Chapter One

Chapter One

A Chapter by Lena Rossmore

 

CHAPTER 1

το αρσενικό ελάφι και το κοράκι

[THE STAG AND THE RAVEN]

 

[THE PALACE OF THE IMMORTALS, LYSA VALE · WEST ANDRIYA]

YEAR XIX B.C

 

Twins! The Empress has given birth to twins!” Dóktoras placed the second nursling into it's crib as the announcement was made over the citadel square. The newborns began to cry, joining in with the sounds erupting from the crowd below.

“να μας δείξει! - [show us]!” They chanted.

“Dóktoras!” One of the midwives caught his attention and gestured to the relentless crowd that were still congregated beneath them. “They will wake the Empress...and the babies cannot get to sleep with this noise.”

“I'll take care of it,” Dóktoras replied. He stepped onto the tower veranda and there was an immediate uproar from the mob.

“Show us the heirs!” someone demanded, and the crowd roared in agreement. They had filled every inch of the black marble floors; bakers, tailors and squires alike. Some were spilling onto the steps leading to the golden gate of the palace, while others were resined to the courtyards beyond the square walls. They all had their heads raised, their eyes fixed on Dóktoras as he stood, solitary on the the balcony.

“In due time,” he called to them, with which he was met with loud cries of anger and annoyance. He ignored the insults thrown his way and cast his eyes across the land. From the height of the tower he was able to see much of the Immortal City and marvel at it's ageless edifice. The land before him resembled an alabaster chess board, the streets tiled with white marble and inhabited by milling civilians, swathed in white robes. Unblemished ivory columns marked the doorway to each building and intricate gold patterns were not an uncommon sight. The city was enchanting in it's beauty and ostentatious in it's wealth, with the poorest labourers possessing money that many of the Lords outside of the city could not even begin to fathom.

Dóktoras dwelled on this notion of wealth before a clap of thunder silenced his thoughts, and seemed to do the same to the crowd below. The sound was foreign to him, as it was to the people in the square below. They all gazed upwards and Dóktoras followed their lead.

The customary clear lavender sky was filling with dark storm clouds, which seemed to grow in size and pulsate before the eye. Rain was unheard of in the Immortal City.

Looking back down at the bewildered people, Dóktoras noticed a cloaked figure enter the crowded square. The man slipped between the tightly-packed bodies like a weightless shadow as he headed to the steps of the castle. Another clap of thunder. Dóktoras' eyes flew back to the sky. The clouds were now a deep grey, slowly spreading through the sky like a plague. Glancing back down to the crowd he realised that he had lost sight of the man, and panic seized him.

“He's here,” Dóktoras whispered to the wind. His terror escalated as he ran back into the birthing room. “Out! Get out! All of you!” he screamed to the midwives and ladies-in-waiting. “Now!” They obliged, filing through the door with hushed whispers and gossip on the tips of their tongues. Once the last had left, he bolted the door and rested his back against it, his breaths heavy.

“A door is a poor obstacle.” The cloaked man from the square stepped out from the shadowed corner of the room, dropping his hood back from his face in the process. His eyes seemed to peruse the room around him before finally settling on Dóktoras; they were the same shade of grey as the storm clouds overhead, yet somehow speckled with the colour of a purple hibiscus. Dóktoras slowly took in the rest of the man's facade, attempting to be discreet in his inspection. The man appeared to be no older than 20. His hair was a tone of gold - the same shade as thunderbolts coloured by naïve children - and his skin shone incandescently like the polished marble columns of the city. His expression was unreadable, but the corners of his lips turned upwards as Dóktoras' eyes widened in recognition.

“Kataigída " [Storm].” Dóktoras breathed the word softly, a sigh of relief escaping him as he sank to the ground.

“Please, call me Hale.”

“I...I assumed you were your brother...” Dóktoras began, dazed by the entity before him.

“My brother would not have made such a subtle entrance,” Hale said, moving further into the room.

“I wouldn't call that...a subtle entrance, My Lord.” Dóktoras gestured to the storm clouds outside that had resolved to bursting and assaulting the manic crowd with rainwater.

“I am the god of thunder,” Hale said, “The storm clouds regularly travel with me. And please do call me Hale. I insist.”

“You have come for them?” Dóktoras asked, motioning to the babies still in their cribs. He watched as Hale wandered over to the newborns, a look of bewilderment on his unblemished face.

“Yes.” He spoke softly; soothingly. “It is always strange to see one of our own being born into this world.” He picked up the baby girl first, cradling her in his arms as he said “'ρτέμη, πριγκίπισσα μου " [Artemis, my princess].” His gaze grew even softer as he produced a small pendant from the pockets of his cloak and placed it around the infant's neck. It was a simple piece; a black string with a small silver circle attached to it. Encrusted in the middle of the circle was the image of a stag.

“Her name is Fauna,” Dóktoras said.

“And his?” Hale asked, replacing the minuscule girl and lifting the boy into his arms.

“Laurel. Laurel Alexander.”

“Incredible.” Hale laughed. “I suppose it is true to say that Apollo always desired the grandest of things...names included.” He brought out a similar chain and placed it over the sleeping baby's head. A raven in flight had been encrusted into this piece.

Dóktoras watched Hale, before calling out, “I do not think it would be wise to take them just yet.” He immediately regretted the outburst.

“When will they be ready to train?” Hale asked, all softness gone from his voice as he placed Laurel back into his crib.

“I doubt they need to be trained,” Dóktoras started, “I'm sure in their past lives-”

“When?” Hale turned, rising to his full height. He towered over Dóktoras at several inches above 6 feet.

“Give me 21 years,” Dóktoras started.

“16.”

“My Lord-”

“I will return in 16 years.” 



© 2014 Lena Rossmore


Author's Note

Lena Rossmore
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Reviews

I love the idea of the gods carrying thunderstorms around with them. There were a couple of really interesting descriptions littered throughout out (I l particularly liked the colour of gold for his hair.)

I love the hook at the end, i'm a sucker for a cliffhanger ending. I would defeinetly carry on reading this

Posted 6 Years Ago


I found this chapter far more interesting than the prologue and I enjoyed the cliffhanger ending. The story is shows great creativity, and has me hooked.

I would omit the line "god of thunder", straight away I see 'Thor'. I fully realise that all Roman/Greek/Scandinavian Gods are basically the same, but using a terminology that is now 'owned' by Marvel is a mistake.

I hate Doktoras, I would stick with γιατρός or giatrós

You are using Roman Numerals in your year setting making it (if I am not mistaken) 19 BC, when the gods were supposedly around much earlier when Roman Numerals didn't exist. Zeus turns up around 1700 BC while Roman Numerals arrived around 400 BC. If it is set in 19 BC then you are correct but if it is meant to be set around the time of Zeus you should be using Greek Numerals (which nobody understands) so I would stick with using numbers as we know them today, for example "1600 BC" .




Posted 7 Years Ago


Very good use of description and figurative language. Possibly adding what language they are speaking would add more depth or realism to the storyline.

Posted 7 Years Ago


I'm a limitless confused on what the story is about but great description

Posted 7 Years Ago



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Added on January 4, 2014
Last Updated on June 22, 2014
Tags: fantasy, dystopia, ya, young adult, fiction, greek gods, greek, zeus, apocalypse, romance, action, adventure, olympus, olympians, gods, greece, adult, teen, teenage, fanfic


Author

Lena Rossmore
Lena Rossmore

London, United Kingdom



About
Just another aspiring writer. "there's a hell of a good universe next door, let's go." Feel free to drop me a message and I'll be happy to do a swap, just read and review 'Century' as it's what .. more..

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A Chapter by Lena Rossmore