The Creator's Intent

Chapter 4


This chapter includes one paragraph with a very brief memory of a non-consensual act. Although it has been written as gently and nondescript as possible, it is a plot point for the story and will be referenced, although never described to this degree ever again. In case you might have a problem with it, the specific paragraph has been separated by a line of asterisks above and below it. I don't mean any harm or discomfort to my readers, but as I have stated, this incident will have more impact on the story as revealed in a future chapter. 

 My apologies for any inconvenience, and much love,



K’Laad walked through the halls of the Temple listening to the archivist rattle on and on about his new duties as the new falholwyn.  “Uncle M’Selah, did my third father ever grow weary of your tongue?  You speak too much, too quickly, my uncle.”

 “Daily, Holy Father,” the old man snorted.  “He also told me that my tone of voice could exhaust the patience of the most devout clerics.  The point was he still listened.”

 “I was listening,” K’Laad protested.

 “What then did I say about the visit of the priests from the eastern region?”

 “Ummm… Were they the ones that I should greet in my chambers more casually?”

 “Begging your pardon, Father, but the eastern region would be the entourage you must greet first in the Great Temple to show them you have taken the role of falholwyn fully and you must be respected as such.  If members of the envoy seem reluctant to support you, then you should call for the individuals to meet with you in private chambers.”  Both men turned to see a familiar young page peeking from behind a nearby column.  At the beckoning finger of the high priest, the boy stepped nearer.

 “Have you no tasks that you should be performing, boy?” M’Selah asked with a frown.  “Or more importantly, no studies on which your mind should be focused?”

 “Oh, but I am studying, Master,” the boy insisted.  “I am watching Father that I might learn from him.”

 “What do you wish to learn from me that you cannot learn from your texts and instructors?” K’Laad asked him.

 “How to hide my curse, Father,” the young one answered quickly.

 “Curse, what curse, boy?” M’Selah demanded, but he spoke softly as he laid a hand on the boy’s shoulder gently.

 “The same that Father has hidden, sire,” came the answer.  “The night I was called to the old Father’s chambers, I did see Father in his own, kneeling in prayers, but his hand outstretched toward the old Father’s chambers.  As I made my way, I followed the marvelous cloud of many colors that flowed from Father, as it too sped to the aid of the old Father.  It was the most beautiful of sights.  There were swirls of yellow, and bright greens as well as dark pink, and dark blue.  Yet, I also saw brown.  I thought it odd to see such a plain color mixed in with the others, but I felt comfort when I beheld it.”

 “You saw the healing I sent that night,” K’Laad mused aloud.  He turned to the archivist and smiled.  “Uncle, it would seem that you chose very well when you sent this boy for my staff, for of all in the Temple grounds, only he could have touched it without pain.”  To the boy he offered an even warmer smile.  “It would seem I have an apprentice.”

 “I shall make note of this in the records,” M’Selah agreed.  “I would venture you have found more than an apprentice, however.”  At K’Laad’s questioning gaze, the man continued.  “Regard that he called you not Holy Father, but Father.”

 “My humblest apologies, sires,” the boy started nervously.  “I truly meant no disrespect.”

 “Peace, little one, the thoughts of your heart are clear on your face,” the archivist soothed.  “Speak to me of your family, child.”

 “Creator's truth, Master, I am assured that there was such, yet have I never known them.  I was found on the steps of a small temple in the southern regions and was raised there by the priest until he sought to have me brought here to the Temple to serve, as he could no longer keep me safe.”

 “Were there bandits or marauders that you were not safe within a holy church?” M’Selah asked quickly.

 “Oh no, sire,” the boy answered just as speedily.  “The priest feared that I would be attacked in the streets, for strange things often happened around me that could not easily be explained.”

 “The gifts were manifesting,” K’Laad mused.  “Come, lad, you will join me in my private chambers, and we will speak more of your life.  If you feel so, I will not object to you calling me Father.  Might I ask the name of my son?”

 “I was named Jedaen by the priest who cared for me, Father,” the boy answered.  “You truly wish to call me son?”

