Guest Post by Jordan River
Three heirless kings with the wealth of bachelors and a taste for adventure are currently on the road to Bethlehem where it is the time of the annual herb harvest.
From the Island of Tonga, the Empire of Hollywood and the green lands of New Zealand, these Magi have gathered in hot pursuit of the brightest star on the horizon. Each has seen a star appear simultaneously in his homeland….
In Tonga there is a hill called Vaus Hill, the highest peak on the land, where for generations a lost tribe of the Hebrews have set a nightly watch on the heavens for a star foretold by the Prophet Balaam of Madian. Just last night the star appeared and preparations were made to leave at once to follow the voyage of the star across the sky as instructed by their ancestors. Time seem to speed up as oceans were crossed; cities and deserts passed by until suddenly the sun-kissed Balthazar, The Magi of Tonga had become lost in a strange mist on the Hebron Hills.
In Hollywood there are so many stars that another one is no cause for contemplation. Jasper however was in mourning for his King with whom he had reigned jointly. This kept him awake every night and all night, as he searched the skies waiting for a new star to appear before the sun came up on the Santa Monica Boulevard. When the star did appear, as he knew it would, he became restless for life. He tore off his black robes of mourning, donned a fine garment, gathered his followers and leapt into the night. For him too, time accelerated and the distance of months was covered in a single night until he became lost in a strange mist on the Hebron Hills.
In New Zealand it was midnight when a chorus of tuis and wood pigeons awoke Melchior from his deep slumber. Attuned to rising daily with bird song he was up and dressed before realizing that this was not sunlight flooding his room. It was starlight beaming down from a radiant star. Vaguely aware of an ancient prophesy about a Star-Child, and now unable to return to sleep he launched his canoe to follow the star beams across the sea. Within moments it seemed he had reached a landmass somewhere in the East. Horses were waiting and they galloped him through the night until he became lost in a strange mist on the Hebron Hills.
This strange mist had hidden all the earth. Slowly it began to dissipate but the star appeared not. Sunlight did reveal The Three Kings to each other and a sign post marked Jerusalem. After exchanging fragrant greetings, the latest samples and some vintage flacons, they realised that they had a common quest and so they continued along the Golgotha Highway to the city, glad to be reassured of their joint destination and to be in the company of fellow travellers.
Time again sped up and another day and night flew by as if they were but hours until at last they came to the gates of Jerusalem where they were greeted by The IFRA President. Did I say greeted? I meant stopped; stopped by the IFRA Synthorian Guard. President Herod had been alerted of a fragrant entourage making waves across the countryside.
Billows of aromatic air and a forward sillage that bespoke real frankincense and natural myrrh had aroused his bureaucratic interest. As he was also finely tuned to economics he could also smell gold. From which lands had these people come? It did not really matter as they were now in his jurisdiction and could be promptly detained on the suspicion of smuggling illegal substances.
There was no traveling that night for The Kings and their followers. They spent the night under guard but not under lock in a wing of the presidential palace. Their goods were confiscated and their saddle bags searched.
Balthazar’s ‘contraband’ was
Man-Myrrh known today as Christian Dior’s, Eau Sauvage Parfum (and not to be confused with Eau Sauvage EDT),
Keiko Mecheri’s Oliban, a sweet frankincense,
(Ed: The story is not finished yet. This is a traveling post and now you must go to the Fragrant Man<<JUMP to find out the ending of this fabulous tale. Believe me, it’s worth it.)