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The Soul Snatcher

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

After the four brothers attempt to conquer the Verni World, they are defeated and arrested by the two embodiments of Creator Vernakula namely Olrin and Archen; fighting alongside are Olrin’s pupils called Hunters. Post victory, Olrin goes missing and Archen is suspected to be corrupted as he doesn’t serve his destined purpose anymore. Without the support of the embodiments, the world order established by Olrin crumbles and kingdoms declare their independence while enacting their own laws. Hoping to restore stability, the Hunters who were trained by Olrin himself choose Aelius, King of Verni, as the interim successor and take up the quest to bring back their master. “The Soul Snatcher” by R. S. Chintalapati is a novelette narrating the fall of Vernakula’s embodiments and the journey of the Hunters to save their world.

 
Illustrated by Nisha Yadav

Contents


Free Access

  1. Prologue

  2. Chain of Three Jewels

  3. Battle of Golden Tower

  4. Noble Soul


Exclusive Access

  1. Soul Cages

  2. Archen’s Ploy

  3. The Quest

  4. Snatching Life

  5. The Truth

  6. Lost City

  7. Halls of Duality

  8. Epilogue

 

Prologue


In the second age when mortals could no longer witness their Creators, the four brothers namely Dream, Shadow, Dreary & Halo killed almost all of the Bloomers in the Irun World on the order of their master Alwerik. Though the brothers didn’t intend to harm the Bloomers, they were bound to complete their mission or lose their mortal forms for eternity. This wouldn’t even be the first time they have lost their mortal forms and the last time they did, they lost their mother and were locked up in a cage that killed every possible hope to even exist.

By killing the Bloomers, Alwerik planned to weaken their Creator Irunkula and as expected, the four brothers fulfilled their undertaking. Bloomers were special creations and in an attempt to create a superior creation, Creator Irunkula in the past placed two souls in each of his special creations. When they were born, Bloomers were to return the soul that craved for their material needs thereby freeing their desire while returning their creator his power. Since two souls weren’t in the natural design of any creation, Irunkula had to use some of his energy to create Bloomers and planned to regain it when his creations resubmitted their souls. However, this design didn’t work due to the intervention of the brothers and with every dead Bloomer, Creator Irunkula lost a little of his power.


After almost all the Bloomers were killed, the brothers set out to enslave the Verni World without being aware that it was being protected by Creator Vernakula’s two embodiments namely Olrin and Archen. So when they offered the velators who were the creations living in the Verni World to either surrender or die, most velators who were like humans trembled in fear but a few velators who possessed magical abilities like controlling the five elements and superhuman strength fought back. The brothers had to also face the wrath of the embodiments and their minions called the Hunters.


For years, the brothers were attacked by the embodiments and Hunters but they were never defeated until the second embodiment of Creator Vernakula named Archen blackmailed the brothers to kill their only child if they didn’t surrender. Not willing to risk the life of their offspring, the brothers surrendered.


After the embodiments and the Hunters won against the brothers, most Velators embraced Olrin as their God and saviour in mortal form for his valour and courage while a few others chose Archen for unbeatable desire to win.


While Olrin the first embodiment was considered as a representation of the virtuous, Archen was considered as a representation of the immoral. Velators perceived them as such for their deeds in the past and the few velators who were born with special abilities to acquire knowledge also known as the ‘Blessed’ believed that the brothers might have corrupted many velators before they were defeated. So, they requested Olrin to lead the sane into glory while they requested Archen to instill faith in these lost souls by guiding them towards the light.


Without Archen, the Blessed predicted that the corrupted velators would seek to make their own forms of worship that could lead to unpredictable practices and traditions. This wasn’t acceptable for the Blessed. So for decades, virtuous velators held Olrin as their icon and proclaimed him to be the guardian of law and order while Archen was proclaimed as the master of life and death.


