Chapter Four - conclusion

The Heritage of Zeheft - Part Two

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The bags over his shoulders were heavy with books, but Faunos had only managed to bring out the dozen most valuable. These were the books that described the magicks, the prophecies and the secrets of his forefathers' power. He had left behind the histories of Zeheft, the poems and stories of his ancestors, which had been suppressed since Vayal’s last great victory, and was burdened with the knowledge that he must go back for them -- soon, before the sea destroyed everything.

The Zeftimen who had fled with the overburdened fishing fleet were the children of these latter years, and Galen was rightly scornful of them. They had no concept of who they were, who their ancestors had ever been, what was their birthright, and of what they were capable. Worse yet, the youngest had ceased to care.

Time, ignorance and hardship had reduced the to simple fishermen and shepherds who bowed politely when the soldiers of Vayal passed by. They walked to the great new city by the hundreds to watch the games, and prostrated in the temple of Helios there, when the high priests of the Vayal called them to devotions as dawn, noon and sundown. Their young men and women were flattered to be chosen when the priest king passed by.

His litter would stop; a jewelled hand would extend through the gauzy curtains, a gold-taloned finger would point out a boy or a girl who had caught the eye of the great one, and he or she would step up into the litter. Mahanmec Azhtoc could have any body he desired, and he desired so many. His progeny were scattered like autumn leaves across the island -- bastards, worthless in Vayal, nameless, and yet the young people of Zeheft greatly admired them. Galen was scathing.

The young of Zeheft were no more than traitors, he said. They had forgotten their heritage, and when one like himself sought to remind them of who they were, they laughed in his face, or they swiftly grew angry, as if Galen were lying to them, maligning them -- or worse, enjoying a jest at their expense.

Every word he said to them was true, but they were furious to hear his thoughts, and it was decades since the common people had lost the ability to read the few old books what had survived the burning.

The future was unclear to Faunos. He could read, and for fifteen years Galen had taught him everything he should know, as the seventh son of Mykenos, in whose body was born the terrible power that had possessed, elevated and ruined the kings of old.

Faunos had never told Galen the truth, and never would. It was an inheritance he did not want. To be the custodian of the power of forgotten ages was a burden he would have set down, if he could.

But the power was in him whether he wanted it or not. It flowed like the blood in his veins, the passions in his heart, even the thoughts in his head. As he grew older, he could not move or breathe without feeling it, and when he was twelve years old the lessons began in earnest, lest the power command him.

It was dangerous. Lethal. Faunos knew it could so easily be the death of him, and if it were, then Zeheft was really gone. This was Galen’s first and greatest lesson, and he made sure Faunos learned it well.

"Can you walk again?" Faunos asked quietly. "Take my arm. Let me help you. It’s getting very dark, and we'll be climbing over a lot of rubble. It’ll be difficult without the light." Just enough twilight remained for them to get around the ruins, if Galen could move, and Faunos heard the urgency in his own voice.

"I can walk," Galen told him, short tempered because he was angry with himself, annoyed at his own infirmity.

At the time when he needed to be strongest, his body was failing, and he knew it. He hauled himself to his feet an stood breathing deeply, one hand on Faunos’s arm for balance. The sea stretched away like a silver-green carpet and the brightest stars were already glittering. Galen was not as tall as Faunos now; his back was stooped lately, and his hips were stiff. His hair was white like his beard, and cropped short about his skull. Even now, even here, he wore an old brown robe, like the cassocks worn by the most lowly of the lay brothers at the temple.

"It’s not so far," Faunos promised. He shifted the weight of the goatskin bags over his shoulders and took Galen’s arm. "I know the easiest way through. I’ll build a fire and get you some food, and then ..."

And then? Faunos breathed a sigh, and as Galen began a determined shuffle, he put himself between the old man and the clifftop which had lately been the middle of the marketplace. Careful, patient, he guided him around the tumbled wreckage of Zeheft.

Return to Chapter Four part one...

Turn page to Chapter Five...

About Legends...

