Excerpt for The Tragedy of Allyra, Princess of Selena by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


The Tragedy of Allyra,

Princess of Selena

Time is a rope for those racing the relentless hourglass,

sweat cold for those caught in dread’s throes,

a blinking breeze for those cherishing moments blessed,

a rose’s poisonous thorns for the one who mourns –

but for the ones whose hearts’ luminous trees rival the Stars in radiance,

the ones who may glimpse the whole of creation within a single soul,

the ones whose deepest darkness is composed of naught but love,

each moment holds Eternity.

Lord Kalyus of the House Mylen,

The Loving Dark.

Copyright © 2017 by Ilias I. Sellountos

Published by Menthys.

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof

may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever

without the express written permission of the author

except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

This work’s events occur in the future of a fictional universe. Thus, names, characters, descriptions, locations, incidents and the various modi operandi of Language, are to be assumed as products of this author’s imagination and cerebral processes. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living, dead or in-between, is to be disregarded or considered coincidental.

The author views the application of positive mental states, including but not limited to the following, as conducive to this work’s enjoyment: suspension of disbelief, active imagination, empathy, critical and between-the-lines reading, openness to inspiration and awe, careful identification with the characters. Some fortitude and patience would also serve you well. Also, given that this book is written as a play, but with a novel’s length, the author also considers your familiarity with the works of William Shakespeare, as well as a reader’s background including, but not limited to works of Science Fiction and Fantasy, as a bonus to this book’s enjoyable reading.

Nonetheless, the author assumes no responsibility for your enjoyment, or lack thereof, of this theaternovel. (But he is counting on your participation in it.)

This is, after all, a big Universe: you cannot please everyone on the cosmic stage.

1st Earthwide Printed Edition: Summer 2017

Country of Publication: Greece. ISBN 978-960-93-9297-6

For my children, my nephews, et all the children in the world.

Those who have already made it Here, et those who have yet to come.

This book , since its inception/completion of first draft/first finalized version has been collectively Dedicated to:

Dr. Stratopoulos Irene, for forging my love of the Immortal Bard; without our incredible in-class discussions, Allyra would have never been born – thank you so much! A gem of gratitude goes also, to every instructor who helped enrich my love of the English Language.

To everyone who has ever taken my hand and soul beyond the limits of Imagination and given love substance; and to everyone who ever will; Allyra and Kalyus could never be what they are without you.

To Lindsay who was the first to take a sip of Allyra’s infant spring and tell me, yes, she can quench my thirst.

To Amber, whose friendship, kindness and love helped create and nurture both Allyra’s and my own destiny. Thank you, for believing in this, for helping me help Allyra soar even higher - and for being the first in the whole world to reach ‘Fin’!

“Blurb or the Book’s Invisible Back Page”

Imagine, for a moment, this is this book’s blurb, its last page(s), where you gaze upon to see whether you would be interested in reading it:

Three centuries after a catastrophe of metaphysical proportions all but destroyed Earth, seven domed cities on the Moon comprise the Kingdom of Selena, ruled by a monarch and an elected council known as the Circle.

After a Civil War between ‘ordinary’ humans and their ‘gifted’ siblings, the latter have been imprisoned – in permanent oblivion – within the unspeakable Forbidden Vaults. The ruling class of Selena draw on the prisoners’ powers, shaping their own language and faculties – and, if need be, the will of the people. An uneasy Peace is in place until…

Maya, a young survivor from the Earth reaches Selena at last, bringing with her more than memories of a world forgotten. She brings news of a plague that has festered in Selena for years and can destroy a civilization from within; she also sheds light on the deaths of the King and the Queen years ago. News that shall greatly disturb…

The Queen: having assumed the throne because of her niece’s young age, Queen Molhyrta struggles with a crown she never desired and a secret she cannot drown (in drink or elsewhere). More and more she turns to…

The Chancellor: the Head of the Circle, Klyfixus is as fiendishly charismatic as morally ambiguous; the keeper of the Queen’s ear, he is no stranger to manipulation and intrigue. Yet the greatest challenge to his designs comes from where he least expects it…

The Princess: Allyra is heir-apparent to the throne. A soul as empathic as she is ferocious, greatly troubled by the state of the Kingdom she is to inherit as well as the visions that question her very sense of self, Allyra’s greatest solace and joy is…

The Poet: his family extinguished by the horrors of the Civil War, Kalyus struggles with his position in the Circle, as well as a unique secret of his own, his love of language a shield against enemies without – and within.

Having grown together from their respective losses, Allyra and Kalyus have forged a bond of absolute loyalty to each other. They will need that bond’s strength to face the trials ahead, as the festering wounds of Selena are bared and the astonishing mysteries of the Earth’s demise are revealed. All is not as it seems…

For this is a world where identity is both fiction and power, language a sieving construct of oblivion and being, and magic and science but two sides of the same coin. None knows this better than…

The Wizard: the mysterious Wyonus, Weave Keeper and Seer of the Royal Court. For between Wyonus, Klyfixus and Olarya, Allyra’s best friend and aide, lies a mystery that will determine the future of Selena – or its doom.

