Friday Lore Post: Myths and Legends of Menechit, Part 3: The Leader

“And in this time of ruin, the devil shall appoint unto the scions of the fifty-score and ten a Leader. The Leader shall be the devil’s hand in the world, the general of destruction and the abattoir of divine disfavour. Clothed as a human and crowned as a king, the Leader shall be invited into the grand cities of the scions and welcomed with fanfare and glory, for he will be loved by all who see his presence.

He shall wear onto his head a crown of birds and on his hands gauntlets of iron fire. He will carry with him the Thorn of the Unjust. At his feet will stand the Liar, that beast with honey in his mouth, a long leash on his neck, and the Liar will bring the unsuspecting righteous to the Leader’s cause.

The Liar is a creature of infinity, and his words shall carry everything. None shall resist his poison, and all will hear his song. He hides his horns behind shattered wings, disguises his filth with beauty. Everywhere he walks he will be followed, and always does he lead back to his Leader, ensnaring humans on his leash.

The first among angels to leave the Gated Land, the Liar wishes nothing but the collapse of paradise. He is chained to the will of the Leader, for avarice is his primacy. He will seduce the courts of the world to follow him and in the end of days, his leash shall become the chain that forever binds the damned to the walls of the Gated Land, his bones will be their prison. He will be cast down into the depths before the last hours by the angels, his lies exposed to the world too late for them to be undone.

On his back the Leader shall carry the hopes of humanity in a cloth basket and he shall feed them each and every one to the demons of the five fires, until all that remains on the face of the cosmos is despair. The Leader will delight in the despair of those who worship him, and he shall cultivate it, a garden of ruin and rot. Only when it is too late and the Leader is too powerful will he be seen for what he is, for the warnings of the truly righteous shall go unheeded until the final hour.

In the final battle, the Leader shall shatter the angelic hosts and slay the new martyrs, mocking the saints and cursing the blessed. And from among his oppressed masses shall arise the messiah, the true saviour to destroy the false. The messiah will destroy the Liar and cut his tongue, and he will do battle with the Leader alone for years numbering six score.

The Leader’s death shall herald the devil’s arrival on the field of battle, his final purpose fulfilled. His blood shall anoint the world with its final suffering, and he will be doomed to watch from the depths of the abyss as all his works are undone and the salvation of humans is at hand. And for all eternity after the end, the Leader shall lead his demonic brethren in torment, damned to spend paradise’s coin on the turn-wheel of his own making. Amen.” (From the Annals of the End, ch. 12, l.4-42)

Nearly all accounts of the apocalypse in Catechism scripture include a figure called the Leader. There are over a dozen prophecies about him and he appears in more than a five dozen others, all saying somewhat similar things about his role in the end of days. The selection from the Annals of the End above is the most commonly cited prophecy about the Leader in the modern Catechism, and the one with which people are the most familiar.

The Leader is understood to be a political figure who will be sent by the devil to lead humans astray at the end of time. He will assume leadership of human kingdoms and armies and will lead them into folly and ruin so that the devil can have providence over the world. Of course he will be killed in the end, but his presence is a driving factor in the end of time, and in the messiah’s assent. Many theologians have noted that more has been written scripturally about the Leader than the messiah, which is taken as a sign of the danger he poses.

Many readers have also noted that the prophecy does not explicitly say that the messiah will kill the Leader, or indeed that the Leader will be defeated by the messiah at all. Of course, Catechism prophecy makes clear that the messiah is meant to lead humans and rule them into eternity after the end of the world, so it’s a gap that most consider easily filled, but it is considered to be a theological issue that the prophecy is unclear on the exact means of the Leader’s death, and many have speculated that he might, in fact, not be killed by the messiah at all—though there is no indication of who might kill him in that case.

The Liar also features in many, but not all, prophecies about the Leader. He’s an enigmatic figure who often seems to serve a very similar if not identical purpose to the Leader. A charismatic figure who lures people away from the path of righteousness and into damnation, the Liar is figured as a monster rather than a political leader, but one so compelling that nobody can help but follow him. Some scholars believe that the Liar and the Leader are actually the same figure, and that perhaps the honey-mouthed monster is an older form of the story and the charismatic king is the more recent. There does exist some evidence that the prophecy recounted from the Annals above is a combination of more than one ancient text—the two paragraphs in the prophecy dedicated to the Liar use different grammatical forms in the original Dynese, It is possible, therefore, that a pre-Catechism version of this prophecy and mythology existed, and that it was merged with the Catechism’s version at some point.

Further prophecies about the Leader go into more detail about the tortures he’ll enact upon the human race during the end of days, and about the strategies and charms he’ll employ to seduce people to his cause. Many of them get quite graphic, and depending on the fieriness of the priest in a given church, are often overlooked for their unsuitability for public consumption. But no matter the congregation, stories of the end of the world and the Leader are preached on with some regularity, as he is connected with about any sin one can conceive of.

Interestingly, though the Leader is a figure unique to the Catechism, most eschatological traditions globally contain an entity who fulfills a similar function—a political figure of some kind who causes or is heavily implicated in the end of the world, usually through deception and temptation. Unfortunately, no cross-cultural study has yet been done on this, and no real comparative work exists. But given the fact that it seems like versions of the Leader’s myth existed pre-catechism, it is very possible that those early versions influenced not only the Catechism, but most global religions. Which either lends credence to their truth, or says something about the value of this myth to humans the world over and across history.

