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Ithuriel: Inception (Chapter One)

Presenting original fantasy fiction from Robert Roach, this prose series features sword and soul hero Ithuriel in adventures placed in fantasy lands.

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Kuanzishwa 701, the Ninth Month, 17th day – the First Month, 12th day

(Kuanzishwa is the Swahili word for "establishment" or "inception." It's the calendar designation for this era.)

Ithuriel's mind wanders as he looks closely at the reddish/purplish & semi-translucent globe in the palm of his hand. The ball is about the same size as a small tangerine. It's an object he's possessed most of his life—the last gift given to him by his mother.

As he's not thinking about the orb, Ithuriel is examining it intently. The sphere glows & glitters, twinkling as if it's living. The massive, young warrior idly twirls the sphere in his hand's hollow.

Actually, the sparkling globe is affixed to a longsword's hilt. The weapon is his father's—Tzumé's—treasured longsword, Liwâ1. So, absent-mindedly, Ithuriel twirls this exquisite & deadly rapier.

"Still deep in thought?" he's asked. The large, young warrior pivots toward his father's voice. Tzumé's smiling at his son as he walks into the chamber. Even though his father's physique is powerful & imposing—Tzumé's height is about 6'5" tall, the son dwarfs his father.

"Ah!" Ithuriel grunts. "'The future.' My Rites of Passage ceremony. Answering the question, 'What will I do for the rest of my life?'"

"Those aren't unusual questions for a young man your age," Tzumé replies. 

"Especially for a young man with your extraordinary skills & potential."

"What's unusual—for you—is this angst. This is quite unlike you, son."

Barely above a whisper, Ithuriel replies, "Yeah, Dad. I can't explain my unease. Sorry, but--"

"No need to apologize, son," Tzumé responds. Ithuriel's father moves across the expansive room. The dark brown & slate grey striated stone & wood used to construct their home gives off a mellow atmosphere. This great room is about 15-feet by 20-feet. The home's wide, circular foyer opens in three directions—one of these directions toward the great room. Opposite this entryway, at the other side of the chamber, the room opens onto Tzumé's sizable library. Like the foyer, the library's level is two feet, or two steps, higher than the great room's level.

The great room is tastefully decorated in a muted golden, tan, dark chocolate & earth tones. Elaborate woodwork is used to create the apartment's four, large arching windows. Molding runs horizontally throughout this room, down the entirety of the exterior & interior walls.

The chamber's four high-arching colonnades—built flush against the room's longer walls—match the arching windows' pattern. They support the apartment's nine foot high ceiling. The floor's irregularly shaped grey marble tiling has been worn to a smooth surface. There are throw rugs about the chamber, accenting the great room's tasteful & attractive fixtures.

Two reclining sofas, shelving on the walls, three low chairs—resembling modern, oversized bean bags, set in low, circular-backed support structures, two low, small tables & one higher, larger table are arranged throughout the room. Lanterns, waiting for fast-approaching evening to be lit, are in the chamber's corners—extending from the walls—& hanging from the center of the ceiling.

Various animal pelts highlight the room's furniture. However, they're not the hides of contemporary animals. These hides are more like contemporary animals on steroids. The skins are those of pre-historic creatures—those of the Pleistocene (Cenozoic) Age 2. 

It's an hour or two prior to dusk as sunlight filters in through the portals.

Tzumé kicks aside the throw rugs as he traverses the room. After reaching the opposite side, Tzumé opens a pelt-topped chest. 

He reaches inside & pulls out a couple of wooden practice swords, each about a yard long.

Ithuriel puts Liwâ down & catches one of the staffs, which his dad has tossed to him.

"You just need to clear your mind. Ready?" Tzumé asks.

"Ready!" the massive young man replies, smiling at his dad.

"Hah!" Tzumé exclaims as he leaps toward his son, swinging his practice sword at a 60° angle, heading for Ithuriel's head.

 The word "liwâ" translates as "destruction" in the Lingala language, from northwest Congo.

Woolly mammoths, mammals such as saber-toothed cats (Smilodon), giant ground sloths (Megatherium) & mastodons existed during this period. Other mammals during this period include moonrats, tenrecs (hedgehog-like creatures) & macrauchenia (similar to llamas & camels).

Ithuriel story elements are the sole property of Robert Roach/Hometown Productions ©2020 

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Words and illustrations by Robert Roach