Bk. 1, Part 2: “What Has Gone Before” [Part 3]
THE CODEX LACRIMAE, PART 2: THE BOOK OF TEARS
by & © 2012-2013 A.J. Carlisle
Excerpt from: “What Has Gone Before” section; regarding events of The Codex Lacrimae, Part 1: The Mariner’s Daughter & Doomed Knight
(Part 3 of 5 recaps):
In “The Roots of Yggdrassil,” the second book of THE CODEX LACRIMAE, Ríg awakens in the forest of Alfheim, restored to his true self as Servius Aurelius Santini. Miraculously recovered from the poisoning and wounds, he soon comes upon Grimnir, an old man fishing by the River Perilous. After a brief conversation and receiving a hatchet to cut a fishing rod, Aurelius turns to find that Grimnir and his talking animal friends are gone.
When the youth goes to the river to find them, he’s told not to touch the water by a newly arrived Clarinda Trevisan, who’s almost completed her training as a Norn and comes to bring Aurelius back to Mimir’s Well and the Norn Grottoes for protection against the awakening Codex Lacrimae. Along the way to get him, she’s been mysteriously abandoned by the Norns, and meets a Dark Elf, Rudyick, who warns her that an entity named Old Nick has captured a water elemental and is torturing another elf, Volund, across the river. Aurelius ignores her advice because he wants to retrieve the hatchet that Grimnir gave him, but upon touching the water he’s attacked by a force of strömkarlen and nixies — water spirits controlled by the elemental fossegrim whom Rudyick had warned Clarinda about. In spite of the surprising effectiveness of Grimnir’s hatchet against the supernatural enemies, the gigantic creature brings both Hospitaller and Norn as prisoners to Old Nick, whom Clarinda recognizes as her old enemy, the Templar Grand Master from Caesarea, Evremar of Choques.
Using his extensive bookish knowledge of the Bible, foreign languages, and historical literature, Aurelius guesses both that Old Nick’s a disguised Satan (who wants the youth to give him the Codex Lacrimae) and that the enchanted Fossegrim has a secret name. Aurelius frees the enslaved elemental by uttering that name, and the creature, Hav, takes immediate action against Old Nick. The fossegrim casts the Ancient Enemy into Lake Glittertind, in front of the mountain that’s a weird, or magical commonplace to all the Nine Worlds. Upon releasing Aurelius and Clarinda, Hav reveals that Old Nick controlled him because the Devil stole a special blue coral, and the fossegrim asks that the young people retrieve it so that he’ll never be captured again.
After lifting a mysterious leather envelope that Hav threw to the ground as a thank-you gift, Aurelius and Clarinda find themselves transported to the Citadel of Hel, high in a tower that rises above the Land of the Dead, Niflheim…
[Continued on next page, “Bk 1, Pt 2: What Has Gone Before (Part 4)”]