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Rated: E · Chapter · Fantasy · #1811396
What is the future of Reginnis and it people? Can Artan save it? Will Solrac succeed?
The Tales of Reginnis The Discovery of the Oracle

by Linda Fisler



A note to my readers:



The Discovery of the Oracle is very much a labor of love.  You will quickly discover however, that you are coming into this story very much in the middle.  There are tales before this part and tales after this part.  Along the way you will discover this fact to be truer and hints of the past will be provided.



What needs to be understood is that the Oracle and it’s power is something that is sought by those who are not designated as their bearers.  Those who have been selected have been because of their strength, leadership, attitudes and beliefs.  This leads us to this story and our main character of Artan.  His misfortunes quite possibly could sway his whole journey and life.  Just how he does with what was given to him and taught to him, I will let the reader decide for his or her self. In any case, you are here to learn, to grow and to experience the adventures of Artan with him, along the way. 



As I mentioned this is more the middle of the tales and so I should probably provide a bit of background before launching into the story unprepared at all.  There have been many generations of Oracle bearers in what is now a devastated land.  The destruction of this land occurred when what could only be described as a corrupted being, a man whose foray into the dark, black world left him greedy and searching for more.  Trapped between worlds,  he is neither living or dead.  But his thirst for the power of the Oracle keeps him occupied always.  He is known as Solrac.  Solrac lead the battles which ended in  the destruction of Artan’s ancestors’ land and this quest has followed them to this new land of Reginnis.



Other than this, the only thing left for me to tell you is that Artan’s family has been the bearer of an Oracle for many a generation. There is a difference in how the Oracle has been passed down to Artan.  This difference could be the one flaw that Solrac has been waiting for, and without further delay, it is time to deliver you to the Tale that awaits you.  As in this world, arming yourself with knowledge, understanding and the ability to learn and grow through challenge are skills that would do any being well in the lands of Reginnis.



Chapter One:



From Innocence to Enlightenment



The sun rose in the sky, above a young man sitting on the outgrowth of a massive rock formation high above the pristine, quiet land and lake below him.  Dotting the beach and directly below him was the Land of the Anarym people.  It spread from the a few yards back from the water's edge of Tranquil Lake and up the side of the Sleeping Mountain.  Peace seemed to reign in the village of the Anarym as you can tell by the names attributed to their land.



The young man enjoyed rising before the sun rose to come to this spot and think.  Or was it to not think? He wasn’t sure, but he knew the peace it brought him.  The calmness washed over him as the wind washed away the yearnings.  He breathed in the air, fresh, pure and untouched.  The uneasiness seemed to settle when he was here, on this rock formation staring into the large yellow orb till his eyes burned; it's morning rays caressing his face with the warmth of touch that brought memories of his Mother's touch to his mind and body.  He closed his eyes to ease the burning and let the sun rejuvenate his energy.  It was quiet.  The only sound was the wind embracing him.  He was at peace.



“Artan!”  yelled a another young man.  His skin was bronze and his hair dark and long, pulled back from his face exposing his pointed ears.  One braid which had a feather intwined at the end of the single braid swayed in the wind. The young man who called to Artan was an Anarym, an Elf, who with his stealthy abilities could sneak up on just about everything in the forests.  His yell startled his friend out of his peace.  His body jumped and his hand reached for his weapon, which was no longer at his fingertips.  Now that he had his friend’s attention, Ohn-son decided it was time to give a lesson.  “How many times must I tell you, just because you are meditating you cannot let your guard down?”



Artan, a human who was born on the world of Reginnis and yet still considered an outsider by most of the others who lived there, was a strikingly handsome lad.  His piercing blue eyes, sandy brown hair and strong shoulders a contrast to his loyal and faithful Elf friend.  He calmly looked up at his friend and in an even tone showing no emotion,  responded, “I knew no enemy was around me, so I did not grab my weapon.”



Ohn-son laughed.  “You had no idea that I slowly moved it away from you and you certainly didn’t know I was here.”  He sat down next to his friend as he handed Artan’s sword back to him.  “I must teach you how to meditate.”



“Meditate?”  Artan, who was what would be describe as being in his learning years (teenage is the term used today),  looked at him with a quizzical look. 



“Yes, that’s what you were doing, except you aren’t doing it right.”  Ohn-son answered.  He looked the same age as Artan.  He was youthful, but spoke as if he was longer in his years.  Some may say that Ohn-son possessed more wisdom, and they may be right, mainly because of who his father was.  Another reason, quite frankly, was because he was an Elf.  While both Artan and Ohn-son were born, on what some would say, was the same day, Elves and Man age differently.  It is a difficult concept to describe, other than to say, the wisdom of the years come quicker to Elves while the physical nature ages slower.  Yes, they live longer lives and one should never try to guess the age of an Elf. Artan shrugged at Ohn-son's words, all he knew was that it made him feel good and restored his energy.  “You need to use this to see the future, to tune into the world around you, to find the answers you seek.”



