The Raven: Ascension (Part 1)

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
From the shadows, two orders fight to unleash the power of the gods

Submitted: September 30, 2016

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Submitted: September 30, 2016

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Chapter One

Raven

 

I had been kneeling beside the pool in the cavern of darkness for several minutes when the old man finally entered through a side door, flanked by two huge guards in silver plate armour. He was wizened with a great white beard, a bald head and hard, serious  eyes and wore ropes of pure black. In his right hand was a staff of gnarled wood that he raised every time he moved. I kept my head low as he approached and waited until he was looming over me before I dared look him in the eyes. He looked back at me with an unchanged expression. I feel like nothing more than a scared child again.

 

“Rise, my son” the old man, the Zaharek, said. I obey and soon I’m towering over him. “You have trained your whole life for this moment. Are you ready to make your committment to our order?”

 

I reply without even considering any other options. “Yes, enlightened one”

 

The Zaharek nods and smiles coldly “Good. You have rehearsed your vowels?”

 

“I have, enlightened one”

 

“You may recite them”

 

I breathe in, trying to steady my nerves, and said “I hereby solemnly swear by the wings of Tenerbrisis to honour our sacred order, it’s members and it’s glorious leader, the great Zaharek, by offering my eternal servitude”

 

“Very good” said the Zaharek. One of his guards produced a large goblet of pure gold that was studded with emeralds and rubies at the hilt and handed it to him.

 

The Zaharek roared as he plunged the goblet into the murky pool “By the wings of Tenerbrisis, the dark lord of demons, darkness and death I proclaim you, Raven Darkfire, chosen of the dark god, the instrument of our order’s will. I proclaim you “Manos Vindrax”, High Wraith”

 

He handed me the goblet and I take it in my steel gloves. I catch my reflection in the water, my vivid purple  eyes and my shaggy white hair that came down to my jaw and hesitantly I drank. Some had said that drinking from the pool caused a burning sensation. Others has claimed to have felt a strange coldness. But to me it tasted and felt like a regular cup of water.

 

“Thank you, enlightened one” I said as I handed him back the goblet and tried to blink back my tears. It was true what the Zaharek has said; I had trained my entire life, or rather since I was seven, twenty hours every day for fourteen years. I had become a walking weapon with unlimited stamina, a ridiculously high threshold to pain thanks to regular beatings to “toughen me up” and an in depth knowledge of how to kill anyone with anything from a fork to a battle axe.

 

“By drinking from this goblet and offering your eternal service, you Raven are now immortal” proclaimed the Zaharek.

 

I sighed with relief. Immortal. Or rather frozen in time as I would never age, never feel the aching in my bones I’m sure the Zaharek felt. Perfect.

 

The Zaharek went on “But be warned my son. Though you shall never naturally die you can still be killed by blade or bullet”

 

Even better.

 

“Then when my time comes I can die with a sword in my hands and a prayer on my lips enlightened one” I said.

 

“As any Wraith should” the Zaharek said with an approving nod “Now go; reveal in the admiration of your peers and await my summons”

 

I bowed once more “As you say enlightened one”

 

I started down a small staircase of ten steps and pushed open a large double door made of oak to reveal a wide corridor full of my fellow Wraiths, the assassins of my order. They were dressed like me in a black,tight fitting, long sleeved tunic made of the strongest and lightest leather and our legs in trousers made of a similar material. Our hands were encased in thin leather gloves with thin,cat like claws made of steel on the ends. The sleeves of the tunics were pulled over the gloves from the wrist down. In their hands they carried the defining feature of a Wraith, the black steel mask that was shaped like a skull. These were my soldiers, my immortal brothers and sisters, and I was their captain. They looked at my eagerly, silently begging me to keep them in the dark no longer.

 

“Brothers. Sisters. I, like you, am now blessed by the dark god. With his blessing I will lead you as your captain in our struggle for glorious salvation” I loudly declared.

They came forward, some cheering others clapping, and the chant “Long Live Lord Darkfire” was taken up. I felt myself blush.

 

“Enough, brothers, enough. Disperse and prepare; sharpen your blades, say your prayers and rejoice in the thought of bathing in the blood of our enemies. For we, at last, are on the warpath”

 


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