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  • Michael Curzan

The Effects of New Developments on Trefoil World.



All in all, Trefoil world, now united by the bridges of rainbow, was doing fine. It was rather stable, and its three groups of gods were allied. But then something changed all that. In the cities of Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and others nearby, a new religion started up. It wasn’t like any other before, as it declared that there was one true god, and it wasn’t any of the others that already ruled the Trefoil. It was described as something like all the gods of Asgard, Olympus, and Hindu world put together, and then some. Apparently its son had walked around near Jerusalem and those other cities. Anyway, this new religion appealed to many people, especially those near where it had started. However, the Romans and the Athenzians didn’t like it, and they began killing supporters of the new Christianity. The Christians therefore formed their own underground club, sometimes literally, as there were many caves underneath cities in which they often lived. Fellow Christians drew symbols to let each other know that they were Christian. They all hoped for the day when their religion could thrive. Meanwhile, the Romans hoped for a day when Christianity could be snuffed out, and the old way of life brought back. But that was not to be, for one day, the new Emperor of Rome was a Christian, having converted himself during his years as a general, where he had apparently seen some sort of holy symbol in the sky just before a major battle, and ended up winning that battle. With this Emperor in charge, Christianity finally could thrive in Graeco-Roman world, although not yet in the others, as they were still difficult to get to, even with the bridges in place. However, this victory for the Christians did not bode well with the Olympians, who, distraught that they were losing believers, tried desperately to gain them back by miracles. A battle of the miracles then began, with one miracle being performed by the Christian God, and a similar one being performed by the Olympians, and so on. However, the Olympians’ numbers were their downfall, as they eventually fell to in-fighting and one of their miracles was a total failure. Defeated, they decided to all pile onto Mount Olympus, even Poseidon in the sea and Hades underground, and let their reign come to an end, just as the reign of Kronos had, and Ouranos before him. All the Olympians worked one last miracle to get the whole mountain uprooted and fly off, away from the Christianity-covered Graeco-Roman world. They flew it over to the place closest to their domain without actually being in their domain, which was Three Way Island. They set the mountain down and thought they were safe now.

But they weren’t, because Olympus was a big mountain, and there were some hitchhikers along for the ride. They were Christians. They soon set up religious symbols on Three Way Island, forcing the Gods of Olympus to move again. But they couldn’t take Mount Olympus with them again, because the power of the Christian symbols nearby was weakening their own powers. In the end, they only managed to take the very top of the mountain with them, which was just the city on top. Now they needed a good, high mountain to put it down on, again. So they went to Hindu world, which had lots of mountains, and also lots of Hindu gods who lived in those mountains. The Olympians set down their city on the closest-looking mountain to Olympus, which was already called some fancy Hindu name, but they renamed it New Olympus. They got on well with their Hindu god neighbors, and Poseidon went off and built a new underwater palace in the ocean of Hindu World, but he got disappointed because there were fewer sea monsters here than back home. He decided to move down below to the world turtle, which was the closest thing to a sea monster he could find. Meanwhile, Hades dug out a new Palace of Doom underground, but he got lonely because there were no dead souls to keep him company, because of reincarnation and karma and all that. He decided to create dead souls out of fog to try to get the right feel back to his Palace of Doom. When Poseidon heard about this, he tried it too, only with sea monsters instead of souls. He filled his World Turtle palace with kraken and sea serpents. Now all the Olympian gods were happy, except the Sun and Moon gods, who were unemployed now because the shared sun and moon of all three worlds were now believed to be moved by themselves, through the will of the Christian God. So the Sun and Moon gods of New Olympus got new jobs as the Second God of Music and the Second Goddess of Hunting, taking after their fellow, part-time, sun and moon gods, Apollo and Artemis. Now, all the Olympian gods were happy.

Meanwhile, Christianity was trying to spread elsewhere, to other parts of the Trefoil. It tried spreading to Hindu World, but the combined strength of Olympians and Hindu kept it out. So it spread up north, to Midgard. This proved the most disastrous of all, as it meant the end of the Norse gods, which meant the Prophecy would come to pass, and the destruction of Yggdrasil itself.

