Anglusian angel seed

Synopsis

After losing a match of flapgammon, an anonymous Anglusian storyteller reflects on the happening and shares a baffling mystery with the reader: MATERNIA OF THE LEGIT-LIBRUM, the High Priest of Angelic Creation’s apprentice, has disappeared from the Sanctorum carrying his winged-eye ring and a mysterious, newborn humangeling no one ever saw again.

Many years later, twelve-year-old ethereal ANNABEL OF THE CUSTOS-LUX struggles with her undersized wings and faces self-esteem issues while dreaming of flying and being “perfect.” In his office, Doctor REMEDIUM OF THE CUSTOS-LUX confirms that her feathers have grown another inch, and she celebrates the good news with UMBRA OF THE LUMINA-TENEBRIS—her lifetime best friend yet angelic polar opposite—and with her pals and “not-so-pals” at the academy, like bully COSMO OF THE MAGNIS-ALIS, who calls her hurtful names.

But then, Annabel sheds her feather of innocence and starts feeling different. For the first time ever, she struggles with negativity, breaks rules, dodges studying, has a nightmare, lies to Remedium, and even swears at QUILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, her iron-barbed, counseling quill of wisdom. And to top it off, she sneaks into the Hall of Sacred Secrets with Umbra to read an augurium that speaks of THE OMINOUS MAGNUS, a powerful, cursed humangel, and almost gets caught. Something is terribly wrong with her, she knows, but what? Is she a humangel too?

Feather of innocence

Remedium assures that it’s just a bad case of post-fall frenzy and promises that it’ll go away on its own. But as Annabel leaves his office, she sees him furtively send a missive to the Celestial Council of Archangels looking extremely tormented. And then, he pulls out and wears a ring with a winged-eye symbol hiding in his drawer that she’s never seen him wear before.

Suspicious, Annabel investigates and discovers it’s the aetheroculus of the Sentinels of the Winged Eye, a secret, mystical order of archangels that protects Anglusian paragons, or angels or humangels predestined to change the course of Anglusian history for the better, or for the worse. And when she’s on the verge of discovering more, fate shoves her back into the Hall of Sacred Secrets and this time Headmaster MAXIMUS OF THE AMOR-AETERNUM catches her. As punishment, she’ll now have to face a F.E.A.R.—a Field Examination of Angelic Resources—as a simple human girl. And if she fails, a lifetime of silence and contemplation awaits her in the Meditatorium, a rigid Anglusian reformatory for angelic “special cases.”

As Above, So Below... Or Almost

His Wheel of Divine Will sends her to Miss Mall’s House of Divine Love, an orphanage in Tinkleborough, England, in 1938, where she makes friends with humble OLLIE BOON while steering clear of MATRON GERTRUDE BITTERBOTTOM, the institution’s wicked governess. And thanks to an old, magic mirror in the basement, Umbra will come through at nighttime as a figmagus—a  four-dimensional divine vision—to help her with her challenge.

Together, Annabel, Umbra and Ollie discover a sickly humangel has been living in a secret den beneath the house for almost a century. It’s Tom, The Ominous Magnus, and he’s hiding from Lord of Supreme Evil DAEVOLUS MALIGNOR until his curse shatters on his 100th birthday. Annabel will send him home, he assures, and grants her Maternia’s winged-eye ring to help her. But she has only two days to do it and must be very careful, for bounty hunter PRUDENTIUS O’QUISLING is near, and he’s hunting Tom.

As Above, So Below... Or almost

After solving several knotty enigmas (and even kissing a sleeping Ollie to try to solve the hardest one) she finally finds the Merkabah that’ll send Tom home. But, tipped by Bitterbottom, O’Quisling tries to capture him when they’re ready to leave the house—though Umbra cleverly subdues him with a feather blizzard while the other three run to a bare lot in Thangyoo Road and wait for the interdimensional portal to open. But Malignor comes along, too, and now he’s changed his mind. He doesn’t want Tom anymore, he wants Annabel. And when he tries to hurt her, Tom gets so mad his prophetic grandiosity finally comes forth to defend her, aided by the bottle of wing vitamins that Annabel had gifted him the night before.

So the Battle of the Grs explodes between the forces of Good and Evil. And in the heat of it all, the portal opens and Tom must go, or he’ll have to stay behind for another century. So Annabel sprints into the battlefield to alert him, but gets shot and dies in Ollie’s arms, awakens in a dreamy state behind Custodian’s Veil (from where she sends Ollie a sign and “flies” for the first time), and wakes up for good in Anglusia with a wrath scar on her chest. Umbra greets her and tells her that Team Good won the battle, Tom’s home, and Malignor fled. And when Remedium comes along playing dumb, for once and for all Annabel demands to know the truth. He knew it all along, didn’t he? And is she a humangel too? Is that why she can’t fly?

No, she’s not a humangel, Remedium assures, but she’s a paragon, and her tiny wings confirm her uniqueness. And by sending Tom home, she’s successfully fulfilled the paramount mission that fate had reserved her. He also confesses his true identity: Archangel Opus Nobilis of the Custos-Lux, Sentinel and First Medicus in the Order of the Winged Eye. Annabel feels shocked and betrayed. But after facing her F.E.A.R. she also feels wiser, so she understands and bonds to him even deeper. Her frenzies are gone, she’s back on track. And she doesn’t fear Cosmo any longer.

 

The day after, Headmaster Maximus announces Annabel’s verdict in the Supreme Court of Conscience: She’s forgiven. And as she dances through the court’s Garden of Thoughts to celebrate her victory, the storyteller reveals his own identity: Grandangel Ampersand of the Custos-Lux, Master Scribe of the Sacred Anglusian Chronicles and Keeper of the Holy Archives—and Anglusia’s finest flapgammon player.