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Of Keys and Wands and Rainbows

Do you see the majestic rainbow as it stretches across the sky?
Those seven colors, clear and bright, remind us, you and I,
That seven keys will one day come, each with a precious jewel,
To unlock the Messiah’s dungeon, finally ending the Reaper’s rule.

The Reaper sprang out of Hell’s dark pit to gather his mighty power.
In seven wands he placed his strength. In his darkest hour,
His wands mastered the elements; from them they gained control,
And captured the Son of Aradun to be locked in the Well of Souls.

Seven different times, to aid our plight, He escaped from the Reaper’s jail.
But seven times the chains did come; out from beyond the veil.
Like jeweled links a chain shot forth from each Element Wand,
To catch the Messiah and drag Him to His cell in the dark beyond.

In the Well of Souls, where locks were forged, and dark magic words were spoken,
Chained in a cell against His will; seals that stay unbroken.
Still he languishes, horridly, far from the world He loves,
Only the rainbow reminds us, in the grey stormy skies above.

Now the seven wands that sealed his fate were stolen in the night,
Like the rainbow at the storm’s end; the colors gone from sight.
Yet, some say the wands have returned, wielding awesome power.
All’s lost unless they’re destroyed one day, when comes the appointed hour.

By keys that open the Well of Souls and set free the Creator’s Son,
Wands broken and our world set free; the Reaper’s works undone.
The Seer shall come, gather a host, and seven there shall be.
To destroy the wands and free the Son, each shall carry a Key.

They’ll be chosen by the Nymphien and each queen will die from her choice.
And when the seer is given his key, it will speak with a voice,
To aid in his search for the rest; it’s for his strength we pray,
That he’ll locate the six and their keys, and together they’ll win the day.

Can you name all the Wands of Power, wielded by shades of night?
Do you know each rainbow jeweled key, precious beyond all sight?
Here they are, seven in a row, whispered names, unbidden,
But knowing their names won’t protect you if the keys themselves stay hidden.

There’s Cealzor, the red Wand of Death, which forges the ruby red Chain.
The Ruby: Cealzor’s power; death from torment and pain.
Red like death when blood runs forth for the end has come at last.
Dark rubies that glisten like spilled blood; wet red drops fall upon the grass.

There’s Ciad, which is the Ruby Key, when worn ‘round the neck of the shade,
Will turn back the stealing of life; the horror—death—unmade.
Born by one of the most unfit, a beast that one time slayed,
The bright Ruby Key will be revealed with the master of him betrayed.

There’s Arazor, orange Wand of Fire, which forges the great Orange Chain.
Fire Opal, Arazor’s power, ignites both wood and plain.
Orange fire that scars and destroys; bright flames that lick the night.
Opals that capture the heat of flame in jewels so fiery and so bright.

There’s Diog; it’s the Fire Opal Key, around the neck of the savage.
Preventing the burning of life, see how flames can ravage.
Even the beastly have a soul, and so goes the adage,
The Fire Opal Key will be revealed on a creature freed from bondage.

There’s Illinzor, the yellow Earth Wand, which forges the great Yellow Chain.
Topaz displays Illinzor’s strength; corrupted land—a stain.
Yellow is earth, where good things grow, it nourishes, provides.
Yellow topazes, their golden glow, reveals in them that strength abides.

There’s Trian, which is the Topaz Key, found ‘round the neck of one who’s lost.
It halts the corruption of things; but it comes with a cost.
A living thing’s most precious gift, to the Reaper is tossed.
The Topaz Key shall be revealed when the bridge that was broken is crossed.

There’s Nimzor, the green Wand of Water, which forges the emerald Green Chain.
The Emerald shines with Nimzor’s power, torrential drenching rain.
Green is water, flowing, falling; all slippery and wet.
Green emeralds shine beyond all compare, there’s magic found in their depth.

Now Dair, which is the Emerald Key, shall be found where the water is pure.
The power to halt destruction; the Key offers a cure.
Where water flows from heights above, its place is there secure:
The Emerald Key is ever revealed, awarded to those who are sure.

There’s Maladzor, the blue Wand of Air, which forges the Blue Diamond Chain.
Hard Diamond: Maladzor’s power; the wind howls its refrain.
Blue is air, clean and free, both warm and a chill to the bone.
Blue diamonds sparkle bright, clear, and cold, and are harder than any stone.

Eadha, which is the Diamond Key, revealed where winged ones are dying.
Controls the air and the sky, the breeze where they are found flying.
Their demise is heard on the wind, the rustling leaves, sighing.
This Key lies with the tiniest race, who bring laughter without trying.

