Authors: Traci Harding
For the kindred who shaped my past.
To my loving parents, Terry and Toni
Ludgate, for their encouragement and
patience when raising me.
And to my brothers, Steven and Kyle,
with whom I shared the most excellent
adventure of youth.
Thanks for the countless happy
The Narrator's Tale
Tales from the Dark Age
The One Begotten Son
Fort of Fairies
The Mists of Gwyn ap Nudd
When All is Said and Done
The Siren Song
A Tale from the Space Age
Object of Desire
The Flight of the City
The She Devil
The Age's Darkest Tale
Choice of Kings
The Penitent Man
Cloaking the Mirror
The Darkest Hour
Killing the Past
The Narrator's Tale
he university in Chailida has grown into a centre of learning to rival those once found in the ancient City of the Golden Gates. Chailida was named in fond remembrance of the capital city of Atlantis in the hope that one day our capital would embody the famed harmonious lifestyle of the Old Land.
The layout of Chailida is based on the same circular design as Chailidocean, but there are no gates separating one island ring from another and all residents are free to roam where they please. The inner island of our fair city is host to the buildings and dwellings of the government officials and their families. The local residents and tourists have access to the central island, except in the event of a crisis â although Chailida is yet to know one.
There wasn't a trace of civilisation on this divine planet when the Serpent's clan arrived here fifty years ago, and now Chailida is a thriving metropolis. The big difference between Kila and Gaia is that outside Chailida the rest of the planet remains untouched. All of the Serpent's clans â red, yellow, black and white â reside in Chailida. We live as one people, work and develop as one race, for we are the Chosen Ones â the immortal sons and daughters of the Nefilim Lord Marduk. Our unity ensures the best world management for Kila, as we consider ourselves guardians of the planet, rather than owners. Here, all the species of flora and fauna that have been lost to mankind's greed on Gaia thrive. All of our city's needs are imported from the neighbouring star systems.
We, the Chosen, need only one export to sustain our colony, and that export is ourselves, for there are no finer warriors in the known universe. We are a nation of psychically and physically powerful beings, admired and feared by most in the galaxy. The philosophers, seers, healers, astronomers and scholars amongst us are also renowned, which makes for a thriving tourist trade. Kila is fast becoming the most sought-out destination for all the human breeds residing in this quadrant of the galaxy, which was named by the Nefilim, AN-TU-IM â Heaven of Storms.
Antuim is plagued by meteor showers. This is why such a prize planet as Kila remained undiscovered and undisturbed for so long. The star system of which Kila is a part is surrounded by systems filled with space debris, though due to our star system's differing rotation to
those surrounding, it manages to repel most of the troublesome refuse. Thus, Kila's system has been aptly named ESH-MAH â the divine inside place â as it is indeed a peaceful haven in a galaxy of chaos.
I must say that I, for one, simply adore everything about living on Kila. Not a day passes that I don't bless the day that I stumbled into the path of Tory Alexander.
If there is a Chosen âone' amidst the ranks of the Chosen then Tory Alexander is that singular exceptional soul. For it was she who struck the deal with the Nefilim that landed the Chosen Ones on this thriving virgin planet. The mighty Nefilim are the intergalactic rulers of the known universe and did not grant the Serpent's clan this beautiful, brave new world out of the kindness of their hearts. It is an experiment, as is the case with nearly all Nefilim endeavours.
Tory's winning argument was that the Nefilim, during their various comings and goings from Gaia, confused humankind's beliefs and had nurtured humans in the art of destruction since infancy. Now that some of humankind had reached a certain physical, mental and spiritual maturity, Tory felt that we, the Chosen Ones, could prove that humankind no longer needed the Nefilim's form of higher supervision. Since Tory and her husband, King Maelgwn of Gwynedd â otherwise known as âthe Dragon' â had resolved an age-old Nefilim dispute and done the Pantheon of Twelve a great service in the process, the Nefilim Lord Nergal, head of the great Pantheon, decided to allow Tory the chance to make good her claim. The Nefilim had been
consuming Gaia's natural resources for approximately four hundred and fifty thousand years before they finally left humankind to finish her off; thus Nergal granted the Chosen the same amount of years to inhabit Kila.