 “In my heart, I feel it is right, even though we have scarcely met,” K’Laad assured him.  “Creator's truth, my child, I have often dreamed of a son, and he has always looked very much like you.”

 “Thank you, Papa, thank you,” the boy wept as he barreled into the high priest, wrapping his arms tightly around the man’s waist as he hugged his new father.  K’Laad was nearly blinded by the burst of bright blue sparkles from the boy.

 “Do my eyes deceive me, or have I just seen magic?” M’Selah wondered in amazement.

 “Even the ungifted can sometimes see the very strongest of powers,” K’Laad told him as he wrapped his own arms around his son.  “What you have seen, my dear friend and uncle, is the purest joy, which in my experience can only be felt by children, mage and ungifted as well.”  He looked down and then bent his head to kiss the top of the crying boy attached to him like a leech.  “I welcome you to my heart and my home and my life, my son, Jedaen.”  The archivist was once again treated to a spectacular light show of colors swarming around the two in their embrace, as their powers accepted one another as mentor and pupil, father and son.

 “Congratulations, Holy Father, you’re a father,” M’Selah smiled.  “I will go now to the archives and register Jedaen as your son, so that there will be no doubt or question.”

 “Thank you, Uncle,” K’Laad smiled as he scooped the still sniffling boy into his arms as if he were a toddler.  The boy’s legs wrapped around his waist and the arms around his neck as the young one buried his face in his new father’s neck shyly.

 “Do not feel shame that you are overwrought with your feelings, lad,” M’Selah whispered as he rubbed the young one’s back lovingly.  “I, too, was adopted by my father about your age, and I wept for the joy of it for days.”  To the falholwyn, he smiled and gestured down the hallway.  “Take your son to your chambers, and show him his new rooms, my nephew.  When you have both settled, you may send him to my library for his reading lessons.”  He ruffled the boy’s hair and spoke with a laugh, “And this time, young scamp, you won’t have to sneak around behind the shelves, so I don’t see you.”

 “My son shares my love of the written word, does he?” K’Laad asked softly as he took his turn to rub a hand loving over the back of the boy he carried.

 “Like father, like son,” M’Selah teased.  “Just when I had gotten used to not seeing golden hair and bright blue eyes peeking at me from behind furniture and through the stacks of the tomes, as well.”

 “A very wise man who is far more loving than he likes to pretend once told me that the pursuit of knowledge is not to be chastised,” K’Laad said with a smirk.

 “A very impudent young scamp once heard me say such a thing, and then proved that his pursuit was not for knowledge but for the jar of honey candies he knew I kept hidden in the library,” M’Selah said as his lips frowned, but his eyes smiled.

 “They are very good,” a muffled voice spoke from the crook of K’Laad’s neck just under his chin.

 “Shameless ragamuffin,” M’Selah gasped.  “Did you at least leave an old man a few of my only treats?”

 “Oh yes, Master M’Selah, Creator's truth I only took the one, I swear it,” the boy vowed as he looked up to face the old man.

 “Well, next time you find them in their new hiding spot, you’ll have to take two as your prize for outsmarting me once again,” M’Selah said with a chuckle and another ruffle of the boy’s hair.  “Not the whole jar, mind you, like some others I might name.”

 “Shall I never live that down?” K’Laad chuckled and blushed.

 “Not so long as I live to remind you, scalawag,” the old man fussed, but he did so with an affectionate smile.  “Now off with you both, some of us have work to do while the two of you explore your new chambers.”

 “Shall we go find our new home, my son?”

 “Do you not know where they are?” the boy asked worriedly.  “I thought the falholwyn knows all of the Temple.”

 “I know where the door to the chambers is.  I have only been inside the one time, and there was much else on my mind that night.  I took no time to look on the rooms.”

 “I’m sorry, Father,” the boy apologized quickly.  “I spoke without thinking.”

 “Speaking without thinking is a privilege of the young,” K’Laad assured him.  “Be glad that you still have it, for it is easier to bear the gift of youth, than to bear the curse of experience.”

