A Brief History of the Gargoyles of Madagascar
Disclaimer: Gargoyles is licensed property of Disney. Greg Weisman created and currently writes it, SLG publishing produces a comic about it (Get Gargoyles # 1-8 and Gargoyles: Bad Guys 1&2 in stores now!) and I write fanfiction about it. The Goliath Chronicles is fanfiction too. 'Cept they got paid for that. Why can't I get paid for this? Oh right—Disclaimer.
Author's Notes: this is just a brief history of some clans in my gargoyles fanfic verse. I have a rule about messing with cannon characters…I tend not to do it unless what happens to them won't conflict with Cannon. It's a quirk of mine. Thus I have used Brooklyn and Demona because their histories allow me to place them at pivotal events in my story. Likewise there have been many Hunters that I can use who were most likely descendents of Donald Canmore. I do intend to break my rule eventually, as I plan to have several story arcs center around Griff.
When the Hebrews left Egypt the many gargoyle clans of that country were left with a decision that divided them into three factions. The first faction was those clans who guarded the temples of Thoth and Anubis. They knew that the God of the Hebrews would unleash his wrath upon the foolish, hard-hearted pharaoh Neferhotep III.
They knew that the Hebrew God was superior to their own because Thoth and Anubis had appeared within their temples and told them so. Furthermore Thoth had said that the grievance of the Hebrew God was Legitimate.
When the tenth plague had passed the gargoyles serving Anubis and Thoth chose to go with the Hebrews. Worshiping those two Children of Mab no more, they swore fealty to the Hebrew God. They wandered with the Israelites in the desert, guarding them from bandits during the night; and they settled when the Jews settled in Canaan; though the gargoyles were most confused by the behavior of the Children of Jacob.
Eventually the clans came to rest in the holy city of Jerusalem, though they left occasionally when the Hebrews lost their way and the city was conquered by outsiders (as happened with Babylon) the gargoyles always returned and their favorite roost was atop the Temple of Solomon.
By the time of the Romans the clan in Jerusalem was well established, and when Herod had the temple rebuilt the gargoyles moved right in. (Though not in the Holy of Holies obviously) the Romans largely ignored the gargoyles, as they had a clan of their own in Rome. The gargoyles of Rome were even considered citizens of the Empire, though the Jerusalem gargoyles were afforded no such privilege.
At that time a man from Galilee, in the small town of Nazareth began teaching a new message and was put to death for it. The leader of the Jerusalem clan at the time—a female named Aria—became friends with the Nazarene and mourned his loss. Until he rose again from the dead, and with 500 witnesses no less.
Rumor has it that during the 40 days following the Nazarene's return, that no gargoyle became stone during the day. Such was the rumor.
What is known though, when the Great Commission occurred and the servants of this man from Galilee went forth to preach this message, the gargoyles of Jerusalem left the holy land forever.
They merged with the clan from Damascus and began traveling with Joseph of Arimathea, who was traveling north with the Holy Grail. Eventually they found Castle Carbonek which brought them to northern England were-upon the clan built the Aria Monastery and settled down there. It became a place of pilgrimage for gargoyles near and far…Carbonek allowed word of such a holy place to make it to gargoyles living quite far away indeed.
During the prosperous reign of King Arthur a village was settled near Aria, and over time the humans and gargoyles formed an interdependent symbiosis, much like one mirrored in Ishimura, Japan. This alliance lasted over six hundred years.
The second faction in Egypt was that of those who served Horus and Isis; like those who left with the Hebrews, they no longer had faith in the gods of Egypt. Nevertheless they felt a duty to those who lived in Mizriam. They opted to stay, and survive for as long as they could. The Plagues of Egypt had devastated the land, but like so many other times in Kemetic history they rebuilt.
And so the clan thrived for a time, even after Neferhotep III's death when the Hyksos invaded Egypt. The pharaoh had foolishly taken the Egyptian army after Moses, and he and the army had drowned. As the Egyptian historian Manetho later recorded, the Hyksos entered Egypt without a fight, as their entire army lay at the bottom of the Red Sea.
Nevertheless the clan persevered, and by the time of the great Pharaoh Ramses II also known as Ramses the Great, the clan was 1,000 strong.
It was not to last though, over half the gargoyles chose to leave with the Sphinxes, Gorgons, Minotaurs, Centaurs and other Olympians when they chose to built New Olympus. No in Egypt one heard from them again.
By the time that the Greeks were in control of Egypt, the clan was decimated, but they received new blood from Greece and Rome when Alexander the Great requested that gargoyles guard his new library in Alexandria.
Once again the clan experienced a renaissance. One that ended when the library was burned. Some of the survivors escaped into the desert with scrolls and books from the library. There Castle Carbonek found them as well…and took them to Aria.
The remainder of the gargoyles fled to Edfu, where they lived until 1928, when the last three members of that clan died of grief, for the loss of two others who left them the year prior.
The third faction chose to leave Egypt and head south. They did not wish to be around humans anymore. Nor did they have any confidence in the Third Race after the destruction of Egypt by the Hebrew God.
While Gathelus and Scota headed north, these gargoyles headed south, deep into Africa with the desire to get has far from humans and their foolish ways as possible. They worshiped no gods, but they paid respect to the Hebrew God for hope that he might lead them to a land with no humans.
