First three chapters from book1 of "The Knights of Elam"

"The children of the Vanquished shall awaken. The bloodline of Kings shall fall." Taken from the original transcript of Valden's prophecy. For a thousand years Endestra has known peace, but as Keb, an apprentice of the Knights of Elam faces his trials to join the brotherhood, an ancient prophecy is given life, casting brother against brother, tearing the kingdom apart as rival houses vie for power and truths buried will threaten the safety of all. (ADULT CONTENT)

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3. Whispers

 

Harl Denistan the thirty fifth Lord Commander of the Knights of Elam stood before the bay window of his chambers looking down at the construction of the battle arena in the courtyard below with mixed emotions. He had long since lost track of the number of knights who had passed successfully through the trials, the lucky ones who had gone on to full Knighthood. The faces of the ones who had died however were permanently etched into his mind, a gallery of wasted youth that he always took personal responsibility for. He propped his cane against the window sill and rubbed at his left hand trying to return the feeling to his fingers, the knuckles cracking at his efforts.

A knock at the door behind him disturbed his thoughts but did not surprise him, his visitor was long since expected. “Come in Gideon.” he said without turning.

The door opened and a small wiry man with dusty grey hair entered and seated himself across from Denistan. Looking at Gideon was an oddly unpleasant experience, his age was difficult to judge because while he physically appeared to be a man in his fifties he moved with the youthful vigour of a man half that. His robes were made from a material that seemed to shimmer and blur in the light making it strangely difficult to focus on him and his green eyes twinkled with flecks of silver. On his wrists were matching metal bands that looked to be almost skin tight yet caused him no obvious discomfort. His pose in the chair was of a casual relaxedness that belied the serious nature of his visit.

The Commander nodded towards his desk “I read your message. Are you certain?”

“There is no doubt I'm afraid,” replied Gideon tugging the sleeves of his robe over the metal bands on his wrists. He gave the Commander an appraising eye. Denistan had once been a powerfully built man, but now in his late sixties his age had caught up with him. His grey, straw-like hair was thinning and receding, old muscle had wasted away and the arthritis he had long suffered with was becoming more apparent with every passing week. Gideon's agents reported that some senior knights were already vying for the chance to replace him and in another man that may have made him timid, but stood this close to him Gideon could feel the character of the man and any doubts he might have had that the Lord Commander would do the right thing eased. This man would honour the ancient pact.

“You say there's no doubt,” Denistan said at last “Yet you seem to know nothing of what this menace actually is.”

“It would be more true to say I know little and suspect much more.” He pushed himself further back into the chair enjoying the comfort of the worn leather, “but this is not the time for suspicions or speculation my friend. We need facts, solid information that I now believe can only be gained through witnessing all that is about to unfold. Reading the oracle is an imprecise magic at best, and at present we believe that some force we have yet to identify is affecting it.”

“The same menace?”

“Hopefully.”

Denistan's eyebrow raised quizzically “Hopefully?”

“Yes, hopefully, unless of course one enemy is not enough for you Commander.”

The edges of Denistan's mouth twitched into a slightest suggestion of a smile. “I see your point.”

“Will you tell him?” There was a hopeful edge to the question, and he leant forward in eager anticipation.

“You mean the second part of your message I presume.”

“I do.”

“No Gideon, I won't be telling anyone anything, and neither will you! For one thing with all due respect to your order I have never believed in fortune telling or prophecies, and for another if you're right, then if we are to keep this enemy ignorant of our awareness of them we must maintain our routines.”

“I see.” Gideon sat back in his chair contemplating his next move. “He is involved Harl, whether you like it or not,” he said eventually, “so you will need to find another way to get him where he needs to be. Do you have any ideas?”

“As a matter of fact I do.” He limped from the window and sat into his chair, resting his willow cane against the edge of the desk. He looked Gideon square in the face. “How soon can you be ready to travel?”

 

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