The Dark was rising. It spread its influence over the land. It captured institutions, customs, lands — it put more and more peoples into its thrall.

When this had happened before, each time a Champion had arisen. Blessed with power and light from the Great God of Light and War and Justice, the Champion led the people with his blazing sword in driving back the lords of the Dark.

But this time no Champion came. One by one the peoples fell into the hands of the Dark powers.

Finally, of all the free peoples all that was left was a little band of a few hundred gathered around a hill to where they had been driven, awaiting the final assault of the Dark hordes in the morning.

They would fight and die.

But as the grey dawn settled over them, a gleam appeared in the sky like a second morning star. It descended toward the hill. It grew brighter and larger. As it touched the top of the hill it flared and then reduced to a Man gleaming bright carrying a blazing sword. He strode towards them glowing with health and power and vitality

“I was the Great God of Light and War and Justice,” he said. “But now I am a man. None would be your Champion, so I myself have taken on mortality to be your Champion.” The little band of people roared!

But then another cheer came from the hordes round about and on the wind whispering came the many voices of the dark lords hissing together.

the trap is sprung the god has become mortal at him at him kill and slay

The vast horde attacked.

The brave few hundred gathered around the Champion. The band charged one point in the surrounding line. The Champion fought like one who was once the God of War. He slew hundreds.

Yet the horde was innumerable. One by one the band went down in a desperate struggle.

Towards the night the few that were left and the Champion broke through the lines.

The few that were left stayed and fought to the last man to cover the Champion’s escape into the gloom.

When the people heard the word that the champion had come at last they rose against the dark everywhere and were everywhere slaughtered by the thousands. They were conquered, disarmed, oppressed and half starved, they were everywhere slaughtered by the thousands.

But perhaps less than could have been because always and everywhere the Dark was willing to turn away from fighting rebels if they had a chance to kill the Champion. This was their chance to kill the Great God who opposed them and they spared no effort.

His survival stood on a knife’s edge a thousand times. He fought and fought and ran and fought and killed and took wounds and fought and killed, he did not sheath the sword. Ragged farmers died protecting him with pitchforks. Peasant women threw themselves on the spears that were jabbing towards him.

At last he had slain enough of the Dark that he led the shattered remnants of the peoples in one last battle. The Champion and his force won.

The peoples then began the bitter task of rebuilding in their misery and their devastation.

The Champion became again a god.

This is, in its own sad way, a story of triumph.

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