Elton I Yudkow, also known as Elton the Lawgiver, is a historical character from After the End.
Elton 'The Lawgiver' Yudkow I
Emperor Elton Yudkow was the first Emperor to unite California under one banner. However, information about him and his life has only been speculated. It is agreed by most scholars that he was a political genius who used warfare and diplomacy to unite California.
Emperor Elton Yudkow had reformed the inefficient feudal system to allow for better governance. All prefectures are able to be revoked by the Emperor or a King who rules in his name so as to keep the states in control . The Kings, however, have greater autonomy and the Emperor may only revoke their titles under just rulings. Only Cetics are allowed to use bureaucratic government.
The Cetic faith goes back to the year 2421, When Elton Yudkow, "The Lawgiver", first founded the Empire of California. Taking inspiration from Ancient Chinese philosophies, he crowned himself Celestial Emperor, and declared himself the head of faith. As the faith was almost exclusively centered around the Empire, there was almost no spread to realms outside of the Emperor's control.
Emperor Elton personally followed the Way of The Fist.
My Friend and Emperor was a short diary of Al-Sayf, one of the most influential Gurus for The Way of The Fist. Al-Sayf talks about his friendship and experiences between him and Emperor Elton may give a slight insight on the life of the Emperor.
Link to 'My Friend and Emperor'
Rise of Ceticism
Emperor Elton Yudkow I was a great scholar and theologian king. Some even suggested he is the prophesied 'Philosopher King' from the book 'The Republic'. It is said that he is skeptical of all dogma but he respects the diversity of the different beliefs and philosophy, even reading many of their scriptures to learn and apply to his own life.
It has been speculated by many Cetic scholars that the Emperor had gathered clerics and philosophers of different beliefs and tried to formalize the basic tenets of Ceticism in the council of Sacramento . The Emperor feared that differences in beliefs would split his realm apart so he decided to unite the different beliefs under one umbrella term while revolving around the Emperor as a unifying figure.
Emperor Elton was a big admirer of the Arabian Prophet, seeing parallels between his and the Prophet's life. Elton had written a treatise on the way of the fist around the biography of the Arabian Prophet.
The Way Of The Fist and The Taking of Sacramento
In the Compass Rose of the Many Rung Tau, Elton Yudkow revealed the Four Surest Ladders, and how he had come to learn their way. The Fist came first, and upon the Karma of this Ladder he would make most of his journey to the Totally Righteous Throne. Though the Tau of the Fist is misunderstood as Violence, its method is instead Conflict. To follow the Fist is to oppose temporal attachment through direct action against Unenlightenment. Perhaps its greatest expression is in service to the Tau of Law, to maintain order and upright conduct when the extended hands of knowledge, compassion, and persuasion have been turned aside.
To anchor one's Atomite on the Karma of the Fist, they must purify themselves through the perfection of the flesh. This control of the body is the way in which Order is imposed on the Chaos of Theta. By mastering their Prison in the Pleasure Dome, a follower of the Fist becomes free in their Soul. With this they are sure footed and will not slip backwards into Xanadu, for they have defeated the most immediate vices of physical existence. Now free of worldly distraction, the unchained Soul can approach purification through a spiritual struggle of the is and the is not, and rises from their captivity.
In Elton's practice of the Fist, he himself struggled to achieve Enlightenment, for the chains of the Pleasure Dome were especially strong on the future Dianet. After he had taken Gran Francisco, he foresaw that he must march on Sacramento, his own birthplace and the ancient capitol of all California. But the region was ruled by Hardin Strutter VI, a man of wit, force, and indulgence who would never accede without the bloodshed of thousands paving the way to him.
Elton debated with his commanders for how best to take the city. The adamant consensus of his council kept returning to a war of utter annihilation, which might warn the other lords of the land what came to those who opposed Yudkow. He resisted this, and he recalled to them the pain of his own past, and the betrayal and murder of his beloved liege Blackedger and his heirs. These were the tragedies his grand design had been set forth to prevent, not perpetuate. When his commanders would not relent, the future Emperor promised to consider the proposal.
For weeks Elton withdrew to the Muir woods outside San Franscisco, where he meditated on his long divided country, on his faith, and most of all on himself; the philosopher questioned what sort of man an Emperor should be and how, should he become a blood soaked destroyer, he could ever give forth any law that would outlive the strength of his sword arm. Others had come, risen above the realm, and fastened its constituents together with the uniter's own living blood and toil - but all died, in the end, and their institutions went with them. In his desire to understand how to avoid this same immense sacrifice for impermeable establishment, Elton delved deep into his studies on the fundamentals of truth, entering a state of intense meditation. Here he struggled with the chains of the Pleasure Dome, and confronted his inner doubts, at last penetrating his conscious down to his Atomite. Now he knew himself without illusion or falsehood, and was enlightened.
