Powerful — Tome 1 : The Realm of Harcilor

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For twelve years, the power has been usurped at the Realm of Harcilor. Cyr, an erudite, and his adopted son, Kaaz, have formed a secret school. Indeed, in this world, some people were born endowed with magical abilities : the Silarens. However, it is not that easy to detect your own powers.

CHAPTER 1 : The Tent

 

*** The book is currently available in French, the English translation is coming. Here are the first excerpts. Thank you! ***

 

Relan, year 12

In that early spring, thick gray clouds covered the sky, letting fine frosty raindrops fall down. The wide alleys were empty. Two Guardians passed along the rampart, their boots sinking into the mud.

They had to wear a mark above the eyebrows : a long and thin dark blue line crossing their forehead. Thereby, it was simple to distinguish them from the people. They also wore long dark capes. These ones were striding along the stony wall extensively heightened since the new king Relan had usurped the power.

The realm of Harcilor was located at the north of the continent whilst the south was only constituted of desert plains. The eastern part of this land was separated by the Karilii sea and bound at the south by a chain of lively active burning mountains. The harcilans lived isolated as there were not many of them.

At Hierum, the capital, people principally resided in cabins and tents protected by the defensive wall. However, humidity and cold were piercing outside as much as inside habitations.

At several measures from the castle could be found an alley where the biggest tents had subsisted, more or less intact. They belonged to the Guardians of the late king Geldir. All of them roughly showed the same colours : brown, auburn and charcoal grey, whose partition walls were strengthened with wood. The new Guardians, for their part, had settled at the place of the castle gardens to get closer to Relan.

 

In front of one of these tents, a fawn-coloured one, was standing a young man. Kaaz was twenty-four years old but seemed older with his tired features, pale complexion and purplish lips. He was tall, had long black hair reaching the bottom of his back and clear blue eyes that seemed nearly white by this weather. Sadness and anger displayed upon his face. He was wearing a long dark cape as well.

He was part of the Silarens, the humans who possessed magical powers. The ones who didn't have the birth advantage to dispose of any of them were called the Iesilarens.

These unfamiliar words came from the first spoken language on the mainland, the Tystena: « silar » meant « power », and the prefix « ie » indicated the negation. The Silarens could feel each other, perceive the magical energy from one another.

Kaaz was watching around the tent. Nobody should discover what was happening, the Guardians first. If they were coming to know or suspect the inner activities all the persons present would be sentenced to death.

From time to time, the Guardians went away from the castle to investigate the neighbourhood, which disquieted Kaaz. Sometimes, they had already passed in front of the tent and gotten in to search it.

Careful, he had been on the lookout for days when no one was inside, in order to deceive them and leave them unsatisfied. They had somewhat lost interest in this case as there were no suspicious movements.

 

Today, the Guardians had decided to pass again in the way. Kaaz felt a little nervous but hid it so well nowadays. He noticed the two men turning in the path from afar. He removed his glove and put his right hand behind his back while facing them.

He used his Dissimulation power : an invisible magical energy spreading itself around the canvas shelter like a shield. This force could prevent the Silarens from feeling the magic hidden inside the unearthly shell, willing to hide the host and the guests of the tent. He kept this thin layer of energy as the two men passed by and observed him.

Kaaz quickly took a bow to them, and in return they made a discreet head gesture knowing him rather well now. At least, that's what they thought.

They continued on their way, seeing and feeling nothing that could put them on alert. It was one of the two powers inherited from his mother, a very rare and envied capacity.

Kaaz was still maintaining his shield for a moment, the safest was to wait for the Guardians to be far enough. To define at which distance the magic energy could be felt or not by someone else was a difficult task. It all depended of the intensity of one's own powers and others'. Yet, these two Guardians weren't that powerful. Moreover, one only possessed Mobility, and the other Inflammation, widely spread powers.

The two men far away, Kaaz stopped emiting his Dissimulation. Apparently, no one else was expected. The guests knew if they didn't see him at the entrance they had to go backwards. He lifted the first curtain of the tent, then the second one — thicker and heavier — to get inside.

