The Celestial Wars - Part 2
By J E F Rose
Bone carving of Twilight Terra Elves in the Dusty East, dated over 9000 years, Royal Collection
When the Elves migrated into
Our World from the Dusty
East and the imploding
Garden of Earthly Delights,
now no longer nearly so
delightful courtesy of over
farming and environmental
collapse, they stumbled
straight into the Celestial
The first Elves in Our World,
the Green and Dark Elves, had
already been bloodied by the
Dark Legions of the Dark
Lord. Because these Elves
worshiped other gods and not
the Sidh, they were not
involved in the war. They
were only causalities of the
Damaged carving of Finn, the first King of the Celestial Elves (originally the Blond or Gold Elves)
The Sidh Alliance for Life
needed the Twilight Terra and
Gold Elves as allies. But these
new allies came with a price.
The Elves wanted the rich
land of Our World to farm. So
they wanted the native population of wild Elves
shoved off to make way for civilization --that is to
say settled civilization. So the Celestial Wars
became the war on the wild, the wandering, the
savage, as well as the monstrous, the bizarre, the
weird, and the unforgiving dead. Neither Dagda or
Arawn were happy for they were trying to broaden
the Alliance for Life to include the wild, the
wandering, and the savage. The bitter compromise
did not bring forth good fruit.
At the first battle the Gold Elves ( named for their
golden blond hair) fled the field, and not only fled
the field but the continent! They heard the siren call
of the gods of the West and fled to paradise to live in
timeless, changeless, deathless paradise.
Father god of Fire. Opera Poster.
Partial Dig of the ruins of the 1st Age City of Arcadia, bastion of the Twilight Terra Elves.
The Twilight Elves were made of tougher stuff. They subdivided into two city states. Arcadia
was founded in the rich Arcadia Prime farmlands fed by the rich snow fed rivers of the Pale of
the Central Mountains. Farther west by the coast The Havens was founded for the Twilight
Ocean Elves and it was led by Cleardan. Mother god of The Waters picked him to lead the Elves
and be her lover. Arawn greatly respected Cleardan as a clear eyed and reliable Elve. It also
helped that Arawn could eat anything. Cleardan always had notoriously disastrous feasts when he
entertained. Cleardan saw the end of the war at his front doorstep but The Havens was too far
west for the first battles of the Celestial Wars.
The Twilight Elves got the land and they fulfilled their end of the contract. They fought with the
Sidh they picked as their own gods. The partnership lasted long after the Sidh and Old Arcadia
perished in the Celestial Wars and in the 2nd Age the Twilight Culture preserved the 1st Age in the
amber of opera and poetry and music as a beau time of beau gods and beau peoples. But in opera
and poetry and music war gets pushed far away to the margin as a last act plot device. In reality
the Celestial Wars consumed the 1st Age. But war did give the Yuugen patina of frail beauty too.
Left: Rhingol the Great, King of Arcadia. Right: Ruf[f]us Royal, kin to Rhingol.
Above: the so called 'jerry' Rune Serpent Stone believed by some to be the partial ruin of an once far larger stone called the Stone of Fate created by Arawn the Warrior. Prehistoric Sidh.
The Twilight Elves saw the strong
leadership of Dagda the Pater of the
Sidh and decided they too wanted a
leader or 'king'. Rufus Royal looked
very kingly too. But he was wary of
kingship and said kingship was
potentially 'corrupting'. But his kin
Rhingol said kingship sounded like
'fun'. How to decide?
Arawn was creating his Five
Treasures of Dagda and offered to
invent a talisman to pick kings. He
proposed to create a Stone of Fate
by planting a magical stone seed in
the sacred Hill of Lia Fail. The Seed
burst into life and exploded out of
the ground and rose up to the very
sky to touch the Shining Plains of
High Heaven. Gods who saw it later
swore it was the single most perfect
thing Arawn ever created. It did not last long.
Dagda offered the Twilight Elves the first use of the wonderful new talisman. It would be a good
test of the talisman. Unspoken but implied was the fact Dagda's Scion would need it later. For
Time and Change and Death made the Sidh gods mortal. 10 thousand years might sound like a
lot of time to an Elve who could live 5 thousand years but still..... one day Dagda would die --
perhaps sooner if the war turned bad -- and the war was turning bad. And alas Dagda had a lot of
bad scion: unruly, unreliable, devious, and just plain tragically flawed. Time and Change and
Death suddenly required 'Heirs' and how do you pick Heirs? First? Last? Male? Female? Tests?
Flattery? Trickery? How? The situation was novel. There were no precedents.
Fianna the Slinger warned Angus Mac Org that the Stone of Fate was created to 'disinherit'
(Fianna just invented the word) the elder son in favor of Maeve the Gesith or Arawn the Warrior.
Angus Mac Org reacted predictably: he smashed the Stone of Fate with his giant stone axe.
Prehistoric stones of the Sidh gods created by the first Twilight Terra Elves in Arcadia.
Drawing of Malian by Celebeau, Celebeau Collection.
Without a talisman to guide them, the Twilight Elves politicked candidates until Malian, the
goddess of Mirages fell in love with Rhingol and tricked the Elves into believing he was the Sun
God incarnate (with his sister Rhinga the Moon goddess incarnate). Dazzled by mirages, the
Elves picked the worst. The best nominee was Rufus Royal who was backed by all the wisest:
Celebros the Wise, Wisteria Fujitsu, Ryu the
Quiet One, and Naratun the Imperturbable.
Lady Wisteria Fujitsu in a 2nd Age picture book illustration.
Lord Naratun the Imperturbable in a drawing by Celebeau. Celebeau Collection.
Drawing of Lord Taira --- artist unknown. Royal Collection.
Alas the deciding vote was Lord Taira. It says something he never said he regretted the vote.
