Julius Lockwood – Necro Detective

Muse for one of the scroll guardians – Image borrowed. The website is visible at the lower left of the image.

Here is the full synopsis and an excerpt for Julius Lockwood and the Guardian Scrolls

Synopsis

Julius Lockwood is a Necromancer working with the Police, raising the dead in cases that are just too grim and disturbing to be solved in any other way. When all else fails, the special unit team are called in, usually for cases that are either cold, seriously so, or where the cadaver has been tampered with in a magical or mysterious way. These are cases the police have doubts concerning the possibility of solving.

Julius comes from a long line of Magic users, a little known group of people who are outside of the norms of human understanding. Simply by practising magic they are feared and misunderstood. Many have been driven underground and the council only allows magic to be conducted in a number of ways, assisting governments is one way’ The aim is to protect and make magic users appear as harmless as possible, as there are less than a thousand magic users worldwide its a necessary endeavour.

Julius has been working with the police for a number of years, undercover. With his sensitivity to the dead, he is able to find missing people that no one has heard from or been able to find. Whether they were alive or, more usually, dead. He is also able to ask questions and gain an insight into their last moments. Sometimes, even for those who the police are unable to discover thier identities, He is able to find who they are, where they’ve come from and reunite them with their families. It’s a sorry job – but someone has to do it.

Julius is called in on a case concerning a young man who was found in a side street. Nothing uncommon in this day and age. But, that is until the body is deemed to have been killed by magical means. Julius re-animates the body only to find that he is an unregistered warlock who’s been murdered by what could only be another necromancer, seemingly in an attempt to steal the magic of the warlock.

When Julius is called in, no sign of life is detected. Not even the smallest amount of residual life force, an occurrence so strange as even those bodies that have been dead for years, a small amount remains. This body is so dead, that even colour has fled.

The body could have been carved from marble, pure white, and exquisitely shaped, until Julius realises that all but the basic features of the face are what is left behind. Julius conducts the usual ritual for revival, so they can ask the questions and get to the bottom of the puzzle, but the ritual fails. They try numerous attempts to re-animation  but all attempts fail. Only the most harshest of rituals will work, and that will only work once, with devastating effects to the body.

Everything has been leeched from the body, except for two things. The memory of his sister, and the reason why he was killed. The young warlock pleads with Julius to rescue his sister, before the killer can get his hands on her and she faces the same fate, or worse.

It seems the murderer also knows that the victim’s father was in possession of an ancient scroll or artefact, both of which will -not only that will grant immortality, but that will subdue the underworld, passing on the magical ability, no matter how small, of all those who enter through the Underworld’s Gate. This thievery will accumulate, preventing the magical powers from being lost.

That a necromancer is willing to kill to achieve this, is both sinister and strange. No one has ever targeted magic users before, and the accumulation of so much magic can only spell disaster for those that remain.

Abigail has only ever known about her brother and herself. Their father demanded their mother to keep them away from the magical society, fearing for their futures. Abigail knew nothing about the society, or that there were others like her. Her mother was a non-magical, which was another factor behind the two children riding under the radar.

She’s not clueless about her power. She’s been studying haphazardly for years. But only very little of what she has learned has passed through her fingers and settled within her mind’s ability to process the magic effectively. Most of the things that she could do were done by instinct. Her brother Devon had always told her she had the potential to be a great magic user, all she had to do was believe in herself and that would set her free. (She’s not clumsy or inept, just unknowledgeable)

Julius informs Abigail of her brothers death and asks if she has any idea why someone would try and kill him. Or if she knows about the scrolls and the artefact. She doesn’t know as much as Julius had hoped and he returns to the council to inform them of his findings.

As she is also unregistered, Julius isn’t sure what her powers are, and upon meeting her, he finds that she’s also unaware. Not only that, but Julius has just met his soul-mate. Because Abigail has no knowledge of the Magical society’s norms, she has no idea why Julius is behaving with her the way he is.

Meanwhile, Abigail home is invaded, escaping only by chance and assistance from her sentient house, and when Julius goes to investigate, the chase is on to retrieve the scrolls and find all the pieces of the artefact before the Rogue necromancer can take over the underworld.

Along the way, Julius discovers who the necromancer is, but to inform the council concerning the threat, which they don’t take as seriously as they should, could be detrimental to all. Julius’s Mentor and trainer, has turned Rogue, and has also infiltrated the council. That he’s a council member, is a little too dangerous and Julius isn’t able to talk as freely as he wants, or stop his mentor with the aid of other’s he isn’t sure about.

