CHAPTER FOUR

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     Lucinde could not stop running. She knew there would be stares, even accusations, but after receiving the message from Marcus, she didn't care. She flew down the castle's corridor with haste, almost ripping the hem of her blue dress which she felt had been too snug to begin with. Still, she had to get down to the archives and fast. As Keeper of Chronicles it was her sole duty to protect all scrolls, grimoires, and ancient texts housed at her location in Bolster City. She alone had the authority to lend out items only to people in great need. 

     The scroll Marcus was in need of was a special one, one of five. She had been trusted with their safety upon her initiation into the Council. They were called the Elemental Scrolls. Each one spelled for a specific person, an initiate. Initiates were people who carried the souls of the Primordials within their own. If an initiate was given the scroll and was able to read the scroll aloud, the soul of the Primordial would then become resurrected within them. 

     Marcus requested the Water Scroll, which means that he must have an initiate in line for resurrection of the Rain Maker.

     Lucinde could barely process this information. She tripped over her own feet and slammed into the corridor wall as she made her way around a corner and towards the stairs that led to the archives. Her once tightly wrapped and pinned hair began to loosen, and golden brown strands fell down the length of her back. Her breathe ran ragged.

     Only one other Primordial had been resurrected since her service as Keeper began, but before that it had been generations. Marcus' initiate coming of age could only mean one thing.

     She recalled legends long past, when all five Primordials were resurrected to battle the Great Dark incarnate. They had succeeded and were able to push it back into the Underworld, but at great cost. The world was almost completely destroyed in the process, civilizations wiped out of existence.

     It was a time known as the Shattering. She knew if she just closed her eyes she would see it all again, the chaos, the destruction, the displacement of so many lives.

     What it could mean now to have another Primordial resurrected so quickly!

     Would others come soon after?

     Would the Great Dark manifest itself again?

     As a member of the Council, Lucinde realized that before long her colleagues would be faced with answering these questions. They would have to make the decision whether or not to prepare the people for another Shattering. For now, she needed only to retrieve the Water Scroll. She had been trained how to release it from its magical coffer but she never thought she would actually have to do it. Her mind was reeling. The last time she helped resurrect an initiate she was almost killed. She could not let that happen again.

     She reached the archives, breathless, her ankle throbbing from her near fall. What she sought was locked behind two arched doorways engraved in runic text and ancient depictions of the Shattering. She only needed to trace the correct runes to open the doors, though each time the combination was different. As Keeper of the Chronicles, it was just an inherent knowledge she had, a spell bind specific to her. She could not explain how, but she always knew just which runes needed to be traced in order to unlock the doors.    

     Housed in a massive cylindrical room, all the historical books and grimoires were shelved around its perimeter. The Elemental Scroll coffer was hidden in plain sight. A large escritoire had been erected in the centre of the room. It was bound to the floor and contained numerous compartments and drawers, some with locks and some without. 

     There was one hinged flap in the centre drawer of escritoire whose lock had been spelled. The lock itself was etched with the same runes that were on the doors leading into the archives. Lucinde needed to recall a series of runes and etch them on the opposite side of the lock. She did not know them yet and the knowledge of them would not come to her if the need from Marcus was not real, but as she picked up her burin to begin etching she immediately saw the runes in her mind's eye. In succession, she etched the runes for reveal, avow, profess and the lock opened. 

     The scrolls were held in a small coffer, each separately cased and clearly marked with their own ancient symbol; Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Spirit. Lucinde should have taken solely the Water Scroll and then re-locked the coffer which would have then reset the lock to open when the need again arrived.

    However, that was not what Lucinde decided to do.

     She grabbed all the scrolls.

     Madly, she tucked them away in her knapsack and locked the coffer up empty. She calmed herself and made her way quickly back up to her quarters and packed a travel bag. Within the hour, she was discreetly on a horse and riding as hard as she could away from Bolster City. Away from Marcus and his initiate. Away from any chance to play a part in a new resurrection.

     What she rode towards was a promise. A promise made in her dreams from the Great Dark, to return her lost loved ones and to grant her power beyond her wildest dreams. And now, for the first time, she heard its words while awake;

     Ride daughter, you know what you have to do.

     I wait.



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