“Now, that’s your take on this.  I simply want to find peace.”  Artan said starting to gather his things together.  He had heard this talk many times, mostly all the time from Ohn the Elder, Ohn-son's father.  Ohn would describe his many journeys when he meditated. All Artan seemed to accomplish when he did this was to settle an usually active mind.



“Only when you find your destiny will you find peace.”  Ohn-son said, realizing how much he sounded like his father.



Artan looked at him, also recognizing the voice of his friend’s father in him. They looked each other in the eye, understood they both had the same thought and they both laughed awkwardly.  Artan scratched the ground before him, wondering why he could understand the thoughts of his friend that he held to him like a brother.  He wondered if the words of Ohn-son were true.  Would he feel more peace when he understood why the things of the past haunt him so and cause him to be so unsettled?  The awkward laugh shared between them turned to an awkward moment and Artan could start to feel something in the air shift.



“There is trouble brewing.”  Ohn-son said.  “The warriors are preparing for a fight.  My mother and father, they told me last night the time for me has come to choose."



“Why?  Aren’t you too young to decide?  I thought it was years from now before that time was to occur.”  Artan didn’t like the idea of losing the one person who befriended him, who he thought of as a brother and understood him better than any of his own people.



“We are entering a different time.  My father has seen that if we do not act now, we may not be here to make that choice. So, my day is to come sooner.  The council and my family agree I have shown I can handle life the way one should.  I think they think I am wise for my age.”

         

Artan noticed a change in his friend.  A seriousness he had not seen before. “Is it really that bad?”



“It will be.  My father has foreseen it.”  Ohn-son looked out over the land of his people.  He was thinking of the tales told in song and around the fires at night.  They told of the time when the Anarym welcomed the race of Man to their lands.  While most of the songs expressed joy, love, and friendship,  there were times of strife and hardships. There were those who felt the Anarym should expel Man from their forests.  There were those among Men who felt the Anarym should be taught their ways and if they were not appreciative of the knowledge they would bring them, they could leave.  “What will you do?” Ohn-son asked, turning to look at his friend.



“I don’t know.”  Artan said.  “Haven’t given it much thought.”



Ohn-son laughed.  “What do you think about when you stare at the sun?”

         

“Nothing.  Everything. Nothing.”



“Which is it?”



“Nothing I guess.  Everything leaves me.”



“You don’t see anything?”  Ohn-son asked in disbelief.

         

“Why is that so hard for you to understand?  I just like being quiet and still.” Artan was getting really tired of everyone expecting that he could possess some magical, spiritual power that allowed him to see into the future, or talk with Ascended Masters or Spirit Guides or even allow him to become one with anything.  When he sat quiet and still he felt at peace.  Why was it so hard for them to understand he was not gifted in the ways of Elves?



“No visions?  You see no one?”  Ohn-son still couldn't believe this.



“No.”

         

“Then I gave you too much credit.”  Ohn-son answered sharply.



“You’re the one who said I was meditating.  You’re the one who hears voices on the wind and sees visions in the night.” Artan was getting angry.  He knew if kept talking he would say something he would regret.  There was enough of an ill wind blowing that he did not want to increase it's power by hurting his friend. "I've told you before, I am not that way.  I can't be an Elf. I'm a Man." 



Ohn-son chose his words carefully.  He could sense the frustration in his close friend.  “Not just in the night, Artan.  And don’t poke fun at me.  While you think this is a gift, it is a gift given to all.  You must choose to accept it and be comfortable within its realm.  I know you can possess this gift and use it, but for some reason do not endeavor to find out.”



“Oh! Will you stop?”  Artan stood, angered by his friend's presistance and the danger that so many seem to see and feel.  He felt left out, abandoned again.  His fear took hold of him and he lashed out at Ohn-son.  “Can’t you  ever just see good when you look into the future?  Why does everything have to be evil?  Maybe I don't want to see if that is I will see!”



“We don’t just see evil.  We see what is given to us.  If we are given the gift of seeing what evil is to come, it doesn’t mean we can’t change it or affect it.  We have time to prepare.  What are you afraid of?”  Ohn-son asked, looking up at his tall friend.  “I didn’t say you were going to die.



“You didn’t say I wasn’t or that you weren’t for that matter. And that is not what I fear."



“I have not seen what is to become of us.  So again, what are you afraid of?”



“I don’t know.  I don’t have all the answers like you." Artan said sarcasticly.  A tone that Ohn-son learned to ignore and as always pressed on to try and help his friend find the answers he was seeking, albeit with great resistance.



“If you are afraid of not knowing what will happen, then let me help you learn what will give you the answers.”

         

“Here we go again."  Artan rolled his eyes and plopped down on the ground.  He knew this speech.  He heard it time and time again from Ohn.  "How many times do I have to tell you I don’t believe in all the hocus-pocus and magic.” 