 “Yes, Father,” the boy agreed shyly.  “Father, if you are wearied, I can walk.”

 “Wearied?  Do you think me as old as Master M’Selah?  I shall show you wearied, you scamp,” K’Laad blurted as he used just a touch of magic to help him spin the youngster around and lift him so that the boy was seated on his shoulders, one leg on each.  As he hoped, the halls were filled with the joyous laughter of a child as he cantered through the residential wing of the Temple, giving his best imitation of his old and dear friends, Archael and Endetax, snorting and whinnying the best he could.  When they arrived at the falholwyn’s chambers, the boy expected to be let down to the floor, but to his surprise, he was kept right where he was.  “Guardians of the Holy Chambers,” K’Laad called out to the sentries at the doorway.  “Open the doors for the son of the falholwyn and his lowly steed, if you please.”

 “We gladly admit the child of our revered leader, but young sire, should your horse not be kept in the stables with the other beasts?” one of the guards asked Jedaen directly.

 “He’s not a horse,” the boy giggled as lightly as a child half his years.  “He’s my papa.”

 “And so he is, young sire, my congratulations to you both,” the other guard said as he bowed lowly with a flourish.  “Hark, my comrade, our charges await.  Open unto our falholwyn and his son their new home.  Mind the smell of the new paint, Master and young sire.  Be sure to sleep with your windows open tonight.”

 K’Laad ducked to enter the rooms without letting his son down, calling out, “Low bridge, mind your head.  The stars should be in your eyes, not round your noggin.”

 "Thank you, Papa," Jedaen said with another embrace once he was set on the floor to explore the suite of rooms for the leader of the Temple and his immediate family.  "I had seen other boys carried so by their fathers in the village I came from, but no one has ever borne me so, until this day."

 "Two of my three fathers carried me so when I was smaller than you, so I hoped you would enjoy it, and not believe yourself a bit too old for it," Kielaad told him.

 "Is it shame upon our house that I enjoyed it so, though I am older than the boys I once saw treated so?" Jedaen asked shyly.

 "We are newly made a family, my son, some things are surely excused," K'Laad smiled, and then winked conspiratorially. "Methinks that should anyone complain, being the falholwyn of the temple will make them keep their overly large noses and unwelcomed opinions to themselves."

 "Papa, what meant you when you said you have had three fathers?" the boy questioned in confusion.

 "One by birth, two by circumstance," the priest told his son.  "They are all gone now, leaving you with no one that you might call Grandfather.  I call Master M'Selah uncle, though, and I see he has the same soft spot for you inside his hard-to-find heart that he has had for me.  Perhaps between us both, we will see him smile a bit more than he is known to do by most of the Temple."

 "He seldom smiles with me, Papa," the boy confessed.  "Most times he groans, holds his head, mutters your name, and then begs the Creator for strength."

 "Yes, well, there are some striking resemblances, my son," K'Laad smiled himself.  "It is the proof that the Creator meant for you to be my son.  We only had to find one another first.  May you always be so fond of me that you call me Papa all the rest of your life."

 "I shall, Papa; I shall, I know it," the boy assured him.  "Papa, why are there so many rooms in your chambers?  I thought there would just be the one, but the sign outside by the guards said this is the Falholwyn's Sitting Room.  You truly get a room just to sit in?  Can you not sit anywhere you please in the Temple?"

 "I can indeed, my son, as can most anyone that lives within the Temple compound," K'Laad explained.  "You see this room for sitting is actually for what you reminded me of earlier.  It is for sitting to entertain dignitaries and envoys from around the realm."

 "Methinks it should be called the boring room, then," the boy mumbled.

 "You have the truth of it there, son," his father laughed.  "So… this is my boring room, and I know that through those doors there is my bedchamber.  Shall we see what awaits us behind these others?"

 "Yes, Papa, we should make known all of your domain to you, so you don't get lost at night," Jedaen muttered with a bit of a blush.

