Fox Cancels Lucifer, Please Help! #SaveLucifer

I don’t usually do this, but I’m asking my followers, readers, and fans for help! Hopefully, by now many of you have seen my review of Lucifer, and have checked out the show.

I’ve been hooked since the first Episode and I anxiously await its return every year. Unfortunately, in typical fashion, Fox is prematurely canceling a fan favorite and it seems like everyone is coming out to protest and try to save it.

I’m asking everyone who follows me on social media to join in and help me save a great show that really stands out from the pack. If you love Religious Fiction, Fantasy, or just comical antics, this is a show you’d love. Don’t let it go the way of Terminator the Sarah Conor Chronicles.

Even if you just copy my tweet below, reblog my post, and share it on facebook, doing this sends a message to Fox that we want this show to survive.

Thanks all and happy viewing!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Note:
If you have read my books, PLEASE log into Amazon and post a review. I really love to hear everyone’s thoughts and constructive criticisms. Reviews help get my book attention and word of mouth is everything in this business!

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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Magnifica: The Last Enchanter

“I don’t know about this, sister. Are you sure?”
“Yes Roselyn, their story needs to be told.”
“I doubt many will believe us.”
“I know that, but we owe our friends as much. If it wasn’t for them, our world might not exist anymore.”
“Ariel … I hope you are right…”
“Let’s begin.”


Chapter I

“Toby, get up! You’re going to be late for class!”

Toby’s eyes shot open and he sat up quickly without thinking. His head impacted against the top bunk, making a loud thud, “Ow, f…!”

He slammed his fist against the bed frame before glaring at the person who had roused him. His roommate stood at the door pointing a stubby finger at the clock on his wall, “Come on man, it’s 8:45! You know how Professor Arias reacts to tardiness.”

Toby shook his head as he fixed his dark brown hair, “Gishan you’re a dwarf, don’t you have a stone somewhere to bang?”

The stubby teen crossed his arms, “Oh funny! Because all dwarves are miners, right? At least we live more than a measly hundred years.”

“All right, all right,” Toby sighed, “I’m sorry.”

Gishan smiled as he shook his head in disapproval, “What would you do if you didn’t have me around?”

“Find a less annoying roommate!” Toby shot back.

Once the pain went away, Toby stood up and looked around. His dorm room was a mess. Clothes and empty beer bottles littered the floor, the posters were falling off the wall, and the beds looked like they hadn’t been made in months.

Toby could have cleaned things, but he was used to it being this way. He quickly grabbed a shirt off the floor and threw it on over the wrinkled jeans he had been sleeping in. He then grabbed a pair of sandals and slid them on his feet.

“Really,” Gishan scoffed, “sandals in February?”

Toby looked up at his roommate as he strapped them around his ankles, “How warm has it been out recently, 60 degrees?”

Gishan shrugged, “Still too cold for me…”

Once Toby was ready, he grabbed his books and joined Gishan at the door. He easily towered over the dwarf by at least 2 feet, “Okay I’m ready, let’s go.”

“I think it might be time for a laundry run.” Gishan sighed as he scratched his chin stubble.

“Too much trouble,” Toby replied, “besides, weren’t we just at your parent’s house?”

“Yeah,” Gishan chuckled as he turned to the door, “well… we could always do it ourselves?”

Looking at the piles of laundry that were almost completely covering their floor, Toby had a sudden change of heart. He hated having his roommate’s mother help him with laundry, but the pile had grown to the point where their small washers wouldn’t do the job. Plus he knew his uncle would never help him out with it.

“Fine…” Toby replied in a defeated tone. “Why don’t you give your parents a call and see if they would like a visit this weekend.”

Gishan laughed, “Thought you’d see it my way.”

He then turned to the door, “Come on, we’re going to be late.”

Toby followed his roommate out the door and down the hallway. Unlike their room, the hall was almost sterile with beautiful carvings of heroic figures on the walls and newly polished hard wood floors.

The building was quite old as was evidenced by the musty smell and the old style steam heaters that lined the hallway. Most of the residents had lost count of how many times the clanking and hissing of those heaters had kept them awake.

Toby had been known to spend hours inspecting the carvings on the walls trying to determine who they were of, but there was no time for that now. The two friends raced down the hall, flew down the front staircase, and found themselves in the main courtyard.

It was another unusually warm day at Arcanus College in North Boston. The sun shined down over last remaining piles of snow from a pre-Christmas storm. It had been the only snow they’d seen that year.

Various students, both dwarven and human made their way to various engagements and classes across campus. Everyone was dressed as though it were spring weather. Most had on jeans and t-shirts, but still kept jackets with them just in case.

The main building was almost a quarter of a mile across campus, though it seemed longer than that to Toby. By the time they reached the building, their classroom door was already closed. They were late.

Gishan shrugged, “Well we could just chalk this up as a sick day?”

Toby shook his head, “No way, today we’re learning about the second war of the Alliance. It’s the big one, and I don’t want to miss it.”

“Fine,” Gishan replied, knowing that there was no point in arguing, “but I never got what you loved so much about these fairy tales. They happened thousands of years ago. Hell, we don’t even know how much of these stories really happened and how much is mythology. Why did we even take this class? What does ‘Survey of Pre-Western Civ.’ have to do with either of our majors?”

“It’s one of the last core requirements I need to graduate.” Toby answered only half paying attention. “You can go back if you want, but I’m going in.”

Gishan shook his head, “Whatever dude, right behind you…”

The two of them slowly opened the heavy wooden door in an attempt to sneak in unnoticed. They proceeded into a lecture hall with over a hundred students in attendance and tried to find open chairs in the back of the auditorium. Their plan failed however, when a gruff voice from behind made them jump, “Ah Gishan Nemog and Tobias Arrigan, so glad you could make it.”

The two friends turned to see that Professor Arias had been watching them the entire time. The man towered over the two boys with his arms crossed under his black robes. His white hair was indicative of dealing with students like Gishan and Toby a little too long, “That’s what now? Three times you’ve been late to class? We haven’t even been in session two weeks!”

“Sorry Prof,” Gishan replied, “we um…”

“Were up drinking rock salt vodka all night.” Arias interrupted, finishing his sentence. “If you lay off that dwarven swill, you might actually make it to class on time.”

Soft chuckling could be heard around the room as the professor turned back to the board, “That’ll be a five page paper, typed, single-space, due on Friday for the two of you. I want you to examine the significance of the Second Alliance War with emphasis on the Ulium Plague.”

“The Elven plague.” Toby whispered to Gishan as they sat down.

“I know!” The dwarf spat back. “Believe it or not, I do pay attention.”

The professor glared at them both, “Glad to hear it. Now if you two don’t mind, I have a class to teach.”

Toby nodded, “Sorry professor, it won’t happen again.”

Professor Arias rolled his eyes as he turned back to his board, not believing a word of anything they said, “All right open you books to…”

“Excuse me…” A faint voice chimed in from the back of the room. “I’m very sorry I’m late.”

The whole class turned to see who had spoken. The professor’s eyes followed the voice to the back of the room. Standing at the door was a young woman with fair skin, big bright hazel eyes, and long blonde hair. Her bangs were partially braided and tied around the back of her head to keep her them out of her eyes.

Toby’s eyes widened as he saw her standing behind him. Her slender body and beautiful face made it difficult for him to turn away. Then he noticed her pointed ears that stuck out on either side of her head and were only partially covered by her hair. He quickly turned back to face forward. No way…

An air of disgust came over the room as Professor Arias looked at her with scornful eyes, “Ah this does seem to be the day for tardiness… Well, who are you?”

