Genesis Scrolls Round 3: {The Book of Enlightenment Part 1 & 2 [Final Revision]}

*Name/Pseudonym:* {raulonastool}
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Part I

“Wake up, Artemus,” a voice whispered.

Though unrecognizable, the voice was soft and soothing.

“Wake up.” The voice repeated, firmer this time.

Artemus struggled to open his eyes. He was tracking a pack of wolves ravaging the local cattle in Lunnon and hadn’t managed a good night’s rest. His eyes closed.

“Wake up!”

Artemus rose to his feet. His left hand came up to guard his face, and his right grasped the hunting knife holstered onto his belt. He dragged his right leg behind to support his weight. He then squatted into a fighting stance, prepared to fend off any rogue thief seeking to plunder his weapons and purse.

His hands fell, and his shoulders relaxed. Artemus was surprised to find that a deep, white mist surrounded him and tampered with his vision.

“What is this?”

“Wake up, Artemus.” The female voice repeated.

The mist surrounding him slowly receded and revealed a woman cloaked in pearl-white robes lined with gold. Her hood was pulled low. Only her pale cheeks and tight lips showed. She held a large silver key emitting a glimmering blue light.

“Who are you?”

The mist returned, engulfing him and blinding his vision.

“WAKE UP!” A manly voice screamed.

Artemus felt the grasp of two hands on his shoulders, aggressively shaking him back and forth. His body remained unmovable. He closed his eyes and clenched his jaw. The shaking stopped. Artemus blinked. His body was on the cabin floor. His best friend, Xedho, leaned over him with a concerned look.

“Are you alright, Arty?”

“The woman in the mist.” he groaned, sitting up quickly. “Where-”

“Woah! My wife’s herbs must be taking effect.”

He gestured for Artemus to lay back down.

“Take it easy. You’ve been sleeping for three days. You shouldn’t make any sudden movements. You’re still healing.”

Artemus noticed bandages wrapped around his arms and midsection.

“Those are fresh. I did them myself this morning. You’re lucky to be alive. How did you manage to kill an entire pack of wolves anyways? There must have been at least a dozen of them.”

Artemus furrowed his brows. He couldn’t remember ever finding the pack, let alone killing them and making it back to the village.

“You don’t have to answer that right now. You can tell me later over a drink. I could use your help rebuilding my old oven.”

The idea of a chore caused Artemus to cast a strange look at his childhood friend.

“You owe me for staining my floors,” Xedho winked.

“Uncle Arty! Uncle Arty! Tell me again about how you beat up all those wolves!” Pirrus jumped

on top of him and pretended to bite his neck, “Because I’m a wolf and I bet you can’t beat me! Arrrrr!”

Artemus chased Pirrus around for a moment. He grabbed him and raised him to the ceiling. “Alright, that’s enough, little guy. It’s time for bed.”

“Wolves don’t sleep!” He wiggled around until Artemus let him down and ran to his room, “Awoooooooo!”

“No running in the house!” Xedho yelled from the kitchen, “Sorry about him. I’m not sure who raised that child.”

“No, it’s okay,” Artemus got up from the table and walked outside.

Xedho returned with a tray of tea for them both but Artemus had gone, leaving the kitchen door wide open.

Artemus sat under his favorite tree, gazing at the moon and basking in its tranquility. He envied it, not for its light but because it worked alone. It didn’t concern itself with the opinions of others. Artemus spent most of his time in the mountains and woods around Lunnon, hunting and fishing. He liked it that way. A village can’t judge a man they do not see.

The air was remarkably still. Only the waves distantly crashed against the cliffs. The emptiness of the night made space for the thought demons to gnaw away at Artemus’ mind. It had been weeks since he dreamt of the lady in the mist. Although a dream, it was unlike any before. It was as vivid as the last time he saw his father. The part that puzzled Artemus the most wasn’t the woman, the mist, or the voice; it was the sense of imminent danger that hadn’t escaped him since that night.

Xedho joined him under the spruce tree, but Artemus kept staring up. Xedho handed his friend a cup of freshly-brewed tea and sat.

“How are you feeling?”

“I’m fine,” Artemus maintained his line of vision.

Xedho turned to him. Artemus had never had an amnesic episode, so he understood that the experience was taking quite a toll on him.

“Hey, I appreciate all of your help with the bakery. My family enjoys having you around, and with the new oven, we can make twice as many batches as before." Xedho gave a reluctant smile, “You haven’t tried your tea.”

“Do you ever get bored?” Artemus changed the subject.


“With the bakery. Don’t you think there’s more to life than just making bread?” he turned, staring directly into his eyes, “Why do you do it? For what purpose?”

Xedho was perplexed by Artemus’ odd behavior. He raised an eyebrow and smirked.

“I like the way it smells. I love the way it tastes. But most importantly, I love the face Pirrus makes when he bites into a fresh loaf.”

He put a hand on Artemus’ shoulder.

“What has gotten into you? You haven’t been yourself since that night.”

“I said I’m fine.”

Artemus slapped his hand away, spilling his tea onto the ground. He walked back to the cabin. Xedho lowered his head, speechless for the first time in a while. Suddenly a glowing orb flashed in the sky, bathing the village in golden light. Artemus and Xedho raised their arms to shield their eyes. It was just above the forest, north of the town, and wriggled like a worm in the sky.

“Divine’s sake, what is that?” Xedho exclaimed.

Unease grew in their guts. The orb quickly vanished. Artemus pulled his hunting knife from its sheath and began walking towards the woods where the strange phenomenon had occurred.

“Wait, you’re not going out there, are you? What if there’s some sort of monster out there?”

“I bet it bleeds.” Artemus continued walking.

His body pulled towards the source of the light. He hoped it held the answers he was seeking.

Artemus wasn’t afraid of entering the woods at night. His father was a master hunter who taught him everything he knew from a young age. Most hunters in Lunnon traveled in groups of ten to twelve men with their hounds and fancy horns. His father believed that a real hunter surrendered himself to the environment. The two spent many early mornings capturing fish with their bare hands. They donned wolf fur and crawled around stalking elks. “The Lunnon Lunatics,” the villagers called them, but they respected his father for his skill.

When he turned sixteen, strange men came searching for his father. They requested his help with an unusual hunting expedition. His father gifted him a hunting knife and instructed him to watch over it until he returned.

Twelve winters had passed since that day.

Artemus searched for clues on what created the flash in the sky. He came across a small section of the woods where he had laid several snare traps.

“Traps are the tools of lesser men,” his father loved to say.

The trails seemed just as they did in the morning. As far as Artemus could tell, nothing was out of place, and many of his snares were still intact. From where the quivering orb of light had appeared in the sky, Artemus gathered that his destination was near the western edge of the copper mines.

The Village Guard probably spotted something as well. They had an outpost near the entrance to the mines they used for training recruits. He was getting near because he had been moving for at least an hour.

Upon approaching the outpost, Artemus noticed some felled beech trees sliced cleanly at the base. Beyond the pile, a possum dragged something in its mouth. The sound of twigs breaking scared it as he approached. It ran off. Artemus was unnerved by its abandoned meal.

Laying before him was a severed arm, cut clean at the shoulder. Immediately, he recognized the chainmail sleeve and thick green cloth as those of the village guard. Bright red blood was still seeping from the detached limb.

Artemus sprung towards the outpost. Lunnon’s Village Guard was a formidable group of men sworn to safeguard the people. He and Xedho joined the crew when they were eighteen, as was the requirement. The men were the toughest he had ever met, second only to his father. Whatever resulted in one of these men losing a limb wasn’t caused by an animal or an unfortunate accident.

Artemus counted seven dead bodies scattered in front of the gate. Several had their guts spilling out. Some were decapitated. The eye sockets were smoldering black holes on the heads that remained.

Despite Artemus’ familiarity with the insides of living creatures, the mutilation shocked him to his core. An armless guard lay on the ground.

Dunstan. Artemus’ mind rang.

They played together as kids. Beside him was Virgil. The headless body was missing the same pinky finger that he had lost. Another was impaled into the wall with a flagpole. The long silver hair was unmistakably Ivar’s, the leader of the Village Guard. He took Artemus under his wing after his father disappeared. Ivar was a ruthless leader who demanded excellence. However, beneath that was a kind soul. He deserved a nobler end.

