|Join Nairaland / LOGIN! / Trending / Recent / New|
Stats: 1,898,507 members, 3,863,925 topics. Date: Friday, 20 October 2017 at 11:54 AM
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 3:27pm On Sep 14|
♠ ♠ ♠ ♠ ♠
It had taken them six days of slow grueling trudging through the blistering heat of the desert of Amir to get close to the area around the black tower. At this stage speed had to be sacrificed for stealth. The caravan, though much smaller than a standard one still carries lots of valuable items of trade. So they had more beasts of burden than fast mounts. They had already suffered two sand storms, that caused two serious injuries and multiple minor injuries. Someone have died, carelessly due to dehydration, three others were stung by sand cobras which are common at the very entrance to the realm of Dayir. Two were treated on time while one of them died swiftly from the venom.
The sands of the desert gave way to rocky landscapes with high towering hills, twisting crags and stony foothills. The change of the landscape didn’t bring about any improvement to the desolation of the place. Trees are none existing, grass or occasionally clumps appeared intermittently but with lesser frequency as they got closer to the black tower. The caravan got to the edge of a crest and looking down a gentle rocky slope which led to the gate of the black tower.
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 3:34pm On Sep 14|
Watching what was before him, Jarrael realized that the name black tower was a misconception. The black tower is not just a single building but a city. From the view of the crest, Jarrael could see that the black tower is a fortified city. It is surrounded by a high wall of about the height of eight men, around the height of four men in thickness made from black basalt stones reinforced with iron. High towering slender turrets with sharp edges, all of black stones. All around the wall is a deep chasm having only a single entrance of a lone draw bridge which leads to a formidable gate as high and thick as the wall made from thick logs fastened on every area with iron. This is an impregnable city that Jarrael could see no way in unless through stealth.
As the caravan got close to the gate, they noticed very little traffic through the gate no wonder just one part of the gate is opened and it was ajar. The heavy presence of security guards was noticed. The guards were all on black, with masks covering all their faces. They are armed with swords and spears. Two tall watchtowers were at both sides of the gate, each wide enough to accommodate ten archers all armed with long cross bows.
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 3:39pm On Sep 14|
The caravan was heavily scrutinized by the watchmen at the gate. Since there were very few traffic passing through the gate, the guards had all the time to really go through the caravan, the goods and those who accompany them. The security check took four hours, exhausting and annoying as it is, you dare not argue with the watchmen of the black tower. Jarrael tried as much as possible to see anyone in a priestly garb around the gate but saw none. That kind of lend credence to the general believe that the Nemphis priests hardly step out of the gates of the black tower . Several things were going through Jarrael’s mind, the best person to have given him satisfactory answers is not with them. Ruel didn’t join the caravan to the black tower, his excuse been that he had already made arrangements for smooth passage to the city. Saying he had more important things to attend to, trade matters according to him. Now he turned to Thrace.
The acolyte was dressed like everyone of them, they were all forced to put on white silk raiment that covered their bodies to the toes before letting them step pass the gate.
“Thrace some questions, that is If you know anything about the set up here. “ Jarrael said loudly enough to pull the acolyte’s eyes away from the book he was reading. Though Thrace had performed a concealing spell on the book before they got to the gate, in other to hide the true appearance of the book from anyone who wants to look too closely. It had worked, because it all looked like Thrace was reading through item list from a trade parchment instead of a voluminous book. “Why are we forced into this ridiculous clothing? “
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Speedstar09: 4:11pm On Sep 14|
This is quite intresting.i thougt that thrace's concealing spell wouldn't have worked as they entered the city.considering the fact that they are in the black tower-the home of dark magic-which housed the DARK NEMPHIS PRIESTS,i mean,a place like that should have an anti-magic tailsman of sort,that repels any form of magic at the entrance of the city...
Except Ruel did his homework well
dont mind my rants abeg.you are on point sir
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 4:21pm On Sep 14|
“It is so that you can be identified as strangers the moment you step into the city. In this place color determines everything. Normal people put on brown, soldiers and guards put on black combat clothing, they are the only ones apart from the priests to wear black. They put on black only while on duty, it must be combat black uniform with armor. But the priests put on black ropes and that is exclusive to them. Those in the monastery are dressed accordingly, gray for novice, students, disciples and red for senior disciples. Blacks for priests and arc priest . “ Thrace said never removing his eyes from the pages he was reading.
