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THE SHADOW CRUCIBLE: THE BLIND GOD
Author: T.M. Lakomy
Publisher: Select Books
Genre: Dark Fantasy
In a world where angels, demons, and gods fight over the
possession of mortal souls, two conflicted pawns are ensnared in a cruel game.
The enigmatic seer Estella finds herself thrown together with Count Mikhail, a
dogmatic Templar dedicated to subjugating her kind. But when a corrupted
cardinal and puppet king begin a systematic genocide of her people, the two
become unlikely allies.
Taking humanity back to their primordial beliefs and fears,
Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative
trade in human souls. All organized religions are shops orchestrated to consume
mankind. Every deity, religion, and spiritual guide has been corrupted, and
each claims to have the monopoly on truth and salvation.
In a perilous game where the truth is distorted and
meddling ancient deities converge to partake of the unseen battle, Estella
unwittingly finds herself hunted by Lucifer. Traversing the edge of hell’s
precipice, Estella and Mikhail are reduced to mere instruments. Their only
means to overcome is through courting the Threefold Death, the ancient ritual
of apotheosis—of man becoming God.
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He seethed with indignation as he confronted his reflection.
Rasping with rage and flexing his fingers impotently, he took in his bruised
and broken face. This mirror was the only vanity he was allowed, and now it
only offered him the stark knowledge of his ugliness and weakness. Livid, he
smote the mirror with his fist. It shattered as he let out an incensed cry, the
fragments flying across the floor, glittering sharply in the dimming lights. He
looked down at the collage of broken glass and paused, numb with anger.
The shards of the mirror glittered and vibrated, reflecting
numerous eyes. Then they slowly began to levitate, all the tiny fragments
splintered across the room gathering together and reforming. Swiftly they
became whole again, and the mirror floated in the air eerily toward the
cardinal. Within the reflection he no longer saw himself, but another being
gazing back at him. Lost for breath, he gaped in bewilderment, unable to form
words. The being had the fairest of all faces. Beautiful, with an aura of
inexorable grace, it had resplendent, shimmering wings—pair upon pair of them
in varied iridescent hues. The countenance observed him with a soft smile,
measuring him with his intoxicating, lucent blue eyes. “Do you know who I am,
old man?” the mirror asked him blithely. The cardinal was immediately
enraptured, but could feel the cross burning on his neck. “Take it off and it
will not sear your skin,” the angel remarked mildly, his limpid blue eyes
gazing lovingly upon the cardinal. The cardinal, like a man too deeply drunken
to think, brought his hand to his neck and ripped the cross thoughtlessly off
and cast it away. “That is better now, isn’t it? Always bearing the cross.
Well, he carried his cross and now he wants the whole world to carry it with
him . . . how truly selfish.” The voice, though laced with reproach, was
heartrendingly sweet and full of understanding and promise. It rang like silver
bells. The cardinal’s mouth hung open indecorously, and he found himself
nodding his head in agreement with the angel’s words as his fear began to dissipate.
“I do not want you to carry this cross, this heavy burden of debt,” the angel
continued. “This false salvation you were peddled is a lie. I, on the contrary,
want you to be free, liberated from your thralldom. The earth is your
inheritance to rule over as a god, like you were promised. And yet they have
deprived you of your freedom. My heart grieves for you,” the angel sympathized,
his voice laden with unquenchable sorrow. As the angel spoke, the mirror began
to ripple like molten silver, and he emerged from it, as though pushing through
a translucent shroud. Robed in white flowing garments, he grasped a long spear
in his left hand pointing it downwards, the bitter tip glistening coldly.
Standing before the cardinal revealed in his full glory, he smiled fully—but
the warmth never reached his detached, frosted gaze. “I want to liberate you
from your thralldom,” he said. “I have watched over you all, my tender flock. I
am Lucifer, the morning star, the first to greet you with my love into this
life, and the last to claim you on my dark stallion of death. I have come to
free you.” His persuasive voice was soothing and nurturing, like a gentle river
rippling mildly over soft bedrock. The cardinal found himself in a daze of awe,
and within him woke his longing for power and lust for dominion. “Come to me,
let me free you, and we shall destroy the Twilit world that has robbed you of
the gifts that you so deserved.” The fatherly voice of the angel was indignant
yet gentle, and he beamed at the cardinal who nodded back eagerly. “Let me into
your heart, then. Lead me into your house, in this false edifice erected in the
name of God, and let us together find the lost sheep in the house of God. I am
his true son, after all, prince of the world.” He glided towards the cardinal,
his numerous nacre wings extending into the chamber. They shed their own pearly
light, and it seemed he floated like a silver vision. The angel knelt beside
the cardinal, gazing into his watery eyes. “Let me into his house.” The voice
was slightly more pressing now. The cardinal, dazed, nodded in agreement. With
a satisfied smile, the angel touched the cardinal’s chest with a slender
finger, right at his heart, and breathed over him. The cardinal groaned,
falling instantly asleep. The angel then shifted like a blurring image, colors
melting and running, twisting like molten glass into a murky mess of shadow and
dirt-colored fumes. The gleaming wings fell to the ground, losing their
feathers and rotting instantly. Now instead of the radiant angel, there stood a
hooded and cloaked figure, emanating death. Like a black hole, it sucked in all
the light around him, exerting a fearsome pull. The light from the candles
swirled and were drawn into him, as though he were a gasping sinkhole.
The lights that weren’t drowned out flared in his presence,
then guttered as he walked towards the discarded cross lying dully on the
ground. With his foot he trampled it into the ground. Then the lights went out
and laughter resounded. It echoed through the abbey walls, shaking it to its
foundations until all the lights within went out, and all the icons fell to the
ground, dashed down by something far more sinister than the raging gale
About the Author
Tamara Lakomy is British born but grew up in North
Africa during troubled times. She resides in London.
She studied archaeology and became enamoured with the
shamanistic practices of indigenous people.
She is an author and poet who seeks to challenge our notions
of reality, and see life with a different perspective.
She works in East Africa with
indigenous tribes studying the origins of mankind and the salient golden thread
in the tapestry of humanity’s beliefs.
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