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Aphrodite's Acolyte: The Trials of Fidel Austempes, #1

Aphrodite's Acolyte: The Trials of Fidel Austempes, #1

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Aphrodite's Acolyte: The Trials of Fidel Austempes, #1

258 Seiten
4 Stunden
Jun 26, 2014


An elven wizard, raised by humans for nearly eight decades, witnesses one of his neighbors being abducted by the tyrant of Harlow's Hovel. Springing into action to save the young girl, he finds out things are not always as they seem and a great secret has been withheld from him for over seventy years.

In pursuit of the truth of his heritage, he meets a plethora of companions: a trusting merchant, a beautifully scarred rogue, a battle hardened dwarf, and his first childhood friend. His journey takes him across the northern part of Mirater, where magic displaces technology and the mythological gods regularly advise their faithful subjects.

Witness Fidel learn of a great evil being unleashed in his world. Walk with him as he decides what course of action is right for his friends, family, and his fellow citizens.

Jun 26, 2014

Über den Autor

Jason Spatafore was born and raised in the Southwestern United States. Throughout high school, he had an affinity for writing. When he entered the working world via the typical fast-food trail he: stopped writing, met the woman of his dreams, raised her child as his own, and switched careers to the technology sector. A few years after the first child left the nest, and upon gaining another child due to undesirable circumstances, he decided he would like to change his career again, this time reverting to his original dream he had in high school: writing. Due to a comment from a co-worker in March of 2014, Jason started writing Aphrodite's Acolyte, the first in what he hopes will be a long series of fantasy novels. Aphrodite's Acolyte was action packed and published three months later on June 26th. His next two books, Apollo's Apprentice and Ares' Abomination, are expected to be nearly twice as long and are scheduled for release in early and late 2015. Jason is an avid Disneyland fan, loving father and husband, and successful geek.

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Aphrodite's Acolyte - J.E. Spatafore


To my wife Christine, my daughter Kelly, and my son Jameson.

None of blood, all by choice. An amazing journey.

Table of Contents

Chapter I

Witness Of Injustice

Chapter II

Letter From The Past

Chapter III

Meeting With the King

Chapter IV

The Road First Traveled

Chapter V

A Message and a Reunion

Chapter VI

More Than Expected

Chapter VII

Barrier of the Gods

Chapter VIII

A Curse Removed

Chapter IX

The Oricampan Massacre

Chapter X

Forgiveness of the Divine

Chapter XI

Executor of Justice

Chapter XII

A Friend In Need


About the Author

Chapter I

Witness Of Injustice

Sometimes your heart flees. On those days, you must look without to find examples of why you should continue pursuit of life. On those days, you must find the hidden strength just to continue one step at a time. While your heart may flee, taking your passion and desire, your will remains to carry you through. Today started out as one of those days.

The tan and slender elf watched from the ledge of Harlow's Peak. A score of soldiers surrounded the local square in his hometown below. His emerald-green eyes glared into the distance, straining to focus on the soldiers below. The blue and red clothed soldiers lined up in single file rows, a formation designed to prevent escape.

The captain ordered a dozen of the human artillery to enter the zone and to bring out all the citizens. Soldiers pounded on the doors of the wooden houses, breaking in the doors when they received no answer to their summons. The soldiers pulled women, children, and men into the square. Some citizens resisted. The soldiers struck them down immediately.

The elf's blood boiled as the scene unfolded before him, his green eyes flaring at the tyranny below. His muscles tensed and hardened, yet he remained frozen, either unable or unwilling to act. He leaned on his staff, a stick designed for walking and just over a foot taller than himself.

He heard a loud holler from the leader of the soldiers, a black-haired and ebony skinned man. One of the soldiers brought a human child before the crowded square. He knew her as Yardana. He couldn't make out the voices, but the tone and volume of the captain's speech indicated the child was the one the they were looking for. The soldiers detained the twelve-year-old with brown eyes and golden hair, tying her hands with rope. The elf heard the mother sob loudly. The story of the scene below was absolute.

The elf's face burned. His grip tightened on his seven-foot long staff. His green eyes flashed with a hatred he never thought he could feel. His heart, thought lost this day, returned filled with rage, anger, and a desire to serve justice. Was it because Yardana was so important to him? He didn't know. He decided he was going to do something about it.

He counted the soldiers. There were twenty-four, armed with swords and axes. He knew he could take them. He had seventy-five years of sorcery, thieving, and battle under his belt. He felt his hatred subside for a few moments as a demand for action entered his heart...a calling to arms and a duty to impose justice. He leaped from the peak and walked with purpose toward the center of the square. As he descended the mountainside, he noticed the soldiers departing. They arranged themselves side by side, two men deep, with the captain and Yardana in the middle. The elf started to run. He wanted this. He needed this.

The elf entered his village, almost in a full sprint and ready to hurdle the water well in the square. As he was about to leap over the well, a large hand grabbed him by the back of his robe, pulling him backwards toward the dirt.

He jabbed his walking stick into the ground, twisted his body to prevent the fall, and faced his attacker. The brown human eyes returned his gaze. They were judging eyes. His father's eyes.

Fidel, what are you doing? the fiery-red haired human inquired. His human father recognized the look in the elf's eyes. The human immediately reached for Fidel's walking stick. Fidel retracted, rejecting his father's attempt to sequester him.

Fidel, I know this look. Please give me your stave, Methvas requested. I know this situation and your reasons are not justified due to false impressions. Please trust me! Fidel's father said with an edge of concern in his voice. Please, let us retire to the house. I will share information with you that will change your mind on your present course of action.

Fidel's eyes twisted up, showing signs of confusion. The rage within the elf could not be calmed. His eyes brimming with moisture, the elf shook his head and turned quickly to continue his pursuit.

Fidel! his father yelled as the elf departed. Do not attempt to free Yardana! You will regret it! The words trailed off as Fidel exited the village as fast as his feet could carry him. Before long, Fidel heard the creaking of the wagon and heavy stomping of the foot soldiers. He darted into the dense forest surrounding the road to the local lord's keep.

The indignant elf put his back to a tree a short distance from the roadside. He started to chant a familiar spell his father taught him years ago. The spell would conjure a huge blast of fire which would burst in every direction. As he veered around the tree to find his target, he stopped chanting, noticing a single blast would not completely incapacitate his enemies. Not only would the blast not suffice, it would also place the captive in danger. He let the spell fizzle as he thought of a different way to prevent harming the girl while taking out the kidnappers.

He noticed a tree overhanging the road, an immense branch that could easily flatten the leading half of the soldiers. A well placed fireball at the branch preceded by a delayed blast to the rear could easily clear out at least sixteen of the two dozen men. He believed he could take the remaining eight by himself on foot. He began his casting again, focusing his energies into a delayed fireball. "Moratus Ustrina Sp..." the words started to depart his lips.

The air around him thickened and his voice seemed to dissipate. Not one remaining syllable exited his mouth as intended. The once thin air around him gripped his arms. He saw the world around him start waving, like he was underwater. Suddenly, he was violently jolted out from behind the tree and placed into plain view of the soldiers. The elf was involuntarily turned around to face his attacker.

Fidel, I told you not to do this, his father said flatly.

Methvas, is that you? came a shout from the stopped wagon on the road, clearly showing the elf and his father had the attention of the kidnapping soldiers of Harlow's Keep.

Yes, Captain Sizod, replied Fidel's father. Please continue your journey. My son and I are performing some magical training exercises. I apologize for the disruption.

The captain smiled, seeing Fidel under restraint in an unwilling magical hold. Carry on then, we will catch up at supper. I do want to hear the tale on how your son got stuck in a magic harness spell! Not a very quick spell to use as a counter in combat!

Methvas smiled back at the captain, knowing full well the captain knew the situation was more than he had stated. Methvas saluted the soldiers and the conniving kidnappers continued to the lord's keep.

Fidel squirmed harder, more anger building as he witnessed his own father collaborate with the kidnappers. If Methvas didn't know better, he would have thought Fidel would consume him with a ball of fire. Methvas chanted some more and the grip on Fidel tightened. Methvas pointed a finger at Fidel, raising the elf into the air. Within a few moments, he lowered the elf upon the horse he had hitched about a dozen trees away. Methvas mounted the steed and rode back toward the town. Fidel grunted with every stride.

A few moments later, the town came into view. Harlow's Hovel, as it is known. A large town containing thousands of citizens and ruled by Lord Ias', in the middle of the northeast corner of Mirater. Methvas slowed the horse and stopped short of the entrance.

He hopped off the steed and pulled Fidel down to the ground, a little rough to emphasize his displeasure of having to chase down his eighty-two year old son. Fidel looked up from the ground, his eyes filled with hate and intolerance of his father's actions. Methvas performed several incantations on both himself and Fidel, spells of protection from the various magical talents of both Father and Son.

Fidel, are you ready to talk about this situation like two rational men or do you feel we should tear each other apart? As you see, I have made sure neither of us can perish. Standing over his son, Methvas snapped his fingers and the detainment spell on Fidel was immediately dissolved. Fidel jumped to his feet quickly, holding his hands out in front of him, ready to bring forth the wrath of a quarter of a century of magical training upon his fourth father.

Why did you interrupt? Fidel demanded in a threateningly low voice, bordering on a growl. I would have had Yardana back in the village by nightfall if you had not intervened! 

"To what end, Fidel? Would you like the Lord of Harlow's Hovel to send all his troops next time? Perhaps you would prefer the lord to take no prisoners and kill all of our village inhabitants? Over what, a single child bordering on the rightful age to marry a prince? And even if Lord Ias decided to take no action, what good comes to Yardana when she is placed back under her abusive father's care? Did you see her father run out of the village in her defense? What about her mother? Only you ran out to defend her honor. So why? Methvas paused for a moment to let his son consider the word. Why, Son, do you think you have any obligation to defend Yardana's honor or safety this evening? I would love to hear your reason for vindication in this matter!"

Fidel stood in silence, as-if his father just slapped him in the face over a hundred times. His arms dropped to his side, his mind raced for answers to the questions posed to him. What did his father mean when he said Yardana was subject to abuse? Why didn't Yardana's father defend her? Why didn't her mother chase after her like a normal mother would do in such a situation? Fidel was lost for words as his eyes started to brim with tears, perfect symptoms of the rage being extinguished. Fidel looked up at his father, who stood at least a half a foot taller than the thicker than normal elf.

What do you know, Father?

I will tell you what happened with Yardana. Methvas said flatly. Let us retire to our home and discuss this further behind closed doors. Methvas grabbed the horse by the reins and gestured toward the town of Harlow's Hovel. Fidel, lost for words, nodded in agreement. Father and son headed home without further exchange, walking side by side as the sun waned in the afternoon sky.

Chapter II

Letter From The Past

Fidel entered the house first and glanced around. He scanned this place he called home for the past twenty-five years. Book shelves lined every wall, filled with books of spells and the history of Harlow's Hovel. A fireplace was centered in the middle of the living room wall, a fire already burning and emitting a soft glow. The house extended back to a kitchen with a hearth. Off to the right, a long hallway extended, also lined with numerous book shelves, and leading to the three bedrooms. It was a fairly large house for the town of Harlow's Hovel, but one would expect no less for the Archmage of Harlow's Hovel, Methvas Aranongo. Methvas entered behind Fidel, shutting the door with a thud. Fidel turned and faced Methvas.

We left my walking stick out there near the keep, Fidel said.

Methvas smiled. Hmm. I guess we did. Looks like we will have to make you a new one.

Fidel thought for a second, a sly grin crossed his lips. Or I can go retrieve it.

Methvas placed his hands on Fidel's shoulders. In your current state of confusion? No, I do not think that would be an intelligent decision. Let us make another. While your current stick was comforting, I am thinking it is time you get a new one. A better one. Methvas smiled at his son, showing he already had a few ideas about a new staff for Fidel. Let us dine and I will inform you of all I know about Yardana and what happened here today.

Fidel and Methvas strolled to the kitchen where a pleasant smelling stew awaited in the cooking pot. They each scooped a large helping into their respective bowls and took opposite seats at the table. Fidel looked up from his stew and took notice of the age on his father. The years have been kind to the old man. Methvas was a man in his late-fifties yet had a boundless energy about him. His brown eyes radiated a glow further emphasized by his bright red hair.

This is the situation regarding Yardana, Methvas started the conversation. Her father abuses her in despicable ways. Ways that are not conducive to the raising of a fair maiden in this world. Ways our king does not approve of. So I took it upon myself to convince Lord Ias to intervene. Fidel swallowed hard as he dissected his father's confession. See Fidel, Yardana Frostclear was not abducted by a vicious lord. She was not pulled from the hands of her caring family as a damsel in distress. We rescued her from a violent and evil beast of a man. Fidel dropped his spoon in his stew and sat up straight.

But Father, do we not have laws that protect our children from such cretins? 

Unfortunately Fidel, we do not. Children are the property of their parents until released from such bonds. The rate of abuse being inflicted on Yardana was to such a concern that she would not see her fourteenth birthday. I desired to stop the abuse by any means I could.

Fidel interjected. But I saw no signs of abuse. She was always healthy. Not one lump or bruise or blackened eye was ever evident on her as long as I have known her.