Ohn-son shook his head and stood up. He was disappointed that his friend's fear was still deep in his heart and that his friend's healing of the heart wound was still blocking his journey with fear.  “The decision is yours.  Even if I do not agree with your decision, I must respect it."  Ohn-son took a look around him at the mountains, the village below, the Tranquil Lake, the Sleeping Mountains and he knew this place will change.  "I have work to do.  You should warn your people the Ogks are preparing for war.  My father is going to see your people’s leader to ask for their assistance in resisting Solrac and the Ogks.”



“That'll be the day.  Revar isn’t much for helping anyone but himself and if it doesn’t benefit him, he isn’t going to help the Anarym.”



“I must ride to the North.  I must find the leader of the Dwarves and seek their assistance.  The Ogk have grown in number and will quickly over power us if we don’t band together.”  Ohn-son started to leave, a bit disappointed in his friend.  “Artan, I ask you once again.  Please inform your people and ask them to join us.”

Artan saw the desperation in his friend’s eyes.  “I’ll try, Ohn-son, but you know ever since that night the Reginnia don’t listen to me.  I’ll try to prepare those on the council to hear your father’s words.” 



Ohn-son smiled at his friend.  “I must leave.”



“Wait,  up North? The Dwarves?  They aren’t very friendly.  Don’t you think I better go with you?”  Here I must tell you that the dwarves generally don't get along with anyone including other dwarves.  If the dwarves are kin to one another they can be kind enough to put up with one another, but even the dwarves don't live in peace between clans.  Most dwarves exploits are to gain power and stature among them while most dwarves barely acknowledge or respected the hierarchy they sought in their own clans.  However, if you are an outsider and travel into the land of dwarves, they would close ranks and fight together against you.  There is only one thing worse than losing your treasure to another dwarf, and that is losing it to an outsider. 



Dwarves are marvelous fighting machines.  They are compact, strong, menancing little folk that worked with their hands and have far superior armor to anyone's else on Reginnis.  In fact, most everyone want armor and swords crafted by a dwarf.  Many died trying to secure it.  Menancing, short tempered and, to Artan, a bit disgusting creatures are dwarves.  He'd just as soon speak to a troll than to a dwarf.



Ohn-son laughed.  “I’m not going alone.”  With that, a cross between a fox and lynx like creator appeared at his side and for the first time, Artan saw this creature. It’s appearance frightened Artan.  He tried to scramble to his feet and at the same time unseathed his sword. He drew it out and held it at ready, taking a lunging step toward the creature.



“NO!”  shouted Ohn-son, half surprised that Artan saw the creature which had been at his side the whole time they were talking and half out of fear that Artan might indeed hurt it.  Realizing the second thought was rather silly, he calmed his voice.  “He will not harm you.”  Artan looked at Ohn-son.  “This is my guide, my protector.  Foxitt, met Artan.”  The animal guide did a somewhat awkward bow.  Artan just looked at the creature, or spirit guide, eyes wide open with confusion.

“Greet him you idiot.” Ohn-son said, admonishing Artan for his lack of manners.

Artan was still a bit speechless.  What does one say to a...a Spirit Guide? “Hello.”  Artan answered feebly and then leaned over to Ohn-son.  “Where did it come from?”



Ohn-son just laughed.  “He is always with me.  Just as your guide is always with you.”  Artan began to look around him, somewhat frightened of the thought that someone could see him always.  He looked rather foolish looking to see if anyone suddenly appeared behind him.  Foxitt seemed to chuckle at the sight and Foxitt could see that Artan's guide thought it was funny as well.  Ohn-son felt sorry for his friend, that he was the brunt of their laughter.  “She will show herself when she thinks you are ready.”



“She?”  Artan almost seemed insulted.  A woman as his Spirit Guide, his protector.  “Oh that’s just perfect.”  He was disappointed that his Spirit Guide wasn't some one spectacular, of great importance. 



“What do you expect for someone who doesn’t believe in magic?”  Ohn-son said with a sly grin.  “And quit insulting those who are sworn to protect you.  Now go and do what I have asked my good friend to do.  I’ll see you in a few sun rises.”



“Safe travels, Ohn-son and Foxitt.”  Artan looked around for Foxitt and could not see him.  His friend turned and with his stealthy, graceful stride disappeared into the forest below Artan’s perch.  “Wait, Ohn-son—what am I suppose to tell my people?  I mean, when’s the attack?  Ohn-son?”



A woman’s voice came upon him gently as the wind kicked up embracing him.  “Trust what you know and listen to your heart.”  Artan’s wasn’t sure he heard something and his eyes darted around in his head, looking to see if he could see anyone.  “Now go,” came a stern command.



Artan decided that it was not the time to argue with himself.  He stood and quickly return to the village where he was born but had not lived in a long time.  As he walked to the village his mind was traveling back to the conversation he had with his friend.  Not paying much attention, he tripped over, what he thought was a rock and fell to the ground.  When he looked around there was no rock, but yet he did fall.  And there he laid, his eyes open looking at the sky above him.



