Regarding my Mythos

            The Evolution of Darkness.

            Long ago, I was captivated by an idea. Ten or so years. And they have been quite long. But not long enough. Why I say time has not been my greatest ally is because I want more time, I want to further explore the inner workings of my mind. I am so young, 19 may be a number high into someone’s life. But considering how much I have lived, it’s not so much. And when you consider how much you have to live overall, it’s not enough to live. So, time is not our ally.

            Regardless of the time I have lived, I couldn’t sit on the edge, waiting for the right time. For the perfect time to delve into my story. I couldn’t deal with bottling so much, I cannot. So, I started writing my book.

            But I don’t want to talk about time and bottled thoughts. No, I wanted to talk about my mythos.

            The Evolution of Darkness is a concept that intrigued me quite a lot. I have always admired darkness, the theme, the idea. So when it came to writing my book, I knew I wanted to portray my idea of darkness. I didn’t come up with my mythos before I started writing. I came up with the mythos once I had finished the book.

            But what is “The Evolution of Darkness”? Simply put, it is the battle that leads to the cleansing of sin. The Crystal Tower: Edelix is the begging of the battle against the Darkness, although I do not delve deeply into the mythology behind the idea. The Crystal Tower: Edelix is, per say, an introduction. I want to introduce several concepts, and leave loose ends. Those loose ends I have left are not relevant to the plot line of The Crystal Tower: Edelix. Rather, they are there because some things I cannot reveal just yet. It would compromise a great legend. Instead, these loose ends are minor, they are not noticed, and therefore, will not hinder the story. But there are some loose ends that have a greater impact. These loose ends are meant, and they are there because I want to tie them in the sequels.

            The Evolution of Darkness is something I believe to be astounding and rather intriguing. The whole tale is fixated on the idea that darkness is power, a power too great that can be the end of everything. But countering that darkness is light. I prefer darkness, however, but there must be hope, so there must be light. This battle is not only around Alex, the titular character in The Crystal Tower: Edelix, but in his heart as well. How this battle plays out is, for now, a mystery. And how this battle plays out around him, is the reason The Crystal Tower: Edelix is such fun. Some battles are over before they have begun, but some battles are so meaningful, the entire universe stands witness to the outcome. What that outcome will be…I have already decided.

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The Cover That Almost Was

I had a change of heart, I think. I know that little saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but now, I think I will, just for once, because I really am that self-conscious.

My cover has the theme simplistic going on, it’s a great cover in my opinion, since the story deals so much with Darkness, it’s hard to think of anything else getting into it, I mean the cover is black for crying out loud. But I think I can relate Darkness in other forms. I will soon change the cover of The Crystal Tower: Edelix. It will retain the theme simplistic but to a lesser extent. I love the cover I have now, but I am judging the book by its cover, and I feel a change is for the best.

But enough of the update, I want to share the cover that almost was….

TADAAAA!

            Front Cover Finalised

It started as a cool idea. That is the best I can come up with, I know sad, but I am a guy! (My defense isn’t strong! By any means!)

The idea came to fruition. And it all was rainbows and sunshine.

Until doom spelled my downfall.

I was told that the character in the cover resembles Harry Potter a little too closely. I was adamant against the similarity, I mean, Harry Potter has a wand and only uses the sword of Gryffindor in the Chamber of Secrets and The Deathly Hallows. But for crying out loud, he did use a cloak for the longest! J.K. Rowling, thanks for making Harry human and prone to cold weather!

Anyway, I couldn’t use the cover. Harry Potter is a character known worldwide, and the similarity would only assure trouble. I didn’t want to get sued, so I discarded the concept with a heavy heart. A REALLY heavy heart, I think I cried some the night I decided to rid myself of the concept.

So, I tried several other concepts, none of which enthused me in the slightest.

Then came the dream… (Ominous, I know!)

I held The Crystal Tower: Edelix in my hands. It was hardcover, the jacket was all matte black, and the title was imbedded silver, and O it was beautiful! I woke up immediately and wrote of the concept on my iPhone notes.

I guess, now I realize that the current cover would work for the hardcover, the beauty in simplicity was breathtaking, it woke me up, but not so much with paperback. The reflective nature is bothersome, and it lacks that punch that the story has.