There’s Beathazor, the Wand of Life, which forges the Indigo Chain.
The Sapphire echoes its secret; controls thoughts in one’s brain.
Indigo’s life, warm blood flowing, down underneath the skin.
Indigo sapphires reflect that life; see their stars glowing from within?

Fèarn, which is the Sapphire Key, is found with the last of his race.
Stars, their light in the night, drive shadows from every dark place.
The sapphire’s star, pulsing, unaffected by time and space,
Points to the most ancient, deathless ones, who just vanished without a trace.

There’s Pentazor, violet Spirit Wand, which forges the great Violet Chain.
The Amethyst wand of power, your own soul it shall gain.
Violet is spirit; soul unseen, that goes beyond the veil.
Violet amethyst, rarest of gems, means the ending of life’s long tale.

Glaisrig, which is the Amethyst Key, shall be on the breast of the Seer.
That he sees what no one else can is something not often clear.
Its amethyst glow a comfort, he will learn to not shed a tear.
This jeweled Key lies with one who’s afraid, but one day he’ll master his fear.

These are the Seven Wands of Power, from a magic wrought deep in Hell,
And the Seven Element Keys, made to counter their spell.
The rainbow, stretched across heaven, colors wrought in the sky,
Serves to remind of war being fought; with which do your loyalties lie?

Do you side with the Wands of power? Do you choose to worship the Night?
Do you pick Keys and jewels, and so choose to worship the Light?
Messiah freed? We’re saved! To the one in the Light we pray;
Only in light shines the rainbow; it can only be seen in the day.

The colorful rainbow above lets us know the Creator’s the one;
It’s his side that we choose, we’ll fight till the battle is done.
When dark succumbs to the sunrise, we’ll know, then, that we’ve won;
And like the rainbow, our soul will shine forth with the rising of the sun.

The Perfect Review – The Illiri Messiah       

 

The Illiri Messiah explodes onto the scene as the best fantasy novel in a generation.  Imagine taking all the things you loved about The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Game of Thrones and combining them into an epic adventure full of intrigue, deceit, magic and mayhem.

K.W. Bunyap does just that as he delivers an epic story of an unlikely hero, Rand of the Scoth, who is forced into a quest to save the very world that despises him.

The republic known as the Realm has become the most powerful nation in all of Eilean Reul.  Built upon the ruins of the long dead immortals known as the illiri, the twelve clans that make up the Realm have known peace for generations, but when the Emerald Key re-appears on the dais in the coliseum at Hearthside, it can only mean one thing:  Violence and death are once more stalking the Realm.

Vanquished two thousand years ago by the illiri in a cataclysm that destroyed both sides, Dark Worshipers have returned.  Followers of The Reaper, they are regaining their power, and aided for the first time by an unholy alliance with the sub-human grimm, they threaten to conquer all of Eilean Reul.  Without the illiri, nothing stands between the Reaper’s followers and their ultimate victory over all of Eilean Reul.  The Realm’s only hope lies in seventeen-year old Rand, the boy who’s afraid of everything. 

He’s the son of Rommen of the Scoth, the Realm’s most revered knight, but the shy, scrawny Rand has inherited none of his father’s faith, courage, or military prowess.  His one and only dream is to be accepted by his own village, but he’s hated and despised—at least behind his father’s back—because of his spirit-sight.  Alone among all the mortal avanyar, only Rand has the ability to see the spirit world, and this curse has made him a complete outcast among his people.

There’s only one thing that might turn the villager’s hatred of Rand into respect and admiration, and that would be for him to successfully complete the Clannad and become a knight of the Realm.  To be a knight, to wield a coveted Nyakil, one of the holy swords of the Realm, would change everything for Rand.  It’s an impossible dream, however, because Rand has none of the traits that make a knight, and he’s done nothing even remotely brave enough to earn an invitation to compete at the Clannad, the trials of knighthood.

Rand is afraid of the dark.  He watched his mother die, and with his spirit-sight, saw the Reaper and his demons come for her soul.  Those images haunt his nightly dreams. Worse yet, Rand has a deep, paralyzing fear of death.  Watching his mother suffer, her soul cast into the undying fire, while Rand was powerless to save her, has caused him to fear death above all else.  The only way for him to avoid the Reaper’s tortures in the after-life is for Rand to discover the ancient illiri’s secret of immortality, and his quest for that knowledge consumes him.

