Hello again, if I’m just now catching you here is the link to the first article.
I have some good news. I got the final version of my cover art! It’s exciting to see it finished and to see it created with so much skill and talent. I obviously created the character and the armor, the Lightplate, in my mind when I wrote the book, but to see it in such vivid detail…
I am personally not an artist and can barely draw a circle…an effect of being expelled from kindergarten probably. But HoangPhuc is more than capable of making up for my lack of artistic skill.
We met on Fiverr which is a freelance marketplace. He is Vietnamese and some of our conversations are pretty funny as we both struggle to make sure we understand each other.
The cover shows my main character, Aiden Locklear, wearing his Lightplate. What makes the art so interesting to me is that the scene is set in 2156 BC at Nimrod’s Palace in Babylon. Neither the armor nor the character are what someone would expect to see in such a place or time.
The Lightplate is a kind of powered assault armor that is worn by members of the Imperial Order, a small subset of Atlanteans that are able to channel power from Teren. They are vessels of Elohim’s will on earth, a force of balance on the Mortal Plane.
The book isn’t published yet but I’ve been fortunate to have quite a few beta readers. One of the frequently asked question I get is why the crest and why the cloak? I’ll explain the question. The founders of Atlantis are all post-modern Americans. If you were a modern American who suddenly arrived in the ancient world, would you wear a crest and a cloak? If you answer that question with a yes, then you and I can most definitely be friends lol.
The answer to the question though. There is symbolism to the crest and the cloak.
This is an excerpt from the book in which a novice in the Order is taking his vows.
Want the first three chapters of Atlantis Rising?
Once Aiden reached his position, Berek began.
“I Berek Locklear swear my oath before this gathering of angelic warriors and Brother Knights. Before the Creator and upon the Covenant I make my vow. I will defend the weak and protect the helpless; I will bring balance to a world choked with evil.” His words echoed with power in the chamber and Aiden joined Jubal in his pride.
“I will uphold and defend the Constitution of Atlantis, and I will defend her people from all enemies. I become a Knight and pledge to protect my brothers, to obey the grand master and uphold the tenants of my order. I relinquish my right to vote or hold public office and will own no business or corporation without oversight. I am an agent of the will of Elohim and will carry my anointing until the day I die.” When he finished, Aiden stepped forward to his side and stood at attention while Jubal moved to stand opposite, Carax took a position behind Berek. Berek had been standing so that the two tables were slightly behind him; Aiden reached for the plume on his table.
“With this crest you signify the purity of your mind; your mind is like a house with many rooms. There are some rooms that must not be entered lest you become trapped. Shield your mind from the enemy and consider your words with care.” Aiden leaned forward and attached the plume so it ran longitudinally along his helm. Behind the initiate, Carax reached for the cloak. When he lifted it, he revealed the mask of a Brother Knight.
“With this cloak you signify your honor as a Brother Knight. It is a symbol of your courage and virtue.” He draped the cloak over his shoulders and Jubal and Aiden attached it to his breastplate. Jubal then reached for the mask.
“By wearing this mask you are faceless; you are an arbiter of justice. Justice does not have a face and so wear this mask as a symbol of your role as an instrument of balance. Fulfil the covenant and your duty as an agent of the will of Elohim.” He placed the mask in its place and Berek’s will took hold of it, keeping it in place, and for the first time Berek stood in the accoutrements of a Brother Knight. Ariel then stepped forward to stand directly in front of Berek.
“With this blade,” he rumbled, “You serve the will of the Creator. Wield it wisely and with skill and let Teren guide its purpose.” He opened his massive hand and presented the hilt to Berek. With the mask in place, he would only be able to see through the slits. Channeling Teren he forced his arms to move and reached for it reverently. When he took it, Ariel stepped back and as one body the Knights drew the hilts of their Lightblade’s.
The Brother Knights melded; and with a snap-hiss, their blades activated to life to glow softly. The Knights extended their arms so that the blades pointed at an upward angle. The only blade not activated was that of Berek, Ariel had given him a blade that was not yet bonded.
Berek extended his hilt, pointing skyward, something difficult to achieve while wearing unbound Lightplate.
When the angel’s blades sprang forth, they clothed themselves in glory and the room filled with holy light. Waves of power moved outward and the Knights began channeling. As the power of the Knights reached a crescendo, they activated; light flashed from the slits in their masks and they held their power; waiting for the blade in Berek’s hand to spring to life. This part of the Ceremony was a final test of the sincerity of his oath. If the Creator rejected him as a vessel for his will then the blade and his plates would remain unbound. The room began to shudder, each surface beginning to vibrate as a portal opened. Not a portal from Neiram. A portal from Urien. The heavenly realm. Brilliant waves of holy light rolled from the portal—glory cavitating on the Mortal Plane, Berek groaned.
Iaoel stepped from the portal in all his glory. The vibrations grew in intensity, moving towards Berek and he cried out as they converged on him, lifting him into the air and holding him aloft. His plates began to pulse and his concentration was ripped away. Iaoel held the novices plates together. He held his hand up and with a voice that shook the air he spoke.
“You are accepted as a vessel of His will”. Berek’s blade sprang from the hilt, glowing in fiery radiance. The vibrations of his plates reached a crescendo and in a brilliant flash, his armor conformed for the first time. The seams came to life and burned in reflected glory.
Berek screamed as he reached the point of activation, the slits of his mask exploding in radiance, the diamonds on his breastplate filling with energy. Iaoel lowered his hand and as abruptly as he appeared he left and the portal closed. Berek dropped to the ground, landing crouched on his feet. He was afire in reflected glory and as he rose to his full height the gathered Knights saluted him. Bringing the hilts of their blades to their faceplates and then sweeping blades down. Berek returned the salute and as one, the blades deactivated, returning to their hilts.
The symbolism aside, I believe that they chose to place a crest on their helms for the same reason that warriors from around the world chose to place crests on their helms, a simple and easy way to intimidate your enemies. It doesn’t hurt that it looks awesome either. Next week I’ll show you The Guardians of Atlantis. If you like the artwork please share it using the social media buttons below this. Thanks! You can see the other artwork in the Gallery.
This article was written by Jake Parrick