Chapter 7: Chapter 7

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 32



Chapter 7:


The following morning we were introduced to Ruven. Once we had informed our hosts of our intentions, we were told that he would drive us to Anath-Taesyn, the Capital city. Our guide appeared youngish, but not so much as the others in the camp. His face was also more rounded, and the only thing that distinguished him as Sylvan were his pointed ears. Even these were less pronounced. I was later to discover, that like Gina Ruven was only part Sylvan. He had some human ancestry, and even though it was likely to have been from his distant past, it still left its mark.


As we approached the vehicle that was to transport us, I was reminded again that we were no longer on Earth. Even though our autos had evolved from the wheeled motor car to the modern version that hovered above the surface, none of them were as advanced as this model before me. We sat behind the driver, and set off on our journey through forest and woodland. The landscape seemed to be almost unspoilt, and again we found it hard to understand how such an advanced race could have succeeded in preserving so much of their natural surroundings. One of the ways that was evident was that the mode of transport they used did not require any road, just a clearing in the trees would suffice. The same principle applied on Earth, but this was used just as an excuse not to maintain the existing infrastructure rather than a means to improve the environment.


As we came over the crest of a hill, we beheld a most magnificent sight - the city of Anath-Taesyn! Although massive, much of the city had been hewn out of the side of the mountain upon which it was built, with only the front façades showing. The taller buildings towered into the skyline, and it was obvious that the architects who built them were skilled far beyond any of their earthen counterparts, or perhaps it was that they took greater pride in their workmanship? Our cities were all about functionality over aesthetics, whereas here it seemed that the latter took precedence.


This became even more apparent when we entered the city itself. Sculptures, columns and banners graced the walls of beautifully constructed buildings, and fountains and gardens abounded. We reached a place beyond which autos were not permitted, and the road turned from a smooth surface to a cobbled one. This was by far the most spectacular part of Anath-Taesyn. It consisted of a huge central circle in which a statue of sorts stood with a water feature surrounding it.


We headed towards an immense building on the far side of the circle. As we approached, I was dumbstruck by its sheer grandiose, and I knew that this was a very important place indeed.


As though Ruven read my mind, he informed me: “This is the Valdathamar, the Council Hall. Here sits the High Council, the rulers of all of Alfheim.”


His statement seemed to be enhanced by the beauty that stood before us: Spires rose atop what were obviously office blocks, but far from being cold and austere, these looked grand and almost inviting. A long stairway led to the main entrance on top of which a huge sculpture of a winged figure stood, her arms seemingly welcoming us in through the massive arched doors. Inside the vaulted ceilings rivalled those of the Sistine Chapel, and at the far end another rendition of the statue outside greeted us.


We ascended a flight of stairs, and our guide informed us that he had to leave us there. Just then an elegant individual in a kind of suit greeted us, excepting that his attire looked like something that would have been worn during the era when kings and queens still ruled, complete with epaulettes and golden edging on his collar and cuffs. The only difference was that he wore gauntlets, and a sword on his right hip.


He gave us a sort of salute and greeted: “Sala. Manu Govaye (the meaning of which I subsequently learned, being: ‘Greetings’ and ‘Well met’). Sheler Inaleth and the other Councillors await. Please follow me.”


We followed him, feeling more than a little over awed by the news that we were going to stand before the Council. The sensation reminded me of the times I was called to the Principal’s office when I was at school, although in that instance it was all too often that I was summoned there having gotten up to some kind of mischief. I could see on Gina’s face that she felt much the same way, with a hint of excitement.


The large double doors opened, and before us - in a highly decorated and ornate chamber - sat three of the noblest looking figures I have ever seen. Immediately I knew that one had to watch one’s ‘Ps’ and ‘Qs’ in such company. They stood up as we were ushered in. Behind a desk with delicately carved sides stood the High Councillor, or the ‘Patriarch’ as he was called in the Sylvan tradition. Flanking him on either side were two armed guards brandishing long javelins, and in front of his desk were the other two Councillors.


With a slight smile, the Patriarch welcomed us: “Alatulya Son and Daughter of Earth. I am called Sheler Inaleth, and these are my fellow Councillors: On my left, Herdir Dorlan, and on my right Herdir Beluar. We bid thee welcome. It is clear that you have many questions. Therefore, speak your mind before we tell you the reason for this meeting, for it was not by mere chance that it occurred.”


Trying to sound as formal as I could, I replied: “By your leave sirs, but I would like to know why I was allowed to enter your realm and my other companions were not. I think I know why this lady was permitted as she is one of your kind, but I am clearly not.”


Master Dorlan stated: “Firstly, let me give you an idea of your precise location.” He instructed one of the other attendants in the room, and a huge virtual screen appeared in front of us, upon which the image of a galaxy that I had never set eyes on before was shown. He then continued, “This is the Dholra Nebula, Dholra meaning ‘The Lion’s Head’. More specifically, this world is known as Keva, and is in the Dethia System.