Artemus collapsed to his knees and held back a violent wretch. He was as paralyzed by fear and helpless as he was in the dream.

A scream pierced through from the south.

What was someone doing here at this time? Could it be a trap? Perhaps the same group that attacked the Village Guard? Artemus wondered.


His jaw dropped, and his heart pounded in his chest. It was that woman. Despite his fear and uncertainty, Artemus’ legs ran toward the scream.

“I’m bored, Mordecai. Read me something from your book!” The young girl dropped to the ground with her arms crossed and lips pouted.

She stared intently at the old man sitting on a wooden cart with a large book clutched to his chest. She had conjured the cutest puppy-dog eyes.

Mordecai erupted in laughter.

“Oh, Felicity, this isn’t a book of stories. It is my Grimoire.”

“What’s a Grilwarg?” Her face morphed in perplexion.

Mordecai chuckled.

“A Grimoire is a book of magic. It’s filled with hundreds of spells and invocations.”

“Wow,” She laid belly down in the dirt with her chin resting on her hands, “Do you know them


“Of course! I’ve had a long time to practice.”

“Is that how you summoned the portal?” Felicity’s eyes widened.

“Not exactly, but that’s a bit too complicated for one so young. Perhaps in a few years…”

She slammed her fist and started kicking the ground, “I’m almost ten. Explain it to me now!”

Mordecai smiled. A group of ants walked towards a small leaf near Felicity’s face.

“Pick that up,” he pointed.

“This one?”

“Precisely,” Mordecai beamed with pride, “You see those ants? To them, that leaf vanished into thin air. We both know it did not. You lifted it to a plane that they simply could not see.”

“Ohhh,” Felicity pretended to understand for a moment.

“Does that make sense?” He tilted his head, surprised by her astuteness.

“Not really,” she paused for a moment and gave the leaf a closer look, “It’s pretty.”

They erupted in laughter. A gust of wind blew the leaf out of her hand.

“My portal!” She jumped up and ran after it.

As she reached out, her right foot caught on a rope pulling her high up into the air.

“Help!” she swung back and forth from a large branch.

Mordecai chuckled.

“Just hang in there, Felicity!”

“That’s not funny,” tears well up in her eyes, “It hurts!”

“Don’t cry, little one. I’ll get you down. A hunter laid these traps here. We must be close to a village.”

Leaves rustled, and twigs snapped in the distance. Mordecai’s face turned serious. Artemus jumped out through the trees, wide-eyed and panting with his hunting knife drawn.

“Who are you?” He demanded through labored breaths.

Mordecai gleamed, “Look at that, Felicity. We found a new friend to join us on our adventure.”

Part II

Artemus struggled to maintain his composure. His heart pounded.

“Who else is with you?”

The woman from his dream was not there. There was just a pale, skinny child and a rangy old man. The girl was caught in one of the snares he had set that morning.

“Hello there. Many names have known me, but call me Mordecai. Your game here is Felicity.”

“Hey, mister! Cut me down with your little sword.”

Artemus slowed his breath.

“It’s a knife.”

Mordecai grinned, “That’s an interesting blade. Where’d you find it?”

“It was a gift from my father –”


Artemus walked over, untied the snare, and slowly lowered Felicity. She freed her foot and ran, then punched Mordecai.

“Ouch! Just because I can’t move my arms doesn’t mean I can’t feel them.”

“Good!” Her arms were folded. She raised her chin.

“Are you paralyzed?” Artemus stowed his weapon.

“It is a curse!” Felicity interjected.

Mordecai smiled, “It’s called Sorrow Peak. My spirit is perfectly awake, but my physical form is a lump of melted wax.”

Artemus’ breath evened, and he approached them with more patience than before.

“I don’t fully understand, but in any case, I need to get you both back to the village. It’s not safe here,” Artemus wheeled Mordecai down the trail.

Felicity skipped alongside them.

“What’s your name?”

“Oh, forgive me. I’m Artemus of Lunnon. What about you and your grandfather?”

“He’s not my grandpa! We’re on an adventure.”

“What kind?”

