Chronicle 2 TRIBAL PERIOD

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  Garassa

  The Lens of God
 

                    the heft and the edge                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     2141414/9/2017 wkj fantasy
 

 

 

 

 

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AN EPISODIC HISTORY OF ASTERANOR

The count of years here follows the standard used in The Chronicle of Errensea where  dates are counted from the occasion of the Second Foundation of the Collegium Magi.  Dates prior to this event are commonly given as xxxxAF (Antare Fundatum); dates following this event are given as xxxxPF (Postare Fundatum). Dates Postare Fundatum are accurate; dates Antare Fundatum become less reliable the further we journey into the past.

SECOND TRIBAL PERIOD

2550

AF

MAP    tribal

Lindis2

Foundation of the First Collegium Magi upon Lindis. The New Magi by now were renamed as the True Magi and they built for themselves a Collegium Magi upon the Island of Lindis in the Errensea. Their decision to emerge from years of obscurity was certainly in response to the Masachean establishment of the Black Magi. Before long, refugees fleeing the early ferocious blood-letting of the Masachean Priests and others, weary of the harsh materialism of the central regions, together and severally made the First Pilgrimage to Lindis, seeking the protection of the Collegium. The population of Lindis quadrupled very quickly and the number of churches and various sects within those churches began their inexorable rise - all at first living in relative peace with each other, if not in harmony. 

 

2550 –

1500

AF

 

Rise of the Medes. Consolidation of the various powers of Central Asteranor now began.  The arrival of the warlike Medes in the southerly parts of the central region, in the area we would now call The Medean Part (though of course the name is more of an allusion than indicative of any real connection) caused a great deal of trouble. The Medes understood that hard words and heavy swords were only a beginning. They desired a settled life, but one of influence and power. They considered themselves pre-eminent in their skill of arms and therefore expected to be pre-eminent in everything else.  But others were there before them and in no mood to submit without a fight.

The Elami city states of the Hypodedicus – Susa at the mouth of what today is the Hannay River and Anshan some twenty miles north of the site of our modern city of Riverport – had grown rich. Application of new agricultural techniques in their exploitation of the highly fertile lands of the River Plain provided a surplus unimaginable to their contemporaries; their control of shipping and fishing fleets upon the Riversea gave them ready access to markets the length of the central region. Now, fearing the ambitions of the arriving Medes the Elami states began to divert their wealth into the building of walls and towers.  A wise stratagem but for their complete lack of distinction in such engineering.

The Anshanis quickly understood their limitations and so at great expense employed the Masachean engineers of Paragadae. But the elders of Susa considered Paragadaen prices nothing less than outrageous exploitation and decided to build their own fortifications. Eactorix, the great chieftain of the Medes, was by all accounts amused by this penny pinching. In 1955 AF, in all contempt, his army broke the walls of Susa as if they had been made of sand, condemning the conquered Susans to a humiliating life of slavery.

But it was at great cost to the Medes that Eactorix sought to break the will of the more sensible Anshanis. In a siege of land and sea that lasted 20 years, with the residents of the city living solely on a diet of fish, and the besieging armies living by means of pillage, neither side found time to make life any better for themselves. The pillage inevitably spread far and wide and served mostly to rouse the anger of the victims. Relief for Anshan came only when the strongest tribe of the northern lands, the Cymrais forged an alliance with several other oppressed tribes and in very bloody conflict succeeded in driving the Medes south and east. A complicated period of regular skirmish ensued ensuring that there was no possibility at all of progress towards a more ordered society.

 

1900

AF

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Lusk

 

Devuaassayo

Ordination of Cambyses 1st.  Black Magi, now firmly established in the hierarchy of Masachea as Priests of the Blood at this time began to usurp the power of the throne. This process culminated eventually in The Great Sacrifice of Tissapherne – by other terms a cruel and prolonged regicide - and the installation of the High Priest Cambyses as head of the Masachean state in the King’s own city of Nai’vedya. He distanced himself both physically and intellectually from the more moderate academic priests in Zorost and surrounded himself with the most zealous of his brethren.

In a great twist of logic and the truth, The Great Sacrifice came to be seen as the ultimate victory of the Rightful King over his usurping brother Ohr’Mazd. If the most important and powerful man of all the earth (King Tissapherne) even at the expense of his own life must reject the imposter then why should not all mankind follow his lead?

An interesting point in this act of devotion, or outrageous crime, (depending upon your viewpoint) is that the sacrifice took the form of what came to be known in later ages as The Blood Sacrifice whereby the devotee / victim, strapped to a representation of the Throne of the Absent God, offered up his blood over the course of many weeks with only a fifth of that blood taken daily. Inevitably the volume taken was daily greater than could be remade

But the full rite of the Blood Sacrifice, by scripture, had a particular requirement: the devotee / victim must be a vessel of the Gift of Ahremmon for any beneficial effect to occur. The point to the rite was to promote, preserve and spread the Gift among mankind. The more astute will notice in the course of reading this history that at the time of the Great Sacrifice the Gift of Ahremmon was in fact not accessible to the people of Masachea. The Gift became re-established only after the colonization of Kyrussea.

Thus The Great Sacrifice was merely a representation of the full rite – an act of devotion by the victim and by the priests. Otherwise it was  merely a charade to justify a matter of political expedience. A useful study would be to compare the detail of this event with the more rigorous sacrifice of Devuaassayo some 2500 years later. Many would argue a similar level of expedience played it’s part, but it is undeniable that the Gift of Ah’remmon was present in the blood of the God Priest and was crucial in the subsequent foundation of The Empire of the Blood.

 

1820

AF

Ravenna 3
Ravenna 1

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Expansionism of Cambyses 3rd. While the early High Priests were content to consolidate their rule and develop further their church within the land of Masachea, Cambyses 3rd was keen to bring more land and more nations under his control. He first looked to the West. The land beyond the Hurgals seemed ripe for invasion with no single tribe able to gain precedence over the rest. He was betrayed by his ambitions. His armies faced fierce opposition beyond all expectation. The tribes were not slow to understand the common threat from the east and hastily joined forces with the Medes, now temporarily forgiven and given the lead in their mutual defence. So used to fighting between themselves the tribes of the central region had become skilled in warfare.

Abandoning expansion westwards, perforce, the Masacheans now adopted more subtle means as they sought to infiltrate the inward looking and stagnant Apian cities of Pulonia (a new name for Rummela) and Ravenna. With a harvest undimished but with fewer opportunities in trade, the Apian state had begun a slow decline.  Old wealth, fearing a similar decline in fortunes found new ways of extracting a good living from the struggling peasant classes, by taxing them into poverty. The hard pressed poor found refuge only in religion and the Black Magi were not slow to exploit their need.

Foundation in Apia of The Church of the First Father.

The first irony is that over time this Church of the First Father though instantly popular with the common people was rejected completely by an entrenched ruling class and so the political sway of the Masachean priesthood within Apia was not much improved. The second irony was that as the years passed the tenets of the Church became altered with the largely uneducated adherents freely adding to their new religion their old indigenous beliefs. Soon there was no discernible distinction between worship of the First Father and worship of God the Creator. In effect the Apians ended up worshipping Zurvan rather than his foul son.

 

1790

AF

Lusk 2

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Kellestan 2

The Foundations of Lusk. Masacheans went also into the north.  There had been for many years knowledge of a pass into a land beyond the Lower Dedicae (or Arragoz Mts.) but it was not an easy passage. The High Priest Kyrus 1st personally promoted the practice of ship building among the Masacheans. Fishing boats had been common but having in mind a possible trading partnership with (or further exploitation of) the Apians, he had craftsmen build him a fleet of great cargo vessels. The exploitation of Apia took the form of relieving that ancient society of much of the ornament and jewellery built up through millennia but it proved to be a diminishing resource.

