The Pleasure of Memory is the first volume of three in the Blood Caeyl Memories fantasy series. Told in a contemporary tongue, it is set in a period of mixed eras, where swords, crossbows, and cannons are the weapons of the times, though the setting has more in common with the lawless frontier locales of the American Old West than medieval times.
Beam is a thief, rogue, and murderer who takes his gold wherever the path of least resistance offers it. Orphaned in childhood, his extended family abandoned him as a young boy, hitching him to a horse post at the steps of a rundown priory in Parhron City. He is discovered at dawn by Brother Dael, an elderly monk who is Prelate for the Priory of Saynfyl, a priory dedicated to the care of the insane. Dael finds Beam tethered to the horse hitch out front, and takes him in without question, and raises him as his own.
Years later, when Beam reaches the age of sixteen, he inherits his deceased mother’s estate. Along with a generous quantity of gold coins, he receives some of her personal property, including an elaborate puzzle box of olden design. Confounded in his efforts to open the box, he eventually tucks it away.
Years later, long after his mother’s money has run its course, he searches through his belongings in search of something to hock. Among his things, he rediscovers the box. He instinctively makes another attempt to unravel the secrets to opening the complicated panels. This time, the box simply falls apart in his hands. Inside, he finds an ancient map. The map eventually leads him to a cemetery the size of a small city tucked away deep in the southern scrubs.
The cemetery resides on the reservation lands of the Vaemyn, a savage race who sport tiny horns beneath their ears that allow them to “hear” images emitted generated by the vibrations of living creatures. Due to their ability to track their prey by listening to the earth, they are extremely difficult to evade.
Beam spends the next two years prowling through the cemetery, evading the savages by day and picking his way through their dead by night. As he searches, he finds trinkets of gold and jewels sent with the dead to the afterlife. Eventually, he discovers a secret chamber leading to a maze hidden beneath one of the crypts. There, he finds a brilliant crystal the size of a small apple. The blood-red gem seems to have a fire at its center, and is carved in the image of a sensuous, lidded eye. Believing he has found the treasure his mother’s map sent him after, he flees north to through the lawless Nolands and back to civilization with the Vaemyn in pursuit. He believes this gem will bring him the riches that will afford him the life of leisure and lavish indulgence he so richly deserves.
What Beam doesn’t know is that this crystal is actually a Blood Caeyl. This was the most dominant of all the stones of power, with influence over the forces of life itself, and one believed to have long ago vanished from the world. In time, the caeyl begins to alter him, gradually awakening the memories of a thousand lifetimes and changing him into a new man, and even a new life form.
His metamorphosis arrives just at the beginning of the end of times. A Fire Caeyl mage has created a rift to the Wyr, and has summoned an army of Wyrlaerds, Divinic Demons with an instinctual desire to rule all mortal life, and the ability to possess the flesh of living souls. The changes Beam endures lead him to the edge of his mortality, to the portal between the corporeal world he was born to and a labyrinth of memories spanning thousands of years and endless lifetimes. There he learns that his birth was never by chance, but rather part of an elaborate plan to end the threat of the Wyr for all time.
The Evolution of the Blood Caeyl Memories
by Welcome Cole
The Pleasure of Memory was born from a dare. Or perhaps challenge is the better description. Years back, I was discussing the art of writing with a dear friend, a fellow devotee and author of fantastic fiction. We were discussing the evolution of The Story. The conversation was something akin to a literary version of the creation versus evolution debate. Did the best stories evolve through careful structuring of the plot and characters prior to the actual writing, similar to God’s Seven Day Plan? Or did they grow organically from the kernel of a planted idea, flowing initially as a kind of free association that gradually evolves into a life form?
I clearly favored the latter.
To prove his point, my friend then initiated the challenge. He provided me with an opening sentence, and double dog dared me to grow it into a story. The opening line he graciously delivered to me was “It’s a good day to be you,” written as a quote. Looking at that seed, I was pretty certain it wasn’t an acorn that could grow a mighty oak. I figured I’d be fortunate if it grew a milkweed.
After several fruitless months of writing, wadding, trashing, writing, wadding, and trashing, I decided to take a more scholarly tack. I cheated. I took a concept I’d been playing in my head for about a year, but hadn’t yet started on, and I placed the dare sentence at the beginning of it. Now, in all fairness to myself, I have to say that I still wrote this story organically from a simple premise and without benefit of a storyboard, but while starting from a different seed. However, in using his second dare seed, the concept of my original premise was dramatically changed. You might say this story arose from genetically modified stock.
Three books later, the project has evolved into a complex story of good versus evil, of a man forced outside the comfort zone of his own greed and self-importance, of the allies he unwittingly finds among his enemies, of his metamorphosis into the human and, ultimately, god he was destined to be.
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Welcome Cole is a writer of fantasy, contemporary novels, and urban fiction. He spends his time in the lakes and forests of Traverse City, Michigan and in the desert and mountains of Castle Rock, Colorado. He has degrees in Nursing and Business Administration, and writes at every opportunity. His book, The Pleasure of Memory, will be followed up shortly with his contemporary fiction novel, Henry’s Re-entry. The second volume of the Blood Caeyl Memories, The Shadows of Memory, will be released in early 2014.