Eventually they came to the place where the magnificent city of Great Zimbabwe would one day be built. It was there that they saw an enormous bird—the Roc—devour and Elephant and fly away.
The Gargoyles believed, correctly, that a bird of that size must dwell in a land with no humans, for humans would not allow such a creature to live in their midst. They followed in the same direction that the Roc had gone, traveling for many nights before coming to the Mozambique Channel, the clans were uncertain of their next move. The clan leaders were still arguing when the sun rose and turned them to stone.
The following night when they awakened again they witnessed the Roc flying out over the Mozambique Channel. Guessing that there might be an island not far off from the shore, the clan decided to glide out over the channel and pray that they made it to this island before the dawn broke.
They succeeded and landed on the Island of Madagascar, which at the time was devoid of humans. The island turned out to be truly paradise for the gargoyles. With no humans to threaten them they rapidly became masters of the island, understanding the nature of the island's ecosystem and animal life. From Leechee fruit to Lemurs, from Foosa to the mighty Roc, and the Vorompatra or Elephant Bird. They truly thrived on the island like no other gargoyle clan in the world.
Over the centuries they grew, the only threats to their existence were from the Roc—which was diurnal and so did not bother them unless they bothered it—and from the flesh-eating trees which grew on certain parts of the island. Areas that the gargoyles quickly learned to avoid. By the first century the gargoyle population in Madagascar numbered almost 10,000 and that wasn't counting a healthy gargoyle beast population of 4,000.
Humans soon became the stuff of legend…stories that the elders told the hatchlings to frighten them into being good. No one truly believed humans actually existed.
Until the fourth century…when humans began to arrive on the Great Red Island. It didn't take the gargoyles long to become aware of the human intrusion to their utopia. Since all that they knew of humans came from legend the gargoyles decided to avoid them at first. There weren't many and the island was large, there were dozens of clans living scattered about the island, and plenty of room for humans.
And this was effective, until a young human girl wandered too close to a Mkodo tree grove. Unaware of the dangers of the carnivorous tree, a gargoyle who'd been assigned to watch the humans, rescued her by scaring her away from the deadly foliage.
While this did indeed save the girl's life, the ramifications were huge. The terrified girl told her parents and the humans began actively hunting the "monster" that attacked the child. They came across a clan of gargoyles in the jungle by a lake just before the sun rose.
From that point onward the humans and gargoyles were at war, though the gargoyles did little actual fighting, the humans mostly destroyed them during the day. Then one wise gargoyle chose to try and listen to the human language…to communicate with the humans.
It took years, but that gargoyle learned enough of the Malagasy tongue that he felt confident about approaching the Mpanzaka or chief of the Antemoro people and began developing a relationship with them.
It took time but the gargoyle's clan and the Antemoro grew into a relationship…other gargoyle clans were wiped out by other tribes, though a few gargoyles joined the Antemoro clan. The leader of this clan was named "Ibonia" after a Malagasy folk hero.
Working under the protection of the Antemoro the gargoyles attempted to wipe out the man-eating trees, and very nearly succeeded.
The nest threat that the gargoyles faced came when the pirates started using Madagascar as a hiding place in the 16-1800s. The superstitious pirates believed that the gargoyles were demons (and it hadn't helped that most gargoyles in Madagascar had developed black skin coloring by this time) In addition the pirates often threatened or mistreated the natives, and that the gargoyles could not allow. The worst factor was the arrival of a Hunter in the 1780s who'd heard rumors of the gargoyles from the pirates.
This led to yet another clan massacre that led to a much bigger problem. Though only a third of the descendants of Ibonia's clan were destroyed, it caused a bottleneck in the gargoyle genetic makeup of the clan. Many of the gargoyles were related to one another, though not closely, many were indeed first cousins and this caused the clan to begin a terrifying decline.
Sometime in the 1800s they eventually left the Antemoro people and entered the jungle, resigned to their fate. The Mpanzaka declared the jungle where they chose to retreat sacred and the dying clan was able to live in peace near one of the last groves of carnivorous trees.
By the 1958 rookery the clan only had 10 members, and only two of them came from the eggs laid in 1948. In 1988 there were 9 members of the clan, but during the day an archeologist working in the area with a field school came to where the gargoyles dwelt. He saw them as they slept in stone and assumed them to be sacred guardian statues placed by the natives.
He and his students wandered too close to the flesh-eating trees and the vicious flora attacked. This was near sunset and the nine gargoyles awakened to hear the screams of the helpless victims. As gargoyles their immediate thought was protection and all nine raced to the scene and manage to rescue the archeologist and his students, but all but one young female lost their lives in the process.
Even that girl was badly injured…the grateful humans nursed her back to health, believing that a miracle had occurred to bring the statues to life just for the purposes of saving their lives.
They named her Tana after Antananarivo the capitol city of Madagascar, but when the sun rose and Tana turned back to stone they mistakenly assumed that she had returned to stone permanently or at least until someone was foolish enough to wander into the deadly grove again.
Tana awakened that night to find herself on her own for the first time in her life. She was clan-less, and thus not among the 8 clans existent by 1993, but still very much alive as of 1996.