Laying on the ground face up, Artan's body jerked awake as he realized he was dreaming.  An older and wiser Artan looked around and noticed that he once again tripped over the same rock , or was it?  He had tripped in this place often and he often wondered what purpose the troll, that placed the rock there and then would take it away, had.  He wasn't even sure it was a troll, but there was always nothing there when he would look.  He knew this time would be no different.  No rock around for him to curse and throw out of the way.  Just a headache from his head yet again hitting the ground.



Ohn-son had warned of a troubled time.  And for a few years, the times were not bad and there was no war.  Just as all the people of Reginnis were thinking the Anarym had read the prophecy wrong or that they were misled by their guides, the alliance that was formed shattered. The Ogks seized the moment and started their attack. 



It is time to tell you of an Elvan ritual. This ritual was afforded to Ohn-son and it changes how we are to address him in the rest of this tale. Ohn-son had gone through this ritual that afforded him what would be considered to Men as the right of passage to manhood.  Ohn-son was now granted the privilege of being a Elf, a rather quirky thing to say, because anyone would have known he was an Elf just by looking at him.  This was more a recognition by the Elves, that Ohn-son was now accepted and recognized in the village as being of age. Along with this honor, came what usually comes to one when they are afforded their own name.  Ohn-son was now allowed to be his own...well..his own Elf.  Not the son of another Elf, as the name Ohn-son had described him in all the years to that day. Artan was allowed at the ritual, a first as well.  And when the time came for Ohn-son to declare himself an Elf with his new name he almost laughed at Ohn-son's delay in answering the question that was put forth.



"Ohn-son has learnt well the ways of his father and his people.  He has grown in wisdom and has shown great agility and strenght throughout this ritual.  It is time for him to be an Elf, with all luxury afforded to that title and life.  We bid farewll to Ohn-son and welcome....."  Here was where Ohn-son would declare himself to the Elves who were gathered.  To Artan, it seemed as if Ohn-son had no idea what he wanted to be called.  Artan smiled and looked down, trying desperately not to blurt out with laughter.  "We bid farewell to Ohn-son and welcome...." the elder Elf repeated, almost annoyed. 



"I ask your forgiveness."  Ohn-son said.  "I have always been and will always be my father's son.  And that is something I am proud to be."  Ohn smiled at his son's love and loyality.  "I mean him no disrespect or you" Ohn-son turned to the elder who was leading the ceremony, "but I'm finding it hard to find a new name."  Finally Artan got to laugh among the others there who now were laughing. When the laughter subsided, the elder told Ohn-son what he feels embodies him.  "I am a son first"  He looked at Artan, "and a friend.  So I shall choose the name Tamahoa."  And that is how Ohn-son became Tamahoa.



Artan and Tamahoa grew up quickly during these times.  Just as one battle came to an end and Artan was chasing an Ogk through the forest, as it was said before, he tripped on the same rock (was it a rock?) he had tripped on so many times.  He opened his eyes wondering what the wisdom of seeing the previous time was to give him. 



He looked around to refresh his mind to his surroundings.  And then, he saw her.  Sitting off to the side, her staff by her side and her long blonde hair slightly blowing in the wind.  Her blue eyes twinkled and she had a slight smile upon her lips. Ari-lyn, daughter of the Goddess of the Hunt and Warriors, wondered aloud, “How many times will you fall and not see?”



“Not see?  You mean the rock that I keep tripping over?” 



“No, you are meant to keep tripping as long as you don’t find what you are meant to find.”    She sat down on the ground.  “I cannot show you.  I can only say there is something here of great importance and until you see it….find it, you will trip in this spot always.  It is meant to be found by you.  You are meant to be its bearer.

But time is running short.”



“I really hate when you do this.  Why can’t you just tell me what I’m supposed to find?”



“I should not influence your destiny any more than I have.  Besides it is amusing to me to watch you stumble and fall.”  She looked up to see the disdain on his face only to return it with a wryly smile.  “It is not that hard to find.” 



Artan sat up and glanced around the spot.  He only saw the typical things one finds on the forest grounds of Reginnis.  Then as he scanned the ground to his right he thought he saw something sparkle in the light.  The light?  Evening was setting in and there was little light.  But yet, a blue sparkle twinkled again to his right.  He crawled over to it and pulled it from the ground.  It began to glow in his hand.  The grounds around him were lite by its pure light.  “What is it, Ari-lyn?”



“It is a symbol of great power.  It is a star that can show the way.  It is a guide for those who are lost.  It is the knowledge for those who seek it.  It is the power that evil men thirst for and dream of capturing.  It is the oracle the Ogks desire.  It is the oracle that must never fall into their hands or the future of all that is Reginnis will cease to exist.” 



Artan eyes widen as he heard this news from Ari-lyn.  “Here.  Take it.”  Artan said extending his hand to his Spirit Guide.  “I don’t want this.” 



“Why not?  Don’t you feel the power?  Can’t you see you are the one who is meant to have it and use it?”



