Dark Innocence Extras
Kyr, the hero of this story, lived in my imagination for many years. Eventually, I was ready to listen to him. In telling me his story, he took me on a harrowing, magical journey, turning me from a psychotherapist into a writer along the way.
From one angle, it seems that my whole life was preparation to be brave enough to let his story flood forth, unhindered. My own healing journey, and my work as a therapist, was part of the preparation. Learning to trust the darkness—the mysteries of the unconscious and of Spirit—was another necessary element.
Delving bravely into the unknown within—listening to the subtle hints, giving voice or form to dream spirits and hidden parts of the psyche—allows for profound healing, and the blossoming of the radiant light within each soul. Wishing to share what I have learned on my journey, I originally thought I might write a self-help book or a memoir. But what emerged—unplanned and in a creative, passionate torrent—was this fantasy trilogy, The Star-Seer’s Prophecy. Then came ten years of learning to actually write fiction, and of revising and editing, all of which has been fascinating and enjoyable.
Why put the healing journey of Dark Innocence and its sequels, Difficult Blessings, and Dangerous Bliss, in the form of a fantasy? Because fantasy has long been one of the ways that we tell profound, soul-awakening truths, starting with myths, legends, and fairy tales, and continuing with many modern fantasy novels.* But the truth is that I had no choice, since Kyr inhabits an ancient world of blood sorcery and ritual magic, where good people struggle with impossible choices, and sometimes emerge from their ordeals as artists, leaders or wise healers.
Although this is a fantasy, it is not for children or the faint-of-heart. It deals with evils such as torture, rape and murder, and with the difficult emotional aftermath of one who has both suffered and inflicted great harm. However, the main focus of the book is on the amazing capacity we humans have to recover our true essence from the darkest of ordeals; to retrieve the light of our souls from the depths of despair; and to heal and transform ourselves into Light-Bearers, bringing hope to the world. This I have witnessed many times in my work with my clients, and in myself. This is what Kyr’s story is truly about.
And so I invite you to join Kyr on his arduous and poignant journey from the torments of evil, pain, and remorse to the blessings of healing, love, and enlightenment. Allow yourself to be touched by his plight and his bravery; to discover what resonates with your own journey; and perhaps to be healed and inspired by his story. I hope you enjoy this story of mystery and intrigue, courage and endurance, secrets and forbidden love. May it live in your heart as it has lived in mine, and become one of the books you return to over time, deepening your experience of yourself as well as of the story.
* Wonderful, powerful writers who write deep and beautiful fantasy literature include J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula K. LeGuin, Patricia McKillip, Carol Berg, Charles De Lint, Lynn Flewelling, and Sherri S. Tepper, to name a few of my favorites.
Cast of Characters
In the Soul-Drinker’s Labyrinth:
Dauthaz, the Soul-Drinker: calls himself “Master of Death and Torment, Sorcerer-King of Khailaz.” His slaves and drudges simply call him “Master.”
“Dauthaz reclined with arrogant indolence on his divan, wearing his darkly iridescent robes and Crown.”
Kyr, the Dark Innocent, a Slave of the Soul-Drinker:
“Kyr was ice and iron: silent and disciplined… tall, slim and muscular with red-gold hair and amber eyes” and a “youthful auburn beard.”
Gauday, a Slave of the Soul-Drinker, Kyr’s rival:
“Gauday was a creature of sullen coals and sudden flare-ups: devious and power-hungry …with dark brown hair and pale blue eyes. …tall but a bit heavy…”
Members of The Circle
Lyriana, the Star-Seer, Founder of the Circle: Her Prophecy guides the Circle in their generations-long effort to end the Soul-Drinker’s reign:
“straight-backed and regal, her silver braid wound upon her head like a crown, her golden eyes bright. Her midnight gown was scattered with tiny, bright crystals. One aged hand clasped the Silver Wheel, badge of the Star-Seer, hanging from its chain around her neck.”
Rajani, the Warrior-Mage, Leader of the Circle: He is oath-bound to ensure the fulfillment of the Prophecy.
“The raven-haired Warrior-Mage stalked back and forth like a caged panther, his dark leathers creaking softly, his blue eyes snapping.”
Lanir, the Healer-Mage: Fraternal twin of Rajani; blond and blue-eyed, with a remote, ascetic look
Luciya, Master Spy:
“…vigorous and eager for action, her dark brown eyes sparkling. Her dark auburn hair was not yet grown out from the short, ragged cut all drudges had to wear in the Soul-Drinker’s Labyrinth, and her skin was pallid and her face hollow-cheeked from her sixteen years as the Circle’s primary spy on Dauthaz.”
“a woman with brown eyes and a clear, open face. There were small lines around her eyes and a few silver strands in her brown hair, worn in a neat bun at the back of her head.”
Devanyi, Tenaiya’s Assistant
“The young red-haired woman…had small splotches scattered across her cheeks, and green eyes.”
At the Heart of the Forest
Svahar, a Healer-Mage, and Warden of the Great Tree:
“a vigorous old man with riotous gray hair, eyebrows and beard. Dressed in close-fitting, dark green tunic and trousers, he was tall, lean and long-limbed. He was barefoot, and his toes and fingers were also long though somewhat gnarled with age.”
At the Sanctuary
Naran, Kyr’s Aithané – guide and confessor:
“a smooth-shaven man, a bit smaller than Kyr, wearing a gray robe. Alert and strong, he looked to be only in his middle years despite his long, iron-gray hair, tied low on the back of his neck. An angry-looking scar at the center of his forehead dueled with the serenity of his dark blue eyes. His voice was deep and calm.”
