Fantasy Fiction posted July 19, 2021 Chapters:  ...10 11 -12- 13... 


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An acute curiosity doesn't end well

A chapter in the book The Chronicals Of Bethica: The Rise

The Chronicles Of Bethica

by amahra




Background
When an acute curiosity doesn't end well, Dinary and Celio are taught a lesson they won't soon forget
Chapter 9 (Part 2)
Consequences


Exhausted, Gangus gently squeezed the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger.

He spent most of the day transferring notes Lord Tedar scribbled in blood into legible handwriting.

Momentarily squinting to shut out the candle's light, he widened his eyes to prepare them for further studying.

He added,
the staff proves to be a wind weapon, and not magical as first thought, but divine. Created by the god of war and so powerful, no entity of the Black Arts dares to challenge it.

Unlike a wizard's staff, which lacks power, but is simply used to amplify the wizard's spells and focus his magic towards a particular entity, the divine staff is a weapon on a mission with an anointed substance embedded into its core. This substance, only known to the gods, is the soul of the staff.  

Gangus stopped writing and examined the weapon's long, thick frame--letting his fingers stroke the shiny brown coating. Cut from a century-old Willow tree, the top of the staff consisted of a yellow crystal ball, held upright in a black metal hand with fingers spread, and its wrist attached to the wood.

Setting the staff aside, he noted meanings of symbols and further wrote,
when executed properly, the staff fires a sharp gust of tremendous pressure in a flash of light. Strong enough to lift weight in the thousands, uproot trees and flatten large stone buildings, the deadly stream can reach a speed of 97.3 knots. Two commands pronounced as one word: Tyrfinji -- which means, the finger of god, and Notun -- which means, to release, will kindle the weapon to perform, he concluded.

*****
A few cabins down, candles flickered causing shadows to dance around Dinary's bed; he couldn't stop thinking about the staff. His father who had included him in all his affairs now seemed to exclude him about the knowledge of the staff. Dinary itched to get his hands on it and convinced a reluctant Celio to be the lookout while Brehira visited the Domarian sisters, and Gangus attended a meeting.

A nervous Celio paced back and forth outside the Abram's cabin. He put his mouth close to the door. "Come on. What's taking you so long? I'm dying out here."

Dinary didn't answer; he was frantically searching--throwing clothes about, tossing bedding to the floor, looking under things--under the desk, under the bed, under the mattress, and Voila!

Dinary picked it up and turned it over and over in his hand; this precious gift from the gods, he thought. Also on the wood slats were tubes of scrolls. He tucked the staff under his arm and opened a tube, pulled the scroll out, and unrolled it. His eyes scanned his father's writing.

"Dinary!"

"Coming!"

Dinary put the cabin back in order, took a bed covering, wrapped the staff in it, and grabbed the tubes. He opened the door, and he and Celio ran up the back stairway to the far end of a deck that was seldom used. He unwrapped the staff, examined it again, and was mesmerized.

"Can I hold it? Let me hold it." Celio blurted, like a five-year-old.

He handed the staff to Celio who slid his hands over it and gazed at it from top to bottom. "You think it can make wind for the sails?"

"My stars, I never thought of that," Dinary said, taking the staff back.

"Think how fast we could go places. Even if there is no wind," Celio reasoned.

"Yes. My father wrote what to say." He read his father's notations.

Celio looked also. "There it is," he said, underlining the words with his finger. "You point it and say, Trrrr fing No ton." Celio frowned. "That doesn't make any sense." He tried again. "Turrr fing gee Not un..."

Dinary belly-laughed.

"Well, you try it," Celio said, with hands-on-hips.

Dinary playfully exaggerated his nose in the air and stood erect holding the staff out from him. "I'm not the son of a Lord for nothing," he said, posing.

Celio stared at Dinary and shook his head.

Dinary held the staff out firmly and said, "Tire fing Note oun."

Celio chuckled.

"All right, all right, that was my first try. "Terfing Noot un."

Celio bent from the waist and laughed.

"Turfijinewtun."

Celio chuckled so deeply, he snorted like a pig.

Dinary, ignoring him, decided to give the word a more focused attempt. He took a minute to study the word carefully and aimed the staff towards the sea. "Tierphenjinochun!" A gush of wind, like lightning, hit the water with such force, it blew a Leviathan out of the ocean--sending it skipping across the water like a humongous rock: Pointed rows of silver shields on its back glittered under the moonlight--its red eyes blazing, black smoke pouring from its nostrils, and its long spiked tale struggling for balance but finding none. The enormous creature continued to skid across the ocean--a flow of white foam trailing behind. Dinary and Celio watched as the beast appeared small and smaller the farther it got until it disappeared from their sight.

Dinary dropped the staff, stumbled back against the ship's wall, and slid down. "Holy whoa!" he shrieked.

Celio stood frozen--his eyes fixed on the trail of foam. "I hope that thing doesn't go limping and squealing to the sea god about this. How were we to know it was there?"

"What are you talking about? Quick, grab the scrolls," Dinary said, scrambling off the floor. "Let's get this staff back before my father finds out."

"Aren't you going to hit the sails first?"

"No! You saw what just happened."

"But we need to test it on the sails. Your father is probably still at the meeting."

"I don't know, Celio. That was a mighty strong blast."

"Well, let's look at the staff; are there words on it? Maybe it can be controlled. You know, maybe roll the power back a little."

"No, no words, but some funny symbols." Dinary pointed to the notes. "See if it says anything about these symbols."

Celio scanned the notes. "Yes, right here. It says. Ah...I'm not sure...I've never seen symbols like these before."

"Then see if my father wrote something next to them."

