The Lodestone Trilogy (Limited Edition) (The Lodestone Series)

BOOK: The Lodestone Trilogy (Limited Edition) (The Lodestone Series)
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The Lodestone Trilogy

 

by Mark Whiteway

 

Science Fiction

Published by Mark Whiteway

Kindle Edition

Copyright 2011 Mark Whiteway

*****

License Notes

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission, except for brief quotations to books and critical reviews. This story is a work of fiction. Characters and events are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

 

***
Book One:The Sea of Storms

 

List of chapters

Book Two:The World of Ice and Stars

List of chapters

Book Three:
The Crucible of Dawn

List of chapters

***

 
Lodestone
 

Book One:

The Sea of Storms

 

Science Fiction

by Mark Whiteway

Published by Mark Whiteway

Kindle Edition

Copyright 2011 Mark Whiteway

***

For Mary Chuey

***

Book One:The Sea of Storms

List of chapters

Chapter 01

Chapter 02

Chapter 03

Chapter 04

Chapter 05

Chapter 06

Chapter 07

Chapter 08

Chapter 09

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Prologue

“And so it was, that Kal the wise did beseech Ail-Kar, and Ail-Kar did cast from the firmament the heavenly stone.

The stone of constancy and change; of boon and bane; of creation and destruction”

Blessings of the White Sun, Fourth Stanza, Ninth and Tenth Lines

It was early in the afternoon, when Kal first saw the flying rock.

Well, perhaps “flying” was a slight exaggeration; a subtle embellishment that he might have used later when trying to impress his younger brother, or his friends after third-day prayers. It was at least enough to break Kal out of his reverie. Hymarr’s reaction was the last thing he had expected.

He had been rehearsing in his mind for days beforehand how he would ask her to accompany him to the Spring Gratitude Service. That morning, as he lay in his bedchamber, before even Ail-Gan, the yellow sun, had risen over the western horizon, he determined that today was going to be the day.

He found her outside a clothing shop just off the curia. She was taller than he was, with long brown hair which hung loose about her shoulders, and large deep brown eyes. When she smiled, they shined brighter than all three of the suns–or so it seemed to Kal. She wore a simple unembroidered red-brown supertunic, woven from a soft-looking material.

As Kal approached, he saw that she was accompanied by two other girls. She seemed to be involved in an animated conversation. He stopped in mid-stride, locked in mortal combat with his fragile resolve. A voice within screamed at him that this was a bad place and time, but something within him caused his legs to start moving forward once again and a few moments later he was standing in front of Hymarr.

She stopped, seeming to notice him for the first time. “Kal?”

The other girls looked irritated, but he ploughed on. “Hymarr, I
 
was just looking for you.”

Her brows knotted together into a frown. “Excuse me?”

“Are you going to Spring Festival?” It was a stupid question. Everyone would be going. The two girls standing just behind Hymarr suppressed a giggle. “I was wondering if you would care to–”

“No,” she interjected. “No, thank you.”

“But–”


No!
” Her speckled cheeks were flushed as she turned on her heel and strode away down the street away from the curia, her tail swishing behind her. Her friends burst out laughing and followed in her train.

Kal simply stood stupidly for a moment. He had no idea what his expression was, but he drew a couple of curious stares from passers-by. Then he turned and began running to get away from the place and time of his humiliation. As he ran, feelings of anguish broke over him in waves, but he only ran faster so as to blot them out. A part of his mind recalled dimly that his father would be expecting him at the smithy, but he did not care.

As he neared the edge of the village, he passed the pen where graylesh were kept. One graceful animal raised its pointed snout from its manger and regarded him. On impulse, Kal vaulted the fence, swung himself on the back of the nearest beast and kicked hard. He was nearly thrown as the creature lurched forward. It cleared the barrier and suddenly Kal was in open countryside. He had a sudden image of the animal’s imagined owner and how angry they would be…and then how angry his father would be. But he pressed his mount’s striped flanks and urged it forward.

After a while he looked back and saw that there were no signs of pursuit. He caused his mount to slow a little, and as he did so, the valley and its environment began to insinuate themselves on Kal`s senses. It was early spring in the Taskar valley. On either side of the track Kal could see tilled fields, planted with kalash or perhaps moba root. There was no wind, but the air rushed past his face. The graylesh had settled into a rhythmic loping stride, which Kal found almost relaxing.

By now, Ail-Kar, the white sun, had risen in the west, a brilliant point of light, chasing the larger yellow sun across the sky. The latter had already reversed its course in the sky, moving westward briefly, before resuming its eastward course. Dominating both of these in size but not in brightness was Ail-Mazzoth, a huge ball ten times larger than the yellow, its dull red colour looking pale and washed out, due to the brightness of the pale blue sky. Ail-Mazzoth was the Mother figure in Kelanni faith. The ever constant one, who never moved in the sky; who ever cast a benevolent eye over her children. By the grace of the Three, he was starting to sound like an acolyte! The very thought made him laugh inwardly, which lifted his mood a little more.

Soon he had left behind signs of cultivation and was travelling through a land of brown dirt and purple scrub. Although it was early in the year, Ail-Gan had enough power in it that he was starting to feel a little thirsty, although of course, he had no water with him. He felt a twinge of conscience, wondering if his father had discovered his disappearance, and would be worried about him, but he quickly thrust the thought aside. He was not ready to go back and face the music, not just yet.

The path began to rise slowly towards the foothills, which rolled onward and upward in rising waves. In the distance, half hidden by haze, were the jagged peaks of the Tragar Mountains. Kal slowed his mount to a walk. On the right, not far from the path, were the ruins. They lay in a tumbled mélange of long-forgotten stones. Kal had explored them as a child and once found markings which he thought to be writing, but it was in no form he recognized. His curiosity piqued, he had sought out the acolyte in his anteroom after instruction the very next day.

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