Me'erta Story Notebook
The Story of Me'erta - taken from book 28B.
In the time of Me'erta, in the 196th year of his reign Jolatha, his mother came to him in his bedroom. Now it was well known, throughout the city, of Me'erta and his craving (lust) for women. And none knew this weakness (a weakness of choice is more literal) more than his own mother. So it was that Jolatha brought with her the woman Ramel who worshiped the Tree. Ramel's beauty was well known in D'ni, especially among those who worshiped the Tree and especially among the Kings. (Plural Kings is here although I don't know why - maybe implied the whole Kings' palace or history - not sure.)
But as it was, though the King could have any object in D'ni, Ramel had been held from him by his mother until now. And she offered her son Ramel in exchange for her own purposes.
"But what are your purposes," the King asked. "For do you think me so foolish as to give you anything you want for a mere woman?"
"Of course not, my son. But as you know, you have watched Ramel from afar for many years. You have talked to your advisers and plotted the ways in which you could make her yours. But you have been unable even to look upon her so closely until this day. Until this day that I have brought her to you. So do not think I am so foolish as to believe that this woman is a mere woman."
"You have spoken truthfully. In fact, as I gaze upon her now, I have never imagined her to be so beautiful. She is like a statue, without flaw. But even so, do you think I would give you whatever you wish for even a woman such as this?"
Now Jolatha was cunning (?) and Me'erta was eager (?) for Ramel. And every day Jolatha brought the woman into the King's bedroom and everyday she offered her son the woman Ramel in exchange for her own purposes.
And as the nights passed Me'erta became unsatisfied with those who were already his. He became spiteful of those who came to his bedroom, for none compared to the woman Ramel whom his mother continued to withhold from him. And finally he could resist his mother's arguments no longer.
And Jolatha came to his bedroom with the woman Ramel. And King Me'erta began to speak.
"The woman has ruined my life. There is none like her in all my Ages, and you bring her to this room night after night. Those who I have found beautiful have faded in comparison to this one and I no longer find pleasure in them. Therefore I am no longer satisfied with anything and I will not be satisfied until this woman is mine. What is it that you ask of me? Whatever it is I will give, you have my word."
"Very well, my son. I will talk to you tomorrow."
And Jolatha gave the woman Ramel, of the worshipers of the Tree, to her son. And Ramel was King Me'erta's from that day forward.
At the dawn of the next day Jolatha came to Me'erta while he was still sleeping and told him her purposes.
"The Guild of Writers has long had their rules, their restrictions, and their ancient oaths. But you realize my son that these words are old now, and no longer the ways of our people. Ri'neref was responsible for them and they are like a collar (?) around our necks, growing ever tighter and preventing us from moving forward. It is time that we are freed."
Even Me'erta was disturbed. "But there are none who would agree to this. The oath is as stone. It can not be altered for it has never been. And yet not only do you ask me to change the oath, but contradict the things it says?"
And Jolatha grew angry. "Are you so foolish? Do you think I ask you to carry out the impossible? There is but one thing that but must be changed. One thing that will give us freedom. It is the D'ni who have created the Art as we know it, not Yahvo. Thus, since it is true, it is us who can determine the rules of the Art, not the ancient religious writings.
"They will view it as blasphemy," the King responded. "But I will do as you say."
And so, King Me'erta spoke to the Guild of Writers. His words were well crafted, often from his mother, and his arguments strong, for they too Jolatha gave him. And his effort was great, for there was no other woman besides Ramel and it was the woman that he lived for.
However, though many in the Guild of Writers were easily convinced by the sharp words of the King there was one who was not. Grand Master Tremal was old in age and wise beyond even his years. And his decision was hard (the word is a certain kind of stone that was considered to be the most hard and immovable) and he would not be moved.
"Never will we change what Ailesh has written in the oaths. Never we will change what we have spoken for generations. Never will we allow a crack to be opened in the great wall of our Guild. For is it Terahnee that you seek. But is Terahnee not the reason we exist?"
For Tremal could see the plans of Jolatha even in the words of the King. And Tremal knew that if the ancient religious writings did not determine their fate, the hearts of men would rule, and there would be nothing to stop Jolatha from having her way.
And so for three days Tremal stood to the words of the King. For three days the King would return to his palace and receive new words from his mother. For three days the anger of Jolatha burned against Tremal and grew stronger.
And so it was that on the fourth day, when the King was no longer welcome to the Guild, Grand Master Tremal was found hanging from a tree, his body covered in blood.
The King was sad when he heard the news, for he held no bitterness in his heart toward Tremal. But when Jolatha heard the news she was overjoyed and ordered the King to the Guild of Writers to change the oath and carry out her own purposes.
But as it was, the death of Tremal had breathed boldness into the Guild and in unison they denounced the wicked evil that had killed their Grand Master and vowed that the oaths of their Guild would never be changed and that their would be no more discussions.
So Jolatha devised other plans for she knew that even she could not change such determined (the same word as used above - the hardened stone) guildsmen.
And King Me'erta lived with Ramel and he was satisfied with all those who visited his room again. Even as he was filled with pleasure, Jolatha plotted evil, and the city in which he lived grew weak.
Probably ready for a Dr. Watson review.