 "Son, the night the Holy Father passed from us, did you get lost trying to find your way around the compound?"

 "Perhaps a bit, but then I chanced upon your window and beheld you in your prayers and followed your light to these chambers and then back to yours," Jedaen confessed.

 "So, we shall learn our new home together then," K'Laad smiled and took his son's hand in his as he opened a door to the side of his reception room.  It revealed a breathtakingly beautiful bathing chamber of fine marble and beautiful carved wood.  "At last, I find the reward for this thankless job," the man sighed as he looked around the room.

 "Papa, this is a very pretty room, and it smells nice, too," his son told him with a reverent voice.

 "It is and it does," the priest confirmed.  "Although, we shall see if it holds this gentle smell when we've come from the stables after working Archael and his friends."

 "Archael?" the boy questioned.

 "Yes, indeed.  I must have my new son meet my oldest friend," K'Laad said with a smile.  "He would be most unhappy with me if I did not."

 The next door they opened revealed a bed chamber furnished with a bed not too unlike the ones in the dorms of the pages, although a bit sturdier and a little more fancy.  Also in the room were a desk for lessons and shelves filled with books.  As they stood there, both father and son noticed that one particular book was slightly out of place and had a sort of sparkle to it.  When Jedaen reached out to take the book in order to learn what it was, he discovered it was not a book, but a mechanism disguised as a book.  A grinding was heard as the bookshelf slid into the wall behind it and then to the side, revealing an opening to another room.

 “I’m sorry, Papa, I didn’t mean to break the shelves,” Jedaen cried out as it first started moving.

 “Peace, son, you have broken nothing,” K’Laad calmed him.  “Look, you have but found a hidden room.”  It was not lost on the man that the trigger device masqueraded as a book about magic.  Inside the new room, father and son discovered a room not unlike the one where Kielaad the small boy had studied spells and enchantments.




 K'Laad the priest was suddenly thrown back in his mind to the last time that he had seen that room in the Wizard's Keep.  He could hear the sound of his own screams and pleas falling on deaf ears.  For a moment, he was once again looking up at the face of the man he had called both grandfather and father as that face sneered down at him writhing on the desk.  It was as he relived that horrible moment in his mind that he became aware of things he had not realized at the time.  This was not his grandfather's face.  The eyes were not the right color.  That tattoo on his right hip… Corbrin bore such a mark, not Tallious.  He had not been violated by the man he revered more than any other.  It had been Corbrin, attempting to break him, mind and heart, as the fiend had long since done with Kielaad's body.




 "Papa, you weep, have I done something wrong? Have I hurt you?"

 "Never, my little one, it is memories that hurt me at the moment," K'Laad assured the boy.

 "Papa, someone is here," Jedaen gasped.

K'Laad turned and gasped as he saw his grandfather and his old Master, Lurian. "How can this be? How did you enter these chambers?"

"Fear not, my pupil, we are but shadows of the men you knew and loved, and only you and your child can perceive us," Lurian told him. "We have been given this gift by the Creator to visit you from our eternal rest this day in celebration of your gaining your son and apprentice. Do not look so shocked, Kielaad, you are not the first wizard to also have faith in the Creator.  Where else would our gifts of magic have come from if not from the same one that created all else in this realm?"

 "You do not live?" K'Laad gasped. "I fled the Wizard's Keep after… well when I was…. I could stay no longer. Grand… Father, if I had known then that what I had experienced was not truth…."

 "The day you were forced by Corbrin in what he believed to be my form, he had bested us both in a magical battle.  He was able to take our magic as he had defeated us, but he could not take it all," Tallious told him. "This is why he could not hold my form as he abused you. He thought to break you to his will and keep you as nothing more than a concubine or toy, but you were stronger. Even though you could not think it with your mind, your heart knew that it was not I who had treated you so. Your heart told you to go."

 "If I knew, I would have stayed, I would have fought," K'Laad wept.

