Authors’ Commentary on “Erra and the Seven”

Lawyers in Hell Authors’ Commentary on
»Erra and the Seven,«
 a story in Lawyers in Hell

‘Is this Erebos, in the realm of Hades, amid the shadows between the world of the living and the world of the dead?’ Lysicles asks himself in the opening scene of “Erra and the Seven,” my story for Lawyers in Hell.  ‘Is this the crossroads where three roads meet:  the road to Tartaros; the road to Asphodel; and the road to Elysion?  If it is,’ Lysicles thinks, ‘souls are sent here to be judged and set on their deserved paths:  to Tartaros, whence there is no return and no relief; to Asphodel’s meadows, where stricken heroes wander who remember name and fame only by drinking blood; or to the fields of honor on the isle of Elysion, where bliss and loved ones wait.

Lawyers in Hell Then he remembers.  Lysicles has already been judged, in New Hell:  the fearsome Erra and his Seven peerless champions have eaten Lysicles’ damned eyes, his tongue, and his heart and sent him here to Hades, half blind, half dumb and too weak to stand, with a hole where his heart should be.’

That’s Erra and the Seven for you, from the perspective of a Greek general who has had his eyes put out by one of Erra’s seven Sibitti, terrifying sons of heaven and earth.

Erra is an early Akkadian and Babylonian god of mayhem and pestilence, who has been known to unleash the Seven, the Sibitti, “pitiless personified weapons,” upon mankind from time to time.  These myths are very old, from the dawn of storytelling.  The choice of these characters was made early, by Janet and myself, as a fit counterpoint to Hell’s landlords, Kur and the tribe of Ki-Gal, both also from the earliest myths of humanity.

This story was designed to be the climax of the shared-universe anthology Lawyers in Hell(LIH) long before most of the stories in the book were written.  Janet and I wrote the introduction.  She wrote the first story, “Tribe of Hell.”  She had me write the final tale.  We posted these to give boundaries to our Hellions slated to contribute stories.

By the end of “Erra and the Seven,” not only the plague-god and his personified weapons, but Lysicles, the Athenian general, and Kur and Eshi, our Kigali protagonists, had us firmly in their clutches.  Our linked stories, “Tribe of Hell” and “Erra and the Seven,” might become the basis for a Hell novel someday.

So much depended on “Erra and the Seven.”  Their tale must set the direction for future Heroes in Hell (HIH) volumes we are planning, as well as provide a satisfactory ending for Lawyers.

Chris MorrisIn the taletelling, we learn more about Erra and his Seven.  What is it like to be a personified weapon, put back “in a cupboard” when not being used?  The Second of the Seven gives us a glimpse.  What is it like to be Erra, faced with Kur and Eshi and the inhuman tribe of hell, who have been on this land before Heaven and Earth were named – and will be here long after the downcast gods and men are gone, so the Kigali say.  Along with Eshi, the Kigali boy, we begin to ask the right questions – and get some intriguing answers.

When the Kigali and Erra and his Seven follow Lysicles to Erebos in Hades, the tales told in both first and last stories come to a surprising conclusion.  Writing it was a delicate task, demanding, satisfying.

Enjoy Erra and the Seven.  We’ll hear more from them in the next volume of Heroes In Hell, tentatively titled Adventurers in Hell and now being written by our Hellions.  Until then, like Erra and his Seven, let Kur and Eshi be your guides.
Erra and the Seven, © Chris Morris; Perseid Publishing, 2011
2011© Lawyers in Hell (Janet Morris), 2011, all rights reserved


#1 Tempus Thales 2011-06-29 05:26
What a grand job you did with these articles. Thank you, Zauberspiegel. TT and the SBS

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