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Knight of the Heart (knightsheart)

Poetry, Short stories, Blog, Titan

 

The Keeper flings himself out of bed.  His gasping for breath is no expression of age but terror.  He runs to the root like entrance of his dwelling to cast a desperate gaze into Titan’s crystal blue skies. She is there – Scarlion the brightest of their ten moons. The stars tried to compete with her light and fail.  The sky is peaceful nothing out of alignment, nothing falling or on fire. “The end of the ages and life for his clan was merely a dream,” he sighs as he tried to quiet his raging heart.

As he tries to lie back down to sleep. he is dumbstruck by past events that were personal ~ too personal.

***

It was the sixth month of Croilon. An extra month, under the silver moon of Farineon, that only rose once every 500 years.

Jarlon, the Keeper of his clan’s secrets and history, is also the keeper of the knowledge of those who had gone before him. None could touch his mental prowess and ability to read signs; none except his twin Mara the Prophetess of the clan. Mara had the additional gift of seeing events in the future. Nature had singled the pair out to carry the energy of the earth and the people. They needed the flow of energy in the other to carry on their far reaching tasks.

Jarlon enters his sister’s cave with a frantic look on his face though no sweat is beading his brow.

“Aaahhhhhhhh” Mara screams as the labor intensified.

The labor had been intense for more than a day ~ not normal for a woman who had borne 5 children.

“Oh no was that sign referring to my sister? It cannot be! No! He looks to the sky fists clenched in anger at the choice of his fathers. No she will not be sacrificed.”

He hears the strong but kind words of his mentor speaking in his ear. It’s a voice he has not heard for thirty years. “A prophet will die, a child will be born, the sky will fall…”

At that moment, Jarlon alone understands the significance of this birth. If it a son, the alignment of Titan and the silver moon has destined this son for something significant not just for the clan but for their world.

Jarlon kneels at his sister’s side and clasps her hand. Mara is getting weaker. He feels the energy that always surged with the strength of a waterfall between them slowing, pulling away. Jarlon with his will keeps the energy flowing ~a trickle.

Her voice seems audible “I am dying so our hope can be born. He will save our people! Let me go dearest brother.” At that moment the small strand of energy between Jarlon and Mara snaps.

At that moment, Farineon moves to her highest position in the sky. A baby’s lusty cry is heard by the clan’s people.

Jarlon’s face shows a hard resignation. If Mara had been able to look at him she would have seen the crack in his heart. “We shall call him Mar after my sister.”

“Noooo! she can’t be gone” Mara’s husband Petrebil wails. “This whelp deserves to die.” He knows his rights in the clan. A child’s life is forfeit when the mother dies in child birth. Petribil grabs the baby with one desire the Beralin sacrificial waters

Standing to his full height, Jarlon extends his arms. “You will not take this child! His mother understood his destiny; she caused herself to die so that he might live and fulfill it. Fool don’t you know that the power that surged between the two of us would have kept her alive? That boy – Mar may save us all one day.”

“There is no greatness in this boy, he is the least of my sons. A father has the right. This child deserves to die,” Petrebil says anger seething through his clenched teeth.

“I am the keeper; I now carry the Talisman, our Right of Tomorrows, I decide if the child shall live or die for the sake of the people.
My authority will take precedence over this child. He is born under this moon, at this time.  His mother was given a vision as a young woman. I believe that vision prepared her for this day. She knew what her sacrifice would mean. She and I know what the sacred pictures tell… “ Jarlon almost told secrets that he had no right to divulge. “I am he that guards the relics of the people. I know without this child grave things will happen. I am taking guardianship of Mar. If the father wants to assist when he has finished his grieving, then so be it. This child will be taught from the sacred runes.” Petribil is relieved of the baby by the warriors. He stalks off muttering.

As the priestess of the clan is dead, the people go into weeks of mourning. The strain is evident in the loyalty of the clan. Jarlon must threaten a woman to suckle the infant. Many utter under their breath that the baby is a curse. “Weak babies bring weakness to the tribe ~ he did not scream loud enough.”
“That child killed our priestess it is a bad omen,” the women would say at water’s edge.

Petribil speaks out frequently of the failure of justice for his wife.”I should have finished the boy on that dread day.” He creates bitterness in his sons against the ‘weak boy”

*****

Mar senses that he is different from the time he is a little one. Jarlon trains him to be strong in his mind.
Each day of Mar’s childhood is a test but the trials spur him on to learn everything the Keeper can teach him and more.

Mar trains with the Scouts away from his father and brothers. He learns the art of moving and fighting silently.  He is fast and quick witted. Like his mother he can feel the trees and communicate with animals. When he touches a substance, it obeys him.

It is under the cloud of the clan’s disapproval that Jarlon tells Mars about the secrets that are found beneath the ground and in the skies. Jarlon is more than pleased. Mar has the vision and something else; he feels but does not understand. Mar has an innate ability to see – everything. He sees the motive of a man, he sees danger before it comes, he sees the past (without the help of runes) and he sees the future in clear moments of to be.

His uncle tries to help Mar develop his skills but these are areas he is unfamiliar with.
He knows the ancient stories and gives him many lessons from the past. Jarlon helps him to read the signs of the future as well. The signs are all too clear to Mar and they are terrifying~ portending destruction and death for all.

One day, while in the sacred room memorizing the pictures, tears come to Mar’s eyes.  Jarlon knows he fears for his people. Mar sees death and destruction that he cannot stop. He sees pictures of fire in the sky. Mar feels the intense heat; he hears screaming. Visions of caves crumbling and groves burning haunt his dreams. For an instant Mar sees the girl Jana. She is there as the sky falls ~ he does not understand her role as of yet.

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