Revelations: Book One of the Merlin Chronicles by Daniel Diehl

Daniel Diehl
By Daniel Diehl February 25, 2013 21:04

Revelations: Book One of the Merlin Chronicles by Daniel Diehl

Summary:

The Merlin Chronicles is a seamless blend of Arthurian legend, biblical prophecy, classic wizard fantasy and contemporary urban fantasy that never takes itself too seriously. This refreshing new series creates a world exactly like ours – except that Merlin and the age of magic have returned full-blast to battle ancient evils & save civilization.

In Revelations, Book One of The Merlin Chronicles, archeology student Jason Carpenter discovers a mysterious orb that has housed history’s greatest wizard for 1,600 years. Forced into an uneasy alliance, Jason and Merlin are sucked into a web of deceit, intrigue, and murder in a race to outwit and outrun Merlin’s ancient nemesis, the evil sorceress Morgana LaFay, a gang of drug smugglers, and a 500-year-old Chinese necromancer. It’s a race against time to complete their quest before an army of dragons is unleashed on a vulnerable and unsuspecting 21st century world.

The author has rated this book PG (not necessarily suitable for children).

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Excerpt:

— Pulling the tray and its grapefruit sized treasure from their storage place in one of a dozen metal cabinets lining one wall of the lab Daniels gently placed it on the large work table in the center of the room. Switching on the lights hanging low over the table and digging through his pockets for the pair of spectacles which would give him the best view of the sphere at extreme close range, the professor settled on a high stool and began gently rolling the object around on its towel.
“Most extraordinary,” he said “I’ve been pondering this for months now and still have no idea what its original purpose might have been. The total lack of markings left by the blowpipe which must have been used to make this thing has me completely baffled. It really is a brilliant piece of work. Still, we need to determine its exact chemical and mineral make up if we are going to make any headway toward identifying its origins. The swirling pattern on the surface tells us there are impurities in the glass, and we need to know what they are.”
“Am I crazy, professor, or are those imperfections moving?” Jason leaned forward, squinting his eyes.

“Trick of the light, obviously. Let me turn on one of these black lights so we can get a better look at the composition of the glass.” Daniels burbled away happily as he pulled a black, fluorescent light out of a drawer. “Under black light we can pick out any trace minerals, impurities or crystalline content in the glass. Switching on the lamp, Daniels held the light close to the sphere. The result was so startling, so unexpected, that he could only blink repeatedly before turning his wide-eyed stare on Jason.

“Good lord.” The old man said in amazement while Jason could only shift his startled face from the round object to the professor and back again. Under the otherworldly glow of the black light the surface of the glass appeared to be covered with a perfectly unbroken grid of pale blue-white crystalline threads as fine as lace. Each minute thread in the complex web was connected to another one, forming hundreds of minute, perfectly formed pentagons, hexagons and octagons. Under the unnatural illumination the web of crystals danced and refracted, breaking the black light down to its component parts, and throwing them off into the air like a thousand tiny rainbows. Turning it first one way then another, Daniels finally returned his gaze to Jason. “Do you see?” he almost whispered. “There don’t seem to be any seams in this web. I’m certainly no geologist, but I don’t believe such a thing can exist in a man-made object. If it had been worked, any crystalline structure inherent in the glass would be all fractured, especially if it were heated to a high enough temperature for the glass to have been blown. This object seems to have grown naturally, and no such object occurs in nature – at least none that I am aware of. I believe we have entered what one might quite correctly call terra incognita.”
Finally, after what seemed like minutes of complete silence, Jason spoke. “Doctor, this thing seems even weirder now than it did before.”
Nodding in silent agreement, Carver Daniels silently replaced the orb in its tray and muttered distractedly. “Weird, indeed, Mr. Carpenter, weird indeed. Not only shall we have to bring in a specialist on Anglo-Saxon finds, but we shall have to bring in a geologist as well. This is quite beyond anything in my experience.” Then, almost as an after-thought, he added. “Any thoughts which might illuminate our little mystery?”

“If you’ll pardon my saying so, Doctor, I still think that whatever it is, it has to be pre Anglo-Saxon. It was well below the bottom of the last Anglo-Saxon finds in the trench.” When Daniels raised a hand to object, Jason bravely cut him off. “I know. There is no evidence of anything earlier than Anglo-Saxon at the site. But since there is no evidence of anything like this existing anywhere else, don’t you think we should bring in experts on pre Anglo-Saxon and maybe even Roman glassware?”

Running his hand idly across his shiny head, Carver Daniels muttered, “Perhaps you’re right. Perhaps you’re right. But what in heaven’s name is it?”

Completely at a loss, Jason half smiled and said, “If it is pre Anglo-Saxon, and considering that it’s from a toilet pit at Tintagel, who knows, maybe it was Merlin’s crystal ball and he didn’t like what it was telling him so he threw it down the shitter.”

Daniels almost took offense at such wild and unprofessional speculation, but checked himself when he realized it was a joke. Looking up, he began to chuckle. Jason joined him and laughed at the absurdity of the entire situation. Finally, Daniels said between laughs “That’s undoubtedly as sound a theory as any we have come up with so far, my boy.”

That night, when Jason reared up in bed from a deep sleep, his eyes snapped open and he shouted a single word into the silence of the night: “SOON.” It took him a minute to orient himself, but when he did, he realized the dream had come again. This time, he could remember more of it than on any earlier occasion. The swirling, clinging, grasping fog and the brilliant blue eyes boring a hole through his head were still there, but this time there was also a hand. Long fingered and leathery, it reached out through the fog toward him, palm forward with the fingers slightly bent as though trying to grasp his face. Unnerving as the remembered image was, once Jason calmed down he drifted into a sleep that remained unbroken for the rest of the night.

Copyright© Daniel Diehl. All rights reserved.

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Daniel Diehl
By Daniel Diehl February 25, 2013 21:04
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