“But why is it a necessity we were forced to put it on? “
“Oh about that Jarrael, well it’s for proper control. “ Taking his eyes for a while out of the pages he continued. “No stranger with business is allowed to stay in the black tower beyond a day. So if anyone sees us in the city by this time tomorrow, they are authorized to killed us. “
“Ooo such a nice place. “ Meera purred. “May just like to spend my last moments here.”
“And about that, “ Thrace said with a witty smile. “I will advice you cover even your face once in the city, lady Thorn. “
“Please tell me junior mage, why I should do that? “Meera turned to him allowing her voice to slur towards the end.
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 4:26pm On Sep 14|
“Quite simple, women are not allowed to walk openly in the streets of black tower and if they must, then they must be totally covered and veiled leaving only their eyes. Even those are covered with a net.“ Thrace said with an exaggerated yawn. “The reason is that the god Nemphis, doesn’t like female. There are no female priests, they are not even allowed to join the monastery. They are not to come close to the surroundings of the compound of the temple of Nemphis. At a time in the long past, female children born of Nemphis worshippers were killed. This practice stopped when the god Nemphis realized that if the practice remain in effect, his followers will naturally die out within a generation. So he ordered the practice to stop but that female should only be kept for procreation purpose. Still feel like spending your last days here, lady Thorn? “
“Fascinating. If not for his absence, might just take a shot at seducing Nemphis with all my female charms, let’s see how he can resist that. “ Meera said, taking a white veil from one of the other handlers for the goods within the caravan. After taking a look at the veil, with a sad sigh she covered her face with it.
“I’m surprised to see normal people in this place, was thinking this place will only have priests. “ Jarrael said.
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Speedstar09: 4:29pm On Sep 14|
Apollux:yes i did,the fact still remains,no matter the type of camouflage or concealing spelling ruel employs,his true nature would always emerge.
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 4:31pm On Sep 14|
Speedstar09:Lol like u may have realized the black tower isn't just a building but a city. Well the city has a magical protection but not against a small concealing spell that doest act with hostility. The city has wards against attacking spell.
But the black temple Nemphis in the city is something else entirely...
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 4:34pm On Sep 14|
“That is quite easy to understand. All who lives here are faithful worshippers of Nemphis and their descendants. “ Thrace looked more into the book but continued speaking. “Not all worshippers of the evil god have the gift of the clergy or harnessing the power of their gods. New born children are tested early in their cradle days, males with natural magical abilities are enlisted into the priest monastery but females, with the same abilities are ritually purified to removed the magical abilities, which fails most times and the baby girls are killed. Well this is reasonable to prevent oppositions from magically empowered females. As the centuries passed, less and less females with natural abilities were given birth to. In the last two hundred years only a single female with magical abilities has been given birth to among Nemphis worshippers. “
“This is something a matriarchal society like the Gondolians will find very repulsive. “ Meera spoke, her voice muffled by the veil.
After a short laugh the acolyte spoke again. “And there is a story about that as well. “
“About the Gondolians reacting to the news on how the Nemphis worshippers treat their females. “
“No lady Thorn it is about something between Nemphis and the goddess snake queen of the Gondolians. “
“Thrace do you plan telling me or letting me die of curiosity first? “
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 4:40pm On Sep 14|
“No lady Thorn, no serious tale here, just a rumor back then, when the gods still ruled Ghemmaria. “ Taking a deep breath to control the serious urge to laugh. “In the past, so it was said, there was rumored a love affair between Nemphis and the snake goddess. But Nemphis hated the goddess pets of snakes. Then there happened a very dirty scandalous episode between them that involved the pet snakes too and a prankster god, Dramir. An episode so distasteful, speaking about it among the gods became a taboo. “ With the control over, Thrace burst out into a thunderous laughter which drew curious stare from all around what the huge joke is about.
“And I suspect that from your out burst, you are privy to this said taboo rumor? “ Meera asked, the veil hiding her features.