“I’m just a man.  I don’t seek this power nor do I want it.  I’m not strong enough to keep it safe.  And I certainly don’t want to fight to keep it from the Ogks.”



“So you would rather Solrac obtain this oracle?  Very well then!”  Ari-lyn stood to leave, disgusted with Artan.  “Then place it in plain view for him as he rides by here in a short while.  Put it where he can easily obtain it and begin the evil reign of Reginnis and pray that the people of Reginnis are of strong body and spirit. For  you are to endure the evil that will surely come their way and most assuredly put them asunder.”



“Ari-lyn, you know I do not want those things.  But you surely hold me in higher regard than I am capable of living.  Don’t you see, of all people—of all my guides, that I am but one Reginnia-a Reginnia shunned by his own people and not capable of leading them to any sort of victory.  I fight with my friends the Anarym for the friendship of Tamahoa and his people, who had taken me in and made me one of them but different.  I live alone among the forests.  How am I to unite all of Reginnis to accomplish what you think I should accomplish?”



Ari-lyn looked at Artan.  “You can start by accepting that the fate of Reginnis is in your hand.”  She motioned to the Oracle that he held in his right hand.  “And douse its light as there are enemies among the trees.” 



“Douse its light?  How?” 



“By placing it around your neck and beneath your shirt and wear it close to your heart.”



“By doing this, I accept whatever journeys or crusade it desires me to have?”



“There is but one crusade.  There is but one decision.  What is the fate of Reginnis?”  Ari-lyn looked to her right as she hears something in the forest.  “Quickly decide!  Either place it in plain view and fade into the darkness that action will bring, or douse it by accepting you want all of Reginnis to have a fighting chance to live!” 



Artan looked at Ari-lyn whose face grew tortured with every sound made by the approaching Ogks.  Artan looked into the Oracle.  He placed it around his neck and tucked it beneath his shirt.  “Now quickly and quietly hide.”  Artan did just that as Ari-lyn disappeared into the forest mist that came with the sunset.  She led the Ogks away from Artan who then moved back to the land of the Anarym and to seek the advice of Tamahoa and father Ohn.  Surely they knew of the Oracle and maybe even have been looking for it themselves. 



As Artan moved through the misty, dark forest he could swear his eyesight had improved, seeing far in the distance and his hearing far keener.  With these better senses he was able to avoid encounters with the Ogks.  He moved with the slight, graceful gait of his Elvan friends.  A trait he always admired and wished he could imitate. He felt stronger. He felt more powerful.  He felt the power of the Oracle.



Realizing this he stopped and removed the Oracle.  How could this be a good thing? How could feeling the power of the Oracle keep him from becoming what all powerful creatures become?  He was not sure he wanted this Oracle…this weight…this responsibility for the rest of his life.  He did not want to be the keeper of the livelihood of Reginnis.  The all powerful that keeps Reginnis from the evil conquerors.  He removed the Oracle from his neck and thought about tossing it to the ground.  “Ari-lyn?”  He heard a noise and looked in its direction.  No answer came. 



His intuition sensed danger and he replaced the Oracle around his neck.  He brought his sword to the ready as he listened for more indication that someone or something was about to pounce.  His paced his breathing and continued to ready himself for what he feared would be another attack of an Ogk.  He drew a breathe, trying to smell the stench that would identify if indeed the intruder was his enemy.  No stench was detected.  And yet every nerved screamed that there was danger encroaching slowly and deliberately. 



Artan felt a warmth around his chest and before he knew it he was engulfed by a blue light just as a dark figure cleared the mist astride a black horse with wings. 

“You found the Oracle!”  the dark figure screamed into the darkness.  “Quickly my Ogks, he has found the Oracle and yet does not know what he has!”  And with that call, the Ogks had surrounded Artan.  The light continued to surround him and Artan was not sure if that was a good thing. 



“The Oracle is mine, Solrac.  You’ll not obtain it.”  Artan said, wondering if his voice was quivering as much as his knees seemed to be.



Solrac laughed.  “Well, then you don’t know much about the Oracle, do you?”

Solrac dismounted his horse.  “And who are you?”



“I am Artan.” 



“Well, my friend…”



“I am not your friend.”



“Yes…well you’ll wish you were.  If you knew your Reginnia folklore, you would realize that only way the Oracle moves from one being to another is through their death.” Solrac looked for a hint of fear in his opponent.  “Something I’d be glad to provide you in order for me to obtain the Oracle.”



“And if you knew your Reginnia Folklore…” the voice of Ari-lyn filled the forest, “you would realize Solrac that once the Oracle is placed in the hands of the future King, it will not allow the death of that being, so long as that King resides with right and not with might.”



Solrac looked around for the source of the voice.  “Show yourself!  Are you a fairy?  How do you know this?  Why do you help this uninformed Reginnia?  Have you ever thought that maybe he isn’t the intended one?”



Ari-lyn’s laughter was almost ear shattering.  Artan stood within the encompassing blue light listening to all being said.  It was tad bit overwhelming.  King?  Rule with right not might? Immortal?  Is she kidding?  “I would withdraw if I were you Solrac.”  Artan said in what he hoped was a confident voice and yet not believing what Ari-lyn had spoken. 



