LEGEND OF THE NORTH STAR

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic

How the North Star came to be...

There was once a noble woman with three sons, with the youngest of the three presently living with her. The eldest son, on the other hand, lived in King's Golden Palace in the Capital City where he served as the King's right hand man -in other words, the King's Chief Minister of Affairs. From the prestige of his position, the eldest son was able to provide for his family a life of luxury. For his mother, he bought her a castle overlooking the sea and commissioned a group of well-selected household servants to tend to his family while he worked in the palace, and as for his two younger siblings, he saw to it they were well-educated. For the middle brother, who was more inclined to military instruction, the eldest brother sent him to an equally prestigious military academy which was in the downtown area of the Capital City. The youngest on the other hand, was attracted to the call of priesthood but since their mother could not bear having him away, she preferred having him homeschooled, with a kind priest of great repute, who also happened to be a relative, as her son's tutor.

Everything and everyone in the kingdom of the "Golden King" was peaceful and prosperous. On one particular day though, the King had a serious talk with his Chief Minister.

"Looking everywhere, I can clearly see that things are doing rather well for my people", the King began, smiling as he looked out of his window.

"Even the fields are at their best for the harvest next week", his Chief Minister added." If His Majesty wishes so, would He want His servant to read the weekly status report on the Kingdom's latest developments?"

"I must not concern myself with only my people…" said the King, with a sad look on his face.
The Chief Minister was taken aback by the King's sudden change of expression, as it was his first time seeing the King that way.

"If His Majesty wishes so…," the Chief Minister spoke again, breaking his silence. "…would He tell His servant what seems to be bothering Him?"

"I am saddened by the fact that not all peoples of all the other lands are made to enjoy the joy and bounty that life has to offer", the King answered. "Although my heart is contented seeing my people lead such happy and productive lives, still I cannot ignore those living outside, away from the light of happiness, those living in the miserable dark …"

And so the Golden King told His Chief Minister about the people of the Shadowlands, who were known for their wicked ways which included fighting, cheating, stealing and even killing amongst themselves, unable to know of the goodness beyond their shores, since they lived in island which was in an isolated part of the earth, miles and miles away from the Kingdom of the Golden King.


Right then and there, the King had an idea –and a splendid one at that! He imagined a missionary voyage for the Shadowlands, a journey of goodwill no doubt. He pictured sending the best of His Kingdom's priests and preachers to the ends of the earth with the goal to win the hearts of the Shadowlanders and bring to them the good news of His Invitation to live with Him in His Kingdom. And for that, He decided to place His Chief Minister as the head of the expedition. From that time on, His Chief Minister was to be known as the "Golden Emissary of Goodwill".

__________________________


For the journey ahead, the King commissioned a great ship with a hand-picked crew of twelve able-bodied men, which included a doctor and an officer of finance, together with a only a handful of the kingdom's selected clergymen. After seeing to it that everything was ready, the King's emissary commenced the ship's departing from the familiar shores of the kingdom of their Golden King. Taking a deep breath, the King's emissary faced the horizon, uttered a little prayer for his King and for his family and looked at the dawn sky for comfort amidst all uncertainties.


After what seemed like ages, the emissary's ship reached the shores of the Shadowlands, which, literally looked as if the sun had never crossed their skies. Looking on, the emissary and his crew saw a group of poles standing on the raised area of the sandy shore. And those poles were not just for a mere display, since, on closer inspection, one could see a shattered skeleton hanging on each pole-- without question, they were previously the skeletons of a group of monks, judging from the long brown habits that were still visible to the naked eye!


"Where have you brought us!?" exclaimed one of the ship's crew. "Have you been so certain about this journey that you have not taken even a single thought on what might befall us?"

"I have come on my King's wishes, and on His Majesty's alone", the emissary answered calmly, without nary a trace of fear or doubt. "For this mission, you have been chosen to accompany me on this journey, however, it is not my place to force you to follow me where you ought not to go…for now."

"Then how should we manage to negotiate with such people?"a priest asked timidly, coming out of the cabin where his other companions hid, trembling in fear.

"As a man of the God of Heaven, you must have faith", the emissary answered." For now, let me be the first to cross, since it was to me that His Majesty entrusted this mission of goodwill, in the first place…"

The King's emissary made his way through the murky water, paddling himself on a small boat, to the admiration of his cowardly men. As he reached the shore, the emissary spotted a group of people coming out from some bushes fronting the shore. Taking a deep breath, the emissary fixed his collar and took out a roll of parchment from his shirt pocket.


