The following is an excerpt from Victor Strife’s Lineal Champions of History, a book chronicling the known history of the Champions of Light and Dark, pieced together by the Vicars Salamander throughout the centuries…

Victor Strife’s Lineal Champions of History
Circa 10613-10678 Champions Era (613-678 AD)
Champion of Dark #441: The Wife from Arabia
Circa 9982-10033 Champions Era (18 BC-33 AD)
Champion of Dark #415: The Mother from Israel

This is a double entry. Both of these Champions receive their own individual entry in the official chronology, but the accomplishments of both are replicated here to illustrate the degree to which Champions can wield their power over others to change the world and also that history may not repeat, but it certainly rhymes.

The Mother from Israel had a keen eye for talent. She had yearned for greatness since she was a child, sensing that a Championship “otherness” coursed through her. Running into the familiar patriarchal barriers of her female predecessors and successors, she looked for a man to act as her vessel. She briefly contemplated marriage, but opted instead for a more creative plan. After much searching for the ideal mate, she found a man of modest background, but who possessed many of the innate qualities that The Mother valued in a partner. She seduced this unsuspecting man, and once The Mother confirmed that she was pregnant, she murdered the father of her unborn child and fled to a new village to start fresh. Betting that the child’s genetic inheritance would be substantial (though she knew nothing of genetics in her time, there was still much known of heritability), The Mother hatched a plan to convince the child (assuming it was a boy) that he was the son of God. What she had not counted on, however, was that she would carry twins. The first born would become the Champion of the next generation. The second would be useless to her ambitions – even detrimental – yet The Mother kept him alive and out of view from the community. She could not (yet) bring herself to the act of infanticide. Even with darkness pumping through her veins and inhabiting her body, she was still a mother, after all.

The Mother told all who would listen that her son had been immaculately conceived. At first treated with scorn and derision, then as a circus novelty, and then progressively more as a cult leader, her story continued, until one day, when the child was but six years old, he ran away. He was his generation’s Champion of Light and suspected his mother’s maleficent nature, disappearing from her forever into the desert. Lucky for her, she had an extra. Adding to this peculiar fortune, the second child suffered from a mental disorder that was unknown to the people of the time. Armed with charisma, confidence, extroversion, and a high level of dissociation from reality, that son – the afterthought, nearly discarded – would found the world’s greatest religion. Millions would live for him and die for him, fulfilling the greatest desires of The Mother, who only wanted to be remembered throughout history. Through her own work and the coaching of her son, she became one of humanity’s best storytellers.

The parallels between The Mother from Israel and The Wife from Arabia are delightful. Whereas The Mother’s child was charismatic-yet-mentally ill, The Wife chose a husband who was charismatic and epileptic and prone to grand delusions. The Wife, too, thirsted for glory and power over all who surrounded her. It is she, who at the tender age of 11, slit the neck of the Champion of Light in his sleep. (That Champion had no heir so the lineage jumped to the next born child on earth, resulting in Champion of Dark #442, The Empress of China).

Convincing a man of strong will and leadership skills and psychoses that he was God’s prophet on earth, The Wife was able to found her own religion as well. And when her husband had his doubts, dreaming of imagined godly verses that may have led him away from the path that she had chosen, she was able to convince him that these were the Devil’s verses, sewing confusion and skepticism. It was she who kept him on his path. Millions would find comfort and inspiration in his words. And millions would also die at the hands of the inspired.

So it is – and has always been – that the hidden history of the world has been driven by the Champions of great notoriety, and also those who were chosen to be their standard-bearers.

When looking to God to divine how to act
When God could later be inclined to retract
When murder and theft would be divinely backed
When, then, are you free from the goddamned contract?