“Of course, I do. “ Thrace continued doing his best but failing to stop the uncontrollable fits of laughter. “It’s a story most senior mages in the scarlet hill know about. The magus told me about it one night over a bout of strong beer. “
“And will you care to share the story with us? “
“No lady Thorn, haven’t you heard, it’s a taboo to talk about. “ Thrace hurl another lengthy laugh again. “But that resulted to the serious enmity between Nemphis and the godess queen. Nemphis hate females and the goddess queen made female rulers in her domain. “
“Alright everybody pay attention, seems we just about got to our destination. “ Jarrael spoke.
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by sltn(m): 4:44pm On Sep 14|
enjoying the ride.
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Speedstar09: 4:54pm On Sep 14|
Apollux:quite true sir,but you know that any magic spelled by an outsider is most at times identified as alien and to some extent wont be dismissed passively.with enough said,
i remain loyal sir...
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by itsandi(m): 4:55pm On Sep 14|
Interesting! Keep going... Read other cool stories on Tushstories via
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 5:10pm On Sep 14|
Speedstar09:Yes but like in computer too there are very timy probing that doesn't raise any alarm as long as they appear small and shows no signs of been a threat. Trust me Thrace is now much improved. That book he is reading is opening his mind to possibilities - Ruel have a reason for giving him that book before their attempt on the black tower. Like u know Thrace is powerful, what he lacks is knowledge and experience.
Let me take the time to say this, the magic used by Thrace and the mages is sorcery but that used by the priests of Nemphis is power bestowed by a deity in form of supernatural gifts. There are other types of magic in Ghemmaria too, like scionic, etc. The priest of Nemphis don't use sorcery generally but divine power from their god, or more correctly, they are supernaturally endowed with power. But they still dabble into sorcery a lot too, especially dark sorceries by the use of spells from books, use of magical relics or items, necromathic energy they generate when they offer a human sacrifice.... A lot of other side information about Ghemmaria I won't be able to give during this story.
1 Like 1 Share
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Speedstar09: 5:55pm On Sep 14|
sire apollux,thanks for taking your time out to clear my confusion.and for the peek into the ghemmeria canticles keep going man.
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 9:22pm On Sep 14|
The city of black tower seem symmetrically arranged. Same number of buildings are on both said of a major paved road leading from the gate into the heart of the city. Except for a very tall tower and fortress like buildings, and few other city administrative buildings, all houses in the city are built the same way, with the same design and heights. All streets and roads are parted at precisely the same points on both sides. There were more presence of black clad soldiers on the road and streets than regular people. Very little activities seem to be happening here. There are very few shops where things are sold. But with a casual glace towards the tallest building in the city, the black tower of Nemphis, priests and senior disciples in their black and red robes are seen more around the surroundings.
Two of the guards from the gate had lead the caravan through the city till they got to a tall building that appeared like and administrative one. A short man with white hair, wide round eyes, shrunken cheeks and thin lips, completely shaven, as only the priests and arc priests are allowed to keep beards, came out of the building, wearing the green robes of his status, holding awkwardly a number of scrolls, an ink bottle and a quill.
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 9:26pm On Sep 14|
“Here your papers shows what you carry are items that should be taken directly to the temple. “ the man said without any form of formalities or introductions. His voice was high pitched as he looked over the parchment given to him by the handler who leads the caravan. “But be aware that you are not allowed for what ever reason to step foot within the surrounding of the temple, the penalty for such simple mistake is instant execution without trials. Well you should know that we don’t have courts here like you may have in your civilized cities, so no trials ever takes place here, crimes are punished instantly. However you will be directed to a store close to the temple where the goods you carry will be unpacked, inventoried and payment be made. Any questions? “
He went on without really given them any chance to ask questions as if dealing with this was a punishment. “You will be subjected to another security check when you get close to the temple area. Well be on you way now. “ The man said as he turned hurriedly back, his small legs taking the steps to the building at quick paces.
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 9:28pm On Sep 14|
The two soldiers who led them here continued leading them towards the massive building of the temple. The temple was not a single building but twelve tall towers with sharp minarets all joined by black block walls. Around it was a wall as high as the one surrounding the whole city. Big enough to swallow twice the size of the palace building in the city of Aram. From the building plans of this city, it is evident that the city was built for the temple. Heavy presence of soldiers and guards were evidenced there, with constant patrols on the walls, watch towers and stationary guards at the massive gate.
