Sunday, May 8, 2016

ASMODEUS backstory #2 - the historical

So, although our process was happily guided by the simplest of daily prompts – so what happens next? – it bears mentioning (but again, only to those who refuse to sit back and just enjoy the show) that Asmodeus takes much of its basic scaffolding from an existing, but lesser known, legend.

Among the most famous of dragon legends involves St. George, of course – the English crusader who Christianized the city of Silene by slaying the local dragon and parading its carcass through the streets. That’s one version anyway. 

There is another saint, however, whose story can be found in that same collection of Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden legend, and her name was Margaret. Set near Antioch on cusp of the 4th century CE, Margaret's is the tale of a young shepherdess who catches the eye of the local pagan governor, despite the fact – as he subsequently discovers -- that she is a Christian. When she spurns him, he persecutes her for her faith. She stands firm, however, and at one point during her captivity, calls out for the devil to reveal himself to her. Enter the dragon, as they say. You can read for yourself what ensues, but it’s good stuff, and features my favorite tag in the whole collection, that the entry you’ve been reading “is apocryphal, and all agree to consider it a groundless fable.” Oh.

In any event, if one were to look at Jacobus’s account, and then read Asmodeus, one would see that the latter is really just an updated, transposed, and elaborate inversion of the former, re-set in what seems to be the year 1917 of a slightly alternate universe, in a land that answers to certain descriptions of Finland, and in which the pagan characters and the Christian characters have for whatever reason switched hats. As will happen in the course of time.

But enough. These are just the bones of what is offered.  Where the flesh comes from, and the blood, I have no intention of sharing here or even pretending to know, since I’m all too aware that the most delicious helpings of both will be coming from you, dear reader, not me.

Now get the hell off my pant leg.