Orbono, My Lady

There are things I remember clearly as a child, and things I do not.  One would think my first day at a new school would be something I remember, but I can’t. When I think of the Oboro School for Wayward Boys, I think not of the first day I was at school, but the smell of freshly waxed linoleum, and gold toned light of the sun shinning through the windows of the long halls, and the Chapel.

The school was set up like a huge letter T, the great double doors at the bottom.  First through the doors was the office, and  the anteroom to the Chapel.  A hall went around each side, to the dining hall and  classrooms, then at the legs of the T, one went left to the boys dorm, the other right to the girls.   I can never forget the chapel.  A statue of Our Lady Orbono stood her feet above the alter, her head nearly reaching the apse.   Her arms were outstretched reaching towards us, the lost children, and her face looked down kindly, her brown hair lose around her shoulders.

She is the patron Goddess of children, and by association, orphans, and by association bastards, and by association she is a common goddess of military sons (Instead of Disciplina), and by association lost causes, and by the last two…she is my Goddess.  When I pray to her, she carries my prayers to the Holy Couple. I’m 9 and quite proud of myself for knowing I am not really praying to the statue, the statue helps me think about My Lady. It is my heart that prays and not my lips or eyes, and that  statue reminds me of her love for me.

My father was gone, and my mother preferred to have this troublesome lad off her begloved hands. A man’s life passes through the hands of many gods as he moves through life’s seasons.  There are the Holy Couple and all gods fall under them, appointed by them to sheppard us through our days.  Alemona, Decima and Nona protect us in the womb, Candelifera guides to Diana. Fabulinus guides our first words and so on.  But Orbono, my goddess, was special. By losing my father, Orbono became my goddess forever.  A person is but a child for a short time, but a boy is a bastard from the moment of his fathers’ death.

I cannot remember speaking to the Headmaster, or being given the little brass tag with my bed number. I cannot remember laying out the contents of trunk on the mattress. I cannot remember being given a number. I remember all of these things as an older child, helping the younger ones with their first day.  I don’t remember the visit to the doctor though I do remember, I did not have consumption, or the spinal-go-to-Isis.)

All I remember clearly about my first day is looking at Orbono, My Lady…forever.


A steampunk history, Ancient to Modern

Bram’s History of the Kingdom of the Americas Part II.

So everywhere the Universal Church went, the Roman empire went. Missionaries were sent to the farthest corner of the earth to share the good news, that all men were brothers under Mother Isis and Father Apollo, and that the religions of their land were an incomplete revelation. Where the missionaries went, so went the traders, and where Roman traders went, so went the Legion to protect them.

It took over 800 years for all of the known world to hear the good news. The Tetrarchy gave way to the Imperial council of Kings. Constantine started the calender anew upon the estimated date of the Carpenter’s birth. New sons to Apollo were found in the Far East. However, all was not well at home. Briton had become an increasingly important province, her King’s vote a needed one for any important law brought before the Imperial Council. John of England was blinded by his own ambition and pushed his barons into rebellion.

Rome may have been the heart of the Empire, but increasingly London had become the brain. When John finally capitulated to avoid a bloody civil war, the rebels demanded he sign a single great sheet of paper: the “magna carte.” Once it was law in Briton, Imperial law demanded it be law in all provinces. It set certain limitations on the King’s power, and the implications struck the Empire like a bolt of lightening. The day of the absolute monarchy had ended and the day of the constitutional monarchy had began. The Emperor himself soon faced a coup of his King’s Council, and voluntarily took a more ceremonial role in government, the real power now belonging to the elected “prime minister.”

Meanwhile, in the great wastes of the north, a pirate king named Leif Ericson sought out the local governor, and requested full pardon for his crimes in exchange for information he had about a new land, untouched by Empire hands. It was called Vinland. Thus began a mad dash by the nations and provinces of the the Empire to seize the new land. It would come to be called America because of a young map maker named Amerigo Vespuci.

It was not as empty as King Ericson had promised. There were, in fact, numerous empires such as the Iroquois, the Aztec, and the Inca. Over the centuries, they were incorporated in one form or another, but America was far away, and hard for the Empire to police with her mighty legions. It was given unusual independence and made a nation in her own right very early. Fearing her popularity in her own land, and believing a woman would make a weak leader, it was the empire’s whim to make the queen of the Americas one Elizabeth of England. Elizabeth, of course, was not a weak monarch; she was a brilliant one.

It was thought that Elizabeth was perhaps a lesbian, but fortunately for her people, she was simply very choosy. She married a Mohawk prince, tied together the fortunes of the indigenous people and the settlers forever. Queen Elizabeth was a woman of vision, and saw that someday the endless lands of the Americas would be the crown jewel of the imperial crown. She began a dynasty which continues to this day.

The end of her rule marked the beginning of the industrial revolution, but the political and cultural systems she had put in place would endure the age steam and thrive. Kings would come and go. The Kingdom of the Americas (also called the New Kingdom) would stretch from cost to cost.  People would begin to call the Roman Empire the British Empire.

A Steampunk Ancient History

Bram’s History of the Kingdom of the Americas Part I

To understand the Kingdom of the Americas one must understand a little bit about the British Empire, and to do that, one must understand a bit about the Roman Empire. The greatest test of the Roman Empire came around the year 450 (archaic calender) when Emperor Gaius Aurelius Valerius Diocletianus took the reigns of the Roman Empire. He took charge of an empire on the verge of collapse.

Diocletian, as he is now known, undertook great reforms, many of which were useful and needed, but some of which were harmful and cruel. Of the later was a effort to destroy a certain troublesome sect called the Christians. Christians sought to destroy the peace of the Roman empire’s religious tolerance with a bellicose faith that allowed for only one possible God, and no others.Though persecutions had happen before, Diocletians were the worst, driving Christians to be united in a way they never had been before.

Another Diocletian reform was the Tetrarchy.  He wisely recognized that the Empire had grown far to large for single man to rule effectively and divided it into four empires. The Western Empire was under one Flavius Valerius Constantius, and he sired Constantine the Great.

Constantine pondered the problem of the Christians by reading their writings instead of trusting the opinions of others. While conflicting, and of dubious authorship, He found the various letters a pleasant fusion of Judean cults and Egyptian and Greek gods of yore. He came to believe the gods had seen fit to challenge the hubris of Emperor by having rustics teach civilized men to worship.

He realized the best way to fight the Christians was to join them, in body if not in heresy. Ending the persecution, he collected all the various letters of the the Church, and the ancient Jewish writings together, having his scholars correct the errors which had been miscommunicated from the originals until the story was clear. Combined with this, was vision of one new, and universal faith forall people.

Had not the Roman Legion subdued the whole world by elevating the interests of the empire over the aspirations of single general? So too could a imperial faith subdue all religious bickering and create a new peace.  Rather than each city interpreting the Gods as it saw fit, there would be a hierarchy and chain of command from the worshipper all the way up to single Imperial high Priest, who would advice the Emperor himself.

With this startling idea, he also preached a new Gospel. That Apollo did not rule the heavens and the earth alone, but with the aid of wife, the queen of heaven and mother of earth, Isis. (Whose temples already dotted the empire.) They had sent emissaries of the Gods, sons and daughters to the poor and backward of the earth to explain to them “the way” and the Romans had been blessed by such child of the gods in the form Joshua BarJoeseph, a carpenter from a backwater region, of a troubled province under the Governorship of Syria.

Of course this new idea that the Christians had  a new revelation of the Roman religion, and not a new religion was not popular, and Constantine fought a bloody war, but the Gods were on his side and he prevailed. The doctrines of the Universal Assembly stilled the quaking of the eternal Roman empire.