I guess this is all I have to say, tell me if you think the cover’s character resembles Harry Potter, I already know it does, but I should be flattered I look like Harry Potter, I am the one in the cover!

Prayers to Azurah

Warning: While this story is independent from the plot line of The Crystal Tower: Edelix, it is recommended reading the book first, HOWEVER, you do not need to read the book first to enjoy this short insight. Remember, the first goal for these stories is to broaden the world and the mythos, and the second goal is to add content to the book.

Many times she wondered what was the cause of her child’s death. When she gave birth to her most loved, the child died, never opening her eyes, or breathing a single breath. The pain of losing her daughter burned within her, it made her forget what else loved her. She forgot to love those that loved her, and in time, the ones that loved her forgot to lover her. She didn’t care for their love, though. Her love belonged only to her daughter, who now lived in paradise.

She walked outside her small hut. The ocean waves rolled over the soft sand, and washed away. A tear rolled down her cheek. Like every evening, she cried for the loss that had consumed her five years ago.

After countless nights of sorrow, she left everyone behind. She walked away from the Kingdom of Felia, and she never looked back. She came to find the ocean, and she built a small hut, where she lived for three years, alone, always remembering her dead daughter, wondering what she would become.

She made her way down to the ocean, allowing her feet to disappear under the warm waves of water. Her tears fell faster as she stood there, looking at the sunset.

She looked inside a pouch she carried hanging from her neck. From within, she took a blue crystal, whispered to Azurah, and lifted the crystal. The night let the light from the crystal shine bright. She knew Azurah was looking at her, acknowledging her because her crystal glowed bright. Only when Azurah looked did the crystal shine.

“My Goddess,” she began, he crying never ceasing, “Why did my daughter have to go? I can no longer bear the pain in my heart, it is too much. And for the first time, I have doubt about love. If I had not loved my husband, I would never have had my child, I would never have known the pain I now know. If love can destroy, why is love sought everywhere,” she fell to her knees, the water covering her legs. She stayed crying for an hour. The pain too much to bear.

She looked up, and found herself staring at the most beautiful woman. She donned a beautiful garment, her feet never touched the sand under the water.

“My child, your loss aches my hear. For five years, I have listened to your prayers, and until today, you never asked why it was she had to go. Her essence was weak, her pain too great. I took her to my kingdom to live a happy life, I took her to give her the opportunity she would never get here. The realm of mortals would have been her curse, and in time, she would have died. Now, however, I see my error. It was not my decision to make, it was yours. I never thought your pain would be as great, I only thought your pain would be worse if you held her for years in your arms, only to have her slip from your embrace, that, I could not allow. But it was your choice, and I never gave it to you. I am sorry.”

“My Goddess, you only had good intentions in your heart, for that I am thankful. And you are right, to have her slip from my grasp after years of having her in my embrace would have destroyed me. I thank you for allowing her an opportunity. The choice you made was the right one.”

Azurah smiled at the woman who knelt on the waves of the ocean. “Still, your pain aches my heart, and I wish to give you an opportunity. Come with me to my kingdom, leave this mortal realm behind and join me, so that you can be with your most loved.”

The woman looked at Azurah, she was crying rapidly, the tears in her eyes made her vision blurry. But what she was offered had been her greatest desire. She knew she no longer belonged in the realm of mortals, and knowing that, she accepted.

Azurah gave the woman her hand, and together they stood.

The lifeless body of the mother who lost her most loved fell into the water, a light shot into the sky, towards the Kingdom of Life.

Copyright 2013 by Javier Duenes. All rights reserved.

Elesliel part three

Warning: While this story is independent from the plot line of The Crystal Tower: Edelix, it is recommended reading the book first, HOWEVER, you do not need to read the book first to enjoy this short insight. Remember, the first goal for these stories is to broaden the world and the mythos, and the second goal is to add content to the book.

The evening’s fresh breeze was welcomed by Elesliel, Alestair and Leonor. Their travel had been rough, even though none wanted to admit it, they were all physically exhausted from riding on their Horned Steeds for well over five hours. Horse riding was physically demanding, and although all three were trained in witchcraft arts, none had been trained as horse riding soldiers. So all three sat on the grass, not saying anything about their lack of horse riding training.

