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Lowenna: The secrets of light and darkness, Chapter 13

Lowenna escapet the law-men. A friendly member of the white light has come to her aid.

Chapter 13 Truth in the eye of a god

The church was grand and spacious, with two enormous stone statues at the far end. The walls were decorated with huge murals showing holy men and battles. One had the Lowenna symbol cut in half by a large sword-wielding man. Another showed an army of men pursuing orcs, elves, and men with wings. Lowenna looked at the murals and smiled, of course, the humans would be winning, defeating the Lowenna and chasing the other races, this was a human church.

The holy man solemnly led Lowenna to a small side room that contained a simple table, with a hairbrush a bowl, a jug of warm water and a cloth. To the right was a chair with a plain grey robe and a small towel over the back. “Thank you, er your grace,” Lowenna said after looking around the room, not sure what to call the kind, holy man.

“Please call me Brother Solomon. I will be outside when you are ready,” he replied before he left the room.

Lowenna locked the door and removed her damp clothes and washed, she then lowered her hair into the warm water for a moment, before she dried herself as best she could, slipped on the grey robe and brushed her wet hair.

For a moment Lowenna was worried about her weapons. She took one of the small daggers and tucking it under her armguard. Feeling more secure she rolled her cape with the other weapons still in it, then gathered the rest of her wet clothes.

Lowenna unlocked the door and left the room, coming face to face with the brother Solomon. "You need to put your hood up. Women are supposed to stay covered up in this part of the church." Lowenna nodded and pulled her hood up, so it covered her damp hair.

The next room they entered had a fire, "Please leave your clothes here to dry while I show you around the church." Lowenna again nodded and hung her cape up and lay the rest of her clothes over a chair, keeping her weapons hidden before following Brother Solomon out of the room.

Solomon smiled at Lowenna as they walked. "Come pray with me." Lowenna didn't nod this time. She was wondering, “Should she pray to something she didn't understand.” The holy man noticed her indecision, "You don't believe?" he asked.

"I...I do believe," Lowenna started then paused. Brother Solomon’s smile shrunk slightly, "I’m sorry” Lowenna continued, “this may sound a little crazy but can you tell me about the Angelous and Demon-gods?"

"Why?" Brother Solomon asked, "Surely you know the story of the Angelous."

"I’m new to the city and have traveled far," she didn't know if this true or not, "and I have very few memories about the Angelous," this she knew was true.

Brother Solomon looked very confused for a moment, "I see, so you’re new to Hymdale, and you don't know about the Angelous?"

"That’s right," Lowenna replied.

“Well, wherever you came from I am surprised they never taught you about the creation of the known realm.”

Lowenna looked down ashamed. She felt like she was lying to brother Solomon and all he wanted to do was help her. Lowenna breathed deeply before looking up and smiling. "I’m sorry I have no memories from my past. I woke on a beach several suns ago with no knowledge of who I am or where I come from. I am here to try and find out who I am." This was the first person Lowenna had been completely honest to since arriving in Hymdale. "If I can’t trust a man of the light, who can I trust?"

Brother Solomon looked thoughtful "If this is true then the Angelous must have led you here. I might be able to help you. The light will show you the truth."

"Thank you," Lowenna said with gratitude but was a little uneasy.

"First, I will tell you the creation story as it was told to me as a boy," Brother Solomon then cleared his thought before continuing. "In the beginning, two divine beings created the nine realms, the orbs of light, the darkness of moon time and even the world which we live upon. Everything came from these two beings. However, once their efforts were complete one wanted to stop and enjoy the fruits of their labour, and one wanted to start again being unsatisfied with what had been created.

This was the first time the two beings had ever disagreed. Eventually, the being who had become obsessed with destruction and recreation, created nine warriors to do his bidding, these nine Demon-gods, or Shadow Lords as some people refer to them, started destroying all that the two beings had created. The only defence the other being could mount against the Demon-gods was creating nine defenders, which were called the Angelous, or the warriors of light.

The two divine beings poured almost all of their power into their creations, and war raged through the divine realms creating magic. Eventually, both of the divine beings formed a truce, but neither the Angelous nor the Demon-gods wanted peace. So both of the divine beings gave up the last of their power to stop the war, turning themselves to stone and selling their creations away. The peace has held to this day. It is said, that whichever side starts the war again will lose all its power to the other. However, every Angelous and Demon-god was able to leave gifts in the world. These gifts are in the form of weapons, creatures, ideas and magics. They are the most powerful in all the realms."

