Rising of the Phoenix - Prologue
Webmistress's Drawing of a Sculpture.  Artist Unknown.
          Hall of Seasons  


Rising of the Phoenix








How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him

that bringeth good tidings...

Isaiah 52:7(a)


After four weary, filthy days of helping to delve into the newly reopened areas of the Vaults, Kelos looked in disbelief at what he had just found. He realized this was a very significant find; the seal on the tube had a coat of arms he only partially recognized, and there was a tingle of some form of power from it. "Master Josiah! Master Josiah! Come swiftly!" Kelos' excited voice echoed throughout the hall.

"Yes, Kelos...What is it?" the Master replied, sounding rather bored, for Kelos had been just as enthusiastic over what had turned out to be very minor finds.

"I've found something; I think it's both important and ancient." When the Master walked over to Kelos' side, Kelos carefully lifted the still intact leather cylinder out of the niche in which he had found it. The Master gasped. "Indeed this is important, Kelos. That seal bears the coat of arms of our daughter house, the Michaelines." With that, the Master gently brushed his hand against the seal, concentrating, then reeled back in stunned surprise. "There's a message imprinted in the seal," he gasped in amazement.

Kelos asked, "What is the message, Master?"

Josiah was stunned. He'd never expected to find anything of note this deep in the vaults. He was still amazed that Kelos had found something of importance, and the amazement showed in his voice. "It says: 'Deryni, beware! Only those who truly wish the Michaeline order well may safely break this seal. Those who ignore this warning will suffer.' In addition, there is a definite impression that the Vicar General of the Order at the time set the message himself." He was becoming excited and was able to avoid showing it only with great effort.

Kelos looked startled and shifted the cylinder in his arms, noting in the process that it had loops for a carry-strap. "This is obviously intended to be carried, perhaps as one would a quiver of arrows?"

Josiah nodded as he also noted the strap loops. "So it appears, my Brother, so it appears." He looked thoughtful for a short time. "Come! We go to the Vicar General with this find. From what I suspect now, this is a matter of great importance, and one that needs be carried to the country of origin."

Kelos didn't realize what that meant at first. Then he did figure it out. "Gwynedd. Someone will have to transport this to Gwynedd..."

Josiah bowed to his younger Brother. "Indeed. That is precisely my thought also, and I shall inform the Vicar General of whom I believe is the best man for the job."

Several minutes later, they stood in the Vicar General's presence and began their presentation. Within seconds of the cylinder coming into full view of the head of the Order, however, his eyes widened in surprise, for he had half discounted even Josiah's word on this unlikely event. "This is of critical importance, not only to us, but to our daughter House. Where was it found, and by whom?"

Josiah raised his eyebrows. "Deep within our Vaults, in one of the recently rediscovered sections, and by Brother Kelos here."

"Truly...appropriate." The Vicar General looked thoughtful, but didn't elaborate, despite Master Josiah's unspoken request. After a time, he looked to the younger man. "Brother Kelos, I approve your journey. Go with Allah...and may you have a safe journey. Your time with us has been productive indeed, and your ancestors should be proud of you."

Kelos looked and felt puzzled. He didn't know what the Vicar General was talking about, and from the look of puzzlement on Master Josiah's face, neither did he. Seeing the puzzlement on both men's faces, the Vicar General sighed, realizing that Kelos didn't know his true ancestry.

"Kelos, you are one of the last descendants of the original Michaelines who came here several hundred years ago, retreating from the persecution that happened after Cinhil Haldane's death. While you do have a name ending with al-Hazar, and Hazar was your father's Moorish name, he also had another name, one once highly honored in Gwynedd, but which fell into disfavor because of others' evil. You and a small entourage of other Michaeline descendants will leave late tomorrow afternoon for Gwynedd's capital. You are excused from your normal duties during the remainder of the day, to prepare for the journey." He then used an ornate bell-pull. When the servant entered, he told him to fetch the leader of the Michaeline remnant.

Kelos bowed deeply then rose, trembling. He left the office of the Vicar General with all too many unanswered and perhaps unanswerable questions running through his mind.

A quarter hour later, the Vicar General of the Brotherhood of the Anvil and the leader of the Michaeline remnant began a discussion that ultimately ended with the choosing of an additional fifteen young men from the small Michaeline contingent that remained; it was believed that those fit young men, trained in the Michaeline traditions, were also the ones most likely to be able to re-establish the Order in Gwynedd.



~ Story Index ~                                                                            ~ Next ~

  Sunday Chats, Filks, The Carthmoor Clarion, The Mearan Sunday Herald,  Essays on the Deryni Stories of the XI Kingdoms Deryni Archives - The Zine, Deryni Links Administravia, Author's Biographies, Author Index, Character Index, Story by Era Index, Codex Index, Site Policies  

Hall of Seasons