The Asgardians were just messing around one day when Loki decided to try to kill Balder, probably for some reason that is very complicated and entangled in many other Norse legends. So he found the one thing that Balder was not immune to, which was Mistletoe. At first, he planned to kill Balder with the spirit of Christmas, but since Christmas wasn’t even Norse, it was Christian, he decided to just impale Balder with a Mistletoe-tipped arrow. Delighting in the word-play, he set up a harmless game of Pretend-Battle among the Aesir, during which he snuck inside the game with the lethal weapon. Loki took aim and shot Balder right in the heart or something. He ended up dying, which was completely unexpected, as he was a Norse god. But also completely expected as well, because of the Prophecy. This Prophecy said that one of the minor Aesir would be killed, and then that would eventually weaken the rest so that they would be unprepared for the end of days. And it did. The mourning lasted a long time. Loki was punished for his part in the act, and everyone began feeling bitter towards everything else. The leaves of Yggdrasil turned orange and red. Soon everyone realized that the Prophecy was closer now to coming true than ever before, and they soon worried, which turned the leaves of Yggdrasil even redder and moved the Prophecy even farther along.

Then one unassuming day, something very portentous happened. The rooster in Asgard crowed loudly. This was in the Prophecy too, and now just one more extra portentous thing had to happen in order for the fate of Asgard to be sealed. The Aesir strained their ears, listening. But nothing came. They thought they were safe.

“But there was that crowing of the rooster,” said one.

“Indeed, ‘tis said that when that you doth hear / The time of the end of days will be near,” replied Odin, speaking in poetry, as usual these days.

“He never should have drunk that cauldron of mystic poetry wisdom,” muttered another Asgardian under their breath.

“But do not fear or cry alack / unless Hel’s rooster answers back,” continued Odin.

They listened, but there was no sound coming back. Meanwhile, the echoes of that first crowing traveled down Yggdrasil until they were heard by the rooster of Hel. With a terrifying screech the second rooster answered back. The noise traveled up Yggdrasil, straight to Asgard. The Aesir, having heard no crowing for a while, thought that it was just a false alarm. They didn’t know about the answering crow sound, coming up the Yggdrasil tree towards them at high speed.

Odin said, “It seems we hear no answering cry / and thus Hel’s crow gives no reply.”

Then, they heard it--raspy and foreboding. Very foreboding.

Ragnarok had come to Asgard. The monsters of the nine worlds of Yggdrasil came up to Asgard to rampage, and also to Midgard, and the Aesir and their armies of slain soldiers and warriors came out to fight them. Everyone secretly knew that Asgard was doomed to lose, but they fought valiantly anyway, as they also secretly knew that the monsters would lose as well, in this Lose-Lose game. After all the Norse gods and monsters destroyed each other, and a good deal of Asgard and Norse Midgard, the most disastrous thing happened. After the Midgard serpent had been defeated, the huge snake, which had been slain while it was starting to climb up Yggdrasil toward Asgard, began falling back toward the ground, or specifically, the ocean it had been living in its whole life. However, it was so big that it pulled the trunk of Yggdrasil down with it, cracking the trunk in two, and also pulling down Asgard, Good Elf land, and Bad Elf land. The falling Yggdrasil tree just happened to land right across Hindu world, and Asgard fell right on top of New Olympus, destroying both realms in a single explosion that shook the whole Trefoil. Also, that night just happened to be the special Party Night where the Hindu gods all came over to New Olympus, except for a few minor ones in Beijing-dom or Nippon who stayed behind, so the explosion destroyed the Hindu gods as well. So Ragnarok ended up killing all three sets of gods! How’s that for end of days?

The damage was done. The Prophecy was fulfilled, and Christianity was the only religion left standing, in all three parts of the Trefoil. Ragnarok had taken the lives of every single Norse god, as well as every single Norse monster, and thousands of people, both at ground zero, that is, in Midgard, and in Hindu world, crushed by Yggdrasil’s trunk. Most of the survivors had hidden inside the base of Yggdrasil’s trunk, which had survived everything, even if other parts of the tree didn’t. They came out now, at the start of a new, Christian age. Christianity was now the dominant religion of the whole Trefoil, even though it was by being the only one left. All the Olympians were dead except Poseidon and Hades, who mourned their brother Zeus, and all the Hindu were dead too, except for some minor ones. Yggdrasil’s trunk and branches were now piles of splintery rubble and dust, spread out across most of Hindu world and parts of Midgard. The realm of Asgard was no more, and the two elf realms had landed near the edges of Hindu world, one near where Hindu world joined Graeco-Roman world, the other on the opposite end of the Hindu world disc, around near the Isles of Nippon. These elf realms were also nearly devoid of inhabitants, most of the elves having perished in the battle of Ragnarok as well. Gimle, the Celestial Sea, was still there, right above Midgard, and this rather mysterious place had taken on a new meaning in the aftermath of Ragnarok and the Christian conquest of the whole Trefoil. Gimle was thought to be the Heaven of which Christianity spoke, or the closest thing to it, and so it was generally agreed that it was to be that way from then onwards.