Durham the Deathless of the Old Citadel.
The Dwarves fought with the Sidh gods and the Twilight Terra Elves until they secured the Pale
of the Central Mountains. Arawn brokered a deal to give the Dwarves 'all mountainous lands if
they treated the Wild kindly'. Durham always fulfilled very contract he put his rune to. He treated
the Dark and Green Elves and later the Maleth Mere Mortals with great care, giving them jobs,
building stone campsites to anchor their wandering with modern conveniences, and encouraging
trade markets for their hunting and gathering skills. Dwarves love mushrooms but would never
stoop down to actually dirty their forge burned hands to gather them up themselves for instance.
But when Arawn the Warrior died Durham ceased doing business with the kin of Dagda. Durham
always said Arawn was a Sidh 'you could do business with' but he considered Angus Mac Org a
bad copper in every way. The Alliance for Life collapsed for at that point only the Dwarves could
smelt and forge metal. The Elves migrated into Our World welding stone. But the war could
only be won by metal and everyone knew it. The Elves needed time to learn about bronze. But at
least they understood the dangers. Angus Mac Org always welded a giant stone axe. He totally
failed the test of leadership. The last beau thing he wreaked was the Alliance for Life. And he
In shame Angus Mac Org got drunk, morphed into a bear, killed his Elvish second wife, and then
woke in a bed covered in blood, his dead wife torn to pieces by his side, and the magical and
floating brugh tent of his pater Dagda whimpering in grief and pain.
Then the brugh tent threw out the usurper who had stolen the brugh and crown of Dagda,
snapping the tent flap shut, snarling and hissing and spitting at the bear changeling. Then the
magical brugh tent up and floated away. Shamed and exposed naked to the eyes of all the
campsite, Angus Mac Org killed himself.
The Death of Angus Mac Org The Bear in an opera poster:
Durham never said if he ever regretted his part in the
death of the Sidh or the collapse of the Alliance for
Life. The Elves later accused Durham of getting what
he wanted and then abandoning the rest to fight alone.
But Durham was also fighting a rear guard action against
the Dark Lord who was again trying to seize the Pale. And
the Dark Lord was also invading east of the Pale to
seize the Iron Hills . Metal weapons need mineral
deposits after all. Durham was fighting two wars on two
fronts to keep the Pale and the Iron Hills. A lot of
Dwarves died in the 'War for the Pale' but few Elves
bothered to fight there so no myths and epics and operas
and poetry told those stories. The Dwarves kept their
But Durham also recycled 'special metals given to me
by Arawn the Great' into a coming of age Oath Sword
for Gildagad. Durham had been persuaded by Horsham
of Arcadia that young Gildagad was the destined and
rightful King that could save Our World.
Young Gildagad in a drawing by Baccata. Royal Collection.
Did Durham use the two swords that Arawn
given to him to forge a new sword for a king
out of practicality? Ruthlessness? Or Honor
of Arawn to vindicate the poor doomed god
with a living monument: a king to win the
Celestial Wars at last? And a king that the
Stone of Fate would have blessed if Angus
Mac Org, the wrong king, had not shattered
Durham never said. Dwarves kept their
The death of the Sidh ended one part of the Celestial Wars but the wars continued. Once war is
started, for all the best reasons or all the worst of reasons, it inclines to continue and continue and
continue. The Celestial Wars were no exception.
Left: King Finngold by Baccata. Right: King Finngolden, a rejected clay head for a proposed bronze.
King Finngolden first found
himself in paradise because
of his father Finn's weakness
and then back in Our World
because of Finn's weak and
humiliating death -either at
the hands of the Dark God
Father god of Fire (trying to
forcibly disarm Maestus) or
by the Dark Lord, the
Shadow of Father god of
Fire trying to steal the Devices . Finngolden spent his
life cleaning up his parent's
Stuck back in Our World,
with a crown he did not
want, and a race of Celestial
Elves eager to conquer the
land and get rich and become
petty kings and demigods,
Finngolden struggled in
peace and then war. Honor and his kin demanded
war and the Devices.
Finngolden feared the gods of the West and their curses on the Celestial Elves - which Maestus warned could only be
defeated by the Five Devices. So in the end Finngolden had to
wage war at the Fiery Fissure to get the Devices that the Dark
Lord hoarded like some drug. And Finngolden died there,
fighting the Dark Lord in a duel to the death that Finngolden knew
would be futile. The night before his death he raved of
'damnation' and 'Celestial Calamity'.
Meanwhile his son Finngold prospered in the wars of colonial conquest
and soon the Celestial Elves minted wealth and land
and slaves and armies through the alchemy of war. Alas Finngold
found that war does not stop at a convenient point and Finngold
died at the Fiery Fissure too, in a duel to the death with the Dark Lord. The Celestial Elves were stuck in a quagmire.
The recreation of one of the fabled Tapestries of the Lady of the Garden of Unearthly Delights.
These tapestries hung in a circular tower in the center of the Fortress of the Fiery Fissure and
each tapestry featured one of the Devices -- and one of the corresponding Five Senses.
The Five Devices were:
The Moonlight Pearl of Scent.
The Starlight Blue Sapphire of Sight
The Firelight Ruby of Taste
The Daylight Diamond of Hearing
The Forest light Emerald of Touch.
No one really knows what any of the Devices looked like. They were declared taboo and
contagiously evil -- after everyone died who ever held one -- not to mention the City state of
Old Arcadia and the 1st Age. The final Device, the Blue Sapphire, was reputed to have destroyed
the paradise of the gods of the West in a giant volcanic incineration. So perhaps Maestus' and
Finngolden's need to get them back was the ignorable ploy of blackmail -- 'revoke your
Celestial Curse on us or we will destroy you!'. In the end a native born Celestial Elve, Gildagad
did just that.