Were standing there a dozen of children and young adults sitting on the ground on woven fabrics, as for some parents. The whistling of the wind and the abrupt fall of the rain ran all over the roof of the canvas. In spite of these uncomfortable conditions the invited were facing vacant table and stool. They were clearly waiting for someone.

Cil, a copper-coloured skin and dark-haired little boy, approached Kaaz.

'When I'll be older, I want to be as powerful as you !' he claimed.

Kaaz smiled, which was rather unusual from him. With his right hand, he tousled the boy's hair.

'I hope you will.'

The man they were all waiting for got out of the bottom room and put his manuscripts on the table. Cil took back his place among the other children.

This man's name was Cyr Belgran. He was in his fifties and was of ebony complexion. White hair and beard wrapped his face and the rust colour of his eyes brought even more sweetness to his friendly appearance. He was standing in front of his pupils, unrolling a map world drawn by his care and hung it up.

From memory, he had transcribed what he had read in various books before they had all been burnt by the new Chief of the Guardians.

'Good morning everyone. Today, we will study our world and kingdom geographies. Going back to the last lesson, it is important to know where we come from, to know our environment. You should make use of what surrounds you, you are only visiting but Nature has been here for a very long time and will linger. No matter the past, present or future kings and queens. No matter the people. Nature created us and amiable beings to live with, and gave us the right to live. Each day, it grants us what to eat, what to build for shelter, what to dress and what to take care of ourselves.'

The master threw a handful of powder, a mixture of dried star jelly and panther caps. Then, he recited a spell in an ancient language :

'Utena beris.'

The powder held in suspension. Appeared images: opening primroses of all colours, white, yellow, purple and mulberry; a peaceable creek winding between banks covered of first snow; and finally, a sunrise gleaming over the vast plains of east. Children and parents were filled with wonder.

With the help of a stick, Cyr stirred up this magic screen. He was Iesilaren and practiced material magic. A less mighty magic yet it had other advantages.

'It grants us its help and its beauties. It is ours to behave as we should towards its splendour and its creatures, including ourselves, humans. We had a king who respected us, as you know, he was unseated some years ago...'

In the room, everyone was listening with attention. Cyr surely was one of the wisest men in the capital, in Harcilor even.

'Henceforth, we are bound by another king and his son, Chief of the Guardians. In addition to that, we have to confront a disloyal Guard. All of them being thirsting after wealth and subjection. We should never forget what our kingdom used to be for generations: a fair and free land.'

The children's and parents' eyes were shining, both with remembrance of this past secretly kept and with admiration for this strong-willed man.

* * *

Inside the castle, an excursion was being prepared. The servants were loading chestnut wooden trunks and wrought iron caskets with provisions, linens or immaculate white clothes stitched of royal blue borders. All of the garments proudly carried the Dois emblem embroidered in gold thread: a giant oak and a crown on its top, because as simple as this, 'dois' meant 'oak' in Tystena.

'Ridiculous,'  thought the tailors, 'a tree wearing a crown'. But if they wished to leave this world dying natural death, never they should give their advice loudly.

The servants were bustling about in the cold and humid cellars, then took back the last luggages up at the ground floor.

Litar had to leave with a procession, searching for a rare plant whose existence had been whispered. It was said to enhance powers and the young man was admitted as the most powerful being of the realm. That is how father and son had managed to pull down the king and his Guardians. Nobody was up to overcome the Dois son.

In his luxurious bedchamber, Litar was taking his bath. Fire was crackling in the large fireplace. The steams of soapwort and camomile filled the room of their fragrance. The young man didn't want any servant to help him, he couldn't bear their presence nor their indiscreet glimpses. He could muddle through these customs alone. The domestics made the bath and then had to go out and devote themselves to other duties.

He was observing the room that had been assigned to him: a large canopy bed made of raw linen drapes on which we could discern geometrical ornaments and sapphire-tincted florals; the three five-branched bronze candlesticks and their vegetable wax bougies; as well as a comfortable mahogany bench, topped with an azure velvet cushion, leaned against the wall and under the window. The transparent panes were contoured by stained glasses, as for all the castle windows. Some red and green rays of light were falling on the fabric of the bank and reflected on the ground. Compared to his former home, this room seemed like an enchanted castle in itself.

