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First Battle of the Amazons

What was the first battle of the Amazons? The first skirmish that took place between the Amazon people and the mascûlic interlopers is lost in the mists of time, though their first experience of human beings who took up arms against others must have been a shocking one.

Over numerous such skirmishes, the Amazon Huntresses learned to be skilled warriors and for centuries the policy of Armed Neutrality prevailed.

The Amazons had no wish to invade other nations but with the corruption of Atlantis the circumstances changed radically and a new Queen of Tritonia, Myrine The First, made changes that led rapidly to the first true battle of the Amazons.

This dialogue, while fictionalized, represents the turning-point as we understand it to take place.

"Your Sainted Mother is slain, Sacred Majesty," said the Lady Veletia. She was old - close on two hundred winters, which for that late time in history was an advanced age. She was known to be the wisest and most holy of the Old Queen's counsellors. She spoke slowly and with reverence, but she spoke firmly, as one might speak to a wayward child. "Your Sainted Mother is slain, but it becomes you not to lead your people into a war of vengeance against her cursed slaughterers. These are not our ways but the ways of the mascûli. The art of slaughtering maidenkind is an art they have invented. Let us not take up what is cursed of maidens and hurtful to High Dea."

The young Queen bowed to the counsellor in deference to her age and wisdom. It was a slight bow, for a Sacred Queen does not bow low. She was indeed little more than a child and she knew it; but she also felt no doubt whatever about the course she must pursue. The first great battle of the Amazons must now be fought, and it must be the first of many and ever greater battles.

This would be a new thing in the world; a thing unheard of. Many things that would become commonplace when the mascûi finally conquered the world were born in the heart of this maid of seventeen summers. And they were to hold back the dark tide of that final triumph of man for centuries.

Myrine looked about the Great Council Chamber. It had been build some eight hundred years ago and was heavy with tradition. A dozen Queens had sat in the very seat she now occupied, going back to the near-legendary Kanja (may the Bright Ones honour her name), foundress of the island-nation Tritonia as a haven for those maidens who - as in the Golden Age - were still a feminine people who lived and multiplied solely unto themselves without the strange new sex called the mascûli.

The golden-headed chelani who bore children and the raven-dark melini, bold as hunting-hounds and stronger than any mascûl, were the two sexes in the Age of Gold, as still in Tritonia they were. Peoples of their kind were now termed among themselves the a-mazei, the un-confused, or un-blinded: or more colloquially, as the Amazons.

Myrine was melin and her wise and honoured counsellor chelan. That had perhaps a little to do with their differences, but only a little. At this stage there were few in the Council Chamber, old or young, melin or chelan, who would willingly support the revolution the child-Queen was proposing.

The Queen rose to her feet. It was rare for a Queen to address Chamber from her feet and signified an occasion of profound importance. Many members perhaps considered this a further sign of her inexperience: that she should use such a custom lightly.

But the Queen was wholly aware of the significance of this ritual gesture, and intended it to the full.

She looked about, her eyes taking in the great fluted stone columns receding high into the domed roof, a distant canopy of fine stained glass that threw its richly-colored light into the ancient chamber. She saw the statues of her honoured predecessors in their niches in the walls and the great statue of Our Mother God holding the Great Conch Shell from which she has unfolded Her universe.

No young Queen could fail to be humbled by the signs of age and sanctity in this Chamber where the very echoes, the very scent of ancient oak and stone, carried the weight of eight centuries of high nobility.

And Myrine was humbled. But she was also sure. Sure that her duty to this high tradition, to her sacred ancestors and to High Dea Herself, was to launch this first battle of the Amazons.

She spoke, and with her first word most of the doubts concerning her wisdom in rising to her feet were dispelled. The voice echoed round the hallowed Chamber was not the voice of the child many of the High Counsellors had dandled upon their knees. It was not the voice that had joined in laughter with the younger of them in archery contests or in contests of the sacred Unarmed Arts or any such playful battle of the Amazons.

This was the voice of a Queen. And more: it was the voice of such a Queen as had not stood in this Chamber since the days of Kanja the Great.

"Sisters, I rise to call you."

'Sisters'. This was a strange way for a Queen to address her Chamber. Strange, and yet, somehow portentous.

"I rise to call you unto the first true battle of the Amazons.

"You know I am your Queen and I may call you subjects. Henceforth I shall, but on this day of days, I call you sisters.

"You know that I may command you in all things, and I might command you without more ado to take up arms as a nation in this first battle of the Amazons.

"But I shall not command you so to do. I rise not to command you, but to call you.

