Sunday, 2 June 2013

Escape From Mount Vilipend - Chapter One

Good Sunday Morning

June Autumn Colours in Johannesburg
Before I get on to my Faith Reflection Sunday which I'll post a little later, I decided to post the complete first chapter of 'Escape From Mount Vilipend' and ask for some help if you have the time to read it over the next while.  

'Escape From Mount Vilipend' is the first book in an epic series called The Daighacaer (Day-gar-care).  It is essentially a battle between The Darke which is determined to destroy The Lighte in Faeré; and The Lighte which will do anything it can to prevent the evanescence of Faeré which will be the outcome, should The Darke prevail.

Would this chapter entice you to read further?  Do you have any suggestions on making it more exciting or appealing?  Do you have any other comments?

I have a thick skin but please be constructive.

It's written in United Kingdom English, so some spelling (and possibly even grammar) will be quite foreign if you are from the US.  Also, I'm including a Pronunciation and Description section at the end of each book. I may write an explanatory book at the end of the series which will provide more insight into why I chose the names, as well as where I got my inspiration for the many strange creatures and bizarre occurrences.

________________________________________________________

[The Introductory poem to the book]
Escape from Mount Vilipend
Book One of The Daighacaer

Faeré

In the Realm of Myths and Faeré
                                                                  Our Fantasies             
Live their lives
In the Realm of Myths and Faeré
Our very dreams
Come true
In the Realm of Myths and Faeré
Because Times are
Time survives
In the Realm of Myths and Faeré
Knowledge of Ages
Continues
In the Realm of Myths and Faeré
Lighte dwells in truth
As Darke deceives
In the Realm of Myths and Faeré
I live my life
With you
 ______________________________________________________________

[Chapter One]

1.      Caliginor

Spawn of The Darke

The word spread
As each was attacked
Countless hurt
Many more dead
Shocked horror
On dragged feet
Turned from their homes
Into the street
Among that mass
Depravity stalked
In a forfeit soul
Filled with hate
Deranged venomous
Darke-spewed hate
Craving demanding
Innocent blood
An unholy sacrifice
To profane intent
Sombre faces
Sat and stared
As yet more
Stared
Blank dead
Stares
But
One debased visage
Masked The Darke
That day
One vacant void
Hid his
Damned core
One spewed from The Darke
At his Master’s bid
One semi-mortal glaze
Sneered
The grimace of death
One soulless
Spawn
Was
Death!
  