As voices of the past and children of the future emerge and collide, as loyalties are questioned and cruelly abandoned, as unthinkable powers are born and Humanity faces a second extinction, Allyra must struggle between a destiny she was born into, one that her human heart would choose, and one she could never have imagined - one no mere mortal could ever endure.”

So, there you have it. If you desire more details on the book, or would like to get a piece of this author’s processes behind it before you immerse yourself properly in Allyra, you may proceed (with great caution) to the Anti-Introduction. If, perchance, you are looking at this page as a preview from an online bookstore, I think it is more than enough to help make up your mind!

The Tragedy of Allyra, Princess of Selena


Blurb or the Book’s Back Page”


Allyra: An Anti-Introduction

The Prehistory of ‘Allyra’

The Setting of ‘Allyra’

The Imperfect Infinity of Language in Allyra’s Metaphysical Universe.

Allyra’s Publication.

P.S. A Note on the Book’s Cover.

Dramatis Personae

Act I





Act II














Act IV







Act V








Allyra: An Anti-Introduction

{Historian’s Note: a great deal of this text was composed years prior to this publication, to address interested parties. It has been greatly edited, altered and expanded for this reader’s benefit. In a somewhat better, somewhat sadder world, this “Anti-Introduction” would most adequately perform its duty of becoming a starting point for personal and scholarly investigation. As it is, I despise (or at least find indifferent) most book introductions I encounter, thus I would not presume to treat this brief Anti-Introduction as one that does this book justice; I am only including it to (presumably) aid every esteemed reader (for every reader is by definition ‘esteemed’) with their reading of this book.}

The Prehistory of ‘Allyra’.

It was a day of spring, back in the early years of this century, that, as I was walking between Mesogeion Avenue and Phidipidou St., a thought popped into my head out of nowhere – a thought, that at the very moment of its conception, I recognized as one of the vainest I had ever had: “what if I were to write a play, where the villain is someone worse than Iago?”

I was fresh from my Shakespeare days in College; Shakespeare’s Tragedies had been one of my favorite classes, and one where I was given the freedom to use my gifts with words as aesthetically as possible as a student may do during an exam. And, of course, there was the discussion: in the last four and a half centuries, uncounted millions of people have speculated, dreamed, interpreted, or found a welcoming mirror-niche for their aspirations and woes, in the works of the Immortal Bard….so, when that most vain of thoughts entered my mind, it was followed by a number of image-thoughts, including one for a piece of drama work that would pay tribute to Shakespeare’s (as another work of mine pays tribute to his poetry). In this very simple way, Allyra was born.

I would like to share a few thoughts behind her creation, perhaps even a few scruples; it is a bound-to-be-fruitless labor, when a writer (or, even more, a poet) tries to gather into a basket the myriad things that were circulating within her or his head, writhing for a place in creation. So, I am not going to do that.

But I am going to share a few tidbits behind Allyra’s creation: if you are still with me, please kindly make up your mind whether you need to endure the lines that are yet to follow: for, if you have just finished Allyra, my humble opinion is that you should not spoil your inner sense of completion by reading this; if you have not started reading her, I would advise you to better start reading her now, lest you be spoiled by what follows; and if, by any chance, you started reading the text, but have, somehow, decided to read this introduction first, then woe is you! I am serious. Just turn the pages and go back to your reading! Unless of course you belong to none of those categories; in which case, my own sensibilities as a writer would kindly urge you to continue.

{Here be a gap of Indecision! Use it well!}

Okay, still here? Whether you are right or wrong, these fingers are continuing to type (a possible translation: rant), knowing that at some unknown time in the future someone’s eyes are skimming through this!

In my College days, I was infinitely surprised by the lack of respect held for so-called alternative fiction; or rather the vast void of ignorance appertaining. As part of my coursework, but also within my own literary explorations, I read my own share of works written by esteemed wordweavers of the last nine centuries, and a good number of novels published in the last three. What continuously puzzled me, and dissatisfied me immensely, was this simplest of conclusions, which, of course, may be held to be a matter of personal opinion: in terms of researching the human condition, of delving into the absurd, the great and the unknown, of taking what is most familiar to all of mankind and revealing truths by charting new frontiers of ideas and imagery, of pursuing our own existence with infinite awe and boundless humility, the “mainstream” fiction that holds the scepters of academic esteem, often does not hold a candle to many stunning treasuries of “alternative” fiction. (Stars, how many times I heard people speak their eulogies for this or that piece of literary work, which – to my eyes – was so sadly impoverished, compared to masterpieces no one in the academia cared to know about.) What is more, literary tradition has a wonderful way of “claiming as its own” those creators who cannot be strictly labeled with “diminishing” labels such as “science fiction author” or “fantasy author” e.t.c. It is both a bittersweet irony and the pettiest of realizations, that in this age of raging scientific discovery and technological innovation, there are writers who are reluctant to include this or that element in their prose, because they are afraid to be labeled as writers of alternative fiction. But I have digressed a lot: for me, as much of a diehard fan I may be, this whole distinction (should I call it “invisible literary segregation”?) is not only idiotic, it is unhealthy. So, one of my earliest sparks of creativity was the following: I would take one of the most sacred and awe-inspiring conceptual forms of drama, the Tragedy, but write about an alternative-fiction world.

