The Jewels Of Ooombis - Peter Rogerson

I wrote a five part story during the 1980s and put a great deal of myself into it. I wanted it to be great. But it wasn't, of course, and being rushed by this or waylaid by that domestic chore so that I could never spend prolonged periods of time on it, it became disjointed. It's taken quite a few years to sort out, in a sporadic kind of way. So what is Ooombis, and what are the jewels? And please don't for the sake of everything that's original make it into a Lord of the Rings clone….

Before reading on I'd like to invite you to consider the main alternative to the printed book. If you click right here you will be flown as if by magic to a page that will explain why.



Ooombis is a planet far away in time and space. Its intelligent inhabitants have long lived in peace and harmony with each other, and have overcome the problems inherent in maintaining a decent environmental balance. All in all it might have been called Utopia had it not been called Ooombis! But then the impossible happened, and the harmony of the place was ruined by the detection, deep in space, of a planet-sized object hurtling on a trajectory that would cause it to collide with their peaceful world. They had to do something. Destroying the monster (still several years away) was out of the question: they lacked the technology. The only option open to them was to get away. To go somewhere else. To start their civilisation anew on a new world.

But where would they find this world?
Their decision was bold. They would send teams of youngsters out into the vastness of the Universe in the hope that one of them would find a suitable home for them. They would go in pairs - one male and one female - in the hope that the added adhesive qualities of two genders would help stave off the inevitable problems of boredom and impatience that would almost certainly threaten their vital mission. And each pair would have two gemstones, his mounted in a ring and hers in a brooch. These jewels were only known on Ooombis, and their crystalline structure could detect and store powerful human emotions. They would have the most powerful personal emotions experienced during love-making trapped in them, ready to be gradually released if the facets of the jewels were touched by a living finger.
So it was the Grobbim and Ingmar set out into space, and with them they took two of the jewels of Ooombis. They arrived on Earth, but not the Earth of today. Man was struggling through his Cro Magnon period, and had yet to master the intricacies of sophisticated language and so on.
Once they landed, the space ship that brought them to Earth disabled itself. But, importantly, it created a guardian for the gems from Ooombis: a construct that was like a man, but very different from humanity, for it was gifted with the powers to repair itself should it get damaged, and virtual immortality.
Having landed, Ingmar and Grobbim decide to explore - and they meet Owongo, a native hunter, ambitious, ruthless and capable of extreme violence….
What might happen when representatives from a technologically advanced society rub up against primitives living in the early days of a species' march towards civilisation? Would they manage to get along in peace and share the place in harmony? Or would the more sophisticated gain dominance, become, maybe, like gods? Or might they get wiped out in a burst of mindless violence?
Love's Deadly Dawning has its violence as it answers the question.
But then, how would Cro Magnon man react if he was subjected to the stimulation of a different and infintely more refined sexuality? The Jewels of Ooombis are there, and maybe our cavemen might find them, might touch them, might learn from them. Then there's the Guardian of the Gems. How might he react if Ingmar and Grobbim are faced with danger? Might he rescue them? Or is there a chance that he might ignore the threat because it isn't the holders of the precious gems that he is interested in, but the gems themselves…



Since the beginning of his life on this planet mankind has told stories. To start with it might well have been as he shivered during cold nights, before, maybe, the discovery of fire. Then later round campfires: the mental image is enticing. It was the way he passed on his knowledge to future generations, and his cosmology. And it was also the way he ensured that great deeds from the past were remembered.

