War of the Magicians: Si-Osiris and the Nubian Sorcerer, part II

*

For part one, click here [War of the Magicians: Si-Osiris and the Nubian Sorcerer, part I]

*

Imagine this: the Grand Vizier bursts into Pharaoh’s great hall.

You are Si-Osiris; your father is Setna, royal adviser, and your grandfather is Ramasses II, King of Egypt.

“Pharaoh! A Nubian Wizard comes on behalf of his king, and demands an audience.”

Pharaoh accepted, and the Wizard was allowed into his chamber.

“Pharaoh, I bring a sealed letter from the king of Ethiopia. If your magicians can read the contents without breaking the seal, then their magic will be celebrated as superior to that of my people.”

“Otherwise,” he continued “the magic of Egypt will be laughed at across the lands beyond the Kush, like her Pharaoh.”

Ramasses was incensed, but smiled through his anger.

He turned to his son, the magician and adviser Setna.

Setna bought time. “O Pharaoh, my father – life, health, strength be to you! Let this wicked man rest as our guest. When court assembles tomorrow, he will have his answer.”

Pharaoh had his doubts, but then again, his son Setna had read the very Book of Thoth itself, the greatest Tome of Magic in the world. If Setna could not help him, no one could.

Or so Ramasses thought…

*

Setna went home and fought back his tears.

His wife, sensing his despair, tried to console him.

But Si-Osiris, his twelve year old son, seemed almost…

gleeful?

“Don’t worry, father.”

Setna knew his son was developing into a powerful magician –  Si-Osiris had shown him the Duat, the underworld.

Still – could he read a sealed papyrus scroll?

Setna tested the boy, giving him a sealed letter from his library.

The boy – somehow – was able to read the letter without tampering with the seal.

Setna was awestruck, but very, very relieved.

“Si-Osiris,” he said, smiling.

“life, health, strength be to you.”

*

The next day, the young boy stood in front of the court attendees.

“O Pharaoh my grandfather – life, health, strength be to you!”

“This scroll tells of an insult visited on a Pharaoh from the past.”

“500 years ago, the King of Nubia decided that since his armies could not defeat Egypt, perhaps his magicians could.”

“One by one the magicians bragged about the disasters they could bring onto Egypt, each one successively more brutal. Finally, the head Wizard spoke:

Forget the Egyptians. I can bring the sleeping Pharaoh to Nubia for the the King to publicly beat with 500 lashes of the rod, and return Pharaoh back to Thebes before daylight.”

The Link looked up, and addressed the Wizard:

‘Son of Tnahsit, I have heard you. make it so, and I will grant you a greater reward than any magician has ever received.’

And so the Son of Tnahsit went about his business, crafting a magical litter (a movable bed) and four magical litter bearers, each imbued with a spark of life force.”

Si-Osiris turned to the wizard.

“Do I speak the truth so far, sorcerer?”

“This is as things are remembered, this is as they are written, young magician.”

You don’t remember me, do you? thought Si-Osiris, though he showed no emotion.

*

Si-Osiris continued the reading.

“The Son of Tnahsit was successful. The Pharaoh was whisked from Thebes to Nubia on the magical littler, publicly beaten, and returned before sunrise.

If it weren’t for the welts and bruises, Pharaoh would have sworn it was a dream.

Furious, he called his Chief Magician, the Khereb of Egypt.

‘Khereb.’

‘O Pharaoh – life, health, strength be to you! How may I serve.’

‘Khereb, Nubia has just attacked me.’

‘My lord? What does this mean?’

‘Mean? War, my friend. War.'”

Si-Osiris stopped his narrative, and stared at the old wizard.

For the briefest moment, he taught he saw him grinning…

*

To Be Finished In:

War of the Magicians: Si-Osiris and the Nubian Sorcerer, part III

 

 

 

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