The girl spoke with a light accent that wasn’t recognizable to most of the class, “My name is Lia’na of the White Water Clan. I just transferred to Arcanus this spring and signed up on the last day of open registration.”

She walked down the aisle to the professor and handed him a piece of paper. He took the sheet and only half-glanced at it, “Oh very well… Looks like I’m going to have to have a few words with the people at registration… take a seat Leena.”

“Lia’na, sir.” She said softly.

“Noted.” The professor replied. “Take a seat so we can get started.”

Lia’na emotionlessly nodded, “Lien ni, Professor.”

She turned to look for an open seat and spotted one near the back of the room. The moment she sat down, the students around her moved away or turned their desks so that she couldn’t see their faces. She looked down at her books and pretended not to notice.

Toby couldn’t believe his eyes, “Are you seeing this, Gishan, an elf, here at Arcanus.”

Gishan snorted, “Not many of those sharpys left. Wonder what brought her out of the woods?”

“No idea,” he replied, “but what’s up with that name man, sharpy?”

Gishan grinned, “Yeah, sharpy, as in they have pointed ears? Their ears are sharp, get it?”

“Yeah I know what it means jackass,” Toby replied in an annoyed tone, “but what’s your damage?”

“Elves and dwarves have never gotten along. Do I need a specific reason?” Gishan shot back.

“Whatever.” Toby whispered, not wanting to drag this out. “I thought elves had their own colleges.”

“Well she’s here now.” Gishan said with a growl. “Just keep her eyes off me. I’ve heard they can bewitch you.”

Toby shook his head, “Oh relax Gishan, I don’t think she’s going to come anywhere near you. Where do you get this stuff?”

“Let’s just say that historically, elves haven’t been too kind to my people.” Gishan replied.

Toby chuckled, “I thought you said that you didn’t know how much of those stories were actually true.”

Gishan didn’t reply opting to eye Lia’na for a few moments before turning back to Professor Arias as the lecture began. Toby was mystified by Lia’na’s appearance. Even though she dressed like any normal girl in their early twenties, her fashion sense was quite elegant and what most people had come to expect from an elf. She wore a white blouse that had short, puffy sleeves, a square neck, and seemed to drape down over her stomach like a dress. Her black jeans had odd, stitched-on, designs going up the legs that seemed to shimmer in the sunlight.

Lia’na noticed that Toby was looking at her and returned his gaze. He quickly turned his attention back to the front of the room, hoping Lia’na hadn’t seen him staring at her. She smiled and went back to straightening out her books as class continued, looking up every so often to see if she could catch him staring again.



Hope you enjoyed the first chapter. The rest of the book can be purchased here.

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615827683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615827681


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Damnation Sample Chapter

SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN’T READ DIVINITY!!!


“The great dragon was thrown down, the old serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”

– Revelation 12:9



Book I
     Hell Hath No Fury

I

There was a cold breeze in the air as Michael stood at the podium. In front of him, the Choirs of Angels filed into the main meeting hall little by little. The bitter chill complimented the rather dismal scene in front of him. The general of the Most High’s armies had seen worse over the years and did the best he could to ignore it.

Seated on either side of him, were the other 6 great Archangels, leaders of the Celestial World. The large council hall seated thousands of angels, all of whom listened intently waiting for Michael to speak. The last of them had taken their seats sucked in a deep breath.

The long war had dragged on for eons, costing uncountable angel lives. For years, the angels fought against the armies of Lucifer to no avail. It seemed as though the war would continue until the angels were all but extinct, but a daring campaign carried out by a small group of angels had turned the tide of the war.

The thousands of occupied seats were dwarfed by the seats that no longer had an owner. Those empty seats had lost their occupant either to war or treason. The scene was a sad reminder of everything that the war had cost them.

Michael had taken his rightful place as the leader of the Nine Choirs of Angels. It was a job, some thought, he had let go to his head. Not that he cared, others could have criticized him all they wanted, but in the end, he was still the leader.

Michael stood in front of the choirs and looked out on the chamber that had been carved of Ivory and marble. Like all else, it had been badly damaged during the war and needed to be rebuilt. Large craters had shattered the marble floor tiles. The holes in the ceilings were singed black from firebomb damage.

Michael did the best he could to ignore the dismal scene as he addressed the Choirs, “Brothers and sisters, you all have good reason to rejoice. For after years of watching our brothers and sisters being cut down in ruthless combat, the war is mercifully over. Our little gambit, paid off and four of our bravest warriors breached Lucifer‘s position, forcing him to surrender. He has since been driven out of the Celestial World by the Most High and punished for his crimes.”

Michael sighed before he continued, “However, peace is not yet ours to enjoy. There are still those out there that remain loyal to Lucifer and his cause. It is true that the bulk of his force has been disbanded, but we believe that there are still some creatures in our midst that remain hidden. I can assure you all that they are being hunted down and will be brought to justice.”

A deafening applause erupted from the Choirs as now peace was actually within their grasp and the Most High could continue his plans to create a child race in his own image. Michael smiled and nodded as he too joined in the celebration. He allowed the angels to rejoice for a few moments before raising his hand again to regain their attention. The large chamber immediately quieted down at the sight of Michael’s gesture.

The smile never left Michael’s face as he spoke, “Thank you, brothers and sisters, this is truly a day to rejoice, but I regret that such celebration may be shadowed by business that we still must to attend to.”

Michael’s gaze left the choirs and turned to the entry way next to his podium. A guardian, who was just standing at the door waiting for a signal, returned his look. Michael nodded to the guardian, which prompted him to exit the chambers.

Minutes passed and the specter of curiosity loomed in the chambers. What did Michael want the Choirs to see? Could he have captured another traitor?

Suddenly, the sound of clanking chains could be heard from outside the room. It sounded as though someone was struggling against heavy metal bonds. The noise served to elevate the curiosity of everyone in the room as they waited to see who it was.

A moment later, the guard reappeared followed by an angel covered in blood that was practically being dragged in by her chains. She was shackled at the arms, legs, and neck.  Her wings were weighted down to prevent her from being able to take flight and the look on her face was indicative of pure hatred.

The guard pulled her forward onto the main stage. She defiantly refused to move, making the guard’s job even harder. If anyone was going to publicly humiliate her, then they were going to have to work for it.

Michael shook his head and looked back up to the Choirs, “My friends, I must inform you that we have captured one of these agents and not just any one either…”

As the archangel spoke, the young angel refused to look at anyone and instead kept her eyes fixated on the massive walls of the Choir Chamber. She had always been amazed by the sheer size and intricacy of this hall. It had somehow been hand carved almost completely out of marble and ivory. Murals on the wall told the stories of angel’s deeds throughout their history. She smiled to see one of the divine temples being set to flames. She appreciated that someone had seen fit to immortalize her work.

The entire design of the chamber was beyond anything anyone could image, but something about it was different than the last time she had seen it. The burn marks and blast craters in the walls almost ruined the tranquil view. She remembered the battle early in the war that had caused this damage. It was the first battle that she had been a part of.

Not a day went by that she had not regretted Lucifer’s decision to fall back rather than risk heavier casualties. Being Lucifer’s military strategist and general, she was certain that they could have occupied the Celestial Temple in one swift stroke had they continued to press forward. It just didn’t make sense, yes her forces were being bled, but they had inflicted far more casualties than they had taken. Falling back was a critical error on Lucifer’s part, and it would prove to be one that would cost them everything.