Lowenna pondered the story, something about it did sound familiar.

"This is why we teach everyone to praise the Angelous else the Demon-gods would have destroyed everything," Solomon continued.

"The story is familiar," Lowenna admitted, "just lost with everything else."

"It's ok my child. I am sure we can help you. I will need to speak to the head of the order, please sit and pray to the Angelous for a miracle." Soloman nodded and smiled before turning and quickly heading down a corridor leaving Lowenna alone.

Lowenna wandered around looking at more of the fabulous murals. There was one with a king holding a sword with light shining from all around him. Another had a large blue stone with swirling lights and floating platforms, lightning erupting from above and below. The next showed two large beings one with nine white warriors, underneath it, which were heading towards the nine black warriors, which were under the second being. The fourth showed a winged woman wearing shining armour and a golden headdress. There was something familiar about her. Lowenna slowly moved on to the next and final one on the wall this one looked almost new a beautiful dark haired woman stood in the middle of a crowd with everyone else on their knees bowing. She wore a crown and also looked familiar. Lowenna shook her head like she was regaining her senses. There was something about this woman. She looked at the beautiful woman again, suddenly realising she looked very similar to the woman in her dreamscape.

"My child, this is our spiritual leader and the head of our order," Brother Soloman said as he returned with two robed figures behind him. One wore a dark red robe with a golden sash, the other’s robe was plainer and looked faded. Both of them had their hoods up, but Lowenna could see the face of the man in front.

"My child of the light. My brother has told me of your situation." the spiritual leader said, "can you tell me your name child?"

Lowenna was a little taken aback. She felt she definitely couldn't lie to this man. "Er... people call me Wenna."

"An unusual name, did you pick this name for yourself, or did someone who knew you before your memory problems, told you what it was."

Lowenna didn't know what to say. She couldn't say it was short for Lowenna. "Er... I hadn't met anyone who knew me before I lost my memory. It was the first name I read." Lowenna finished, which wasn't a lie, the name had just been shortened.

"No one knows you? No family or friends from before?" The holy leader asked.

"No one," Lowenna replied, feeling empty, sad, and alone. "I want to remember. Brother Solomon said you might be able to help."

"Maybe, we can, I just wanted to see what kind of person you were. I believe you are telling me the truth, although your name still confuses me a little. I will go and prepare the eye of Armus. Please wait here with brother Solomon."

The holy leader walked off down a corridor, followed by his aide "The eye of Armus?" Lowenna asked brother Solomon.

"Yes, it’s a rear artefact. A gift from the Angelous." Solomon replied, "it's a mirror which only tells you the truth, no one can hide from the light of the Angelous."

Lowenna smiled but suddenly felt a little nervous, "It will show me the truth?"

"Yes, who you are and what you have done. The head of the order has seen brave knights turn to cowards and expose demons hidden as men. Everyone who joins the order of the light must look into the eye of Armus."

"So memories or not it will show me my past?"

"Only glimpses, it's more about who you are inside, but it's a start on your quest to find yourself."

Lowenna was about to ask more questions when she heard a door closing and another holy man heading towards them. "Our spiritual leader is ready for you now," the aid said and pointed to the door he came out. "When you are ready to go and see him."

Lowenna threw a nervous look to brother Solomon. He smiled reassuringly, so she took a deep breath and headed off to the room.

The room was dark. The spiritual leader and two other robed figures stood on either side of a large covered mirror, "When you are ready my child."

Lowenna walked closer. She dreaded seeing some monster, or a slave, or even something evil but she knew if this eye of Armus could help her memory it was worth the risk. She determinedly walked up and stood right in front of the covered full-length mirror, and the robed figure removed the cover.

The mirror was long and had a carving of a naked woman covering her eyes with her hands on the top. The image it showed was blurry at first. It seemed wired to look in a mirror and not see a reflection. Lowenna glanced at the spiritual leader, but he was just looking into the mirror, so Lowenna returned her gaze to that. Slowly the swirling pattern started to take shape, and Lowenna lets out a gasp of surprise. There before her stood the little girl from her dreams. Lowenna looked at the holy man again, he seemed confused but was still looking into the mirror. Lowenna looked at the little girl again, and she looked back at Lowenna, she was wearing the same, clothes Lowenna had first seen her wearing. Lowenna recognised the beautiful dress and golden necklaces, which sparkled.