Another reason for the continuation of the Celestial Wars was the Slaugh Unforgiving Dead. It
seemed no one like Father's 'gifts' and the first to die liked Death least of all. The dead just
plain refused to die. And the dead found they could refuse to die -- which is to say pass out of
history and leave Our World. So the dead stayed to haunt the living they envied, cluttering up the
landscape, terrifying the living, sucking the shadows of the living to leech out their life, turning
into vampires, turning into ghosts, and generally making life hell on earth.
The Sidh Alliance
for Life found they
had to fight the
dead too, literally
force them back
them down, piling
rocks over their
them to harmless
dust in biers,
Rites of Death to
exorcize them out
of the world, and
them to the earth.
metal in part to
create metal spikes
to impale the dead.
The corpses would
gnaw at wooden
spikes to free
themselves. And the Slaugh
fear of 'metal'. So
metal became a
key to death rites
along with the
Excarnation of the
fallen dead in
Arawn fighting the Slaugh in an opera poster by Puccii. 2nd Age.
In this opera poster by Puccii we see the King of the Spiders. In opera and myth he is the ally of
the Dark Lord of the Dark God. All are active foes of the opera heros. The King of the Spiders
symbolizes all the diverse evil that joins the Dark Lord. Shadowy evil and primordial fear and
soul crushing despair were the Dark Lord's chief weapons.
Another reason for the persistence of the Celestial Wars were the diverse denizens who loved
war and lusted for war and enjoyed war. Badhb the Triad god of war was one of course. When
the rest of the Sidh died or faded away she was left to command the field and command she did
--as the inciter of war and mayhem. But there were others too.
Sojobo the Harbinger of War in an opera poster. 2nd Age. on Sojobo's right is a skull boasting a fabled Feather of a Kalamack.
Just after War was
invented by Father god
of Fire certain
denizens were born in
the bloody debris of
birth of War, in the
magical placenta that
birthed Death. These
were the Tengu
They were giant
predator birds that
could assume quasi
human form (
appearing as hunch
backs with their wings
folded behind under a
The worst of the worst
of the Tengu was
Sojobo the Harbinger
of War. Sojobo is seen here
with his gift that
brought war to
Arcadia: the Sacred
Kalamack Feather of
the bird that flies
between the Earth and
the Shining Plains of
High Heaven. Sojobo waged war
with his magic fan of
But why did he come
Father vs. Son: Taira vs. Heike. Opera poster by Puccii. 2nd Age.
It was a repeat of Father against Son, just like Dagda and Angus Mac Org. Only this time it was
Lord Taira against his own younger son the handsome Lord Heike. Lord Heike was a wonderful
son and everyone at Court loved the fine young Elve ---- except his older brother Tairason who
envied the boy. Tairason was arrogant, depraved, spoiled, and contemptuous -- just like his
father Lord Taira. So Tairason encouraged Lord Taira to despise Lord Heike.
Lord Taira wanted Lord Heike to marry a well placed Elve to promote the Taira Clan to the top.
But Lord Heike wanted to marry for love. So he refused to marry any of his father's candidates
and Taira threatened any clan who would let Heike marry without Taira's permission. So Lord
Heike was young, handsome, and unhappy and very much alone. His only friend was his dog.
Lord Heike in an opera poster by Puccii. 2nd Age.
A boy and his dog. Handsome young Lord Heike had everything a young man could ask:
wealth, beauty, popularity, and a dog that loved him. But his vindictive father prevented him
from every marrying for love.
Lady Aine in an opera poster by Puccii.
One day Lord Heike was out wandering along the Arcadia River as the mists rose at twilight -- a
most romantic time. And he beheld a beautiful girl rise up out of the mists of the river. And Lord
Heike fell madly in love with her. And he took her by the hand and led her home to the Taira
Pavilion and announced to his father he was going to marry this mysterious girl crowned by a
gold crown of swan feathers. But she said not a word....
Lord Taira swore and ranted and raged until Lord Heike blushed. And still she said not a word.
Then Lord Taira slapped her and she wept --mutely. And then man and boy realized she was a
mute and could not speak. Heike wept out an apology but Lord Taira announced if Lord Heike
married he would be disinherited and Lord Taira would ruin him forever. At that the beautiful
girl gestured to Lord Heike and wept mutely. Then she ran away, back to the mists of the river
and Lord Heike lost her in the mists of the river. And the boy wept and wept and wept.
Then Lord Heike announced if he could not marry this girl he would marry no one. He spent the
year building a beautiful pavilion and in those days pavilions were made only of wood and thatch
and reed curtains. So Lord Heike learned carpentry and thatching and reed weaving. He even
make his own benches and wedding bed, working alongside common artisans and carpenters and
thatchers. And Tairason laughed at his brother for being so 'vulgar'. But Lord Naratun and Lord
Rufus Royal praised the boy for 'growing up to be a good boy'. But who would share his empty
green marriage bed?
Young Lord Heike in an opera poster by Puccii.
And the next year at the same season as the
mists rose at twilight along the river Lord
Heike walked along the shore and sang a
love song. And there appeared a most eccentric old
soldier with a hunch back armed only with
a fan of feathers. And the old man growled
at Lord Heike:
"Are you the knave who broke my girl's
"Yes. I do apologize for I was silly and
spoiled and impulsive and my father
humiliated her! He humiliates me all the
time but she was so innocent that I wept
for her suffering! And she ran away in the
mists and I could not find her! And I love
her still! Truly! I love her. I have built my
pavilion and every night I sleep alone in
my marriage bed. I will sleep alone all my
life unless I can marry that dear sweet girl
for I owe her that for hurting her with my spoiled impulsiveness!"
"How can you love someone you don't even know?" the solder growled. "That is not love!"
