This November I decided to join in a participate in NaNoWriMo, so I have been working on a novel called “Narsir“, a fantasy novel that follows the inhabitants of Narsir in a collection of short stories linked by the power of magic and a mysterious entity.
So, today, for the Writing Wednesday post, I’m sharing the first chapter of my novel and it’s call “Circle of Knowledge“.
In a world where monsters live together, legends and myths appear in the pages of the books of the Circle Knowledge since the creation of Areth.The magic that dances around the world, an element of the essence of all Narsir, is what allows the Circle’s witches the ability to understand the manuscripts and transcribe them into the common languages.
At first, the stories were passed by word of mouth, by human folk who distorted the truth to their advantage and used it to terrorize the following generations with tales.Painting the image of all other magical races as savages and monsters.Ignoring that the human beings are also magical beings created by the Great Creators of Narsir.It was by seeing the destruction of the truth that the Witches of Knowledge decided to join and form the Circle of Knowledge.
Using their word comprehension skills, the first witches used magic to call all the stories worthy to the manuscripts placed in the sanctuary.And every day, as the night began, one of the Five Great Books was taken from the altar and another was placed in its place.As the next day ran, the witches transcribed all the words into a book, keeping in each book the same story in all the common languages.When all the stories in that manuscript were transcribed, the magic words disappeared, and the Great Books would be put to rest for three days until it could be used again.The next night the process was repeated.
As the years when by, the stories were copied and shared freely by all folk through the teachings of storytellers who received copies of the books. Humans, though they did not believe the stories, listened and passed them on to the next generations as if they were no more than tales created by storytellers, yet the word passed on and the truth existed. Finally, the word’s peace reigned for decades.
Generation after generation, the Witches of Knowledge increased the territory of Areth, the Castle-Archive of the Word. They formed an alliance with their Brethren from the Circle of Freedom and established a hierarchy within the Order. However, with a hierarchy comes authority, and with authority comes thirst for power. After two hundred years since the creation of the Circle of Knowledge, Topaz Howler rose in the hierarchy and asserted herself as the leader of the Order.
Under Topaz’s leadership, the Witches of Knowledge kept transcribing all stories, but there would be no more freedom of the word.Books after books… Rooms after rooms… Generation after generation… Topaz and her descendants remained in power, increasingly limiting access to stories that did not meet the requirements set by Topaz.
Behind the walls guarded by Warriors from the Circle of Freedom, Areth raised, ever greater than previous decades. Thousands of books remain hidden, thousands of stories remain in the darkness of the corridors of the restricted section. These stories defined peoples, generations, legends and myths. However, although the creators of Narsir gave the power to control the magic of the word to the Witches of Knowledge, the Circle became a place full of corruption.
Since the creation of Narsir that magic is a part of every living being, but Topaz didn’t want everyone to understand their power.All folk who were not her allies would be keep in ignorance, listening only to the stories which the Heirs of Topaz desired.Yet in the gloom of Areth, a group of rebels gathered.
Believing in the values of the first Witches of Knowledge, the rebels planned the extermination of the Heirs of Topaz.In that century, Topaz’s heir was Ruby Howler, a paranoid woman who didn’t even trust her own family.Fearful of losing her power and leading position, Ruby tried to do what no Witch of the Knowledge had ever tried to date.She tried to destroy the books in the restricted section.
Aided by sympathizers Warriors of Freedom, the rebels saw their plans rapidly modified to protect the forbidden books from imminent destruction.In a battle like never before, hundreds of rebels and sympathizers died, but their goal was achieved, all books were saved.
Despite the victory and to proof of her suspicions, Ruby went crazy. Some say it was the Gods who cursed her for the act she tried to perform. In a moment of madness, she committed suicide after killing her husband, a mighty Warrior, and her three daughters. It seemed to be the end of the Heirs of Topaz, were it not for Ruby’s sister, at the age of fifteen, who had survived the battle against the rebels.
A change of leader, but the rules remained the same.Control and power holding hands in that Order.The truth remained fragmented to the world.Fear reigned Narsir.Wars between all folk, within the species and between species.Millions died.And yet the world did not know the truth, unaware of the stories of goodness, of love, of compassion between two beings who could be different, but that shared the same faith, shared the same dream.
The Ancient Gods were no longer venerated by all people.And behind the walls of Areth, more generations of Witches of Knowledge were born, lived and died in fear, working hard.If they were lucky they would receive rewards for their work, but the less fortunate… they lived in slavery.Cleaning the entire castle, making copies of the approved books.
Corruption increased. It was with the arrival of Opal Howler, great-granddaughter of Ruby’s sister, another twist arose in the history of Areth. Opal would stipulate that all copies made would be sold. What was once a distribution of knowledge, following the commandments of the Gods and the working ethics of the first witches, was completely destroyed by thirst for power and greed.
A consumer mentality began from that day on. Stories continued to be transcribed from the Great Books into the Basic Books. Some books were copied repeatedly by slave witches, and most of those transcribed were kept in the restricted section. More and more the number of enslaved witches increased and the number of elite members of the order diminished. The witches who were before rewards from donations, were now rewarded for the money the Order earned from selling the books.
The Elite remained in power and in possession of the great wealth and from the first year of trade the leaders of the order were nicknamed Heirs of Opal. Generation after generation, the trade of books continued. The storytellers who once distributed books now sold them, yet the people had no way of buying books, so, a whole village would gather to buy some books that were used in schools. It was not with the ordinary inhabitants that the Elite earned their fortune, it was with the other elites of other folks, tribes and kingdoms. It was those that had accumulated their fortune through the generations and the conquests.
After the battle, the rebels and sympathizers who had survived fled Areth and never returned.Some said they were planning their revenge away from the castle to avoid being discovered, having spies inside the Circles of Knowledge and Freedom.However, all this had been rumors.After so many decades, rumors turned into legends.Legends that the Elite ignored, and which the slaves used as a flame of hope.It was this hope that kept many witches alive, determined to keep on working and staying alive.Hope that one day they would be saved.
It’s with hope and the dream that one day the truth will be free and the word have peace, that a young woman takes care of be restricted section without the Elite know. For the young witch, those books contain messages that would help the people of Narsir, but if she copied them and withdraw these stories from Areth the Heirs of Opal would know. So, she remained quiet, doing your job in the transcription section of the Great Books, along with nine other witches who worked with her.
It’s in the transcription section that it all begins. From transcription to separation of books. Under the guard of the Observers, no witches had how to escape their work. The tension in that section was even heavier than in the rest of the castle. Areth was the terror of thousands and the paradise of tens. But for the young witch, that castle was just an archive that had to be released from the moorings of prohibition.
And even if it was the last thing she did in her life, she would free the word from the books. She will meet the rebels. She will be a spy. She will protect all books in the restricted section and all books that in the future were considered forbidden. To fight to the death if it were necessary, with the last drops of magic in her essence, she would save the future of the world. One story at a time…
I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Let me know what you thought and ask me questions about Narsir and future short stories and I will do a post about it and answer your questions.
Don’t forget to comment, don’t be stranger. If you have any book recommendation you can leave a message using the form on my Contact Me page.
If you are an author and want me to do a review of your book you can go check out my Request Review page.
I always welcome new books to add to my list and I’m always excited to do reviews and read books.
And if you would like to join me as a guest on my blog, check out the Guests Post page to know more and contact me so we can start planing your visit.