Solrac didn’t like losing and he surely didn’t like losing when a female was involved.  “Who are you?!” he demanded.  “Show yourself you witch!”



Ari-lyn decided that a grand entrance was called for, especially since she was just called a witch, when of course she was a Goddess.  In a flash of white light, she appeared next to Artan.  “Do not mistake me, Solrac.  I am not a fairy or witch!”

Artan was wondering just how much fear would swell up in Solrac when Ari-lyn informed Solrac that she was his Spirit Guide.  “I am Ari-lyn, daughter of the Goddess of the Hunt and Warriors.  I command an army far more powerful than yours.  I am a Goddess!” 



This was the first that Artan heard that his Spirit Guide was a goddess.  And then he began to wonder just what his destiny truly was.  He looked at Ari-lyn as she spoke, trying not to let on to his surprise.  In all the years that she had appeared to him, she had never mentioned her position as a goddess. 



Solrac stood and did not seem to tremble.  While his army had decided they had heard enough and began to retreat into the forest.  “Then, Ari-lyn, you know that I am a prince of darkness and that this is not the time for us to do battle.”



“I do.  Your army has deserted you.  You know now where the Oracle is and that you cannot obtain it.  It is time for you to leave Reginnis and create your world elsewhere.”



Solrac laughed.  “Yes it is true my army has forsaken me this time.  But I will not be forsaking Reginnis.  There is more than one Oracle or did you not know of the other two?”  Solrac returned to his horse and mounted it.  “And if you do know of the other two, you understand how the power grows behind the beholder.”

Solrac turned and disappeared into the mist. 



Artan looked at Ari-lyn.  “Is all this true?”



Ari-lyn turned and faced Artan.  “It was unfortunate that your parents were killed by Revar when you were so young.  Because of that, I was sent to watch over you when you fled into the forest.  I was assigned your guide because of your inheritance and your importance to Reginnis.  Revar was recruited by Solrac to become the leader of Reginnia people, so that they would not be a hinderance to the Ogks.  But come, we must reach Anarym and the rest of the folklore will be revealed to you and the importance of the other two Oracles.”



Ari-lyn turned and Artan followed as they made their way to the Anarym people’s village.



Artan entered the Anayrm city and as usual he found the calmness of the city greeting him.  There was no hustle or bustle and no indication that they had been fighting this evil for these last five years.  The city blended and grew from the nature surrounding it.  Their structures very strudy and yet a part of Reginnis as if it drew it strength from the ground, trees, water and sky that surrounded it.  Artan loved visiting the Anarym people and their dwellings.  There was, he had to admit now that he was older, a magic to this place.  He learned all he could from Ohn-son and his family.  And he was always so grateful to them for adopting him on that very dark night that seemed so long ago.



Artan walked to the gathering center located in protected grove of trees and nestled next to a babbling creek.  He was shocked to find that Ohn-son had gathered the key and influential ones of his tribe.  They all sat patiently and when Artan entered the area they stood and bowed.  This was somewhat startling and most definatley unwanted by Artan.  He stopped short of joining them.  Ohn moved toward him.  He bowed and stood in front of Artan. 



“It is time.”  Ohn said, stepping aside and motioning for him to take a place in the circle.  “We have longed for this day.”  Ohn covered his heart with his right hand.



Artan looked confusingly at an Elf that he held in high regard and as a surrogate father.  Ohn bowed from the waist again as he gently moved his right hand from his heart and swept it graciously toward the circle.  Artan swallowed and quietly cleared his throat.  “My friends,”  he started looking at the wise ones in the circle, “and those I consider my family, “  He looked Ohn and Tamahoa in turn.  “I do not deserve this reverence.  You do not bow to me.  If it were not for you, I would not be alive to see this day.”  He took Ohn by the arm and walked to the circle.  “And whatever must be accomplished, I surely will not be able to do without your guidance, wisdom and aid.” 



Artan sat down and the circle followed his action.  “I must confess, I am a bit confused and concerned about this and how it has come to me.”



In the center of the circle, Ari-lyn appeared with her staff and with Foxitt next to her.  The Anarym tried to move quickly to their knees to greet Ari-lyn, who motioned such action was not needed.  “Greetings, my fair Anarym.  As you can see the time has come for us to tell Artan of his destiny. And never have I been more touched by his actions and words.  Can it be the Oracle has found its new home?”



“Yes.”  Ohn answered.  “We are grateful for this and we are now, as we were then, proud to have Artan among us.  We were hopeful we had not failed in our charge to raise him.”



Ari-lyn looked at Ohn with awe and empathy.  “You have not failed Artan or us.” She answered referring to the Gods.  “Anadi, my mother, is especially proud of her people and sends her blessings.”  Her gaze turned to Artan.  “Are you ready to learn and understand what has happened?”