“Spectre!  I will see you!  Now!”  roared The Darkenighte. 
The Darkenighte, who was not known for patience, paced up and down his chamber for a few moments waiting for the Spectre to appear before him.  When it became obvious that there was to be no response, the command was repeated and its roar took on a life of its own.  It slithered and echoed around the chambers of Vilipend until, eventually, the slight figure of a Spectre glided slowly, too slowly, to the intense frustration of The Darkenighte, into The Darkenighte’s chamber.
“Where have you been?  You are late!” snarled Caliginor, The Darkenighte.  “You know what happens to those who presume to ignore me.” 
The Spectre simply continued to stare at Caliginor.
“You will learn to regret your disrespect, Spectre.  Many before you have died; many more after you will do so too, because I will find a way to dispose of you Spectre, of that you can be sure!”
Still the Spectre said not a word as he waited for The Darkenighte to finish his tirade. 
“Look long and deep into this visage, Spectre.  Do you have the courage to tell me that it looks like it belongs to someone who would care, for one instant in time, whether anyone or anything, including you, lives or dies?” barked The Darkenighte. 
There was a momentary break.  Then, in a roar which surpassed even the previous intensity of the furious tirade, the boom emitted by one simple word flew through the chambers and out into the corridors as if it was itself trying to flee the horror of its initiator.
“Look!”
The discordant bellow of The Darkenighte’s rage resounded and reverberated throughout Mount Vilipend.  It continued for such an interminable period that, even in the deepest recesses of the Under Chambers, prisoners and grolls alike shivered and cowered in a vain attempt to protect themselves from they knew not what, only who. 
The Darkenighte shook in his rage at the apparent disinterest of the unwelcome individual in his chamber. 
In a fury, Caliginor spun around until the Spectre was standing in front of him and was forced to face him.  The Spectre continued to nonchalantly look out into the perpetual dark which enveloped Mount Vilipend.
The Spectre, still in slow-motion, looked up into what The Darkenighte euphemistically had called a visage.  His expression remained non-committal as he slowly examined the features of The Darkenighte as he had been ordered to do.
Caliginor’s black eyes burned red in their cadaverous sockets.  His emaciated skin looked as if it had died life-ages previously and was intent on keeping up the pretence of maintaining a wasted face in­tact.  What passed for a body was so putrid that anything which, in a fit of insanity, may have indeed considered the thought of tearing the extremely powerful Caliginor apart, would find that ‘tearing’ was entirely unnecessary.  The body was merely a decrepit receptacle; a disintegrating decomposition of biological decay.  What superficially could have passed as a body of sorts was merely a crooked, broken carcass covered with various layers of putrefying flesh and skin.  The breath, which spewed forth to form spurts of acrid steam as he spoke, stank with the reek of aeons of bloody gore and decay.
Caliginor was proud of his appearance and enjoyed the looks of horror he constantly received.  However, much to his displeasure, his appearance had not the slightest affect on the Spectre; currently the only other occupant of the chamber.
The weasel-faced Spectre, who lightly skimmed the surface of the floor as he swayed to and fro in his ethereal form, merely looked straight at Caliginor with what appeared to be totally disinterested disdain.  He still said not a word. 
The Spectre knew The Darkenighte well and he knew The Darkenighte’s temper even better.  It was a temper which the Spectre had far too often seen being used to discipline those of Caliginor’s minions who had the misfortune to have fallen out of The Darkenighte’s favour.  It was a temper which promised indescribable horrors; long, lingering and unbearable horrors. No being had ever, or could ever, withstand it, neither darzim nor mortal.  No being, that is except for the Spectre who, despite The Darkenighte’s threats, refused to be intimidated.
*
Outside of the mountainous stronghold which was Caliginor’s preferred abode; chosen by him to replicate his home in the UnderDarke; an incessant blizzard pelted the ground.l  The midday sky may just as well have not been day; the sky remained perpetually dark.  The Lighte never intruded into the Darke land which Caliginor had made his own. 
Fierce gusts of icy wind whistled like sirens through the unprotected cavities.  The accompanying lightning flashes flared in an un­remitting display of eerie dark because these lightning flashes were not those experienced within the Realm of The Lighte; these lightning flashes shone with an intensity of a deeper dark even than the dark of the sky in which they played.  Black Lightning of The Darke was another of Caliginor’s peculiar creations.  The ceaseless charges caused the rolling thunder to echo forever throughout the dead and blackened mountains. 
The ice was comfortable succour to Caliginor’s person. 
Of all things to which Caliginor had for time without end been accustomed, he had most categorically enjoyed the glacial cold; that incessant and intense cold which, even as it kept it intact, made his skin crawl.  Icy cold which he had, for so long, enjoyed within the frozen dominion of The UnderDarke.  He had laughed when he first heard that mortals within the realm of The Lighte believed that the UnderDarke was a furnace of everlasting fire. 
‘Fire provides Lighte’ he snarled.  ‘No Lighte would dare intrude within the deepest recesses which are the UnderDarke; the personal realm of The Darke.  How infantile these mortals are!’
Thinking about The Lighte within fire, Caliginor knew that he would never be able to, nor would he ever tolerate a situation where he was forced to endure any form of heat or light for too long. 
*
Although the room in which the two fiends met was covered in layers of ice, neither individual felt the slightest discomfort.  Where Caliginor stood, palls of steam rose from his putrid flesh, and the condensation caused it to hang, uncertain, but only for mere moments.  It almost immediately formed myriad impromptu stalactites and stalagmites, which in many instances pierced Caliginor’s flesh and caused him to shiver in an abstracted, rousing frenzy. 
Caliginor distractedly sliced at the stalactite nearest him and watched it fall to the floor.
“Speak Spectre!  I would know the reason for your failure!” boomed Caliginor once more.
The quiet voice which emanated from the Spectre was almost inaudible from within the resonating echo of Caliginor’s words. 
“Darkenighte, the contaminate within the odour darzim was working.  It should have killed the mortal Heir Prince.  It would most certainly have killed the Heir Prince except that, for some reason completely unknown to and not understood by me, the darzim just disappeared.  It didn’t merely leave the Heir Prince’s presence of its own accord, Darkenighte.  It completely vanished.  It was as if it had never existed.”  The Spectre shook his head as if to erase his thoughts.
“That is not possible!  Do you take me for a fool?  Do you?  Do You?”
“No, Darkenighte.  That I would never presume to do” said the Spectre, whose voice still remained calm and unmoved by Caliginor’s shrieks.
“That would have meant that the odour darzim was unsummoned, Spectra.  Unsummoned!  Do you understand the magnitude of what you are saying?  Unsummoned!”  Without pausing, Caliginor continued “You know as well as I do that it is simply not possible to unsummon such a darzim” thundered Caliginor and the whole of Mount Vilipend and its occupants shuddered once more. 
“You and your minions must have assembled the elements incorrectly or, the more likely reason, you didn’t imbed the correct instructions within the summoned odour darzim.” 
Caliginor’s fury had stewed and simmered throughout the hours he had been contemplating why the Heir Prince was still alive and what had gone wrong with his plan.  His rage intensified through knowing that the shadow darzim which he himself had summoned to bear witness to, and, even more importantly, to ensure the odour darzim’s success, had itself been soundly defeated. The shadow darzim's instruction was to ensure the death of the Heir Prince, even if it, itself had to become involved.
When what remained of his summoned darzim eventually returned to him; what he grudgingly and unwillingly witnessed with his own eyes was as thorough a vanquishing as he had ever before come across.  Certainly far greater than he himself had ever managed to achieve; and that infuriated him even more.
The shattered shadow darzim had lain within Caliginor’s chamber quivering and convulsing as if it was a mortal being. 
Seeing the incomprehensible destruction of the darzim infuriated Caliginor into a whirlpool of rage which threatened to overcome him.  