"This is quite unusual," the holy leader said, “seeing a child typically shows innocence, but this is different..." He stopped talking as a second figure started coming into view, this looked more like Lowenna did now, but there was a hard look to her and no smile. She held a long glowing dagger, and Lowenna watched in horror, and she stabbed it into the child's back. "By the Angelous," the holy leader exclaimed not believing what he had just seen.

The little girl in the mirror smiled showing no sign of being stabbed except the end of the dagger poking through her chest. She held her hands out, and pink flames danced on them. The flames slowly spread up the girl’s arms until it was dancing over her whole body. The second figure took a step back and looked Lowenna straight in the eyes. The image flickered slightly before her eyes changed from greeny-blue to pitch black. Ripples of dark magic erupted from her body, and her face twisted looking angry or possessed by a demon. Lowenna took a couple of steps back, and the images faded back to nothing, and one of the holy men quickly covered the mirror again. "What was that?" The other holy-man stated, sounding nervous."

Lowenna looked at the leader of the holy order, but he didn't reply straight away. He looked pale. He opened his mouth to answer but then closed it again. "Are you alright?" Lowenna asked.

"Um, yes my child," he replied, but there was a tremor in his voice. "I have never seen a portrait of the truth so, so graphic." The holy leader cleared his thought before continuing, "A child typically portrays innocence. I assume the image of you now may indicate the part of you, which is lost, trying to kill the innocent person you are now, to re-establish its self, but as you saw… it couldn't. The fire typically indicates the end of something but in this instance, it didn't burn anything, and the final part is probably to do with the frustration you are feeling not being able to remember your past." he finished with a nod, "yes that’s what the mirror showed us."

"So I haven't two people inside me, one young and innocent and the other evil and dangerous?" Lowenna asked as that is what she thought the images meant. The young girl and the mighty warrior mage, that enjoyed killing and was trying to take over.

"I'm sure that I interpreted the images correctly, at least closer than an untrained eye. Still, the truth isn't always easy to see, even with Armus's eye," The holy man replied.

Lowenna looked down at the floor, "Even the Angelous can't help me," she murmured.

"Never say that," the head of the order of light replied resolutely. "The Angelous have a plan for you, even if it doesn't make sense now. The Angelous would never abandon one of their children, they sent us our new queen, maybe she can help you."

Lowenna looked at him with confusion, thinking about the man who had killed his wife earlier this sun. "How can the queen help me?"

"I don't know, yet. I do know she is powerful, and the Angelous sent her to us, I’m sure that is part of your fate, I will arrange a meeting for you," the holy leader said, sounding sure that was the best course of action, but Lowenna looked skeptical.

Lowenna was unsure the queen would be of any help. The man in the square earlier had said he was following the queen's orders, but there was no proof the queen had told the man to kill his wife and son. "Well thank you for your help," Lowenna replied trying to smile. "If it is alright with you, I would like to stay and look at the murals. Some looked familiar, and maybe they might jog my memory."

"Of course," The holy leader replied, "Stay as long as you like."

Lowenna nodded and left the room leaving the three holy men alone. She returned to the main hall where brother Solomon was still standing. She noticed he was now praying to the two giant statues.

Lowenna couldn't get what she had just seen out of her head. If that was the truth, she didn't understand or even want to. What if she got her memories back and turned into a monster. Would the queen be able to help her as the holy man had implied?

Lowenna walked over to Solomon to thank him, even though she hadn't learnt anything helpful. She was more confused now and had scary images in her head. The thought of something evil inside her frightened her.

As she approached brother Solomon he turned, to talk to her, "Did you learn anything?" he asked.

"Not really," Lowenna replied, before explaining what she had seen to Solomon. By the end of the story, he looked almost as shocked as the holy leader and his assistants. "The spiritual leader said I should meet the queen, that she would be able to help me."

Solomon suddenly looked even more concerned, "Well… if that is what our holy leader suggested."