Jolanya, the Kailithana, a Priestess-Healer:
“A woman in violet robes moving with stately grace. She wore her shining black hair in a severe braid down her back, yet there was a gentle calmness in her storm-gray eyes. Her voice was low and soft, with a depth of self-assured strength.”
Dekani, Kyr’s secret inner teacher:
“…blond and tall, with an aura of contained power. Though there was no wind, his robes billowed slowly, shifting from brilliant white through stormy gray. His face was strong and determined. His sky-blue eyes were kind but a deep furrow between his brows gave him a somber look.”
Zhovanya, the Banished Goddess:
“a golden Goddess dancing in a vast starry void, glorious and majestic. Her face was both fierce and serene. Her lustrous, golden gaze…She was holy and hideous. She was terrible and beautiful.”
Jeyal, the Unknown God:
“… the sacred silver-blue flame of Jeyal but now it was much larger, and as bright as the full moon. … the flame shaped itself into a man of lunar fire, with a crescent moon upon His brow.”
Firebird Fan Art
Kyr & the Firebird
Kyr & the Firebird
Aithané (AI-thahn-ay) – Listener, Confessor.
Final Grace – Death, granted by healers to those in intolerable pain who cannot be cured or helped in any way.
Ganara li ya zhanto abaharo. – Guide me to this lost spirit.
Jeyal, volara donorula. – Jeyal, we offer You our hearts.
Jeyal sumarala. – Jeyal, we call You.
Ji Tal! – Stop!
Kaa’a-tay! – Open!
Kaa’a ta lak! – Break!
Kailitha (Kai-LI-tha) – Divine healing energy
Kailithana (Kai-li-THAHN-a) – The high priestess who channels the kailitha to heal those who have been most damaged; for example, by torture and rape.
Kailithara (Kai-li-THAR-a) – The healing journey led by the Kailithana.
Kailithos (Kai-LI-thos) – One who is going through the Kailithara.
Kailithama (Kai-li-THAM-a) – The sacred chamber in which the Kailithara takes place.
Kiiiyaaa, KA! – (Command to direct an arrow to its target)
Lo – Us all, me, you, us, them (exact meaning depends on intention of speaker).
Li – I, me.
Lai – We.
Oil of Tramantha – A very rare, sorcerous oil that unites and enhances the pleasures of sexual partners until it is impossible to distinguish oneself from one’s partner.
Phanaíthos (Fa-NAI-thos) – Speaker, Divulger.
Phanaithara (Fa-nai-THAR-a) – Divulgence, confession, journey to forgiveness and self-forgiveness.
Shai! – (Let there be) Light!
Shai la vi. – (Let there be) dim light.
Shai’ya! – Burn!
Shanawa Elixir – A magical restorative elixir
Soul-kin – the part of Nature with which our souls are most akin, usually an animal or bird
Ta’a Kor! – Sword!
Vaa’a lan ti! – Be whole!
Vaa’a lan! – Unite!
Waa-Rah! – (Command to raise the wind)
Waa-Rah Tavor! – (Command to raise a whirlwind)
Zhan – the life-force that Zhovanya gives people at birth and that She receives at death, to return to our soul-kin and strengthen the web of life
Zhovanaya (Zho-va-NAY-a) is the adjectival form of Zhovanya (Zho-VAN-ya)
Zhovanya nara lo – The Goddess forgives us all. OR: Goddess, forgive us.
Zhovanya nara li – The Goddess forgives me. OR: Goddess, forgive me.
Zhovanya daganta lo – Goddess protect us.
Zhovanya ganara lo – Goddess guide us.
Zhovanya, ganara li vida – Goddess, guide me home
Discussion Questions & Resources
Kyr’s story is powerful and touching. Here I offer some help in deepening your experience of the book.
Suggested Contemplation or Discussion Questions
- Kyr’s journey began with extreme evil and abuse. Not everyone goes through such traumatic and self-veiling experiences. Yet there may be at least parts of Kyr’s story that you can relate to in terms of your own life—perhaps in terms of having to hide your pain in the “ice” of unfeeling; or believing that if bad things happened to you, you must have deserved it; or finding it difficult to trust in kindness, or even envision that there really is kindness in the world. What has Kyr’s story made more visible to you about your own journey of healing? How has his journey touched you?
- Kyr has to face and come to terms with a lot of emotional pain—trauma, grief, anger, shame, remorse. As you followed Kyr’s healing journey, has his story has been helpful to you in dealing with any emotional pain you might be carrying?
- The hardest part of Kyr’s healing was learning to forgive—the Master, for what he did to him; and especially himself, for what he did to others at a time when he knew no better. Knowing that most of us do the best we can each step of the way— given the knowledge and understanding we have at the time—where in your life might you need to develop a more forgiving attitude toward yourself or others? How would that be for you, if you did?
- Dark Innocence takes place in a fictional society, and yet it may show us something about what we might heal, change, and develop in our own society. For example, how might we devote more energy toward healing and forgiveness, and less toward punishment and vengeance? How would that change our society overall?
When I first read excerpts from this book aloud to a small group, some to the people were touched to tears. One woman said, “At last, someone understands!”
If this story has stirred up strong feelings or difficult memories for you, please seek the support of a counselor or group. For referrals, contact the local chapter of professional organizations such as:
- AAMFT – American Association of Marriage & Family Therapists: www.aamft.org
- AHP – Association for Humanistic Psychology: www.ahpweb.org
- APA – American Psychological Association Referral Service: http://locator.apa.org/
If you’d like to experience the healing power of Expressive Arts, contact: