Occult Hope

“In the never-ending war, they used up the magic items. When those were gone, they used up the wizards and true clerics.  Then they used up the great heroes, the armored fighters, the shining swords.  In time, all that remained were stones and sticks.  And they fought with those.”

–from “The Fall of Pyann” by the Guild of Herralan


Photo © Kent Bonham

Arrael’s grandfather had told him stories, back before the never-ending war began, when wizards did more than cast spells of destruction, when they died of old age.

They created objects of wonder and beauty, dazzling the court at the fabled palace at Eyneada.

That palace was destroyed too, he’d heard.

Some wizards must have survived, surely.  They would return.  They would fix this.

Arrael pulled his great-grandmother’s book from its hiding place.  Tenderly opening it on his lap, he marveled at the arcane diagrams.

Frail Enlea climbed up beside him.  “Pretty.  What are they pictures of?”

“The future, my dear.”


Word count: 100.  Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers flash fiction challenge.  Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting!  Click here to see the other stories and to post your own.

I haven’t been posting as many flash fiction pieces as I’d like, busy with work and with Camp NaNo.  But this photo was just too perfect to pass up!

For any of you trying to keep track of the links between these stories, Eyneada is the capital of Jonnamim, and is where Linsalla lives about 300 years later — see the chapter I just posted.



31 thoughts on “Occult Hope

    • Thanks! Well, the wizards didn’t end the war, but it eventually did peter out. However, few of them survived, and much of their knowledge was destroyed in the process. Not all of it, though — thanks in part to people like Arrael hiding away old books of magic, hoping for a brighter future when they would be used again.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Fantastic story, Joy! I’m hoping my time away from my book will mean I will be able to write into a stupor some day soon. My Camp experience has been pretty poor, unfortunately, but it looks like you’re super on point, with adding this piece to the mix. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Melony! My Camp experience is lovely, although my Camp *performance* leaves something to be desired so far! Well, there’s still another two weeks, plenty of time to rally round. Go Plot Bunnies, we can do it!


    • Glad you liked it Sammi! What I was thinking was more that he hoped the spells saved in this book would insure a happier future for his people — that the wizards would be able to rebuild using these old books, this old knowledge. I think that wasn’t so clear in my story though, based on some of the comments. But then, it’s always interesting to see different interpretations!


    • Thanks Bjorn! I’m glad it came across that way. At that particular time, the present wasn’t so great, so the only positive things were the past and the future – and hope.


  2. A lovely scene. I can really picture Arrael thinking of his grandfather’s stories of never-ending war, then wandering over to study his great grandfather’s book. The hope he sees in the pages is clear in his reply to Enlea – which rounds the scene off on a positive and hopeful note.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Millie! I did try to be more hopeful on this one. The photo this time really was great. I liked imagining how mysterious those magical diagrams must look to someone like Arrael, with no training in it (like calculus would look to cavemen), and how they might just look like pretty pictures to a child.


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