Hope your week has been going well? Mine is great, I've been a bit busy working on the final stages of a project. I will let you guys into the news very soon. Meanwhile, I was excited when I found out about a Nigerian Fantasy Epic novel written by a young writer debuting with his first work. I contacted Temitayo Ilori on facebook and we got to chatting and exchanging ideas.
This is an excerpt from chapter 12 of his recently published novel, The Doom's Wing. Temitayo has a blog over HERE where you can read more about him and his book. After this, I will be publishing an interview with the author himself.
THE story of Tellam got both Solom and Hamit that the night flew along and the fear of Dubanon faded in their thoughts. The night had flown into the midnight and the moon stared the earth boldly in the face. Cold misty breeze and white clouds mingled together and ruled the night.
“I dn’t kill him…I dn’t kill him…” Tellam lamented as Solom and Hamit stood up to go.
Solom looked back to him and asked, “Who killed him?”
“I…I…I…” was all he could say.
The caves in Monort were in utter darkness by the time they stepped out of Tellam’s cave. The guards were all snoring away in their dreams. Solom and Hamit followed a streak of light to the stone gate and as they moved close to the gate, Dubanon resurfaced in Hamit’s thought and he pondered what lie would buy such loyal giant of Paton. At the gate, a frog-like snore filled everywhere and it was coming from inside the guard’s cave at the stone gate. Ease quickly came over Hamit at least they would be able to escape without answering to Dubanon.
At the stone gate, Solom and Hamit pushed the stone, thinking it would roll over easily, but the gate beat them to the trick. They were trapped. Dawn was few hours away. Cold sweat broke through Hamit’s pores. He pushed harder, while Solom stood behind him smiling, but to no avail.
“Solom, we’re trapped give a helping hand…” he whispered.
“That door has a trick to it. Pushing won’t do.” Solom whispered back.
“What trick?” Hamit asked as he kept pushing harder.
Suddenly, the frogy snore quietened and the whole place became so quiet that the flow of blood in the veins could be heard. To Hamit, it was like a moment before the end of times. A small light came on in the guard’s cave. Hamit froze and in a moment, the flash of his being disrobed tormented him. Within another moment, the figure in the guard’s cave came out and caught Hamit as he was trying to hide behind the stone gate.
“Solom and Hamit...elders of Mead I hope you find the answers you seek in Darkness?” The guard said as he stood at the door staring at Solom. That one moment seemed like a thousand years to Hamit. Amori, the guard was not deceived by their disguise.
“Amori, the stone gate beats us to the trick…” Solom said to the guard. Hamit was shocked to his bones that the guard at the door was not Dubanon the giant, but a six feet tall middle aged man. During the night shift, few minutes after Solom and Hamit entered Monort, Amori took over from Dubanon. Solom knew his game before he dared to take the risk. He knew any story Tellam had to tell them, even in summary, would take hours. But to bring Tellam food shouldn’t take long, he knew, therefore there must be a way out. He knew the time Amori takes over the watch from Dubanon and he also knew Amori would be at the gate by the time they would be leaving, so he took the risk. Amori owed Solom a favour and this could be a way to pay back, by covering their tracks for them.
“Your daughter must be doing well now?” Solom said to Amori.
“She will be better…Solom thank you for the grace you bestowed” Amori replied sleepily. Hamit stood there in great shock. Amori bowed to him: “You are a great judge sire, Meadians respect you and they will do anything for you…they will do anything to fight for you…” Amori said to Hamit who was still in shock.
“The gate still stands locked…do the trick, the night flies quickly…and it waits not…” Solom said to Amori who yawned as he went into the darkness at the back of the stone gate and he did the magic that rolled the stone that a hundred men wouldn’t have been able to roll over.
“I will always be at your beck and call … as for tonight, consider it a matter of utmost secrecy.” Amori whispered to Hamit and Solom as they both went away into the night towards the town.
“Can you trust him?” Hamit asked Solom as they hurried away in the cold quiet night.
“Amori?” Solom asked.
“Yes…” Hamit replied.
“Trust no man Hamit…especially your subject who befriends your master.” Solom added to Hamit’s fear. “But the man you fear is a toothless dog if we can bring these pieces together and make a whole story.’ Now Solom tried to allay Hamit’s fear.
“Paton?” Hamit was shocked again.
“Hurry Hamit I still need to ride to the monastery town of Ropa tonight.” Solom said in haste.
“Ropa?” Everything started happening with a great speed that Hamit couldn’t comprehend. “How is Paton connected with the murder of his son; how is Tellam’s story connected with all these?”
“Hamit, go home to your mother tell her to prepare, that the time has come for the truth.” Solom said.
“Mariet is connected with all these too?” More confusion loomed.
In that same cold night Solom rode away in his cart to the monastery town of Ropa to meet a nun. Ropa, a refugee home for the orphans and widows from diverse place. It is the town for the oppressed. In Ropa, security to life is of utmost importance. Outcasts find their home there and become citizens; even those who should have fallen prey to the blades of other men have been given a home there. No army has been found to invade the giant stone walls of Ropa before. The security of that town does not come from the strength of the walls, but from the invincible powers that hold sway in such a place. Ropa is called the seat of gods and goddesses. And nobody would ever want to incur the wrath of them all at once when the power of just one alone wreaked great havoc like the flush of Thömber.
Solom got to the gate at some hour after midnight. He looked at the high walls of Ropa and thanked goodness for the safety such a place gives to the refugees and things of great importance like what he had come to seek at this ill-hour. Moments passed while he waited for Nought, the gate keeper and a friend to open the giant gate for him.
“Solom, what do you seek in Ropa at this late hour?” Nought, the gate keeper asked as he peeped into the cart of Solom with a lamp in his hand.
“It bothers on the urgency of the great affairs of the state…send a message to her for me.” Solom responded in a rush. Nought who felt the urgency in Solom’s voice sent one of his sentry-men to Solom’s host while he ushered Solom into the most secured town along the coast of Detoir and was directed to the usual location to wait for his host. A nun.
Solom did not wait long on that dark corridor before he heard swift footsteps coming towards him. The greyness of the nun’s garb revealed her as she approached Solom in that dark.
“It’s late…it’s too dangerous to travel these woods at this late hour and you know that.” The nun said as she approached him.
“So also it is more dangerous to delay in a matter of utmost urgency…like this…” He replied the nun.
“What is this matter that is more important than your life?” The nun asked as she embraced him.
“It is time for the truth…it is time for the revelation of the past” He told the nun.
“You have always saved Mead, but this time, will you be able to save her…” The nun said.
“With your testimony you will save the state and avenge the evils of the past.” Solom said.
“Testimony?” The nun was shocked.
“Yes. The testimony will save us now.” Solom searched for the face of the nun in that dark, “Do you still have it?”
“Yes…it is in the Q chest in the monastery.” The nun responded. The Q chest is the safest chest in Ropa and things of paramount importance are kept there. “I just didn’t know the time for its use would come now or ever…” the nun said with a faint sound of grief in her voice.
“The time is now…”
“Long live Solom…” she said as she embraced him again. They looked into each others’ eyes and it seemed eternal.
“Long live Mead…” Solom said as he stepped into the moonlight and went towards his carriage. He left a note with the nun and departed for Mead immediately.