Study Guide

Lord of Light Chapter 6

By Roger Zelazny

Chapter 6

  • In the Garden of Joys, Brahma is found dead.
  • Vishnu and Shiva are sent for, and they bring Lord Ganesha with them. First order of business? Find the killer. Wait, no… They actually need to find some successors first.
  • They decide on Kali. She's powerful and loathes Accelerationism enough to effectively stamp it out among men and gods.
  • Down amongst humanity, a merchant named Vama is met by a friend, Kabada, who wants to discuss the smell coming from Vama's place. Vama says not to worry—he's just saving his defecations to develop a machine that will take it underground and away from the house. If his friends will bear it a little longer, the toilet will at long last return to humanity.
  • Yama and Kali receive a call from the other gods. They offer Kali the job of Brahma. The catch? She has to become a man to be Brahma and the transfer of bodies will annul her marriage to Yama. And you thought your dress code was strict.
  • Yama and Kali discuss the job offer, and Kali accepts.
  • Yama spends that night in each of the rooms of the Pavilion of Silence. There, he learns that Shiva has also been murdered.
  • He goes to his friend Kubera to discuss the matter, and Kubera informs him Agni will become the new Shiva and fill in the gap.
  • Yama decides to take up the case to give him something to do, and possibly someone to kill.
  • As Yama goes Sherlock Holmes, Ratri comes to see Kubera.
  • Ratri's afraid that she'll be blamed for Brahma's death as she saw him twitching—maybe dead, maybe not—in the garden. She didn't call for help because, although she didn't want to kill him, she did want him dead.
  • Kubera assures her she will be fine. She need only wait to be called in for psyche-probing; if she's telling the truth, then it'll show she's innocent. He also promises he'll protect her since she is his friend.
  • Yama probes thirty-seven subjects, eleven of which are gods. Nothing.
  • Kubera tries to talk it through with Yama, but they reach no conclusions. Kubera peruses the master-tapes index as they chat.
  • In the human city of Keenset, the printing press, plumbing, and bifocals are all being rediscovered. The new Brahma decides the city must be destroyed and gathers a party for a holy war. Krishna declines the invite.
  • Kubera finds Lord Kalkin, one Sam, on a grassy hillside. He knows Sam is the murderer, and Kubera wants to know why Sam did it. For his part, Sam's more than curious as to how Kubera found him out.
  • Sam tells him he just decided mankind could live well enough without these gods.
  • As for Kubera, he realized that when Sam was killed, Murugan was undergoing a body transfer. Since Sam's Attribute means he has control of electromagnetic phenomena, he figured Sam slipped into Murugan's body instead of Murugan. Elementary, my dear, Buddha.
  • Sam fills in the holes of the story: Thanks to Taraka, Sam learned how to live outside his body, so when the tiger got him, he just slipped out and slipped into Murugan's. As for Murugan, he probably went to hell.
  • Now they're at an impasse. Kubera wants to help Sam, but he doesn't want Yama harmed. As for Sam, Yama's pretty much the next name on his hit list.
  • They decide to solve the problem the only way two intelligent people know how: Irish Stand-down.
  • Each takes a turn punching the other until one passes out. Sam loses.
  • Yama is talking with Ratri when they hear the Garuda bird; he drags her with him to the bird's cage.
  • They find Kubera with the bird, and Lord Murugan strapped into the saddle.
  • Yama wants to know what's going on and why Murugan's all unconscious, but Kubera tells him never you mind.
  • Yama asks Ratri to put a darkness on the Garuda so it can't see, but Kubera has her put the darkness on Yama instead.
  • Now a fugitive, Ratri joins Kubera and Sam. They're heading to Keenset.
  • In the days leading up to the great battle, forces from around the world join arms with Sam against Heaven.
  • Taraka finds Sam, bringing his legions of Rakasha with him. He also warns Sam that Yama is coming, along on a chariot filled with some scary looking machines.
  • Lord Nirriti the Black—another of the First—comes with his zombie army, and Dalissa, last of the Mothers of the Terrible Glow, will help defend the river. The Rakasha also bring slizzards, elephants, and fire elementals. What? No Ents?
  • Yama comes and is confronted by Taraka. Yama is hardly fazed by the attack, though, and goes to meet Sam. He's come to oppose Heaven on Sam's side, and he's brought plenty of fancy, death-dealing tools with him.
  • He'll fight alongside Sam as his charioteer. They talk strategy, and Sam informs Yama that Kubera drills the troops but also trains them in the ways of science and technology. Even if they lose, Acceleration will go on.
  • The battle begins the next day.
  • Sam and Yama lead the charge. Thanks to the Rakasha, they break through the slizzard cavalry of the gods and begin pushing the gods' forces; despite Yama's warnings, Sam gets a little cocky.
  • Then the gods join the fray.
  • The demigods join first, but Sam's power strikes them with lightening.
  • Mara sweeps onto the field, but Sam can't hit him through the illusions of darkness. Yama promises he'll kill that god one day (wink).
  • Mara's illusion causes him to grow to the size of a mountain. Sam strikes at the illusion god again, missing but forcing Mara to hide.
  • The banks of the river Vedra flood the battlefield, and between the water and darkness, Sam and Yama are stuck.
  • Ratri breaks the darkness, and the two gods go to the city in its defense.
  • In the city, Yama is accosted by Shiva or Agni… or he-who-was-once-Agni… anyway, you get the idea. Agni attacks him, but Yama's cloak sends the force right back, killing the god.
  • Sam kills Rudra but realizes he cannot save the city of Keenset. Brahma, Vayu, and Mara disarm Sam, and they're about to take him when Garuda comes dive-bombing from the air, ridden by Yama.
  • When the dust settles, Sam has met his first defeat, but the victory cost the gods much.
  • Later, Lady Ratri is sentenced to walk the human world in a middle-aged body and Yama is found dead in his cell with a strange device. He might have broadcasted his soul into a different body.
  • As for Sam, he's hooked up to a radio tower, and his atman is transmitted into the magnetic cloud circling the world.
  • Nirriti the Black's power grows strong while Accelerationism continues.

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