Her thoughts were broken as Michael spoke directly to her, attempting to get her attention, “General Xaphan, step forward, please.”

Xaphan moved defiantly closer to the podium where the Archangel stood. Michael watched her every move, waiting for her to try to break free of her bonds. She made no such attempt and kept her hands tucked away behind her.

Many of the angels were dismayed by the sorry state she was in. Xaphan was at one time a respected soldier in the armies of the Most High, even Michael was sorry to see how things had turned out. It definitely was not helping morale.

Xaphan wore a tattered black outfit that flowed below her knees. It was all she was allowed to keep after being stripped of her sword and armor. Her pale white skin was filthy and scarred. Her wings were missing feathers and covered in blood, most of which was not her own. Her black hair was a mangled mess from weeks of her being too busy to tend to it. She breathed in deeply as her pale blue eyes looked up scornfully at Michael.

Xaphan’s glare pierced right through Michael’s presence and it was as though she wasn’t looking at him at all. She didn’t even acknowledge his presence. To her, it appeared that Michael was little more than an obstruction standing in the way of what she was really looking at.

Uriel followed Xaphan’s gaze and noticed that her eyes were fixated on the Celestial Temple and the chambers of the Most High. A partial smile appeared on her face when she saw that much of its damage had not yet been repaired.

Michael noticed where her attention was too, but dismissed it as he began speaking. Almost to spite Xaphan’s gaze, Michael spoke in a tone that wasn’t speaking to her at all. It was more like he was dictating to her for all to see, “General, I assume you know why you are here.”

Xaphan gave a defiantly unenthusiastic nod and spoke through her teeth, “I do.”

“You have been charged with treason, espionage, wanton destruction, and plotting against the Most High,” Michael said in an accusing tone. “The evidence against you is absolute. We have examined everything in great detail and have found you guilty on all counts. Have you anything you wish to say before your sentence is carried out?”

Xaphan quickly turned to the other angels in the hall, “I fought for you… all of you. It was Lucifer’s wish to see you all freed from your bondage. The world that the Most High is now creating… it should have been for us! It is ours by right, but he would give it to some child race that would only scorn him! Ours was an eternity of servitude… I wanted something better than that for you! I am not the monster that many have you have been led to believe I am. That monster stands in front of you in the form of an Archangel!”

Xaphan pointed an accusing finger at Michael, “He would see you remain in bondage!”

Screams of support for Michael and angry cursing was spewed in Xaphan’s direction, but she ignored it and continued speaking, “I wish I’d never given you fair warning to evacuate the temple before we attacked! I would willingly give up my wings to see all of you burn for this!”

The words hurt Xaphan as much as she was certain they angered the Choirs. She didn’t mean much of what she had said and still cared about the friends that she had betrayed, but they were words that she felt they needed to hear. She still desired to see them free, above all else, and if she was to be a martyr for this cause, so be it.

As the yelling got louder, Uriel stood up, “Enough!”

Michael shook his head as he looked down at Xaphan. He felt a twinge of anger himself as the room quieted down, but as he was about to speak, another voice spoke up.

“Excuse me…”

The voice cut in from the back of the chambers. “I request to be heard.”

The room fell silent as every eye turned to where the voice had come from. Michael smiled, “Ah, one of our local heroes. If anyone here has earned the right to speak before the council, she certainly has. The floor yields to you, Adalyn.”

Adalyn immediately flapped her wings to elevate herself off the ground and gently glided down to the main floor of the chamber. She touched down gracefully and brushed the hair out of her face. As though defending Xaphan from attack, Adalyn stood in front of her, blocking Michael’s gaze, “Brothers and sisters of the Nine Choirs of Angels, I have come before you to plead for mercy on behalf of my sister.”

“What are you doing?” Xaphan whispered in a demanding tone. “I don’t want your help, get out of here.”

“You are my sister. No matter what you have done, I still love you and don’t wish to see you harmed.”

Xaphan sneered and turned her back on her defender as archangels looked at each other oddly. The room suddenly erupted in quiet whispers and gasps. They were intended to be low, but there were enough of them to make a ruckus. Michael raised his hand to silence the noise, “You have earned the right to speak, but judgment has already been passed against her.”

“I realize that Master, and I’m sure that whatever you have decided to charge her with, is more than appropriate, given the magnitude of her crimes.”

Adalyn lowered her eyes as her tone became pleading, “However… I would like to point out that while she is responsible for the initial attack on the faithful, and responsible for the damage to the Celestial Temple, she did not shed a single drop of innocent blood by her own hand. Lucifer was the architect of the massacre. I also happen to know that you have proof that she gave us sufficient warning before burning the temple to allow our people to evacuate.”

Uriel rolled his eyes, “Please make your point, young one.”

“My point sir is that despite her attacks, despite the fact that she sided against us, and despite whom she cast her lot with, she has been an honorable foe since the first days of the conflict. Even as it dragged on, she still maintained a strict code of honor. I should know, because I fought against her on several occasions. That honor is the only reason that many of us now stand here in judgment of her.”

Michael nodded, “I am aware of that, Adalyn. However, being an honorable thief does not make someone any less a thief. I would think that after all the time and effort you put into catching her, that you would understand this.”

“I do understand it, Michael, but there is a difference between understanding and agreeing.”

“That is something you will have to come to terms with. I’m sure your sister appreciates your efforts on her behalf and you have secured your honor, but the decision has already been made and there is no further room for debate.”

“Still not willing to listen to reason?” Xaphan scoffed. “It’s nice to see that nothing has changed in eons. You would think…”

Uriel stood up, “Silence you!”

Xaphan turned back to face Uriel with a malicious grin on her face. He snorted at her defiance, “General Xaphan, for your crimes you are hereby banished from the Celestial World. Personally, I would have preferred it had you been removed from existence, but ironically enough, the Most High still cares about you and has decided to show you mercy. We are therefore sending you down to be with your mentor, Lucifer.”

Xaphan hissed as she suddenly shook off her shackles, revealing that she had broken free of them earlier, and was waiting for the chance to escape. She dodged around the guard when he tried to grab her. Before anyone could react, she spread her wings and launched herself into the air. It looked as though she had a clear path to the exit when Adalyn suddenly appeared in her way.

Having no way out, Xaphan landed a few steps away from the door with her fists clenched. Her eyes met her old friend with contempt and worry, “Get out of my way, Adalyn. Don’t make me hurt you.”

Adalyn moved her arm downward in a thrusting motion. A blade appeared in her hand which she pointed it directly at Xaphan’s throat, “I’m sorry sister that is not going to happen and I don’t think you’d hurt me even if you could. Stand down; I don’t want to have to fight you again.”

“And if I dont, are you going to kill me, Adalyn?” Xaphan asked in a malicious tone.

“I don’t want to. Please don’t push it that far… sister.”

The two glared at each other for a moment. Xaphan could see the tears in Adalyn’s eyes as she stood, ready to strike. Though a loyal servant of the Most High, Adalyn would have preferred to allow Xaphan to get away. She knew what fate lay ahead for her sister and had to resist the urge to stand aside.

Adalyn knew the consequences of making such a decision and held firm. Xaphan sighed, she hated her sister for getting in her way, but at the same time, didn’t like seeing her in pain, “Very well my dear sister, you win, but this is not over between us. Someday, our positions will be reversed and you will be staring at the end of my blade. Don’t expect me to show you anymore mercy than you have shown me. I will kill you.”

