This is the story of a kingdom and their lost prince and the quests to find him. It is battles and evasions, homecomings and journeys. Witches, warlocks, royalty, and creatures all come alive in this adventure of magic and the power of friendship and loyalty.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.23(d)|
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Celesador and the Lost Prince
By Justin O. Poole
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2015 Justin O. Poole
All rights reserved.
On this morning, flowers fill the courtyards and line the bridged entrance. Streamers adorn the walls. The sweet smells of the cakes being baked for the celebration tonight fill the air. There will be a parade today. The peasants and people from the outlying villages beyond the court walls are beginning to line the streets and fill the still frozen River of Ice that sits behind the castle. It is a joyous time in the Kingdom of Celesador. At least for now, it is. In most cities, you would see children at play, running through the streets with laughter filling the air. But on this morn, the children are still at home instead as they each are helping prepare for a hero's welcome.
As mid-day approaches, King Mosyan, a tall man of regal stature whose bearings make it seem that he is larger than just two inches over six feet, his deep brown hair sprung in tight curls frame his lightly tanned face, with high cheek bones and a pronounced but smooth jaw line, thin sharp eyebrows arch over his clear icy blue eyes, and Queen Haylaia, standing three inches shorter than her husband but just as regal, in an elegant manner, but to his sharp features, her appearance is soft; to her husband's long sharp nose, hers is small and curved, to his pronounced jaw hers is subtle, to his dark hair her long locks are a honeyed blonde that tumble over her thin shoulders in loose waves and to his light eyes her chocolate gaze warms everyone that it lands upon, arrive at the platform set up before the frozen river to see the gathering soldiers and the parade that the soldiers have walked to show the people of their return. The parade of returning heroes wound through the streets of the kingdom, through the vast courtyard around Castle Corundum and ended near the basin of the Forever Waterfalls to the still frozen river, the frozen water thick enough to hold the people.
Raising his arm gesturing to the gathered army weary from their long journey, King Mosyan proclaims to the assembled crowd, "I welcome home our family. Fathers, sons, and brothers, our soldiers who sought the quest of finding my son, Haneef, who we now know is dead. But today is not a day for mourning him. Today is about the Cleseadorians being whole again. We celebrate our warriors for the next three days and then the queen and I will begin our year of mourning on the fourth sunrise. But for now, be joyful in our family's return, go to them."
At the king's directive, Lynhavian, the second in command of the entire king's army releases the soldiers who broke from the formation in which they stood and began to seek out their families. Mothers embrace their sons and wives embrace their loves, the children hug their father's legs, as the people of the Kingdom of Celesador cheer. Carrying the king's banner is the third in command and as the other soldiers met their families, he stands and watches the platform from where the king is giving his speech, Caterrian once known as the castle orphan, now stands tall at six feet, with pride in the fact that he earned the rank he holds in the King's Guard at his still young age of twenty two years. His tall figure is slim and muscular; his hair a soft brown with soft blue eyes that still smile. His strong nose comes to a point at its tip. The apples on his cheeks dimple every time he smiles. His jaw is covered with a soft scruff of beard that of a not fully matured man.
But Queen Haylaia collapses at the end of her husband's speech. The weight of her grief too much for her to continue to stand she wilts, but before she could fall to the ground, she is caught by King Mosyan's most trusted warrior, Sandonzo, the head of the King's Guards. Standing as tall and firm as the Salahzo trees that grow in the woods around the kingdom, Sandonzo stands over all in the crowd at seven feet nine inches, he is not only tall as a Salahzo tree, but is broad and sturdy as well having been physically matured from years at battle, but his face still remains soft, his deep dark eyes matching the dark color of his skin, full eyebrows arch high above his battle wizened eyes and groomed goatee frames his chin. Mosyan rushes to Sandonzo's side and takes Haylaia from his arms.
Resting her weary head on his shoulder, he whispers to her, "My dear, you must rest. You have not slept well the past nine years since our son, Haneef vanished." Carrying Haylaia in his arms as one would a young child, down the steps at the back of the platform, the people of Celesador continue to cheer, all except one. A single figure, covered from head to foot with a hooded cloak, stands silent amongst the cheerful crowd staring where the king had just left.
Sandonzo takes a step towards Mosyan, "My king, please allow me to carry your burden."
Looking down at his wife's face, with tracks of tears still streaming down her face, he gently says, "No, my friend, she is no burden to me. I will once again carry my bride."
The guard led the grieving royals into the castle. The glare on his face alerting all of the servants that the king and queen were not to be disturbed.
