The Book of Suleiman

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Suleiman the Wise, blessed of Adonai, was granted a ring, made of brass and iron, marked with one of the secret names of Adonai. The brass side gave Suleiman the ability to bind all evil elementals, while the iron side gave Suleiman the ability to bind all good elementals. Four angels then descended from the Third Garden, granting Suleiman four gems, one for each of the four corners of the world and the four elements, and Suleiman set them within his ring, thus granting him control of the four elements.

One day, Suleiman was approached by a young man, plagued by tongues. Suleiman pressed his ring to the man's forehead, thus catching and binding the spirit within him. From this spirit, he learned much, and with the help of the young man, was able to find other spirits hidden within his kingdom, binding them with the ring.

One of the greatest of the elemental lords heard of this ring however, and grew angry. He tricked one of Suleiman's wives into taking the ring, and the lord stole it, taking the place of Suleiman while Suleiman was forced to wander his kingdom a beggar. But Suleiman's second wife, blessed with keen insight, learned of this trickery, and stole the ring again, throwing it into the sea so that the elemental lord could not use it. A fisherman caught the fish who swallowed the ring, and saw Suleiman wandering, addled by visions and starving. He fed Suleiman, who found the ring in his fish. When he put it on, the visions became clear, and he remembered who and where he was.

He soon returned to his kingdom, and bound the lord who had replaced him. He then forced the lord, and all the lord's servants, to build a grand temple to Adonai. He learned many secrets from the elemental lord and his minions, and recorded the secrets of binding, calling, and banishing, as well as the secrets of sigils and symbols. He made the lord and the elements swear binding oaths to come when called by those who learned these secrets, and then bound the lesser spirits of the elements to come and aid when called, and to leave when dismissed.

Word of Suleiman's power spread far and wide, and soon reached the ears of the Queen, Bath-Sheba. Some say that Bath-Sheba was truly Lilitu in disguise, for she ever cared for the people of Adonai, but was forbidden to place her touch directly upon them, for Adonai wished his people to revere none but himself in the Second Garden. Bath-Sheba invited Suleiman out of the Second Garden to her kingdom, and gave him fruits and meats, and entertained him.

But Suleiman saw through Bath-Sheba's guise, and knew that within the Queen lay all Wisdom. And he spoke often with her, knowing that if she revealed herself, she would owe him much for keeping his silence. And in time, they spoke of the past, and of distant places, and finally she spoke of things that no person should know. When she realised her error, she pleaded with Suleiman to tell none, fearing Adonai's wrath. Suleiman promised to keep her secret, but only if she would grant him the wisdom that she held. Saddened, Bath-Sheba granted Suleiman his wish. Suleiman returned to his kingdom, much wiser.

In his absence, however, his wives had grown powerful, and had raised statues of their husband, that his people may see him even while he was away, and the people revered him and worshipped at his statues. Suleiman saw the statues, and grew proud. His pride blinded him, preventing him from seeing the folly which was to come. His wisdom, however, he shared with his people, ensuring peace, and unravelling even the most difficult of riddles, creating the laws which would carry on for generations.

Then one day, a man came before him, asking of the statues. Suleiman said that his wives had made them for the people. "But they praise your name." said the man. "As they should, for I am wise." Suleiman replied. "And you know all the secrets of the world?" asked the man. "That I do," said Suleiman. "Are none wiser?" asked the man. "There are none," replied Suleiman.

"Then who am I?" asked the man. And Suleiman looked at the man, and saw the punishing angel of Adonai, and realized his sin. He fell to his knees before the angel, asking for forgiveness, but the angel would not listen.

"You have doomed your kingdom. It shall be torn asunder. Brother shall fight brother, because of your pride," said the angel. "But Adonai forgives all, and a time will come when the true King will return." The angel of punishment left.

And Beth-Sheba's wisdom fled from Suleiman. His wisdom clouded, the kingdom of Suleiman suffered, and Suleiman grew old and tired. Finally, he saw that it was his time to die, and he walked out onto the balcony before his people. He gazed upon them, and died -- but Adonai would not let him fall. He stood before all, and even the elemental lords feared, and laid no hand of retribution upon his people for has taking of their secrets, for they believed him still alive. For seven days did Suleiman stand on his balcony, dead, with the elemental lords fearful his watchful eye, and his people awed by his presence.

On the seventh day did then, did Adonai send a small termite, to eat the staff that Suleiman held, which kept him upright, and allowed him to fall, and thus did the people know that Suleiman was truly dead, and the elemental lords know that Adonai watched them, for only Adonai sees and knows all things.