“I know that, sister… I know…”

Xaphan raised her hands and turned back to Michael, “So it is damnation for me then?” She hissed. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’d rather suffer there than serve here!”

Michael sighed, “After a few eons in the world of shadows, you may find yourself regretting those words General.”

“I don’t plan on being there that long. I will return with an army… and the temple will be consumed in flames once more.”

Not wanting to argue further with Xaphan, Michael snapped his fingers. There was a sound of glass shattering in the distance and suddenly Xaphan noticed the feathers on her wings beginning to look odd. She watched as the roots of her feathers slowly turned black and then each bristle of each feather also slowly began to turn.

Within moments, her wings looked very much different from those of her brothers and sisters. Her feathers were blacker than even the largest void. They quickly began to match her dress and hair.

Xaphan looked at her wings with disgust and began to feel unsettled. As their color changed, she began to notice that her wings were getting extremely heavy. Each feather began to weigh her down more and more. It became much harder for her to remain standing. Her breathing became labored as she struggled to hold herself up. Though she did not want to show weakness, eventually the weight became too much for her, causing her knees to buckle, and give out from under her.

As Xaphan collapsed, her defender stepped forward. Before Adalyn could do anything, Xaphan raised her hand and signaled Adalyn to stay away. She then turned back to Michael, “What… have you done to me?”

Michael’s expression did not change, “You are being banished, and your wings will never allow you to fly here again. This will ensure that you can never return.”

“Is this really necessary?” Adalyn demanded. “She’s struggling and can’t stand or even move. Your sentence was banishment, but this is more of a horrific death sentence, how will she survive without her wings?”

Michael sighed, “Her wings are too heavy for her to fly here, but when she reaches the Netherworld, she should be fine. They should not be such a burden to her there.”

“Master, I beseech you, reconsider this! There must be another way! Such punishment does not befit angels. This is far too cruel for…”

“Silence!”

Adalyn turned away from Michael and looked down at Xaphan. The intense pressure from the weight of Xaphan’s wings felt as though it would crush her. She looked up weakly, “Michael… please…”

Adalyn felt the tears began to fall down her cheeks and rushed to her sister’s side. She grabbed one of Xaphan’s wings in a futile attempt to take the pressure off her back, “Sister, forgive me… Had I known that this would happen…”

Michael thrust his hand forward at the two angels. Adalyn lost her grip on Xaphan’s wing, went flying backwards, and landed on one knee a few feet away. She glared at the archangels as she got back to her feet, “Michael!”

“Adalyn… It’s time for you to leave. Your intentions are honorable and so they shall be noted, but you are getting in the way and allowing your emotions to bleed through. This can no longer be tolerated from the floor. You are compromised, leave now.”

“Under protest, Michael! I want that on the record too!”

“So noted.”

Adalyn stood up and reluctantly walked to the doorway. Her eyes were locked on Michael as she disappeared from view. She looked back only once at her sister with tears in her eyes.

As Adalyn disappeared from the watchful eyes of the Choirs, Michael turned his back on Xaphan and raised his chin, “Be gone.”

The mist beneath Xaphan could no longer handle her weight and gave out. She quickly began to sink through the cool surface as the weight of her wings pulled her down through space and time. Just before she disappeared from view, Xaphan raised her fist into the air and uttered one last cry, “Forever freedom!”

As Xaphan fell, she began to notice that the further she plummeted, the less her wings weighed. Much to her relief, she was quickly able to slow her decent by spreading her wings as far as she could. They caught the air, allowing her to hover as she proceeded downward.

Moments later, there was a bright light and a flash of energy. She was temporarily blinded by the light and did the best she could to remain hovering while her eyes adjusted. This was it; the light was her path out of the Celestial World.


Hope you enjoyed the first chapter. The rest of the book can be purchased here.

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692499059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692499054

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Divinity Sample Chapter

And Jesus said to them, “If your leaders tell you, ‘look, to the sky, for the kingdom is there,’ then the birds of the sky will be ahead of you. If your leaders say to you, ‘Look to the sea,’ then the fish will be ahead of you. Rather, the Kingdom of Heaven is within you.”

– The Gospel of Thomas


Book I
Before the Fall

I

A cool breezed passed through Azrael’s hair as he and his apprentice, Adalyn, touched down on the steps of the Most High’s temple. It was a beautiful morning in the Celestial World. There was not a cloud in the sky to impede their flight.

Despite his less than glamorous appearance, he still tried to make himself presentable for his audience with the Most High. His brown hair had been cut short and he wore a new white tunic with red seems under his armor. He sucked in a deep breath and turned in time to see his apprentice hovering at his side, “Adalyn, you land this instant. Don’t forget that even now you’re in the presence of the Most High!”
Azrael landed first, his silver armor still showing tarnish from the days of war long passed. His wings were in no better shape; many of their feathers had been stained black or red from the fighting. He was a worn, but proud warrior angel.

Adalyn hovered for a moment before folding her wings behind her and dropping to the balls of her feet, “Forgive me, Master. I guess I’m just more used to flying than I am walking. I never understood why the Most High would forbid us from flying in his presence.”

“Ours is not to wonder why.” Azrael replied. “Just do as you have been commanded as is our mandate.”

Adalyn nodded, “I understand master, I am doing my best.”

“How is it you fought through as much of the war as you did without having to use your legs?” Azrael asked in a simultaneously amused and annoyed tone.

Adalyn shrugged, “I guess I just got lucky. There was always enough space to fly. What little time I actually spent on my feet, I was usually hiding.”

“Luck is a fickle thing. It can run out very easily. You’d best get used to using your legs. They are far sturdier than your wings and can help supplement your speed. Someday your wings could get injured and you’d be forced to use your legs to walk. Where would you be then?”

Adalyn nodded, though his words seemed cryptic, “Master… I understand. I will endeavor to do so.”

Azrael nodded, “Good.”

“I wonder why the Most High would summon us at such a late hour when he plans to take rest.” Adalyn said as she brushed a strand of blonde hair away from her face and tucked it behind her right ear.

“Such is the way of the Most High.” Azrael responded. “We’re angels; our job is to be at his beckoned call. Be patient, we will soon discover his motives behind this meeting.”

Her bright blue eyes shined with wonder as she looked up the long staircase of ivory and gold to the massive cathedral at the top.  The stairs were long and winding, and seemed to go on forever. It would not be a quick stroll for them.

Adalyn stretched her clean white wings and then folded them behind her back with a single thrust. She didn’t want to anger the Most High or her master as they made their way to his chambers. She wasn’t used to walking, but she had good enough balance to manage.

Adalyn had only been called before the Most High once or twice previously and those times were during the war. At that point, the no-fly restriction had not been imposed around the Most High’s home. Just looking at the stairs, she could tell that her legs were going to be sore.

Azrael beckoned to her forward, allowing her thoughts to escape, as he moved, “Keep up Adalyn, he’s waiting for us.”

Adalyn nodded as she adjusted her beige maiden’s dress and tightened her sash. The soft cotton tightened around her hips as her hands moved to her hair. She parted it in the middle and made sure that the few loose strands were brushed back behind her ear once again. The blonde strands flowed to her neck and shimmered in the sunlight.

Once she felt presentable, Adalyn followed close behind Azrael. Finding balance wasn’t easy for her, but she did the best she could. She found it hard to believe that the Most High’s beloved children had to walk like that every day of their lives.