{Here be the spectre of SPOILERS. Once again, you have been warned: if you HAVE NOT yet read this book, fly away from this anti-introduction pronto!}

The Setting of ‘Allyra’.

The temporal setting of Allyra is (at least) several centuries down the road. There are two important elements I will mention here. One, at some point an apocalyptic (I hate that word, but there you have it) event took place, that left the Earth a (mostly) barren wasteland; the last known segments of humanity somehow survive on the Moon, having established the Kingdom of Selena, a state of cities thriving under domes, ruled by a monarch and a council known as the Circle.*1

*1 For reasons that are partially related to in-universe canon that I decided upon while writing the first Act, the characters apparently do not experience the lesser effect of the Moon’s gravity.

Two, at some point in history, through evolution or our own tampering {a question that may be answered in another book}, a form of telepathy as well as other powers bridging one’s will and the world, emerged as a trait among humans. Some years prior to the events of Allyra, a Civil War took place, ending up with the hibernating isolation of the so-called Mindwalkers at a place called the Forbidden Vaults.

Those two elements are important, in regard to the single greatest scruple I had with Allyra’s writing: though the stronger progeny of Man are imprisoned, a way has been found for the elite of society not only to draw on their powers via a force known as the Weave (and, by extension, to impose their will on society at times of unrest), but to augment their own intellectual and linguistic faculties as well. Practically, this means that people, who, otherwise, would have been rather limited in terms of their verbal expressions, are capable of Shakespearean soliloquies and dialogues, or of leaps in their awareness that might seem otherworldly or downright odd. So, what happens when they have to abandon those capacities, or if those capacities are limited, or mixed, or manipulated? Well, the artifice that is their language must be diminished, or, at least, altered, though their scope of thought may or may not. Here was my single greatest quandary: I would either have to betray the quality and the style of the writing, by including dialogue that could seem bland, artificial, tedious, boring, utterly false\ unbelievable \ out of place – or I would have to betray the spirit of the story, thus allowing Allyra to be a constant paradigm of rich language and imagery. Those who know me would believe me when I say this: the second option would have been so much easier! To purposefully include “bad” or “out of place” writing in your work is this writer’s nightmare! I can talk all I want about how that may actually prove the subtlety of the text; but when someone sees something that annoys the hell out of them, will they care?

The truth is alike an utterance from Wyonus: it matters, but it matters not. It is as it is: Allyra was first and foremost conceived as a work of metafiction. It would be a tedious and foolhardy endeavor to go through her text just to jot down the layers of meaning and the countless themes that have been instilled in her lettery skin, blood, bones and soul.

The Imperfect Infinity of Language in Allyra’s Metafictional Universe.

The artificiality, but also the power of language and the blurring of boundaries are of paramount importance in Allyra. I may have never been a huge fan of postmodernism, or of the evasiveness and artificiality of all things, but Allyra is…what labels may I not completely disregard? Well, let’s see! Allyra is a work composed as drama, with five Acts (divided by milestones of meaning, not numbers of words or pages) and numerous scenes (29 in total), but with a novel’s length, a little more than 88000 words {thus, if she was ever performed, she would require the best part of a 24-hour day} ; she is founded upon the elements of Tragedy, ranging from the Aristotelian paradigm to the various incarnations of the last few centuries, drawing greatly from and being a souldeep tribute to the works of the Immortal Bard; she echoes of blurred landscapes, where borderlines often meet, or even overlap: let it be of the thoughts and emotions between one mind and another (or an entire society), the co-existence of several identities in one being (the presence e.g. of a man but his perception as a woman by others), the blending (though not reversal; reversal is far too petty and simple) of antiquated morality and amorality, traditional and modern gender roles (and identities), woes befitting ancient times and holocaust quandaries, the presence of the future in the present, the non-linearity of time, and, above all, how language (and its varying structure, its often – purposefully - combined or seemingly “flawed” anachronisms) and awareness reflect all those things. Also, as befitting such a text, there is, yes, a great deal of important events that take place before the audience; but there are also many important events that are only referred to, or implied, or left entirely in the dark.

Here, let us remember for a moment that it is fairly common for people to make complaints about books or movies such as: “but it did not start at the beginning!” or “this isn’t the way it was supposed to end!” or “it never told us if they made it!” or “everything was left unresolved! What a waste of time!” e.t.c. Too often, we forget: the characters of any fictional universe did not just pop out of the ground at that particular moment in time that the story begins (unless, of course, that is part of the tale!): they have had fictional lives before it; and they will presumably have fictional lives once the story ends; our reader’s preoccupation with the true beginnings and endings is an illusion as old as the first time some caveman saw a cave couple leaving their band, and primitively wondered about their “happily ever after”.

Suffice to say, by the time Althax and Karhal speak while on guard duty at the first scene of the first act, Allyra and Kalyus have already and secretly began on a journey that will lead to the book’s end. What is more important, Allyra is not, unlike Romeo and Juliet, about two people falling in love. No; this has already occurred, and in a way so deep and profound, that it has imbued those two souls with an absolute loyalty and adoration towards each other.

Indeed, Juliet’s legendary “what’s in a name?” is oddly related to the (mostly unique) names of the characters; as befitting the text’s metafictional nature, the names’ elusiveness of meaning affects how those characters’ references in the text may change, depending on the knowledge of their fellow protagonists and the audience.

But why the fuss with the names? Well, names have a unique place in our civilization. They mysteriously define our thought and experience. When we think of a dear friend, a lover, a hated colleague or that obnoxious neighbor, it’s always by their name that our nexus of thoughts is formed. (Of course, sometimes, the names are replaced by a label that binds us with a person and thus defines both us and them; Dad is my own personal favorite.)

Case in point: in Allyra you will not get anywhere with last names (we only get to know of Allyra’s House name as well as Kalyus’) and you will hardly get anywhere with first names (except some that are, on purpose, blatantly common); that is one of the book’s ways to identify the names with the personalities of the characters themselves, or to give the names themselves an identity that is actually written by the characters themselves.

At the fourth scene of the fifth act, Allyra says:

Allyra. [smiling] I am Allyra, “A” [disembodied voice] as in “star”, “lly”[disembodied voice] as “ee” in “lee”, “a” [disembodied voice] as in “comma”.

This simple act of identity is contrary to how many of the readers will have probably read her name; in fact there are default pronunciations for all of those names. Why, you may ask, when names (as Klyfixus would probably say) are just a nuisance of civilization?

Yet another digression, here: the lack thereof of anything concrete in postmodernist theories is, to me, distasteful; sure, the moment you start being concrete about one thing, a million must follow. Thus, we have an Ouroboros eating his tail and offering us a plate of ingenious arguments, which deny their own existence by being compositions of artificial symbols. I am not here to declare absolute judgments; but one has the right to say that e.g. a rape is never right, that children ought to hold onto their innocence as long as they can, that there is love, and there is hate, that you may do some good, or inflict pain. YES. As far as the characters themselves are concerned, this reality, however flawed or utopian (or dystopian), however flexible or rigid, is, indeed, real, and their lives and destinies are accordingly shaped. This is not a work-universe that surrenders to the absurd, or where the inherent infinite contradictions imply a surrender of the characters, or the story, to chaos.

There are real choices to be made (or not), there are misdeeds to be committed, and there is redemption to be sought; the protagonist is a Princess, as Hamlet was a Prince, and her love, most fittingly, is a Poet and a Lord; a Queen is lost, like Lear, while a Debaucher is a Fool’s equivalent in wisdom - but even the fool can be fooled; for the prince of darkness is a gentleman.

Befitting this peculiar balance, you may catch some glimpses of the Fourth Wall’s being broken, or even of what I call the Sixth Wall, i.e. a character’s addressing of powers and identities that are or may be part of his audience’s world, but said audience remains blissfully(?) unaware of. The only other thing I will say is this: if there was one element that should be set as a cerebral prerequisite to reading Allyra, that would be: suspension of disbelief.

So, we are back to my original thought. Whether Klyfixus (inspired by Sisyphus and the cliff he has to climb for all time) is, after all, such a great villain is on the eye of the beholding reader. I will only say that I did not want to emulate Iago’s inscrutability of motive (and everlasting darkness), by means of his ultimate refusal to speak his mind, or a certain minister’s refusal to reveal what (if anything) was hidden behind that black veil, cheating and inspiring at the same time countless of readers across the centuries: for their creators knew very well, that no matter what choice they made, no matter how incredible the soldier’s or the minister’s secret might have been if revealed, it was better to leave the box unopened, open thus only to infinite interpretations. Thus, for us, the cat in the box must remain both dead and alive, for all eternity.

Allyra’s Publication

Bringing this book to light has been a most peculiar Odyssey, especially since most of Allyra’s creation took place in a very short amount of writing time. Suffice to say, I kept tabs, and let me just state that by the time 1,440 minutes (=1 day) of writing time had elapsed, a great deal of the story had joined existence’s current. Yet, life was hectic, computers died (and material was lost) but I think it is the knowledge that so much was writ in so little time that paradoxically prevented me from finishing her, since it never felt as the right time to do so.