Before she could respond, a blade swished, and then a tree toppled, blocking their path.

An exceptionally clean slice, just like earlier. Artemus thought.

A figure in a white robe with gold lining approached the group. A matching hood covered the upper part of its face. Wispy, ethereal clouds of black smoke emanated from a long thin blade held deftly in the right hand.

“Grim Grasp…” Mordecai whispered.

Artemus drew his knife and stood in front.

“You! What did you do to my friends?”

The man continued walking while lifting his blade in the air. Artemus ran and slid feet first between his legs, delivering a slashing cut to the back of his calf. With lightning speed, he dealt another blow to the figure’s back. The large man stood unfazed by the damage and readied his weapon for a powerful strike.

“Stay away from that blade!” Mordecai warned.

Artemus jumped to the right, barely dodging the blow. Artemus’ eyes widened as the towering man lifted his blade once more. He spun away from the overhead strike. Artemus then countered with a swift strike to the wrist. The sword clanged to the ground in a puff of black smoke. The figure held the stump of his arm. Black mist sprouted from it. He kneeled, picked up his right hand with his left, and reattached it.

Artemus moved back, stunned.


He grabbed Mordecai’s cart and darted around the fallen tree. He glanced back and realized the young girl was no longer trailing behind them.


She stood in front of the hooded man. Both were motionless, sharing a haunting stare.

“Where did your soul go?”

“Get away from him!” Artemus shouted.

The large man lifted her onto his shoulder and disappeared into the forest. Artemus turned to Mordecai who was in deep meditation.

“What are you doing?!”

The old man opened his eyes, “He’s headed to your village. They’re in grave danger.”


Artemus paced.

Was Lunnon really in danger?

Every fiber in his body wanted to run and rescue Felicity, but his mind wrestled with his heart. There was no way he could defeat that monster.

Artemus put his head in his hands and screamed into the dirt. His bloodshot eyes glared at Mordecai while he pointed the blade at his throat.

“Explain! What do you mean the village is in danger?”

Mordecai stared at the blade, then closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He let it out with an exaggerated sigh.

“You seem upset.”

The calmness in his voice caused Artemus to lower his weapon.

“I’m sorry –”

“Don’t be!” Mordecai laughed, “To be alive is to experience emotions. Isn’t it wonderful?”

“Please, Mordecai. I need to know what is going on.”

“Yes, I suppose you do deserve to know,” he pondered a thought for a moment. “Have you ever talked with a tree?”

“We don’t have time for –”

“Well, I suppose it’s more like listening.” he continued, “Every blade of grass or grain of sand has a story to tell if you have the patience to listen. Living beings tend to leave an imprint everywhere they go. Our emotions. Our thoughts, Our memories. They carry an energetic weight. The clothes we wear, weapons we wield, and even the ground we walk on can store that energy and, in a sense, is imbued with its spirit.”

“I suppose it’s more like listening. Every sand particle and blade of grass has a tale to tell. Living beings leave an imprint everywhere they go. Our emotions. Our thoughts. Our memories. They carry an energetic weight. Everything can store that energy and, in a sense, is imbued with its spirit.”

“What has that to do with our situation?”

Mordecai had the same charisma and infectious conviction as Artemus’ father, giving him a sense of trust and comfort around the old man.

“Everything. I can feel that man’s energy. I can hear his intentions. And that weapon -” he shivered.

“What about it?”

“That’s not your typical blade. It consumes its victims’ souls like food. And it’s ravenous. The victims’ eyes, or lack thereof, can be used to identify them.”

The village guard.

“Eyes are the window, and that Grim Grasp katana can rip a victim’s soul out of their skull, leaving only scorched skin and hollowed bores.”

“How can I fight something that indestructible?”

“That I do not know. I’ve lived a long time and have never seen anything like it,” a sudden thought crossed Mordecai’s mind. “But it appears our little Felicity knows him.”

“How - Don’t you know each other?”

“We only just met a couple of days ago.”

“Then what were you two doing? How did you even get here?”

Mordecai hesitated for a moment.

“Do you believe in magic, master Artemus?”

“Magic? As in fairy tales?”

Mordecai snickered, both amused and insulted.