Now to answer your question, I need to ask you if, in your fantasies or visions, you have ever seen yourself as anything like this.” An image appeared that might as well as come out of one of my recurring dreams. It was of what seemed to be a tribal shaman kneeling inside a circle marked with a set of runes. His arms were raised above his head, and he held aloft the skin and head of a massive bear. His limbs, face and torso were marked with tattoos, and he had a short sword on a belt around his waist. Otherwise he wore only a headdress and loin cloth. Almost to the last detail, it was exactly the same as I had seen many times before! I acknowledged his query with an astonished nod.


“Very well.” The Sylvan continued. Then he showed me three more pictures. They were all portraits of males, but had an almost archaic quality to them. The facial bones were heavy and the brows prominent, which reminded me of pictures I had seen of so-called Neanderthals, excepting that they had little facial hair, in fact the first one had none at all. But it was the middle one that caught my attention. Master Dorlan repeated his first question, and I pointed out the image that more closely matched the figure I had once again seen myself as many times.


He then quizzed: “Do you know why these look so familiar to you?”


“I always guessed it was because I was very interested in hominid evolution and ancient history, but how the almost exact images of my dreams came to be on your monitor I have no idea.” I responded.


“To answer your query, I will relate to you some historical findings about which you may or may not already know.” He explained, “Almost since the dawn of your civilisation, there have been myths, tales and legends about various races, many of which have since been reduced to mere fiction. But consider the universality of these tales. In other words, how regardless of their geographic places of origin, these legends seem to have a similar thread to them, and that despite the cultures that started the tales having had little or nothing to do with one another.


Of particular interest to you are the legends pertaining to so-called ‘Giants’. I do not have to elaborate on their nature, as you already know much about these mythical beings, but consider this: In the area called the United States of America, the natives known as the Paiute people believed in what they called the Si-Te-Cah. These were said to be red-haired giants that lived in caves in the area, and in a certain cave the remains of one such being was discovered by guano miners ...”


He showed me a picture from 1911 that I had only heard about before. I could not help thinking that it was ironic to be learning parts of our own history from a person who seemingly lived light years away from my home planet. The black-and-white photo was of a figure in a wooden crate. Next to it stood two men who barely came up to the central creature’s waist even though all of their feet were touching the ground. Master Dorlan proceeded with his narrative: “In what became known as the Lovelock Cave, later explorers found what seemed to be an ancient hearth, complete with scorch-marks on the rock surrounding it. They also found this ...”


Next I was shown a skull that reminded me again of a Neanderthal. The Sylvan seemed to read my mind, and pointed out, that when the skull was radio-carbon dated, it appeared to be much more recent than that of its prehistoric look-alike. In fact this hominid could have been alive at the same time as the native Paiute tribes that had spoken of it in their tales. Was this the legendary Si-Te-Cah?


He then went on to discuss similar myths that had been told as far away as Israel and the rest of the Middle East, some even reaching Eastern Europe. For instance, the race to which the character of the Abramic and Christian scriptures - the giant Goliath - belonged. They were divided into three races: The Nephilim, the Anakim, and the Emim, Goliath being a remnant of the first one. Finally he showed me a digital reconstruction of the individual to which the skull belonged. It bore an uncanny resemblance to the images that I had seen of myself in my dreams! The only difference was that he appeared to be much taller than I had ever been.


Still somewhat taken aback I enquired: “So what has this to do with me?”


This time it was Master Beluar that gave me the answer: “The Gates do not allow pure-strain humans through as a rule, only those with Otherkin blood in them. Your dreams show that you are indeed Otherkin. In other words, like young Gina here, you are of mixed blood. The only difference is, that as she is half-sylvan, you my friend are of a much older race. One known as the Argathan. Contrary to common modern folklore, your kind do not live in some subterranean version of Earth. Indeed they have been all but annihilated from your planet. The only remnants are those who were able to mingle with their fellow humans, and take human spouses.


Even though only distantly related, we too have suffered a similar fate. Not exactly mind you, your history being much more intricate than time will allow us to explore at this moment ...”


Before he could continue, I burst out: “Are you saying that I have giants’ blood in me? That I am related to giants?” I felt at once insulted and perplexed at the very notion. So much so that I forgot to whom I was speaking. I apologised for my rant, but the Councillor seemed to understand.


He merely pointed out: “You are rather tall for your race, and heavy of build are you not?” At six-five, I was considered taller than normal, even if it was slightly. And I was always told that I was big-boned, which meant that I would never be slender, no matter how much I dieted. So I had to accede that he was right. He proceeded to talk of things of which I had never spoken to anyone else. Like the fact that I never felt like I belonged anywhere, and thus preferred the solitude of my own company. And of course there were the recurring dreams, not nightmares as the case might have been if I suffered from some kind of PTSD, but just extremely vivid dreams. At last I realised that he could just be telling the truth.


