Cythera Chronicles: Silent Dawn: Chapter I



  • The First Riddle of Neleclephos the Seer:
    The Day is passing, the Night is cold.
    Then, the Day shall come again,
    After the eternal night.
    There shall come a time,
    Within the eternal night,
    That the torch shall still be carried.
    Yet, when it is not, we must not give in.

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    Timon awoke at dawn. He pulled on his robe, and grabbed the book Ivor had given him. He also took his Grimoire, a quill, some ink and a roll of parchment. He went to the tavern, sat at a table and pulled out all his materials. He unlocked the book and began translating the strange language there, with a lot of help from his Grimoire. A few hours later, Ivor awoke too and came to the tavern. He sat at Timon's table. "Ah! Is that the book I gave you?"

    "Yes, it's very interesting. Thank you!" responded Timon.

    "What does it say?"

    "I don't know, Ivor. It appears to be some form of spirit language but I am not familiar with it. That is odd, because I know Seldane, Undine, Ignae, and Sylph. I also know the different languages Belil-Gand and Sirion use. It is very interesting. And peculiar, I suppose."

    "Can I help any, Timon?" Ivor asked.

    "Sure! You can jot down what I read to you. That would be most useful."

    "No problem, Timon." With a smile, they set off to work on the translation.

    -=-=-=-=-Five Hours Later-=-=-=-=-

    "Well, Ivor, we finished!" Timon sighed a sigh of happy relief. Since it was about noon now, and the bar was rather full, many people looked up from their meals. Some of the patrons who had been there all day started clapping, but that quickly ended, due to extreme embarrassment. Everyone turned back to his or her own business.

    "Timon, uh, not to spoil our success, but this is gibberish. Or, can you read it now?"

    "Not exactly, Ivor. See, what I do is put this inside the Grimoire, cast the right translation spell, and 'poof!' I can read it." Timon gave Ivor his well known 'Matter of Fact' smile and flipped through the Grimoire until he came to a page with a single strange rune on it. "It's the rune of understanding, Nolë. I will be able to understand the writing." Timon placed the papers on it and closed the book. He placed his hand on the Conjurers Triangle. "Gelydh, dúla le Timon!" There was a bright flash of white light that swarmed and flew around and around the Grimoire again and again, circling closer and closer. By now, many patrons were watching, wondering what was going on. When the light reached its highest, brightest point, and it settled on the book, another blast of light came forth. This time, it was a shock wave. In a peak of light and sound, it shot out. The force was so great, that it knocked out all the patrons. Timon ducked, however, so when he came back from under the table, the room was silent. He pulled the parchment from within the Grimoire. What Timon read was very old, but what it was, Timon could not tell for a while.

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    The times are dark. Much has not lasted through these long years of turmoil and corruption. The wars have spread us all thin. Far too thin. The darkness has come. The shadow is near. Yet, the shroud of our lord, King Alaric has not fallen to the chaos and disorder. Do I know who I am? Do I know where I am? No. No one knows these things. The abyss is deep. The current is strong. With the rise of the mages and the fall of the corrupted, the age of demons is at hand. It has long been prophesized by many. Aphios. Neleneus the Savant. Neleclephos the Seer. They all spoke of it, the fall of this world. The wars will never cease. The shroud will fall. Alaric is not immortal. There will be no end to the suffering when the time comes. The darkness will settle over us. The times are dark. What this shadow is, I cannot tell. I do not know. Do I know Cythera as I once did? Or is the question different? Is the question 'Do I know anything? Do I live in this world?' The word I speak, the word I write, the word I know, the word of truth; they are all different. Nevertheless, I still walk, no; walk is not the word. I still run through the chaos blindly, with the rest, in this, the human race. Will I ever be free? No. I will never be free. There is only the power of evil, and the power is not mine. Who will lift the shadow? Who will fight the darkness? Who will carry the torch? There will come a day, when the day comes. But will the day come soon? Will it be too late? Will it be at the end? Or will it be at the beginning? Demons are watching. We will suffer. The answers are there. We have not found them. We never will. We are the Anatariel. Our moment approaches.

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    As Timon finished the crumbling manuscript hours later, all the patrons were still out cold. Timon only had limited mana, so he decided to only revive Ivor, so they could talk. With a groan, and rubbing his head, Ivor sat up. "Timon? How long has it been? How did you escape the shock wave?"

    "It is three o' clock in the afternoon, and I ducked. The lore manuscript you gave me was very intriguing, thank you."

    "What was it about?"

    "The end of the world. Some Anatariel group wrote it. I must travel to Pnyx to learn some about them. I am afraid the tone of the manuscript was very apocalyptic, and I must attend to this immediately. Goodbye, Ivor, for now."

    "Hello Timon, for quite a while."

    "Excuse me?"

    "It's apocalyptic. I am arguably the best swordsman in the land. If there's anything that's coming with you, I am that thing. I don't think I'll fit in your pack. I'll drag on your belt. Why don't you carry me?"

    "No, Ivor, I think not." Timon replied with a smile. That sense of humor you have is very irritating some times.

    "We don't have time to waste. Off to Pnyx!"

    "Hear, hear." Timon jotted a quick note; they signed it and ran out the door. "Fill your pack quickly! We must hurry to reach Pnyx soon!"

    "Ready!"

    "Ready. Let's go, Ivor."

