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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Fantasy · #2189410
A young child learns the story of his peoples' origin after a mysterious encounter.
A young boy, scarcely more than eight, although he didn't really keep track of that sort of thing, played in a small pond in a large clearing. He feared no wild animals, as he was protected on all sides by the generous and caring Elk tribe. Though not a member of the tribe himself, his people and theirs were very close. He knew no harm would come to him within the boundaries of the Elk, and the Elk had very large boundaries. {ep:2}

The woods where he lived and played, known to most as the Great Western Forest, the tribelands, or the Nepapan Woods, were very isolated. Few visitors came, and the Elk tribe often gave his people much advance notice should an interloper wander into their forest. Thus, he was understandably taken aback by the sight of an unfamiliar face poking out of the woods. {ep:3}

The boy had been instructed never to speak with anyone he did not know, but this woman didn't seem to mean him harm; she had curly brown hair, where his was straighter, but her eyes had the pale and glassy pupils that signified one gifted with the power of Divination, just like his own. Except, where his eyes were young and full of joyous energy, hers were old beyond their years, and seemed worn-down with time. {ep:4}

He knew he wasn't supposed to talk to strangers, but his curiosity got the best of him, and he waded out of the pool to talk to the mysterious woman. As he got closer, though, she ducked back into the trees, and when he went to look at where she'd disappeared to, the woman was nowhere to be found. {ep:5}

He looked around in curiosity, wondering where the strange woman could have gone. No matter where he looked, or how far, he couldn't find a single trace of her. As he searched, the boy suddenly remembered what he was to do if he ever saw a stranger: run and tell Brother Simon. {ep:6}

What a great idea, the boy thought to himself, the smile returning to his face. Brother Simon knew everything! If anybody would know who this woman was, and where she'd gone, it was her. He dashed back to his home, through dense brush and tall trees, following a long and winding creek to a densely wooded area, beyond which sat a small monastery in a vast clearing hidden deep within the woods. {ep:7}

The monastery was a quiet place, with only a few dozen inhabitants who had come from all over to learn the art of Divination. Those few blessed with the gift of the Goddess' eyes were collected from all corners of the continent to learn to become one with their surroundings by the Guides, a group of seven men and women of the monastery who sought out children with the blessing. {ep:8}

Ezra was one such child, brought to the monastery when he was only three years old. The boy had only the faintest memories of his parents, who he was told had come from a far-off land called Fantasia. As far as he was concerned, the monastery had been his home his entire life, and he knew it like the back off his hand. {ep:9}

He rushed up to the eight-foot stone walls that protected the monastery from the outside world, pulled the hidden lever that lifted the heavy wooden gate, and ran into the sunny glade of the monastery all the way to Brother Simon's quarters. He didn't stop to say hello to Brother Caleb, who was sweeping the leaves off his front porch, nor to Sister Kay, who was busy anyway sewing a patch in one of the childrens' sky-blue robes. He was simply too excited to stand still for long. {ep:10}

--- {ep:11}

Brother Simon sat in silence in his room, when his meditation was interrupted by a sharp pounding on the door. He opened it to find an over-excited boy bouncing in place, waiting for him impatiently. "Ezra?" He asked, looking down at the boy in surprise. "What are you doing here? I thought you were out playing! Why are you all wet?" {ep:12}

"Hey Brother Simon!" The boy, Ezra, said, his grin large and enthusiastic. "I was playing in that pool in the clearing, and-" {ep:13}

"You mean the Font of Visions?" Brother Simon looked down at the boy sternly. "You know you're not to play there, Ezra. It's a very sacred pond." {ep:14}

"I'm sorry..." Ezra hung his head apologetically, but soon snapped back up to make eye contact. The boy was on a mission. "But I saw a lady down there!" {ep:15}

"A lady?" Brother Simon looked down at him in surprise. "You mean, one of the Elk tribe women? They don't usually take their human form..." {ep:16}

"No," The boy explained, "she didn't look like an Elk tribe lady; she looked like one of us." {ep:17}

Simon stroked his chin, considering the implications of Ezra's statement. His own glassy eyes peered down at Ezra curiously. "Are you sure? And you didn't recognize her?" {ep:18}

Ezra shook his head. "But that wasn't the weirdest part! I went over to say hi-" {ep:19}

"Ezra! You know we don't talk to strangers!" {ep:20}

"I know, I'm sorry," Ezra said, not looking sorry in the least as he continued right along with his story. "But she vanished into thin air!" {ep:21}

"Vanished?" Brother Simon looked down at Ezra thoughtfully. "Ezra... do you think you might have had a vision?" {ep:22}

"A... a vision?" Ezra's eyes widened, showing their strange, faraway stare. A select few monks at the monastery had those glassy eyes, the mark of the Diviner. Divination was a rare magic, and those with the gift were often known to see things that others couldn't; events from long ago, or happening a continent away, or even (though no known living Diviner could do it) events that had yet to happen. Ezra was very young to be manifesting such an ability, but there was a small chance that playing in the Font of Visions had awakened the power within him, if only for a moment. {ep:23}