"For I shall call many others after you. Many others in many lands that lie far from this. Peoples of the Oultands, femini with their mascûli. They shall join the great confederation. They shall be part of the great crusade: the great battle of the Amazons.

"I shall call them as I call you now, for if you will not hear me, how shall they?

"I have heard the words you have spoken, as each rose in her turn to say me nay. And I say this. If, after you have heard the words I shall speak, you yet continue to say me nay, then nay it shall be; and the great battle of the Amazons shall not be fought.

"But if you say me yea, then I shall bind you to me with rings of iron, and we shall stand together unto the very ends of the world.

"You say that the arts of war and of killing are the black art of the mascûl and no affair of ours. I say you this. If that were so this nation of ours should already lie in dust. We have learned those arts already, else how have we destroyed each invader that came upon our shores?

"Our swift bows and our hunting-spears have been turned upon the mascûl in every little battle of the Amazons to safeguard our holy realm. We have given sanctuary to those femini that came among us for sanctuary from their renegade mascûli. And when those wild man-queens have demanded their supposed subjects, we have said them nay. And when they have set foot upon these shores with fire and iron, we have destroyed them.

"And so I say to you: the question is not whether we shall learn arts of war. We have learned them long ago.

"The question that lies before us now is this. Shall we carry those arts forward into the Outlands? Shall we right the wrongs that lie like scars upon the front of this fair world? Or shall we wait upon this sacred isle until the armies of the foe-man grow so great that we can no longer stand before them?

"You have told me man has made the arts of war and they are not of High Dea. But I say unto you that holy Vikhë was ever one of the Seven Great Names of Dea, and that in this last an lowest age, the time of High Vikhë must come. And come it has. Whether we embrace it or whether we seek to flee it; it has come.

"But I tell you also this. The mascûl has indeed made the art of war, but Sai Vikhë is no friend to him. He has but the demons of the darkness for his gods. He has made the arts of war: but we, my sisters, will perfect them.

"He has burned the temples of High Dea from Atlantis to the further shores of the Hidden Ocean. He has smitten holy priestesses until their blood stains the ground across the Northern Continent and the Southern.

"He has made the arts of war, but we shall show him war the like of which he has not dreamed upon for the Great Battle of the Amazons shall be his undoing. We shall avenge the holy mothers in High Dea. We shall rebuild Her holy temples, and we shall sweep the bloody-handed infidel into the sea.

"We shall sweep him from the Upper Continent and from the Lower. We shall sweep him from the East and from the West. We shall restore righteousness from this place unto the furthest shores of the Hidden Ocean, and with each nation we purify we shall gain another army.

"And when our armies are as numerous as the sands upon the shore; then shall come the greatest battle of the Amazons and all their allies. Then shall we cleanse the foulness that is Atlantis; then we shall storm the Golden City and purge the filth that adheres to the Tower of the Sun.

"Then shall we give this world back to She that made it and ordain Her golden law throughout her fair and lovely creation."

The chamber of High Council was no auditorium for entertainment, and yet the younger members raised a cheer such as had not been heard this half-millennium in that sacred place. Their Queen had spoken, and already they knew that they would follow her to the ends of the earth: yea into the very mouth of Hell if that were her command.

But some of the Elders remained cautious.

The Queen turned first to the Lady Veletia.

"My Lady I see that you are not persuaded. Tell forth your doubts, I conjure you."

"Sacred Majesty, your lightest word is my command, but you have graciously chosen not to command but to call upon your subjects. Were you to bid me silence I should say no word, but you have bid me speak my doubts and so, in obedience to your word, I shall:

"Your sacred majesty speaks of this Great Battle of the Amazons, and raises therewith the hot blood of the young and of the raven-head melini. And yet this vast and noble plan hangs upon things most doubtful of accomplishment.

"This dream your sacred majesty has of the Outlander joining with us in this mighty battle of the Amazon: some might say it is but that - a dream. What earnest of success can you offer to your people in this great hazarding of dice, in which if the numbers fall but ill our holy nation is laid waste?"

"Wise and most honoured Counsellor, you say I have a dream, and you speak true. For all this came unto me in a dream, and I believe that dream was from High Dea in Her Form as Holy Vikhë.

"I have said that if you say me yea this day I will bind you unto me with rings of iron; but if it is your will I shall rescind that. Wait if, you will, for the first true battle of the Amazons which I shall wage against the man-queen of Hakkur. See you whether my new Armies shall sweep all before them. See you whether the Outlander shall rally to my banner. And see you what signs are given by Heaven in this first battle of the Amazons.

"Let the High Priestesses of the land examine those signs and say whether my dream is or is not of Dea. I shall abide their judgement.

