Title: Cleelok: Chaos as defined by the limits of Eternity
Author: Sean Nuber
Cleelok, Chaos as defined by the limits of Eternity, is an epic fantasy story with four main characters, one for each race, one for each element. There is the world of their creators, a realm of Law filled with sentient elements made up of stone (Gaen), water (Fluen), air (Luften) and fire (Pyran). There is the world of our adventurers, a land of Chaos made of flesh and magic which is split into the same four realms. Each character has their own goals and trials. Croy, the Gaen dreamer, must overcome his inherent meekness. He enters the desert searching for the legendary talking trees and finds more than he was looking for. Clerin, the Fluen princess, has messages to carry between the world’s eternal creators, the Belegs. Travelling from temple to temple, she soon realizes that not all of the Belegs wish to be found. Vrric, the Luften mage, who quickly gains in knowledge and power. Each day gets him closer to his goal, escaping mediocrity. Trela, the Pyran warrior who feels she is destined to become Queen. This can only be accomplished by forcing the despotic King to clash swords with her and she can only accomplish that with the help of her new foreign friends.
Vrric cast his mind back and tried to remember. How did Revkin fly? Which syllables did he speak? Slowly he teased the answer from his reluctant brain. Though he thought he had not drunk too much mead, his memory of the night before seemed cloudy. Maybe the haze was brought on by the morning’s fiasco with Kaihlu, he was not sure. Finally his reluctant mind brought forth the information he sought. “Lumkinderclo!” Vrric tried to say it with the same grand fanfare that Revkin had. Nothing seemed to happen, however. There was no sinking feeling in his stomach, no tingling whatsoever. His feet were stuck to the wooden platform as if they were glued there.
Vrric was not sure what he was expecting, but he had been expecting something. “Lumkinderclo!” He almost yelled the word and shook his fists upwards. He had his eyes squinted tight so he could not see that he was still on the platform, but he could feel his weight pressing his feet down onto the wood. The sudden thought of failure entered into him. Earlier he had only focused on the pros and cons of switching his guild. He had not thought that he might not be able to do anything. That he could wind up crawling back to Kaihlu, begging to let him be an apprentice again. With nothing gained at all, only everything lost. Vrric felt his blood slamming through his veins. His head grew light with fear, and he felt a small tingle in his lips and fingertips. He tried to breathe slowly to calm himself, but it was no use. The beating of his heart began to drown out his hearing. He stood for some time with his head bowed and his hands gripping the platform’s rail, just breathing and trying to clear his mind.
“Good, you are early. I like enthusiasm in an apprentice.” Revkin’s voice seemed to come out of nowhere, startling him out of his reverie. Revkin had floated down behind Vrric, unbeknownst to him.
“How do you do it?” Vrric did not realize there was an edge of anger in his voice until he heard it with his own ears. Maybe not anger, maybe just frustration. “I mean do it. I can memorize the syllables, I can speak the words, but… How do you make what you want happen? I tried to make myself fly, but nothing happened at all.” Vrric’s words came crashing out too quickly. He knew he was sounding like a child, with the words tripping over themselves in his emotion, but he could not stop himself.
“Interesting. Which word did you use?” Revkin seemed unruffled to Vrric. In fact, he thought he detected a hint of amusement in Revkin’s voice. He was smiling down at Vrric, floating just above the platform.
“Lumkinderclo. It is the word you used earlier to fly us to your house, I remember it distinctly.” Vrric was beginning to calm down. He was not sure if that was because he was starting to feel embarrassed at getting himself worked up, or if he could feel the embarrassment creeping into him because he was calming down.
“Good, this is good. There are several things wrong here, and I think you will learn much from each of them. First of all, the word is partially incorrect. Let me explain each syllable. Lum is much too powerful for you to even attempt right now. You will start out only using Lo until you have proven yourself to me. Kin and Der are correct. You have movement and flesh, fine. Lastly, the spell you intoned is intended to lift quite a few objects at once. The ending Clo refers to a large area, though using Lo will make it almost like Arc. If you would like to try to fly you should start with Lokinderpri. That has the lowest complexity involved with it. But that is not what you were talking about was it? I think you were referring to it. How to do it. I am glad you have brought this up, Vrric, because it is what we will be focusing on for the next moon or so. The it is exactly what the Trivaste tests attempt to uncover. Whether or not you believe it, I think that you have a great potential for grasping and taming it.” Revkin was grinning ear to ear by the end of his little speech. The grin was so genuine that all of the frustration and even the embarrassment seeped out of Vrric.
“Come, I will fly us back to my home where we will continue this conversation. Lumkinderclo!” This time when Vrric heard the word spoken it was accompanied by a tingling sensation in the pit of his stomach, rather than the nothingness after he had tried the same word. Vrric stared straight into Revkin’s eyes as he spoke the spell, trying to see if there was something different. Something visible that would show him Revkin’s intent. Revkin’s eyes were slightly glassy and seemed to be staring into the distance, but he could not tell from watching Revkin how the mage summoned his magic. Vrric’s stomach fell away from him as they took to the sky, flying around the great helioarc’s branches until they came to Revkin’s home. Instead of watching the panoramic scenery, this time Vrric closed his eyes and tried to get the flavor of what was happening magically.
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If money were no object and we weren’t in a pandemic, where would you go for a Spring Break vacation and why?
I’d go to Ireland to see the ancient dolmens and cairns, to feel their energy pulse from below.
Why is your featured book a must-read this spring?
Cleelok puts the epic back into epic fantasy. It is a full complex world with lush characters who grow individually and then together. Come and lose yourself within its pages for a while.
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Open internationally Runs April 1 – 30, 2021. Drawing will be held on May 3, 2021.
Sean lives with his lovely wife in Portland, Oregon. There they enjoy the city's many beautiful parks, friendly neighborhoods and abundant rainfall. Cleelok, Sean's first published novel, is the beginning of an epic trilogy. There is more to come, stay tuned!