And so, with his ships unemployed Kyrus now sent out an expedition to explore the lands beyond the Arragoz. In short these adventurers discovered a sparsely inhabited plain, with the natives speaking a language strange to the ear, and they quickly began a brutal process of colonization. Within only thirty years, with the exception of one tribe only, the natives of this northern land were driven out – escaping through mountain passes that only they knew, and through a great deal of hardship traversing the southerly reaches of the Dedicae to arrive at last in the land we now name Kellestan, a land much like the land of their fathers, and they made it their own.

But for Kyrus and the greats among the Black Magi their expedition into the north had proved more successful than anything they could have imagined. In 1790AF the Black Magi founded the City of Lusk not in any fertile and fair place on the plain but high up on the precipitous northern coastline of that land, for there they discovered a mystery. And in the tribe known as the Halfi the Black Magi had found at last something for which they had been seeking since the establishment of their Order. They named the land Kyrussea in honour of the High Priest but before then it had been named Kyzylystan.

 

1720

AF

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MAP Apia

Apian Civil War. The peasant classes were roused by Lammedro Valantin, a lesser son of one of the ruling houses ashamed by the poor treatment of workers on his family estate. The conflict (enflamed by Priests of the First Father) was vicious and in the end desperate but appeared to have changed nothing: the ruling class was still in place and Valantin was dead along with thousands of peasants. But actually this revolt proved to be a turning point in Apian society. On both sides the nation now found time to reassess what society is for. Over the course of the next few hundred years a much kinder and respectful nation developed. The Apians sought out help from the Collegium of Lindis and in return for produce (at much better prices than offered to them by the southern central tribes, or indeed by the Matagordans of the region west of the Hypodedicus) the Collegium Magi sent out teachers tasked with the education of the common people of Apia for the benefit of all. By 1650AF the trade with Lindis and the other Holy Isles caused something of a renaissance in Apian culture and the City of Ravenna flourished, founding a Universal School of all Talents, outstripping its more workaday sister city of Pulonia in all the finer arts and sciences.

 

1600

AF

Avtalaby Gloss

The Herskerhavs. Making a long and arduous sea-voyage, some thousand Kelling Islanders came to what is now known as the Bulidzhan Peninsula. What prompted their adventure southwards is not recorded, the Kellings never having developed a script of their own and being mostly disinclined to record anything of their history; but many assume that the regular and very often bloody wars between the major families of the Isles (continuing into the present) caused at this time the ejection of some of the less successful inhabitants. They made a base upon the harsh eastern coast of the peninsula and readied themselves for a life of piracy and pillage. It is said that these people were reluctant farmers, considering the working of the fields a menial task far below their dignity and so the product of the soft underbelly of the continent drew their attention. It is the case that this attitude stayed with their descendants. Nearly four hundred years later they famously traversed the Sea of Birds to the southerly parts of Sullinor where they kidnapped many thousands of the natives thereon to work for them as slaves. The raiders called themselves The Kings of the Sea or the Herskerhavs; the slaves named themselves “the dispossessed” or in their language: bulidzjani. 

 

2500 –

1500

 

AF

MAP   tribal

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Rise of Matagorda and the Fat Thousands. Development of the continent west of the Hypodedicus was slow to emerge. After the cataclysm of 5000AF only a tiny population of the First Wanderers remained clinging to the fertile south-western coastline. They had little inclination to venture northwards. The dense primal forest of the south restricted movement but land clearance was eventually begun. Domestication of pigs and goats occurred but the bison and most other kine and all the horses of Asteranor strayed to the centre and north of the western continent as far as the snow and ice permitted. The pigs and goats were compatible with a simple existence in the forest clearances.

