Fantasy Fiction posted October 18, 2021 Chapters:  ...17 18 -19- 20... 


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The Promised Land

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

The Chronicles Of Bethica

by amahra




Background
Gangus and tribesmen finally enter Bethica, the gods' Promised Paradise.

Chapter 13
The Promised Land

Many days after the Drake's demise at the hands of Gangus and his brave soldiers, the victory celebrations continued throughout the land.

Storytellers worked diligently producing plays for puppetry using marionettes, hand and rod puppets.

The puppet performances contained little to no truth, but consisted of catchy storylines nonetheless: Gangus jumped on the Drake's back and gouged out an eye while hanging from its horn. Brave soldiers, while on fire, still fought the Drake until they fell into a heap of ashes. The Drake pleaded on its knees for mercy, just before three amazon women cut off its head.

Gangus grew furious at the silliness of it all. "Knees!" he was heard shouting.  "Drakes don't have knees!" 

The fake stories that had stolen their victory, quickly spread, and became entertainment for children and those starved for fable adventure. However, before Gangus and the settlers left the village heading to Bethica, Hayman had told him not to worry; the Timbakni historians would write the battle word-for-word just as Gangus had narrated, and they would share that account with other historians from every tribe.

Gangus reflected on the day he left the Timbaknis, another day Hayman had said he dreaded among all others. He had bid Gangus a heartfelt goodbye.

"You have done a great service for my people, my dear friend," Hayman had said. "We will never forget. If there is ever anything I or my people can do for you, it will not go undone, I assure you--as the gods are my witnesses, it will not go undone." With that, he kissed Gangus on both cheeks and slapped his back lightly. Gangus had smiled and humbly nodded.

Hundreds of miles from Hayman's village, after many weeks of traveling on foot, Gangus and his people stood on Bethican soil--the land the god, Raziel had promised. With Brehira by his side, he thought of all they and his tribesmen had encountered since boarding the Cristofur at Skatts Island nearly a year ago: Five hundred and nineteen settlers, seventy-three of one hundred and eighty soldiers, one captain, and thirty-eight of a sixty-member crew had survived the journey.

While the people held on to their belongings, they watched Gangus and Brehira walk glassy-eyed--holding on to each other and looking around at their new homeland. It was breathtaking--everything Hayman had described and more.

A large portion of the land was flat, wild, and opened; flat land and hills were covered with thick grass like a vast green carpet. The rivers coiled like snakes throughout the region. They could see the ocean from where they stood--the motor of its current pushing the waves against the huge gray rocks. The trees with their green and bright orange leaves were twice as tall as giants. The mountains thrust their dark peaks so high they appeared to have pierced the next heaven.

Colorful wildflowers were spread throughout the region like the imagined gardens of the gods. Beautiful, yet, odd creatures, bright yellow and white lizard-like ones flew over the land--some resting on tree branches, and little fuzzy purple creatures with big yellow eyes scurried about the ground.

As the people stood mesmerized, they could hardly believe such a paradise was their new homeland. Though wide-eyed, and tearful, they remained quiet, looking around and gulping in all the land's beauty.

However, after a few moments, the silent shock wore off, and excitement took hold: First, there was one yell, then a few, and a few more, then like a sudden clap of thunder, the entire crowd of men and women burst into celebration: There came loud yelling and whooping, laughing, yipping, and jumping up and down.

Captain Dordrecht and his crew members howled, and danced while others giggled and rolled about on the grass. Spotting a nearby river, Dinary, Celio, and Olatunji quickly discarded their weapons, ran, and dove into the clear, sparkling, green water. The other soldiers glanced at one another with raised eyebrows and shrugged--then grinned and followed suit. All were swimming, laughing, and splashing; others were clowning, and playfully pushing one another's heads underwater. Hundreds of adults behaving like children, as Gangus and Brehira looked on like proud parents--chuckling and shaking their heads at their antics.

It took nearly two hours to round up all the scattered people, calm them down and set up camp before dark. The once vacated land, buzzed with sounds of striking axes, banging tools, singing, casual talking, laughter, and a few loud squabbles over plots of land. Nevertheless, most remained neighborly and aided one another.

After food was served and wine well guzzled, everyone settled into their tents.

*****
A few hours later, Gangus entered Captain Dordrecht's abode. "So, is everything all right?" Gangus asked.

Dordrecht turned from his mirror--his lips and cheeks surrounded by a white cloud. He held the blade an inch from his face. "Couldn't be better," he said. He turned back to the mirror and pulled the blade down from his sideburn.