It took some time for the two angels to reach the top. The stairs seemed to stretch onward forever. They were beautifully carved and perfectly smooth, but the ivory still began to hurt her feet as they were not used to continuous walking.

Once at the top, Adalyn saw two large gold statues standing with their spears crossed, blocking the entrance. Neither statue reacted to their presence as the angels approached. They looked like nothing more than large, lifeless pieces of metal.

Adalyn took a close look at one of them, examining its face. The sun gleamed from the statue’s shiny surface. Its eyes were glossed over, making it difficult to tell if they were opened or closed. She turned to Azrael with a surprised look on her face, “I wasn’t aware that the Most High employed titans.”

For a moment, it appeared as though Azrael didn’t hear her. He simply closed his eyes and nodded at the two guards. Adalyn’s eyes narrowed as she reached out to her mentor, “Master?”

As though responding to some silent command, the statues immediately came to life. What looked like nothing more than shiny metal, now looked organic as the statues pulled their spears back and cleared a pathway for the two angels. Their movement was sudden and unexpected, causing Adalyn to jump back with a slight yelp.

Azrael smirked at her reaction, knowing that this was not her first encounter with these creatures, “Why were you startled? You saw titans on the battlefield, you know?”

Adalyn nodded, “Yeah I remember, but they weren’t so… mechanical at that point. I never saw them as statues.”

Azrael shook his head as the two angels proceeded inside. Adalyn’s eyes remained on the guards as she passed under their spears. Part of her expected to see them come crashing down on her as she walked.

Once the angels were through, the massive guards closed the doorway and resumed their silent vigil. There was no further movement from them as the angels continued forward. Adalyn looked back at them for a moment, studying their stance.

After a few seconds, she turned back and followed closely behind her master. The stone tunnel was dark, but there was a bright light at the end. It was the only illumination that the tunnel had.

The next room was unlike anything a mere mortal could imagine. The cathedral ceilings surpassed the beauty of those in the mortal city of Rome. Murals of all creation covered every inch of the ceiling above them.

The tall, lead plated, windows stretched up to the top of the walls. The dome at the top had windows with multiple beautiful colors carefully laid into the panes, while the glass lower to the ground was crystal clear and looked out on a star field. Whole galaxies could be viewed from any one of the windows.

The ground was an unusual combination of stone and grass with cool mist slightly obscuring it. Adalyn’s bare feet tickled as she slowly stepped out on to the small field. It was a sensation that she was unfamiliar with, having relied mostly on her wings for travel.

The top of the cathedral was an ornate dome with several murals depicting the deeds of the Most High’s children. Hovering near the ceiling was a bright star-like orb that pulsed slowly. The silhouette of a human was in the center of the orb.

Azrael walked out onto the field and stopped directly under the orb with Adalyn to his left. There was a brief silence when Azrael closed his eyes. His chin rose slightly as though he were listening to someone above him.

Azrael opened his eyes, “Yes Master, I understand. The final pockets of resistance from those loyal to Lucifer have either been banished from the immortal realm or eradicated. Our work here is finished, the war is over, and the restoration of our world has begun.”

Again, Azrael closed his eyes briefly and then reopened them, “The mortal world has gone awry? How?”

There was a long hum before Azrael responded, “A recent increase in the wars amongst your children? So you believe that the recent increase has been engineered somehow… No, I don’t believe that the continuous fighting is coincidence either.”

Adalyn rolled her eyes, “The mortal world is continuously at war with itself. I should know. I’m the one ferrying their souls to Hell. They find new ways of killing each other all the time, what makes you think that this is any different?”

Azrael turned and glared at his apprentice, “Adalyn!”

The chamber shook with a mighty roar as a nervous Azrael turned back, “Forgive her, master. She is still ignorant of the proper decorum when in your presence. I accept responsibility for that.”

Another low hum emanated from the ceiling. Azrael smiled and nodded, “I will, don’t worry about her…”

Then his face quickly turned serious as he spoke, “Master do you believe that Lucifer is behind these events?”

The room began to tremble as though something massive had slammed into the wall. Azrael twisted his lips thoughtfully and shook his head, “No, I don’t believe so either. His powers outside the underworld are severely limited. I agree that he is most likely no longer a threat.”

There was another brief silence before he continued, “Master, is it not possible that the ones you love the most have begun warring on their own? Our prophets and our messengers ceased so long ago. Given how easily corrupted their minds can be, is it not possible that your children are warring because of their own lust for power?”

Azrael could feel an angry vibration under his feet as Adalyn defended his position, “The Church you guided and helped to create has taken over most of the known world, but they have become corrupt and decadent. Their power is beginning to dwindle. The uprisings of these new revolutionaries, who are now waging a religious war, must truly be a burden on you.”

The room trembled harder this time. Tiny cracks appeared in the wall, causing Adalyn to step back. She clenched her jaw as she looked up, “Master, with the utmost respect, they’re a savage race, not worthy of this much compassion…”

“Adalyn, be silent!” Azrael yelled out as he stepped in front of his apprentice. “You’ve said enough.”

Adalyn lowered her eyes and stepped away, “Forgive me.”

With his apprentice finally subdued, Azrael turned back to the star, “Master, do you believe it may be time for another cleansing, as it was in the time of Noah?”

The floor rumbled for a moment, causing Azrael to frown, “Perhaps not…”

At that moment, the echoes turned their attention away from Azrael. The Most High’s attention turned to the younger angel. Azrael turned nervously to his apprentice to see what she was going to do.

Adalyn closed her eyes as the floor began to tremble under her, “Yes, I do understand Master, but I do not share your faith in human kind anymore. They fight and tear one another to pieces. Would it not be better to start over and…?”

The room shook harder as an angry moan resonated around the room. Adalyn stepped back, “Forgive me, Master, it was not my intention to speak out of turn. You are right; perhaps such actions are no longer appropriate. Humanity is not so quick to believe that you are responsible for such natural events any longer.”

Azrael shook his head as the voice turned back to him. Once it quieted down, he spoke, “Very well, Master, we will investigate your suspicions to the best of our ability and report them to Michael if we see anything suspicious. Until then, we are to continue to repair the damage done to our world.”

He then bowed and turned to Adalyn, “Come, the Most High needs his rest. The battle with Lucifer and the situation in the Mortal Realm have left him weary.”

Adalyn curtseyed before following Azrael, “Rest well, my lord.”

The two angels turned and exited the massive cathedral hall. The bright aura levitating near the ceiling slowly dimmed as they exited. Adalyn looked back to see the room slowly going dark.

Neither one of the angels spoke as they made their way outside and back down the ivory staircase. The silence lingered until they reached the misty ground. It was an uncomfortable walk for Adalyn. She could feel tension in the air as she followed her master.  It didn’t help that her feet were also aching as she walked.

Neither angel wanted to face the grim reality that everything they had known was changing. Adalyn knew in her heart that their world may never be the same. Its beauty that was at one time unequaled was now healing from a war that had been over for eons.

Large fields where angels had once frolicked were now scorched from a massive flame and peppered with massive craters from demon attacks. The angels had begun restoration work, but it was mired by the remaining pockets of resistance from the war, as well as the work in the mortal world. It seemed like the restoration would never get done.

Once they had reached the misty ground, Adalyn stretched her wings and turned to Azrael, “The humans may be warring, but at least there is finally peace in the Celestial Realm. With Lucifer and his top followers finally gone, things should settle down.”