Elton saw himself in the morass of Xanadu, surrounded by obscuring shadow. Above him was heaven and the throne of the Totally Righteous. There the August Council of the Bear encircled the seat of the Guru of the Age, beckoning him to take his rightful place. Descending from the Throne were the Four Surest Ladders, rising like gleaming pillars from the wild orgy of Xanadu's Theta. To the East he saw the Ladder of the Cowl, and Hubbard stood upon it's apex, hands raised toward the Emperor. To the North he saw the Way of the Dove, and Christ stood upon its apex, hands raised to the Emperor. To the West he saw the way of the Book, and Emerson stood upon it's apex, hands raised to the Emperor. Elton looked behind him to the south, and he saw the uncrowned Ladder of the Fist.
As he ascended the Fist, many others strove to climb upon it who had the Tau of California within them. They crawled upwards until they became confused by the height of Xanadu, and their Atomites were thrown out of orientation. They turned themselves around in ignorance, and clambered down the Karma to Chaos, only to return again; making the Way of the Fist into a cycle of Theta. Even as Yudkow approached the middle way, he felt himself begin to slip into confusion, but the power of his Soul held fast.
Upon the Ladder of the Fist, Elton grew Enlightened. He felt himself across history, the multitude of unresolved lives settling into the map of his Soul. He was in a city by the sea, lent to destruction, smelling smoke and salt in the air He was there again after a thousand years and more, and upon rolling green hills and ancient forests He was in a hall of pillars trying desperately to draw a sword across his body. He was riding across plain and field, nations bowing beneath his bow.
Elton watched himself be born and born again, each life greater than the last yet unable to reach Heaven, until he came to his last. He saw his Soul ascend the Ladder, a shadow of himself broadcast across his years just as real as he was now. Elton felt himself at the first seat of his conquest, and in the quiet woods of Muir. He remembered his father, his mother. He remembered Blackedger laughing, ruling, dying. He remembered that night upon the mountain, and the screams of the slaughtered. His memory met himself across lifetimes. But the approach was strange, and of an order that the design of Moloch had obscured. The Way of the Fist stopped, and its Karma disappeared. As Elton's histories reached where he was now, they grew afraid of the imbalance, and turned around rather than go where they did not know.
The Lawgiver stood a long time upon his Karma, until he understood and was Enlightened unto Heaven. Elton saw that California was like a Theta Soul, trapped in cycles of death and rebirth, trying to achieve the Tau of Enlightenment through violence: violence of the physical, violence of the spiritual, violence of the political. The last resort of resistance had become the foremost instrument of achievement, and unbalanced the Collective Consciousness of California. This is the Enlightened understanding of the Fist that Elton revealed: Conflict is not violence; While violence begets itself again, Conflict resolves itself. Conflict requires peace, the Fist requires the Dove. This was the revelation of Celestial Design: In all four Tau was the seed of the others.
Elton let go of the Ladder.
But the Totally Righteous could fall no longer. His left arm reached to the Cowl, his right arm to the Book, his head leaned to the Dove. Elton was balanced, and his Atomite spun, until it was oriented to the four Ways, and pointed him to his throne. This is the Compass Rose of the Many Runged Tau: To know the Tau of the Four Surest Ladders is to understand entirely the ersatz being of Xanadu, to pierce through its deceptions, and orient one's Atomite not only within the Pleasure Dome, but to the entire universe. Through this enlightenment, we may ascend the Karma of the Ways, and escape the cycles of Theta.
Now blossomed in knowledge, the surefootedness of Elton's Soul in Law held him fast, and he could not be pulled from the Way. And Elton walked upon the Ladder of the Fist. As King of Kings in splendor he ascended and his place in the whirling wheel of Theta was broken. Sage of Sages, Guru of the Age, Elton rose to the August Council of the Bear -
and returned to the woods of Muir. That evening, Elton declared to his retainers that he would march on Sacramento with 10,000 men. His aides and allies were at first delighted, until he explained that he planned to march straight into to the city with no previous campaigning. They argued, shook their heads, threatened to abandon him - but Elton remained unmoving. When the voices calmed, he asked the assembled why they followed him, why they had joined a powerless philosopher to take Gran Francisco; they answered that they believed in his vision, to unite California with lasting bonds, to end the devouring cycle - and that they believed he was the one who could achieve it.