"Perhaps love can come after marriage too" the boy replied. "And honorably I should marry her!"
"Then you will marry her! For she will marry no other if she cannot marry you!" the soldier
growled . "Damnation! You are not a knave and I must therefore allow the marriage and it will
be a marriage for love! For my Lady Aine is all sweetness and tenderness! But if you ever speak
harshly and make her weep then you will be damned! And I will be there! And you will die! Now
do you still wish to marry my Lady Aine?"
"Yes" Lord Heike replied, "For I know she is all sweetness. I only hope I am as worthy!"
"Then let it be so!" And it was so. And the gruff soldier gestured and there appeared the beautiful
Lady Aine crowned with a gold crown. And Lord Heike took her hand and led her home to his
beautiful pavilion and they make love and fell in love and were truly in love. And on the third
day as tradition dictates, everyone came to the Heike Pavilion to meet the newlyweds. And the
eccentric father in law gave away wonderful gifts to each and every Elve from a bottomless box
of wonderful riches! But Lord Taira came to curse the newlyweds. but Lord Tairason, greedy for gif,t
complained so the eccentric father in law gave him the bottomless box of wonders -- which
proved empty except for a tiny brass plate that said:
'This is the coffin of the craven Tairason who died loathed and hated and foul and debased, all his children dead, and all his weath scattered'. And so it turned out many years later when Lord Taira's elder son did die so debased by evil that his body could not be put in the Sacred Grove. So Lord Taira asked for a coffin such as the Mere Mortals use to bury his evil son underground. And the servants remembered the box and brought it forth and Tairason was so bured in it. But which came first? The curse on the box or the evil hidden in the evil elder son Tairason? Or did the box incite the evil? Or only prophetize it?
Recreation of a Heike Era Pavilion. Elvish pavilions were made of wood and thatch and reeds
only. Stone did not appear until near the end of the 1st Age. The danger of fire prompted the
change. Royal Pavilions were larger versions of this model. The balmy weather made this ideal
but the later cold weather made this style very cold and damp too.
Recreation of a 1st Age Court Pavilion room. Wood and gold gilt. The Doors opened to gardens
and there was no window glass, fire places, or even fire pits (other than the out lying kitchens).
The floor was polished wood.
Recreations of a Court Pavilion Room on the left and a High Street Room on the right. The
Elves were masters of wood and could use both straight and twisted and organic wood
wonderfully. The wood was integrated into wood panels or sliding doors which were painted to
mimic tree leaves and garden flowers and streams. Reeds might hang from the ceiling in leu of
window glass. The massive thatch roof was overhanging and there were verandas to keep out the
elements. The court pavilions were one story but the high street homes might be three stories tall.
Furniture was simple: benches, trunks, and simple tables. Braziers provided the only light and
heat (not much!). In Old Arcadia the night brought nearly total darkness. There was little light
because wax was expensive.
There was little privacy. The kitchens were set off to prevent fire. The bathhouse was also set off
but it was a separate building and quite warm with fire warmed heat both under the floors and
drawn up through the hollow walls for central heating. So the bath house was often the most
lavish building and often the only stone building too. The Twilight Elves had a fetish for
cleanliness. Their bath houses had hot, tepid, and cool pools, waterfalls, and perfume rooms.
You could even entertain in the bath house -- dressed only in flowers and perfume of course!
Drawing of a 1st Age over tunic set over a wicker box so smoking incense could scent it.
Clothing was the status symbol for Elves and was quite elaborate: linen, wool, and imported silk.
Incense was popular and clothing was scented by elaborate incenses. Perfumes were also
elaborate too, as were scented soaps. On the other hand food was simple and the most common
drink was ale, beer, mead, and for the very few: imported wine.
Drunkenness and gluttony were
not accepted, neither was rudeness, vulgarity, greed, surliness, shabbiness, dirt, shyness, or any excess. Genteel behavior followed elaborate codes reflecting a 'Shame' Culture but morality as we know it today did not exist then.' Face' was all. Genteel behavior was good and troubled behavior was bad. Hospitality or merry wit or neatness or cleaness or tidiness was ' good'. Beauty was virtue. Deformity or ugliness was evil. Inner states of mind or heart were not considered. Lord Taira was a bad Elve because he lost all his wealth and became a miser. When he was rich and was lavish in his hospitality he was considered a good man. Lord Lir became a bad man when he dabbled in Black Glamour (black magic). But hurting children under your protection was always evil --- except at birth if they were deformed. Then it was lawful to abandon them to the wilderness to die.
Few Elves at this time could read or write more than a few runes but everyone knew music, could
sing and dance, recite poetry, and taught wittily. In the Heike Era the first great Gigasidh Dances were created and also the first Sacred Dances too. Pavilions prided themselves in providing elaborate entertainments of music, poetry, song, and dance. Lady Wisteria's pavilion trained the first famous performers and she created the cannon of Arcadian Arts that later migrated to The Havens when Arcadia fell. Today the culture of Our World is still defined by the cannon of 1st Age Arcadia. The Heike Era was the Spring Blossoming. Horsham of Arcadia's late masterpieces of opera defined the Autumn Gold of Arcadia's doom.
An Heike Era Over Tunic of linen with elaborate embroidery and lined with a contrasting color.
The tunic was open down the sides to be worn over a long kilt and under tunic of simple linen.
The Heike Era Tunic was sewn down the front and back chest seams to the waist while later Over Tunics
were cut down the front so the sleeve could be thrown back like 'butterfly wings'. Sleeves were boxy and overlarge to cover part of the hand. Grace in handling such sleeves defined good taste. So did the long kilt with it's cumbersome train.
