The old songs and tales tell of something else.

They say that, long ago in the Fertile Crescent, there was a mighty civilization that predated nearly all the ones we hear about in our books. Ancient Sumer built its cities upon their ruins, Ancient Egypt whispered of their mighty deeds int he mists of time, Ancient Indus cast a fearful eye westward lest they return.

Let us call them the Halaf.

As was the case with many of those that followed mighty Halaf, they had a pantheon containing oh so many gods and goddesses. From Jili the Father to Ilio the Mother to Uluu the Trickster, the Halaf had a deity for every concievable occurance.

But one day, as the High Priest was reading the holy scrolls of Halaf, he discovered a curious fact: the laws of men applied to the gods, so long as the gods agreed to be bound by them. Once given, that consent could not be broken, though the law could of course be repealed.

The High Priest then asked of Jili the Father the following question: “Is it true, O Father, that the laws written in my ledger bind all, from the greatest to the least?”

Jili the Father replied that this was so.

The High Priest decided to test this. He wrote into the ledger of laws the following: “The Gods that rule our nation are hereby outlawed.”

With the stroke of a stylus, he had outlawed his gods. And, bound by his trickery, they had no choice but to comply. However, what the High Priest forgot was this: in Halaf, the king was held a god, as was his best general, as was the high priest himself.

Too clever for even himself, the High Priest had destroyed his nation.

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