Wars in heaven as played out on Earth

Battleblade Warrior - Marc Gasciogne

I must say that this one was better than Chasms of Malice though the difficulty factor was not all that high. It appears that you can complete this particular book without actually finding anything that is necessary to complete the adventure. In fact when you get to the final battle, it doesn't actually matter if you have missed something because it lands up with you anyway. However, like Chasms of Malice, this one seems to be more of a maze with a few monsters than anything else.

Mind you, the story is a little more believable in that you are not the long lost heir to some great king who happens to be working in a kitchen but rather the crown prince of one of the southern cities of Alansia. The city is under siege by a horde of lizard men, and you are pretty much on the verge of defeat. However, you have a dream and your god says that they are also facing a war in heaven and victory on the ground will effect a victory in heaven.

This idea is a very ancient idea stemming back to the ancient near east. The belief was that when one went to war against temporal enemies the gods of these particular people would also go to war with each other as well. However victory on the ground usually suggested that it was achieved because there was victory in heaven. Basically it was a slanging match between gods and the followers of powerful gods would generally necessitate victory for the followers.

It is interesting that this idea does come out of the Old Testament, and even then God did not necessarily play by the rules of the day. Take for instance the event with Senacerib. When he is up against Jerusalem they mock Israel's god for being weak and powerless, only to wake up and discover that their army had been decimated. Once again, the belief was that a god of a large empire was necessarily more powerful than the god of a small nation.

Another biblical incident takes place in the early parts of the book of Samuel. Here we have the Philistines and the Israelites going at each other, and at one point the Israelites take the Ark of the Covenant, the symbol of God dwelling with his people, out into the battle and lose. The Philistines capture the Ark and the Israelites are left to ponder whether the god that freed them from Egypt was really as powerful as he said he was. However, as it turns out he was because when the Ark was put beneath the statue of Dagon, the Philistine god, the Philistines discovered the next morning that the statue had been defiled. Then a plague struck their cities, and they learned that it was because they possed the ark, so they sent it back to the Israelites.

As we come further towards our time, we find that this ancient practice pretty much went the way of the telegraph. It seems that as we enter into the Greco-Roman world the idea of a single god fighting for a nation was no longer the in thing. Alexander considered himself a god, as did the Roman emperors, and the gods had pretty much been relegated to somebody you paid lip service too. If we read Herodotus we notice that the victories against the Persians are not attributed to a god, or gods, but rather to the tenacity of the Greeks to fight to keep their freedom to rule themselves.

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/470326748