I will not go deeply into why it took so long to post this image. On top of the image not acting right, there were viruses, trojans.. program crashes.. etc etc etc... LMAO!! Its amazing i not only saved this image but my entire computer system.
But during the interval i did complete several other images and will post them over the next few days.
Hope you enjoy this follow up story!
The Distance between Shadows-A Seraphims Story. (Part 2)
"For in the 10th year of this New Kingdom," Seraphim continued. "...tragedy struck. From the southern outpost came word of a vast army of humans. Organized, well equipped and led by the bandit king, Anset. Now everyone had heard of Lord Anset, but no one imagined that he could raise an army of this size. People fled the approaching army, running inside the walls of Antioch for protection. Arishiem sued for peace, but every envoy was killed. And the enemy continued approaching. The first clash was magical.. my father with the help of the magus council threw fire at them from the skies, sent tornadoes and bad weather. They even flooded the lands, and froze the very air creating a false winter. Nothing had any effect, because Lord Anset had his own magical support. Calming the people Arishiem then sent the city militia to fight them. But they were no match for the hardened mercinaries and driven back into the city. Lord Anset set siege to the city."
Seraphim sighed, and rubbed his brow as if his head ached.
“It took him two days to set everything in place. But when he did my mother said it was like Hades or Set himself had come into the land. On the eve of the second day, Lord Anset gave the signal. And waves of flaming and exploding arrows streamed over the walls into the city. There were ballisti and catapults flinging Greek fire and oils. And so many arrows, mother said that made it looked like all the stars in the heavens had decided to fall at once. Anything flammable ignited, roof tops, clothing and people, Everything was on fire. Antioch the Beautiful burned. There was so much panic that no one even noticed when the gates were breached. And the opposing army flooded the city, thousands lost their lives running and fighting in the streets."
“For some reason I still can see him in my minds eye that night, standing there in his half plate armor and crown. With the sword dyre at his side, clutching a staff in his hand. Kissing his wife and sending her to gather our things to leave. Then he alone went into the throne room to wait for Lord Anset. I was only two years old."
“To wait for Lord Anset!" cried Earnest, “I thought you said that he sent your mother to pack some things so you all could leave? You did say that didn't you?"
"Yes I did, but my father lied to my mother to calm her. He had no intentions of following. He was King, his place was with his kingdom, and the people he had sworn to protect, and he refused to break his word. He wouldn't have been able to live with himself."
In the warm mid-day sun, the cool breeze went unnoticed by both Seraphim and Earnest as they rode in silence.
"I'm almost afraid to ask what happened next." Earnest whispered. "I know it ends bad, but...I almost don't want to hear it."
As they rode onward all Earnest could hear Seraphim tearfully mumbling was
"Pennies for a prince, pounds for a crown."
What is that? A child’s nursery rhyme?" Asked Earnest.
“Yes, one that my mother used to whisper to herself while I was growing up.
I asked her one day what that meant. And all she would say is it's called 'the price of betrayal'
“The price of betrayal? That’s cryptic."
“It means something, which I’ll explain later."
"So I assume that your father didn't survive his fight with Anset?"
“Correct, Mother says that as she was grabbing things to leave, Father was fighting Lord Anset in the throne room. Somehow, with either mystical force, or with some unknown mental discipline, Arishiem was able to reach out to her. She said that it was as if she were right there in the room with him as he fought. Lord Anset had a magical blade of his own so it seemed as if they were evenly matched. Until my father did something totally unexpected. Mother said that she felt him make the decision and screamed aloud no! As she turned to run to him. But it was too late; father somehow shattered the magus staff that he wielded. The release of energies rocked the palace, knocking everyone unconscious. Those who awoke early, said that the throne room was destroyed, and there was no sign of my father anywhere."
Earnest stared in stunned silence "Aye this is a sad tale indeed, but at least your father saved the city by killing The Bandit King."
"Did he? Rumor has it that Lord Anset survived the blast and the city fell anyway, so who knows for certain. But that is not the worst of it."
“W-what? You mean there is more? By the gods, what else happened?"