 "If you had stayed, at best you would have been broken as he intended and at worst, destroyed as we were," Lurian explained. "Corbrin was too strong. I had not wanted to believe the strength of his evil. I begged and prayed that your arrival, the pureness of your heart and mind, would lift the darkness from his soul, but instead it empowered it as he sought desperately to be stronger than you, whom he saw as an upstart youngling he should have been able to break."

 "Though you were always the more gifted, he would quite easily have bested you at that time, but you are the stronger now. Your strength and power match your inborn gifts," Tallious informed him. "Your continued study of both the arts of magic and the tenets of faith have elevated you to an almost wholly unique position in all the history of the realm. You are not just the Falholwyn of the Temple, you are the High Wizard as well. There was only one other who held both offices, and you may ask your friend and uncle about it. He will show you that restricted section of his cherished library."

 "You mean the Atha Falholwyn…." K'Laad gasped. "How is this not known through the other holy texts? The traditions of the Temple?"

 "The Atha Falholwyn chose to leave this realm and join with the Creator because the people began to worship him rather than the Creator," M'Selah said as he entered the room from the other door which led into K'Laad's bedchamber. "I came to find this place when I read the hidden, most secret of the tomes. This chamber has not been entered since his departure a thousand summers ago." He took a seat in a chair that had suddenly appeared and continued. "I do not take myself to be in error that we three are not alone in this room, and therefore beg the pardon of those spirits that visit us. I am old and have been awake and about far too long."

 "Let your uncle know that if we had not welcomed him, the chair would not have been offered for his comfort," Lurian smiled.

 "The purple one says that he knew you needed to rest your old bones," Jedaen announced.

 "That was not exactly the way the message was intended," K'Laad snickered.

 "Blood or not, he is your son," M'Selah and Tallious both stated in sarcastic unison. Tallious turned to stare at the old man.

 "I never thought to see you again, Messelah," Tallious added as he stepped closer to the seated archivist. "He whom you call uncle is truly so, son of my heart. Messelah was the son of my father by an affair with a tavern wench. She came to him to beg support for the child. Messelah was barely more than a babe and I only four or five summers myself, but we played together near the barn that day after he was presented to our father. My mother overheard both his mother's pleas and our father's dismissal. After mother and child left, Mother confronted him and that led to her death. When Messelah's mother learned of my mother's death, she took her child from the village and I never saw my brother again until this moment." 

 "I never knew the father of my birth as I was told that he had died when I was quite young, leaving my poor mother homeless and near destitute.  It was some years later that a blacksmith offered to marry her and adopt me. He was the kindest, yet strongest man I had ever known. He was as proud of me as he was his own sons, even though I did not take after any of them in body or pursuit. I preferred the scholarly life to the manual labor of the smithy."

 "Uncle," K'Laad wept for joy as he embraced the old man in the chair. "He who was my grandfather and father has revealed that you were born of his father. You are truly my uncle."

 "I heard him and what's more I see him, in a way," the archivist whispered. "How can this be?"

 "With the blood of Tallious and Kielaad in your veins you have just enough magic to see and know just a bit more than any other non-magical person. It only took Tallious knowing and naming you his brother for that connection to be made," Lurian smiled. "Now the little one here… I know not how he came to have such a connection."

 "I have no memories of my life before I was four summers old," M'Selah apologized to the apparition before him. "Would that we could have been raised as brothers, or at the very least known of one another."

 "Your life would have been as miserable as mine, if not worse yet. My only solace in the life of the farmer was the love of she I had been forced to return and defend from him," Tallious told him. "Our father was not a good man by any reckoning, and though he might have wished for your return once my powers awakened and drew me to the Wizard's Keep, he would have no doubt treated you badly. It was for your best that you had the life you did."

 "There can be no record of this in the archives," M'Selah lamented. "There is no proof of what we are told now by these spirits."

 "Am I truly any more your nephew now than I was when you walked into this chamber?" K'Laad asked softly. "Were you any less my uncle then than you are now? The proof on paper is not needed for me, my uncle. Besides, would it not be suspect now to claim the blood tie after you have been my mentor when I was the acolyte? Especially now that you have backed me against Vetar?"