Elesliel sat looking over his new wizard’s staff. It was metallic silver, with a rather smooth shaft. There was some resistance in the shaft of the staff, it would be impractical for the shaft to be completely smooth, otherwise it would simply slide off the hands. The little resistance was excellent, it was one of the reasons he had spent quite a while at the Academy’s Wizards Weapons Emporium, he had tested the resistance against sliding, among other qualities.

His previous Wizard’s staff had been wooden. It had been black wood, fitting, since he was a dark mage. Nevertheless, it had almost perfect grip, and it had been such a disappointment when his crystal started malfunctioning and breaking spells rather dangerously, sending waves of a spell in one direction and another in a different direction.

One thing did dawn on him, watching the staff, he knew a metallic shaft was the best fit for what was to come. The inevitable war against King Xious.

Having a metallic weapon would be helpful against his enemies. He had heard the tales, the horrors of the creatures that bid their allegiance to King Xious. He was not going to fight against tough opponents with a weapon that could snap in half anytime during the battle, leaving his life hanging by a thread. Not to mention one with a crystal that could break his spell in half and have one wave hit his an enemy while the other a friend. No, he would not endanger his human allies. Nor would he betray his king by killing men in his army.

The crystal itself was poised in between a complex weave of pure silver and black amethyst. The thin threads guarded the white crystal, which was in and of itself a beauty to behold. All crystals were beautiful, but crystals that radiated magic were by far exquisite. Yes, in Edelix all crystals had a semblance of magic, but just like Elves, their scale measured the amount of magic within them.

Elesliel nodded, knowing he had made the right choice.

“We should set camp, I hadn’t noticed twilight had set,” said Elesliel, bringing both of his companions from their reveries.

“I had a question, are we taking the mountain path?” asked Leonor.

“I think it would be better for us to take the longer path. I have heard the legends regarding the Passage of the Dead, I am not risking my life nor yours, only those in great haste ever take the path,” replied Elesliel.

Alestair nodded. “I heard even the slightest of distractions can make you take the wrong turn, that somehow, distraction is what gets you to the Passage of the Dead. I know our Horned Steeds are intelligent, but I wouldn’t want to chance anything, I am glad you decided against taking the mountain passage.”

“We should sleep then, tomorrow we set off early, I want to be in the Kingdom of Aladar soon, there is much to do,” said Elesliel.

The other two nodded.

When Elesliel woke the following morning, he noticed the bitter cold that accompanied their early raise. He took a sweater from inside his traveling bag and put it under his cloak. He grew weary, his armor was not as strong as he would have liked it to be. He mentally reprimanded himself for not thinking to buy heavy armor, being outside the City of the Elves was dangerous. He knew kingdoms and large cities lived independent from one another, that unity within one kingdom made for a utopia that the citizens could enjoy. Little contact was the norm between kingdoms, especially when there were legends of beasts that lived on the beautiful wilderness and attacked men during their journeys across kingdoms or cities. He had once heard a battalion of one hundred men from the Kingdom of Razz-Owen were reduced to nothing by a beast that found them on their way to the Kingdom of Dolect. It was a legend, but it still made him uneasy.

He decided to get heavy armor the moment he set foot on the Kingdom of Aladar.

Elesliel, Alestair and Leonor rode for the better part of seven hours. On the horizon to the east they spotted the mountain passage. As if it needed further proof of its omnipresent omens, the clouds just above the mountain were black, thunderous roars soon reached their ears.

“We need to find shelter, I think there is a storm coming,” said Elesliel.

After a while of riding, they came upon a stone structure close to the edge of a thick forest. Rain had already started pouring, and their bodies were cold and numb. Never had they experienced rain, and the experience was strongly disliked by all three.

The stone structure created the perfect shelter from the storm. A large flat-stone was poised over them, giving them a roof, and the further they went into the cave, the steeper the floor grew. They wouldn’t have to worry about water running towards them.

The inside of the cave smelled strongly of earth and rust. It was somewhat dark, so Elesliel grabbed his staff from the middle, with the crystal to the top, and thrust it shortly forward, whispering “Incanto Nox Brillia.” The crystal started glowing brighter, and a wave of white light lit the rest of the cave, like lightning traveling down a passage. The staff glowed bright, until the light it had cast disappeared at the end of the cave.

At the end of the cave: a beast that smiled, knowing its dinner had arrived.