Gangus stood watching as Dordrecht ballooned his cheek.

Dordrecht hesitated. "Ah, do you mind?" he asked, looking at Gangus through the mirror.

Gangus frowned.

"I need the light," Dordrecht said.

"Oh, sorry," Gangus said, quickly sidestepping away from the opening of the tent.

Dordrecht finished shaving, splashed water on his face then grabbed a towel. He walked towards Gangus--wiped his face then tossed the towel on a bench. "You always carry that thing?" Dordrecht asked, nodding towards Gangus's staff.

"Remember what happened the last time I left it about?"

"Oh, yes," Dordrecht said chuckling. "Have a seat."

"Actually, I only stopped by for a minute," Gangus said, still standing. "Just wanted to see if you had any regrets."

"About coming, you mean? None whatsoever. Is that the only reason you stopped by? I can assure you, I'm not about to turn back. One sail through that demonic ocean was quite enough for me and my crew," Dordrecht said with a wave of his hand.

"Then I'd like for you to take charge as merchant and trader of our goods," Gangus said. "We're bringing a lot of goods that can be used for the betterment of Bethica. We'll need right away to set up trading and to find out what's out there for us. We're not trading our goods, especially our knowledge of steelmaking, for trinkets. We need to know what is out there in Bethica among the other inhabitants that can benefit our people."

"You think it wise to give away steelmaking until we know who might be our enemies?" Dordrecht asked. "Right now our army is superior. We can cut any enemy and their weapons to pieces. And how do we know who becomes our friends now won't become our enemies later?"

"That goes without saying, my friend," Gangus replied. "But I'm glad you understand that as well."

"Why did you come to me... for trading, I mean?"

"Who else would I go to?"

"But, how did you know I'd be good at trading? I never mentioned it...not that it was a secret."

"You forget, Dinary did a background check on every captain who responded to my offer. That's how I knew to hire you," Gangus said confidently.

"Well, good Dinary. I see why you keep him by your side. Then I accept." He grabbed Gangus's hand and shook it. "I'll do my best."

"Good. I'm glad you're remaining with us. I'll talk with you soon." Gangus left the tent.

*****
The sun had set, and Brehira stood with her back to the tents looking at the ocean, its sapphire waters bubbling with foam. A gentle breeze had blown some leaves over the ground, hiding some of the green where shadows formed under the giant trees. It gave frangible memories of her beloved Volaria and the loved ones she'd left behind. She kicked off a sandal and sampled the soft grass with the sole of her foot. She gazed over her shoulder and spotted her husband looking like a lost sheep.

Gangus stood on a plot of land shaded with dark green leaf trees. "Perfect," he said of the plot. He held a list of fallen comrades; later, he would present them to the stonecutter. There, on the plot, a stela would be built to commemorate them. On each tall and elaborately decorated stone, their names would be listed under the title of the battles they had fought. Many would be listed under more than one battle: The Ghost Ship, Island of Gorr, and Dragon Slayers. He folded the list and tucked it into the wide sash tied around his waist.

Brehira eased behind him with a heavy garment she'd brought from their tent, for it had turned cool. She draped it over his shoulders but kept one hand on his injured one. Her favorite fragrance gave her away and without looking at her, he placed his hand over hers. Brehira moved to his side and stared up at him--their eyes met.

"You did it, love," she whispered--her eyes sparkling with tears. "You brought hundreds of settlers through a monstrous ocean, over treacherous lands. I never doubted you for a moment. I've always believed in you." She paused then said in a tearful whisper, "I love you."

Gangus, his eyes glassy, pulled her close and planted a gentle kiss upon her lips. "As I love you," he said, looking into her beautiful brown eyes. They stood smiling--casting a lingering gaze over the astounding land of Bethica.




Image: by Dantegrafice from Pixabay

Main Characters
Lord Gangus Abram Leader of his clan
Lady Brehira (Bree here rah) His wife
Dinary (Deh nah ry) Youngest Son
Celio (Seal le o) Soldier and close friend
Princess Netrekka (Neh trek kah) Dinary's Lover/wife
Olatunji (O Lah Tune Gee) Nigerian Soldier
Gangus's Staff Command Tierphenjinochun (Teer fen gin o tion)

Minor Characters
Khimah (Kee ma) 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
The Drake (like it's spelled) The menacing dragon

 



Recognized


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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