Johann Weyer is a weary traveller, who is attempting to locate an ancient church-house in the Hauts-de-France city of Calais, during the 1558 Siege of Calais. He is approached by a captain and his two soldiers, who guide him to the church. Inside, Weyer discovers an ancient tomb, and removes a star-shaped symbol constructed of steatite from the wall of the tomb. The soldiers remove a heavy stone block which is blocking the passageway into the tomb, but it falls down, crushing one of the soldiers, Sokal's, shoulders. He remains as the captain and the other guard, along with Weyer, retrieve one of the Orbs from the tomb. As they return, the Shadow emerges and slays the captain and the guard. Weyer and Sokal manage to escape from the area, with the latter bringing the star-shaped symbol with him.
With the Blessing of a King - Full Short StoryEdit
It was in the year of our Lord 1558 when Johann Weyer
entered the liberated city of Calais in the very north of France.
Many men with various esoteric knowledges have claimed that
Weyer was responsible for the successful occupation, but little
evidence has ever been presented to support such high
claims. For all we know his presence during this important
period in Calais’ history is nothing but circumstantial. What is
known without doubt, is that the city had been reconquered
by France, and Queen Mary of England would mourn the loss
of Calais until her death later that year.
bright orange light. Weyer’s horse trotted down the muddy
cobbled stoned streets. It was evident that the city had seen
battle, not because of the ruined houses or the tattered
banners hanging limp from the city walls, it was something in
the air. As if all the tension city-life creates had been washed
away by a storm and left a great void behind.
rugged face. He looked weary and he always did. It was
something he couldn’t escape. It had nothing to do with his
physique and everything to do with the things he studied. He
carried an awful amount of truth on his shoulders and he
wished he could put it down, if just for a moment.
watch tower at Place d’Armes rose above the commerce district
to the west and the great cathedral the English had built was
just up ahead. He was close according to his sources.
street, demanded his attention. The short salutation was in
itself friendly – it was the way it was said which worried him.
He waited for the men to approach.
language and chortled. Weyer noticed that one of the men’s
uniforms was slightly more decorated than the others. Quickly
it became apparent that he was the leader of the patrol.
involving more innocent people, but it seemed like he would
have to give in a little. He reached into his saddlebag. The
soldiers quickly unsheathed their swords. Weyer produced a
scroll and unfolded it.
forward and picked up the letter. He read it carefully, to not
miss anything which would give him the upper hand. As the
letter ended he was left without leverage. The insignia of Henri
II, his king, stared back at him.
“I mean, have you looked around yet, for this church the letter
giant spectacle the English had erected. Weyer estimated it was
from the 12th century, but it had been repaired extensively
over the last few hundred years. A heavy double door of oak
stood untouched by the violence which had plagued the city.
Weyer pulled at the handle, but found it locked. The captain
pushed Weyer aside and pounded the door yelling in
undecipherable French. He put his ear to the door and
the church. Weyer kept his distance, not knowing what to
rushed inside. There was a lot of yelling. Weyer couldn’t
understand, he heard the captain demanding surrender and a
couple of voices pleading for mercy. He reached the door and
looked inside. Two men sat on their knees on the church floor
begging. One of them was a priest and the other one an
English soldier. The captain ordered his men to look for
eyeing his sword just a few feet away. Weyer stepped into the
church and looked around. The captain’s men seemed content
– there were no more hiding inside the church.
soldier kneeling in front of him. The blade thrusted down
through the shoulder all the way down to the abdomen. The
soldier looked shocked and confused. As the captain pulled his
sword out, the englishman collapsed on the ground. Weyer
held his breath as he stared at the dying man. No matter how
many strange things Weyer witnessed, he never found anything
so abhorrent as the acts of a common man. The spontaneous
cruelty and the indifference when making life altering
decisions for others was incomprehensible to him.
so many others do when faced with cruelty – he closed his eyes
and walked away.