This story has its roots in the 1980s. About the time I signed with GMP, I was kicking around the idea for a massive novel -- the problem being, I had no time to develop it. At the time, one of my "literary friends" was Lane Ingram, who passed away some years ago. When Lane volunteered to develop the narrative from my storyline, I was surprised and very agreeable; and a version of it was circulated on a small scale, to a very appreciative audience!

Lane had no aspirations to be a professional novelist, which meant writing was fun, and remained fun, while I did battle with "style" and "technique." And then one day Lane was gone, without leaving much of anything to mark the place in the world which had once bee occupied by an individual who was large in every sense of the word.

Let's change that. I'm bringing LEGENDS "to the screen" in a form which preserves as much of Lane's input as I possibly can, while at the same time properly developing it, bringing it up to full professional standard ... cutting and trimming, correcting the errant, though enthusiastic, amateur ... polishing it to the professional sparkle you've come to expect from Mel Keegan.

LEGENDS will be Lane's memorial. Here's to you, kiddo, wherever you are: enjoy.

Ebook screenreaders:

Downloading LEGENDS and reading from the computer screen? Join the club! Most people are stuck in the same situation ... and it's a right-royal pain. At this time, MK also is still trying to make the transition to one of the ebook screenreaders. The price of most of them is still high, but in the course of shopping around, Mel has found two that are coming under extremely close scrutiny. The Bebook and the Sony look like being the best deals at this time. In due course, we'll be reviewing them right here. Mel Keegan has decided it's going to be one of these two -- but they're very comparable, so ... take your pick. Either one would be perfect for reading LEGENDS, or other digital novels.

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The art appearing on this site, illustrating elements of this novel, is by Jade, my cover artist from DreamCraft.

Soon you'll be able to order prints, treeshirts, mugs, mousepads and a lot more, featuring this artwork and manufactured in the US by

The portfolio is still growing, and a gallery is online. Return to this page now and then to see new addition...

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Research Tales

A great deal of research for this novel was done, and subjects Atlantean most often begun with a study of the Trojan wars.

Why? Because the iLiad is one of the very oldest bodies of writing which is also extensive enough to be useful. The problem with the iLiad is -- unless you're fluent in Ancient Green (and who is?) you'll be working from the translations ... and the "disagreement" between them is counfounding for one who's not a Homerian scholar!

The solution? Track down a book that translates the translations -- gets them out of the rich, ripe, flowery language of poetry and into a solid historical context. And in this, MK lucked out. Such a book exists: The Trojan War by Barry Strauss. It reads like a novel, and if you wanted something to get your teeth into ... perhaps after watching the movie, Troy, or after reading Legends -- this is the book you've been looking for.

There's another very scholarly work, The Flood From Heaven by Eberhard Zanger, which "deciphers the evidence" and places Atlantis at Troy! Now, Legends is about five thousand miles from Zanger's work (literally -- due west!) but having said that, Zanger is to Plato what Strauss is to Homer, and the work was extremely helpful.

Now, working even further back through time, you want a "scholar" (and note the quotation marks on that word) who spent a lifetime researching (ouch!) Atlantis. And again, MK lucked out, because there is such a man. A very brilliant man by the name of Ignatius Donnelly, whose "pop-science" book, dating from 1882, is still in print today, in several editions! It's thorough, it's astonishing, and it makes ... quite a case for Atlantis. Not that anyone believes in such things. Right?

There are also some good documentaries on DVD, if this is altogether far too much reading!

And of course, if you want to get into the spirit of the thing (!) you can always put on Troy and let Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana and company provide the inspiration! Speaking of which, have you seen the director's cut? Highly recommended.

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION: Legends is copyright 2009 by Mel Keegan. Please do download the whole novel, which is in HTML format, compatible with your screenreader, PC or Mac. However ... please don't gift it to your friends. Instead, give them the url of this page and recommend that they download it for themselves. The reason is simple: author's income is earned via the adverting on these pages. If they're not loaded, nothing is earned. MK has bills to pay too, and for your cooperation ... thank you kindly!

Note that Legends is NOT covered by the "Creative Commons." This work is the intellectual property of Mel Keegan. If you would like to use parts of it elsewhere, please contact MK via this blog.

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