The Island War

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The Island was home to around 50,000 people---place of temperate weather---land of great fertility.

There were two smaller islands close-by---thirty minutes boat-trip-near---one rich in iron ore, to the North---one supplying an abundance of wood from many tree species, to the South.

Of course, all three islands were merely the tops of undersea mountains.

Life was easy on the main island but, naturally, there were the normal crises of occasional ill-health, the rare report of thievery (usually by an over-active youth), and, once in a great while, a physical accident that led to premature death---most folks dying in their sleep somewhere in their nineties.

Travel was by foot, though the roads and paths were all smooth and bordered by perennial flowers.

The social order was maintained by a loose Confederation of heads of families, some male, some female, varying in membership from 50 to 75 people, chosen at an annual gathering called Founders Day; though, the stories of the Founders had been nearly forgotten.

This particular Founders Day still had its archaic representations of Magura and Melophe---two of the oldest people, painted-up and dressed in ludicrous costume---ancient gods that were said to have called the Founders to the Island.

After the festivities reached a low ebb, Delmar stood up on the Founders Rock and hailed attention, claiming an important message---his words being carried to the farthest revelers by an invention of his own making---the wooden bowl called Booster.

"I bring you news of a device sure to establish greater productivity of our crops. I need agreement of the Confederation to increase mining of metal to produce what I call the Equalizer---making seed planting by hand a thing of the past."

A woman near him raised her voice with: "Do you propose we eliminate the ways of Melophe and anger Magura?"

Delmar chuckled and many in the crowd echoed him. He responded:

"Surely, if we can plant more seed faster and even on land we have ignored in the past, we will still be following the Melophe tradition, trading our hands for the hands of the Equalizer. And, I just spoke with Magura. He says he's very willing to let us take more metal ore."

Many in the crowd burst into frenzied laughter.

The one who had questioned Delmar waited patiently till the uproar stopped, then, as she began to walk away, shouted, "When the gods curse us, I hope I'm dead!"


Melophe stirred within her undersea Mountain. She reached out to Magura with the question: "Why have you upset the balance?"

"There will be a new balance."

"There is danger in acceding to some of their wishes; or, have you planted this wish in the mind of Delmar?"

"What if I did?"

"I caution you, Magura, do not upset our balance."

"I caution you, Melophe, adjust to a new balance."


The meeting of the Confederation to consider Delmar's new invention had more than its share of discussion, spurred on by the oldest members.

After a particularly heated phase of disagreements, Delmar requested their attention. It took ten minutes for them to agree to let him speak:

"My dear friends, I completely understand why some of you hesitate to agree to my plans. Old myths die hard and, before some of you start another argument, let me say I find value in some of our traditions."

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