"Yes... could you describe the woman to me a bit more?" Brother Simon asked Ezra, peering down at him curiously. {ep:24}

"Um, she was pretty... and she looked old. Not like how Sister Catherine looks old, with all the wrinkles, but like how Sister Catherine gets when she tells me about the good old days when her knees worked." {ep:25}

Brother Simon laughed at the description, but pondered what Ezra had told him. Young and beautiful, yet old and wise... "Ezra," he said haltingly, "I think -and this is just a theory, mind you -but you may have seen the goddess Elohi!" {ep:26}

Ezra looked even more surprised. "Wait... really? I saw Elohi?" The boy had grown up hearing the name over and over, yet had never seen a picture of her before, as he was not allowed in the sacred shrine that housed her portrait. {ep:27}

"There's only one way to be sure," he said, taking Ezra's hand. "I'm taking you to the shrine of Elohi. I need you to promise you won't touch anything in there." {ep:28}

"I won't!" Ezra promised, too excited by the prospect of seeing the goddess' shrine for the first time to even consider disobeying. He excitedly followed Brother Simon to the very center of the monastery, where the largest building, the Shrine of Elohi. The older monk opened the door, letting Ezra inside and putting a finger to his lips. Ezra nodded and returned the gesture to show he understood. {ep:29}

The portrait loomed above them, the colors faded after countless generations but noetheless radiating an otherworldly beauty. The woman in the portrait seemed much more at peace than the one he'd seen back at the pool, but there was no doubt in Ezra's mind as he excitedly cried out: "That's it! That's her!" {ep:30}

"Keep your voice down!" Simon berated him, his own voice a harsh whisper. "You're not supposed to be in here until your tenth year in the monastery, remember." {ep:31}

Ezra bowed his head again, this time looking much more apologetic. "I know... I'm sorry, Brother Simon," he said, but his apology fell on deaf ears. Simon was looking at the portrait and muttering something to himself absentmindedly. {ep:32}

"Um, Brother Simon?" Ezra asked, looking up at the head monk. "What's it mean, that I saw the goddess Elohi?" He asked. {ep:33}

Simon snapped out of his reverie. "Oh! Um, well... I'm not sure," he said, his pale eyes drifting away from the young boy's gaze. "All I can think is that you must be a very important little boy. Perhaps she has a plan for you in this world..." {ep:34}

"A plan?" {ep:35}

"Oh, yes!" Brother Simon sat down, seemingly glad for the topic change. "Yes, Elohi has a plan for each and every one of us. The whole world was planned out by Elohi's great wisdom! It's quite the story..." {ep:36}

Ezra groaned. Brother Simon's stories were known to go on for quite a while, and then a bit longer for good measure. {ep:37}

"Don't give me that!" Simon said, looking down at Ezra harshly. "I think you need to hear this one. And besides, I can't think of anywhere better to tell it!" He looked up at the goddess' portrait fondly. Ezra rolled his eyes and sat down, knowing that this would take a while. {ep:38}

"Long ago," Brother Simon began, "our world didn't exist. There was naught but the Great Eight, a group of gods, each with their own special magic. The first was Aburu, proud god of honor, protection, and abjuration. The second was Karana, kind goddess of generosity, prosperity, and conjuration. Third was Elohi, gentle goddess of wisdom, time, and divination; then Bezaubern, blithe god of revelry, innovation, and enchantment; next, Athara, mighty goddess of passion, war, and evocation. There was Spekter, mischievous god of secrets, beauty, and illusion; and Quipatla, reclusive god of courage, nature, and transfiguration. And finally, there was Nezhiti, ambitious goddess of hope, life, and necromancy." {ep:39}

"Wait, hope and life?" Ezra looked up at Brother Simon, confused. "I thought Necromancy was evil?" {ep:40}

Brother Simon shook his head. "No, the NecromancER, Koschei, is evil. He is the reason most associate Necromancy with armies of the dead, and unnatural means of extending one's lifespan. But NecromancY is the magic of life, and can be used for good or evil, just like any other magic!" {ep:41}

Ezra's eyes suddenly filled with apprehension. "...Even Divination?" {ep:42}

"Oh, yes," Brother Simon nodded solemnly. "Ours is a rare and powerful gift, and we could use it for bad things as well as good. That's why we meditate in this shrine; so we never lose sight of our goddess' will." {ep:43}

"I thought it was to get better at Divination?" Ezra asked, confused. {ep:44}

"That too," Brother Simon replied with a nod, "but it's not enough to know how to use magic; you must also learn when to use it. Now, on with the story: the gods spent countless aeons together, just the eight of them. But soon enough, they tired of each others' company, and sought to make new companions for themselves. They couldn't make more gods, for even they could not create so powerful a being, so they decided to make us humans, instead. The only problem was, nobody had ever made humans before, so they weren't sure how to go about it. {ep:45}