Mosyan carries Haylaia through the main doors of Castle Corundum. He moves quietly and quickly through the halls, up to their chamber and through the doors Sandonzo held open for them. The King nods to his most trusted guard, signaling to his friend that he was to stay and advise him with his wife over the situation at hand.
Laying his queen on the bed, Mosyan says to them both, "Our mourning does not end today. My calling for the soldiers' return is not for me or you. I had to place the needs of our people above the perceived need of us and our prodigal son."
Grasping her husband's hand, Haylaia gently responds with tears still in her eyes, "Oh no, my king. It never occurred to me that you would ask for me to end my mourning before we were able to fully grieve together. But your decision is sound. I have missed the soldiers just as our people have. In their own way, each one is family and my suffering should not be the cause for any one of them to suffer as well." Looking to her husband's head guard, "and thank you Sandonzo for being a voice of reason whilst I was unable."
Sandonzo tucked his head down at Queen Haylaia's words. Not raising his head, he says to her, "I never would have given them before, but now I am offering to you my deepest condolences. I know that you have now entered your year of mourning and as in everything; I offer my services to you in whatever you need, "speaking to Haylaia, but turning his eyes to his friend and king. Sandonzo bows his head to his sovereigns and turns to exit the slightly opened door.
Standing just outside the cracked door, Caterrian backs up to gain the appearance of standing in wait for Sandonzo, so he would not be seen listening in to this private exchange.
Sandonzo opens the door, seeing the soldier, says, "Caterrian, we have much to discuss, I see," and closes the door firmly behind him, knowing he would be followed.
Caterrian follows behind the Grandmaster to his chamber. Once they have secured the door, Caterrian gives Sandonzo a tight embrace.
Sandonzo says to him, "Welcome home, I am pleased to see your safe return."
Stepping back from the display of emotion, Caterrian responds, "Thank you, I too am pleased to once again be home. But I must ask of you, the King, he is not self-serving as we soldiers thought during our lengthy quest," stroking his chin as he does when in thought.
Sandonzo sees the younger soldier's actions, knowing he was not yet finished speaking, waits for Caterrian to collect his thoughts. "They still hold on to hope that their son lives but have called their people home for the sake of the commoners, the peasants, and their people. We were not brought home because the King and Queen have realized their son long dead as we were told to believe, but they have returned us to our families while theirs is never again to be whole."
Sandonzo nods to his third in command and at this nod, Caterrian says with firm conviction, "There is no truer king than the king for whom we now serve. I have pledged my sword to his service years past. But I now pledge my life to our Royal Sovereigns."
Pouring each of them a glass of whiskey as the sun begins to set; Sandonzo turns to him and says, "Searching for Prince Haneef was never for the sake of King Mosyan or Queen Haylaia. He is the heir to Celesador and Castle Corundum and as much as they did not realize it, these people, the Celesadorians, our people and every tribe living on and near Mount Celese, needed to search for Prince Haneef, and now we all will grieve for the loss of not only our king's son, but for the loss of our heir as well."
Night has fallen over the Kingdom of Celesador and the curfew of the young (when the moon has reached the top of the sky, every child under the age of seventeen is to be in their homes sleeping where they can be seen by the adults of the household) has been followed by all but one household.
The peasant, Nian searches through a chest that has been hidden under the planks of the store room in the back of his cottage located in the meadow at the outskirts beyond the walls of Castle Corundum. The elder peasant tall at six feet has a weathered face, wrinkled with age and worry, his soft green eyes are wizened from age and experience, in the middle of his oval face sits a round nose that ends in a point, on either side is an apple cheek, his balding head holds thin white hair kept short. He pulls out a bundled wrapped in a heavy cloth from the bottom of a worn chest and carries it into the main room. The old man sets the bundle on to the kitchen table and he looks up at the hooded figure standing at the hearth and the fire lit there.
Nian begins speaking softly as he unwraps the bundle to uncover a sword sheathed in leather, "Our King is in need of your help," unsheathing the leion metal sword that shined luminescent as the fallen star from which it was crafted. "He has given up the search for his son, but we mustn't. There has never been a more valued person or family in either written or spoken history than that of their royal bloodline. Our king has been merciful and humble. And though they are feeling the loss of their son, you can bring them joy again; once again, making their family and the kingdom whole."
Picking up the sheath and sword, the hooded figure sheaths the shimmering sword. He dips his head at the old peasant man swinging the leion sword over his shoulder and exit Nian's cottage. As the figure mounts the all black steed, Nian says to him, "You have until the sun sets on the final eve of midsummer's festival to find the king's son and reunite him with his family and the kingdom as Celesador's heir."
The figure somberly says, "I will return far before then," before kicking his heels into the flanks of the horse and riding away from the cottage.
