Acorn to Oak

The Power of Belief

Advertisements

Trapped in a thirsty desert, Tristamil is about to surrender.

A smile settled on burnt lips and he closed his eyes. He visualised himself as a sapling oak sprung from the health and vitality of a perfect acorn, growing steadily in fertile soil under a benign sun and showered with blessed rain.

nature-2967106_1280

With infinite care, he saw himself reach for maturity, bright emerald leaves unfurling from tight green buds after a long cold winter, raising up to the beginning of a new spring, and felt in that visualisation in perfect sync with the pattern of the universe. It was not a hallucination or an imagining borne of desperate hope; it was an awakening of his true self.

This is life.

He extended his tongue to catch the coolness of raindrops.

His eyes snapped open. He licked his lips. Chapped, burnt, swollen … and wet.

The awesome imaginings of a sane mind could drive one to crazy acts, but the frightening delusions of a feverish mind could drive one entirely insane, sometimes beyond redemption.

Is my need so dire I am delusional?

Yet, there it was again.

Raindrops.

Tristamil rose, afraid to dislodge the delusion. Glad of the delusion. Even if it ended now, as hard as disappointment would be, it was satisfying.

When he stepped into a puddle of fresh rainwater, the blessed cool bringing instant relief to a hot, blistered foot, he laughed aloud and put his other foot in. It was worth the pain after, to feel cool and refreshed in his mind, no matter how short-lived. He sank to his knees in the puddle and drank, slurping greedily like one of the Keep’s kitchen mongrels, enjoying each dunking of the tongue.

I am an oak tree, young yet, reaching for the stars, and I shall grow strong and mighty. He rocked back to drink more sedately, more in keeping with how he envisioned himself.

It was real. While he believed in the purity of his oaken self, it would be there for him. If he lost faith the desert of his previous pretence would return.

I believe.

oak-2896976_1280

Inheritance Ignored

Of mighty books and a golden medal

Let’s talk about magical devices.

There are a few that populate the LORE books, these two being the most important. The Ancient Oracles and the Maghdim Medaillon:

Three thousand years before the present time the human population of Valaris was essentially decimated.

First there was Drasso’s extermination, which was wholesale slaughter, and their numbers were further depleted when the Guardians descended to do battle. Using human tactics to fight a war required men, many men. That part of the war lasted three years, and at the end of it, large tracts of land were wasteland … and thus more succumbed, for the aftermath was as hard as the wars fought.

Only the Great Forest remained unscathed, but it became a physical and emotional divide between north and south.

545e46d2701da6226423dc56887e9603

The Guardians saw this, but were powerless to change it. Not only could neither side see beyond the wastelands in the aftermath, but also they no longer trusted their saviours. Deified they were, but the terrible power of the Guardians left the humans as fearful of them as they were of Drasso, Infinity and their kind. The Guardians chose to leave the humans to rebuild alone.

They left an inheritance for each region divided by trees and superstitions.

To the north went ten volumes, containing within the pages of antiquity universal truths. Warded within those pages were sufficient charms to promote the spirit of adventure, the need to restore the past, and a wish to cross the wastelands in search of other survivors.

The charms needed to be read aloud, which they never were, for the dead language was also an unpronounceable one. Fear of magic had stilled most tongues.

The ten volumes were and are collectively known as the Ancient Oracles.

Ancient-Book_zps8a0fb64c

To the south went the Maghdim Medaillon. In the Ancient Tongue it translated as ‘Supreme Wisdom’. It had the power to summon the clans of old, particularly those of the north with numbers to call to, but like to the Oracles, it was not used. Fear of magic stilled it also.

The remaining sorcerers in the south guarded the Maghdim Medaillon. Their numbers were small, fifteen having survived Drasso. From them, the continuance to the present-day Society of Sorcerers.

The golden medal lay in its velvet casket for two centuries, the sorcerers too afraid to discover what it could do. Sorcery was outlawed before Drasso; after him, it was worse.

pendant-939194_1280

Seeking Entry

Open Sesame?

In order to find the entrance to the Square Pyramid, this riddle is given. Can you solve it? Do you see which mechanism is needed to reveal the doorway?

The Valleur build eternity

No substance in weather

No substance in strife

Blind is our stronghold.

Man dies, a child, maternity

Lightless is the feather

Only the wife

Opens the gates as daylight fold

eda3ca37a51dbb3b1cac70db6019e2c2

 

Homeworld and Heartworld

The Land of Skies

The four Lore of Arcana books are set largely on Valaris, a world isolated.

Although we do visit Ardosia, Thisseldrum and Pendulim, Valaris is homeworld and heartworld, a blue jewel in the fabric of bright space and time. One continent and thousands of islands make up the available land, a paradise of contrasts. From ice to desert, from high peak to rivers deep, from ocean to forest, Valaris is special.