When fate in the form of a nymph queen hangs an Amethyst Key around his neck, designating Rand as a Keystone, he immediately becomes targeted for death by Dark Worshipers.  The twelve clans of the Realm worship Aradun, the Creator of light and of life, and believe that one day His son, Inaradun the Messiah, will be freed from the Well of Souls to cast the Reaper and his minions into the outer darkness, forever.  Dark Worshipers are followers of an ancient and deadly cult who believe the Reaper is the master of all life, and Inaradun is the demon king.  They believe if the Well of Souls is unlocked and the Inaradun is freed, he will destroy all of Eilean Reul.  Dark Worshipers are sworn to kill any and all Keystones to prevent an attempt by an alliance of the Creator’s five races to unlock the Well of Souls.

Rand knows the illiri are no more, and without them it’s impossible for a Keystone alliance to form.  Yet, Dark Worshipers are still trying to kill him.  Why?  He has no answers.  He does not even know which of the five keys he possesses, and he has no idea how to get rid of it.  Rand is sure of only one thing:  The Amethyst Key was never meant for him, and getting rid of it is his only chance for survival.  However, the nymph queen told Rand that the Key is bound to him until death, so gaining immortality seems to be his only hope.  Does possessing the Key have something to do with Rand having the spirit-sight?  Will that cursed skill prove to be an aid, or will it hasten his demise?

The Emerald and the Amethyst Keys are now in play, and the Dark Worshipers are converging on the Keystones.  Will the other three Keys appear?  Can the alliance be formed without the illiri?  Will Rand find the courage to dare the impossible and try to unlock the Wells of Souls?  Will Eilean Reul finally be freed from the horrors of the Reaper, or will she suffer the fate the illiri died to prevent, so many years ago?  And the biggest question of all?  Will Rand live long enough to find the answers he seeks?

K.W. Bunyap makes the world of Eilean Reul come alive in a breathtaking display of scenery and characters that leap off the page and into your heart.  Rand’s journey to find friendship, to find answers, and to find the courage to overcome impossible odds will leave you gasping for breath as the stakes grow higher and higher and the chance for success grows darker and darker.

The quest for a sword, the search for immortality, and discovering the gift of strength within are just a few of the themes that make this book a treasure for the generations.  With a gripping climax and the twist at the end that stays with you long after you turn the last page, you’ll want to start reading it all over as soon as it’s finished.  It’s simply that grand!

Well done, Mr. Bunyap.  You give us hope that even the most insignificant of us can conquer our fears if we dare to dream.

In the ancient scrolls of the immortals, the Illiri named their world Eilean Reul, meaning “Island of the Stars”, though in conversation and literature they most often shortened it to simply Eilean (island). It was most often assumed that they were naming their island home (which was really a continent), but it really referred to the entire world, their planet.

In the beginning there was only the Creator, Ar-Adun. And the void.

They say the Creator was, and is, and always shall be. Long ago, before the birth of the stars, still He reigned over the void, which was nothing. And in that time He decided to bring His children into the world.

From the mind of Ar-Adun, first there came a spark, and then fire, and Arawn came into being, who the Illiri later called Kirin Sa’an. He was light, and his power drove the darkness from the void. The Creator dwelt with his first-born for a time, teaching him of all things.

Then Ar-Adun desired more children, and he brought them also into being. From the lips of Ar-Adun, second there came a breath, and Latobius came into being. He was given mastery over the air, the sky, and the stars. From the hands of Ar-Adun he scattered some dust, and third Tera-Anu came into being, and she was given the power to create the soil and all living things upon it.

Arawn saw his brother and sister come into being, and he frowned at having to share the cosmos with them. Ar-Adun sensed his first-born’s anger and a tear fell from His eye, and from that drop, fourth came Llyr-Dylaan and he created the waters.

Together Latobius, Tera-Anu, and Llyr-Dylaan created a beautiful world they called Tiela. But Arawn was jealous of their creation, and he took air and earth from his brother and sister and brought his fire down upon their world and set it ablaze, burning in the heavens. Llyr-Dylaan found him in the act of desecration and destruction and sought to stop him, but Arawn acted before he could be betrayed by his third sibling. He turned his flame upon Llyr-Dylaan and caused all he had created to turn to steam. Then, to show his mastery over Llyr-Dylaan, he taunted him and showed what would happen if he removed the heat of his fire, and Llyr-Dylaan’s creations solidified into ice and snow, falling still. Llyr-Dylaan wailed at the torture of his creations, and Latobius and Tera-Anu came at the sound of wailing and found their world Tiela engulfed in flame, utterly destroyed.