“I was being held captive off the coast. I’m not sure for how long. However, a few days ago, guards rumbled about a new captive – an extraordinary girl from a city in the sky.”

Artemus crossed his arms.

“I’ve never heard of such a city.”

“It exists. This girl, Felicity, was sharp for her age. I was impressed. But beyond that, I sensed immense power within her. Surprisingly, her bloodline is rather peculiar. Her father was a druid, and her mother an oracle. Such a child hasn’t been born for 1,000 years.”

“What does that mean? Did she tell you this?”

“Yes, we first spoke in a dream. But my first conversations weren’t with the young girl you met. She was much older. A beautiful young woman in white robes.” Artemus’ thoughts wandered back to the lady in his dream.

Could the woman have been Felicity?

“How is that possible?”

“She must’ve wandered into my mind as a thought projection. Felicity can’t control her power. She was in a deep mist, and I helped her get out.”

Mordecai glanced at Artemus.

“It took me decades to hone my abilities in my astral body. Meanwhile, Felicity did it by accident! This new generation truly excites me.”

“We need to save her. Whatever it takes.”

Artemus continuously flipped his knife.

What would you do here, father?

Mordecai grinned.

“I think you’ve been holding the key to winning the entire time.”

His grimoire glowed blue, rose from his lap, and floated in the air between them. A blank page opened, and Mordecai’s eyes glowed the same shade of blue.


Electricity burst from the pages straight toward him. Artemus reactively raised his blade in defense, causing the lightning to split in every direction and ignite the foliage around him.

He remained unharmed.

“That’s not an ordinary hunting knife, master Artemus. It is a short sword imbued with a spirit of protection. Whoever gave you that sword cares about you greatly.”


Xedho firmly grasped his torch as he approached the forest. He clutched the amulet around his neck.

“You better be alive.”

He carried an old quarterstaff on his back. It was his weapon of choice, given its superior reach and tidiness compared to swords.

He slowly crept forward. The acrid smoke stopped him. A bird darted past his face. He ducked. Three others followed in quick succession.

He slowly crept forward, feeling for level ground before picking up his pace. The acrid smell of smoke stopped him in his tracks. A bird darted past his face, causing him to duck. Followed by another, then a third, and a fourth in quick succession.

Xedho was quickly disoriented as all manner of creatures flew, ran, and crawled by him, escaping a nearby fire. Between the exodus of critters and thick black smoke, Xedho lost his torch and sense of direction. He stumbled backward several steps back before colliding with something rigid and warm. He slowly turned. Standing before him was a hooded man carrying a young girl on his shoulder.

“Sorry, friend. I -”

The man lifted Xedho into the air by his collar and threw him down like a used bread cloth. Xedho coughed and rolled onto his side, wincing from what was likely several cracked ribs. The baker was a large man and had never been handled that way in battle. He withdrew the quarterstaff from his back and used it to stand. The hooded man continued forward through the smoke.

“Hey,” Xedho managed to yell out through a cough. “What was that for?”

The man disappeared into the smoke, and Xedho chased after him. When he entered the forest trailhead, the mysterious man grabbed him from the back collar of his shirt and tossed him to the ground again.

“You have to stop doing that,” Xedho muttered as he got back to his feet.

The man gently laid the girl on the grass. He unsheathed his katana and the black smoke swirled with the gray from the fire. Xedho assumed his fighting stance.

The hooded man ran toward him with his sword raised. Xedho pivoted to his right, creating an advantageous angle, and swung the quarterstaff at his chin. His hands vibrated from the thunderous strike, but the man didn’t react.

“Really? Not even a flinch?”

The man swung his katana at Xedho. He ducked underneath, pivoted to the left, and slammed the quarterstaff at his face with all the force he could muster.

This time the blow spun the man off his base, causing him to stumble and remove his hood.

Xedho froze in terror at the sight of the man’s face. The blackened skin on his forehead and scalp contrasted the pale complexion of his cheeks. Fresh blood streamed down his face from the dark pits in place of his eyes.

Xedho backed away and tripped, falling on his back.

“Die…” the man croaked.

