Authors: D James Larsen
Tags: #magic, #fiction action adventure, #fiction fantasy, #magic adventure, #fiction literature, #fiction science fiction short stories, #fiction fantasy urban life, #fiction fantasy epic, #magic academy, #magic action wizards mages demons evil soldiers action swords guns dragons halfbloods warriors victorian magic wizards spells period fantasy empire fantasy action adventure
The Awakening: The Artifact of Creation /
D JAMES LARSEN
2016 by D James Larsen.
All Rights Reserved
The silhouette of the dark mid-night sky
hung in silence over the ancient Temple Anin’Nar. The Temple stood
on an alcove of rock that jutted from the ground below, surrounded
by dense forests of massive trees and vegetation. On either side of
the alcove, large waterfalls cascaded downward, glistening from the
waning light of the stars. The water disappeared in clouds of mist
that hung heavy over the valley below.
For centuries the Temple Anin’Nar stood as a
holy shrine to the ancient Order of the Awakened, an order long
since forgotten to the world of mankind. The legacy of the Awakened
was retold in stories of myth and legend, most doubted they ever
existed. The stories told that for centuries, the Awakened
protected the four races of mankind from a darkness that threatened
the world. They prevailed against many horrors with their fabled
power and strength. Yet any memory of their deeds of valor and
honor, had all but vanished, along with the memory of the Temple
Anin’Nar. But unlike the Awakened, the temple still stood as
majestically as it had in its former years of glory, though the
ages had worn on its walls. Its shimmering white walls, became
grayed from years of dust and neglect. Thick vines grew around it
accompanied by brush and soil. And yet there it remained, in the
midst of the Forgotten Valley.
Shrouds of shadow lingered about its
courtyard of stone that lined the perimeter of the temple. On
either side of the cobble pathways within the courtyard, were
statues of angels, each bent over as if blessing those visitors who
would enter the temple. Beyond the statues, leaves from nearby
trees quivered against the approaching wind. Rain began to fall in
thin sheets, spattering lightly on the temple grounds. In moments,
the light pattering’s grew to torrential sheets of rain accompanied
by loud clasps of thunder.
A lone man scurried across the temple
grounds and onto the wide path that led to the main entrance of the
forbidding structure. A hand reached out from within the man’s
rain-soaked cloak and rattled a massive metal knocker attached to
the door of the temple. The knocked thudded dully against the
wooden door, its echo lost in the sound of the storm. Overhead,
lightening continued to flash, briefly lighting the sky and then
returning to darkness. A small sliding window opened just beneath
the metal knocker. A man appeared at the opening.
Sir? What is your
business?” The guard asked gruffly, obviously upset that his sleep
was disturbed. The man in the rain-soaked cloak leaned forward to
It is urgent. I seek an
audience with the Archon herself.” The man said with a weak
whisper. The man looked tired and worn ragged, perhaps from weeks
of traversing through rough terrain in search of
Who sent you?” The guard
asked. “No one knows of this place.”
Please, my business is my
own. I seek the Archon.”
The guard paused and studied the man a
moment longer. “Fine, your name please.”
The man hesitated to answer, then decided
there was no harm in revealing his name. “Its…Lyle… of Umberlee.” A
brief smile crossed his face, a smile born of unsurety.
The guard closed the sliding window. In
moments the door creaked open, just wide enough for the small
framed man to slip through. The man stepped inside and into the
shelter of the temple. The sound of falling rain continued to
clatter outside of the temple walls but became muffled when the
guard shut the door.
Wait here,” The guard
said and hurried down the candle lit corridor.
Lyle peered about the entrance of the
temple. Shadows cast from the flickering light of nearby candles
danced upon the walls. In the gloom, he could see elaborate
archways that lined the entrances of various corridors inside the
temple. Beyond the light of the candles was darkness.
It sickened Lyle to be inside of the Temple
of the Awakened. He spat on the ground. “Damned fools. Crippled by
fear. Our lands are being torn apart and they sit behind these
There was a soft scuffle of footsteps that
sounded behind him. A woman garbed in white robes approached Lyle.
The hood of her robes was drawn about her, hands folded beneath the
soft material. Even in the darkness of the entrance way she seemed
angelic and other worldly. Lyle could not help but gaze upon her
Lyle of Umbreelee,
welcome. I am Ingel, Archon of Anin’Nar master of the Awakened.”
She bowed herself slightly before him. He could sense the
significance of her calling, yet it made him even more irritable.
He removed his hood and bowed in response. It was important to show
her respect, regardless of his opinions of the Awakened.
It is a pleasure Archon,”
He said softly.
Behind her the guard and another woman
approached. The Archon gracefully waved her hand to her side by way
of introduction, “My trusted guard, Geoff, of whom you met earlier
and this is the Seer and Prophetess of Anin’Nar, Ethi’el.” Lyle
bowed himself a second time. When he looked up, he could not help
but stare at the haunting white eyes of the Prophetess. She was
unnaturally aged, even beyond the years of the eldest of women. The
way her long white hair fell reminded him of the waterfalls from
the northern countries, graceful and calm, but centuries old.
Lyle your purpose for
being here?” The Archon asked. Lyle snapped out of his
I come in a desperate
time of need.” Lyle said. His hands were timidly folded in front of
him, he was stooped over from a crooked back. “Our towns and
villages are being massacred. Men, women and children lay in heaps
across the land. A dark man with a wretched mask hunts us, he
possesses abilities that are…. unnatural.” He paused. His voice was
filled with urgency and his sincere need was reflected in his eyes.
