I've been meaning to finish the El Chronicle for quite a while now, but I've got too much on my plate. I had originally conceived this as a recitation by the High Priest to the young Kara Zor-El in that canto which is a series of monlogues by different characters, but it didn't fit and I couldn't finish it, being dissatisfied with the poetry of it. Please be inspired by it and feel free to let others be so.
It ends just as Hyra-Kahn (whose name, by the by, is a word-play on that of John Hyrcanus, a Hasmonean High Priest of the intertestimental period of Israelite history, when there were no reigning kings of the Davidic line) is about to tell Kara how the science council "won" leadership of Krypton -- by cheating! The story is told in four pages of Krypton Chronicles and is simply astounding: The scientists convince the priests to "let Rao decide" by a lightning strike (this too has a biblical parallel: the budding rod of Aaron), and then they rig their rod to attract the lightning to it! This story is told by a scientist El (Jor-El I's dad? Wish I could find my copy!) to a priest El after the fact. The last panel is the scientist El laughing to the incredulous priest. Reading this may have been the genesis of my own take on Krypto as set forth in Heartlanders.
- Michael E. Mautner
THE HOUSE OF EL AND ITS LEGACY
or "A SUPERCLAN FAMILY TREE"
A Cleric of Old Krypton recites --
Near a millenia before
the Great Catastrophe, the war
that froze our world and led
to its cultural atrophy,
there lived the Lord Hyr-El,
son of tyrranical Wab-El
of that illustrious House of El
begun when lowly Erok wed
lovely Milia -- daughter of Uved,
Bethgar of North Urrika -- and became
the first Bethgar of all Urrika.
Wab-El said he ruled in Rao's name,
but his was a false prophecy.
Hyr-El professed true faith,
and lost the throne: his brother
Vad-El succeeded Wab-El
and sent soldiers to slay
Hyr-El as he lay
down to sleep in his bed.
They found him gone:
mere moments ahead
of the knives had he fled
to find new lives for his mate and he
in what one day would be
the great city called Kandor.
He never saw Wab-El, or Vad-El,
or Urrika again.
Not so his sons. Hyr-El begat Jaf-El --
great prophet of Rao who returned to Urrika
-- and Tio-El, the naturalist who saved
endangered species, and, with Jaf-El, who had
foreseen it, saved the Folk from the Flood.
Later, though, Tio became an apostate
and had to be expelled from the continent,
his experiments having led him astray.
Thus, you see, the very first split
on our beloved planet
between science and the faith
occured between two brothers El.
Ironically, though, it was in Tio's line
that the Spirit of the Sun prevailed.
In Hyr-El's seed it simply dissipated;
all his descendants have been forgotten.
From Tio-El's line came that of Val-El,
great explorer and brother of wily Tro-El,
founder of Bokos, Isle of Thieves.
The line of Val led to Sul-El
the astronomer, and Hatu-El,
his son, who conquered Electricity
and all its ancillary power.
Yes, they were many scientists,
the sons of Tio and his son Val-El --
in the line of Hatu-El: Wir-El,
maker of the sound trapping machine;
and Shu-El, who founded the College
of Computers and so loved his son,
Thar-El, that he enrolled him there
only to see Thar rebel and become
a Raoist. Thar went on; became the jurist
who remade our trial system along Purist
lines. These, of course, were Lord Raoman's,
ever our guide in the things that matter.
Praised is he!, whose Spirit had reasserted
itself in the blood of the Els,
though the daughter of Shu, Fedra Shu-El,
was the drafter of the Science Council
constitution, for which they who expelled
the Priest of Rao -- Damned are they! --
called her "the Great Legislator" --
O, Tempestuous Day!
And, of the distant sons of rebellious Thar,
the modern scions of Erok-El who were filled
with the faith's inner quiet?:
Im-El -- the brilliant physicist
who harnessed atomic energy,
revolutionizing Kryptonian industry --
and his sons: Yu-El, High Priest of Rao
and my own father's mentor,
and his brother, Pir-El, great General
who made the Science Council supreme
over the Five Continents and Seas,
in youth through just victories --
-- Why, in the First Civil War,
when the insidious
unleashed its outrageous weapon,
a solar-refractor ship,
on the ancient capitol
and burnt it to cinders,
Pir-El, young and virile,
saved his Kandoran allies
with a cloud of dust so thick
it eclipsed the Sun!; the ship fell
harmless to the sea, and the war
ended quickly, thereafter --
and, when age had enfeebled him,
by resort to foul trickery --