The beast before them shocked the three companions. They stared at the hundreds of teeth in its mouth, the razor-sharp claws, the reptilian body that stood on two feet, the fire-red eyes.

Before they could so much as move, the creature lurched forward, its four meter tall body bouncing like a feline creature. Elesliel retired from his shock, and shouted “Nox Des-esertea,” and a wave of black mater emanated from the crystal. He thrust the staff forward, just before the creature neared him enough to scratch his left hand with one of its claws. The creature was unceremoniously thrown back with the wave of black matter.

Alestair reacted next, taking out a long sword from its scabbard, which he had hung from his waist. He readied his pose, waiting for the creature to stand.

Leonor, seeing Elesliel and Alestair, readied his bow. He strung an arrow, and like both companions, waited for the creature to attack.

The creature fell with a heavy thud. It growled a menacing growl, and stood fast, angling his attack towards Leonor.

Leonor released the arrow, while moving forward to stand by Elesliel and Alestair. The arrow hit the creature in the left shoulder. It stopped, roared a howl of pain that thundered through the cave, and took the arrow out, without a second though. Elesliel cringed as he saw flesh and blood accompany the arrow tip, but he quickly regained his composure, readying a different attack.

He needed a stronger spell, one that could damage the creature greatly. His Incanto spells would be worthless, they were far too weak. He needed the combined power of Nox and Luz, so he geared his attention to Alestair as the creature made his way toward him.

Alestair’s strike was parried by the creature. In turn, Alestair was thrown out to the rain, while the creature angled its body to face Leonor. Leonor released a wave of arrows, one after the other, with little effort, since he was a trained archer. But the arrows were doing little harm, and Leonor was being cornered against the wall.

Elesliel thrust his staff forward, shouting “Nox Fira.”

His crystal glowed red for a second before it began to darken to pitch black. It then released a small sphere that flew towards its intended target with increasing speed as well as increasing circumference. The pitch-black fire struck the reptilian creature in the chest: it had straightened to its full height so as to strike at Leonor, now cornered, with its claws.

The creature did not notice the attack, and for the second time, was thrown a ways off. This time, it struggled to regain its composure, the flesh burnt in places. The creature had flown aver Alestair, who had come back into the cave, while the creature fell out into the rain.

Elesliel, irritated that he hadn’t come up with a way to combine the powers from the realms of Nox and Luz, looked out, noticing his sight was cut short by the heavy downpour. He could hear the creature’s howls of pain, and he guessed he had thrown it a ways away with his spell. He smiled a short smile before turning to Alestair and Leonor. Alestair had several cuts while Leonor had come unscratched. He then looked at his own wound, and sighed, he would tend to them later.

“I need you to cast along with me, we need to combine the power of Nox and Luz to kill this thing. Leonor, I need you to cast Luz Unprotecta, I know it will require some strength, but we need to make it vulnerable to Alestair’s attack and mines. Alestair, I need you to cast Luz Qebra-Blizz, it will shatter my spell and freeze it. On the ready.”

Both of his companions nodded, and looked out the mouth of the cave. The creature’s howls ended. The second that transpired seemed eternal. The creature jumped into the cave, splattering water everywhere.

“NOW,” yelled Elesliel.

Luz Unprotecta,”  yelled  Leonor, extending his hand forward, his palm facing the creature. His palm glowed green before a green wave was shot towards the creature.

“Luz Qebra-Blizz,” yelled Alestair, extending his hand forward, his palm facing the creature. His palm glowed blue before a blue wave was sent towards the creature.

“Nox Nocte-Eternum,” yelled Elesliel, thrusting his staff forward, the crystal glowing black before a wave of dark matter was sent towards the creature.

The green wave of magic enveloped the creature while the wave of black mater collided with the blue wave of magic, causing the black matter to shatter noisily into thousands of black spikes that had turned to crystal with Alestair’s magic.

The creature looked at the incoming threat, but its revenge drove it forward. It was impaled all over the body by the black crystal shards and fell with a heavy thug, a pool of blood quickly gathered below the creature.

“Thank you,” said Elesliel.

“No problem, we need to sleep, although I don’t think I will be getting much after what happened,” said Alestair.

Leonor laughed, and soon, all three burst into fits of laughter.

