A mysterious evil seeks to destroy a civilization.
Priest Gealin stood atop Mount Seriph at twilight. He overlooked the kingdom of Bane with its rising castle towers that reminded him of frost covered stalagmites jutting out of the ground. Gealin was in a blue hooded mantle covered in snow.
He smiled as he heard a young man’s voice come from behind.
“Master Gealin, we should leave. The time is near.”
Gealin faced the young man. He had sea-blue eyes and blond hair that hung over his forehead as he wore a hooded mantle like Gealin’s.
“I know, Enix. I sense something sinister brooding among the people of Seriph. A mysterious force seeks to subvert the ceremony and corrupt Seriph,” said Gealin.
Enix’s eyes widened and they glazed over. He gasped. “What is happening?”
“We must return to Seriph.”
Enix nodded and sped down a stone path with Gealing following. They mounted two donkeys and rode down the path through a thicket and to an open valley. They entered the back entrance of the kingdom, filled with people with rosy faces.
When Enix and Gealin dismounted, a messenger on a horse met them.
“Priest Gealin, the king requests you,” said the messenger.
“Hmm…what could be so imperative hours before the ceremony?” said Gealin. “Enix, wait for me at the rallying tower.”
The servant hopped off and gave the reins to Gealin who climbed onto the steed and charged between stone houses.
Gealin crossed a drawbridge and stopped. A guard in full shining armor on the wall battlement locked eyes with Gealin. “Open the gate!” the guard said.
An iron gear squeaked as the gate opened. Gealin barged inside and felt the warmth of the broad inner thoroughfare filled with bronze braziers against the walls.
He stopped and dismounted then sprinted through a square door and up a spiraling staircase. At the top he rushed to a pair of golden doors kept by two bulky guards. Gealin took a deep trembling breath as they heaved open the doors.
Within a broad rectangular chamber lay a long, narrow silk, azure carpet led to a throne of ivory and silver. A man in rich crimson and gold robes embroidered with precious stones sat atop the throne.
Gealin sensed the sinister presence in the room as he approached the man on the throne.
Gealin kneeled before the man. “Blessings to you Lord Terinth in the name of our Lord God and His son.”
“Gealin, I am amidst a most profound contemplation. To unite our rival kingdom of Tanith. I may propose this year’s ceremony as a binding act.”
“But my Lord, Tanith is a place of wickedness and idol worship! Such an act is sacrilege. The ceremony of the white summer moon is a symbol of the purifying of mankind by the death and resurrection of our Lord’s son. It is holy!”
“As king I have the right to…”
Gealin cut King Terinth. “No king is above God’s sovereignty!”
“Hold your tongue priest!”
“What evil possess you!” said Gealin.
The king jumped to his feet. “How dare you! Leave my presence before I throw you in prison!”
Gealin spun around and dashed out the doors and down the staircase. At the bottom he grabbed his head and groaned..
Enix came from behind him. “Master!”
“The king has gone mad!”
“I know what has happened. I saw High Nobleman Sardis speak out of one of the lost forbidden books of Heth.”
“Where did he find it?”
“I do not know.”
“I cannot think of why Sardis would practice sorcery,” said Gealin.
“why for power of course,” said a raspy voice behind them.
“It is true then!” said Gealin. “You are controlling King Terinth.”
“Indeed,” said Sardis.
“God’s power is greater than any magic. With a simple rebuke I could…”
Sardis put up a finger. “Not so hasty. I hold the king’s life in my hand. If you even begin to evoke God’s power, I will end the king with a word.”
Enix charged at Sardis to the young priest to subdue him.
“No Enix!” said Gealin.
Sardis dispersed a ball of lightning from his palm and it struck Enix, sending him flying back. “Ack!” he uttered.
“Soon, the people of Seriph with bow to the gods of Tanith. And I will rule through king Terinth!” said Sardis. “Now, to end your life.” Sardis stretched forth hand.”
“You are afraid. Only a coward would hide behind the dark arts. If you were a true methodical man, you would use tact and manipulation to obtain your goal.” Gealin chuckled. “Go on. Kill me you invalid.”
Sardis lowered his hand. “Very well. Let us duel. Choose your weapon.”
“I challenge you to a fight with the sword,” said Gealin. He walked to the wall near to him and took down two broad swords displayed on the wall. He tossed one to Sardis’s feet.
He picked it up. “Let us begin!”
Sardis lunged at his opponent with his sword over his head. Gealin blocked it and kicked Sardis in the chest and he fell back. “Cursed priest,” he said as he ran at Gealin with his blade pointed at him.
Gealin laughed and with a single side slash, knocked Sardis’s weapon out of his hand and he fell to the floor. Gealin stood over Sardis. “Release the king or else,” said Gealin, sword at Sardis’s neck.
“Never!” Sardis thrust his hand at Gealin, sending him flying back.
“No magic, coward!”
Sardis grinned. “Die, cretin!” he said.
The sorcerer fell to the ground, convulsing for minutes. “My power!” he said. “Cursed boy!”
Sardis lay dead as Gealin rose to his feet. “Enix! I sensed you praying! At first I thought you were unconscious. Well done lad! Let us see the king.”
With Sardis gone, King Sardis came to his senses. And the White Summer Moon celebration commenced as Gealin gave his oration, declaring from the rallying tower the rejoicing from God’s purifying men from their sins through the death of God’s Son which the white summer moon symbolized.