Rise of the Gomeral
What are Gomeral?
From The Mind of the Dolphins...
“The Tivinel were the high people, while we, the Barungi, were called the low people because we lived in the tropical lowlands near the sea.”
“Were you different races?”
“Different species actually, but we were closely related. Close enough for us to cross-breed, although such children mostly lacked our mind-speech and were called Gomeral, the simpletons. The Tivinel used them as workers, for what they lacked in psychic skills they made up for with dexterity and ingenuity.
“Occasionally though, but very rarely, a crossbred child would not be a Gomeral but a Pasha, a Great One. They were always male and infertile, so the Pashas could never become a race of their own, and mostly there was only ever one, for the ruling Pasha would kill any who might challenge him, but the Pasha possessed great psychic powers, able to bend the minds of other folk should he wish. The Pasha was our ruler, our king.”
“King,” Pip whispered, thinking now of the prophecy Elko and Damien had spoken of.
“The Pasha possessed great wisdom and foresight.”
“He could see the past and the future,” another ogre said.
“Left to his own devices,” the first continued, “the Pasha was for all intents and purposes immortal, for he never aged or suffered any illness, but it was rare for one to live more than a few thousand years before a new Pasha challenged and defeated him. The change of Pasha was a great time for the Barungi and Tivinel fortunate enough to be living then, for it was a time of great feasting and celebration, and there are stories of the great changeovers passed down as legends from generation to generation.”
“But if the Pasha was so wise,” Pip asked, “how’d he let the Tivinel set off their star-dimmer?”
Again the ogres fell silent, and he wondered if he’d just blasphemed their king.
“Drago was a fool,” one of them finally said. “The Tivinel knew it, too, and encouraged him in his stupidity.”
“Who was Drago?”
“He was our last Pasha, and was just ten years old when he murdered his predecessor.”
“The challenge of the Pasha was supposed to be a great ritual,” another said, “a test of skill, both physical and psychic, but Drago used his powers to hide himself, firing a poisoned dart at the old Pasha while he was addressing the New Year festival.”
“The Barungi blamed the Tivinel,” the first continued, “and a short war erupted, but Drago put an end to that, confining us to our lowland farms while giving the Tivinel free rein over the rest of the planet.”
“Gosh,” Pip said.
“With the aid of their Gomeral slaves, they built huge cities everywhere, burning coal and oil to power them. Eventually their fumes caused our world to heat up, even though by then they’d discovered subspace and could get all their power from that. So they built the star-dimmer to counter the effects of their global warming, but that only made things worse.”
“How’s that?” Pip asked.
“The tropics cooled, but the poles got hotter and the icecaps continued to melt, raising the sea levels and flooding our lands. So they dimmed our star even more, and that fixed the sea levels, but then our crops wouldn’t grow properly in the dim sunlight and food became scarce. The Gomeral were made to suffer the most, and eventually rose up against their masters, stealing their space ships and fleeing to the world you call Meridian.”
Pip suddenly saw the connection Frank had been hinting at all along, cursing himself for not realising it sooner. “Those Gomeral became the first tribes on Meridian, didn’t they, and all our people descended from them.”
“That’s right, little Elf. Perhaps you’re not as stupid as the rest of your race.”