ST. JOHN SLEW THE BEAST OF AGNRACAR
Rating: U (blimey,
a harmless story *faints in disbelief*)
Father Agnostius looked warily
from the excitable children, to his monks, and finally back to
the Holy Relic, in its glass case. He gave the nod to Brother
"Calm down children."
Brother Atheus had always been good where the children were concerned.
"I know you have come to hear the tale of the Holy Relic,
but if you do not behave, Father Agnostius will not tell you."
There were the sounds of loud
protests, but eventually the children slid into crosslegged positions
on the cold stone floor of the monastery. After that, the only
signs of dissention were the slight twitches of stubby proto-wings.
Except for the child, sat off to the side who had no wings. No
matter, it happened from time to time, Father Agnostius reminded
himself. He cleared his throat loudly.
"Good morning, children.
I trust you are well?"
Their heads bobbed curtly as
"Good. Then I shall begin"
"Our tale begins Offworld,
aboard the heavenly steed of St. John. It is a long time ago,
before any of you were born."
The children gaped in amazement,
as if such a thing were not possible.
"St. John had been living
on the steed for a mere three cycles, having come from the divine
palace of Erp."
"What does Erp look like?"
one of the children asked.
Father Agnostius tutted loudly.
"It is not our place to ask, little one. Now, please, I
would appreciate it if no one else would interrupt.
"Amongst the many peoples
that had also lived on the steed at one time or another were
St. John's travelling companions: the Grey Lady Chi, the wrathful
Dar-Go, the trickster Wry-Gel, the one they call Jool, and the
Heavenly Lady Air-N-Sun.
"One day, St. John awoke
in his divine quarters, refreshed from sleep, as heavenly beings
did in those long ago days, and arose. It was a quiet day, as
few were, for often, St. John was being hunted by the Mysterious
Devils, the PKs, as he called them, who wanted to take over the
divine palace of Erp for their evil doings.
"Now, it came to pass
with time, that St. John noticed a strange growth upon the left
hand of his perfect being. He did not know what it was, as heavenly
beings are uncorrupted by that which afflicts mortals. It looked
familiar to him, however, but he decided to ask the counsel of
his fellow companions.
"They were just as befuddled
as St. John himself, which does not happen often, as divine beings,
such as he, know all and see all." Father Agnostius paused.
It never hurt to put the fear of God into the children. After
all, it was how he had been brought up. " 'So,' quoth he,
'you be telling me that I be having a case of space measles?'
"The Heavenly Lady Air-N-Sun
began to laugh, as she was often much amused by things St. John
said, as she came from the divine palace of Sebacea, which is
a much different place from the divine palace of Erp, but no
" 'No,' sayth the one
they call Jool, 'Space measles are being yellow.'
" 'Whatever it be, be
keeping it away from me,' sayth the trickster. This action caused
St. John to first wave his afflicted hand under Wry-Gel's nose,
and then rub it all over his head, in some unexplained divine
Erp custom. This angered the trickster much, but St. John was
one for the devilment, despite his divinity.
" 'I be thinking the only
course of action are being to cure it before it be infecting
us all,' sayth Dar-Go, in a rare and precious moment of calmness.
" 'Hell yeah,' agreeth
St. John. 'I be not prepared to look like I be growing a twin.'
"And all the divine beings
groaned, for it is told in another tale, of how St. John was
split in two, which, as these things often do, ended in sorrow.
But that is for another time, perhaps when you are all older.
"And so the one they call
Jool, took St. John to the Healing Place, of which she was Mistress,
and tried many things to cure St. John. Sadly there was nothing
amongst her sacred poultices and potions that would rid St. John
of his affliction.
" 'What about the Parmit
Gel?' asketh he, frustrated, as divine beings sometimes are.
" 'I already be trying
that, and I not be wanting to be touching it again. It may be
being infectious,' replieth she.
"And so St. John did not
know what to do.
"It came to pass that
the divine beings rode on their steed to Agnracar, and the Heavenly
Lady Air-N-Sun suggested to St. John that the local peoples of
the main continent may have something that would cure his holy
affliction. But she warned him that there was a strong presence
on Agnracar of the Mysterious Devils, so they must be careful,
since the Devils would tell the one who is like a scorpion of
St. John's presence."
The children oohed and ahh-ed.
Father Agnostius knew that at some time or another, they would
have been told that if they did not behave, the one who walked
like Death, and who resembled a scorpion, would come to punish
"They took their heavenly
steed to Agnracar, and made their way to the surface of the main
continent. By divine chance, they came to rest outside a small
village where the Mysterious Devils had not yet been.
"Now, as time passed,
it became clear that the local peoples were scared of something,
but it was not the Mysterious Devils.
"The Grey Lady Chi found
out, with her wiles and charms, that it was a terrible beast.
This beast had nine eyes, five legs, a whip like tail, and a
slavering mouth with rows upon rows of blood stained teeth. It
had killed many of the peoples of Agnracar, and the Grey Lady
Chi suggested that perhaps they took the divine steed elsewhere.
The Heavenly Lady Air-N-Sun, who had many of the mivonks, decided
they would stay, as they had still not found a cure for St. John's
"When the sun was high
in the sky, and the divine ones had settled down for the day,
the beast appeared. Of course, it had never seen their divine
selves before, and made a course straight for them. The Heavenly
Lady Air-N-Sun tried to kill it with her little bolts of yellow
light. However, this did not harm the beast, as its hide was
as thick as an army of men. Then, with its horrible jaws open,
it reached St. John, and clamped its slavering mouth around his
left hand. Of course, this greatly upset St. John, as the divine
beings of the palace of Erp cannot regrow their limbs. Then the
beast collapsed, taking St. John with it, as his hand was still
in its mouth. Dar-go opened the mouth of the beast, and St. John
withdrew his hand. To all their surprise, the affliction was
gone from his perfect being, and the beast of Agnracar was slain."
Father Agnostius paused again.
"What happened after that?"
the child with no wings piped up.
"The divine beings thanked
the peoples of Agnracar and returned to their holy steed for
many cycles." He turned slightly so that the Holy Relic
was visible in its glass case. It contained a rather too large
red velvet cushion, trimmed with gold. Upon the cushion sat a
rather old, but extremely well preserved piece of brown coloured
"And that, my children,"
said Father Agnostius proudly, "is the tale of St. John's