The population grew only slowly but reached a tipping point circa 2500AF. To accommodate the now rapid increase in numbers much more land was needed. The clearance continued steadily through the next thousand years; centres of population expanded and while most of these were self-sufficiencies the roll-back of the forest lands allowed at least for the establishment of permanent roads across the region. Specialisation of production inevitably led to commerce, with those communities blessed by the greater clearance of the tree cover now turning to arable production, the less blessed concentrating on pig farming, and the coastal communities bringing dried fish into the diet.  There was not much done in the way of mining – with so much wood to burn coals were not needed; the True Magi of this region were content to keep their knowledge of the elements to themselves. Traders in iron and weaponry came into the area from central Asteranor and textiles from the Holy Isles; produce went out in return, though in nowhere near the same quantities that led to the rise of Apians. So it goes.

By 1600AF the area had become so prosperous, at least in agricultural terms, that it attracted the attention of the newly arrived, piratical Herskerhavs. Oddly it was the predation of the first of these raiders that accelerated the development of the Aegardean nation. The towns, constantly fearing attack, soon began to make alliances with their neighbours, assisting each other in the building of fortifications and watchtowers along the coast, purchasing weaponry from the Medes and instituting town militias that could come together as an army whenever there was need.

By 1500 the communities had become towns; the towns clustered together in regions of interest; the question was in the air: was now the time right to join together as a nation?

 

1499

 

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Creation of Aegarde (or The Protectorate). The political system of government in the southern continent from the Hypodedicus to the Sentinel Mountains could only be described as haphazard. In some regions land was held in common by equal citizens all working under the control of a chosen manager; in some places land was held by key families and worked by the general population for wages and grant of housing; in the westerly parts of the region through force of arms but quickly settling down into ordered peace at least seven minor kingdoms came into being. It was no easy thing then for all of these groups of such different organization to come together under one banner.

It was Ordolan Merret, a True Magus, or Wizard (as they had come to be known) who came up with the answer and then through a great deal of discussion (and with, some said, the liberal use of spectacular magic to cow the dissenters) he managed to persuade the various potentates and leaders to sign up to the deal.  There would be no change of organisation within the separate communities but each would offer allegiance to a central authority – a High King in fact.  He would be held ruler and protector overall; taxes would be paid to him by each community or kingdom as though he owned the land but without truly owning it. He would be installed as final arbiter in the case of dispute. Laws would be held in common, ordained and applied by the King and a Senate of equals. If the appointed family or an individual King ever stepped beyond his permission, if he for example sought to interfere with the running of any of the communities or kingdoms, then the Senate, appointed by the potentates and leaders, would have the right and duty to remove him from office. The King would regularize economic norms and would institute a common currency throughout the kingdom. He would do all this - but mostly he would fight-off the threat of the Herskerhavs.

Aristed Meuven of Jorlian, the most renowned warrior and general of his day, was chosen to be the First King of Aegarde. He took up his seat in the fast growing city of Avenna.

 

1500 –

1247

AF

MAP   tribal

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Second Coming of the Medes. Driven into the south and east by the alliance of the tribes of the centre the Medes came into a land, adjacent to the Apian border, held for many hundreds of years by a tribe who called themselves the Farsi. The Farsi had led the most settled lives of any of the central tribes because their proximity to the Apian lands north of the peninsula had given them easier access to trade, and also a warmer climate throughout the Ice Age. From the wandering Magi all the peoples of Asteranor had known a common numbering system but the diversity of languages had made development of a common script much more difficult. However, by good fortune perhaps, the language of the Medes and the language of the Farsi shared a similar structure and had many words in common. The teacher Caradix, a Farsi determined that his own tribe should not suffer oppression by the warrior-like Medes, decided that it would be a good thing if the two languages were combined.  To further that end he attached himself to the family of the Medean High Chieftain and began to educate its members in a script he had earlier devised for the Farsi language. It is quite remarkable that, by the efforts of one man working alone, the two languages quickly became one with words and ideas migrating in both directions. This tongue and the script that gave solidity to that tongue is what has come to be known as Ancient Medean.