The Archon waited and listened. The guard shifted his weight form
one foot to another and the Seer stared blankly into the dark
Lyle continued. “He comes with squadrons of
mercenaries. No one has been able to match the wrath of his
mercenaries or that of the dark man’s abilities.” Lyle shifted his
gaze from one to another, trying to discern their interest in his
story. All he saw in their eyes was apathy, a cold indifference, an
indifference that he was not surprised to find. Despite their lack
of interest, he continued, his words grew more desperate. “I
believe.... I mean.... we believe that if the legends are true,
about the Awakened, and those of the Fallen Bloodlines, then….
perhaps the Fallen have returned.”
A silence fell between them. Lyle stared at
the floor. He knew the weight of his claims. His words by all
intents were blasphemy. He risked a glance at the Archon. Her stare
That is a strong claim
Lyle of Umbreelee. I do not believe you understand the implications
of what you say.” She crossed the distance between her and Lyle.
Her movements were graceful and soft upon the stone floor, much
like the mist upon lakes during the winter thaw. Her face was pale
in color and her mannerism’s calm and collected. She graced Lyle
with the lure of her touch, a finger traced across his
Those of the Fallen
Bloodlines have been extinct for nearly three-hundred years by
virtue of the Awakened and the Druid Gaphii’el.” She circled about
the small man and returned to her previous spot. “The Seer would
have foreseen the return of the Fallen.” She spoke softly, her
words a distant whisper.
Archon Ingen, even the
King and his armies cower in fear behind their walls of stone.”
Lyle spoke, struggling for the boldness of words to convey the
urgency of his message. “The dark man has powers to snuff out the
lives of grown men with the mere wave of his hand. He....has
destroyed so much!” The tears began to flow freely down the side of
The Archon’s face hardened. “If the Fallen
have returned, it would have been foreseen,” She paused and pointed
to the Seer who gazed blankly into the darkness of the room. “The
Seer would have foreseen it.” She shouted angrily.
The Archon then quickly calmed her emotions
and leaned toward the guard and whispered something in his ear. He
nodded and hurried off into a nearby hallway. The Archon turned
back to address Lyle. “We will provide food and shelter for the
night and then you will be on your way come the morning. Perhaps a
petition to the king would better serve your needs.”
With respect, Archon
Ingel, we need the power of the Awakened. We are helpless with our
Since the time that
Gaphii’el and the Awakened caste the Fallen into the forbidden,
there was no need for them. I am the last of the Awakened.” The
Archon said softly. “I cannot offer the help you seek.”
Lyle’s heart filled with hatred toward the
Archon and Seer. Suddenly they appeared to him as mere mortals like
himself, and not as the fabled legends told among his people. He
clenched his fists tightly, his finger nails cut into the palms of
his hands, droplets of blood began to drip. His appearance seemed
to change in the faintness of the candles flame. His skin turned
pale grey and the white of his eyes took on a sickly yellowish
You would rather hide
behind these walls and watch us suffer, then offer your support.
You are not sworn protectors. You are cowards.” His words were
searing with accusation. The Archon was taken back by his sudden
impulse of disdain. “You take our money and claim to protect us.
And when the occasion asks that you act, you cower in fear. Just
like the King.”
He smiled a deathly grin and his appearance
began to transform further. In his smile, he revealed fang like
teeth, yellowed, cracked and oily. Saliva dripped from the corners
of his mouth. Rage garnered beneath his crooked smile. Under the
concealment of his cloak, he revealed the shiny metal of a long
hunting blade, he held the blade forward, trembling with rage. “I
will prove to the world that you are a fraud Archon, and that the
so called Seer no longer sees!”
Lyle lunged forward, knife aimed at the
chest of the Seer. The Seer stared into the emptiness of space and
time, seemingly un-affected by the sudden change of events. Lyle
plunged the knife deep into her chest, blood spurted and covered
her white cloak. She stumbled backward with a moan of pain and
anguish. Helplessly she fell to the floor.
Ingel screamed in horror as she watched her
beloved mentor and friend fall. Quickly she knelt beside the Seer
and placed a hand over her wound to help stop the bleeding. The
Seer gasped for air in between the garbling of blood that pooled in
her throat and lungs. Ingel clenched the woman close, tears
streaming down her face.
No… no... please stay
with me.” She sobbed and cradled the dying woman into her arms.
Lyle looked down upon her his grin wide with pleasure.
I did what was necessary
oh holy Archon.” Lyle spat on her as she wept. “I exposed the lie
of the false power you held over us for so many years. I have
delivered the message of the Dark Lord Elixir. He is my master and
I am his humble servant.” He lifted the blade now stained with
blood and pointed it at the Archon. “You too will suffer the same
fate.” His grin dropped, replaced by pure rage.
He slashed violently forward, this time the
attack was aimed at the Archon’s throat. She ducked beneath Lyle’s
blade and quickly extended her hand forward, palm facing outward.
Beams of white light and elements swirled in a mist about her
extended arm. In an instant, the whir of white light exploded from
her palm and crashed into the man. His body was whipped away
effortlessly, crashing into the wall on the adjacent side of the
room. His body struck the wall with a sickening sound and then
slumped to the floor. Stone crumbled from the damaged wall and