Litar got out of the suds and made his way to the folding screen, there he took the towel hanging on it and wiped himself. This solitary life felt quite unpleasant, but his father was finally proud of him.

The voyage should last two lunar cycles. His mission consisted in traveling across all of the realm to try and find these precious roots helped by scholars, called Utelyns in ancient language. He put on his shirt, a white tunic above it, breeches and leggings he knotted, and lastly, his cornflower-bordered alabaster doublet to resist to cold. He seized his long white cape spread out on the bed and put it on, and shod his boots. Adding a thin chainmail on his chest and iron arm bracers as a lesser protection.

At the age of twenty-seven, with his well-sculpted body, deep blue eyes, curly chestnut hair and short beard, without noticing it, he was stirring hearts of the female and some male Guardians, servants, and even of some Utelyns.

* * *

CHAPTER 2 : The Crown

 

Geldir, year 43

An anthracite tent, at the east of the city, was housing the Kelan family. The mother, Kern, was a tall woman with long pitch black hair, reaching her waist, only accentuated her lengthy silhouette. Her eyes were as dark as her hair, and closer, the color of the snow seemed warmer compared to her pale complexion. Her eastern roots dated so far back that she had kept those characteristics.

The natives of the west had always told the natives of the east seemed sick because of their silvery skin, but it was of no relevance. Kern was so healthy that she had never had any illness since birth. She seemed to have transmitted her strong constitution to her children, who also escaped all fevers and colds every winter. Her husband, Brim, the same age, was even taller. He could see over the huts and tents, which is why their home exceeded those of their neighbors of several measures.

He was a man with an impressive musculature, his shoulders were three times larger than those of his wife. Her short blond hair was as prickly as his short beard. Their two children often joked about it after a kiss on the cheek or the forehead. He had round steel blue eyes, and well filled and reddish cheeks in these chilly days.

He had asked for her hand in their native village. The king wished to recruit new Guards to rejuvenate his ranks, the youthful pair owning rare powers had not passed unnoticed. They accepted the offer and came to settle in the capital. After all, it would be the perfect place to raise their future children.

Some lunar cycles were enough to welcome their eldest, Kaaz. Then, waiting for warmer weather due to several years of frost, they had their second son, Rimm.

One evening, while Kaaz played with stones in the living room, he conjured a spark between her palms:

'Look father! I can do like you!'

Brim proudly approached him and ruffled his hair.

'A little practice and you will become a Guardian' he said while heading towards Rimm wooden cradle to change him.

Kaaz ran to see his mother in the master bedroom, which was sewing a cloak for him.

'Mom, look! I've got the same power as Dad!' he exclaimed, clasping his hands and brought forth little sparks.

'Really good, son! Do you want me to show you a trick?' she suggested putting her work on the ground.

'Yes of course.'

She kneeled to be at his height. She turned her hands to the sky, the water particles in the air gathered in the hollow of her palms. Clasping her hands, she combined it all then poured the liquid to the floor.

'If one day you are in danger and water is near you, let the one following you come into contact with it. Then, send your magical energy on the pond or river, thus you will master your pursuer.'

She took his hand and flattened it on the surface of the puddle. The boy threw his sparks, even minimal, which proliferated in the fluid. Kaaz turned to his mother, smiled, and kissed her cheek. She squeezed him against her.

In the fall Geldir 48, Kern and Brim were keeping watch at the western gate of the castle when they heard a noise, somewhat like a crumbling cabin.

'Stay here, I'll have a look' Brim said.

Through the postern he passed. The big doors were closed since no events were expected for several weeks. Past the second small door, he glimpsed the young litar — who had just turned fifteen years old — accompanied by four older Silarens attacking two other Guardians.

Seeing his friends falling under the blows, he intervened using his Thunder power over Litar, however this one immediately wrapped himself in his golden Shield. The electrical energy coming out of his hand was not sufficiently corrosive and only grazed the moving and impassive hull of the young Dois.

One of the fourSilarensused his Mobility to eject Brim: throwing him against a hut which crashed under his weight. He rose with difficulty when he heard Kern's voice shout:

'Stop! What are you doing ? Why betray our good king?'

The same Silaren swept her with the back of his hand, leading her to fall backwards. Litar used his Inflammation to burn her alive, she screamed in pain as the flames were reaching her legs.

Brim gathered his strength to run and jump on his wife to cover and protect her from the flames. She was screaming and crying all at once. She raised a hand to stroke Brim's face, whose clothes were beginning to catch fire.

Still applying his right hand, Litar threw new flames over the couple which got enveloped by fire. Brim embraced Kern tightly, she hugged him in return. If they had to die, it should be together.

***

CHAPTER 10 : Kelumistaa

 

Some weeks after Geldir's overthrow, Selna and her father settled in Kelumistaa, an eastern forest. It was one of the widest in the kingdom and one of the hilliest too. It was the perfect place to escape the Guard.

To become unrecognizable, Pars had grown a beard and his hair. Both had become bushy and dotted with white which wasn't quite showing when they were still short. He wasn't changing clothes any more: they were stained and torn by everyday work like wood cutting, and their colors faded. He, who was rather naturally plump, had already clearly thinned.

As to Selna, she was wearing a bonnet upon her long hair tied back in a braid. Her clothes and shoes were from lower quality as well.

Father and daughter established a tent with fabrics and pine boards that he had bought at the heart of a village. Pain was showing upon his face, it made him age suddenly. It was even more difficult to recognize him.

Selna seemed sadder than usual while managing to endure their fate. She was doing everything to overcome this affliction as she could see how hard it was for her father to bear the death of Kolin.

What was to become of them? How would they cope with all of this? How would life be without her mother? She was thinking about all of these problems and tried to chase them from her mind as soon as possible. If she ventured to think about it, then she could never stop. It would result in a downward spiral.

She chose to keep in mind her mother was perhaps not really gone. She would return one day, after all, she was not there at the time of the facts. She had only been told the Head of the Guardians had been defeated.

This would allow her to keep hope, to preserve her strength to care for her father and cheer him. She did not want to lose both her parents. She could see him sitting there, staring blankly. He hardly ate anything. The child had to force him to swallow his soup. From now on, her primary concerns were to take care of him and to learn how to expand her powers: they could be useful for their future

To make him think of anything else, she was experimenting her abilities in front of him. While they were in their tent, she was standing in the middle of the room:

'Do you see me ?' she asked him.

'Yes, I see you' sighed he.

The little girl was wondering what she could think of to become invisible. She thought of her body moving without being seen. She was trying to think of it in an elementary way, then more elaborately: she discerned every part of her body, trying to feel something.

'When I think about being invisible nothing happens' replied the child, disappointed.

'It must be something else. Such as wind or air?'

This idea had not crossed her mind yet. This time, she imagined herself light as the wind, as if everything could crosses her, then she waved her arms.

'And now, do you see me?' she asked him again.

'Yes' terselyreplied the father .

What was she meant to do?

She turned around and stared at what was behind: the canvas of the tent, piled logs and vegetables reserves.

She turned back to face her father who still looked absent-minded, then closed her eyes. In her mind, she remembered the images of what she had seen in her back.

The child suddenly became invisible. Pars gaped.

'And now, do you see me father?'

'No! You're invisible at last!' he exclaimed.

'Is that true?'

She reappeared and lowered her gaze to her feet.

'But I can see myself' replied the child.

'From now, yes. But you were invisible for a moment. What did inspire you?'

'I considered the setting as though paint was covering me from top to bottom. I imagined shapes and colors on me, as if I was part of it'

'That's it then. Will you try again?'

'Yes! I have to train to master it!' she enthused.

Eyes closed, she disappeared once again.

________________________________________________________________

The story has been published in French, I managed to stay very close in the translation. So if you like French or want to learn it you can find the free excerpts here: http://powerfulthenovel.tumblr.com/post/130052100883/extraits-gratuits

You can buy the book/ebook here: http://s-n-lemoing.iggybook.com/fr/powerful/

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Stay tuned:

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25801952-le-royaume-d-harcilor

Saga Powerful Facebook page ((pictures of characters,interviews, etc): https://www.facebook.com/powerfulnovel/

Author page: https://www.facebook.com/snlemoing/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/romanfantasy1

Trailer with English subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0A1XUHXzow

Thank you very much !!!

 

 

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