Long story short, a number of years back, I said enough is enough, applied myself dutifully, and the first draft was done. It was approximately 91% as long as this version. That was the point my best friend in the world read her; and she told me many things, some wonderful and deeply encouraging, and others that got me into some serious and deep thinking. I canvassed for the opinions of voices I respected from around the world (many of them wordweavers themselves).

Not long after that, various tumults in my life (and my own demons) left that book in the shadows, instead of letting it make its journey out into the world. Those 80,000+ words of Allyra – I will admit – were something very dear to me, and to someone dedicated to perfectionism as I am, it just “wouldn’t do” to just let her go. And so, even though, or perhaps because my best friend in the world had actually been the first to go the distance with this book, and praised it in ways that made me very proud, but also made some comments that lodged themselves deeply in my brain, Allyra (very fittingly and metafictionally, perhaps metarealitly) lingered in the void. I had always been very aware of the (potentially vast) gap between how an AUTHOR perceives the universe of his or her characters, and how a READER does. And the only way to even experience a semblance of that discrepancy was to distance myself from these words and return to them, after long intervals.

Then, as I attended a series of seminars by Greek author Thanassis Triaridis on the History of the Theater, it occurred to me that this was an opportunity to sieve and perceive Allyra through a million of filters that had hitherto been unknown and inaccessible to me. To my constant astonishment and delight, I discovered that dozens of elements that I had never actually studied or encountered had, somehow, found their way into my “play-novel’s” (methinks theaternovel is a better term) structure and its layers of meaning. It so happened that, parallel to this, in my work for a novel (which is also a child of metafiction) the ever-deepening processes of knowledge harvested between the lines became an additional compass to elucidate certain things that bridged this gap between reader and author. After all, part of the greatest symbiosis achievable between an author and a reader, is the latter’s potential enrichment from everything inside a book, including the unique way that each reader reads between the lines, the moments, themes, exultation she or he mostly identifies with, and the form and (alas?) the labels with which that work lives on inside of them.

My Father, who was an avid “Hard Science Fiction” fan, would probably scoff at this book’s lack of substantiated scientific analysis, even though, it could be argued, a book where the only possible descriptions outside the dialogue belong to the “stage-directions”, does not have much room for the endless analyses of science fiction authors. Both a science fiction and a fantasy fan could, likewise, complain about a play’s lack of wondrous presentations of the exotic landscapes the characters tread through (hey, is that not true of the “mainstream” fiction reader as well?)

Which is all good and true. There is certainly more than one reader out there who will say “this is not science fiction”, “this is not fantasy”, “this is not proper literature”, “this is not a freaking tragedy” – and will probably move on to more wonderful judgments. As it is, and given Allyra’s metafictional nature, I like to think of the book’s identity as Derrida’s ever elusive transcendental signified. I also like to think of the “stage directions” as a hidden character or characters in this book, perhaps even as an invisible chorus, one who varies greatly between omniscience and localized knowledge; it is also a living thing, undergoing some Darwinian evolution; for as Allyra’s writing progressed, I realized that the vast talents of, as well as the endless array of tools available to today’s performing artists, can, theoretically, accommodate just about anything. Nonetheless, the “limited” directions (the “one cell organisms” that reach their apex of evolution towards the end) remain in place, as the “limited” stage does. Things change gradually. As the characters’ consciousness evolves, as language takes its abrupt turns, so do(es) this (these) invisible character(s). As Klyfixus says at some point, “for to know is to be”. And as the part of the book that I like to think of as “Secret History” will reveal, language, dreams, perception, imagination, power and identity are all interlinked. Into a fusion that those characters struggle to define as their reality. Et a most peculiar and self-contradicting reality it is, been born, as you find out, from the totality of humanity’s experience, and thus filled with as many terrors as wonders.

And this is where I stomp my foot against the keyboard (yeah, I literally just did that) and draw the line. In the past I have thought of countless things that I wished to share to elucidate all that is hidden in here {I will share one necessary bit a few lines down}, but no, now I will stop. Enough of my blubbering. It’s time for you to experience this book for yourself if you have not done so already as I told you to.

Nonetheless, for the benefit of anyone reading this Anti-Introduction and thinking “hey, I have a crazy writing idea that I wish to share with the world”, I would draw your noble attention to the fact that between the words “Act I Scene I” and these words you are reading at this very moment, Odysseus’ return journey to Ithaca could have easily taken place. And my serene advice to all haters-by-choice and biased-by-choice critics (paid or not) across the world that you and I will ever encounter is: if you know inside you that you could never write it, it is not up to you to judge it.

Stars bless!