"That's where our goddess comes in. Elohi was recognized as the wisest goddess of them all, and so... I believe it was Karana who asked her to come up with a plan to create their new friends. Elohi didn't know how to make humans either, but realized that she could just look into the future and see how they would do it, then tell her fellow gods what to do!" {ep:46}

"But wait," Ezra asked, confused again. "How did they figure it out in the future, if the way they figured it out-" {ep:47}

"-Best not to think about it too much," Brother Simon advised, before ezra hurt himself on the logical fallacy. "Anyway, Elohi looked into the future and told the others exactly what to do: first, she asked Karana to create a huge ball of matter. Karana could only create what was already out there, so she gathered up a big ball of matter to turn into our world. {ep:48}

"Next, Elohi ordered Quipatla to turn the ball into a world, filled with mountains and oceans and everything that would be needed for the life to come. He did so, and put a bit of his magic in, as well. {ep:49}

"Quipatla could only create the beginnings for everything from what was already there, so next Elohi asked Bezaubern to improve upon this new world! He did so with gusto, making the soil rich with nutrients and the sky abuzz with winds, and enchantment was introduced to the young planet!" {ep:50}

"But while all the pieces were there, nothing was yet alive. Elohi instructed Nezhiti to give this new world the gift of life, that they might see the beauty that surrounded them. She did so, creating tiny creatures that could feed off Bezauburn's gifts, and so it was that Necromancy was added to the world. Elohi had Quipatla make these creatures into the plants and animals you see today. She trusted him with many tasks while they built the world; even back then, Divination and Transfiguration got along very well!" {ep:51}

"And that's why we live inside the Transfiguration Tribes' borders now?" Ezra asked. {ep:52}

"That's correct!" Simon replied, lightly applauding his young pupil. "Now, where was I... ah, yes. {ep:53}

"The world would need power to grow, so Elohi asked Athara to give their new subjects a way to prosper. She gave them the sun, and with it, the power for things to grow on their own, without magic to speed the process along. The world could now develop and prosper, and had gained evocation magic. {ep:54}

"But the sun, while it gave the power to grow, could also burn and destroy the delicate lifeforms on the growing young planet. Aburu put a huge, round protection around the globe, to keep the people on it from being hurt by the sun. {ep:55}

"Finally, Elohi gave our world a bit of her own magic, and it was complete. The gods took on human forms and came down to their new world, spreading their magical powers on to their children. You, me, and most other diviners are children of Elohi!" His story finished, Brother Simon looked up again at the portrait. "Elohi had all this planned out from the start. Her appearing to you may be a sign that she has something big in store for your future." {ep:56}

Ezra nodded. "Has she ever appeared to you, Brother Simon?" {ep:57}

Simon shook his head sadly. "I'm afraid not. Keep your eyes open, young Ezra. Maybe you'll see her again sometime." {ep:58}

Ezra nodded again, but didn't seem quite satisfied. "Um, it feels like one of the gods is missing from that story..." {ep:59}

"Spekter, yes." Brother Simon nodded. "Elohi didn't really need Spekter to make our world. Every other god had a part to play, save him. It's said he was fairly jealous that he didn't get a chance to build the world, so he... interfered with the other gods' work." {ep:60}

"Interfered?" Ezra looked at Simon in fear. "So... our world is messed up somehow?" {ep:61}

"No, don't worry about that," Simon replied. "Elohi, in her infinite wisdom, saw Spekter's plans far before they ever went into effect. I've heard some say he invented the lie to get back at the other gods, but that Elohi gave her children the gift of her special eyes, so that no matter what tricks Spekter tried to pull, we diviners would never be fooled." {ep:62}

"That's a relief," Ezra replied. "Wow... Elohi was really smart, wasn't she?" {ep:63}

"The smartest," Simon answered with a small smirk. "That's why we worship her to this day." {ep:64}

Ezra smiled, reassured, and settled into Brother Simon's lap. The incense was getting to him after such a long story, and the young boy simply couldn't keep his eyes open. {ep:65}

"Oh, we'd better get you to bed!" Brother Simon said, looking down at his ward. {ep:66}

Ezra couldn't hear him speak, as he was already contentedly dozing on his lap. The warmth and security of Elohi's temple was hard to resist. {ep:67}

"Sweet dreams, Ezra," Simon said, patting the child's head as he drifted off to sleep. "May Elohi watch over you always." {ep:68}

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Hey guys. This is my first ever novel. I'm not so arrogant as to think it's done yet, but I will be uploading it here to get feedback. Please feel free to give whatever constructive criticism you feel is necessary! Also, the title is NOT set in stone; feel free to offer alternative titles!
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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2189410