A long kilt was a Old Arcadian style not seen elsewhere. The kilt was simply a bolt of wool. A
long kilt was draped differently from a short kilt. The 'tail' or surplus end was draped behind like
a train. If the courtier had to actually leave his or her elegant pavilion he or she simply pinned
the train up over one or both shoulders or tucked it into the back of the jeweled belt that held the
whole kilt in place. Heike warriors would go to war in this cumbersome outfit including a full
over tunic with over large sleeves that hung down their hands. Waging war still required elegant
Lord Heike and Lady Aine gave birth to a beautiful boy they called Heikeson. The baby was
adorable -- give or take a few peculiarities like feathers mixed into his hair. He later wore his
hair back in a tight coil to hide the downy feathers. All the Scion of Heike would boast of
peculiarities like extra fingers or toes, some were swan changelings, and everyone could wage
war brilliantly. Lord Heike and Lady Aine later gave birth to a girl called Heika along with many
other beautiful children.
Why did Old Arcadia resume
the Celestial Wars?
Lord Heike was perfectly happy
with his beautiful and loving
wife. He built a boat house to
both house the elaborate swan
fronted barges and river boats
and also so Lady Aine could
morph from human to swan in
privacy. Changelings have
elaborate taboos concerning their shapeshifting.
They had many lovely children
and grandchildren and great
grandchildren. All the children,
despite their odd peculiarities,
married well because Lord
Heike was respected, admired,
and liked by everyone at Court
except his bitter father and his debauched older brother Tairason who envied Heike in
everything. So why did Lord Heike propose to resume the Celestial Wars?
One reason was his father in law Sojobo the Harbinger of War who egged on Lord Heike.
Another reason was the siege of the Maestusean Damned Elves that failed so spectacularly but
which incited the fury of the Dark Lord who compulsively hoarded the Five Devices. The Dark
Lord had withdrawn from the field but now he was raging forward with all his army of ogres,
orcs, demons, monsters, and diverse fiends to again ravish Our World. The closest area to ravish was Arcadia. Arcadia shared a common border called the River of Shadows or the River of No Return because death touched all who crossed it.
Rufus Royal in a
drawing by Puccii
in the 2nd Age. This
is how opera
Rufus Royal was
married to the
Lord Heike and he
voted for the war.
He and his Heike
consort lived in the
frontier of Arcadia
Minor which was
being ravished by
the Dark Lord's
He decided that the
unraveling lull was
just that -- an
unraveling lull and
was better than
waiting for 'the
second boot to
Lady Rufus Heike
also voted for the
war but later
regretted it and
confessed so quite
honestly. "We were lied to by the Celestial Elves. They saw war was a golden profit while we got
nothing out of it but dead kin and empty pavilions where children's feet no longer run...."
Lady Wisteria Fujitsu by Puccii.
This is how opera sees the
mysterious lady of the wisteria.
In reality she was a tough lady
and she voted no to war. She
warned quite precisely why it
would turn out disastrous and
she was right. She was always
right. It is always a mystery why
Old Arcadia never headed her
But she also confessed that
Rufus Royal and the frontier
pioneers of Arcadia Minor were
being bled by border raids and relentless terror by
night. She had no answer. She
had estates in Arcadia Prime,
still far away, and she lived full
time in her elegant Court Pavilion like many courtiers. She knew Rufus Royal was in danger.
Most courtiers did not even know that. The frontier seemed so far away.... it seemed impossible
that danger could ever come to Arcadia Prime. Arcadia seemed invincible.
Lord Naratun The Imperturbable in an opera poster by Puccii.
Lord Naratun was
in a fix. He was Lord
and his family was
very close to the
family of Heike.
Their kin married
each other. So many
linked to Heike and
voted with Heike to
resume the Celestial
But Naratun's gut
instinct was against
war. He voted no. The war would take
all but one sickly
daughter and leave
Naratun childless and no longer 'Imperturbable'.
A drawing from a silk hanging of Heike Era Archers.
The War started very well but then
unraveled. The Fiery Fissure Fortress proved
impregnable. The monsters were too many:
'dragons', orges, orcs, demons of all types. The Elves did not know it but the Valley of the Fiery Fissure was a loop in time that allowed creatures dying out elsewhere to linger fatally there. The Wisteria Collection boasts of a furry hide of a saber tooth tiger for instance. And the 'dragons' were actually dinosaurs. Even today that might be hard to face. In the 1st Age that was very hard indeed to face when armed only with bronze weapons, spears, and arrows. The Elves fought on foot too, despite owning huge horses.
The siege was so far away that supplying
was always difficult and frequently the army
ran out of food and supplies. The Dwarves
did not offer free bronze weapons. The Orcs
had iron weapons. Their own arsenic bronze
was expensive to resupply. Also, their body
armor was antiquated and their way of war
was antiquated too: glorious duels with flags
and battle standards and affairs of honor. Today the Heike Era War is very romantic in movies but in real life the Heike Era War was fatally antiquated.
The home front would forget about the far
away front and neglect to send desperately
needed food stuffs and weapons and monies.
Rhingol was a terrible war time king. Totally self absorbed. But
Arcadia was just as self absorbed and only
remembered the war then there was a parade
back home. And they did not like casualties,
battle scars, ugly and crippling injuries, and
the mounting deaths of kin. Soon too many pavilions were losing their best and boldest and brightest scion. Elves were long lived but bred very slowly. Arcadia could not afford such loses of it's best generation.
Mere Mortals, once in awe of the Elves,
were now disillusioned and suspected rightly that they were being used as battle fodder (by the
Celestial Elves). The Beorach now turn coat and hired out to the Dark Lord as mercenaries. Being Mere Mortal they had short lives but they also bred like rabbits. Up to 12 children in a family. The usual Elve family was only five children. In war that has an impact!