No wonder, then, so many covet it.

storm-3262470_1280

I will tell you more about Valaris, but know it is an intricate society, with FESTIVALS AND HOLIDAYS, as well as public events, such as:

National day of Remembrance

National Day of Birth and Registration

A Referendum is often held in conjunction with the Day of Registration

Voting for leaders occurs every sixth year on a specially announced day

Both Solstices and Equinoxes are generally celebrated

New Moon and Full Moon celebrations

New Year and Yuletide

Spring Festival

Harvest Festival

Bards and Tales

Three-Day Moon Prayers

4d11ab483077afd9021fe86530c38270
Valaris’ moon is blue and the subject of much mythology

Politically, Valarians have a democratic SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT, and leaders are voted in every sixth year. Each town, city and community has a Mayor and a council. The Mayors elect one individual to run the country – the Electan – and he or she has a ruling council. The ruling council writes into law new governance or repeals outdated ones. The law is upheld by a force of Lawmen – they go by different names at different times.

20112

Valaris has a policy of FREEDOM OF RELIGION, and the following are the main players of both past and present:

Naturalists

Techno-cult

Followers of the Prophet Monchalar

Followers of the Deity Taranis

Order of Continuity

Various others have come and gone over time, and are footnotes in history, and others will come and go as time progresses.

wood-3256749_1280

An interesting world, with characters you will see yourself in … until the invaders arrive, and you realise all is definitely not as first appearances and insights reveal. Valaris is SPECIAL.

Harvestmen

A Forbidden Zone; a creepy enemy

“It’s a massive structure, many solar systems, many galaxies, heavenly bodies, and much debris as in rogue asteroids, broken spaceships, platforms, stations, the majority destroyed by the Mysor. It moves continually and at phenomenal speed. As far as I know, the Mysor inhabit a number of worlds and strong forces are deployed at the outer perimeter to prevent incursion. They don’t like intruders, are evil, but keep to their system.” Gren looked to Bartholamu. “The Siric know more.”

background-3242951_1920

Bartholamu said, “Llettynn went in alone. Llettynn never left stones in place. He wanted to know and thus looked. He captured the Mysor we tested with the transmutation ritual twenty-odd years ago – none of us wanted to do so. He presented us with graphic accounts.”

“The Zone worlds differ greatly,” Bartholamu went on. “Some are arid and lifeless and others are paradise. Llettynn never mentioned a race resident but Mysor, but it’s a huge space.”

“Tell us about the Mysor,” Torrullin prompted.

white-spider-lily-3211685_1280

“Soulless, avaricious, always hungry.”

“What do they look like? How do they move? What of sorcery? Star-travel?”

“They are arachnids. Mysor is a Siric word, it means harvestmen. A two-fold meaning in that they constantly reap the bleaker – bulb, flower, stalk, juice and seed – and they look like the innocuous daddy-long-legs spider. Small bodies compared to their long legs, claw-like mouths, simple eyes, no antenna. Some are dark brown, others are white and yet others are near transparent. Your guess is as good as mine as to pecking order. They have exoskeleton, hard as rock. They move incredibly fast and spit gigantic webs. Although they have destroyed ships, I do not think they thought to use or duplicate them.”

spider-3087185_1280

“Why do you think they remain isolated?”

The Siric shrugged. “They can be killed, immobilised by tipping them over. As nasty as they are they would be no match for concerted effort.”

 

To have or not to have (backstory)

History tells the tale too

Hello, reader and friend! If you are about to read The Infinity Mantle, the first book in this epic series, you will be crossing time and space, and delving into unseen realms as well, and this means it’s a BIG story.

snow-1793216

Why am I telling you this? Because some reviewers have stated there is too much backstory (although that was before a major streamlining!), and I would like to clear that up for you before you begin this epic journey with me. Yes, there is some backstory, but all is imperative in aiding understanding. I have read Fantasy epics all my reading life, and I know the situation behind the scenes forms part of the milieu. The ‘history’ aids understanding, or the tale ends up shallow, without the layering a good story peels away.

forest-1699078_1920

You will begin this read by meeting Rayne, McSee, Aven and Averroes, and also briefly the clans in the north, as well as Infinity, the dara-witch, but there is more. Another thread follows Kylan and Kisha through the Great Forest, and soon you will meet the Guardians of the Dome (and you simply must know who and what they are). The  back and forth between what is happening in the Dome and the discoveries Kisha and Kylan make in the Great Forest, will, if you’re anything like me when it comes to reading, cause you to wonder when you will return to the main story-line! As mentioned, this is the beginning of an EPIC tale, and these inserts promote the grander weave. Read carefully; all comes into play as the story unfolds.

forest-1669338_1920
Taranis as Deity – Order of Taranis

You will also wonder if a game is enough reason to die for (and read on for), until you comprehend this ‘game’ is but one move on a board such as only imagination can wholly grasp. The stakes are immense … but I’ll let you discover this nuance yourself!