As for the other worlds of the Dozen and One there were before Ragnarok, Jotunheim had sustained heavy melting, but was still there, though devoid of almost all Ice giants. Norse Midgard was beginning to repopulate and rebuild itself, in a Christian way. The land of the Robot Dwarfs had been entirely killed, as all the Dwarfs had fought and died in the battle. However, the underground realm still existed, and it could well be repopulated by making new robots. And finally, the realms of pure heat and pure cold, though not very populous to begin with, had had their entire populations killed in the battle, as they had all charged up the roots of Yggdrasil to join the fray. But the heat-ness and cold-ness places still existed, though not with much purpose now, except to be the embodiment of those two things.

Graeco-Roman world was pretty much unharmed by Ragnarok, but it had suffered its own, independent fate. The Christian Emperor had ended up driving the Olympians out of that realm of the Trefoil, but without the strength of them to give the Roman Army strength, it began losing battles to the people of Germania and Londaine, and slowly but surely, the Roman Empire fell. The rest of that world was pretty much the same afterwards, but the continent of Europa was in ruins.

The land of Erebos, underground, was the same except with no Hades to rule it. In the new Christian regime, it was equated to Purgatory, while Tartarus, the very deepest part of the Graeco-Roman orb, was likened to the fires of Hell, and the rather gloomy darkness of those places was illuminated with evil, demonic firelight. Hindu world, meanwhile, was still there, as always, with its world turtle as well, despite heavy casualties from Yggdrasil’s crash. Not as much as the casualties in Midgard, though, but close. But perhaps worst of all, the source of all the rainbow bridges that connected the worlds of the Trefoil was in Asgard, so now the rainbow bridges were gone as well, with Asgard destroyed. Christianity might now be world-wide, but it had pretty much demolished the world in order to achieve that. Granted, Ragnarok had been prophesied for centuries, pretty much since the start of Yggdrasil, before even the uniting of the Trefoil by the world turtle of Hindu World.

But something remarkable then began to happen. A new sprout emerged from the stump of Yggdrasil. It was a new Yggdrasil, except Christian. It grew up toward the light, and reached up to Gimle, the Celestial Sea, reattaching it to Midgard. Now people could have a way to go to Heaven. Branches of this new tree emerged, two main ones, but with no elf lands to connect to up above Midgard, they connected to Graeco-Roman world’s Germania, and Hindu World’s Caspian Sea shoreland and steppe land instead. Ridges emerged on the green, new trunk of New Yggdrasil, which allowed for easy travel by anybody, up and down the parts of the tree, from Midgard to Graeco-Roman lands to Hindu lands. Around the tree’s base, Midgard’s land mass began to regrow with regular sized trees, to replace those burned down in Ragnarok. The River of Trefoil, around Midgard and the other two parts, was still the same flowing River, even through Ragnarok, which was a good consistent thing. Although it was a bit slower now, which was still good, as it made crossing it in a boat easier.

Because of the branches of New Yggdrasil, there was now a connection between Midgard and Graeco-Roman world, and between Midgard and Hindu world. But what about Graeco-Roman world and Hindu world? Sure, you could cross from one to the other by way of Midgard, but there was actually an easier way. You see, one of the elf worlds of Yggdrasil had fallen right in the groove between those two worlds of the Trefoil, right where they met, and it had also brought some bits of the branch of Yggdrasil it was attached to, with it, making a sort of partial bridge across the section of the River of Trefoil that flowed around the coast of Far-Tzi, and also flowed along the far end of the Delhia and Far-Tzi Sea. So now there was a sort of pathway across the River of Trefoil, from Far-Tzi on Hindu World, to a new land that is sort of “outside” the original three-world Trefoil of land and sea. Naturally, because it went over water, and lots of water at that, the survivor god Poseidon was interested in this partial bridge that had happened. So he came up from his World Turtle Palace down at the world turtle of Hindu World, and he used his remaining powers to turn the pieces of Yggdrasil branch into an actual sturdy working bridge. Then he moved his palace to this new land outside the main three of the Trefoil, which shouldn’t naturally be there, having originally been a realm hovering some way above the plane of Midgard, Hindu world, and Graeco-Roman world. Yet, here it was, and there was no way to move it anywhere else, so it might as well stay where it was and be used to some benefit of somebody, such as Poseidon himself. He set up a nice home for himself in the empty remains of this former elf world. He also invited Hades to share it with him, as there was room for another survivor Olympian, in fact for the only other survivor Olympian. So Hades moved to Poseidon’s new world, bringing all the (dis)comfort of his Palace of Doom and fake dead souls with him. He couldn’t stay in his underground replacement of Erebus anyway, as now that the original Erebus had turned into Purgatory, Hades’ services weren’t needed anymore to deal with the dead who were fated to suffer. He and his brother Poseidon might as well share the remains of a world, and rule over the few survivors.

