Hello everyone! It is my great pleasure to introduce my next short story to y'all! Eriar: the End of an Age is a (longish) short story set in the realm of Eriar, a place somewhere far, far away. It is my first try at Sci-fi, so as you can guess, I am pretty excited. I began writing this story shortly after I finished In the Presence of Titans, and thanks to some long, rainy days, I have written most of it (unlike In the Presence of Titans, where I posted as I wrote that story). I received some of my inspiration for this Sci-fi adventure story from a fantasy book I had just finished. In this fantasy novel, the author did a great job of weaving together many different emotions and plots, and I have tried in my novice attempt to do the same. You will find many different things in this tale, including action, adventure, intrigue, betrayal, hope, despair, and yes, even some "romance" (weird, huh?). This is first and foremost an adventure story—the main characters fight against fearsome robots, skyscrapers topple, there is a life or death, sky-high struggle between two huge ships, and a climactic battle is fought at the end—but at the heart of this book is an analogy of what I believe my generation will face. The synopsis:
For Eoryn and Finiah, two Kinrin who have just come of age, life in their world is routine. However, it cannot stay this way. As a calamity sweeps down upon their homeland, the two Kinrin are called to give their aid in protecting the Crystal City, a city that the Master of Darkness would love to destroy. What follows is a high-flying adventure as they embark on a perilous journey across a world that is darker than they ever could imagine. In this journey Eoryn, Finiah, and the band of Kinrin they gather must bond tightly together. Their survival depends on it. But is there one in their group who could tear them apart?
There are nine parts to this story, and since I have written most of it, I can say with confidence that I will post a new part every Tuesday and Friday of the week. Below is the first few pages of the story, a "sneak preview" as it were. The next eight parts are fairly even in length and longer than this first part. As always, I welcome any suggestions or comments on my writing. I want to keep improving my writing skills! Finally, I hope you enjoy this story! If you ever miss any of the parts, you can click on my "Stories of the Month" tab and find them there.
Races, Places, and Other Things
ACVOT (ak-vot): Aviation Capable Vehicle Of Transportation. The name is said as a word; each letter is not pronounced.
Assembly of Srinmoor: The political leaders of Srinmoor.
Creator, the: The god the loyal Kinrin serve, believing that as created beings, they owe their all to their creator. The Creator leads these loyal Kinrin and gives his light to the cities that follow him.
Crystal City, the: The city all loyal Kinrin are called to protect.
Decay, the: A calamity that makes the ground sink and crack, usually falling on the lands of those who have turned from the Creator.
Divide, the: An enormous, empty expanse between Srinmoor and Etrinmoor.
Double-berthed ships, 2Bs: The massive ships used to cross the Divide.
Double Blades: The weapon of the loyal Kinrin, so called for the two blades that rise from the intricate handle. When used in battle, Double Blades are capable of producing purple flame that arcs between the dual blades and then into the enemy.
Elders: The religious leaders of the loyal Kinrin.
Erailindor (ee-RAIL-in-door): A large city in Srinmoor.
Eriar (EE-ree-are): The realm this story is set in.
Etrinmoor (et-rin-MOOR) A country in Eriar, the region the Crystal City is in.
Gorendel (GORE-en-del): A coastal, mid-sized city in Etrinmoor.
Heirum (ERR-um): A race of fierce humanoids that prey on ships crossing the Divide. Heirum stand only about four feet tall and are very ugly creatures. They serve the Master of Darkness.
Inrelions (IN-rell-yuns): The facilities most young Kinrin receive their weapon training at.
Kinrin (KIN-rin): The race of humans living in Eriar.
Light Towers: Towering structures the citizens erected in their cities to hold the light the Creator blessed them with.
cycles of the moon: A unit of time in Eriar, about a month and a half according to our reckoning.
ROIbots (ROY-bots): Recreational Or Industrial bots, robots that were created to better both the economy and society in general. These robots, though, were intelligent enough to think for themselves and rebelled against the Kinrin. It is believed that the Master of Darkness caused this rebellion.
Srinmoor (srin-MOOR): A country in Eriar, the homeland of the young Kinrin in this story.
Twelve Year War, the: A long-fought, failed attempt by the Master of Darkness to conquer Eriar.
Note: I posted the glossary at the front of this story part so you could familiarize yourself with the names and places; the glosssary will be posted at the bottom of the story parts from now on.
A Plan Born in Desparation
The sun shone brightly down on the realm of Srinmoor as two human forms toiled up a grassy slope. They were both males and appeared to be fully grown, both of them standing near six feet tall. Their faces still had a youngness to them, though. Indeed, they were young according to the standards of Eriar, the world they lived in, for they had come of age only a few cycles of the moon ago.
“I do not know if I will ever get used to this ‘coming of age’ business, Eoryn,” said one of the young men as they scrambled up the hillside. “It seemed exciting at first, being able to work in the fields all day, but that novelty has since worn off. I almost wish we could still be receiving our weapon training, even if in our huts still.”
The second human smiled, his light blue eyes sparkling. “Finiah, my friend, I thought it was you that finally convinced our parents to let us work in these fields. I have you to blame for missing the several moon cycles of our studies we could be finishing right now. Here we are instead, two young Kinrin slaving away under the heat of the sun.”
Finiah stomped his foot in mock indignation. “You accuse me wrongly, friend, for as I recall, you were the one that put me to that convincing of our parents. You know as well as I do that we were ready to come of age earlier than our peers. How could we not? Saved from the mindless studies of the Inrelions by our parents, who took the time to train us in the way of weapons themselves, we cannot help but be ready sooner.”