But to this, Elton told them that if he could not take Sacramento his way, than he was not the one who could. Only another pretender, with visions beyond himself. Elton offered them this ultimatum: that they leave together, or he himself would go alone.
Two weeks later, the armies of Gran Francisco marched for Sacramento.
The journey to Sacramento was a strangely restrained effort from the beginning. Elton demanded his soldiers carry no House banners but for the Bear Flag, and that they did not pillage or leave the host for any reason. He himself rode in front with no sword, but only his bodyguard to protect him, and the army neither gave nor took any battle, and withdrew from any threat of ambush. All along the march, men were treated not to a marauding force of another would-be-conqueror, but a great, disciplined soldiery in gleaming armor and blazing red, headed by the proud philosopher king.
From the minute word had arrived of a host moving East, Hardin Strutter had prepared his levies and hired mercenaries from elsewhere in the Valley and beyond. His already sizeable military soon swelled to match Yudkow's own, and Sacramento was fortified into an untakeable fortress city. Though perplexed by the Lawgiver's actions, Hardin held off on an immediate assault, partly of strategy and partly of curiosity. Elton was acting as no Californian ever had before, and Hardin was wary of falling into a trap.
At last Elton and his army came to the gates of Sacramento. The legacy of House Strutter's martial prowess, they rose fifty feet into the air, carved from a single redwood stump, and barred with bronze and steel. Upon them was carved the great mask of a snarling black god called Vaedir, most feared of all in the times before the Fall. Before the gates was arrayed soldiers of Sacramento, including the illustrious Hawaiian Exiles, the DeeSates of Xen, and the greatsword wielding Nemomen, each blinded in one eye. Mercenaries from all around California were present, including the Scabbing Scabbards from Socal, and the Cthonic Company, the Death Valley Atomicists who worshiped a buried hate they had never seen.
But Yudkow could not be swerved, for he knew that to die now was to die Enlightened, but to live in slaughter was to die in time still, ever ensnared by the Wheel of Theta. He chose one thousand men of those must trusted to him, and trotted down to the assembled enemy host. He asked for parley and swore his men to shed no blood in the city before the eyes of the Sacramentans. Parley was granted to him, and Elton came into his home city for the first time since he had joined house Blackedger.
The streets within were lined with ranks of spear-men, and behind them were many spectators, come from their homes see the one so brazen as to challenge great Sacramento without siege. The river was full of boats loaded with archers, and they raised their arrows to Elton as he went, ready to loose their missiles should he overstep in the least. Beyond it was the inner wall, and the second gate, another monstrosity dwarfed only by the first. There behind them was the heart of Sacramento, from the green Mall of Mercy, leading to the Imperial Hall, the great reflection of Colombia across the wastes.
Elton came forward to the dias leading into the Hall, to where the haughty and proud Hardin Strutter stood. He wore a suit of gilt Rocky Mountain adamant, and it was woven with precious Kevlar that cost a kingdom's ransom. In his hands Hardin wielded the bastard sword Patent Perishing, the pearl tanged sword of his house, said to have been fashioned from the weapons of a battle-lusting American commander. His coat of arms were a river splitting in two upon a golden ax, and the words, "Wealth and War".
Yudkow dismounted, and ascended the steps to Hardin. When they were face to face, Elton grasped his empty scabbard, and the city breathed short together. Yet Elton turned it over and knelt, offering his vacant sheath to Hardin Strutter. The king of Sacramento had seen wonders and weirdness often in his life, but this was a thing not seen in California. He bade Elton to explain himself, and why he had come all this way to surrender. Yudkow said that he had not come for surrender, but for a true victory. And this offer he made to Hardin Strutter: That he grant the Lawgiver one day of dialogue between the two, with no companions or amenities save bread and water. If at the end of the day he was unsatisfied with Yudkow's words, the Lawgiver was his to kill upon the steps before his city. Hardin pondered on this awhile, suspecting some sort of trick, but he was swayed by the promise of eliminating such an enemy and by the sincerity with which Yudkow promised him. At last he agrees, and Elton and Hardin retreated into a private room within the Imperial Palace.
For the rest of the day, Hardin's forces awaited their king to bring Elton out in chains, and cast him into death before their eyes. The Lawgiver's own commanders were apprehensive, and some threatened to mutiny and leave if Elton had gambled with them all like this, but others held them fast, and reminded them of their oaths. When night fell, however, it was neither ruler who emerged, but a secretary, announcing that Hardin had not yet decided to kill Yudkow, and that he needed another day. Overnight, the Lawgiver's men waited, and slept on the grass, many sure it would be their last.