“Peace…” Azrael responded as his battle hardened features began to soften. “It’s hard to believe that something so beautiful could be so fickle. Do not trust it and never count on it lasting. There will always be darkness in the distance. It is the reason we must remain vigilant at all times.”

Adalyn nodded, “Your words are true and wise, Master. I spoke without thinking, forgive me.”

Azrael smiled, “You are still new to the way of the orders, your duties and the wars have stalled your training. The innocence you possess is not a failing. You will learn quickly. There is nothing to forgive. Do not be afraid to speak your mind around me.”

“Thank you, Master.” Adalyn responded appreciatively. “Your patience is most kind. As it was when you trained me during the war.”

“You have become a fine warrior for the Most High and I am very proud of everything you’ve accomplished.” Azrael replied, “Remember everything that I have taught you… Remember the swordsmanship, remember the techniques and the power, but more important than anything, remember to keep your heart true.”

“Yes Master,” Adalyn said obediently, “always.”

“Good, just remember everything that I have taught you…” Azrael said darkly, “and you should be safe.”

His words sent a chill down Adalyn’s spine, causing her wings to flutter. She looked at her mentor with an air of concern as she spoke, “Safe from what? Is everything okay, Master?”

Azrael blinked as though he were coming out of a trance, “Oh, um, yes, everything’s fine. Don’t mind me, I’m just feeling a little ominous right now.”

Adalyn smiled, “You’re always feeling ominous, Master. It’s like the war has made you paranoid.”

“Maybe it has.” Azrael admitted. “Would you excuse me, Adalyn? I have some work to do.”

“Work?” Adalyn asked. “I thought we were going to make for the training grounds?”

Azrael nodded, “I know, you go on ahead. I’ll meet you there later… once I’m done.”

“If you’re sure. Finding someone to spar with shouldn’t be a problem while you’re gone.” Adalyn replied.

“Good.” Azrael said. “I’ll leave you to it.”

Azrael gave Adalyn a smile before spreading his wings and launching himself into the clouds. At that moment, his form disappeared into a bright light. It almost seemed like the sun had momentarily expanded as Azrael disappeared.

Adalyn covered her eyes to protect herself from being blinded. The light lasted only a moment, but when it disappeared and she was finally able to lower her hands, Azrael was gone. There was no sign of him anywhere near by.

Adalyn could make no sense of her master’s cryptic words. Her heart was filled with wonder as she contemplated what he had said. Did he know something that could threaten the fragile peace that they had fought so hard for? He had been acting unusual recently, but Azrael was known for being eccentric.

Throughout the war, Azrael had been more than a mentor to her; he had been a close friend and confidant. No matter how much work it was, or how stubborn she could be, he never gave up on her. Part of her always suspected that he did not entirely trust her, and tried to keep her at arms length. She resented it, but he may have been trying to protect her.

After a few minutes of tossing her thoughts back and forth in her mind, she decided that it was best to just let it go for now. He had never led her awry before, so there was no reason to believe he would now. She trusted him, but made it a point to ask him to explain his words later.


Hope you enjoyed the first chapter. The rest of the book can be purchased here.

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692336419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692336410


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Christian Writing, Non-Christian Readers

Hi Jim,

I’ve been looking at some of your writing and a lot of it appears to surround Christian/Catholic dogma and beliefs. As a non-christian (Muslim) I was wondering how, as a writer, you appeal to non-Christian readers, or are you writing for that specific demographic?

If someone who doesn’t believe the same thing that you do picks up one of your books, how do you encourage them to read them if you do at all?

Thanks,
Aisha


Hi Aisha,

Great question and one that I’ve meaning to tackle for a while. Honestly, while my writing does focus a great deal on Judeo-Christian belief structure, there are a few key things that you should know:

1. More often then not, when I bring up Christian beliefs and the practices of the Church, its often more to criticize the structure of the organized church. I also criticize what many people consider fact, when they have no business calling it fact.

2. I do include non-christian names and places in my writings as well; Charon, the River Styx, as well as several demonic and angelic names, which I pulled from various Jewish and Islamic writings.

3. Other than the socio-political issues that I deal with in my books, the characters are only loosely based on their religious counterparts. Take a look at how angels are described in most Jewish, Christian, and Islamic texts:

(Hey, what part of ‘Be Not Afraid’ did you not get!?)

They’re quite different from the more fantasy-style that I’ve gone with:

So I’d say that my take on it is more christian mythos more than dogma.

Other than that, I don’t see why someone of a different faith would take issue reading my work. Consider this, have you ever read Greek Mythology, played Skyrim, read Lord of the Rings, or pretty much any other fantasy novel dealing with goblins, trolls, orcs, elves, dragons, or hydras?

Well… believe it or not, someone believed in those at some point. Yes, today’s Fantasy and Mythos are yesterday’s religion. Don’t look at works of fantasy that focus on christian creatures as preachy books solely for Christians. Are those books out there? Yes, but they’re usually clearly listed in the religious section of most book stores and libraries. Mine are very comfortably situated under the ‘Science Fiction/ Fantasy’ section.

As long as you look at it like you’re reading mythology, folklore, and fantasy, there really shouldn’t be an issue. At least that’s how I always viewed reading stories from other religions.

So to answer your question, I try not to cater to a specific demographic. I want everyone to be able to enjoy my work, which is why I really try hard to push a ‘fantasy’ narrative above all else. When I describe the after life, Heaven, Hell, etc. I am very careful about how I describe them as to make it difficult to differentiate with religion’s description I went with and… often I go with several different descriptions, combining them into one.

Readers, what do you think? Do Divinity, Damnation, and my other works have a place in the hands of non-Christians, or do you feel that they are targeting a christian demographic? Are demographics even important when writing fiction? Can a non-christian get the same enjoyment Judeo-Christian Fantasy? Let me know in the comments!

 



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Damnation Preview Chapter

I

 

There was a cold breeze in the air as Michael stood at the podium. In front of him, the Choirs of Angels filed into the main meeting hall little by little. The bitter chill complimented the rather dismal scene in front of him. The general of the Most High’s armies had seen worse over the years and did the best he could to ignore it.

Seated on either side of him, were the other 6 great Archangels, leaders of the Celestial World. The large council hall seated thousands of angels, all of whom listened intently waiting for Michael to speak. The last of them had taken their seats sucked in a deep breath.

The long war had dragged on for eons, costing uncountable angel lives. For years, the angels fought against the armies of Lucifer to no avail. It seemed as though the war would continue until the angels were all but extinct, but a daring campaign carried out by a small group of angels had turned the tide of the war.

The thousands of occupied seats were dwarfed by the seats that no longer had an owner. Those empty seats had lost their occupant either to war or treason. The scene was a sad reminder of everything that the war had cost them.

Michael had taken his rightful place as the leader of the Nine Choirs of Angels. It was a job, some thought, he had let go to his head. Not that he cared, others could have criticized him all they wanted, but in the end, he was still the leader.

Michael stood in front of the choirs and looked out on the chamber that had been carved of Ivory and marble. Like all else, it had been badly damaged during the war and needed to be rebuilt. Large craters had shattered the marble floor tiles. The holes in the ceilings were singed black from firebomb damage.