Now, actually when Poseidon had moved his Palace to the new land, now renamed Survivor Olympian World, he hadn’t actually put his Palace on the land itself. It belonged underwater, so he put it under the River of Trefoil’s currents, on the sea bed, or river bed. In this way, he hoped to complete the connection between Hindu world and Graeco-Roman world by way of Survivor Olympian World, by means of turning his Underwater Palace into an underwater tunnel or bridge between Survivor Olympian World and the Arabian Peninsula. With Hades’ help, and help from the elves who were left, Poseidon was able to pull this off. Now, someone could walk from Arabia to Far-Tzi without needing to go through Midgard. Also, Survivor Olympian World was able to profit from this new route, allowing it to be built into a pretty successful world, or continent, actually, because it was on the same plane as the rest of the Trefoil world, with their landmasses and continents. This last refuge of Olympian gods wasn’t under any threat of Christianization, though, because Christianity had already learned its lesson after the results of Ragnarok, that maybe it should stop trying to impress its beliefs everywhere, especially now that it was spread over nearly the whole Trefoil of worlds, even parts of Hindu world now, as well as the remains of Jotunheim and the Land of Robot Dwarfs, which was being repopulated by Christian humans and by newly built, and Christian, Robot Dwarfs. And also along the trunk and the two main branches of New Yggdrasil, though those aren’t so much worlds as bridges between worlds.

Now, in addition to the one elf world that fell down and became Survivor Olympian World, there was the other one, which ended up near Nippon. Taking after the actions of Poseidon and Hades, the surviving minor Hindu gods and goddesses, especially those tied to Nippon itself, set up a new life across the River of Trefoil in the other fallen elf world, which they renamed Offshore Nippon Place. They built a bridge from the Isles of Nippon to Offshore Nippon Place using the remains of the original branch of Yggdrasil that had led to this world when it was an elf world on the old Yggdrasil. Then, because Nippon was still a chain of islands, they kept building the bridge until it reached Mainland Beijing-dom. And so the remaining Hindu gods established a fifth world attached to or part of the worlds of the Trefoil, and they lived there, in peace. Alongside the remaining elves of that mostly dead world. Actually, Offshore Nippon Place wasn’t the fifth world of the Trefoil, it was really the sixth, counting Jotunheim as its own world. Or the seventh, counting Three Way Island. Anyway, it was now a new addition to the worlds on the same plane as the River of Trefoil, along with Survivor Olympian World.

All in all, the events of Ragnarok were terrible, but they ended up merely redesigning the Dozen-and-one worlds, rather than destroying them. Except Asgard. That was destroyed. Even Yggdrasil, though fallen, came back as a new sapling, growing quickly into a young tree, although with branches leading to different places. And the Roman Empire, which fell, was slowly rebuilding itself from the ground up, helped by Christianity and the Christian monks who kept learning alive, as well as the new population of Midgard, and the New Young Yggdrasil.

The Worlds of the Trefoil, plus the others attached to them, in total were now: Heaven, or Gimle; Jotunheim, with a bridge of glacial ice connecting it to Greenland ever since a blast of heat hit it in just the right way, during Ragnarok, to melt the ice and refreeze it closely afterward in the shape of the blast’s direction, effectively gluing part of Greenland to Jotunheim; Midgard, from which New Yggdrasil grew; Hindu World, which had a large explosion crater in the mountains between Ladachal and Delhia, from the simultaneous annihilation of Asgard and New Olympus; Graeco-Roman world, inside its orb; Survivor Olympian World, with Hades and Poseidon; Offshore Nippon Place, with its minor Hindu gods, who were now actually major gods, as they were the only Hindu left; Robot Dwarf Land, in the roots of Yggdrasil; Purgatory, or Erebus; Hell with two L, or Tartarus; Realm of Pure Heat, now also likened to Hell; Realm of Pure Cold, now also likened to Hell as it was called Hel with one L, even though it is cold, with no flames; and finally Three Way Island, at the center of it all, with the now bare-topped original Mount Olympus still standing on it, and still occasionally used as a meeting place between Poseidon and Hades, and the remaining Hindu gods from Offshore Nippon Place. Three Way Island hadn’t been counted as its own world before, but now that Asgard was gone, it seemed a suitable way to fill the gap, so there would still be...A Dozen and One Worlds.