And then, lo, we go somewhere else entirely! Beyond a Rift between realms, to encounter another civilisation. What happens there is SUPER important; this has impact throughout the four Lore of Arcana books. It sets the stage for everything. Then, just when you think you’re safe, just when you believe you know the main enemy, I present to you someone far worse. This guy will turn the entire story on its head!

no-one-3238007_1920

By Chapter 12 you are back on Valaris where you met Rayne, and the gathering is about to commence and soon all threads are wound together, and the great tale unfolds for you. I know you will, with hindsight, appreciate this introduction. I know you will thank me for instilling within you, perseverance. And, hopefully, I have set in motion shivers of anticipation, thrills of expectation, and a gleeful desire to immerse yourself in The Infinity Mantle.

Happy reading!

Elaina J. Davidson

Elaina Lore of Arcana 1 The Infinity Mantle (2)

 

 

A Tale within a Tale

Witticism from a blunt character

Today I’m sharing something I’ve rarely mentioned.

There are tales within the tales of the Lore universe, and one in particular deserves mention.

Tattle’s Blunt Adventures!

Keep your eagle-eyed gazes alert for the sayings that accompany every chapter in every Lore book, and soon you will see ‘excerpts’ ascribed to Tattle’s Blunt Adventures (yup, blunt!), Tattle’s scribe (long-suffering dude!) and also Awl, the one who records Tattle’s adventures and those of his scribe.

When you cop it, you may find a whole new tale unfolding. You may then feel ‘… but it’s unfinished!’ and you will be right.

One day, when this series and it’s spin-offs are completed, I will write Tattle’s Blunt Adventures from Awl’s perspective, and complete that journey as well. In fact, it’s already started, but right now I have to ignore it for other projects 🙂

Octavi removed her earrings and when she threw them to earth, great fissures formed in the land between Harri’s Harpies and Honorus’ Hounds. Women, boy, are very clever, very clever indeed. ~ Tattle’s Blunt Adventures

323909846d8884a531a5df074db973a5

You are not a knave! You are not a saviour! You are something else entirely … if only my gift for language would now aid me in finding the perfect epitaph! Oh, my. ~ Tattle’s Blunt Adventures

gramophone-1028633_1280

Oh, dear, oh, dear, there are shadows in the darkness! ~ Tattle’s Blunt Adventures

nature-3229272_1280

Oh raptor, oh hawk, oh little birdie, take me aloft on your wings! ~ Tattle’s scribe

bird-3230131_1280

Do not shoot the messenger! Ill tidings have warning! Listen! ~ Awl, author of Tattle’s Blunt Adventures

scroll-1410168_1280

And much more …

 

 

 

Heavenly Music

Movement is Melody

… the plateaus were uniform emerald, grass cropped short as if a contented herd of horses had been a-grazing but moments ago.

There were no horses, but there were birds, strange, little yellow creatures with long scarlet legs and sharply pointed blue beaks. They fluttered here and there and every time they moved their wings, the sound of mournful flutes filled the air. They walked with graceful, dainty steps and when their small three-toed talons touched ground, there was the sound of tinkling bells.

Saska was entranced by the little creatures, and by the happy-sad melodies of their movements.

Yesterday Vannis whistled a short, complicated tune that brought them to him in greeting, their fluttering causing flute music to rise and fall in deliberate melody.

Communication, she realised. She had never before experienced such complete serenity.

“They are sky-born,” Vannis whispered, tears in his eyes. “They are the last of their kind, rescued from a far planet poisoned by darklings. They are almost sentient. The Valleur call them Ephnor, an ancient word for Heavenly Music.”

feather-3128680_1280

The Kinfire Tree

Well of Crystal Sound

Light Beings sing for freedom

“… in the time of discovery to enforced isolation, one other sentient race made Valaris their home also. I cannot say who they were or how many or how long it was before they realised Valaris could never be a home, but that day came and they retreated to this Forest; it was even larger then, and proved a haven for a time. They built this Well.”

fountain-2311804_1280

It was an ordinary, round, stone well. Looking in, the water was a stone from overflowing, the liquid fresh; there was no bucket, no handle and no rope in sight.

“They built it with only four left. Who they were, as in a race name, has been lost, but an inquisitive little boy one day spied on them and the tale has lived on. The four gathered around their well and linked hands, peering deep into the depths to infuse the water with all magic they possessed. The liquid – water being pure and life-giving – became a medium for their song, and when the story was told and retold over the ages since then, all shook their heads and sighed in deep regret. As the story goes, one could see magic made music, and the music, the song, the harmony, the sound and purity of vibration gently lifted out, droplets pure and beautiful, sad and filled with longing. One could hear magic as it soared out on gossamer wings, filled the Forest and rose into the air, the atmosphere and beyond; crystal sound, astonishingly lovely and terribly haunting. They were calling home, sending crystal harmonies to penetrate the warp.”

“We don’t know if they succeeded, but hope it came to pass, for when the music was at its purest, they simply vanished. The sound slowly dropped back into the water and it retains magic to this day. Dip your fingers in and you feel it; drink it and your ailments of mind and body disappears. Sadly, no one has made it sing since, and that, my friends, is how this came to be called the Well of Crystal Sound.”

star-2926581_1920