“Remnants of your kind still dwelt on Earth up until the early modern era. What was known as a medical anomaly named ‘Gigantism’ is in actuality a sign of the individual having Argathan blood, such as this one ...” He pointed to a picture of a man from Mongolia. It was said to have been taken in 1922, and showed the fellow standing among his peers, the problem being that even the tallest of them barely came up to his armpits.


The Master returned to his narrative. Now he had my undivided attention. “... Our own ancestors lived upon the world we called ‘Kemna’ long before your kind migrated from the warmer climes and open plains where your forefathers evolved. We lived in the forested areas of what you call Europe, Scandinavia, and even parts of Asia. Centuries later we came into contact with the Sons of Earth - human beings - and at first our relations were cordial. In some instances we were even considered either as deities or children thereof. One nation - the Celts - believed that we were the offspring of their Goddess Danu, hence we were given the title of ‘Tuatha da Dannan’, or ‘Children of Danu’.


In states like Denmark and Finland, we encountered what we considered an offshoot of our people, the Abari. Soon they developed a reputation for being hostile, especially towards the human newcomers who gave them the title of ‘Dökkálfar’ - ‘Dark Elves - whereas we were known as the Ljosalfar, or ‘Light Elves’. It was they who first named us Alfar, later translated as Elves. The feud between the Abari and the Sons of Earth would encompass both of the Sylvan races soon enough alas.


With the advent of the so-called ‘Burning Times’ or ‘Dark Ages’, any who opposed the religion of the day were either slain or tortured into submission. We name this era ‘Sarnathra’ - the ‘Age of Tears’ - as it was one of the darkest chapters in our history. As if the deeds of the Inquisition and the oppression of the masses were not heinous enough, we were subjected to even greater evils ...” At this point the room became very quiet, and the speaker’s face went pale and gaunt as though he was struggling with the memories that were being brought back as he related this tale to us.


“... We Sylvan have always been fascinated by the moon and the stars, and since time immemorial we have loved lying naked when the night was clear and Orthea, our beloved Moon Goddess’s face was full. But alas the human heart is by nature blinded by lust and ill intent, and soon those celebrating this rite were found murdered and violated in the glades where they had lain. It was not long before these atrocities became even more barbaric, and the bodies of our dead were hoisted on wooden stakes for the sport of ravens. Some were captured and suffered such torments that they begged for death to end their wretched misery. Our maidens were used to pleasure their captives until they perished as a result, as were many of our male youths. They were sodomised until they bled to death.


But the worst was yet to come: As men demanded more and more from our forests, they began to drive us out, burning our villages and defiled our sacred groves. This caused a rift amongst our kind. These became known as the Seelie and Unseelie Courts in some of your cultures. The former were ruled by Queen Hildur, and chose to go into hiding, in the hope that one day humanity would come to its senses once more, and they would again be able to walk freely among the world of men. The latter were not so naïve. Under the reign of the shrewd Queen Maeve, they bore no love for the human race, nor did they trust in them. Some members of this Court even took up arms against those they believed were a curse on the land. Alas, outnumbered, these brave warriors were soon overpowered and many of them were either slain or sold as slaves.


Some of the slave-owners fell in love with their female bond-servants. Those among our kind that remained free, found refuge and in many cases companionship among certain human communities. An example of these were the gypsies, nomadic folk that travelled throughout the Middle East and Europe. Such unions between men and elves gave rise to what would later be called half-sylvan, or half-elves. There are said to be a number of characteristic traits that could indicate that an individual has sylvan blood in him or her ...”


He showed me three pictures that illustrated these characteristics: The first was of a fair-skinned woman. Her hair was light auburn and her eyes an olive green. Unlike many redheads, that had freckled skin, hers was perfectly clear despite its fair complexion. The second picture was striking to say the least. This young woman had black hair and her eyes were dark blue, almost like twin sapphires. Her skin tone was also very light, with fine freckles across her nose and cheeks, and her blue eyes were slanted downward toward the nose, giving them an almost feline appearance. This was also evident in the first picture, but not a prominently. As it was in the third image. He was blonde with icy blue eyes and the same complexion as the other two. The one attribute that was common in all three was the slightly pointed pinnae.


He concluded by saying: “... Many of these half-sylvan remained faithful to the Seelie Court’s vision of one day reconciling with an enlightened humanity. A quest that appears to be more and more out of reach as the millennia pass.”


I was reminded of the pictures I had seen of the likes of Cornelia Daantjie, Jukka Cheng and the others that featured in Kumar’s broadcasts. So these half-elves were the remnant of the original Seelie Court, and had seemingly tried to continue the work of making the world a better place despite the aim of those behind the so-called ‘Anunnaki Manifesto’: To make the world a more merciless place rather than more merciful. My heart sank at the futility of it all.






Submitted: January 23, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Tristan Biggs. All rights reserved.


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