There was young boy sitting in a ditch prison bound by chains covering his entire body and blindfolded with a cloth saturated with filth. He was clothed in tattered and torn clothing that were sizes unfitting of his body. Lying on the floor, his thin body can be seen restless as he dreams.
In his dream, the boy sees himself as a toddler, playing in a stream with a little girl his age. Two men stand on the bank talking in low voices, never hearing their voices, or seeing their faces just always knowing that they are there watching over the children. Tinkling laughter can be heard above the babbling of the waters. The dream jumps years forward the two children are now around five and are collecting flowers in the meadow, playing tag as the same two men are walking behind them, following close to the children. Just a few years pass and the two children have gotten just a bit bigger in size now the playing tag has changed to playing with wooden swords fighting in a playful manner. In his dream, night falls and he hears a soft feminine voice singing "weary child close your eyes, as the gods light the skies, breathing slow as your dream flow to you down the stream," and just like every time before he awakens finding himself still chained in the only home he truly remembers-- the prison cell, and the chains that surround him.CHAPTER 2
Mosyan dressed in a simple hunting tunic, separates himself from group that had set off with him to hunt the bear like beast that was terrorizing the lands, killing all of the saniff, a boar like beasts with two pairs of tusks that extend beyond its pointed snout one that set that point forward and the other out to either side, and ranisk, a large oxen like beast with the face similar to that of an elk, and the thick body like that of a moose, it has a large set of antlers with another set of antlers with leaves growing from the second set, growing from the first set, both sets of antlers looked as though they had been carved and smoothed, in the forests and meadows that surround the grounds of Castle Corundum. Tracking through the grounds trying to silently move through the woods, instead of finding the bear, Mosyan sees a saniff rooting in the ground at the edge of the woods.
Nian was walking through the meadow near his cottage when he saw the bear high in the trees, leaping from branch to branch as it catches sight of the something still behind the tree line of the woods. Just then, Mosyan comes out of the forest following the saniff into the meadow and that is when Nian realizes that the bear is not stalking the saniff beast, but the peasant who had just come through the trees. As the bear hunkers down to push off the branch where it is perched, Nian rushes to where Mosyan is standing watching the saniff, shouting out as the bear leaps from the trees and directly towards the man oblivious to the danger coming his way. Just as the bear hits the ground running, Nian shoves the man, ignorant of his surroundings, back into the trees and turns to ward off the bear's attack. Hands out stretched, the bear's jaws clamp down severing the smallest pinky from Nian's right hand. Mosyan blasts through the dense trees with a glowing sword in hand, mouth open in a silent battle cry. Seeing the man he had just saved coming to help fell the beast, Nian begins shouting and waving his arms, hand still bleeding to distract the bear. Mosyan slashes the bear's side, the blade going deep enough to pierce the heart and slide down the inside of the bear's torso.
Seeing the bloody hand on the man that had just saved his life, Mosyan dropped the sword to the ground. Ripping the bottom few inches from this worn tunic, he wrapped Nian's right hand to stop the bleeding. Together, they tied up the beast they had just fought and sewed him shut to keep the bear from leaving a trail of blood while he is moved.
Mosyan says to Nian, "Let me help you take this beast home. He will feed you and give you hide for clothing," offering Nian the beast in payment for saving his life.
But Nian says to him, "No, I did this not for payment. I did this as responsibility of human life."
Mosyan, taken back, bows his head to the peasant who had risked his life for the life of another, "I thank you for your courage. Because of you, I can see my family once more. But if you won't take the animal, please take this to always remember the bravery that you have and the courage you exude. Our King couldn't ask for better knights in his army." Picking up the luminescent sword the king wipes it on his torn tunic and sliding it back in the sheath before he hands it to Nian.
Whistling Mosyan calls a large black hunting steed that came darting out of the forest, Nian helps his new friend tie the bear behind the horse. Mosyan mounts the horse and rides out of the meadow and into the forest through the trees.
Just as Mosyan breaks the tree line of the forest, he is met by the group he had separated from. The largest of them is the warrior Sandonzo from the Pautruculie tribe. The Pautruculie are a dark skinned people tall in stature, the shortest female of them measuring six feet tall, the males ranging from seven and a half to eight feet tall, naturally muscular, giving bulk to their height. But even with their bulk, and size, they are swift on their feet, almost gliding over the ground as they can run silently through most any surface.
Sandonzo, the Pautruculie warrior says to Mosyan, "My king, why did you separate from your guards?"
Excerpted from Celesador and the Lost Prince by Justin O. Poole. Copyright © 2015 Justin O. Poole. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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