Friday, November 03, 2006

The Blacksmith (Episode II)

It is the era of Jamshid, the one who had the sheed (the light) upon him and the one who hold the Farr (the imperial glory) for such a long time. There was never an era like his, nor there is going to be an era like that before the Later Day (at the end of the world). But the era of the one with the light is ending.

It is before an audience of great leaders of the world that Jamshid's fall begins. "Tell me who brought the world new order," He tells them, "who brought you good eating and peaceful sleeping and comfortable living? Who drove away the demons from your lands? Who taught you the arts and the ways of ordering your communities? The crown and the throne of the world are mine, tell me who else deserves the kingship of the world?"

And this way, the Farr departs from him. The end of the golden era of the world is coming. One can see darkness in the western horizon. Jamshid's cup shows a clouded world, but he does not bother taking a look at it.

* * *

In the west, in Arabia, Zahhak had been seduced by Ahriman and had killed his father and become the ruler of Arabs. It is for the second time that Ahriman (the evil spirit) comes to him, disguised as a good looking man, and introduces himself as a skilled cook and offers to cook Zahhak extraordinary foods. He cooks many fabulous meals and when Zahhak lets him ask something from him, he simply asks to kiss the king's shoulders. Zahhak is fool enough to let him do that and as soon as Ahriman touches Zahhak's shoulders he disappears and two serpents rise upon Zahhak's shoulders. Zahhak, frightened to death, cuts the two serpents but they grow again. Then he calls upon all the physicians of his land to cure him, but to no avail. Then for the third time Ahriman comes to him, this time disguised as a skilled physician, and tells him the only way he has is to feed the serpents with man's brain to keep them calm and maybe someday they will wither away. And Zahhak starts doing that, completing his journey towards becoming an Azhi (dragon).

* * *

When the Farr leaves Jamshid, his commanders rise up against his authority. Rebellion spreads throughout the land and when Zahhak the Azhi comes to overthrow him, he simply flees. The world has fallen.

This way, Zahhak becomes the ruler of the world. Those who did not stand against him when he rose against Jamshid realized soon that they have exchanged the bad for the worse. Little they know that they have also been saved from the worst. Anyhow, each day two men are killed to feed his serpents. Sorcery spreads the world. The ways of righteous, all those who Jamshid brought, are almost forgotten. Until one night Zahhak has a horrible dream. He wakes up scared and finds Arnavaz (Jamshid's daughter who Zahhak brought her to himself and cast a spell on her along with her sister, Shahrnavaz) besides him Arnavaz asks him, "what is it my lord? Tell me what have you seen in the dream?" Zahhak tells her, "I saw three warriors coming to me, and the youngest of them beat me with his mace and dragged me towards a tall mountain." Then he summons the wise men and the dream-readers to explain him the dream. But the men are afraid to tell anything, until Zahhak becomes angry and finally one of them tells him that his reign is coming to an end and a man, still not born from mother, is going to overthrow him. They even tell the man's name: Fereydun.

Zahhak searches all the world for Fereydun, and meanwhile Abtin, Fereydun's father, is killed to feed Zahhak's serpents, and then later Barmayeh, a great cow whose milk feeds young Fereydun is also killed by Zahhak's men, while Fereydun's mother takes him to Alborz mountains to keep him from Zahhak's spies.

Years pass as all efforts to find Fereydun are in vain and Zahhak, who is still much frightened by the prophecy, summons an assembly of the kingdom's leading men to have them all testify his righteousness.

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