In this way great stories were passed on, brave deeds being embellished as they were told and retold, the personality of the story-tellers adding to them until huge myths became the nurseries of great religions. Many of the earlier tales have, sadly, been lost. It was inevitable. After all, there was no way of recording them and by the time the first tentative cuneiform scripts were being painstakingly carved into stone new stories had supplanted them.
The earliest story extant, according to some references, is the one I have based The Eagle and the King on. It tells of the brave search by Etana, King of Kish (one of the Sumerian City States which represented the first true civilisation on Earth) for a birth plant in order that his wife might give birth to a son and thus ensure dynastic succession. This search involved the finding of a maimed eagle in a pit high up a mountain and how that eagle would take Etana to the pastures of the sun whereon he would discover the birth plant.
There are other questions worth the asking, too. First of all, the jewels of Ooombis: what effect might a concentrated alien love/lust have on primitive peoples? Is it possible that it might give great power to any woman who held the brooch, and used it? Is it also possible that she would become famous within her tribal group, maybe even become one of a whole succession of women privy to the wonderful brooch? And if it were ever handled, even briefly, by a man (bearing in mind that it absorbed, minutely, the emotions of everyone who touched it), might the woman who chanced to own it gain an insight into male sexuality? Might she begin to see a new fascination in members of her own gender?
And if this became a fact, might she live in danger?
But it must never be forgotten that primitive societies had less respect for life than we, artificially, have today, and it is highly probable that anyone accused of what would been seen as a perversion might become an obvious candidate if human sacrifice was called for. After all, any King prepared to go to extreme lengths, like seeking a maimed eagle and a pit in the improbable likelihood of inspiring pregnancy in his infertile wife, might see little wrong if his journey was to be aided by a gift of a virgin to any one of the gods that proliferated in those far off days.
For the tale of the ring we must journey to Minoa and see how a bitter, deformed man can have his life enhanced by a fresh perspective. Pictes became self-indulgent when sickness pock-marked his face and ruined his posture, and although he was wed to one of the more beautiful women, bitterness began to eat at his character. She was ready to leave him when he found the ring on a beach, but from the moment he touched its glittering stone to wipe it clean be was a changed man. So the two gemstones from the distant world of Ooombis already have wildly different influences on representatives of humanity.



This novel begins where the last one left off, with Kaphkar, the giant with a deformed hand. He takes ownership of the ring of Ooombis and finds his way to the centre of what is now Italy where he helps a primitive tribe defeat an attack by unkempt ruffians. Ruled and cruelly dominated by their women, the whole future of civilization on Earth might be changed if he fails to succeed. He always wears his ring on a finger of his good hand, which means that he never touches its gemstone with a sensitive finger and consequently never discovers its properties.

The brooch, on the other hand, is taken into a wild and desolate territory by a young girl who is cast out of her village as a consequence of an unwanted pregnancy, and is for ages lost down a deep ravine, where it stays until a tragic little character without a name struggling to exist in the Roman Empire finds it. It is taken to a greasy citizen who gives it to his wife, and they move to Pompeii just in time for you-know-what in 79 AD.
The Roman Empire earned a rich assortment of reputations as a consequence of being multi-faceted. And it must be recalled that for centuries they were the victors, and the victors always write history of the times. I choose to portray their society as being somewhat dissolute and capable of wild excesses when it comes to their private entertainment, not because that is necessarily what they were like but rather because it fits my purpose. And there can be no doubt that their attitude to sex and sexual behaviour was unlike ours. After all, it was not unknown for them to decorate family rooms with illustrations of naked copulating couples, and there can be no doubt that they actually earned their reputation for gastronomic excess. But there can be no doubt that a society dependent on slavery for its well-being will almost certainly find time for all manner of unusual activities.
Having taken the jewels of Ooombis to Pompeii, the town under the shadow of a restless volcano Vesuvius, I brought them together for the first time since they arrived on Earth in Cro Magnon times. Two young lovers, kneeling exhausted together on a beach, share the passions of a long-dead people as the mountain rumbles.
Now, one of the main themes of my epic revolves around the ability of those gemstones to absorb, bit by bit, the emotions of those who have them in their possession. It is all for a purpose. Some owners have died in dreadful agony with fire playing a large part. The stones are changing and may yet serve a purpose before time on Earth runs out.
One facet of slavery as practised by the Romans was their probable refusal to let those who did their work for them for no reward to have a proper life of their own, especially with regard to sexual behaviour. Their society has often been portrayed as being sexually dissolute and there can be little doubt that their unpaid servants had to occasionally and unwillingly provide high status Citizens with company in the bedroom department, or be punished if they refused. And it is equally probable that those same servants had sometimes harsh restrictions placed on their own choice of partner for no better reason than that's the kind of thing some repellent masters could quite gleefully do to their slaves.
I also try to highlight the Roman attitude to the rest of the world, or what they saw as the Barbarians. They dominated much of the known world and their soldiers tramped down many an alien street, subjugating otherwise contented peoples. Most records of the time were kept by the Romans, so it is their attitude that has marched down the pages of history. If they decided that the inhabitants of a small corner of the world were barbarians, then that's what history records them as being though the reality may well have been very different.



This fourth episode of The Jewels of Ooombis takes the story through the Dark Ages and into Medieval times. It begins with a Pirate (of sorts) who discovers the two jewels of Ooombis in a cavity on a beach near Vesuvius. Shasta is a dodgy character. There can be little doubt of that. He almost meets his match, though, when an insane young woman from a monied family tries to seduce him in her love-nest, a dark damp cellar in which her equally mad grandmother was buried. Both comic and tragic in turns, this volume spans that awkward gap between the ancient and the present. So there's a pirate called Shasta.