“That was My darzim.  How is this possible” shouted Caliginor to no one and everyone.  In his entire mortal existence, that had never happened.  It was not possible to vanquish a darzim in the manner which he was personally witnessing.  It was simply not possible.  It could not be allowed to happen either.

*
“The Heir Prince is still alive?”  Caliginor had shouted as his shadow darzim half sat, half lay in front of him “What are you doing back here?  You were supposed to intervene if necessary, that’s the reason I summoned you”.  The shadow darzim cowered further against the wall.  A darzim cowering was so unexpected that Caliginor, who knew he would get no satisfactory answer from the darzim, kicked at it in utter fury until it finally stopped moving and withered away to nonexistence in front of him.  He felt no satisfaction from his actions; not like he did when he tortured mortals, but the situation was different, mortals died and, if Caliginor was involved, died horribly; a darzim was immortal and its vanquished essence would merely return to the UnderDarke to be reformulated as The Darke saw fit.
“Someone will suffer for this failure” he had vowed when the darzim was no more.  Caliginor desperately wanted that ‘someone’ to be the Spectre who was now standing calmly in front of him; but not yet.  No, not yet.  The Spectre was still needed.  The deadlock and the obvious necessity for patience, which Caliginor had never previously needed nor exercised, did nothing to improve The Darkenighte’s temper.  The fact that his very own, personally summoned, shadow darzim had been vanquished at the same time as the odour darzim had been, was entirely irrelevant.  