After one hundred years of relative peace the Medes, ever volatile by nature, and carrying a feeling of superiority over their neighbours born of their new learning, launched themselves into a dispute with the Issakari tribe of the region we now call the Sullin Part. The point of dispute was over access to the crossings of the Hypodedicus at Vuelta’, the River’s Twist, with the Issakari keen to keep control of the burgeoning trade with the new state of Aegarde and the Medes determined to bully their way into a position of influence and profit.  The Medes were successful with only the application of a little force and a lot of deal making. Buoyed by the success of this model the Medes now decided to take to the path of expansionism once more.  Though it was less violent than the adventurism of their ancestors it was on the whole much more successful. The Medean tongue spread rapidly through all the tribal lands up unto the Carrig Fells and the border with the Cymrais territory. And as that tongue became the common tongue of those people, outsiders looking in found it easy to refer to the people of all the central tribes as Medean whether all of those so named approved or not. In fact some of the more fiercely tribalistic members of the Gothae, seeing no way to halt the progress of Medean culture decided upon an adventure of their own and made a crossing of the Riversea at this time to settle in the largely uninhabited eastern parts of the plateau.

 

1392

AF

Thibes2

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Foundation of the Library of Thibes. Caradix was not satisfied only with the teaching of his script: he wanted a substance for it and for learning to become a regular activity throughout the continent – an ambitious aim.  First he began with schools in all of the main settlements, insisting that the Lords of these settlements allowed teaching for the least of their people and not just for the nobility.  This aim was in some cases successful. To be the teachers of these schools Caradix recruited many of the previously itinerant members of his order – for Caradix was undoubtedly a magus blessed with skill and wisdom and a power of long life. But his greatest achievement at this time was the creation of The Library of Thibes and a Collegium to sit alongside it dedicated to the progress of knowledge. Like many of the Magi he had decided the time was now come to leave the shadows and take a lead in the affairs of all nations. He installed his friend Captolinux as the Master of Collegium and devoted himself to the acquisition of learning from all parts of the continent travelling even to Hyrcana and to The Priests’ Academy of Zorost. His final journey to Lusk left him a changed man. He died in the year 1299 AF.

 

1222

AF

 

Greagorix and the Realm of Medea   While the Medes were pre-eminent in influence over all of the more southerly tribes they had not gone so far as to declare “Medea” one nation under a single ruler.  Greagorix, now leader of the Medes, was little satisfied with this matter and declared himself ‘King of the Realm of Medea’ in 1222. And he extended that claim even up into the lands held by the Cymrais and the Prydais, holding out the notion that the lands we now call the Norberry Part could easily be described as the Medes’ ancient homeland. The Cymrais, at this time holding the country now known as the Segyllin Part, were a fierce people, and well organized, though they had no love of the idea of Kingdoms or Kings. Instead they put their trust in their wise men (in fact we now know that these wise men were descendents of the magi of earlier days) and in their elders (or blaenoriaid) To countenance the notion of Greagorix claiming Kingship over them, even if only in name (the Medes never managing to enter Cymrain lands still less conquer them) was impossible. The Cymrais reaction was strong but for his part Greagorix would not suffer the loss of face. The ensuing war was a very bloody affair that extended through more than a hundred years and ultimately with no real winner but the crows.

 

1206

AF

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Foundation of Garassa. Where once the trade routes stretched all the way from Avenna to the Priests City of Zorost (said to be built upon the ruins of ancient Menelcamar), now chaos reigned. The fighting of the Central Tribes made travel, and therefore trade, almost impossible. At this time the settlement known as Vuelta del Rio (or Vuelta’ for short) had become prosperous as the site of the easiest crossing of the Hypodedicus south of the Riversea. The traders of this River’s twist, bitten with the excitement of trade and travel and unwilling to return to the land, now looked southerly to the Errensea and The Holy Isles. Over in the western parts of Aegarde the King and the Senate were similarly bitten and wondered if now it was time to look westerly.