"I have come with good tidings from my King", the emissary spoke. "My Majesty, the Golden King, has arranged for you to be a part of our bountiful kingdom and experience the light of a new life in harmony with one another…"

The people of the Shadowlands, as the emissary observed, had long shaggy hair with mud smudged on each of their faces as well as on their skinny, bronzed bodies with the unbearable stench of the dead. While some had tattered clothing on them, still there were some with little or no clothing at all. The larger Shadowlanders stood with spears in their hands while the others carried clubs. One of them, who carried a rusty sword, however, stood out from among the group with a violet cloak around him, albeit tattered on some places. This individual appeared to the emissary as their leader.


"What do we care about for this king of yours?" the leader of the Shadowlands asked, speaking in a coarse voice. "What makes him so concerned about us?"

Then the king's emissary began his explanation. He painstakingly tried to convince the people of the Shadowlands to end their isolation and instead to "step into the light of new life". Unfortunately, though the king's emissary gave all his efforts, it was all in vain as the leader of the Shadowlanders pierced his heart with his sword, killing him instantly. As if this was not enough, they took his body and dragged it all the way to a cliff and there they left it hanging on a barren tree, to the horror of the emissary's men, who watched from their ship on the shore water. Terror-stricken, they did not have the heart to come for the body of their slain leader and instead, they set sail immediately without even looking back.

___________________

Soon afterwards, the news of the emissary's fate reached the kingdom and in no time, it reached the emissary's mother, the woman who lived by the sea with her youngest son. Unable to take his mother's cries, the middle son, who came to their castle upon hearing of his older brother's death, filled with hatred for the Shadowlanders, in addition to his fuming anger for his brother's cowardly crew as he put it, decided to avenge his brother's death by going to the Shadowlands.

"They shall be damned!," the middle son shouted, pulling out his sword, right in front of his mother and younger sibling who were in tears. "My brother was a noble man and look what they have done! They let him die as if he were a common criminal…!"

"Do not let anger and hatred invade your heart, my son," the mother said calmly, despite the tears streaming down her face. "Your brother would never want that from you…"

"And what do you expect me to do, just to sit down and do nothing after all that had happened!?, " the middle son retorted. " He was our blood! Our blood! He did not deserve to die that way!"

And that was it. The middle son stormed off to his room and slammed the door shut, without saying much of a word after that. Indeed, the evil spirit of revenge dwelled in him throughout the course of the day. Then, later on, without his mother and younger brother's knowing, the middle son left in the dead of night and set sail for the Shadowlands with his own chosen crew of able-bodied warriors, amidst a turbulent storm.


Sensing danger instinctively, the mother knew that her son had abandoned them in his bid to avenge his older brother's death and at that instant, she resolved to follow him from venturing into an even bloodier fate. Before leaving on another ship in the morning that followed, the mother entrusted her youngest son to the care of his tutor. She was fiercely determined to bring her vengeful son back safely with her.

_____________

Indeed it was a very turbulent storm. Instead of hiding in the inner quarters of the ship, the mother stood on the top deck in ardent prayer, amidst the pelting rain and strong winds. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a figure engulfed in light was seen walking on the choppy waves. As the horrified ship's crew fled to seek shelter in their respective cabins, the mother stayed rooted on the spot, with eyes fixed on the glowing figure. Then, without a doubt, she recognized the glowing figure as her dead son, the king's emissary!


"Mother, you need not follow my poor brother's trail any longer…" said her son, coming near.
"…for he has been sent far away from the land of his supposed doom. The Heavens have seen to it that no further harm shall befall him."

"But my beloved, how can I ever find him again and give him the direction he most needs now that he is so far away from home?", the mother asked with a hand to her heart.

Without saying another word, the king's emissary smiled as he took his mother's hand and together, they flew high up in the sky, going to the north, and there they stopped. As soon as her son let go of her, the woman instantly felt an immense force enveloping her whole being. Feeling profound warmth from within which radiated to the outside, the mother was surprised to see a bright light emanating from her, almost overshadowing all the other stars in the sky.


Then, her son spoke once more:
"Instead of you finding my brother, it will be he himself who will find you. Not only him, but also the people of the Shadowlands will soon see for themselves the sign I have sent for them as their guide…"


From that day onwards, the woman who so wanted to take her hateful son back to the safety of her embrace became the immortal flame of the night, an undying flame whose light extended to the farthest of places. She was then known as the Stella Maris, the Star of the Sea, also known as the North Star. To this day, her light serves a guide for the lost and lonely, as well as for the weak and weary of heart. For travellers on the sea, that immortal flame made certain that she would stay in her place in order to stay true to her purpose as the North Star…until the day her lost son would make it back to their home by the sea, with the youngest son left to welcome him.


Submitted: March 27, 2014

© Copyright 2022 Fire Wolf. All rights reserved.

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