Now, only time shall tell if Kila will be in better shape than Gaia after the same amount of civilised occupation. If the Chosen can maintain the health and beauty of this planet, then we shall inherit Kila for all time.
âOnly four hundred and forty-nine thousand, nine hundred and fifty years till judgment day,' I sat thinking, my eyes upturned to the brilliant blue-green sky above.
Some of the native plant life on Kila emit a green gaseous vapour that is perfectly harmless to breathe, but it colours the sky an almost fluorescent shade of aquamarine.
I had no lectures on my agenda this particular morning, so I was using the free time to update my chronicles. On the stairs of the Purcell Institute of Immortal History I reclined comfortably, absorbing the morning sunshine.
The building at my back was dedicated to me, Noah Purcell, by my fellow Chosen, in recognition of the extensive work that I have done in recording a history of our kind. On this very spot, forty years ago, I began tutoring the children of the Chosen in the origins of their kindred.
It was back on Gaia that I penned the first story relating to the Dragon's line of the Serpent's Clan, but since landing on Kila I have dedicated myself to
compiling a complete history of every branch of the Serpent's family tree. I am proud to say that my
Chronicle of Ages
is considered the definitive historical reference text here on Kila as it gives a full account of the life and times of all Chosen Ones â or so I believed.
âEn Noah, might we have a word?' âEn' was an old Atlantean term that referred to anyone in a position of authority.
When I looked up to find two of Tory Alexander's grandchildren, Ragan and Asher, bounding up the stairs towards me, I felt all hope of getting any serious work done depart abruptly.
The daughter of Tory's daughter Rhiannon, was one feisty young miss named Ragan, whose intellect and curiosity far exceeded a girl of fifteen years of age. Rai took after the dark side of her family, as her mother did. Ebony eyes and near-black hair, Ragan had inherited her father's curls. Her skin was fair, akin to the rest of her clan, as was her slender but rugged build.
Asher, Rhun of Gwynedd's first-born son on Kila, who trailed Rai up the Institute stairs, had the fair blonde hair and brilliant blue eyes that also popped up in the Dragon's family line from time to time. A bright young lad, Asher was a year younger than the girl he followed everywhere.
âI am at your complete disposal, Ragan,' said I, having no idea what I was letting myself in for. âWhat can I do for you?' I motioned both of my students to be seated.
âI have read your chronicles, En Noah, several times over,' Rai began politely, after seating herself at my feet.
âAnd,' Asher cut in, âwe were wondering â'
As Rai reached up and grabbed hold of Asher's shirt, pulling him down to a seat beside her, the lad fell silent.
Asher realised that he had spoken out of turn and meekly gestured for Rai to go ahead and convey their query.
Appeased, Rai turned back to me. âMeaning no disrespect to your magnificent work, En Noah, we have noted that a few key eras from our family history seem to have been omitted.'
âWhat?' A note of offence snuck into my tone, for the child's statement took me completely off guard.
âPerhaps we shouldn't have mentioned it,' Rai suggested, in an attempt at being humble.
âNo, no.' I cleared my throat to dismiss the insulted tone that was still underlying my responses. âIf I have overlooked an important period, naturally I want to know about it.'
âActually, from what I can tell,' Rai ventured, âthere are several periods void.'
âSeveral!' Again I was forced to clear my throat of its agitated strain. âSeveral?' I repeated my query, managing to sound genuinely interested this time.
Asher nodded along with Rai to confirm this, although he dared not steal her thunder.
âYes,' Rai pulled out her psycho-kinetic memory enhancer that was a standard issue study tool here on Kila.
This hand-held chrome orb performed the same function as a PC back on Gaia, but the PME absorbed information directly from the user's mind and stored it for reference.
Rai was silent a moment as she consulted her notes. âIn the last lesson, at the conclusion of volume one, Grandmother had defeated the witch Mahaud at Aberffraw in the year nineteen hundred and ninety four â Gaia time. She then safely returned the infant, Rhun â'
âFather,' Asher added, dying to speed up the question.
Rai gave him a glance of disdain, before continuing. âBack to Gwynedd, to the year five hundred and twenty. Gaia time.'
âThat is correct,' I nodded, as eager as Asher for Rai to get to the point.