P.S. A Note on the Book’s Cover

{Don’t, don’t, don’t read this if you have not finished the book!}

I feel I need to include a final note on the book’s cover. From the moment Allyra was born in my mind, I never considered her to be e.g. a “white” woman, or a “black” woman or an “Asian” woman or a “Native American” woman or whatever. I have never prescribed to the utterly ridiculous notion of “races”, given we are all part of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens species, though I do acknowledge the infinite versatility and precious nature of cultural heritage which, quite often, happens to be conflated (for better or worse) with such elements as the color of our skin. As I wrote, I had a vague perception of Allyra’s face and body both emanating radiance and her eyes bearing a silvery light, but also embodying the darkness of space; and I considered it as part of this universe’s canon that long before the time that the events of Allyra take place, the intermingling of the so-called races has been going on for so long, that their characteristics are blurred.

So when I had to face the challenge of coming up with a cover, I did not have to assign a particular race to her. I did however try to give her a face representative of a future humanity. Whether it is because of her extraordinary state at the book’s end or not, Allyra’s head is comparatively large to what we see of her ethereal body. Elements of her face can belong to any race; you may notice the varying size and shape of her lips, her chin’s or nose’s shape, her violet brow and eyes (it is no accident violet is the last visible color of the rainbow). You will also notice the numerous colors and textures of her hair, interspersed with stars and other heavenly bodies. I do not think the engaged reader requires of me to analyze the unique element on her shoulder; but I would draw your attention to the metafictional fact that Allyra on the cover of this book is, presumably, how a Human being would perceive her, the violet nebulous ribbons of her ‘armor’ containing and protecting the essence and memories of alien peoples. The presence of ever-larger objects, from planets to stars and entire galaxies can be an indicator of our mistakes as well. “The humming of alien bees” as Allyra herself says when she bears witness to the dreaming mistakes of humanity, is the source of the constellation high on her forehead. And so on. I will not tell you if her perception is sad, or determined, or something else. She is my personal equivalent of Mona Lisa. And, up to the relatively recent past, I wrongly believed this theaternovel would remain unique among my mind’s peculiar streams.

So, on that note, I leave you with the promise of a man who invents dreams.

Ilias I. Sellountos

July 2017




Dramatis Personae

ALLYRA the Princess, heir apparent to the Throne of the Moon.

KALYUS the Poet, Lord of Selena and Allyra’s lover.

MOLHYRTA Queen of the Kingdom of Selena and Allyra’s aunt.

KLYFIXUS Chancellor of the Realm, aide and informant to Molhyrta.

OLARYA attendant and privee to Allyra, formerly a plantweaver.

WYONUS Wizard, Lord of Selena and Seer of the Royal Court.

NAYAKAL Ghost; the former Queen and Allyra’s dead Mother.

MEYUS Ghost; the former King and Allyra’s dead Father.

VYLIA the Timeless Child.

SYNPHICUS the mysterious Wanderer.

MAYA the last survivor of Earth.

AGARYUS the Debaucher {and his family: Christina, Hyran, Magnus,

Myrlan & Naria}

JOHN Olarya’s fiancé



YSHAKAL, Ladies of the Circle.

ASHARATH Lord of the Circle.

The Secret Five {in absentia and via their replacements}

MYREL a Bard

VAGGO a Beggar

QUEEUQUS a Captain

KYLAN a Plantweaver

MAHOVA a Tradeswoman

The Four

Citizens, Guards, Thought-Whisperers, Children of the Night, Soldiers, Powers.


& ALTHAX Imperial Palace Guards.

Act I


Enter THE DARK-CLOAKED MAN [walks straight from the center to the front of the dimly-lit stage]

Dark Man. O, sweet Oblivion of tears begotten with human, childish pride! O, sweet Stars, cold and cruel, beyond Selena’s domes, filling the wise with childish awe, and the foolish with pride! O, mighty rivers of Infinity, celebrating thy gifts in mortal, secluded, eternally untouched minds and hearts! Woe to those of us who beyond such veils see, recording time’s vices in scrolls of crystal [raises a crystal ball with his right hand] ash! As Eternity’s cycle continues, our mortal sorrows linger into the ether, beyond the cradle and the grave, and weep; thus I, the last of my kind, step aside and allow History to roll [looks at the crystal ball intently] into thy ice deep!

[two figures, one female, one male, appear at opposite sides of the stage, clad in velvet, holding spears in attention. As a fog surrounds the speaker, who disappears to the back of the stage, again walking across the center, the two figures come and stand where he just stood, as lighting intensifies revealing a corridor, metal gates on either of its ends, as well as a greater one where the speaker vanished. At the background, we see a silver line curve across a dark starry sky, where a mostly yellow sickly-looking world looms, while grey craters are perceived outside the Dome’s boundaries.]

Althax. Did you hear that eerie, ominous sound emanating from the Princess’ chambers during last night’s watch?

Kalhar. Ominous et eerie sound, thou say! Of what noise do thou speak so, dearest?

Althax. As of a woman weeping, with shrilling cries! Et a mumbling sound, filled with deepest longing, as of child nursing from breast with a dying one’s thirst!

Kalhar. Nay, only our Lady’s cries of pleasure do I dare say I listened to! Remind thee, in Silent Watch thou were, unaware our Queen asked me to deliver wine to her chambers, and thus leave my post had I to!