The Celestial Elves under Finngolden was inept and Finngolden's son Finngold was grossly
incompetent. The Allied Elvish Races discovered they loathed and despised each other and the Alliance
crumbled on suspicion, greed, slavery, war profiteering (The Celestial Elves) and native
stubbornness (The Twilight Terra Elves). The Celestial Elves acted more and more like conquering colonizers rather than savors and they openly scorned the 'Native Population'. Worse the Native Elves came to suspect the Devices
were a secret danger inciting the Dark Lord to his fury. Left alone, he might have stayed quiet. The distant and slowly simmering war ascalated when the Celestial Elves came back from 'paradise' to reclaim the stolen Devices.
Some said the Devices were super weapons. The Elves certainly needed something to win. Orc iron was shoddy but it was impacting their bronze nevertheless. Others said the war should stop. Some even said the war was now un-winable. In the last battle
of the season Heike barely lived when he was surrounded by Orcs on all sides. Only the heroic
action by his gesith (body guard), his daughter Heika, saved him. She held off 38 Orcs and saved
her father's life at the cost of her own life. Heike was shattered by her heroic death on the battlefield.
Sojobo, Heike's father in law, kept assuring everyone that one more season would see the way to
victory. But Rufus Royal smelled a quagmire and said so. Others said that if the war did not go on then the
prior losses and deaths of their kin would have been wasted. Heike went home an 'old man'. He
later confess that "War was not heroic. It was corrupting and corroding, brutalizing the soul." The noble crusade was becoming a tattered and debased exercise in senseless violence. Increasingly no one could remember why the war started or why the war should continue. The Native Arcadians were certainly getting nothing out of it but a hemorrhaging of monies and lives.
Lady Aine dying of a broken heart in an opera drawing by Puccii.
That winter was bitter. So many of her children and grandchildren and friends and kin had died in
the war. For what? Why? Why? Lady Aine pleaded with her consort to give up the war. But
Sojobo kept egging Heike on to continue the heroic fight. Why did Sojobo care so little for his
own grandchildren? He later said "I am the Harbinger of War. If you want peace seek out Mother
god. If you want happiness see out another god. I bring forth war. That is my nature. That is what
I am." But at the time no one could believe Sojobo could be so utterly heartless as to incite war at the cost of his own sweet daughter's children.
Heike was torn by grief and doubt that winter too. Sojobo kept saying "We are so close! To withdraw now would go down in history as cowardice." But Heike was shattered by the guilt of causing so many pavilions to lose so many fine children. He prayed to the Sidh but got no answer. He should have remembered that the Celestial Wars killed off the best of the Sidh gods.
Heike finally decided to wage war but 'one more year' and mounted his mightly battle horse to resume the war with the spring thaw. So mounted he quarreled with Lady Aine who fell to her feet before the mounted horse to plead surrender."Come what may but one last time! And let Fate write the end of the sad lament of Heike!". Man and wife wept openly. Heike pleeded with his openly hysterical wife before the whole army --- losing face fatally. "But go into our pavilion my dear one and read the letter I spent all of the last night writing! Please my dearest heart! But read my letter!" Unbeknownst to both of them Tairason, jealous of his younger brother, stole the letter. Poor
Aine died of a broken heart. Sojobo's curse could now strike home and bring down Lord Heike.
The Dark Lord in an opera drawing by Puccii.
The Dark Lord challenged Lord Heike to a duel to decide the war. Lord Heike agreed for he was sick to death of guilt for causing so many deaths on the battlefield. Let his life or death decide the war! And Heike trusted his magical
sword given to him by Sojobo and agreed. But in the battle the magical sword shattered for Sojobo betrayed his son in law. And the
Dark Lord reached out a hand and seized Lord Heike by the throat and that valiant Elve died a fiery death before all his kin and children and allies and loved ones. And it was a most terrible sight!
Lord Heike dying on the battlefield in a opera poster by the 2nd Age artist Puccii.
And Lord Heike let down his hair to wage his last battle! And on the battlefield he was slain at the hand
of the Dark Lord and all his flags came down in bloody tatters on the battlefield and so was his glory brought down too. And the glory of Heike, and Arcadia, was shattered that day.
The flattened and decayed remains of a Heike Era bronze helmet with the crest of Naratun, the original horsehair gone.
A drawing of a Heike Era warror in elegant battle tunic, his long hair coiled up in the Heike Era style and pinned by bronze and silver hair combs and pins. In the Heike Era a person let down their hair only in great moments of symbolic crisis or in private moments of intense love and passion.
Lord Heikeson was a grieving son. His mother and father were dead. His sister Heika was dead.
His wife Narata was dead. So many of his friends and lovers were also dead. In this bloody war.
What should he do? He went home a grieving and aging Elve, prematurely old by war and
As Lord Heikeson rode hom he remembered when the dreadful war started. That first winter after first seeing the horrors of
war he returned and saw in the Royal Maw a beautiful young girl of only twelve years dancing
merrily. Now she haunted his memories like a symbol of all he lost. That innocent, carefree,
dancing girl..... Who was she? He decided to find out who she was.
In his memories she danced, dressed only in a simple linen under tunic and instead of a grand
long kilt only her long blond hair trailed behind her...... Who was she? That fey child?
To his horror Lord Heikeson discovered it was no less than the child of Lord Taira by a concubine. The child
was called Rosemont after her mother Rosedale. She was a hated child of Taira! How dreadful!
How could such a sweet fey thing be sired by such an evil man? For by now the two clans hated each other with malevolent passion. Tairason had just died horribly decayed and loathed by
everyone as a coward. The Taira color, yellow, was now the symbol of cowardice. And
that last tragic letter from Lord Heike to his poor Lady Aine had been found! In Tairason's
rooms! His parents had died because of the evils of that evil clan! The Taira Clan! Lord Heikeson gashed his teeth in rage!
Lord Heikeson in an opera poster by Puccii.