Eoryn nodded. “Yes, I thank our Creator every day for the path our parents chose for us, the one that was not well tread by all of the Kinrin in our realm. But let us turn our minds to work, for the field we must toil in today is just over this rise.
The two friends crested the slope, but they suddenly stopped dead in their tracks on beholding the plain before them. The ground was perforated with row upon row of strange plants, the plants the young friends had come to work among, but no longer were the rows straight and neat. The plain was sunken in and cracked, the plants haphazardly zigzagged in the broken land.
“Our . . . our field,” Finiah stumbled, almost too shocked to speak. “It has been laid waste of!”
They ran down into the field, looking around at the cracked and sunken ground. The ground, soft and crumbling, gave way under their footsteps. Finally the two young men had to slow to a walk, the field too rough and unstable to run over. The pitiful remnant of their crop blanketed the sunken plain in patches around them.
“What could have caused this?” Finiah asked, looking around at the destruction.
“It is the Decay of the stories told by the Elders,” Eoryn said quietly. “It has come to our land.”
“But that cannot be!” Finiah retorted. “The Decay . . . in the stories of old it only fell upon the cities that had lost the light of our lord.”
Eoryn knelt down and cupped dirt around a leaning plant, trying to straighten it. “Our crops are ruined. I fear it will be a hard year, even more so if this decay spreads. Our very homes could be destroyed.”
“No.” Finiah shook his head. “The decay never falls upon the dwelling places of those who follow the light of the Creator. Or so the stories go.”
“Nevertheless, the soldiers of the Double Blade still go through hard times in the stories because of the decay. We must tell our parents.” Eoryn began to straighten up from his kneeling position but stopped. “Wait.”
Finiah, who had already started up the backside of the slope, turned back towards his friend. Eoryn was still kneeling, but he had bent over towards a crack in the ground and was holding perfectly still. “Friend, are you alright?”
Eoryn held up his hand and looked up, his light blue eyes wide. “What is that noise?”
“I hear nothing.” Finiah walked to Eoryn’s side.
“No, listen, really listen.”
Finiah shrugged and dropped to his knees besides his friend. They both knelt there silently for a few seconds, listening intently. The sound came. Thud . . . thud . . . thud. It was hard to make out and came at short intervals, but it was there. It was an eerie sound. As Eoryn watched, a small slide of dirt fell into the crack, jarred loose by the noise.
The friends’ eyes met, and Finiah said in nearly a whisper, “I don’t know what that sound is, but I know this: we need to go.”
Eoryn nodded, and the two friends scrambled to their feet and ran back towards Eoryn’s home.
They reached the hut a few minutes later. The two ACVOTs Eoryn’s family owned were stationed outside the rounded mud hovel, but there was also a third. “Someone else has come,” Finiah said, panting a little as the two young Kinrin entered the hut.
Inside, Eoryn immediately saw his father and made towards him. “Father, my friend and I have seen something that—“ but his father held up his hand and nodded towards the shadowed corner of the room, where a bent human form stepped forward. “Uria, my apologies,” Eoryn said quickly as he beheld the man, whose long beard fell to his stomach. The thought that he had burst in upon Uria, the chief Elder of the Srinmoor Kinrin, was one that made his stomach queasy.
“Peace, my young friend, there is no need for apologies. Indeed, I am glad you and your friend have come. I have need of you.”
“We are at your service,” Eoryn replied, bowing. “What would you have us do?”
Instead of answering, Uria turned back to Eoryn’s father. “I have seen it clearly, Benet. The time is now.”
You are certain?” Eoryn’s father, Benet, said the words heavily as if he didn’t want it to be true.
Uria nodded and paced back and forth. “It is not often that I receive a vision from our Creator, but when I do, it is very clear. I saw a vast horde approaching the Crystal City, and they were seeking its destruction. The Master of Darkness is again on the move. We must rally the loyal Kinrin to its aid, and you know what that means. We must set in motion the plan we proposed at the Council.”
“Yes.” Benet walked to a trunk against the wall of the room and pulled a long, metallic sheath from it. He approached his son. “Eoryn, there was a plan, a plan born in desperation after the Twelve Year War, that when darkness again threatened the good in this world, all the young Kinrin would be called to fight. This was not what we wanted, but it is our only hope. You must call all the Kinrin from the Inrelions to your aid.”
“Father,” Eoryn said softly, “I do not think I am ready. Will you not come with me?”
Benet shook his head. “My generation is weak, son, very weak. Most of my peers have lost their lives defending our cities during the Twelve Year War. We are powerless in this struggle now. However, take this. Remember me through it.” He handed Eoryn the sheath.
“Your Double Blade,” Eoryn said, his eyes wide, “the weapon you used in your battles.” He slowly unsheathed the weapon, looking with awe upon the two slender blades that rose from the intricate handle. “Father, I cannot take this. It is yours alone to bear.”
Benet smiled. “Son, it has never been mine to bear. It was my father’s weapon, and my father’s father’s one. What’s more, all Double Blades were created by our Lord; it is his power in them. May you always remember that.”
“Yes indeed,” Uria said. “And you will not be alone, Eoryn. All the young Kinrin belonging to the families of the Elders will be sent in pairs around Srinmoor to gather an army from the Inrelions. This army of young Kinrin will meet across the Divide in Etrinmoor, gathering in Gorendel, the chief city on the coast. You will then march to the Crystal City. Is that clear?”
Before Eoryn could answer, Finiah cut in. “Yes, Master Uria, that is clear. What plans do you have for me?”
Something close to a smile showed on Uria’s wrinkled face. “Finiah, I would have you travel with Eoryn, for I doubt you would have it any other way. The two of you will travel to one of the more prominent Inrelions in Srinmoor, raising a legion there. So be it?”
Eoryn nodded. “We will go.”