He gets away and slowly makes his way north - minus the brooch, which he forgets in his haste to escape the insane woman's clutches. The ring goes with him, but the brooch is discovered by a servant girl, and she, in her turn (after a sexual escapade with the fat lord of that particular manor who suffers a terminal heart-attack whilst making his gross kind of love to her) manages to get away and travel north. With memories of her late Master's cooling flesh pressing onto her she was bound to seek her fortune elsewhere. Who wouldn't? So after a series of adventures she makes her way into England, where she is attacked by robbers and left for dead. She doesn't actiually die, but is blinded by her injuries. From that point onwards her life and the way she chooses to live it is determined by the imprint of others who have held the brooch, and the most vibrant echo belonged to Henna who, ages earlier, had formed a loving lesbian relationship with another woman. This time the woman that fate has entrusted to the stewardship of the brooch is blind yet forms a bond with another, who is disfigured by disease, and shares her gender.
Meanwhile the ring has been taken, slowly and with the odd adventure on the way, to the lands that one day would be called Denmark, and from there to Greenland and on to the American continent. It wasn't called that then, though. Leif Ericcson who went that way called the various areas he visited by names like Vinland and Markland. Shasta is on Ericcson's expedition, but soon contrives to distance himself from it once they reach land. He meets a young Native woman, and stays with her for the rest of his life, and wheras he was at best a "dodgy" character when he was in Europe, once amongst the peaceful and decent Natives he is converted into a new and certainly better way of living. And he has the ring with him, of course; and that ring remains in North America, passing through several hands until it is finally locked awya in a small wooden box.
The brooch also passes through several hands until it becomes the property of the child of the book's title, a girl who has witnessed the savage rape and murder of her parents. It is she who holds it as the book comes to an end, and it is with her that it is buried in the earth.



We've been with the Jewels of Ooombis for a great number of years by now, from the Cro Magnon days of Love's Deadly Dawning to the near future, and climate change with its buddy, global warming. Throughout that long age the gemstones have helped innumerable human beings with their loving and, particularly, sexual relationships. There have been the tragic and the comic as the years rolled along, and now the world and its inhabitants has come to a sort of crossroads.

Enter Arnold Tollinger, historian. His speciality is the evolution of an obscure native American tribe and he busies himself researching the minutae of their lives and publishing learned papers on the subject. He is bless with a wife who is more than merely borderline nymphomaniac, and although she really does love him she requires at least one more lover in order to satisfy her carnal appetite. Until, that is, Arnold discovers the Ring of Ooombis in an ancient wooden box. Then he shows her just what love is, and her second string has to take a back seat in her life. The two of them have a son, and he is the reason Arnold discovers the ring in the first place. But to find out more, you'll have to read the book.
At the other end of the world is Blondie. He, despite his nickname, is a male, and he has a relationship with a student whilst he is a lecturer. The student is one Crystal Brook and like Danny you'll have to read the book to find out how she becdomes involved with the brooch of Ooombis which we left, if you recall, buried deep in the soils of England with a child who died because of it.
Many a discerning reader will have asked the obvious question: how come the two refugees from the distant planet of Ooombis and the inhabitants of Earth are so uncannily similar? Surely that's more than unlikely, it's impossible? The silly old fool who wrote it, you'll say, didn't think of that one! He might at least have made his aliens puce and give them an extra eye, or something. But you'd be wrong thinkming along those lines. He's not an old fool in this particular respect, though he may be in many another, and the problems posed by his aliens is just another question you will find the answer to if you read the book!!
And what would happen to the biological robot created in the first book on board the space ship from Ooombis if his charges, the jewels, were to vanish from time and space. Well, from space, anyway. After all, his long appointed task might well be over - no gemstones, no need for a guardian. The answer - you've guessed it - read the book!

So we come to the end of a work that's taken quite a long time to complete and I'll be pleased to move on to pastures new, though I would like the odd bit of feedback from time to time. And the Jewels of Ooombis, though highly charged with erotic content, is basically quite a serious work if you're prepared to see beyond the heaving flesh and sniff beyond the fragrant juices.

There we have it, then: all five parts of my yarn are here. Editing it this last time has taken me back to when my oldest child was about nine - and now she's thirty. So it represents the toil of quite a lot of lonely hours. Go on - try it - you know you want to! Here's a plan: download part one for a modest little English pound plus a few pence and when you find you can't survive without a more permanent copy - well, you'll know what to do, and so will our brethren at Lulu!

If you feel the need to examine my attitude to the various faiths practised by my characters in the five books, go to just here.