 "That it would, my nephew," the old man agreed. "Blood kin does not mentor the next generation for risk of favoritism, unless there is no choice, as in the far reaches of the realm where our priests are few and far between."

 "My father, if there is time in your visit, may I ask one more question?" K'Laad asked Tallious a bit nervously.

 "You wish to know the whole story of why I left the Keep and returned to the farm," Tallious spoke the words in the younger man's mind. "That is simple. My father became more unwell with his age, to the point that he needed someone younger to tend the farm chores that he could not. He wrote to me and demanded that I come back to serve him. That much you have always known, but he also threatened that if I did not return, he would take the girl from the next farm over, whom he knew I had always loved, so that she would serve until he could breed another son from her to take my place. He knew I would come back to rescue my beloved from him."

 "You truly gave up all you could have been for the farm," K'Laad whispered.

 "It was a trade, my child," Tallious smiled sadly. "Yes, I turned my back on a good and dear friend, and it took all my magic to keep that cursed ground prosperous. But had I not done so, I would not have had the gift of the love of my wife, and you, the child of my heart. It was also my wife's family that brought Messelah back to my mind, as his mother had been a servant on their farm before taking the job at the tavern when their farm could no longer support the family and the servants."

 "I admit, perhaps, to being a bit hasty and childish in cursing your farm," Lurian squirmed a bit looking more like a child at that moment than Jedaen. "I didn't want you to leave me and our studies at the keep."

 "You didn't want to lose your scapegoat for your mischief," Tallious scolded with a laugh. He turned back to the living people in the room then. "I fear our time with you is nearly gone. There is but one more lesson we must share before we depart for our eternal rest once more. Kielaad, you have been and always shall be the stronger between you and Corbrinn. It was not our magic that managed to keep back part of our powers from him when he defeated us. It was our connection to you. You have made yourself known by your rightful taking of the falholwyn's seat, but it will draw him to you once more. He will not rest until he has defeated you or died in the attempt."

 "You are the more powerful, but remember, that I too was more powerful than him, and yet was I defeated alongside your father," Lurian reminded K'Laad. "He has gained more power and darker spells since. This will not be an easy fight for you, but you have the power to win if you hold true to who you are."

 "The Creator has never given such a boon to any spirit before, so do not hope for our return, Kiely," Tallious said, using the name he had called his grandson as a tiny child. "Know that your grandmother and I loved you with all our hearts and that we, along with this purple scallywag, watch over you until you join us with the Creator."

 "A scalawag, am I?" Lurian protested. "I can look after my favorite pupil on my own if that's the way you feel about it, farmboy. Here, you, little one. Step closer." When Jedaen obeyed, Lurian chanted something, and a powerful blaze of light filled the room centered on the child. "There, now you have inherited all the power that I managed to siphon away from that mistake of an apprentice of mine."

 "Lurian, you impetuous dolt," Tallious scolded. "Corbrin will have felt that and trace it, no doubt. We were supposed to give what remained of our magic to Kielaad. Well, what's done is done. I shall still give my powers to the one who's earned it. Not that I don't love my great grandson, mind you. It's just that he will wait until his father joins us to get the inheritance." Tallious repeated the chant that Lurian had done, and an even more impressive light show fell upon K'Laad.

 "Always showing off, in death as in life," Lurian complained.

 "Someone has to keep your vanity in check," Tallious retorted.

 They faded from the room, still arguing, leaving three people in silence until Jedaen spoke up. "They argue quite a lot for a couple that claim not to be a couple."

 "Tallious and Lurian were and apparently always will be more friends than brothers and more brothers than friends," K'Laad laughed. "I can only hope that someday you and I have one to take such a role in our lives."

 "The Creator forbid!" M'Selah called out. "One of you at a time was more than I should have endured, now there are the two alike. Any more would be the death of me for certain."

 "But Uncle you love us," father and son blurted and hugged the old man from each side.

 "That I do, Creator help me, that I do," M'Selah sighed and returned their embrace.