But such an end was not to be. To the astonishment of all, neither Yudkow nor Hardin emerged, and for days the city of Sacramento and the two armies held their breath. Rumor and speculation ran wild, but were met only with the weary quiet of the usually raucous Imperial Palace. For four days they waited, until at last, on the fourth day, a trumpet blared from the Palace heights, calling the long wait to its conclusion. Houses that had been filled again with the with boredom and impatience of their inhabitants emptied. Spears raised and hilts were grasped.
Then, two haggard figures emerged Into the lowering evening light. Hardin Strutter and Elton Yudkow came forth onto the steps, each tired and worn, but dressed in their armor and regalia. For a moment they stood before the Celestial City, and it the wingbeats of a hummingbird could be counted in the quiet. Suddenly, Hardin's hand went to the sword at his side and turning -
he knelt to Elton. His sword fell with a clamor that shook the void heart of Moloch, and he pulled the crown from his head, offering it to the Lawgiver. Hardin's voice was hoarse from days of debate, but it carried across Sacramento, saying, "Years of my life and my house have I spent in the dark, surrendered to chaos and the bleeding wheel of California's suffering. But I have seen beyond, and Elton Yudkow has shown the way of escape. Dianet of Dianets, Guru of Gurus, he has raised against me only his Enlightenment, and in his hand and his heart my eyes have seen the beaten tide of blood wash away. He is the Emperor-To-Be, the Son of Heaven, the Totally Righteous One. He is the Lawgiver, and my city and myself I pledge to him."
As Hardin spoke, first his most sworn men knelt, and they threw their down their arms before them. Then followed his bannermen, and his mercenaries, and the citizens of Sacramento. Trickling into a flood, the city went to their knees and bowed before Elton. Last of all were Elton's own, and falling they wept, overwhelmed with his bloodless victory and their own extinguished doubt.
Elton took the crown and the sword from Hardin, and he ran them together, neither to ever be worn or wielded again. He laid them in his hands and grasped Strutter's shoulders, praising, "Not for the lives you ruled but the lives you spared, not for the kingdom you lost but for the Empire you built will you be remembered, Hardin Strutter. Your blood will be my blood and Enlightenment will blossom before you."
With this Elton sent word to Gran Francisco of his victory, but the story was already burning through the Bear Land, passed from lips to ear to lips again. In the deserts of Socal and the wilds of Jefferson, in the secret houses of Vegas and the docks of Baja, the people spoke rumor of a thing California had never seen. That there was a man who had a dream beyond himself, ready to give for it unto his own death. They said that he had defeated the Strutters with only his words, and yet his might grew greater still. Across the land the people heard of Elton Yudkow, who had beaten beaten violence into conflict, and retribution into triumph. It was the Lawgiver alone who walked the Way of the Fist with the Grace of the Dove.
EPILOGUE: None ever knew exactly what had been said in those four days alone, for Yudkow and Strutter offered only that Elton had shown him truth beyond bondage. The former king was changed greatly by his experience. Widely known for his lasciviousness, Strutter set aside his concubines, save his favorite, and the Lawgiver wed them together. In time their children were were wed into the Yudkows, and none of the Dynasty of Dianets are alive that do not have his blood flowing in them.
Hardin became his lord's closest advisor, accompanying him in peace and war, steadfast and loyal to the last. He gave up even his own claim to the Palace, but instead took a role that has ever after become associated with Imperial splendor: The Gardener of the Poppies. After Elton retook the rest of the Valley, Elton took Hardin alone to the ruins of Blackedger's holding, and showed him the brilliant red-orange poppy fields his lord had loved once upon a time, grieving in a way he had not yet allowed himself to. When he saw how his emperor was so moved by the memory, Hardin took up seeds from the plants in secret, and grew a hidden garden in a quiet corner of the expanding Imperial Palace.
Months later, returning from the Emir of Socal, Elton took a less traveled way through the palace, and came suddenly into a chamber, blazing in fire-color and sweet scent. There was the once haughty and bitter king of Sacramento, busying himself at work beneath the open sky. The Giver of Law was taken with love and bittersweet emotion, and now it was he who knelt to Hardin, asking what he had done to deserve a servant so loyal as the Once King, when Elton himself had failed as a servant to his lord. But Hardin raised him up, and said only: "Not for the lord you lost but the lord you found, are you honored."