Lowenna’s eyes narrowed at his comment, "You don't sound convinced."

"It's just your the second person who he has suggested sees the queen. Normally he would have said something like trust the Angelous, but now..." Solomon trailed into silent contemplation.

Lowenna had no reason to doubt the holy leader or the queen, but Solomon had put that doubt into her head. "You said I was the second, who was the first?"

"It was an older man as I recall. He said he had a reoccurring dream about his son dying. At first, we told him it was just his fears about his son becoming an elite guard, and to trust the Angelous. The man, Jibranz I believe his name was, became obsessed. He said he was dream-scaping and after his third visit, the head of our order felt he should meet the queen. He believed she would put his mind to rest. He hasn't come back since meeting with the queen, and now spends a lot of time walking around the palace grounds. I believe the man's son went and saw the queen a few days later, and he hasn't been seen since."

A voice suddenly came from behind him making him jump "Brother Solomon, You aren’t still talking about Jibranz and his son are you? I have just sent the boy's mother away for not believing in our queen, but you? Are you not a man of faith?"

"Of course, I am high brother Knowl, the young woman asked, that was all." Brother Solomon replied, but he looked a little uncomfortable.

"Maybe you should return to your pairs," Brother Knowl snapped, with a look of contempt.

"Of course brother," Solomon said before looking at Lowenna "May the light shine on you always."

Solomon left quickly, leaving Lowenna with Brother Knowl. Lowenna didn't know why but she felt slightly unnerved in this man’s presence. "Can I help you?" he asked her.

"Iv just been seen by the head or your order, brother Solomon was just checking on me to make sure was alright. The head of your order said I could stay here and look at the tapestries, and murals."

Brother Knowl scowled his annoyance "Fine but don't bother the members of the white light. We are very busy preparing for a visit from our queen."

Lowenna pondered this news for a moment, "has brother Solomon met the queen yet?" she asked.

"Only the spiritual leader of our order his assistant and the high brothers of the light have met with the queen. Solomon will meet her with all the other members of the light when she visits the church."

"When is the visit?" Lowenna asked with an innocent smile.

"This moon time, but no members of the public will be allowed in the church while the Queen is here," Brother Knowl stated sounded very annoyed. "I will leave you to your, looking. I have much to do before the queen gets here," and with that he turned and left, leaving Lowenna alone.

Thoughtfully Lowenna resumed looking around the church. No one else came over to talk to her. She noticed a few of the order rushing around while others seemed happy with a slow pace. When she returned to the room with her clothes she found all of them were placed in front of the fire and had dried out, and all the daggers and her two swords were off to one side. Lowenna didn't know what to think about this but locked the door and quickly disrobed and got dressed. Her clothes still smelled slightly damp and musky, but at least they were dry and warm. She replaced all the daggers and the two swords to their loops and pockets in her cape.

Lowenna was about to leave the room when she noticed a large dish with a few coins on it. She didn't know if this was what she was supposed to do but she put a few of her coins on the dish as a thank you before heading out of the room.

A voice echoed around the church, "All non-disciples, please leave the church. All members of the white light, please meet in the great hall."

Lowenna passed did she stay so that she could see the queen? Or did she go and return next sun, to see if the queen wanted to see her. She decided she would stay. There was a tingling in the back of her mind telling her something was wrong about this situation and Lowenna trusted her feelings, but before she could find somewhere to hide, brother Knowl spotted her.

"You still here?" he asked looking her up and down her, with real dislike "You have got to go, NOW." Lowenna nodded and turned to leave, "And put your hood up, girl." Lowenna complained. It wasn’t a great loss. She would be able to sneak back into the church and see the queen for herself.

It was still gloomy outside, but the rain had stopped. Thick dark clouds covered the sky, making it almost as dark as moon time. Lowenna wondered how long until the sun set.

As soon as Lowenna was outside the church grounds, the large iron gate was slammed shut, not that it would stop her getting back inside.

Suddenly Lowenna felt a pain in her head. She saw a vision of the young slave from the market, "Help me," she heard in her mind. Lowenna looked over at the mansion. She was inside. Did she go or did she stay? Lowenna hesitated, what was wrong with her. She had to help the young woman. She looked back at the church. “I will find out about my past,” she whispered to herself before turning away from the church and running towards the grand house across the street.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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