As they got close to the gate, the caravan was directed to a road by the left which leads to another building that appeared to be a store. Jarrael’s eyes have gone round every inch of the area surrounding the temple he could see, for a break in he could employ, but none yet.
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Speedstar09: 9:57pm On Sep 14|
nice,i think jarreals proffessionalism is being put to test here.and the towers?heart quaking description.what can i say?carry on sire
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Damibiz(m): 6:02am On Sep 15|
Ride on bro,...Apollux...let's see hw this guys will pull another stunt here
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Damibiz(m): 6:02am On Sep 15|
Ride on bro,Apollux...let's see hw this guys will pull another stunt here
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Dave98(m): 10:33pm On Sep 17|
pls bro am thirsty 4 more of this post on time
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 4:14pm On Sep 18|
The second security check close to the temple was as rigorous and thorough as the one at the gate but it was over soon enough. They were directed to the storage place and a store overseer came , an old man with dropping eyes, stern look and a commanding wizened voice hobbled in, accompanied by several heavily muscled men in the company of two squads of black clad armed soldiers. The overseer brought a blank parchment, called on the lead handler of the caravan, demanded for the scroll bill for the goods brought. He and the handler went over the list of the items, the overseer crossed checked it with a previous list with him. There were sharp arguments when variations were discovered until a consensus was reached. All these activities took time and none of them interested Jarrael in anyway. The sun has started to sink in the sky towards late afternoon when the muscled men started to bring the goods out from the wagons and park animals of the caravan. The process was slowed down considerably because of the overseer’s insistence to see each item, cross check them with his list and the one the caravan handler brought with him. In some cases, he asked the soldiers around to search the wagons carefully before removing the products inside and at times after the products have been removed. No wonder very few merchants will have the mind and patience to trade with these very difficult people, Jarrael thought sadly.
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 4:19pm On Sep 18|
Jarrael slowly moved close to Thrace where he was standing by Meera who was totally covered that none of her features was seen. Seem they were talking about something in low tune.
“I have looked around for a likely place the relics could be hidden, none appeal to me save the temple. “ He whispered to the acolyte who on his part acted as if he was paying close interest to the exchange going on between the handler and overseer.
“You are right on that. The relics are in the temple. “ Thrace said trying to clamp his lips so the movement of his mouth won’t be obvious. “I did an innocent scouring around for it, I got a general feel for it in the temple area. I had to be careful because the temple is heavily warded and protected against external magic. But I noticed something. “
“And that will be? “
“Normally, a powerful magical artifacts like the relics going into the temple should have raised a whole lot of alarms, which anyone with the tiniest bit of magical power would have detected. And if as we suspected, the priesthood of Nemphis are all involved then my tiny scouring would either have been impossible or would have drawn immediate attention. Also, the general protection of the temple would not only have been beefed up but priests would have been made to stand guard at the temple also. But none of these are evident. “
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 4:22pm On Sep 18|
“Is that suggesting that the stealing of the relics and bringing it here might have been a rogue element in the Nemphis priesthood? “
“All present evidence points at that but I wouldn’t be certain till I get inside the temple. “ Thrace took another casual look around the store to make sure no one was paying extra attention to him. “I noticed that someone before now performed a cloaking spell some days ago. I think that spell was made to hide the entrance of the relics into the temple. Now that is an almost impossible feat to perform in a place as heavily protected as this . That means if there is a rogue person running this, who ever that person is must be high up in the echelon of the priesthood or someone powerful enough to slip powerful magical artifacts under the watchful eyes of the magic cover of the black tower. “
Taking a little time to digest all he had just heard to reasoned openly. “This raises some concerns for me. Looking at how strangers are treated here, Tarikh and his guards must still be well hidden for them to still be somewhere around after some days. That shouldn’t surprise me if Muk-Anolis can come in here without raising any suspicion. “
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 4:26pm On Sep 18|
“Still that cloaking spell was what gave me the opening I used for the light scoring I did without being discovered. “ Thrace drew closer to Jarrael, still whispering, he spoke into his ears. "I think I can take more advantage of that opening and allow us get in without raising any magical alarm. So when are we making the move? “
“When it’s night definitely. I think the offloading and inventory of our caravan will take some time, that will give us the excuse to remain here till dark. “ Jarrael whispered back. “I still feel the best way in is through the wall around the temple. Though high, we can use rope to climb and the wall is rough enough to allow us footholds. “
Thrace laughed hard and long which drew some scolding stares from the overseer and the soldiers around till he stopped laughing and resumed his whispers. “Then you are committed to die then if you try the wall. The wall is covered with wiltering-wax, like the name suggests, this is a defense magical oil poured on a vertical surface to prevent it been accessed. Sorry, that is a classroom explanation. Simply put, if you put your hand or any part of your body on a wall protected by wiltering-wax, you get stuck on the wall and immediately you start to shrivel and die being turned to a dead husk. “
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by meneski: 4:31pm On Sep 18|
Are you serious?