“Now I see why not so many venture outside their kingdoms…this thing was slightly dangerous. Anyway, let me take a look at your wounds, then we can sleep,” he said, looking at Alestair.

Alestair nodded, and sat on the ground.

Elesliel then worked on the wounds, he found a sense of serenity while he worked on what he had studied for a long time. Being a doctor was not bad, but the title could be somewhat heavy, not many talked to him as an equal.

To be continued…

Copyright 2013 by Javier Duenes. All rights reserved.

Elesliel part two

Warning: While this story is independent from the plot line of The Crystal Tower: Edelix, it is recommended reading the book first, HOWEVER, you do not need to read the book first to enjoy this short insight. Remember, the first goal for these stories is to broaden the world and the mythos, and the second goal is to add content to the book.

Leaving the city wall was not an experience new to him. He had traveled to the many villages close to the City of the Elves. But his two companions clearly betrayed their awe as they walked out of the wall for the first time.

“Didn’t you two come to pray to Azurah the day our king left?” he asked, remembering the night he had joined the thousands of elves outside the wall to pray to Azurah, lifting their crystal  for her to see.

“We did not join in the prayer to Azurah, we were protecting the Councilor’s Hall,” replied one.

“And why were you protecting the Councilor’s hall?” asked Elesliel.

“Because protection to both the Meeting Hall of the Ninety Nine Elves and the Councilor’s Hall we bolstered that week, from what we heard, the assassins would probably attack there first,” replied the second.

“But the assassins never showed up here. I just hope nothing happened to our king.”

“I doubt anything would happen to him, I have seen him in training, he is deadly regardless of his powers, he is a natural. But with his powers, I would never want to stand up to him, he would burn me in second. From what I saw, he prefers to use fire.”

“An odd element, only the evil kings and queens like to use fire as their element of choice, and if I recall, all good kings and queens preferred water as their element of choice…he couldn’t be more opposite,” he said, frowning. “Was his fire black?”

“No, his fire was red, but it was dark red, and I could distinguish some dark fire, but not much. Would it matter if his fire was black?”

Elesliel looked at the horizon, their talk had been quite interesting, and they had managed to move quite a distance from the City of the Elves. They traveled on their Horned Steeds. The horses were smarter than normal horses, which were now all but extinct on Edelix. Horned Steeds would travel to kingdoms to serve riders in exchange of safe heaven and food, unlike their wild counterparts, who wished to be free on a world as dangerous as it was beautiful. There were things that lived on the wild that gave nightmares to the bravest of men and elf.

Elesliel quickly shrug the uneasiness that traveled down his spine. Instead, he paid attention to his companion.

He extended his hand in front of him. “Incato Nox Fira,” he whispered. His hand was then enveloped in black fire. His companions watched his burning hand as he stared at them. Their expressions were of slight interest, but being mages themselves, they didn’t find the idea of fire on a mans had to be scary at all.

“I am a dark mage, as you both know. My magic is summoned from the realm of Nox. If I were to cast from the realm of Luz, my spells would falter and even endanger my life. Your fire is red because you summon from the realm of Luz, but what this means, why we should be somewhat concerned as to our king’s fire being dark, is because he summons from darkness. It is very unusual, since his mother summoned from the realm of Luz, he should also summon from her realm, but for a reason I cannot fathom, his heart is dark, much like the hearts of the evil kings and queens.”

“Are you saying our king is evil?”

“Alestair, he may not be evil, but he has the capability of doing great harm. You say you saw darkness in his fire, and I treated him during stasis. What I saw was bothersome. He has a heart of darkness, but his heart of light is fighting against it. I fear the day his hear of light fails, because then, there will be no telling what great evil he can do. He is stronger than our queen, of that I can guarantee you.”

“What is keeping him from insanity, surely a battle like the likes you are telling us would cripple a man to madness.”

“Leonor, he is already so far from sanity, it was sad looking into his essence. The only one that keeps him from great evil is his sister. He loves her much, but her death has caused turmoil in his heart. I don’t know if this turmoil will ever clear. I don’t know what the future holds,” replied Elesliel.

Alestair and Leonor remained silent as they crossed the vast plain. The grass was green, but its usual shine was all but gone.

Elesliel looked at the sky, wanting the three suns to show from behind the dark clouds.

To be continued…

Copyright 2013 by Javier Duenes. All rights reserved.