The Spectre, Weda’Sel, had failed him.  He would suffer.  In time he would suffer not only for his failure but, more importantly, because Caliginor so desperately wanted to see him squirm.  Caliginor had already waited aeons to punish the weasel-faced shape-shifting Spectre, for nothing more than that the Spectre did not fear him.  He would bide his time for a while longer.
“The Heir Prince is not strong enough in his own power to overcome a darzim, unless there was some fault which was inherent in the odour darzim, Weda’Sel” continued Caliginor, whose voice rose to an even higher crescendo with each word he spoke until it reached a crescendo as he shouted the Spectre’s name.  “You were the only one who knew what the order was.  You must have altered it in some way!”
“Darkenighte, everything was done exactly as it should have been done” replied Weda’Sel, still unperturbed.  “The summoned odour darzim was capable of a trail of destruction which would have had the most horrific of consequences.  You, yourself know that an odour darzim is a weapon of immense power which can disperse its infectious contaminate instantly from within its vapour.  It is precisely because you know this already that you ordered that the odour darzim in particular be summoned.  It is well-suited to killing thousands of mortals within very short periods of time.  We did everything exactly according to the correct summoning.  As you instructed, the power of all that essence was concentrated to kill only one - The Heir Prince.  Your shadow darzim would have immediately let you know that the odour darzim was at its most effective when it arrived within the sphere of the Heir Prince.”
Caliginor didn’t react as the Spectre revealed his knowledge of the summoned shadow darzim.  Anyone else would not have noticed the tiny twitch above Caliginor’s right eye, which had slightly more flesh than the rest of his brow; but Weda’Sel noticed it.  He, in turn, didn't show any sign of having noticed that telltale twitch.
“Do Not pretend to placate me, Spectre!”  Caliginor’s fury, at his loss of vantage as well as having been taken aback by the Spectre’s awareness of his darzim, was causing him to shake with rage.  “And then make use of the mortal expressions ‘trail of destruction’ and ‘the most horrific of consequences’!  It makes me believe that you have no stomach for the task at hand.  It most definitely makes me believe that there is little doubt that you did have something to do with the odour darzim not completing its task.”
“I have been your subordinate for these many aeons, Darkenighte.  There would surely be no honour to me, or value to you, if I were to suddenly turn towards the Deities of Lighte.  They are two where you have the advantage of living within the unified strength of one.  The force must lie with you.”  The incongruity of comparing Caliginor with Deities did not occur to Caliginor, nor, it appeared, did it occur to the Spectre.
“Your tongue is slippery, Weda’Sel but what you speak, does in some way have the feel of openness about it.    It would not be rational of you to think to try to fool me with devious words, however.  What you report is not fact; it is presumption and presumption is not to be believed by any sensible thinking being.”
Weda’Sel looked long at Caliginor as if digesting The Darkenighte’s words and then bowed low. 
“It is as you have said, Darkenighte.  The odour darzim’s disappearance will be investigated by me in person.  I personally will bring the report to you, Darkenighte and you have my word on it that the report will be punctual and factual.”
“Go then!” thundered The Darkenighte “and do not return without verification; but do not think to absent yourself from me for too long, Spectre.  If you do and I become disturbed once more about your lack of loyalty, I will find you wherever you are and instantly send you through the hills of the corpse serpent where you will wander in the mazes of the dead for eternity.  You will not remain on this plane to either exasperate me or to try and explain to me your absence of any evidence.”
“I understand, Darkenighte.  I will retire now to seek out the cause of the darzim’s unsummoning.  I shall return without delay.”
As Weda’Sel started to retreat, Caliginor forcibly pushed past him and, as he did so, he brushed up against Weda’Sel and then stalked to the portal in the middle of the chamber. 
Caliginor did not fail to notice the ever so slight trace of revulsion which flickered through Weda’Sel’s features as his rancid body made contact with the spectral form.  His lips snarled as he smiled to himself at the revulsion on the Spectre’s face.  “Perfect!” he thought.
Weda’Sel in turn saw the snarl and smiled inwardly.  He had cultivated just the look of revulsion he knew Caliginor would have expected from him.  He would never let Caliginor know that he had long since become inured to the sight, vile odour and ravings of The Darkenighte.  Nor would he ever allow Caliginor to know that there was other more serious knowledge which he did have concerning the unsummoning of the odour darzim.  Knowledge which did, indeed, bother him. 
Not for an instant did Weda’Sel wonder even vaguely at Caliginor’s blatant physical contact with his spectral form.  He was not particularly surprised by it.  He knew that, at any opportunity, Caliginor would have vented his violent anger on him physically if he could.  That he couldn’t do so was a protection for which Weda’Sel was extremely grateful.  Through the sheer frustration of seeing the Spectre but not being able to physically vent his anger on him, The Darkenighte had perfected his ability to at least physically make some contact with the Spectre many aeons previously, although it was not something in which he found any pleasure.  In fact any contact with the Spectre was one of the very few things which actually revolted The Darkenighte. 
Each time Caliginor achieved his physical contact of Weda’Sel’s spectral form, Weda’Sel felt the extent of Caliginor’s revulsion and his innermost satisfaction sometimes almost threatened to show itself on his features.  He was, however, very careful to ensure that that would never happen.  As Weda’Sel left the chamber, he thought absently about how long it had been since he had stopped being shocked at or revolted by anything that Caliginor said or did.
Weda’Sel had always known that Caliginor genuinely saw himself as elevated so far above all other mortal life that his having in any way to interact with mortal life was his own form of perdition.  


*
“Under-chambers!”  The command was barked as Caliginor kicked at the plinth, his altercation with Weda’Sel out of his mind for the moment, but most certainly not forgotten.


2 comments:

  1. How brave of you to post your chapter for the world to see! This isn't a genre I would normally read, but it looks as though it's going to be an intriguing saga. Have you read it aloud? I find this really helps me to pick up on the clunky bits - especially as I have a tendency to link clauses where a new sentence would be better. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks, Julia, for the sound advice ('scuse the pun). That's exactly what I'm going to do. It will also help to cement ideas in my head and show me what really does or doesn't work. I'd so like it if people who read the story can almost 'climb into my head', although that may be a very scary place to visit...

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