*Okeedokee, this is an interesting story in some ways and I’ll talk about them in a second.
*But first, let me point out that this story moves us into our next real era of stories; at this point we’re going to be staying right around this period of the timeline for a while, much as we did a thousand years ago when we hit 5,000 BBY. But we’ve also taken a time jump of nearly 1,000 years. 975 years, to be exact.
*So, let’s check in on what those thousand years or so have wrought on our planet. Last time we checked, the melting polar ice caps of the last great ice age our planet experienced had caused a rise in sea water that resulted in the real historical event that many historians believe inspired the flood narratives of ancient culture.
*So, 2,000 BCE. I feel like we’re finally kind of getting within spitting distance of modern times. As you get back into the millions of years, or even the hundreds of thousands, really, I feel like I don’t have the ability to really comprehend what we’re talking about or put it in any kind of context. But 4,000 years ago? I feel like I can kinda get that in context. Mainly, I guess, this is because of my familiarity with the Bible. It’s very easy for me to, for instance, put the 5,000 years ago figure in context of the story of Noah.
*So, last time, we talked about how agriculture and domestication of animals was already in full swing. By this time, the idea of large cities isn’t a strange one. Human settlements are getting bigger and bigger; houses have gotten more complex and sturdy. The use of irrigation canals has enabled agricultural activities to expand which has in turn allowed settlements to grow in size. It’s also enabled settlements to become more permanent and less nomadic.
*Written language has developed. We have several clay tablets from this period doing everything from telling stories to lodging complaints about unethical business practices. Governments have been established; images from the period show people bringing legal cases before kings. The Epic of Gilgamesh, considered by most scholars to be the oldest written story, dates from around this period.
*As a writer, this is an incredibly important period for me. That transition from oral to written documents changes storytelling forever, allowing for greater complexity and length. Literature as we know it . . .well, it hasn’t begun or even come close, but the first domino in the long, long path to things like . . . well, like this story we’re talking about today, has just fallen.
*Okay, on to the story. Or well, some prelude about the story.
*So, this story first appeared in a book we’ll be looking at more here shortly. It’s called Tales of the Jedi Companion and was an RPG source book. We’ll be looking at it shortly because it did have some stories in it. This short story appeared in Chapter Five of the book and took up just a couple of pages.
*A little later, it got reprinted on Hyperspace as its own standalone story. It is, to my knowledge, the only story material from this book that ever got reprinted anywhere.
*Anyway, as you may have guessed from my desperate stalling, there isn’t really much of anything to the story.
*So, there’s this Jedi, Vara Nreem, who rouses the Sith spirits in an ancient Sith temple in order to learn from them. She gets more than she bargained for however and gets sucked into ‘torment for eternity.’
*Only it takes three pages in the book.
*It’s about good enough for Hyperspace, if you get my drift.
*Well, I just sincerely don’t know why this even exists.
*CANONICAL STATUS: This story is certainly a fable used to teach Jedi students to shun the ways of the Sith. No other evidence points to the existence of the Jedi, Vara Nreem, or to the Sith temple she visits in the story. This work is NOT RECOMMENDED as a historical resource.
0 out of **** stars.
George R. Strayton
*Okay, this unnecessary little prelude out of the way, we’ll jump into the lives of this era’s main characters next time as we take a look at Tales of the Jedi: Ulic Qel-Droma & the Beast Wars of Onderon!