Althax. Wine in the middle of the night? Did not our Blessed Sovereign recently declare that she had lost her appetite for the mirage-inducing liquid of the moonvine?

Kalhar. Aye, our Bright Lady so did, yet while thy spirit loomed all around our Princess’ chambers, did she order me to bring of the dreaded Earthwatcher’s wine!

Althax. [in awe] The Wine of tears!

Kalhar. Aye, thus this Corridor of Truth did our Queen pace for the remnant of the watch. On pain of death, did she order, absolute silence to fall, the moment our Princess her sighs would toss!

Enter KALYUS and KLYFIXUS from the left gate.

Kalyus. Ho! Which honourable Guard of our Lady shall soil her name with the villainous snake-tails of Gossip?

Klyfixus. Who, indeed, shall break ties with Fate, insidiously revealing their Nature? Report, Guards!

Althax. Nothing to report, my lord, it’s been a silent Watch. Our Lady Allyra decided to take a stroll out at the Sand Gardens-upon our Queen’s approval- et the Lord Wizard announced that our defences against the crippling rays from Old Earth have been increased tenfold –

Kalyus. And thou call this ‘nothing’? Woe is thee, Guard, don’t thou know our Queen has been worrying her forehead with long periods of sweat, over the Capital’s protection?

Klyfixus. [with a gentle, dismissive gesture] No need of reprimand, Lord Kalyus, our Guards’ lot lays solely on their duty! [with surprise] Althax, you say Lord Wyonus actually entered the Corridor to announce this news to you?

Althax. Yes, my lord. Lord Wyonus revealed the equation to my awareness by a wave of his hand, even as he announced that he must calibrate the Weather Machine to increase rainfall at the fields. He said new modifications have been added upon last night’s watch –

Kalyus. [closing his eyes, opening them again and nodding] So I see! Why was I not notified?

Karhal. [uncomfortable] The update occurred during… your nightly visit to the Princess, my lord, I judged it proper not to disrupt you.

Enter ALLYRA from the right gate. Her arms covered under a long nightgown pointing against her chest, as if she is hiding something.

Allyra. Upon the dew of purple daisies I swear, it was wise action on thy part, dear Karhal! [she abruptly returns the bow to the startled KARHAL and rapidly walks into the left gate]

Kalyus. I wonder why was she in such a hurry?

Klyfixus. [to himself, turning his face aside] And I wonder, has the time finally arrived?

Enter MOLHYRTA from the left gate. Althax and Kalhar stand into attention.

Molhyrta. What an unseemly rush! Speak, gentle Kalyus! What sudden and strange purpose has entered my beloved niece’s mind, now?

[KALYUS and KLYFIXUS bow slowly, deferentially to her.]

Kalyus. I swear to thee, my Queen, the Skyfires burn me if I know!

Molhyrta. [laughing] No need to swear so, dear Kalyus, I believe thee! [very brief pause] When do you intend to join my niece’s hand in marriage?

Kalyus. [slightly uncomfortable] Upon my awareness of your Grace’s blessing, et once the sacred Rite has come to pass.

Molhyrta. [placing her hands on his shoulders; KLYFIXUS bites his lips.] My blessing you do have, dear son of Selena! And, upon Earth’s Twilight do I vow, thou and Lady Allyra shall join in matrimony! But not before. The Days of the Skyfires have just begun and –

Enter WYONUS from the central gate. He walks slowly, hesitantly.

Wise Wyonus! Do you not consent to my judgement that a marriage’s joy should take place upon the end of the Days of the Fires?

Wyonus. [approaching and bowing gently] Aye, my Queen, and upon this matter I come to bring urgent news. [looks around, gently nodding and turning to Kalhar] Has Lady Allyra been seen, this morning?

Karhal. Aye, my lord, just a moment ago.

Wyonus. [breathing out a sigh of relief] Stars bless! I became aware that almost upon dusk the Lady Allyra left the Dome to enter the Sand Garden, and greatly was I worried over her safety!

Klyfixus. [a bit annoyed and indignant] Certainly the Princess is a grown woman, capable of holding her heart again steady as the Fires fall! The Weave –

Wyonus. The Weave is not an adequate protection any longer! I am coming from the Earthwatcher’s Lighthouse. The intensity of the Fires has increased. A huge, comet-like fireball erupted through the heavens upon Earth-rising this morning.

Althax. [slightly shocked] A comet-like fireball thou say my lord?

Molhyrta. [waving her hand dismissively] Quiet, Althax! Is this a unique event, Wise Wyonus, or a herald to greater catastrophe?

Wyonus. Indeed, a far greater catastrophe, Milady, though not of such individual splendour and terror! The Great Fire erupted across the heavens, and upon its arrival, four of our five Seers entered a deep trance! Its passage not only foreshadows-according to my calculations- a far greater shower of Fires upon our Domes, but bares the qualities of a manifestation – the manifestation of a brooding, dark presence upon the Lands of Selena!