Michael did the best he could to ignore the dismal scene as he addressed the Choirs, “Brothers and sisters, you all have good reason to rejoice. For after years of watching our brothers and sisters being cut down in ruthless combat, the war is mercifully over. Our little gambit, paid off and four of our bravest warriors breached Lucifer‘s position, forcing him to surrender. He has since been driven out of the Celestial World by the Most High and punished for his crimes.”

Michael sighed before he continued, “However, peace is not yet ours to enjoy. There are still those out there that remain loyal to Lucifer and his cause. It is true that the bulk of his force has been disbanded, but we believe that there are still some creatures in our midst that remain hidden. I can assure you all that they are being hunted down and will be brought to justice.”

A deafening applause erupted from the Choirs as now peace was actually within their grasp and the Most High could continue his plans to create a child race in his own image. Michael smiled and nodded as he too joined in the celebration. He allowed the angels to rejoice for a few moments before raising his hand again to regain their attention. The large chamber immediately quieted down at the sight of Michael’s gesture.

The smile never left Michael’s face as he spoke, “Thank you, brothers and sisters, this is truly a day to rejoice, but I regret that such celebration may be shadowed by business that we still must to attend to.”

Michael’s gaze left the choirs and turned to the entry way next to his podium. A guardian, who was just standing at the door waiting for a signal, returned his look. Michael nodded to the guardian, which prompted him to exit the chambers.

Minutes passed and the specter of curiosity loomed in the chambers. What did Michael want the Choirs to see? Could he have captured another traitor?

Suddenly, the sound of clanking chains could be heard from outside the room. It sounded as though someone was struggling against heavy metal bonds. The noise served to elevate the curiosity of everyone in the room as they waited to see who it was.

A moment later, the guard reappeared followed by an angel covered in blood that was practically being dragged in by her chains. She was shackled at the arms, legs, and neck.  Her wings were weighted down to prevent her from being able to take flight and the look on her face was indicative of pure hatred.

The guard pulled her forward onto the main stage. She defiantly refused to move, making the guard’s job even harder. If anyone was going to publicly humiliate her, then they were going to have to work for it.

Michael shook his head and looked back up to the Choirs, “My friends, I must inform you that we have captured one of these agents and not just any one either…”

As the archangel spoke, the young angel refused to look at anyone and instead kept her eyes fixated on the massive walls of the Choir Chamber. She had always been amazed by the sheer size and intricacy of this hall. It had somehow been hand carved almost completely out of marble and ivory. Murals on the wall told the stories of angel’s deeds throughout their history. She smiled to see one of the divine temples being set to flames. She appreciated that someone had seen fit to immortalize her work.

The entire design of the chamber was beyond anything anyone could image, but something about it was different than the last time she had seen it. The burn marks and blast craters in the walls almost ruined the tranquil view. She remembered the battle early in the war that had caused this damage. It was the first battle that she had been a part of.

Not a day went by that she had not regretted Lucifer’s decision to fall back rather than risk heavier casualties. Being Lucifer’s military strategist and general, she was certain that they could have occupied the Celestial Temple in one swift stroke had they continued to press forward. It just didn’t make sense, yes her forces were being bled, but they had inflicted far more casualties than they had taken. Falling back was a critical error on Lucifer’s part, and it would prove to be one that would cost them everything.

Her thoughts were broken as Michael spoke directly to her, attempting to get her attention, “General Xaphan, step forward, please.”

Xaphan moved defiantly closer to the podium where the Archangel stood. Michael watched her every move, waiting for her to try to break free of her bonds. She made no such attempt and kept her hands tucked away behind her.

Many of the angels were dismayed by the sorry state she was in. Xaphan was at one time a respected soldier in the armies of the Most High, even Michael was sorry to see how things had turned out. It definitely was not helping morale.

Xaphan wore a tattered black outfit that flowed below her knees. It was all she was allowed to keep after being stripped of her sword and armor. Her pale white skin was filthy and scarred. Her wings were missing feathers and covered in blood, most of which was not her own. Her black hair was a mangled mess from weeks of her being too busy to tend to it. She breathed in deeply as her pale blue eyes looked up scornfully at Michael.

Xaphan’s glare pierced right through Michael’s presence and it was as though she wasn’t looking at him at all. She didn’t even acknowledge his presence. To her, it appeared that Michael was little more than an obstruction standing in the way of what she was really looking at.

Uriel followed Xaphan’s gaze and noticed that her eyes were fixated on the Celestial Temple and the chambers of the Most High. A partial smile appeared on her face when she saw that much of its damage had not yet been repaired.

Michael noticed where her attention was too, but dismissed it as he began speaking. Almost to spite Xaphan’s gaze, Michael spoke in a tone that wasn’t speaking to her at all. It was more like he was dictating to her for all to see, “General, I assume you know why you are here.”

Xaphan gave a defiantly unenthusiastic nod and spoke through her teeth, “I do.”

“You have been charged with treason, espionage, wanton destruction, and plotting against the Most High,” Michael said in an accusing tone. “The evidence against you is absolute. We have examined everything in great detail and have found you guilty on all counts. Have you anything you wish to say before your sentence is carried out?”

Xaphan quickly turned to the other angels in the hall, “I fought for you… all of you. It was Lucifer’s wish to see you all freed from your bondage. The world that the Most High is now creating… it should have been for us! It is ours by right, but he would give it to some child race that would only scorn him! Ours was an eternity of servitude… I wanted something better than that for you! I am not the monster that many have you have been led to believe I am. That monster stands in front of you in the form of an Archangel!”

Xaphan pointed an accusing finger at Michael, “He would see you remain in bondage!”

Screams of support for Michael and angry cursing was spewed in Xaphan’s direction, but she ignored it and continued speaking, “I wish I’d never given you fair warning to evacuate the temple before we attacked! I would willingly give up my wings to see all of you burn for this!”

The words hurt Xaphan as much as she was certain they angered the Choirs. She didn’t mean much of what she had said and still cared about the friends that she had betrayed, but they were words that she felt they needed to hear. She still desired to see them free, above all else, and if she was to be a martyr for this cause, so be it.

As the yelling got louder, Uriel stood up, “Enough!”

Michael shook his head as he looked down at Xaphan. He felt a twinge of anger himself as the room quieted down, but as he was about to speak, another voice spoke up.

“Excuse me…”

The voice cut in from the back of the chambers. “I request to be heard.”

The room fell silent as every eye turned to where the voice had come from. Michael smiled, “Ah, one of our local heroes. If anyone here has earned the right to speak before the council, she certainly has. The floor yields to you, Adalyn.”

Adalyn immediately flapped her wings to elevate herself off the ground and gently glided down to the main floor of the chamber. She touched down gracefully and brushed the hair out of her face. As though defending Xaphan from attack, Adalyn stood in front of her, blocking Michael’s gaze, “Brothers and sisters of the Nine Choirs of Angels, I have come before you to plead for mercy on behalf of my sister.”

“What are you doing?” Xaphan whispered in a demanding tone. “I don’t want your help, get out of here.”

“You are my sister. No matter what you have done, I still love you and don’t wish to see you harmed.”

Xaphan sneered and turned her back on her defender as archangels looked at each other oddly. The room suddenly erupted in quiet whispers and gasps. They were intended to be low, but there were enough of them to make a ruckus. Michael raised his hand to silence the noise, “You have earned the right to speak, but judgment has already been passed against her.”

“I realize that Master, and I’m sure that whatever you have decided to charge her with, is more than appropriate, given the magnitude of her crimes.”

