Chapter 3:

: Prophecies and Portends, Triumphs and Despairs

Tales of the Eternal King: The Heretic King Part II: The Springtime of Our Discontent

The Grand Holy Cathedral, Verdenka City, The Diamond Kingdom:

The young priestess had been praying her morning prayers. She had been trying to decide what to do with the latest vision given her in her dreams that night before.

She was one of the Church’s most promising young seers. She had been taken in by the church as an orphan in her early teens. Soon thereafter because of her talents and powers, she had been then “encouraged” to the priesthood. She had been now serving the priesthood for four years.

As was her routine for the last four years, she was supposed to write down her dreams and visions in her journals which were then read by the arch seer every day.

However, not long before, she had envisioned the death of one of the prominent Cardinals because of a loose bolt on his carriage wheel. The Arch Seer then told her to forget that vision. It was just a silly dream and unverified.

However, that week, Cardinal Mallow died in just such a carriage accident. Ever since then, she had been finding her journals had been tampered with. Certain, accurate visions and dreams that were, “Inconvenient” were removed from her journals and she was told to ignore them.

The latest vision that disturbed her was as follows:

She saw a holy knight bearing the rank of the High Lord Magedi riding in on a black dragon bearing thunder in one hand and a sword in the other. To his back were black winged shapes, to his left and right were angels of justice who had a terrible aspect to them, and behind them were the Guardians doling out a terrible wrath upon the Church.

The dragon riding holy knight struck down the Pope and all the Cardinals save a few truly devoted ones.

As disturbing as the vision was, the most disturbing part was that she saw herself elevated to the holy throne.

She really wasn’t sure what to do with this vision. This vision wasn’t the most disturbing one in her life, but it definitely was among the worst.

The one thing she was sure of was that she wasn’t going to write it in her journal.

Just then the Arch Seer said to her, “Sister Millicent, have you recorded your visions yet?”

She looked at him and said, “I have had no visions worthy of recording Father.”

He nodded and said, “Very well.” And he moved onto the next seer in line.

As she returned to her prayers, she suddenly felt a presence unlike any presence she had ever felt before.

She heard a voice much like a dulcet bell speaking in her ear, “Bide your time my daughter. On the market day, seek out the spice merchant with the veiled wives. You will know him. Bring him the bronze key.”

In her prayer voice she said, “Who are you? What am I supposed to do with this vision?”

“You know who I am. You are one of the few who still listens to my sisters and me. You have been born to my house. Bide your time my daughter. You will know.”

She clung tightly to the Holy Triume, the holy symbol given her by her mother, said to be a family heirloom from ancient times.

Dana awoke in a cold sweat. She looked over to see Eliarra still sleeping. She looked the other way to find out that Kit had already gotten up. The three of them had agreed to continue keeping each other company while Rowen was out on his mission.

She rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and went over to the basin on the washstand, poured some fresh water into it and washed her face. While she was washing her face, her vision came back:

She heard the crying of an inconsolable infant. She saw herself running into the royal nursery to see a lone basinet, the source of the crying.

In the basinet was an infant swaddled tightly in a red blanket. She reached in and took the child to try to sooth it when she noticed that the infant was on top of Kit’s lifeless face.

She then saw Rowen enter the room with a look of murder in his eyes and he took the child away from her but refused to look down at Kit who was now lying in a white coffin.

“Dana! Are you alright?!” She heard Kit’s voice and she jumped, water still dripping from her face. She suddenly realized that she was immersed in her vision again.

She looked at Kit and then just grabbed her and embraced her tightly, crying.

Pope Eustis Aurelius Magna XVI awoke in a cold sweat. His dreams were chaotic as of late. But the dreams from the night before were even more disconcerting.

He saw a vast field covered with people all wearing the sacraments of the Church. At first it pleased his ears to hear them all praising his name.

But then the mood of the crowd took an ugly air to it as they began tearing off their robes and sacraments. They began to either fornicate with each other or devour each other. Sometimes at the same time.

Cries of joy and despair reached him and he suddenly realized that he was affixed to an X shaped crucifix.

After half of the large crowd had been devoured, the remainders began declaring him to be the new god to be and they moved to go to heaven to devour the Creator and the Guardians. Among the remainders were his cousins, the Ruby and Amber Kings.

The survivors began to build a tower out of the bones of the devoured. One that resembled the Tower of Barbaset. But before they could complete it a black dragon bearing a holy knight upon it landed on top of the bones, crushing the nearly completed tower into black dust.

He looked to his right and left and saw two angels, one with hair the color of ash, the other with hair the color of his black soul.

The one with black hair said, “You have been weighed and measured.”

The one with gray hair said, “And you have been found guilty of too many abominations to be forgiven.”

They proceeded to remove his still living head and then dismember the rest of his body, while he still felt their blades cut.

The last thing to be ripped from his chest was his still beating heart.

They then turned to the black dragon and offered up his heart.

The dragon said in a feminine voice, “This is for my nephew, who was so dear to me. The one that you murdered.” And she bit down on the heart.

Now he was sitting up in his bed, his attendant said, “Your Holiness, are you alright?!”

He sat, still trembling and said, “I will be fine. Just the difficulties of the Church are weighing heavy on my dreams, that’s all Samuel.”

Samuel bowed and said, “As you say your Holiness. I will have your breakfast prepared immediately.”

“No, Samuel. I am not hungry at the moment. Just prepare for me my elixir.”

“As you wish Your Holiness.” And he turned to a black wooden cabinet and reached into his pocket and took out an ornate bronze key with runes carved in it. He then unlocked the cabinet and took out several items and a small bottle with a dark blue liquid in it.

He set the bottle down onto a silver service tray along with a small glass which was covered with a small silver screen.

He then took a cube of some kind of white substance and placed it on top of the silver screen.

Then he took the bottle of liquid and with a dropper, he carefully measured out the tiniest of drops of the liquid and dropped it onto the white cube.

The cube turned black and melted into the cup.

He removed the screen and brought the cup to the Pope on the tray.

Pope Eustis took the cup and sniffed the aroma then drank the black liquid.

His body began to tremble then convulse. Suddenly his wrinkles faded, and his graying hair returned to his flaxen original color of his youth.

He took a moment to compose himself and he asked, “Samuel, how much elixir do we have left?”

Samuel looked at the bottle and said, “Sorry to say, but only enough to the next moons’ zenith, your Holiness.”

“Have we been able to come up with enough…sacrifices to replace those stolen by the heretic king of Tier?”

“I’m sorry to say that we have not, Your Holiness. We have flushed out the prison’s death row and life convicts, but we only have been able to come up with two thousand. As you know, we need twice as many humans than tainted to get the appropriate amount of essence to create the same amount of elixir.”

“Right, I know.” The Pope looked perplexed.

Samuel looked troubled himself and he said, “I am sorry to say this, Your Holiness, but I received word that Lord Triquiris of the Nordac has sent Demetrius to meet with you and your cousins.”

Eustis closed his eyes as if pained before he asked, “When are we to expect him?”

“By the next full moons sabbath.”

He shook his head and said, “Well then, you have until then to make the necessary arrangements for his excellency.”

“Yes, Your Holiness.”

Samuel bowed and locked up the remaining elixir then left.

The pope clutched the small glass in his hand so hard that it broke, cutting his hand open.

He looked at the cut and was entranced as the wound closed itself up and then reabsorbed the blood in his palm.

“Damn that heretic king. Damn him to Hell!!!”