Methvas stood and glared harshly into Fidel's eyes from across the table. His face turned stern, almost bordering on rage as if some demon inside was trying to scratch through his face. It was not that kind of abuse! It was unspeakable and Yardana confessed to me in absolute confidence! Methvas sat back down, remembering that Fidel was not the assailant, not the criminal.

I am very invested in this situation. Methvas' facial features showed his sadness at the very thought of the dilemma and personal turmoil Yardana must have endured before his involvement. How about this Fidel, I will arrange a meeting for you with Yardana. If she feels you are worthy of her confidence, then you can hear the story straight from her. Until then, you will need to trust me and my involvement in the issue. On top of that, I will arrange a meeting between you and Lord Ias. He will be very interested in ensuring the safety of his so-called prisoner by speaking with her would-be rescuer.

Fidel chuckled at his father's play on words and his uncanny ability to put situations into the audience's perspective. Methvas also shared a smile as he realized the same. What else would be expected from one of the lord's advisors? An impeccable ability to stay diplomatic in any situation was, after all, one of the key components to an advisor's success in the kingdom.

Fidel and Methvas continued eating, each bite becoming a little easier as their truce in the matter took hold in each others mind. They both knew and trusted the other sitting at the table, understanding neither will move to oppose the other further in the matter. Fidel had complete confidence in his father's ability to obtain a meeting for him. Methvas had total faith in his son's ability to resist the urge to charge into battle now that the situation had been explained.

The sound of the front door slammed shut and broke the silence. Both Father and Son glanced toward the front door to see a blue-eyed and red-haired woman stomping her feet. Globs of mud fell from her shoes with every stomp.

How are my favorite men doing this fine evening? came the sweet voice. I hope you saved me some of that fine stew. Nothing is better than a hot bowl of stew on an evening such as this. She made her way to the kitchen where Methvas was already standing as he prepared a bowl for his wife. She sat down at the table as Methvas placed the bowl of stew before her.

Shar smiled to Methvas and thanked him. She turned her attention to her son. So, Fidel, there's a rumor you were running through the center of town today in a huff after Yardana's incident. Care to talk about it?

Fidel looked at his mother and smiled. Well, I got upset. Father calmed me down. And I lost my walking stick. That about covers it.

Fidel's mother, Shartivus Aranongo, or Shar for short, looked over her son and rubbed his hair. Looks like you're in one piece! Sounds like everybody did their jobs well today! She offered a smirk to Fidel.

Methvas chimed in. So how was your day, Dear? Anything fascinating and exciting happen at the shop today?

Shar glanced over at Methvas. Nothing really out of the normal. I did get a visitor from Puldechra, she paused and glanced at Fidel. He said he traveled through the desert in search of rarities. Regrettably, he had to witness the spectacle of Yardana's ordeal and left without purchasing anything. Which was very unfortunate as I think I could have made quite a few coins off him.

It was Fidel's turn to continue the conversation. I have heard the name Puldechra before, and your look at me when you mentioned the name has me wondering. What significance should this name carry with me? Fidel looked to his mother as she took another bite of her stew. Methvas looked at Shar as well with a little concern in his eyes, not looking forward to the response she was about to provide, but knowing it was time to have this conversation.

Shar looked down at the table for a moment to consider her words before replying. Well, Son, Puldechra is where you were born. It is the city where your life started over eighty years ago. You spent your first seven years in that city until your parents decided to... she paused for a second trying to find the right words to describe his birth parents intentions. She began again. It's the city you belonged to before your parents decided to send you on a lifelong learning mission amongst us humans. And now you are three days past due on your twenty-five years with us as your teachers.

Fidel took the news stoically, at first. After his first two sets of parents, he figured out there was a pattern to his steady orphaning. Shar and Methvas both took another spoonful of their meal.

So now it is time for you to push me away then? Fidel said, with a hint of annoyance in his voice. Have you already chosen a new set of teachers for me? Are they a fine couple?

Shar raised her palm to Fidel as she noticed his agitation growing. No Son, now is the time we release you into the world to do as you feel fit. You have been a great student and child, even if you have been older than us the whole time. You have made us proud and your birth parent's wishes for you have been fulfilled.

Fidel looked at his mother with confusion. Shar stared back, returning a look of awareness, Ah, so every parent you have had over the past seventy plus years have kept the secret details from you? I'm impressed. Secrets are hard to keep. Shar rose from the table. Give me a few minutes to collect the scroll your birth parents created for you. It is time for you to read their words and decide what destiny you would like to pursue. Shar left the room to collect the scroll.

Fidel looked at Methvas. He noticed a hint

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