Julius and Abigail have only one option, to find the missing pieces of the puzzle before the Rogue and stop the killing of innocent magic users.

The scrolls send them across the globe to gather the clues that have been left behind 1200 years before, in a world that has undoubtably changed, altered and been destroyed. Only the clues that her father, Fingal, has left them, their teamwork and affinity together, as well as some kick-ass investigative skills, enable the pair to stay one step ahead of the enemy. The maps are ancient, crumbling and unclear, while the modern world’s new technology is interfering.

The disbelief in magic also has an impact with the flow of magical energies, which causes problems for Julius and Abigail.

The tentative clues, the changing landscape, war, politics and human greed have made this chase not the easiest thing in the world to do, but they don’t realise how important the chase is until more magic users begin turning up looking just like Abigail’s brother.

They need to stop the rogue, at any cost, because the continuation of the magical society and the whole of humankind, depends on their efforts, even if they don’t know it yet.

Excerpt: This is an excerpt of unedited work-in-progress

Before

Fingal crouched on the stool watching the play of fire as it leapt and rushed over the metal grate in the hearth. The night was cool. Colder than it had been for many moons and Fingal worried that the omen he had seen in the bay a few nights ago was coming to pass. He’d had no idea who the man was that had approached him and asked for the thing he had no idea he had in his possession.
After all, it was a small clay piece that had been passed down to him from his father all those years ago, before he knew who he was. Or what he was. Before the villagers had begun to avoid him, before the war and the people who sought him out. As much as they loved him they feared him. They asked him to go to war with them, and Fingal had, leading many a charge. Leaving many behind.
He knew when he was to die, and he knew by whose hand. The people had no idea what Fingal knew only that he would tell them of things they didn’t want to hear and relay to them prophecies that caught them up and gave them dreams. None realised that dreams were just that, and a need to be awake was also important. When Fingal could not, or more importantly, would not give them the ease in life they sought, they shunned him. It was their loss, for Fingal knew more than he ever let on.
The wind whipped across the window, rattling the frame and easing the itself across the floor the play around Fingal’s exposed ankles. He shivered involuntarily. His wife had yet to return and a feeling of dread settled itself like lead in his stomach.
Night was approaching and the last thing Fingal wanted to do was to traipse around the moor seeking her, especially in the dark. She could be anywhere. She could be everywhere. She should have been here. Fingal knew the moment she’d stepped through the door that afternoon that he would never see her again. That was the thing about the sight, it was obvious for everyone else, but never so obvious about oneself. He knew he should have insisted. But some things inevitably always came to pass and there was usually very little that could be done to prevent it. Unless the images were so vague that the outcome was changeable .
The visions Fingal and been assaulted with had been strong, so strong that he had sought to snatch Grianne from the teeth of prophecy before they had closed on her and she was no more. But that was not to be. Fingal had awoken, his large body coated in a cold, nervous sweat. His long dark hair more matted and tangled than usual. The gap between his front teeth whistling with anxiety as his breath passed through rapidly.
He’d scrubbed at his face ruffling the red streaked beard, and looked upon the face of his beautiful Grianne. The wife of his heart, mother of his dead children, soul companion. She had supported him when all others had fled from him as though he was in possession of the plague, a deadly plague where his knowledge was other’s downfall. They had no idea who or what Fingal was. Only he’s phenomenon on the battle field caused them to think twice before they tried to destroy him. They knew that to kill the seer within their midst would send down upon them a far greater wrath than the one they assumed they lived. Fingal had no sympathy for them.
He had parted Grianne’s red hair from her face, looking at her long and hard. He sought to fix her face in his mind before she was lost to him. He knew there was nothing that could be done, not against a vision like the one he’d had.
But he could make plans. He could take precautions from being the victim of his own weakness. And that is what he’d done. He had set in motion that night, plans only Fingal knew would come to pass. That had been another part of the startlingly clear vision.
He waited. Not for Grianne. He knew she was lost to him now. He waited for the Betrayer, the one who sought to change the nature of death and reap rewards that did not belong to him. The one who came to seek that which Fingal had no right to give him. Which no man had a right to possess, this is why the artefact had been separated. After the last who sought possession of it had demanded dominion, the artefact had been shattered and scattered, as it should have been. It should have been destroyed, in Fingal’s opinion, but it wasn’t.
So now, he waited.
The door boomed with the force of the hammer blow upon it, as though Fingal had in mind to keep them out. Petty.