Celio's eyes darted. "Ah...here. He wrote mild, pronounced, kiji next to..." Celio reached and pulled the staff toward him. "Here," he pointed to the same symbol on the staff."

"And you're sure this is mild?"

"Yes, see." Celio showed the same symbol on the scroll and the word mild, kiji next to it.

Dinary shifted nervously from one foot to the other. "But what if it tears the sail?"

"They'll put up another sail. There's plenty of extra sails. Just don't aim it at the bow."

Dinary aimed the staff at one of the sails and took a deep breath. "All right, here it goes."

Celio's half-smiled and his eyes darted in excited anticipation.

"Tierphenjinochun kiji!"

The mild gust of wind shot from the staff and hit the sail: It tore the sail from the mast, severed ropes, and crippled other riggings. Sleeping passengers were thrown out of their beds. Crew members picked themselves up, wide-eyed--rubbing where they hurt. Gangus, Captain Dordrecht, and five senior crewmembers, including Judian, lay in the corner of the captain's cabin with raised eyebrows. They were covered with long unrolled scrolls and maps--wet with spilled wine; shattered pieces of goblets sparkled on the floor.

Suddenly, the bell sounded.

"I better go up and see what's happened," Dordrecht said.

"I'll go with you," Gangus said. Judian and the others followed.

The crew, as always, stood watching their captain run by and held their breath waiting for secondhand news.

"How does it look, Kofius?" Dordrecht asked, running towards him.

"I don't know, Captain. It just suddenly jerked forward. If it had not been for these hands of stone," Kofius said, showing off his scarred hands. "I would have been thrown overboard."

"But that's impossible. A ship can't jerk forward like that on its own. You must have done something."

At the back of the deck, Dinary and Celio got up off the floor.

"What in the god's name did you do?" Celio asked, rubbing his bottom.

"I did what you told me to do."

"Who's that yelling?" Celio asked.

"The captain might be scolding the crew," Dinary said, busy rolling the scrolls. "We better come clean, Celio. It's not right for anyone else to get blamed. I know you agree. Celio. I said we..." He turned and Celio was sprinting down the hall. "Oh, really? I won't forget this!" he yelled as Celio dashed around the corner. Dinary took a couple of quick breaths and slowly made his way to Dordrecht's loud voice.

"Captain, I swear to you, on my poor, dead little mother..."

Dinary stepped into the doorway with the staff in his hand. "Don't yell at Kofius, Captain," he interrupted. "It was me. I did it." Heads turned, and Dinary stood with his head slightly bowed, looking puppy-eyed up at his father.

"Dinary, what have you done? Give me that." Gangus snapped, taking the staff from him.

"I'm sorry, Father, Captain Dordrecht. I just thought we could use it to make our own wind. To get places faster even when there's no natural wind stirring."

Gangus' face darkened when he looked at his son. "You can't use this to guide a ship, you fool. This is a weapon. This is the finger of god, not the breath of god."

"I said I was sorry. You don't need to scold me like I'm a child."

"I am your father, and I'll speak to you as I please--especially when you behave with the mind of a child."

Dinary forcefully turned to leave.

"Don't you turn your back to me!" Gangus said sternly. "I apologize for my son, Captain. He's never disobeyed my orders before. I don't know what got into him. Tell me what punishment to give him--to make up for his foolish act."

Dordrecht turned to a senior crew member. "Was anyone seriously injured?" he asked.

"Only reports of minor cuts and bruises so far, Captain."

"And the ship?"

"Nothing that can't be mended, sir. We can be back on our way before light."

Dordrecht looked at Dinary and scratched his beard. "I... don't know."

Judian stood smiling. "I do."

*****
The next day, while several members of the crew pointed and laughed, Dinary tried to ignore them as he busied himself scrubbing the deck on his hands and knees.

"You missed a spot!" one of the crew members teased.

Next to him knelt Celio steaming with anger. "You just had to mention my name."

Dinary grinned and turned his back to scrub a spot.

"Oh, you think it's funny?" Celio said. He lifted the scrub bucket and poured the dirty water over Dinary's head. The on-looking crew howled with laughter.




Image: by Dantegrafice from Pixabay


Main Characters
Lord Gangus Abram Leader of his clan
Lady Brehira (Bree he ra) His wife
Dinary (Di nary) Youngest Son
Celio (Seal le o) Soldier and close friend
Princess Netrekka (Neh trek kah) Dinary's Lover/wife


Minor Characters
Khimah (Keema) Eldest Son
Captain Dulcy P Dordrecht (Door check) Captain of the Cristofur
Judian (Jew-dee-in) Second in Command of the Christofur
Kofius (Ko fee us) The Sail Master
Olatunji (O lah tune gee) Cushite, Striker, and Warrior
Ndornah (N-door-nah) Domari Warrior and older sister to Melitah
Melitah (Meh-lee-tah) Domari Warrior and younger sister to Ndornah
Diana High Priestess and mother to Ndornah and Melitah

Wind Speed
97.3253 knots = 112 mph

Staff Weapon
Tierphenjinochun  (Tier-fen-gee-no-cean)



 




When Lord Gangus Abram is awakened by a mysterious voice in the night and told to seek out the Oracle Naman, he must make a journey across the Endless Ocean to destroy the Nordoxz, an undefeated race of humanoids that are controlled by powerful forces of evil.

Lord Abrams plunges into a perilous trek to obey the gods and settle in Bethica, a land of dragons, cannibals, Fallen Angels, Amazonians, and Dark Lords. He is joined by his wife, Brehira, youngest son Dinary, comrade and friend, Celio, Shapeshifter and Beast Master, Olutunji, and 750 people willing to risk their lives for land and freedom.
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