Adalyn lowered her eyes as her tone became pleading, “However… I would like to point out that while she is responsible for the initial attack on the faithful, and responsible for the damage to the Celestial Temple, she did not shed a single drop of innocent blood by her own hand. Lucifer was the architect of the massacre. I also happen to know that you have proof that she gave us sufficient warning before burning the temple to allow our people to evacuate.”

Uriel rolled his eyes, “Please make your point, young one.”

“My point sir is that despite her attacks, despite the fact that she sided against us, and despite whom she cast her lot with, she has been an honorable foe since the first days of the conflict. Even as it dragged on, she still maintained a strict code of honor. I should know, because I fought against her on several occasions. That honor is the only reason that many of us now stand here in judgment of her.”

Michael nodded, “I am aware of that, Adalyn. However, being an honorable thief does not make someone any less a thief. I would think that after all the time and effort you put into catching her, that you would understand this.”

“I do understand it, Michael, but there is a difference between understanding and agreeing.”

“That is something you will have to come to terms with. I’m sure your sister appreciates your efforts on her behalf and you have secured your honor, but the decision has already been made and there is no further room for debate.”

“Still not willing to listen to reason?” Xaphan scoffed. “It’s nice to see that nothing has changed in eons. You would think…”

Uriel stood up, “Silence you!”

Xaphan turned back to face Uriel with a malicious grin on her face. He snorted at her defiance, “General Xaphan, for your crimes you are hereby banished from the Celestial World. Personally, I would have preferred it had you been removed from existence, but ironically enough, the Most High still cares about you and has decided to show you mercy. We are therefore sending you down to be with your mentor, Lucifer.”

Xaphan hissed as she suddenly shook off her shackles, revealing that she had broken free of them earlier, and was waiting for the chance to escape. She dodged around the guard when he tried to grab her. Before anyone could react, she spread her wings and launched herself into the air. It looked as though she had a clear path to the exit when Adalyn suddenly appeared in her way.

Having no way out, Xaphan landed a few steps away from the door with her fists clenched. Her eyes met her old friend with contempt and worry, “Get out of my way, Adalyn. Don’t make me hurt you.”

Adalyn moved her arm downward in a thrusting motion. A blade appeared in her hand which she pointed it directly at Xaphan’s throat, “I’m sorry sister that is not going to happen and I don’t think you’d hurt me even if you could. Stand down; I don’t want to have to fight you again.”

“And if I dont, are you going to kill me, Adalyn?” Xaphan asked in a malicious tone.

“I don’t want to. Please don’t push it that far… sister.”

The two glared at each other for a moment. Xaphan could see the tears in Adalyn’s eyes as she stood, ready to strike. Though a loyal servant of the Most High, Adalyn would have preferred to allow Xaphan to get away. She knew what fate lay ahead for her sister and had to resist the urge to stand aside.

Adalyn knew the consequences of making such a decision and held firm. Xaphan sighed, she hated her sister for getting in her way, but at the same time, didn’t like seeing her in pain, “Very well my dear sister, you win, but this is not over between us. Someday, our positions will be reversed and you will be staring at the end of my blade. Don’t expect me to show you anymore mercy than you have shown me. I will kill you.”

“I know that, sister… I know…”

Xaphan raised her hands and turned back to Michael, “So it is damnation for me then?” She hissed. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’d rather suffer there than serve here!”

Michael sighed, “After a few eons in the world of shadows, you may find yourself regretting those words General.”

“I don’t plan on being there that long. I will return with an army… and the temple will be consumed in flames once more.”

Not wanting to argue further with Xaphan, Michael snapped his fingers. There was a sound of glass shattering in the distance and suddenly Xaphan noticed the feathers on her wings beginning to look odd. She watched as the roots of her feathers slowly turned black and then each bristle of each feather also slowly began to turn.

Within moments, her wings looked very much different from those of her brothers and sisters. Her feathers were blacker than even the largest void. They quickly began to match her dress and hair.

Xaphan looked at her wings with disgust and began to feel unsettled. As their color changed, she began to notice that her wings were getting extremely heavy. Each feather began to weigh her down more and more. It became much harder for her to remain standing. Her breathing became labored as she struggled to hold herself up. Though she did not want to show weakness, eventually the weight became too much for her, causing her knees to buckle, and give out from under her.

As Xaphan collapsed, her defender stepped forward. Before Adalyn could do anything, Xaphan raised her hand and signaled Adalyn to stay away. She then turned back to Michael, “What… have you done to me?”

Michael’s expression did not change, “You are being banished, and your wings will never allow you to fly here again. This will ensure that you can never return.”

“Is this really necessary?” Adalyn demanded. “She’s struggling and can’t stand or even move. Your sentence was banishment, but this is more of a horrific death sentence, how will she survive without her wings?”

Michael sighed, “Her wings are too heavy for her to fly here, but when she reaches the Netherworld, she should be fine. They should not be such a burden to her there.”

“Master, I beseech you, reconsider this! There must be another way! Such punishment does not befit angels. This is far too cruel for…”

“Silence!”

Adalyn turned away from Michael and looked down at Xaphan. The intense pressure from the weight of Xaphan’s wings felt as though it would crush her. She looked up weakly, “Michael… please…”

Adalyn felt the tears began to fall down her cheeks and rushed to her sister’s side. She grabbed one of Xaphan’s wings in a futile attempt to take the pressure off her back, “Sister, forgive me… Had I known that this would happen…”

Michael thrust his hand forward at the two angels. Adalyn lost her grip on Xaphan’s wing, went flying backwards, and landed on one knee a few feet away. She glared at the archangels as she got back to her feet, “Michael!”

“Adalyn… It’s time for you to leave. Your intentions are honorable and so they shall be noted, but you are getting in the way and allowing your emotions to bleed through. This can no longer be tolerated from the floor. You are compromised, leave now.”

“Under protest, Michael! I want that on the record too!”

“So noted.”

Adalyn stood up and reluctantly walked to the doorway. Her eyes were locked on Michael as she disappeared from view. She looked back only once at her sister with tears in her eyes.

As Adalyn disappeared from the watchful eyes of the Choirs, Michael turned his back on Xaphan and raised his chin, “Be gone.”

The mist beneath Xaphan could no longer handle her weight and gave out. She quickly began to sink through the cool surface as the weight of her wings pulled her down through space and time. Just before she disappeared from view, Xaphan raised her fist into the air and uttered one last cry, “Forever freedom!”

As Xaphan fell, she began to notice that the further she plummeted, the less her wings weighed. Much to her relief, she was quickly able to slow her decent by spreading her wings as far as she could. They caught the air, allowing her to hover as she proceeded downward.

Moments later, there was a bright light and a flash of energy. She was temporarily blinded by the light and did the best she could to remain hovering while her eyes adjusted. This was it; the light was her path out of the Celestial World.

Damnation… sequel?

I’ve gotten a lot of questions on this one. I suppose that I may not have made this particularly clear on my previous posts… so I’ll try harder…

Yes, Damnation is a sequel… technically.

It is a follow-up novel to Divinity though dealing with an entirely different cast in the same universe:

Cover design by Brett Warniers!

Cover design by Brett Warniers!

Do Divinity characters make an appearance? Yes, but mostly as cameos.

Does this mean that Damnation can be read without Divinity?

Well… yes… There are a few plot points that won’t add up without knowing the prequel, but much of it is explained, so I do believe the story can hold its own. Even so, I strongly recommend reading the prequel at some point for reference if nothing else.

Thanks Friends!


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim