Swords of the Archangels

by

Aidan Coulter

Aren is ten years old and has brown hair and gray-green eyes the colour of a stormy sea. He has never known a home other than his family's house on Farran Island. He is good with the bow and arrow and likes exploring the island. From the outside, Farran Island looks like a desolate rock that no one would want to live on. But if someone followed a particular path, they would find a hidden entrance leading through the rocks and would come out onto the rim of a large crater about 100 acres across. The crater is covered in trees with a longish lake in the middle. From the lake, a small river winds its way down to a hole in the rocks that leads to the Sea of Elgaroth. Around the lake there is a grove of large spreading oak trees where Aren and his extended family live in treehouses made from driftwood.

Aren is exploring a small cliff face on the western side of the crater on Farran island, when he comes across a cave entrance. He peers inside and sees a roughly carved wooden table, a rock seat carved from the wall of the cave, and a mysterious rusty old trunk tucked into a corner. At that moment, Aren suddenly feels a strong grip on his shoulder! He turns around and to his surprise sees a kind-looking old man wearing a tattered old captain's uniform from the Queen's Arabia navy. "Sorry if I scared you, let me introduce myself; my name is Marsellis, what's yours?"

Aren stammers in surprise, "I-my name's Aren. Why do you live out here all alone?" "Come inside and I'll tell you." answers Marsellis. He leads the way and they both sit down on the rough stone bench. "I am here because I was set adrift in rowboat by that pirate Morgoren after he won the great sea battle of The Dead Reefs." Morgoren, he speaks the name with disgust, "You wouldn't know of him, but the rest of the world lives in fear of him. The only thing you need to know about him is that he is ruthless, and he wants something that I have." Aren stares at him with awe, "Y-you have something that a ruthless pirate wants! What is it?" "I'll tell you when you know about the swords of the four archangels." Marsellis says . "I thought the archangels were peaceful. Why would they need swords?" Aren wondered out loud, so Marsellis proceeds to explain, "They usually are, but there was a time when the great evil of the world grow so much that the archangels were in danger of dying. As you should know, the archangels are beings of good and if the balance between good and evil is tipped, they will die. That is why they made the four swords of lightning dust, to help one of pure heart right the sins so great that they themselves could not enter the physical world to restore the balance. They scattered these swords into our world in all directions and made it so when one with a pure heart lays the four swords together on a table in the center of the place where all stars fall, which according to my research is somewhere on Clover Island, just south of our Faran Island. Back to the point, legend says that, when the swords are laid together, a great power will come out and restore the balance between good and evil."

"But what became of the archangels? Did they die, or did the one with a pure heart come and restore balance?" "No one knows, some say the archangels are still waiting at the end of their strength for the one to restore balance, and others say the archangels are dead." "What do you think happened?"Aren then asks. Marsellis doesn't meet Aren's eyes when he replies, "Me? I don't care much about the subject. But lightning catching, now there is an art worth talking about!" "Lightning catching?" Aren asks. "Aye, lightning catching. It is the art of catching lightning in its purest form. If you like, I can teach you all I know about it." Marsellis says, with a hint of pride in his voice."Yes! Please do."Aren answers excitedly. "Very well, we can start your training tomorrow." said Marsellis."I must leave, my mother and Stormbeam are probably looking for me. I'll be back tomorrow. Bye!" so saying, Aren gets up and starts running home. When he is almost home, he hears a loud yell and thinking there is danger, he stops and hides behind a bush. "Ha ha, made you hide!" A small mischievous voice laughs. Immediately recognising it as the voice of Stormbeam his friend, Aren reveals himself. The small creature that Aren reveals himself to looks at first sight like nothing more nor less than a butterfly, but a closer look reveals you the fiery red hair and mischievous bright green eyes of the fairy named Stormbeam. "You sure did scare me. I thought an entire army was attacking."Aren says. "Why thank you!" Stormbeam jokes, making a deep bow. Aren laughs, "Ha ha. Very funny, now let's be serious. I'm going home, would you like to come with and have lunch?" Stormbeam says yes, so Aren walks home with him and they have lunch together.

The next day Aren visits the cave. "Ah, there you are at last Aren . What took you so long?" Marsellis asks Aren."Stormbeam my fairy friend made a big mess of our living room so I helped my mum and dad clean it up."Aren replies. "I see. Now I will teach you haw to catch lightning. But first, now that you know about the four swords of the archangels, I will tell you what Morgoren wants from me, it is one of the four swords." Marsellis says. "W-w-why would Morgoren want one of the swords?"Aren asks stammering in surprise."Because the swords are the only thing that standing in his way to achieving ultimate power. If the balance is restored, then the strong evil within him will soften and he will stop his evil deeds "Marsellis replies."If you have one of the swords, why haven't you gone looking for the others?"Aren says confused."Me? I haven't been at sea since I was set adrift in that rowboat. Going to sea might kill me. I am a old man...." Marsellis's is interrupted by a loud creaking noise. Aren and Marsellis run outside thinking that the cave is collapsing. Once outside, they perceive that the weather had turned for the worse while they were in the cave. In the distance they see what is making the noise, a ship wrecking on the Dead Reef.

"We've got to save those sailors lives, we can't just leave them to die." Aren says. "Just what I was thinking." Marsellis agrees. Marsellis and Aren run up the steps that lead to the rim of the crater and then through the hidden entrance to the sea. "How are we to get to the ship?"Aren asks Marsellis."I have already thought of that, follow me." So Aren follows Marsellis and watches him as he walks along the beach for a while, stops at a big clump of seaweed, and tosses the seaweed away to reveal a small row boat. They jump in the boat and row to the ship, rain pouring down their faces and the wind whipping at their clothes. When they reach the ship, to their surprise, the wind suddenly dies down and the rain that was only a second ago pelting at their faces stops. Aren sees the name of the ship on the side, "The Red Dragon" and purple sails with the emblem of a dragon on them swaying in the wind. "Aren, we must search the wreckage for any survivors." Marsellis says. "You are right Marsellis, this is no time to enjoy the ship." So they start searching with no time to lose.

After two hours of searching to no avail, they stumble, not upon a survivor, but a beautifully carved box floating in the water. There are flowers that look as if they grow right out of the wood, and fairies are delicately carved on to the lid, each little face different in its own way, looking as if they thought that no one in the world could have made them, and that if you suggested such an preposterous idea, they would bite off your fingers. In other words, the artists captured them exactly as fairies are in real life. Aren and Marsellis lift the mysterious box from the water into the boat. "I wonder what's in the box." Aren says. "It is none of . . . ." Marsellis stops in mid sentence. "What is it?"Aren asks. "In the Queen's Navy, the men are taught the properties of lighting dust and how to sense when it is nearby." "What does that have to do with the subject? I asked why you stopped speaking." "A lot. I just sensed that whatever is in that box contains a huge amount of lighting dust, and that can mean only one thing, one of the four swords is inside it."

Marsellis and Aren look for something to open the box with because it is locked, and find a crowbar. Finally, after tugging at the lid with the crowbar, they finally get the lid off to reveal one of the four swords in a green scabbard. Beside the sword is a letter addressed to the King of the White Isles of Ared. "The Queen of Arabia must have found the sword and, knowing of the archangels, sent for "The Red Dragon" to take the sword to the White Isles of Ared for the King to see. The crew must have not known of the precious cargo for if they had, they would not have gone so close to the dangerous reefs" Marsellis says."Or some one was following them." Aren says. "MORGOREN" they say in unison. "But how?"Aren asks. "I don't know, but he knew that the sword was on the ship." Marsellis says. "Lucky for us he didn't find the sword before us." Aren says." 'Tis no luck that we found the sword, the archangels made the storm and when they saw you in the boat they knew the sword was in safe hands and made the storm stop. Even now they are peering over the parapet of heaven, watching us." Marsellis explains. "Why would they stop the storm for me?" Aren asks. "One minute ago, I would have asked the same question, but now I have solved the prophesy! One with a pure heart means a child. That child is you, now I see why I felt such a strong aura about you." Marsellis answers. "If you are right, that means I am in charge, so I say we must set sail in search of the swords at once. One more question before we leave, why did you say back at the cave that going to sea might kill you, and yet you sail as if you had been practicing." Aren says. "You are right, I have not been entirely truthful with you. My entire life has been devoted to researching the archangels and their swords." Marsellis says.

"Naughty naughty Aren, planning to go off without Stormbeam. Bad human boy, bad bad human boy." says a voice from a spot in midair. "Stormbeam, is that you?"Aren says. With a loud crack, Stormbeam appears, hovering in midair "Yes Mr. Aren." "Stormbeam, how long have you been eavesdropping?" Aren asked. "From where I come from, we start with the introductions first, then interrogate the guests. But have it your way, interrogations first. Well, it all started when a mermaid dared me to fly straight into the storm and come back, so I flew straight into the storm and was just heading back when I saw you and Marsellis, I was curious, so I flew down to the boat and turned myself invisible. I heard all that stuff about the swords and Morgoren, and I'm coming with you." So with that, they set sail.

* * * * * * * * *

Meanwhile, far, far away from where Aren, Marsellis, and Stormbeam are embarking on their mission, Morgoren sits on a throne in his secret base, talking to his soothsayer, which in his opinion, is a bore, he would rather frighten one of his men. "One sword down. Three to go. Soothsayer, tell me where the other sword is and this time, no lying. Clever trick I admit, telling me the sword was on the FASTEST SHIP IN THE NAVY, NOW TELL ME THE TRUTH!" Morgoren says in bored voice that turns into an angry yell. "B-b-but I was t-t-telling the truth." The soothsayer stammers in protest. "There is no point in lying anymore, I have searched the entire ship and the water around it, and found nothing. Now if you don't want to find your head on a wall, I suggest you tell me the truth now. I am losing my temper."Morgoren says. The soothsayer thinks frantically, I must act quickly if I want to keep my head on my body. The only problem is I am telling the truth.... I know, I'll tell him that I will stop lying, and then I'll tell him where the third sword is. Not that I was lying in the first place, but it doesn't matter which sword I show him the way to. Then I'll escape. "I'm waiting." Morgoren says impatiently. "I have repented, I will tell you were the sword is. It is on Clover Island." The soothsayer says. "Good, thank you. Checo....CHECO, WHERE ARE YOU, DOG...WHERE ARE YOU! "Morgoren yells. "Here sir, I was just on my way to the ships when I heard you call." Says a man wearing colourful checkered pants, a striped blue and white shirt, and a floppy hat. At his side is a gun. "Right, I want you to get all the men and load up the ship, we are going to Clover Island Checo." Morgoren says. "Yes sir!" So saying, Checo leaves the room.

* * * * * * * * *

As Aren rows, he thinks of Faran Island and his mom's home-made pie, it has been four days since he has eaten anything, because there is no food on the small row boat. Just then, he is jolted out of his thoughts by the sound of Marsellis yelling, "LAND HO!" "Where?"Aren asks excitedly. "On the starboard side." Marsellis answers. Aren looks, and sure enough, there is Clover Island. Tall trees covering its rocky shore, high mountainous cliffs reaching to the sky. For a minute, Aren thinks he sees a temple on top of the highest cliff, but when he looks again, he sees nothing. "Yes yes yes! At last, we reach land!" Stormbeam says in joy. Aren ignores Stormbeam, and with Marsellis's help, he beaches the row boat. Now standing on the beach, they see a strange sight, what looks like the trail of a huge animal. But instead of paw prints from a wild beast, all they see are faint indistinct shapes. "I have never seen a animal act like this! It must have been drawn to one of the four swords." Marsellis says."Brilliant! If we follow the animal's trail, it will lead us to the third sword!" So saying, Aren begins to follow the trail of devastation. Marsellis, with Stormbeam perched on his hat, runs to keep up with Aren, who is making rapid progress. Finally Marsellis and Stormbeam catch up with Aren. They stop and stare up at the looming cliff blocking their way, until Aren spies a group of ledges that lead up to the top. They climb and climb, until, nearly evening, they reach the top and see a temple in front of them. They walk forwards to see more of the temple, when suddenly a dark figure jumps in front of them, barring the way. Marsellis gasps, " Morgoren!" he says.

Aren sees a fairly tall man, with black hair, a goatee, piercing dark eyes, and most noticeable of all, a cold but youthful face that looked as if all the joy had been sucked out of it. He is wearing blood-red robes and a black cocked hat with a long peacock feather stuck into it. Aren and Marsellis step back, and Morgoren steps forwards, drawing a sword from a scabbard at his waist that is identical to the one covering the archangels sword that Aren is holding. " NOT A STEP FURTHER!" Morgoren yells. Two more pirates step forward, and the only way out seems to be to fight. The two men take on Marsellis while Morgoren and Aren begin a crazy dance, in which the pirate would lunge forwards and swipe at Aren, and the boy would only just avoid the rusty blade. The fight goes on, neither winning, but Aren and Marsellis are definitely weakening.

Then, with one well-aimed swipe, Morgoren knocks Aren to the ground, and prepares to cut off his head. Aren uses the last of his strength to bring up his blade and throw it onto the marble table at the temple's steps. It begins to glow, and the swords of the hermit and the pirate captain vibrate and glow also. As if drawn to a magnet, the swords pull themselves towards the one on the table. Marsellis lets go, a smile of wonder on his face, and his sword zooms through the air and lands with a clink beside the other. Morgoren struggles with his sword, trying to keep it in his hands, but finally, with a look of despair on his face, he is forced to let go. The swords hum, growing brighter and brighter. Aren thinks he sees a fourth sword materialize out of thin air, but then he is forced to shut his eyes as the light grows brighter still. Finally, when the light is too bright to bear, the humming reaches a crescendo, and Aren hears a faint "Noooooo!" of despair from the pirate as the light disappears. He opens his eyes to see that the swords and the pirates were no longer there, it was as if they had never existed. Everything was quiet except for the faint sound of the waves crashing against the beach, and Marsellis getting to his feet. "Well, THAT was fun!!" Stormbeam breaks the silence loudly.

Marsellis laughs, and with that, they set off for home.

LPH Writing Class stories 2012-2013