Weyer was anything but surprised. He studied the space
carefully. The statuettes by the walls had been removed
completely. The zodiac centerpiece, most likely a bull, had
been replaced by a single waist-high tomb aligned with the
length of the room. The ceiling was bare, but plastered,
effectively hiding all evidence of the room’s true purpose. It
didn’t matter, as long as the orb chamber was intact. The
protruding stone slab in the far end wall gave every indication
that it was so.
to the tomb.
the man’s name.
came closer. “You wait a few years in hope that the city shall
fall into French hands, so you can use your connection with
the king to get permission to visit a tomb?”
neck and pushed him onto the tomb.
care if you steal something from the church? Hell, I just killed
nothing worth saving. He then looked at the other two soldiers
and tried to weigh their worth. Will I die, he thought, if I do
nothing? Can I save the other two somehow?
dry, and this tongue felt swollen. He could not understand the
language the captain and the stranger, Johann Weyer, spoke.
The two seemed to reach an agreement and the stranger
gestured him towards the stone slab in the center of the far
end wall. Sokal followed the silent order. The stone wall looked
ordinary enough, he thought, and tapped gently with his
fingers on the surface. What was he supposed to find?
the edges of the stone. A faint decorative border of
semiprecious stones, fitted into the wall, framed the larger
stone slab. The stranger traced the border until he happened
upon a strange star-shaped soapstone. He picked at the edges
with his nails, but to no avail.
were about to desecrate holy ground. It couldn’t be helped, the
captain wouldn’t accept him talking back. We are at war, for
God’s sake, he will have me charged with treason – unless he
kills me on the spot.
shaped soapstone, unsheathed a knife, and began to peck at
the edges. After a few moments it came loose, dropped out of
its place, and into his hand.
studied the peculiar stone in his hand. He felt a tremendous
link to history, imagining himself standing on the same spot,
thousands of years ago, without a trace of civilization to be
They couldn’t possibly lift the stone by themselves.
german to the captain as he gestured toward the hole he had
been tampering with. The captain nodded towards the
shifted with the same ease as lifting one side of an evenly
balanced scale. They smiled triumphantly and looked back at
the pleased captain. The stranger still looked full of doubt and
pulled something from his robe.
called out to the soldiers as the chain holding the
counterweight snapped with a sonorous crack. The stone slab
came crashing down, striking Sokal’s shoulder. He fell to the
ground, almost passing out from the pain.
had managed to place a metallic wedge between the wall and
the stone as it fell. He produced another wedge from his robe
and secured the other side as well.
body ached, but resting helped a little. He watched the
captain, the stranger, and his compatriot enter the opening.
Sokal was left with a lantern and he tried his best to see what
they saw. He followed the torches’ burning glow as the men
ventured further into the thick darkness.
missing in there. He could hear their distant voices.
what could be the source of such wonder.
talk all excited. Except the stranger. Why wasn’t he as happy?
over to the opening and noticed the star-shaped soapstone on
the floor. He reached down and grabbed it. That’s when he
realized they had gone silent.
Sokal saw the captain holding an orb in his hands, it pulsated
violently with light. They were all smiling, except for the
stranger. The stranger remained at the side making strange
signs with his hands.
chamber. The light was rich burgundy and the sound was like
the lament of an old forgotten god.
form of a bloating and pulsating mass which dug into their
flesh. Weyer, the stranger, pulled the orb from the captain’s
hands and stormed off towards the entrance.
control himself. In fear he watched his friends disappear into
the brooding abomination.
The second one was seemingly impossible to move. It was
fixed to the architecture and simply wouldn’t let go. The thing
inside grew and pushed towards the entrance.
release. Sokal unsheathed his sword and pushed Weyer to the
ground. He swung the sword around and struck the last wedge
with a massive blow. The wedge shattered and the stone slab
slammed into the floor – sealing off the chamber.
pleading with his tear drenched eyes. Why would you show us
hand. Weyer picked up the legendary orb lying next to the star-
shaped soapstone, headed up the stairs, and stepped out into
the recovering city of Calais.