Quite unexpectedly Lord Heikeson visited Lord Naratun and low and behold! Dancing in the gardens
was no less than the fey young girl Rosemont. Now she was fifteen. And she was enchanting.
Poor Heikeson felt an old man and indeed he was, over 1177 and counting! But his heart
melted at the sight of that fey child. And willfully she laughed at him! Commanded him! "Dance with me!"
"I can't dance" he sputtered. But she insisted and so he danced in the garden and how she
laughed! Everyone laughed. For Heikeson was a dreadful dancer!
Lady Rosemont in an opera poster by Puccii.
All that winter Heikeson found excuses to visit Lord Naratun when Rosemont also visited. And
he was dreadfully in love. "I will wage war but one more season! Come what may and let it be
so! And then let it end! Once and forever! I have lost my youth and my loves to this accurst war!
I will wage no more war after this last year! For the young of Arcadia like Rosemont here,
should never know war!" But he did not confess his hopeless love to anyone for he knew he
could not ask Taira for the child's hand. He was too old and she was too young. And she was a Taira.
Heikeson dressed for war and then visited Lord Naratun one last time. And he looked glorious in
his war tunic and long kilt and armor and helmet and bronze short sword and long knife. And
Rosemont saw him in all his glory as a warrior and suddenly he did not look like a grizzled old
man but a heroic warrior. And she wept when he said fair well. She plucked a flower and tucked
it into his armor. And they both smiled sadly. The moment was perfect Yuugen. And they both
And the sad
Lady Rosemont in an opera poster by Puccii.
cut off her
and tied it
up as a
army as the
to carry his
and his flag
secretly guard his back like a true gesith. And no one knew. But Heikeson noticed this handsome
young soldier and asked the young soldier to chastely share his tent and live by his side. "I don't
want war to hurt this boy for he is so young and innocent. Now that I have lost Rosemont this boy has become the symbol of lost innocence and doomed love for me."
Lord Taira in an opera poster by Puccii.
And Lord Taira was enraged when he found out that Rosemont had joined the army to wage war
at the Fiery Fissure out of forbidden love for Heikeson. His own elder son had just died hated
and reviled. The Clan of Taira was now shamed and despised. But the Clan of Heike shone
glorious as the sun. So Taira, horned by jealousy, resolved to bring down the Clan of Heike. The
Court wizards predicted dire danger from the Dragon of White Snow. Taira plotted ruin.
Rhingol the Great in an opera poster by Puccii.
Rhingol the Great, King of Arcadia, hated the war he had stumbled into. Now Lord Taira advised
him to abandon the army to it's fate. Lord Lir, the Minister of the Right and allied with Taira,
seconded the cowardly plot. Lir has stolen the Heike talisman of the Sacred Feather of the
Kalamack to weave black Glamour to live forever. But his son had just murdered the
granddaughter of Heike out of terror of changelings and Lord Lir feared the fury of Heikeson
should he return to discover his kin's fate. So Rhingol ordered the Royal Army abandoned. Lord Ryu the Quiet One, the Minister of the Left, protested but he was overruled.
Surviving examples of Heike Era arsenic bronze long swords. They could rival shoddy iron but
were quite short compared to later steel long swords. Bronze limited size. A long knife was almost the same size but a knife cut humble things and a sword was kept pristine to be used only for war.
The war at the Fiery Fissure turned dire. The Celestial Allies fled the field in disgrace,
abandoning the native Twilight Elves to face the Dark Lord alone. Rufus Royal was badly
wounded and had to withdraw from the field. Then the season turned harsh as winter prematurely
arrived in terrible fury. Snow flurries dotted the field like cherry blossoms in spring -- a harsh
irony. The last battle of the war was waged as snow gently fell on the verdant field of death.
There were no more supplies. They were too far from home and alone. And they were
Lord Heikeson shooting an symbolic arrow into the air in an opera poster by Puccii. Note how his long kilt train is looped up behind his back and pinned to his shoulders. His over tunic is worn over his bronze armor.
In despair, Heikeson took his bow and shot an arrow into the air, echoing the long ago symbolic
gesture of Dagda the Bow. He now knew the Celestial Wars were lost and he was doomed. The
Dark Lord appeared and taunted the beleaguered Elve to fight and die like his father. All was
lost. At that moment his young standard barer bared her long sword and struck the Dark Lord.
Detail of a Heike Era bronze sword with a ritual blessing etched and gilded. Iron appeared
belatedly and in the arms of Orcs. The native Twilight Terra Elves welded bronze. The arsenic
bronze was equal to the shoddy iron of the Dark Lord but ordinary bronze was obsolete. Most of
the army welded bronze and only the most wealthy could afford arsenic bronze and only Rufus
Royal welded an iron sword.
Rosemont's bronze sword shattered and the Dark Lord reached out his hand and struck her a
death's blow. She fell to the feet of Heikeson as her helmet tumbled off. So Heikeson recognized
Rosemont ---- too late as she lay dying in the snow. War had taken his fey young girl!
Heikeson was shattered and embraced his fey girl and wept as she died in his arms. Too late the
doomed lovers embraced for the one and only time. She died with his tears washing away the
blood from her face and when he kissed her, her lips were already cold.....
Dannoura was the greatest defeat ever suffered by the Elves and Arcadia never recovered.
Detail of a Heike Era over tunic and long kilt with the train pinned at the back. The crest is Bierwood.
Heikeson and his army retreated back to Arcadia in the midst of a
terrible winter heretofor unseen by Our
World. By the time they staggered
back they were black with
frostbite, starving, leaving a trail
of the dead.
They only survived because
Dwarve iron merchants, seeing
them staggering through the snows
on dying horses, pulled off their
loads from their own mules and
gave the beleaguered Elves their
humble mules. Maestusean gypsies also gave
them their food and nursed them.
