714 BCE / XXXIX Ann. Ab Urbe Condita
Like snow on a jagged mountain pass, the blanket of peace falls differently on every realm. For years the people of Aeterna had squabbled — the spittle of violent words flowing as quickly as blood sprung loose by steel. The wars were cruel, and the tense bursts of peace crueler. Surveying the devastation and suffering in the mortal realm they’d vowed to retire from, the gods felt the humans’ pain. At last, they took action: high on the slopes of Olympus, the divine Council convened. Poseidon and Hades, their voices elevated in the absence of their newly-shackled brother, put forth to the gods a task: Devise a new divine law — one that might allow the peaceful mortals of Aeterna to thrive, and leave the battlefields and bloodshed for armies and soldiers.
The gods argued for nearly two full years; Makaria, goddess of blessed deaths, had seen far too many mortals perish dishonorably. Ares, meanwhile, pushed fervently in defense of the sword and spear as arbiters. Dionysus, who had lost much in mortal wars, did what he could to keep his divine fellows safe from a bout of madness through the long days of debate. From the foothills of Olympus, the mountain’s peak could be seen crackling with energy. The earth shook; the wind of Aeolus bellowed and the sky hung low under Atlas’ distracted temperament. At last, though, the verdict came.
Ares, grumbling, agreed to lower his spear, and the gods together pledged to keep their meddling in mortal affairs to a more innocent nature. Divine Edict in hand, Hades appeared to the mortals to inform them that his dark realm had swollen enough — no more would mortals be condemned to Asphodel at the hands of tyranny. Blessed and honorable dead, fallen in rightful battle, would pass before judgement, as would the wicked and cruel.
But those simple mortals who craved to live, and to die at peace, would be offered the unassailable protection of the gods. Having lived in such fear for years, the people of Rome and Greece shuffled gratefully under the banner of peace. The flame of war thus snuffed out for now, so too did Ares and his Gallic tribes. The doors to the Temple of Janus slammed shut as the great nations laid down their arms. So it came to pass that Aeterna drifted into an era of tranquility. Surely, no law can stem passion; the flames of war will rise again when the time is right and the appetite for quarrel returns. Legions will not let their arms go rusty. But still: the mortals’ prayers to Eirene are answered. Aeterna is at peace.
In pace ut sapiens aptarit idonea bello...
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