The three sorrowed over their loss, and their life began to leave them, and the Creator grew angry at what his first-born had done to his brothers and sisters, so he brought down His wrath upon Arawn and cast him from the heavens. He made Arawn ruler over the darkness, and with a loud voice decreed that his flame would no longer hold it back. In addition, he took the burning creation Tiela and set it in the heavens to replace Arawn’s light in the void. Then He took the gift of fire from Arawn and ordained that henceforth only with air and earth could he use the gift of his spark to bring forth fire. To Llyr-Dylaan, who Arawn had tortured cruelly, Ar-Adun gave him the power to engulf and extinguish Arawn’s flame. And, Ar-Adun gave to Llyr-Dylaan the gift of Varnn, the moon, reflecting the light of their lost Tiela in a cool, soothing softness, and Llyr-Dylaan then fell in love with Varnn and would feel drawn to forever more. Lastly, Ar-Adun took the spark of life from Arawn, and he brought forth another Child.

Inar-Adun, youngest of the Children of Ar-Adun, came into being, and to him was given the gift of the spark of life, and he ruled over the heavens for his father, and was loved by his brothers and sister. Arawn stared with hatred from the dark void at the youngest brother, and hated him from that moment onward.

In time, their sorrow passed, and Latobius, Tera-Anu, and Llyr-Dylaan created another world, Eilean Reul, and the Creator blessed them by bringing life to the world. The children of the creator created the first three races in the world, to honor their Father. First came the Tuath, who were the gnomes. With the spark of life from Inar-Adun, this male race was created by Tera-Anu, and they toiled in earth and water, and made beautiful things to honor their Creator. Then Llyr-Dylaan and Latobius brought forth the Fae, who were the nymphs and fairies, and after Inar-Adun gave them the gift of life, they brought the power of the Creator into the creations of the gnomes. Llyr-Dylaan made the nymphs female, to honor Tera-Anu’s creativity. Latobius created the fairies as both male and female, and gave them wings that they might fly in the air of his realm. The Tuath and the Fey were immortal, yet they could not have offspring, as the children of the Creator did not have that power to grant. Nevertheless, Ar-Adun was pleased and then He brought forth the Illiri, male and female, and he made them immortal and gave them as a gift to Latobius, Tera-Anu and Llyr-Dylaan, to rule their creation. Then Ar-Adun brought forth a fifth race, male and female, who were the Avanyar, and he gave them as a gift to his youngest born, Inar-Adun, and though they did not have immortality upon Eilean Reul, he gave them the gift of an eternal after-life, where they could dwell with the Creator and His children in the cosmos. Inar-Adun was humbled by the gift from His Father, and he used his spark to create the Guardians, to protect and watch over the all the Creator’s people during their mortal time upon Eilean Reul.

Now Arawn, watching the races come into being, grew jealous and began to copy the work of his father and siblings. He created people’s of his own in the darkness, and the demons, the Grimm, the gargoyles, the goblins and the nilganash were some of his abominations. Yet they couldn’t gain entrance into Eilean Reul.

Then Arawn shouted from the darkness that the people in this new world of Eilean Reul only worshiped the Creator because he had made them, and that they weren’t given any choice or free will in the matter. Arawn challenged Ar-Adun, his father, saying that if the new children in the world were given a choice, they would choose to worship Arawn, and they would never of free will worship the Creator. Ar-Adun answered the challenge, and allowed Arawn a hand in the world, while giving Latobius, Tera-Anu, and Llyr-Dylaan the power to hold him at bay from destroying the whole creation. Arawn argued that the peoples of this new world would never unite in worship of The Creator, and that if Inar-Adun was prevented from having any contact with them, the Peoples would choose to follow Arawn. So Ar-Adun, answering his first-born’s challenge, took his fifth son, Inar-Adun, and imprisoned him at the behest of Arawn, and set it so that only the free-willed union of Illiri and Avanyar, the Tuath and the Fae, could free Inar-Adun, who could then cast Arawn at last forever into the darkness. That is how Arawn came into the world, and he brought his creatures to Eilean as a mockery of Ar-Adun’s creations, and he strove to gain mastery over the world, to forever ruin the beauty his brothers and sister had made.

It is into this world that we come.

painted by June Jenssen. http://joovie.deviantart.com

Five companions forming the Five Keystones (Rand, Erinwe, Rille, Brinn, and Legion) are searching for the Well of Souls, and it is Rand who discovers they must leave behind their Nyakil’s to cross the Fire Breach.

illuminar

Drawing by Patricia Cavalieri

This is done by June Jennsen.