From “The Definitive Atlas of the World, Vol. 6: Mythologies and Beliefs,” by Pascal Tiberius Naoton Quimbell Haeverine anNatalie, published in White Cape in DN 1997.

26 thoughts on “Friday Lore Post: Myths and Legends of Menechit, Part 3: The Leader

  1. What if…the Messiah IS the Leader? It’s already implied that the Messiah is *coughSamcough* a pretty awful person, so maybe the reason he defeats the Leader without explicitly killing him is because the Leader turns aside from his destructive path, thereby becoming the Messiah?

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  2. Well no wonder the Leader wants to destroy the world if he has to wear a crown of birds! He’ll never get all the bird shit out of his hair. That would certainly make me hate everyone and everything.

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  3. Could the Liar be Scott? He could be described as a “creature of infinity”, and if he can puppeteer people by infesting them via his eggs, as has been hinted at, he might well “disguise his filth with beauty.” He’s not precisely charismatic, but then, if his hosts become helpless puppets, he doesn’t have to be. And given the gods’ version of the Gated Land mythos, he could even be said to be the first to leave the Gated Land…

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    1. Scott is one good candidate for that position! He does fit a good chunk of the clearer criteria, and you’re right that his means of controlling people could well be the Liar’s ability to make people follow him. A good option for sure!

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    2. I was thinking Lyren, since it’s in the name. And Lyren is more seductive than Scott is, and is beautiful.

      I’m pondering a Lyren and Franz team-up to make those folk who think Franz is the leader correct.

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      1. Why can’t I edit previous comments? Ugh! Anyway Lyre and Song go hand in hand in the same way that Liar and Lyren do. I think Liar is literal. 🙂

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        1. That’s a good connection to make. 🙂 It’s always good to remember that in all the symbology and metaphor, sometimes things are meant to be literal.

          It’s weird you can’t edit comments. I can edit your comments, but I guess that’s a power only the administrator gets.

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      2. Lyren would be a good candidate as well! Plus he’s a pretty great liar. 🙂

        And all he’d have to do is get Drew to hang out with Franz and he could make the Leader prophecy a bit self-fulfilling.

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        1. I think Lyren is a better Liar than Scott. In so much as does Scott really care enough to lie?

          And Drew and Franz have the Frederick connection and are in the same sort of location so easy enough for them to hook up, and it’s not like Franz has any powers against Lyren’s influence is it? Plus Franz has reason to want to destroy Messiah-Sam even if Sam was the one that helped overthrow Stefan it’s not like Franz will know. Plus I do like the idea that everyone who keeps saying Franz is the leader is actually right.

          And it’ll kinda fit with Franz being anti-Dominic, and Dominic being pro-Messiah-Sam.

          Who’s pulling Dominic’s strings? I can’t remember. The teleporting, and Stefan’s escape, hrm is that Dominic and Cyrus are both working for Klaus? Since Theodore wasn’t was he, he was Rawen was it?

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          1. Scott almost never lies! He doesn’t see the point.

            Frederick would be the easiest vector for Drew to get to Franz, and indeed, regardless of who the Leader and Liar are, that’s probably going to be a danger someday anyway. 🙂 And Franz might well be happy to side with them, given the information he has.

            It would kind of fit in with Franz’s crusade against Dominic, too. Though a lot of the people who think Franz is the Leader are just racist, so it would suck if they were right, haha.

            We don’t know who’s pulling Dominic’s strings, or indeed if anyone is! He might be his own puppet master. But if not, we’ll find out eventually. 😀 And it was Rawen who was behind Theodore in the end, not Klaus.

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  4. New theory! The prophecies don’t actually mean anything but they’re just a bunch of people shitposting!!! 🙂 There is no greater purpose, no divine plan, no future laid out, and none of the characters are important in that sort of way.

    It all turns out to be a practical joke! Or so vague and general it’s just like astrology.

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    1. That’s always a huge possibility! I mean, it might just have been ancient people killing time by writing something fun, and all our characters might just be a bunch of bored and horny guys with nothing major in their futures.

      Always a possibility worth keeping in mind. 😀

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      1. Give us that AU for April Fool’s Day? 🙂 BUT nothing would change.

        Or the story is being written by a bunch of horny historians in the future, and one guy who’s trying to be serious about it and keeps saying “You can’t have them have sex here!” and “Squick! TOO MUCH!!!” and “that’s so unrealistic and physically impossible!” and other guys are all “yeah you believe in magic and chosen ones but not in magical boys whose sole powers are five second refactory periods and stamina enough to go for days besides I already explained that with ghost-isaac”

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        1. I have always wanted to write a short one-off about a future historian writing about these events. Your version is a lot different from mine but also feels like a historical argument that I’d end up having with my co-workers hahaha.

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  5. New theory: the Liar is Entity ω-3. The Leader, presumable, is a sorcerer, because they’re the only ones capable of holding its metaphorical leash—or should I say, lead.

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