Before the blade swung down, a sword’s tip exploded through his chest, raining blood down on Xedho. The man’s body slumped to the ground, revealing Artemus standing triumphantly behind.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I think I got some of its blood in my mouth,” Xedho responded as he spat.

Artemus helped him up and pulled him into an embrace.

“You ran off and had me worried,” Xedho sighed, “I thought I was going to have to rescue you again.”

“This time, I rescued you.”

“Don’t celebrate so soon,” Mordecai interrupted, “It’s far from over.”

Their undead enemy was returning to his feet.

“Who’s the old guy with the book?”

“That’s Mordecai. He’s some kind of magician”

“Wait, the Genesis Adventurer?” Xedho turned in amazement, “My word! Master Mordecai, it is an honor to meet you. My wife and I live by the teachings in your letters.”

“You are too kind.”

“Genesis … Adventurer?”

“Divine’s sake, Arty, read a book. This man is one of the most famous people in all the realms. What is he doing with you –”

“Watch out!”

They narrowly slipped the sharp edge of the katana.

“Xedho! Let’s over-under.”

He nodded and swept the back of the man’s legs with his quarterstaff. Simultaneously, Artemus dug his short sword into the center of his rib cage. Their undead enemy crashed with a thump. Xedho kicked away the katana and held him down with a foot on his chest.

“Chop off his head!”

Artemus brought his blade up with a ferocious yell.

“STOOOOOP!” Felicity’s scream froze time.

Artemus couldn’t move a muscle. The burning forest’s crackling ceased to sound. He could not turn his face but saw a crying Felicity standing beside him through the corners of his eyes.

“Please don’t kill my father. He’s all I have left.”

Her eyes rolled back, and she fainted.

The flow of time returned to normal, but Artemus remained frozen in thought.

Is this thing her father?

The enemy grabbed Xedho’s leg and swung him towards Artemus. The two fell to the ground while the man jumped to retrieve his katana.

“Heavenly Gale!”

Wind powerfully lashed out of Mordecai’s grimoire, propelling the katana further forward. A weakened Mordecai coughed violently.

“This cursed body of mine can’t wield magic like it used to.”

The man rushed Mordecai, pulled his limp body from his cart, and dumped him on the ground. His fists repeatedly crashed into his face. Artemus and Xedho tackled him and tried to pin him down, but he wrestled them off.

He kicked Artemus in the stomach, knocking him back several feet. Then he grabbed the back of Xedho’s head and slammed his face into the ground several times, rendering him unconscious. Artemus tried to get back to his feet but struggled to fill his lungs with air beneath his broken ribs. He fell to the ground and could only watch as the monstrous enemy walked toward him with murderous intent.

“Artemus,” Mordecai called out, “Take good care of Felicity and see that she makes it home safely. She needs you –”

His grimoire floated into the air as golden light enveloped his body. The brightness was unbearable, and Artemus averted his eyes. The char-faced man changed course and walked towards Mordecai.

“So this is where my adventure comes to an end,” The light around Mordecai pulsed brighter and brighter as he walked forward.

“Mordecai, no –” Felicity cried out.

“There’s no need to worry, child. Your father and I are going to get some much-needed rest.”

Mordecai gave Felicity a hopeful smile.

“I leave the future of the realms in your hands, young adventurers. May the light illuminate your souls.”

The light around Mordecai pulsed even faster and brighter. His grimoire flipped to its final page.

“Divine Twilight,” Mordecai uttered in a serene tone.

An explosion of light irradiated from the book, turning the dead of night into midday in an instant. When the light stopped, and Artemus finally opened his eyes, Mordecai and the enemy were gone. All that remained was the glowing grimoire.

Xedho regained consciousness and sat up slowly, “What happened?”

“They’re… gone,” Felicity said, sobbing softly.

A struggling Artemus stumbled towards the grimoire. As he approached, a luminous rune appeared on the front cover — a symbol resembling the rising sun. He frantically flipped through the book, but it was blank. Every page was a clean sheet of parchment, except the first. Inscribed to the top of the page was only one sentence:

Where one story ends, another begins.

I hereby waive all copyright and related or neighboring rights together with all associated claims and causes of action with respect to this work to the extent possible under the law.