A Passage from The Book of Light

In the beginning was Argelus, the watery goddess.
And Argelus closed her eyes and was the waters.
And out of the waters crawled the children who were called Argelea and Cheronn.
And their number was twenty-two in all.
And Argelus opened her eyes and beheld seven suns and these she set in the heavens.
And the darkness was no more.

But the children quarrelled.
And Argelus saw that Cheronn was at fault.
And Cheronn turned her back and was banished.
And the twenty with her.
And Argelea faced the suns alone.

And her beauty was tempered by her sadness.
For she called to the suns and they did not answer her.
And she called to her sisters and they could not hear her.
And so Argelea closed her eyes and called.
And her call was heard.


            Ceteus closed the heavy book and, bowing low, returned it to its niche.  In thought, he walked to the open bay window and beheld the firstlight.  Reflected in the waters pounding the rocks far below him, were the fires of the nearsun, Oras.  Oras, who brought light and heat.  Oras, who was present in the beginning and was dark for but moments in the ages of Ceteus’ forefathers and the Quietcall.  Ceteus extended his arm toward the horizon, his hand a fist.

            When Oras ascended above the waters three hands, He would be joined by the farsun Kalas.  Though Kalas was also with Oras in the beginning, he had gone dark with his brothers at the time of the QuietCall and was seen no more until two generations ago.  When he had reappeared, the people were frightened and Called all at once to the Keepers.  Many had died among both the Keepers and the people.

            Then, a generation later, Ceteus’ father had prophesied the return of another sun.  The prophecy had come to pass this darknight, while the people slept.  Ceteus had felt the disturbance in the Quiet.  Soon, Oras and Kalas would be joined by a third burning orb -- smaller, but undiminished by the brightness of his brothers.

            Ceteus closed his eyes and Called.  And was in the greathall.  He walked the length of the massive hall, among the forest of heavy stone columns which rose and became one at the peak of the ceiling.  At the far end, up two stone steps, was a raised table, shaped as a semi-circle.  In the center stood a  monumental stone oil lamp.  Ceteus, Keeper of the Light of Argelus, lit the lamp.  Then, satisfied that all was prepared, sat in the seat of honor.  He closed his eyes.  And Called.

            When he opened his eyes he was surrounded by the twenty-seven men and women who made up the Council of the Keepers of Argelus.  Ceteus stood, acknowledging them reverently.

            “My brothers and sisters, since ancient times, before the QuietCall, even before the Aggression which brought about the QuietCall, the Keepers of Argelus have safeguarded the world and the people from harm.  So it is even today. We gather to address the return of the thirdsun to our skies as fortold by my father.”

            There was a general murmuring among the council.  In the greathall, voices echoed from the columns and were lost in the expanse above.  Presently, a woman stood and regarded Ceteus.  “Honored First Councillor,” she bowed from the waist, her palms facing upward as was the custom,  “When is this return to take place?”  All eyes turned to the occupant of the Chair of Honor.

            “It has begun.  Even now, the thirdsun, Rahl, joins his brothers in lighting the world,” Ceteus said.

            Fear permeated the hall like sweet insense.  A man seated opposite the woman stood and gestured desperately.  “Then we have no time to lose!  We must reassure our people or they will Call us to death.  There will be disaster -- the Quiet will be unrestrained!”  There was general agreement amid an uproar of voices.

            Ceteus raised his arms and appealed for calm.

            “Councillors.  Keeper Juilyan is correct.”  He paused, knowing the gravity of what was required.  “We must join immediately in united Mindtouch, that our combined strength may not be overwhelmed by the fearcalls of the masses.  Through the Mindtouch we will calm the people.  The carnage of two generations ago will not be repeated.”



©1989 Stephanie Holcombe and Steve Zachar