.


Although this took me a few reads to understand, I'm very satisfied with it simply because it's not the introduction! For me, the most important part of a story is the intro. You introduce a more complicated style of writing only after the simple introduction, which is, to me, the right thing to do.

Although, I would suggest you change the way that first sentence is written. For me, it's a bit hard to read. For example: "Had he not heard the sound of the wonderful bells in a dream, he would have never set out on this long journey."

If you don't want to do that, I would suggest adding "would have" instead of the first "had" in that sentence. Creates a better flow.

The old man had it good.


Up until this sentence, I think everything was wonderful! Your story was told beautifully, and also you sneaked in that Ekibastus is pretty old with that little "blessed with white hair" phrase. However, I do want to point out that this one sentence kind of breaks the flow of the story. Currently, you're writing in a more formal tone that someone would expect from a 'legend'. This sentence is really relaxed and informal and kind of ruins your tone.

Once the goddess Myriad created the world and retreated to the mountain that could be seen from the northerners and the southerners. No one dared to climb the sacred mountain, as they would die if they did so. The goddess who lived there was gentle and noble, she gave man speech and conscience. That is why, every full moon, the life of a firstborn was sacrificed to thank her.


I like the little legend part about Myriad and everything. However, I want to point out that this probably still needs to follow an introduction format. The first sentence, "Once the goddess Myriad created the world and retreated to the mountain that could be seen from the northerners and the southerners." could be shortened. For example: "Once, the goddess Myriad created the world. Then, she retreated to the mountain that could be seen by the northerners and the southerners.

The end is pretty good. I have no problem with that. In general, your story is pretty nice. I like the plot and your writing style is mostly easy and fun to read. However, it did seem a little bit quick-paced. Everything moved by fast. If this were a collection of short stories or a novella, then your pacing might've been better. The most important thing about short stories is what their theme is. If you spend too much time talking about the MC's life, everything will seem rushed. Either that will happen, or you'll have too long of a chapter.

Anyways, I hope this review was satisfactory! Thanks for reviewing my works all the time!

Sussy McBaka

-yosh






Thank you for your review and for pointing some things out! :D



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Fri Jul 30, 2021 5:11 pm
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InuYosha says...



ill review this after lunch!





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