âThen, in the first lesson of volume two, we skip straight to the destruction of Aberffraw and the second great battle for Arwystli, which didn't take place until the year five hundred and forty â Gaia time. So â'
âWe want to know what happened in the twenty years in between that caused Grandfather to be appointed High King of the Britons?' Asher blurted out the punch line.
I was shocked to say the very least. Due to all the time-jumps the Dragon's clan had done, it was possible that I had overlooked such an important era of Maelgwn's reign.
âAt the end of volume one there was no such title as High King of the Britons,' Rai explained the reason for their curiosity. âSo what occurred during that time to make such an appointment necessary?'
At this point in the conversation I became aware that my jaw was dropping and so closed my mouth. âA very
intriguing question.' A question to which I had no answer, for I had not explored this period in ancient Briton.
âFurthermore,' Rai moved on, ânothing is said of Grandfather's time in the service of the Lord Marduk, following his abduction from Gaia in the year five hundred and forty.'
Now I was frowning, she was right again.
âAnd what of my father's rule in Gwynedd, and his time as High King of Briton?' Asher questioned further, to my great bewilderment.
âHow he came by the crown of Gwynedd has been documented,' Asher informed, âbut no account has been made of his rise to High King?'
I was a little surprised by this query.
âHas your father not spoken with you about that period of his life?' I asked.
âBits and pieces,' Asher shrugged, âbut he's never on the planet long enough to go into it with me in any great depth.'
âI see.' I inhaled deeply. âSo, is that all the oversights you found, or should I brace myself for more?'
âThat is all.' Rai smiled at me reassuringly, as she and Asher stood up to go to their class.
âWell then, rest assured that I shall endeavour to correct these oversights,' I told them, still stunned that the oversights existed. âI thank you for drawing my attention to them.'
âYou're most welcome, En Noah.' Rai beamed with pride. âI'll let you know if we find any more.'
, I thought, as I watched the pair bound off to their next conquest.
Just when I thought I had finally got all the chronicles up to date, another year's work had suddenly manifested.
No rest for the insane
, I told myself, having freely chosen the task of compiling these records.
A little overawed by the amount of work ahead, I found myself smiling all the same, for the ghosts of ages past were again beckoning me forth to the untold adventures within the Dragon's fold.
That evening I set about acquiring the first-hand accounts I would require to document those periods previously neglected in my chronicles.
Those who had witnessed the events of the missing eras were all key figures in Kila's governmental hierarchy and thus would have precious little time to spare on recording their memoirs for
. If I wished to obtain the information I sought this side of Judgment Day, I needed to make fulfilling my request as simple as possible.
I dispatched three PME orbs with a mental note to each of the recipients. These outlined my request and the reason behind it.
The first orb I teleported to the attention of the reigning Governor of Kila, the Dragon himself, Maelgwn Gwynedd. For only he could give me a complete account of the time immediately following his abduction from sixth century Gwynedd. I confess that I did not expect to see this thought-recorder again in a hurry as our Governor was currently on a public relations tour of the galaxy with several members of the great Pantheon.
As I realised Maelgwn would have his hands full satisfying my request, I sent the second orb to our Governess, Tory Alexander. With Maelgwn away Tory also had a full agenda seeing to the day-to-day running of Kila. She had many a wise advisor and assistant to aid her in her high appointment, but still her time was precious these days. I felt that even such a dear friend as I would probably be stretching the friendship by adding to her already overwhelming workload. Still, besides Maelgwn, Tory was my only hope of gaining a full account of the Dragon's rise in status to High King of the Britons. In my note to her, I humbly suggested that she only comply with my request if she ever did find herself at leisure â it wasn't like any of us were going anywhere in a hurry. If I didn't get to amend my chronicles as soon as I would like, it mattered not, for I had the whole of eternity at my disposal, as did all the Chosen.
The third orb I had no choice but to send to Rhun of Gwynedd, even though I fully expected that it would never return to me. It wasn't that Rhun's appointment as head of Deep Space Exploration kept him so incredibly busy. It was more that he was so completely obsessed with his work that his focus could rarely be distracted from it. I hoped that, as I was enquiring on his son's behalf, Rhun would be encouraged to make the effort.
When and if the orbs were returned to me, there would be much work to do before the accounts they contained could be presented to my two inquisitive scholars and, indeed, the rest of my pupils.