    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

    The tall figure of the aging Lindus stood before Timon and Ivor. "Greetings, my student, and greetings to you as well, Ivor. You have come to learn, have you not?"

    "We wish to know of the Anatariel organization, Master Lindus," came Timon's reply.

    "Then you have come to the right place, Protected Ones, who have gained the favor of the spirits. I was among the members of the Anatariel. We began to form of secret mages and seers of power who came from the other land, Idorothiliel, the land of shining light. Among our members were many that had mouths of silver, and could talk their way into anyone's mind. We had the prophets, Aphios, Neleneus, and Neleclephos. We had many secrets. They are gone along with something else. I do not have the wit or power to learn what it is. You must journey to the far lands. To the other land. To Idorothiliel, to our hall of Wisdom. Our sacred burial ground. Our temple. Our hall of magic. The beautiful city made of Onyx spans for ages. There is nowhere like it. Idorothiliel, it is my home. I would come, but my place is here. There is something wrong. I know that. That is why I joined Anatariel. Fly quickly, Timon Spirit Talker and Ivor Dark Sword. May the Wind of Truth be on your side."

    All went dark. The next thing Timon and Ivor saw was very odd. They were in what seemed a great windstorm. All they could see was the dark silhouettes of buildings, people and animals around them. The architecture was strange and the swirling wind did not affect the dark shapes that were people. In a moment, the wind was gone, and everything was clear. The people were people, the buildings were buildings, and the animals were animals. Everything was itself. They appeared to be standing on a strange portal in the middle of the road, like an island in a sea. All the carts, wagons, horses and people instantly stopped. There was a strange murmur going through the crowd. Like a ripple, the surprise was spreading, and quickly. Several soldiers stepped up, as well as some braver men. One of the peasants looked them over and walked off. He uttered one surprised word. "Visitors!" He disappeared into the crowd. The soldiers looked them over. The captain stood up, erect. "Cytherans. A warrior and a mage. Who be you, mage?"

    "I am Timon Spirit Talker"

    "Who be you, warrior?"

    "I am Ivor Dark Sword. Finest Swordsman in all of Cythera."

    "What business brings you here, Timon Spirit Talker and Ivor Dark Sword?" asked the captain.

    "Master Lindus of Pnyx sent us on account of Anatariel."

    "The Anatariel is dead." The soldier scoffed. A tall man, very tall, in fact, unusually tall for a human stepped forward. He wore a pale blue robe that covered him completely and a silver circlet sat upon his head. The aura around him was strange. Peculiar. Different.

    "Who mentions Anatariel?" The man asked in his melodic voice. Ivor spoke up.

    "We do. Who challenges us?" Most did not understand, but the tall man did. This was the beginning of the verse for the challenge of a special duel. A decarda duel. Ivor had recognized from the start that this man was a decarda artist, like himself. The decarda were ancient ways of extreme sword dueling. Only the best of the art of the swords even got close. The man switched automatically to the language of the sword.

    "Ni fiay tue lak nah pall. Sech novh estt earra tel."

    "Karuso. The Anatariel lives, Erchamion."

    "You are right, Ivor Dark Sword."

    "Come on, Timon. We have work to do."

    (To Be Continued)

    (This message has been edited by moderator (edited 09-09-2002).)



  • Good job, Mr. Somebody. This looks to be a promising new series. I hope to see more of it! It was sometimes difficult to tell who was saying what, though.

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    Slayer's guide to Cythera:
    (url="http://"http://www.macclassics.com/cythera/cythera.htm")http://www.macclassi...era/cythera.htm(/url)



  • Sorry bout the talking. I was tired by the end of it.

    (This is not a sig test)
    (Ok fine. Sig test :p )

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  • Quote

    Originally posted by Mr. Somebody:
    **Finally powered by Mac OS X!
    **

    Heh, me too :)

    This is really good, Mr S. You've improved immensely, since your first posts! :)

    About the only thing wrong I can see is exactly what Slayer pointed out, that it got hard to follow who was saying what towards the end. Apart from that, I think I'd call this 'well crafted', and I'm looking forward to reading more.

    Right, now that we've seen the next part, I can talk about the usage of prologues and epilogues. Used correctly they're very useful tools, and something I'm a big fan of; but in this case, your prologue was really just 'Chapter 1'. A prologue or epilogue is used for some part of the story that's removed in some fashion from the rest of the story (either by length of time, or because the characters it centres on aren't really the main protagonists of the story), yet is still connected to the story in some way. Basically, a prologue details remotely connected events that set the scene for the story, and an epilogue is used to tie up loose ends or reveal much later consequences of the events of the story proper.

    In my chronicles here I think I've only used a prologue and epilogue once, in 'Dark Legacy', although I'll certainly use more in the future. The prologue in 'Dark Legacy' showed Flynn travelling home after a council with Alaric, but the first chapter revealed that he'd bever even arrived in the first place, thus setting up the illusion that was being used to keep him prisoner. The epilogue consisted of a conference that took place once the enemy was vanquished, and dealt with a few events that remained unexplained in the story proper - such as why Sideline was on the lookout for the villains in the first place.

    For the best example of a prologue/epilogue pair I've ever read, I recommend 'A Talent for War' by Jack McDevitt. His prologue has absolutely no visible connection to the story at all, until the epilogue - which centered on a person that had played a relatively minor role in the story - tied everything together.

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    The e-mail of the specious is deadlier than their mail


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