In honor of it being FantasyFriday and the fact that my WIP Angel of Mercy passed 200 pages and 120K words this week, I wanted to share a few snippets about a character that is not necessarily a character and yet, is. The Sword of an Archangel, which answers to the name of Jshunamir (Pronounced Zshoonawmeer)
The road to Marçais was 360 miles. With an attachment of 30 soldiers, 10 auxiliary personnel, two dozen pack horses and a train of 15 supply wagons, including the one turned into an open-air-prison, Lévesque knew the journey would take at least a week.
He did not, however, anticipate the difficulty they would face transporting the Archangel’s sword.
It appeared normal enough to the undiscerning eye; a long-sword forged with exceptional skill, but not unusual. Upon closer inspection, however, one could see its black leather scabbard, although older than any could comprehend, appeared ageless and bore no mark of any kind upon its luxuriant surface. The blade was etched with runes and indecipherable writing that shimmered with a silvery light all their own, and the edge was sharper than any steel could ever be honed. Even more incredible was its incomprehensible weight. When Lévesque attempted to pick it up from the beach where it had fallen, he discovered it could barely be moved. Two men together, then three, then four tried to raise the sword from the sand and drag it away, all unsuccessfully. They struggled with it for some time, ultimately devising a makeshift sling for it using an old tarp, which they managed to slide beneath it before harnessing the sling to two draft horses to pull.
On day two of their journey, one of the horses collapsed out of exhaustion. He was replaced by two pack horses, their goods being redistributed among the remaining animals, but on day three the other draft horse needed to be spelled. The unfathomable burden the sword created required routine cycling of the horses and slowed their return to Marçais considerably. ….
“We had a devil of a time getting him here.”
“Why? Was he resistive?” Shaking his head, Lévesque gestured to the magnificent sword lying atop a small stone dais they had draped with deep black velvet at one side of the chamber.
“Moving him was not the problem; it was his sword that gave us the most trouble.” The EPP Guard stopped to examine the weapon with greater interest.
“A sword?” Lévesque nodded.
“Not just any sword. The weapon of an Archangel.” He waited, allowing the young man to gaze at it for several moments before continuing. “It required three draft horses, spelled every six hours in a continual rotation to haul it here and the strength of thirty men on a winch cable to get it to where it is now.” Such a declaration was nearly beyond imagining and the guard’s forehead wrinkled with skepticism as he turned his doubtful gaze back to the captain.
“A sword?” He repeated incredulously, to which question Lévesque smiled magnanimously.
“Please, by all means, see for yourself. I invite you to take it in hand.” The youthful officer glanced across at Philippe who was busying himself with the practical matters of preparing their captive for another session, checking the tension of the manacles confining him and placing a leather harness across his head to hold him down.
Unable to accept such an outrageous claim, the EPP Guard stepped closer and grasped the hilt of the sword firmly. Try as he might, however, he could not move it. Not a fraction of an inch. It was a mountain resting atop velvet without as much as a bend in the delicate fabric.
“Astonishing. Yet, he can wield this weapon without effort?” Lévesque nodded….
Never in all the years of his immortal life had he ever felt such irrepressible rage. It was not in his nature to feel hatred or violence, but he was not himself. He was immortal energy bound within a human body. Growling fiercely, he pushed himself up from the floor, ignoring the intense pain that shattered through him as his wounds reopened. Sauvage had already turned away and was pulling Lourdes against his body, smothering her with a lustful kiss as he tugged the bodice of her dress open viciously.
“Leave her.” Straining to suppress the violent shuddering that wracked his weakened body, Tzadkiel stood facing them and repeated himself with a more imposing tone. He was ignored, but he had not defeated legions of Hell’s demons to lie on the floor helplessly and watch so vile a human indulge his wicked lusts. Stretching out his hand, he spoke the word that had been poised on his lips for months.
“Jshunamir.” His voice was barely a whisper, but at the sound the sword, which had rested atop the pedestal created for it for nearly a year, stirred. Holding out his hand, Tzadkiel waited, never doubting the result of his word. The sword rose, spun as if seeking him; then moved with speed that could scarcely be tracked, slowing the instant before it touched his hand. Looking down at the weapon, Tzadkiel closed his hand around the hilt and clanked the tip loudly against the floor.
The unexpected sound drew Sauvage’s attention at last. Twisting to find the source of the noise, his eyes grew wide when he saw the Archangel standing with his sword in his hand, facing him with a bold, unwavering stance even as blood streamed across his torn, bruised, naked body. Wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, he held Lourdes by a fistful of hair and shook his head.
“Think you can take me in your condition?” His impudence was only exceeded by his lack of insight. Tzadkiel glared at him, speaking with intractable aggression.
“This sword answers every command I give it. If you do not release her, I shall ask it to bury itself in your spine.”
Beautiful Original Artwork by