"Are you content, Lady Veletea."

The Queen looked unblinking into counsellor's eyes that had two centuries of wisdom in their depths. Her own eyes were both humble and certain.

"I am content." Said the Counsellor.

The Queen turned to the oldest maiden present, a priestess of three hundred summers - which by those days was an age almost unknown. Her body was as frail as her spirit strong and she spoke with a voice that only the sound-swelling virtue of that cunningly-wrought room could have made audible for so wide a distance.

"Most Sacred Majesty, I have served your mother and your mother's mother, yea and her mother too. I am loyal to the throne with all my heart and soul, yet it must be my second loyalty; for my first is to High Dea.

"Yet if those two loyalties are not one, then something is amiss. You speak, Sacred Majesty, with the voice of one the Spirit breathes upon. Yet still I am bound to ask two questions of you.

"I am old, Sacred Majesty, yet there is little comes not to my ears. I know, because it is my duty to know, of the many times Myrine has repaired to the woods, to commune, they say with spirits, when it may be she were better to commune with High Dea. What are these spirits, Sacred Majesty? And is it they who propose this Great Battle of the Amazons? For not all spirits are of God, Sacred Majesty, and some would fain betray us to our hurt.

"That is my first question, and my second is this. That the renegade mascûl is a dark force, that we know. But that his gods are demons is a grave charge even against him. have you proof in this matter?"

"Most honoured Matri," said the Queen, "your questions are well and rightly asked and I shall answer plainly.

"These spirits that I have communed with, I freely confess. They are no more spirits than you and I are spirits and every maid that hears these words I speak. No more and no less.

"They belong not to this world, it is true; but they belong to a world not unlike ours - a world that is as ours would be had the Great Sin not been committed that gave birth to the mascûl.

"They too approach their Age of Iron. They too are assailed by the Great Demon. That Dark one has not among them the mascûl wherewith to clothe itself, and so it comes upon them naked in its true form and with its hordes unmasked.

"This is, by many measures, a sister world to ours, and what transpires therein is shadowed in this world. Likewise what falls out among us is echoed across their lands.

"They are a fair folk and true. Faithful to High Dea as the best among us. Their battle is our battle, and the Great battle of the Amazons is their war too. For the Enemy is one.

"This is my belief, and I did not come by it lightly. But again I say that I shall abide the judgement of my nation. When Hakkur falls - as fall it shall - you shall see the signs of this Enemy. This I have been told. If those signs fail, or if our High Priestesses are not content with them, let the Great battle of the Amazons end there.

"But if they prove true to the satisfaction of our highest Elders, then let it be known that the Battle of the Amazons is a Holy battle. A battle that shall bring a Great Purification and whose goodly fruits shall be borne even beyond the boundaries of this world.

"Honoured Matri, are you content?"

"My child, I am content."

"Then hear my words," spake the Queen. "The battle of the Amazons against Hakkur I now decree. But first there must be preparation made.

"My armies shall be drawn into seven legions, each with a General at its head.

"No more shall they fight as a troop of huntresses, but they shall be arrayed even as my realm is arrayed, with Officers governing each unit. Each Officer in obedience to the Officer above her, and the Generals obedient unto me.

"Thus the Golden Chain of Thamë - the rule of Holy Obedience shall become the guiding star of our Armies. They will be able to move swiftly according to the plans of their generals. Against the roaring slashing hordes of the Enemy, they will be like a sharp and subtle blade in the hands of a fine craftmaid. Such a thing has not been seen in this world before.

"And I tell you each maid will be armed and equipped alike. Each shall wear like armor and carry a like shield. The Archers shall carry like bows and short spears for close fighting.

"And we shall have horsemaidens fighting from their mounts. No mascûl can match that, for they are too heavy to ride a horse at speed. Each horsemaid shall be like-armed and each horse caparisoned alike and they shall learn to fight as one, to charge as one, to retreat at the sound of a horn.

"My Armies shall be not a crowd at battle, but the very limbs of my Generals; and my Generals shall be my limbs.

"And now the fate of Hakkur is sealed, for the first battle of the Amazons is nigh."


Ask Questions on the First Great battle of the Amazons

Related Resources:

The Amazons: World History Timeline, Part 1. The traditional first-orientation lecture that has been in use for over some two centuries.

Part 2 of The Amazons: World History Timeline

Part 3: Looking for Amazons - an Amazon soldier's view.

Artemis and the Amazons: Did the Amazons really worship Artemis? And what did that really mean? What about Ares, mascûlic "god" of war?

Queen Myrine: the leader of the Great battle of the Amazons

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