Sweet Muse of Madness
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In-Shushinak was born into poverty in the town of Susa in the region of Elam, east of the Tigris-Euphrates rivers.  Sold as a baby to priests who worshipped the god Anu, he was taken to the city of Ur in the land of Sumer, and raised as a religious youth.
Since priests were among the few in Sumer who could read, write and calculate, the child-apprentice found himself assigned to a trading caravan as a records keeper and accountant.  It was in this capacity that In-Shushinak crossed the great World Sea and visited Graia for the first time, there developing a deep friendship with two children of the Plain, Cybele and Attis.

Returning to Ur some years later, the young priest recognized the decadence of the temple priesthood and spoke out against it, creating many enemies.  He fled into the desert and encountered a tribe of nomads who worshipped a single patriarchal god.  Here In-Shushinak experienced his portentous revelation, which involved the notion that the Heavenly Father’s perfect creation had been poisoned by the Nature Goddess and Her mortal female personifications.  He felt compelled by God to proselytize this new vision.
Before long, In-Shushinak had become the chief of his own trading enterprise.  As a successful merchant, he purchased, in the city of Jericho, the youth Hypsistos, whom In-Shushinak hoped would one day be his successor in spreading the monotheistic faith.

When we meet In-Shushinak in Sweet Muse of Madness, the merchant-priest, accompanied by his acolyte and trading company, has once again crossed the World Sea to Graia, where he intends to teach the Way of the Patriarch to Cybele, Attis, and the supposedly simple, primitive People of the Plain.  Unfortunately, In-Shushinak has little appreciation of the profound and heart-rending ramifications of his attempts at enlightenment.


Six thousand years ago (4,000 years B.C.E.), In-Shushinak was a very important deity to the Elamites, who lived in what is now western Iran.  This is a time-frame at least three thousand years before the rise of the Persians in that same area.  Like Zeus in Greece centuries later, In-Shushinak ruled over his godly pantheon, and not only raged in thunder and lightning, but lovingly fertilized the earth with his soothing rains.

In-Shushinak appears to be one of the earliest of the all-powerful overlord gods, although still a presence within the material world rather than primarily inhabiting a spiritual realm.  Nevertheless, because of his patriarchal nature, it is fitting that the merchant-priest in Sweet Muse of Madness carries this deity’s name.