"You know that nursery rhyme? Well when my mother awoke there was this being, this wild haired man picking up my unconscious brother, cradling him. Mother was a little groggy but she swears the he was mad, and babbling crazy, incoherent things... things like, 'yea shall be, the first of three, my worshipers' and giggling to himself as if he found something funny. When mother regained her senses and moved to protect her son, she says that he waved his hand and put some type of barrier between them. Watching her and laughing insanely, as she was crying and screaming, she asked him not to kill her son, he replied 'Kill? kill, I shall not kill, he shall be with me...' and when she ask him why, he looked at her real hard before he spoke ' So sad, So much pain and loss, but I will give her a gift...yes we shall, won't we my son?"
Rolling up his sleeve he stooped and got close to her an told her to listen closely, this is called the price of betrayal;
up in the sky,
Tell me, What you see.
while you, Soar up high,
tell me, What will be?
Pennies for a prince,
Pounds for a Crown.
That's what he said when he flew past me.
And then cackling with laugher, he disappeared with my brother. I still hear my mother's screams in my sleep.”
They rode in silence for a while along the winding road to the Temple of Nanaea.
The sun was slowly setting before Seraphim spoke again.
“Council members and friends found the Queen and I, and hurried us out of the Palace. They smuggled us out of the city, and hid us away to the secluded mountain monastery in the west 'Alhambra'. There I was raised and my mother was tended to, as best they could. I resemble my father moreso than my brother did. And during her more lucid times she would look at me and say 'that to her, I was more beautiful, than all the Seraphim in the heavens' and that is where I took my name from. She said other things, but she eventually explained to me what the price of betrayal meant."
"Someone on the council betrayed your father?" Asked Earnest.
"NO. What she said was far worse than that. She said that it was impossible for an army of that size to exist and be as well trained, supplied and organized as it was... Without the knowledge of the powers that be. She said that it was probably the only time Einar and Oresta ever cooperated on anything. My grandparents, and relatives in both cities caused the fall of Antioch."
“See in my land, a pound is about 10,000 gold, and a penny is a copper piece. They sanctioned Anset, armed and paid him to remove Arishiem, and the Crownprince from the throne." "That is a disgrace to all that is holy" was all that Earnest said.
“So, as I said when my mother finally died, I left. But before I left, there was a great funeral attended by thousands of people, she was laid to rest next to my father’s empty tomb, On the very plateau that he slew Salinu the ogre king. The worst part was that my relatives from Einar and Oresta came. In a display of mock remorse. The monks were barely able to restrain me from killing them. This is my tale, this is my story. So what do you think?"
They rode in silence till the road turned to the northeast, opening to a beautiful lake nestled in a valley. Surrounded by a beautiful forest with rolling hills that rose to an imposing mountain range to the east of Ithildor.
Mar 12, 2010 2:21:42 amby JOELGLAINE Homepage »
Pretty nicely done, but I found it hard to follow because of run on lines without spaces or new line when some new starts talking. There really needs to be a new line or paragraph when someone finishes speaking and someone else starts. Other than that, well done!
It has a historical feel to it. I wish the image was big enough to see. It's barely bigger than a thumbnail.
One question--does the writer's gallery have a way to control the column width and does it have more than 4000 character limit, like under other galleries?
Mar 12, 2010 3:34:33 amby myrrhluz Homepage »
Did you add a bit between my first reading and my second? I know I didn't read most of the part after the riddle before. This is really good! Wonderful descriptions of the preparations and siege! I like the mixture of very real warfare of the time and magical elements. The scream of Kara when she realised what her husband was going to do is wrenching. That and the kidnapping of her son, it is no wonder that her grasp on reality became strained. The stuff that the mad man said is very creepy and interesting! What is Seraphim going to find when he finds his brother, as surely he must do? "the first of three" hmmm...I love the riddle! Even in it's one line it is sinister. The use of a single magpie goes well with the old rhyme. Excellent lead in to the meaning of the riddle. I was well prepared for it to be horrible by the morbid fixation of it by Kara. And very horrible it is. The fact that family betrayal is among the worst forms, doesn't stop it from being very prevalent throughout history, but it does stick in the craw worse than any others. Had Arishiem realised it as he fought Anset? What a bitter taste as he struggled to save his people. I hope we are to find out what happened to his brother, who the crazy man was, who the other two are, and whether Anset is dead. For that matter, since there was no body, I guess there could be some question of Arishiem, though surely he would have come to his wife and son if he lived and could. Excellent story! Great image! I look forward to seeing your other posts too!