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Gods Of Wisdom
Wisdom Chronicles-book Six
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ISBN-10: 1-77115-286-9
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Fantasy/SF/Dark Fantasy
eBook Length: 287 Pages
Published: February 2016

From inside the flap

The very young King Ryan, successor to Alexander, the founder of the Kingdom of Wisdom, had worn the crown for but a couple of months when his sleep began being haunted by an evil recurring nightmare, one that left him drenched with sweat and yearning for escape from the constrictions of being ‘the king’, even if only for a few hours.

On the morning he finally acted on his desire to be free, he met a singular young man—a man who would become to him what Scrubby had been to the Wizard Wilton, and who would play a pivotal role in opening a portal which allowed entrée to a hitherto unknown power from another world and time.

Wil and Caron—along with the new King Ryan, the other Heirs of Wisdom, and several new allies—were drawn into a protracted and deadly battle to turn away this chaotic alien magic which threatened the existence of not only Wil, but the Old Forest, the Portal and the balance of power between the worlds of good and evil.

Gods Of Wisdom (Excerpt)


PROLOGUE

Heavy gray clouds had been gathering over the island world of the Sunderos for many years before Marundi was born. All of her life she had lived under the shadow of the slowly churning clouds. All of her life she had felt oppressed by them. She had noticed even when she was very young that, while they might occasionally cast a disapproving glance at the clouds, grown-ups never, ever spoke about them. In the innocence of her childhood, she would ask why it felt that the clouds were bad, but no adult would answer her question. If they replied at all they would flick a dismissive hand at the sky and say, "Oh, they're just clouds."

On the occasion of her eighth birthday, she sat naked, as all Sunderan children were until puberty, and looked unhappily up at the clouds roiling sluggishly above her. The ceaseless heat, heavy with humidity both day and night, drew the energy from her. Frequent flickerings of lightning lit the clouds from the inside, followed closely by muted rumblings.

Her eleven year old cousin, Bratli, lay listlessly on his back beside her with his arm covering his eyes. "Why do the clouds always look so angry?" she asked him. "And why do grown-ups always change the subject when I ask?"

"I don't know for certain, but I think it's because the gods are feuding," he told her without removing his arm from his eyes.

"But why?" Marundi pursued. "The gods are powerful. Unlike the people, they should be happy and satisfied. They made the sky and the water that holds our land, and they filled the sky with birds, and the land with plants and animals, and the waters with fish for the people to eat. With such power, they should be happy. What need have they to feud?"

"It is their power that makes them unhappy," he assured her.

His explanation made no sense to her. Surely with such power at their command they would want for nothing. Surely the gods would live contentedly with each other.

She looked over at his naked body, gleaming softly with a thin sheen of sweat in the cloud-muted light. He is still naked like me because he is still a child like me, she thought. He knows no more than I do.

On her thirteenth birthday, the women of the Sunderos celebrated her arrival at marriageable age by presenting her with a full-length robe made of doeskin which had been worked to velvety softness and richly decorated with small shells and shiny stones. The robe and the short doeskin skirt she had been wearing since the arrival of her first menses six months earlier covered the undeniable evidence that the innocent nakedness of childhood was now behind her.

After the ceremony solemnizing her official passage to womanhood, her grandfather, Axotlu who was the chief of the Sunderos, sat down with her. "Because your father and mother are no longer with us, it falls to me to answer any question which a grown daughter must know, if I am able."

She took a deep breath and asked the question she feared might make him angry. "I want to know about the clouds," she told him earnestly.

He looked startled. "The Sunderos do not talk about the clouds. Don't you want to know what will be expected of you as a woman?" he asked, for that is what he had prepared himself to answer.

She shook her head. "No, grandfather, that is of no import to me yet. It is of the clouds that I would like to know."

He looked at her curiously. "Very well," he said. "Although we do not talk about the clouds, what is it you would know about them?"

"Why does no one talk about them?" she began. "They are so oppressive that I wonder that nobody speaks of them, and I wonder why the people stay in this dreary land. When it is time for me to marry, I will find a man who will take me from this place."

Axotlu held up his hand. "There is no other place. There is only Sunderos. No matter how far you travel, you will find our world exists alone, held in the hands of the gods of water and sky only. There is no other place."

"Surely there is someplace in Sunderos or beyond it that the clouds do not cover," she said.

He shook his head slowly. "I have traveled from end to end and side to side of all of the land. There is no other place."

Marundi looked down in thought for several long moments before looking up again. "Bratli told me on my eighth birthday that the clouds are always dark and evil looking because the gods are warring. Was he right?"

Her grandfather smiled sadly. "No, young Marundi, he was not right, but in a way he was not wrong, either." He paused and looked at her thoughtfully for several seconds as if deciding whether it was wise to tell her the truth as he knew it, but then took a deep breath and began.

"When I was young, the gods worked together for the good of all the people. The god of the sun was bright and warm and made the land grow. The god of the moon was pale and cool and gave us sleep and relief from the heat of the day. The god of the sky brought us the clouds with their life-giving rain which itself was a gift from the god of the water.

"We lived in a blessed land then and in a blessed time. If there were disagreements among the people they were easily resolved by the chief and the shaman, for the people all accepted their words as having come from the gods to whom we have always prayed and from whom all life and happiness flows.

"However, soon after your father was born there came a time when the clouds stayed after the end of the rainy season, then more and more stayed behind at the end of each succeeding rainy season and they began warring with each other, and the sun found it more and more difficult to reach through them to make the land grow and the people happy.

"At the end of the third year, the people had begun to argue among themselves as the plants produced less food and there was less game and fewer fish. They went to Orotri, who was very young then and had only become the shaman three years earlier following his father's death, and to my father who was then the chief. They asked why the clouds were no longer following the cycle of the sun and why it appeared as if they were angry, but my father and Orotri said they did not know.

"Orotri is powerful and wanted to be a better shaman than his father had been. He summoned all of the people to sit in a circle at the top of the peak at the center of Sunderos and chant to the gods of the clouds and rain to let the god of the sun shine once again upon us. It was a most impressive sight. Never before in the history passed down in song and story through the ages of our people had every single Sunderan been assembled in such a way.

"He told us that he had been shown in a vision while in a trance from the seeds of the sacred Bontaton plant that our collective prayers and entreaties would force the gods to disperse the clouds. But the gods of the clouds and rain would not listen. They muttered and shouted back at us with deafening thunder and massive bolts of lightning until the shaman told us that we must no longer complain to them or they would destroy us. We stopped complaining to the gods, but continued to complain among ourselves.