***

A bit afterwards, just as everything seemed to have recovered from Christianity’s spreading and Ragnarok, the worlds were shaken again. In the Arabian Peninsula, another monotheistic religion started. It was called Islam, and it spread with more vigour even than Christianity had. It took hold in parts of the various worlds that Christianity had mostly skipped over, such as much of Africa, and Arabia, and Delhia and Far-Tzi and even as far as Beijing-dom. It even started spreading into Madrinnaine, in southern Europa. Then it tried to conquer Parissience, but the Parisian army was too strong. So Islam was content to stay in Madriddaine only.

Whereas Christianity had previously helped bring great changes and losses to the worlds, Islam seemed to do this hardly at all. This was because these worlds had already been shaken by a monotheistic faith, so the arrival of a new one wasn’t major news. Also, the whole Trefoil and everything else attached to it had already been completely rearranged by the first monotheistic faith, Christianity, so there wasn’t much left for Islam to disturb. Instead, Islam seemed to start healing the broken worlds, by promoting knowledge and wisdom. Over the next few centuries, this revolution of culture and science would finish the rebuilding of Europa from the remains of the fallen Roman Empire, and lead to mass travelling between all the worlds that weren’t Heaven or Hell or something. Commerce would be happening between all sorts of far-removed places, even across the Sahara and into Deep Africa. Even to Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland, although Newfoundland had been drowned by the ripples of the wake of the Midgard Serpent during Ragnarok, so it was now just a wet, smooth, boring island near the edge of Midgard. And now back to Europa being rebuilt. After the countries of the Europa continent had gotten reformed again, they began to investigate science and philosophy, especially Romaly. By now, Romaly, and Rome itself, was the seat of Christianity, because Rome was bigger than Jerusalem or Nazareth or those others. Even though some people in the Roman church opposed knowledge and science, there was still plenty of science that happened. People found out about how long pendulums took to swing, and how birds and plants worked. Then, people wondered what was out there beyond the Trefoil, out in the distant void. The world turtle underneath Hindu World was still stationary, so they couldn’t all go there from being pushed along by it. So some scientists from Romaly and Parissience and Londaine went to the Arabian Peninsula, and crossed through Poseidon’s Passage to Survivor Olympian World, which didn’t have River of Trefoil around its edge, just a cliff and then nothing, making it perfect for lowering vehicles over the edge to explore off the worlds, in pure void. Perfect, except that it was rather close to Hell, and lowering vehicles down over the edge brought the people inside even closer to Hell. So instead of using the cliffs at the edge of Survivor Olympian World, the team of scientists went to far east Beijing-dom, and then to Nippon, and then to Offshore Nippon Place, where they lowered crafts over the edge of that world to test vehicles that could go through void. Eventually, after a couple centuries of experiments, they were able to make rocket ships, powered by Manna from the Hindu gods who lived near their launching cliff, that could fly around the whole cluster of 13 worlds and come back to where the starting place was. They could even land on the moon, although it wasn’t very solid, being mostly silvery gleams, and it wasn’t very big, either, being pretty close to the ground compared to, say, Gimle. Speaking of Gimle, these rocket ships were able to fly up to Gimle, or Heaven, and they found out that it was a portal to another universe, where everything was very bright, and serene, but they couldn’t go through it because their rocket ship started to disintegrate from the brightness when they got close. They also flew down to Hell, where they were extremely frightened by the flames and monsters, so the rocket ships never went there again. Soon, the rocket ships were even more powerful, and they could go millions, or billions, of miles out from the Trefoil of Worlds. They found nothing but void, but that was expected, because that was all there was to see when you looked out at the night sky, except for stars, which seemed to be very far away. Then the scientists realized that instead of going out very far, they should find a way to look out even farther. And they did. They made telescopes that could see all the way to the stars, and beyond. They discovered far-away objects that might be worlds like the separate parts that had come together to make the Trefoil, or they might just be clouds of dust. Maybe someday, their Rocket Ships could go there. Someday…. The End.

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