The Exodus Sagas: Book I - Of Spiders And Falcons

BOOK: The Exodus Sagas: Book I - Of Spiders And Falcons
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The Exodus Sagas

I

Of Spiders And Falcons

 

by Jason R Jones

 

“An exodus is a grand departure or escape of spiritual importance comprising of flight from persecution, loss, suffering, the past, or slavery, resulting in a journey to a place of holy sanctuary, guided by God.”

For my br other, Jeremy

For brotherhood that endures the long distances, troubled times, and the comings and goings of life. Thank you for understanding, for friendship, the laughs, and fantastic adventures through our childhood together.

Forward to The Exodus Sagas

There is little that can be read of the great kingdoms of the continent of Agara prior to the flood almost four hundred years ago. Most history that survived is in small collections in the castles and libraries of nobility or hidden away in old temples and cathedrals. The countries of the northern continent of Ala Sere, under the rule of the holy empire of Altestan, saw to it many times over that written accounts were destroyed. Nearly three thousand years of persecution has driven the northern cultures to flee south to a land where myth and legend, the arcane and the divine, still hold hope for mankind. The fair skinned native Agarians introduced the northern refugees to their ways, the magical fey shrines, the mystical elves and dwarves, and shared the shelters of a new world under the moons. Great kingdoms and cities of spiritual power were constructed out of these cultural friendships. It was not to last.

The Emperors of Altestan had a lineage of men whose devotion to Yjaros, the One God, God of man, God of Gods, would not allow them to sit idly as their people fell under the supposed spells of lesser races. Great blended cities of various cultures and faiths were blasphemy to them and they felt the word of God guide them from his throne on the green moon. The Altestani and their mighty armadas swept over Agara destroying Kivanis, Aloeste, Arouland, and Mooncrest. They invaded and murdered those they crossed that were not human, much as they had done in their own lands so many thousands of years ago. Their belief that man was the chosen race and His children, drove them beyond care or reason. They made brutal examples of their interpretation of the will of Yjaros, despite the cries of many religions and worshippers of other Gods. Their armies massed by sea and land, cornering the last of the remaining clergies deep off the southern coast to Teirinshire in the kingdom of Chazzrynn. The Carician worshippers, bowing to lesser Gods of the white moon, had nowhere left to run and their allies had been annihilated or had surrendered. Branded as heathens and pagans by the oppression, they died as warnings to the southern populace. Yet victory was not to remain.

Atop the holy tower of Arouland, a young boy named Tarum knelt above the hundreds of thousands that had conquered and killed in the name of their God. A pious priest of Alden, the Lord of Heaven, Tarum began to pray aloud. Soon he was joined by the thousands devoted to Seirena, Megos, Vundren, Siril, and long lost Annar. Even many of the Altestani, hearing the foreign words of prayer in unison, began to kneel and speak to God. The waters of the Vateric Ocean rose, and within hours a terrible storm swept over the cliffs of south and west. The flood did not stop for the priests and clergy, for the warlords or sorcerers of Altestan, not even for Tarum or the holy patriots of Alden. The ocean covered the western cities, drowning northern ships and southern civilizations together. The empires of the north took it as a warning from God for not recognizing the lesser Gods and for their pride in conquest. Many saw it as a trap or a trick of magical nature. The southern realms saw it as yet another act of the Gods that made a martyr out of the tyranny they had forgotten existed. But some knew the truth.

The mortal wars of land and sea are mirrored in the heavens and in the realms of the two moons by the powers that be. There is a struggle for existence, for free will from a creator that demands obedience and one that has been and always will be. There are no known records or histories in writing of what the truth could actually be. Books are lost or burned, stories change with each teller and new generation, and many a man would alter a tale should it be to his benefit. Thousands upon thousands of years could not hold accurately all of the myths and spiritual journeys that have occurred by mortal and immortal alike. No dragon, elf, dwarf or man could assemble together in a lifetime enough to show and prove the truths to others. Once those that were there have passed on, every story becomes history. However, there is one man who remembers well far more than he should, possesses long forbidden powers in secret, and has been in existence to see more than any man should have seen. Blessed, some would say if they knew of him, cursed says he who has survived it, the truth is likely somewhere in the middle.

Close to four centuries after the deluge as the Agarian calendar has shown it, the floodwaters have receded and one man is able to share of the journeys of those few he has seen gathered by divine fate. His story is one of pain and triumph, freedom, and mystery. Yet his tale is for another time. Deep in the southern realm of Agara, in the kingdom of Chazzrynn where the wastelands remain from the flood, there is a small hope. A gift will be given, one without conceivable value, for the salvation of the world.

Our teller of tales began watching from afar, listening to rumors and stories of how these strangers met, and why they remained together. Finally free of many of his own demons and curses, this man put together the sagas of spiders and swords, scrolls and falcons, and far off places where it all began. The last stand of forgotten deities, lost kingdoms, and races destined for extinction has begun. He shall tell us, and his son, of the Exodus…

 

Prologue

South of Gillian, Shanador

I sat outside my small farmstead, same as every morning for more than three years now. Counting the days, they had not previously mattered, but did since I had arrived to this life. The fading green moon, Gimmor, receded in the dark western sky of early morning, as did the crescent white moon, Carice, further south. Twilight dew dampened my open robes, yet I tried not to notice as my anticipation of the suns’ first orange light holds me, then fires into the dawn sky awakening my lands from the small castle to the grazing fields. Brilliant, fire-orange and rich light peers over the west, warming in less than a moment, and the symphony of noises that follows puts me at peace. Birds, owls, farmhands, and within moments and minutes, the rest of the world creates noise that reminds me that I am alive and not alone.

I arise from my spot on the green, wet grasses, content with the moment, and quietly walk into my home to get my sleeping son from the crib. The black robes with blue arcane designs I wear drag in the wet foliage behind me, and these leather sandals are moist under my feet. Vague and foggy recollections of the nightmares of last night’s sleep still cling like mud in my mind, dripping off as the morning moments warm my conscious with every breath and step I take. Some were mere dreams, yet some were more than that, I know full well. Some are memories of my past life. I fake a yawn, thinking that might help distract them out of my waking head, and wipe the crumbs of sleep from my eyes.

Dark blue skies give passage to lighter blue, the light blue that matches my sons’ eyes as he is plucked from his bed by his anxious father. He is quiet, still, possessing unspoken understanding with but a glance. Every day since he was born almost six months ago we have this bond and this routine. Watching the sun rise together while my wife sleeps in for another hour or so, that is our daily time. This is special time just for us when the rest of the world does not exist quite yet. I thought of how I do not deserve this life, this woman, this child, and try to have gratitude. That is a hard notion for me, for all I have suffered for untold centuries.

My son reaches for my long hair, streaked gray now, and going straighter in these few years from its previous curls and youthful waves. Youth, age, how old
am I
actually? The thought went through my mind like a fleeting joke. I know the age of my son, but perhaps only the powers that be, know
my
age since myself and all those that I have known before have been forgotten, hopefully. In fact, I know no one save a few enemies and foul creatures from afar that could even still
be alive this long
. Humans did not live this long, or get second chances such as me. Few dragons or elves could recall the ages I have lived through, yet not a part of since I have not been here for the changing times of civilization. Even my wife does not know these things, although I tried to explain it to her, but decided better not to scare her with my past.

BOOK: The Exodus Sagas: Book I - Of Spiders And Falcons
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