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 4:31pm On Sep 18|
“Very effective. “
“Yes it is. Well I saw something else while we passed by the temple gate, Blood cedars. These are huge tree with red colored leaves, I saw their branches and leaves over the walls. If you ever succeed in scaling the wall, you definitely will want to get down using the branches of the trees. “ Here Thrace had to use a supreme effort of self control to stifle another laugh that threatened to spill over. “Well forget it. The blood cedars are called that for a reason, any that touch them get strangled by the branches, their bones are shattered, flesh pulled out and blood spilled on the ground around where the tree take root. Immediately, the blood is sucked in to the ground by the roots of the tree. “
As he finished speaking, Jarrael looked at the acolyte as if to ask if he was joking.
“Oh and that’s not all. I failed to mentioned that the blood cedars are not planted alone, they are always grown together with the creeper herb. They are creeping plants that circles the trunks and branches of the blood cedars. They are milky white in color. Their defense is that when any one gets close to them, they release tiny spores that flow in the air which when breathe in, goes into every part of the body and cause instant paralysis, blindness and brain rot. The eyes, ears and mouth of the victims spill blood. The heart after that stops beating, turns dark and congeals. In about a hundred heart beats after that the person is dead while still standing.
“So the only way into the temple is by the gate when it is opened for us. “
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by zelaws: 4:51pm On Sep 18|
hummm! Ere egele! Dangerous play! Lets see how interesting this will be. Apollux o ya na. continue.
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Speedstar09: 7:24pm On Sep 18|
...am beginning to like thrace o the guy is quite humorous in pointing out the various death traps.am trying to picture the turmoil of confusion jarreal would have been in as he heard thrace speak thanks for the update bro, i remain loyal
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Apollux(m): 8:06pm On Sep 18|
“That just happened to be impossible if I recall what we were told when we got into this city, strangers are not allowed any where near the temple area. “
“Yes Jarrael but I think lady Thorn came up with a brilliant idea on how to get in while I was discussing the challenge before us in getting into the temple. “
“So how else can we get in Thrace? “
“Well instead of going in as strangers, why don’t we go in as priests or more correctly, senior disciples. “ Thrace said with a smile.
“Why senior disciples? “
“When senior disciples are on an initiation ceremony, they put on their customary red all body covered garment, with its cowl raised over the head and golden masks on their faces. Their features are completely covered until at the time and place of the ceremony. “
“Good. So how do we get the garb for the senior disciples. “ Jarrael asked.
“Lady Thorn has graciously volunteered to source for some. “ Thrace said raising a thumb to where she was behind him.
Jarrael looked at his sister, she slowly lifted a part of the net covering her eyes, gave him a wink, dropped the net back and walked slowly out of the store.
He would have been worried considering how tight where they are is but he remembered that Meera can take care of herself. She has lived long for years as lady Thorn and survived. He, with great effort quailed his mounting fear.
|Re: Memoirs Of Blood And Steel ( A Fantasy Novel) by Dare2Try(m): 8:40pm On Sep 18|
Fire on bro I'm enjoying this
|Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health |
religion celebs tv-movies music-radio literature webmasters programming techmarket
Nairaland - Copyright © 2005 - 2017 Oluwaseun Osewa. All rights reserved. See How To Advertise. 195