The vast lands of Sullinor were, by report, fabulously wealthy but had seemed impossibly remote. Now news of the Herskerhavs forays into the West proved that the Sea of Birds was not the obstacle they had thought it to be. But they could not build ships upon the high plain of Avenna for adventures on the high seas. King Philemon II, “the shipbuilder” established a new city, Garassa, close to the wide mouth of the River
Rine. He built there quays and shipyards, and a palace for himself and a Senate House for use of the Council of Equals.

It was perhaps because of the inexperience of his Captains that most of Philemon’s ships foundered before ever reaching their objective. The Herskerhavs and their cousins on the Kelling Isles also played their part in denying the King his prize with a new wave of piracy. But the few mariners achieving the passage to Sullinor in safety were perhaps unluckiest of all. Angered by the slaving activities of the Herskerhavs, the Emp Radis III had fortified the key settlements of the south east coast; his soldiers had been instructed to make no distinction between raiders and traders. The mariners were taken to be slaves themselves in the fields of Ar’aldini and there worked to death. None of Philemon’s ships were returned.

 

1105

AF

Dragons2

Dirios2

A new land for the Cymrais. At this time, weary of the fight even though they were undefeated, the Cymrais conceived of a plan to leave the lands of their fathers behind for a new land fair and free and far away from the troubles that beset them. Despite the rumour that dragons stood between the Cymrais and their promised land, the Cymrais packed up their lives, abandoned their villages and fortresses and even the great settlement of Dinharlech, crossed the Riversea at the northern narrows and began their long march into the west. Of course the rumour of dragons was well-founded but their wise men, or Dderwyddon, told them to be not afraid “for dragons are the friends of mankind.” They recommended that the people travel in small companies with little livestock.  The dragons flying far and wide in search of the great herds paid them no heed.

The Cymrais ended their journey when they reached the Sea of Birds; it was the land now named Terremark but in their tongue it was Dirio’sdarfod.

It was an empty land guarded by dragons and it suited them very well.

 

 

1105 –

226

AF

                

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PRIESTS
DRAGONS...

The Gothaean Alliance, the Farsi Betrayal and The Great Peace.  With the departure of the Cymrais (a great surprise to the Medean King Hugoerick) much of the soldiery of the Medeans was without work. It would have been simpler to award them the lands vacated by the Cymrais that they might settle in peace.  But an army carrying one hundred years of bloodletting in its honourable tradition was not made up of farmers. Huegorick, deciding the taxes he took were light and insufficient, set his armies to rectify the situation. In particular he authorised suppression of the Syggynae and their neighbours, the Urmise. Other tribes were ill at ease with this turn of events, wondering when the King’s army would arrive at their own gates. The Parisi and Issakari decided to side strongly with the King; The Belgae, Greuthae, Syggynae and the remaining Gothae formed a secret alliance in opposition to the Medes; the much diminished Elami (now counting ancient Anshan as their only city) contrived to remain neutral. Inevitably the situation having simmered for five years or so finally boiled over into violence. Were it not for the sudden inexplicable betrayal of the Medes by their “brothers” the Farsi, the dispute would have carried them through as many years as the war with the Cymrais. The more cynical might question whether such an outcome was not in fact the design of the Medean generals all along. But the Farsi turned upon Hugoerick in his Palace of Ecbator; they poisoned (or at least that is how it is reported) all of his generals as they sat in conference and then sent out messages from the Collegium of Thibes that the Medes had decided to sue for peace. The King’s nephew, Cartadix, a quiet man, much caught up in his studies, was installed by supposedly common consent as the new “King of the Medean Alliance”.

A difficult five years followed with much argumentation, but also with an extraordinary amount of goodwill (which oddly seemed to grow whenever a meeting was held in company with Collegium messengers). The outcome of all the negotiation was The Accord of Thibes which forged The Great Peace between all the tribes of “Medea” that lasted beyond all expectation for more than seven hundred years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilf Kelleher Jones
A Song of Ages