The Damned Elves saved the lives
of the once elite Twilight Terra
Elves who despised them.
The once great army of Arcadia
staggered back to Arcadia in shame
and pain. The city was aghast to
see their once great army reduced
to such suffering and grief and
pain. How could this have happened?
Everyone blamed Rhingol the Great who childishly blamed the infamous Lir who had just caused
the death of his own son's Heike bride and then his son's suicide. Lir locked himself away at
his pavilion and never came out, abandoning his responsibilities as the Minister of the Right.
Rhingol then blamed Lord Taira and he was worthy of blame. Heikeson demanded a duel to the
death but Taira refused with utter scorn that others saw as cowardice. He locked himself away at
his pavilion too. That spring, with snow still bitter on the ground, Heikeson and his few
remaining kin and friends resolved to attack Taira Pavilion to demand justice. But Taira hired 70
body guards from the hated Beorach mercenaries. Heikeson only had 30 allies.
Nevertheless they attacked Taira Pavilion one snowy night and one hundred souls lost their lives,
including two of the servants at Taira Pavilion who died in the panic and resulting fire. Lord
Taira slew his own grandson Heikeson in the back. So perished the living glory of the Clan of Heike. Later that spring Lord Lir plotted the death of his young Heike grandchldren, the last living scion of Heike besides the clan of Ruf[f]us Royal himself.
Rufus Royal and Lady Heike were grievously
wounded and they survived only because Rufus Royal was royal and could not be killed. Rhingol declared Lady Rufus Heike a Nitthing Exile. Rufus Royal refused to enter Court until
the exile was revoked and Rhingol never revoked it.
But the story does not end there.......
surviving examples of Heike Era battle tunic, bronze armor with leather kilt guard, shoulder and arm archer's sleeve, glove, and helmet with horsehair. Wisteria Collection.
The glory that was Heike was no more. The Heike Pavilion stood forlorn and empty. The great
flags of Heike hung moldering in the Great Hall. The standards stood dusty. And none dare enter
for fear of ghosts.
But the ghosts haunted another pavilion: the Taira Pavilion was haunted by those 100 souls who
died that snowy spring night, fighting on both sides, for a man without honor who saved his neck
by hiding in a latrine. The dishonor damned every soul who died there to relive that battle eternally, time looping into itself, as ghosts eternally battled for honor denied.
Worse, Lord Taira threw away in 'symbolic burial' the bronze mirror of Rosemont --down a
suicide well to damned her soul to an eternity of fetid water so she could not pass out of history
or join her lover Heikeson who haunted the Taira Pavilion, also damned, also unable to pass out
of history to join his love Rosemont. Lord Taira was an evil man.
Lord Taira was married to Lady Wisteria Fujitsu and finally she had enough and she announced
she was divorcing him. This was shame indeed. He hauled his last surviving child, a poor girl,
back to the burned out and derelict pavilion of such infamy.
Horsham of Arcadia in an opera poster by by Puccii. Horsham was never refered to by his damned name but rather in opera as the 'White Paladin of Wisteria'. Conversely Horsham was refered to in folk songs as the 'Black Outlaw and Desparado Horsham'.
Horsham resolved to rescue Lady Aoi Taira and he assaulted Taira Pavilion, joined by Prince
Kitsune, Prince Grafton, and Celebeau. They found themselves fighting alongside ghosts! If they
lost then their souls would join the damned of Taira Pavilion too! Trapped by Black Glamour!
Opera Drawing by Puccii
Horsham welded two swords to fight off 100 ghosts! But in the end they were all wounded and
brought down to the ground, defeated, and doomed to die just like the original Heike Fighters so
long ago! But at that moment Prince Kitsune, a Wizard, discovered Lord Taira and dragged him
out to face his fate at last! And the ghostly doppelganger of Lady Ruf[f]us Heike chopped off his head!
It was over! The 100 ghosts were freed at last! But poor Lady Aoi had been slain by her own evil father -- just like poor Rosemont. But at last the souls of Rosemont and Heikeson were
free to rise up to the Shining Plains of High Heaven!
Ben the Beorach in an opera poster by Puccii.
Ben the Beorach's sole ambition in life was to seize the Princess Luna of Arcadia and become
Warlord. Not necessarily in that order. He achieved both dubious goals and he burned down the
Heike Pavilion and tore asunder the glory and the flags and the standards and the pomp and
honor of Heike like a Beorach Vandal. And so beau Old Arcadia fell too, a victim of Ben and
The Celestial Wars consumed city state after city state. The Dark Lord was enraged that all but
one of the Five Devices were stolen or destroyed so he was relentless to track down the stolen
Pearl Device. He traced it to The Havens and lay waste Our World to seize it and destroy The
Havens and the Elves as he had destroyed Arcadia.
Gildagad, the young king, responded by throwing out antiquated armor and antiquated honor to
wage a modern, brutal, but successful war against the Dark Lord.
Gone forever was the glory of Heike, the beautiful armor, the quaint weapons, the duels, the
flags, the pomp and honor of war. The loss was both necessary yet regretful. But Gildagad won
the Celestial Wars by being brutal and ruthless and relentless. But he also introduced the Courts
of Equity which was democracy too, and Common Law.
And music still continues to relieve the
Glory of Heike in high opera and ballet and song. And today the movies embrace the Glory of
Heike. As for the Dark Lord? He died after killing Gildagad in a duel to the death.
And the Dark Lord was then a much decayed and foul living corpse held together by his gilded
armor and the Black Glamour of a Ring of Power. So Father's gift of Time and Change and
Death snared even his own shadow ---- and Father too for he also died of a Device. And so died the
Celestial Gods - -- courtesy of another Device. So ended the Celestial Wars.