In the beginning, many velators defied the laws of the ‘Blessed’ and sought paths that they believed could offer them unlimited power, invincibility and immortality. They created their idols, named their Gods and conducted heinous acts of sacrifice to please them. They corrupted everyone around them and created an imbalance that spread all across but before long, either Olrin or his Hunters punished them.


Harsh punishments were enacted every time and fear to pursue such a path was instilled. All during this time, the good and bad were balanced. Even when many velators were lured by evil ways, there was always at least one virtuous velator to an immoral one. However, for the first time since Creator Vernakula’s embodiments have been given authority, the virtuous are being outnumbered by the immoral.


This change troubled the Blessed and they sought to find out what changed.

 

Chapter I

Chain of Three Jewels


Five decades after Olrin was last seen, the Vernakulan World was ruled by a ferocious Conqueror named Aelius. After waging wars for nearly four decades, Emperor Aelius united the entire known world under his rule except for a few tribals.


Blessed with wealth, health and power, Aelius never hoped to even expand his kingdom. However due to the circumstances, the Hunters chose him and helped him in uniting the world under one rule. Without any desire for it, he did become the second world emperor after Olrin himself but in the journey of doing so, he spilled a lot of blood, burying young men, and wiped off a few communities entirely.


Even after many war crimes, a few scholars proclaimed Emperor Aelius to be Olrin’s reincarnation and the symbol of wisdom and justice. Their reasoning was based on their belief that no one can succeed in uniting the Vernakulan world except for embodiments themselves. They declared that Olrin left his form to be born as Aelius himself as most velators preferred to be ruled by one of their own rather than an embodiment of Creator Vernakula.


However, Aelius didn’t share any powers held by Olrin and he even denied being a reincarnation of the embodiment. Over the years, without the virtuous embodiment, the dark forces in the world grew and the Emperor Aelius couldn’t control them even after many attempts. Plagues, hunger, evil manifestations, & human sacrifices prevailed. Though the Emperor punished the criminals as harshly as he could, the forces of evil didn’t stop. Fear didn’t work against them as it worked against common criminals.


Before situations went beyond his control, Aelius summoned the Blessed, a name for those velators who were born knowledgeable and commanded them to instill faith in the corrupted societies. The Blessed, born with magical abilities, suspected that the immoral embodiment Archen himself could have been corrupted by the four brothers before they were captured.


When they mentioned their suspicion to the Emperor, Aelius asked them to use every resource at their disposal to confirm it. He even offered his support to find the truth and the Blessed continued their effort with more resources now at their disposal.


However, even with their combined power, the Blessed couldn’t trace Archen and when they sought their mother, Creator Vernakula, they could never hear from her. Left with no other option, the Blessed decided to follow a Noble Soul immediately after its death to meet Archen himself. This was because Archen received every soul after it’s mortal form died to send it either to his mother or offer a rebirth.


Though the Blessed didn’t know anyone who possessed a Noble Soul except for their Prince, they didn’t want to ask the Emperor to sacrifice his only son who was conceived after years of prayers, sacrifices and rituals.


Their Prince, called Saviour, was elegant and an exceptional warrior. When the Prince was fifteen years old, he fell ill and with every passing day, his health worsened and eventually, he was bedridden. Neither the healers nor the Blessed could cure his illness and the Emperor tried everything in his power to save his son. He had already lost his wife to an unknown sickness and couldn’t afford to lose his son too.


However, after failing to find one other Noble soul, the Blessed mentioned to the Emperor that the Prince was their only option and after a lot of thought, the Emperor consulted his son before deciding on the matter.


Accepting the Blessed’s request, Aelius couldn’t forgive himself. Though his son was glad that he was being helpful, the Emperor wasn’t. That night while he was resting in his private chamber, a guard entered to inform about the arrival of his minister Glinda.


Just a moment later, Glinda, a lean old woman entered the chamber before bowing.


Leaning back in his chair, Aelius asked, “What is it, Glinda?”


As the guard left, she replied, “It is about our prince, Emperor.”


Observing the Emperor being silent, Glinda continued, “The Chain of Three Jewels which w