Artan looked at Ari-lyn.  He supposed to himself that he really had no choice.  It had become clear to him that he was the only one who didn’t know about his past, his position or his destiny.  “It is time for the secret to be revealed to the one it has evidently been kept from for all these years.”



Ari-lyn looked at Artan with a small amount of disdain.  “Do not hold the Anarym in contempt, Artan.  They were instructed not to tell you by Anadi.  Had you known this secret, you would not have learned the lessons you needed to learn to find your place here. Had you known your destiny, your path would have been different and would not have been as prepared.  Be thankful for their unconditional love and patience, for you were not an easy human for them to teach.”  While Ari-lyn’s voice was calm, it still held a stinging bite to it that Artan received once too many times.

He bowed his head somewhat in sarcasm and Ari-lyn shook her head as if to signal that she will never be able to reach him and calm the sarcastic and incorrigible side of his personality.



“It is time for you to understand what has come to pass.”  Ari-lyn waved the staff in her right hand in a sweeping motion, as if clearing a space in the air around her.  She turned her left palm upward and moved it to the Oracle around Artan’s neck.  It began to glow a white light and a beam streamed out from it to Ari-lyn’s outstretch hand.  She directed the light upward.  Suddenly appearing inside the circle were figures, human figures….it was the town of Mansuret.  The town where Artan was born.  A figure familiar to Artan steps to the center of the bustling scene in front of them.  Artan’s eyes filled with tears as he realized this was his father.  He was only five when his father and mother were killed.



“Hello, my son.”  His father started, as tears began to fill his eyes.  He cleared his throat and tried to continue. His voice cracked.  “I’m sorry I failed you.  I should have seen what came to pass that night.  My heart was heavy for these many years that I couldn’t pass this knowledge on to you.  My prayers have been answered by the Anarym and the Gods.  And for this I am thankful that I now can tell you the history of our family.”  Artan’s father seemed to vanish as the scene turned to ships amid a sea of stars and a feeling of being on the seas appeared in front of them. It seemed to be a desperate time.  Winds were howling and the ships seemed to rock wildly. 



His father’s voice continued.  “It was a hard journey, but a necessary one if any of our people were to survive.  We fled our previous home to find a new solace from the evils that had engulfed most of our civilization.  Greed and corruption was rampant and it was too late for a difference to be made.  Those who made it here to Reginnis were not only lucky to have survived this evil, but are the only survivors of that past civilization.”



“But Father, this was before your time.  You were born here, were you not?”  Artan interrupted.



“Yes, Artan.  I was born in Mansuret.  My father was born aboard these vessels.”  The vision in front of them changed to show a frightened woman anxiously coddling a baby to her breasts.  She looked around in terror as she slid into the shadows.  Artan’s Great, Great Grandfather appeared at the side of this woman and child.  “My Grandfather bestowed to me the Oracle.”  The figure placed the Oracle around the neck of his son and kissed the woman.  He fled her side.  “Among the people were those who falsely portrayed themselves as one of us.  They were there to hunt down the holder of the Oracle.  Your Great Great Grandfather was an intelligent and merciful leader.  And although he had many protectors and followers, they were not enough to insure the Oracle would not fall into the hands of those followers of Solrac.”



Artan looked at Ari-lyn at the sound of the name of the man who had called himself a Prince of Darkness.  She acknowledged his silent question.  It was the same man. 



The next vision was of the evil-doers capturing Artan’s Great Great Grandfather.  They held him down as they tore his shirt from him to find the Oracle he wore around his neck.  Upon finding the one around his neck, the leader of this angry, hostile group ripped it from his neck.  Their leader held the Oracle up in victory.

“My Grandfather knew that being aboard these ships would be a perilous time, so he took some precautions before he left their doomed world.  One was to mold a fake but identical Oracle to the one that kept him safe.”  As Artan’s Father continued, the vision showed Artan’s Great Great Grandfather being thrown overboard into the darkness of the sea of stars.  “He also knew that the fake Oracle would buy time for my father and his descendants.”



“My grandfather as you know was a quiet leader of the people of Reginnis.  He worked hard to establish the city and to learn the ways of the Anarym and other people of Reginnis.  And at my Great Grandmother’s urging, he never spoke of or shown anyone the Oracle.  My Great Grandmother understood that folklore would be important and created a folklore that the Oracle was only all powerful when in the presence of the other Oracles. For by this time, the fake Oracle had reached Solrac’s hands.  My Great Grandmother spun a tale of half truths to protect her son and his life.  These half truths lead the Prince of Darkness to believe that it took time for the Oracle to accept its new owner and that in time, the Oracle would tell the location of its fellow Oracles and when the time was right all would be foretold to its new owner.”



“Solrac waited.  My Grandfather was able to help build the city and see the establishment of our people here in Mansuret.  I was born into a peaceful time and the Oracle was past to me when I was in my middle years.  I married your mother and we continued the work of my Grandfather.  It seemed to be a golden age and I was in turn duped by the peacefulness and calm, unable to see or believe that Solrac had arrived to start the destruction of yet another world in his quest for the ultimate and absolute power the Oracles can provide.” Artan knew what was coming.  He really didn’t like the idea of having to relive that night again.



“Solrac began to see that the Oracle was a fake and used his evil power to tempt the weak minded.  Within months, he had created a following for one of the more prominent families of Mansuret, promising them the wealth and all they could possibly imagine.  The temptation of power, wealth and greed filled this family and it was never enough.  Revar was young and wanted more than what was promised his father.  His rise to power was swift.  His promises to the people were false and he created his dictatorship on lies.  The election of Revar to head the council occurred 3 days before our deaths.  Solrac, after Revar’s election, called on him and told him of the existence of the Oracle and that it was somehow lost.  Revar questioned his father who knew only the folklore my Great Grandmother told.  Revar knew that those were not true.  He tortured his father to tell him what he unfortunately did not know.  While sleeping, I foresaw our deaths and hide the Oracle.  Instructions were given to a trusting and brave friend as well as a request.”



Artan’s Father looked at Ohn.  He smiled.  “Thank you Ohn.”



“What was this request?”  Artan asked.



“I gave the Oracle to Ohn.  I told him that I was to be murdered and that my wife would also be killed.  The Oracle should never fall into the hands of Solrac and I took quite a risk handing the Oracle over to someone who could have fallen victim of its powers if they were not of good conscious.  Ohn was guardian of the Oracle for a few days.”  His fellow Anaryms gasped in disbelief and some in anger.  One of their own had held the power that could have changed all their destiny.  Some began to question him. 



A young member of the council stood and blurted out loudly, “Why did you not use this Oracle to help your own people?”  Ohn turned his gaze at him and he retreated back into his seat.  The mumblings continued until Ohn stood.  “The Oracle is not for the Anarym to possess.  This was a request from a friend and I had specific instructions to follow given to me by the guardian of the Oracle.  These instructions were to insure the success of our civilization.  To keep the Oracle would have been to do so out of greed.  It would have started our civilization on the road to deceit and all things the Anarym are not.”



“Ohn speaks the truth.”  Ari-lyn stated in support and continued  “Anyone who  obtains the Oracle through deception makes its guardian no better than Solrac.” 



“Ohn’s task was not an easy one.  It is not easy to let go of something so powerful.” Artan’s Father continued.  “Revar entered our home and murdered us as I had foreseen.  Artan, you fled into the forest as I plead with the Gods to send you protection.  A plea heard and Anadi sent her daughter Ari-lyn to protect you.  They killed us after torturing us for hours and after searching all things to no avail set the house on fire.  Ohn had hide in the forest that night. When Revar and his hoodlums left the house, Ohn entered, removing my and your mother’s body.  He carried our bodies to an unmarked grave as I had instructed.  He placed the Oracle around my neck and buried me and my wife in the forest.”



Artan smiled and said, “Marked by a rock that I tripped over every time I walked past you.”



His father smiled, “Yes, I would reach and grab your ankle in hopes that you would see the Oracle.  It was time for me to give you the Oracle.  It was time for you to be the carrier as I was and your ancestors before you.  The other responsibility I heavily laid on my friends' shoulders was to raise you to be strong, independent and to ready you for what is to come.  Ohn was blessed with the gift of seeing the future by the Gods who saw the sacrifice he made to me.”



“You grew and thrived, Artan, despite the hardship of having no home or parents.  You lived among the forest to become one with this world and for you to come to understand what is at stake.  It is not just the people of Reginnis that will suffer and cease to exist, but this place, the land, the forests, deserts, and seas—all the energy of existence will cease to exist if that Oracle and the other Oracles end up in the hands of Solrac.”



Artan seemed to sit upright at the words of his father.  “But Father, I don’t understand.  I know nothing of the place our Great Great Grandfather fled from, but doesn’t it exist in some form?”



“It is encased in darkness. No sun shines on its land.  No human or other race survives.  It is barren of life.  It is nothing.”



“But what is the purpose of that?”  Artan demanded.



“It is Solrac’s wish.  He controls it.  And when he obtains the Oracles, he will create what he desires.”



Artan almost didn’t ask, but he needed to know.  “And what is it that he desires?”



“To be Supreme Ruler over all things.”



“Isn’t that what we want?”  Artan asked innocently.



“Artan,”  Ohn interrupted.  “Remember our talks.  There is a difference between being a Supreme Ruler  and being One with everything.”



“But this Oracle—it gives supreme power and yet I can’t use it to insure that we remain in power.  This just doesn’t make sense.  Am I not now the Supreme Ruler?”



The Anarym seem to gasp in one breathe.  Ari-lyn looked in disgust at Artan.  “You are not a Supreme Ruler, Artan!  You better think differently and quickly or I will begin to think that a mistake has been made.”





(Note: there is more, but I ran into a limit because I'm a free member at this time.  More on my website...Sorry about the limit and stopping short here...)
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