Molhyrta. Pray the Source the latter not be true! Of thy calculations, dear Wyonus, no doubt yet I hold! Let no more catastrophe-talk be spoken!

Wyonus. [nodding] Our citizens shall be safe within the Domes-with the new defences acquired-but I beg thee, Blessed Lady, to forbid any excursions to the Outside for at least the coming sevenday!

Klyfixus. [protestingly] But, my Queen, the Seeding is not yet complete! Our plantweavers –

Molhyrta. –shall concentrate on using the Weave Fields to raise the crops we need! I care not, if the Moon’s Draw is not powerful enough. And I decree that no citizens of Selena, shall, from now on, and until further notice, leave the Domes!

[ALL bowing differentially][KLYFIXUS searching into his right pocket]

Kalyus, Klyfixus and Wyonus. So it shall be!

Molhyrta. Come, friend Klyfixus, the day is young, and plenty of matters in need of attention, as the plantweavers’ bread-flowers! [she nets her fingers, a sign that WYONUS apparently understands, bowing and departing towards the right gate]

Klyfixus. [bowing respectfully] Yes, my Liege. [he drops a handkerchief behind his back.]

Molhyrta. And you, dear Kalyus, use thy time to unlock thy future bride’s heart! Guards, follow! [she enters the left gate with ALTHAX and KARHAL]

Kalyus. [ponderous] Bright Stars! What new design is the mighty Source weaving and unfolding upon us?

Enter ALLYRA from the right gate. She looks concerned.

And I wonder what just overcame my love? My reason for being! My heart’s joy! Sweetest star of my sky! [gazing up towards the Dome] My Star-Rose, thou art!

Allyra. [smiling and gently patting his back with her fingertips] Make not such comments, dearest one, lest thou challenge the wrath of the Earth-Wraiths!

Kalyus. Light of my life!

Allyra. Darkness in my soul’s abyss! [they embrace; Kalyus kisses her; she puts a finger on his lips.]

Do you trust me? [she sighs]

Kalyus. [voice filled with emotion and sighing as well] My soul on thy eyes! Always.

Allyra. [pulls closer to him] With but a few words, I lay my fortune to thee, bright weaver of my Sky. Will thou accept a fire burning through me, unquestioningly, knowing it may ravage my soul?

Kalyus. [placing his hands on her shoulders, concerned] Is that what your spirit truly wants?

Allyra. [nodding] Aye. [stares at him intently with apparent sorrow]

Kalyus. [firmly, unhesitatingly] So it shall be.

Allyra. You will not question me?

Kalyus. I shall not.

[no further words need to be said. They kiss.]

[a man whose face is covered peeks from the left gate, the couple apparently unaware of his presence. We recognise it’s KLYFIXUS. ALLYRA and KALYUS walk towards the right gate.]

Klyfixus. [walks into the corridor and stands at the center] Pray tell, where is my handkerchief? Oh, there you lie! [looks around] To fool, the observer, to fool the external wit, thus like a foolish shadow do I blubber and stupid words into the ether weave! Oh, the greatest shadow of all mortal, falls between those two! My apparent face a masque, the other, so difficult to be uncovered, let it be their convincing truth! [he bows and begins walking towards the central gate, hands comfortably lying on either side of his body; we hear lightning erupting] For to shatter and lay bare into Chaos my cause may not seem-thus I humbly declare!- yet the snake’s eyes, into my chest pulsate, and by the comet now upsetting the Sky’s lid and Eternity’s Tree do I swear- under Night –ignorant fools! amused insects! glorious hearts! poisoned sinners! mighty casters ! uncanny wanderers! - all under my unholy blanket shall be!

[laughs, and vanishes into the main gate]


[the setting gradually darkens; it is evidently past Midnight]

Enter AGARYUS from the left gate, in a half-drunken, stumbling stupor.

Agaryus. Weather Machine…operating under an eye with no glee...calculating, yet inhumanly distanced…unemotional, yet ‘rationally caring’ as a God! Thus the fools speak of…[burps] our mighty Man o’ Magic! [loses his footing, and lands on his bottom] Well, what do ya know! [rubs his behind, in the process emptying a bottle he was carrying] Easy come, easy go! [looks towards the Dome] Hey, You! Green orb! [places his left hand on his forehead, mumbling, then both hands, rubbing his temples; tries to wake up] I just wanted to say… [loses his balance while rising up, and falls again] Damn! Spears of villainy have accursed my prideful gut! [rubs his belly, even as he rises again] Just needed to say…oh, my bottle! [bows to pick it up and falls yet again, pausing for a second, then raising his fist in drunken outrage] Stars! Why do thou hate me so, tonight! I just wanted to say –and I will ‘spite of mesa drops!- [finally manages to stand, pauses again thinking] that…I hold no grudge with ya! All those old fools saying it’s your [points] fault we…are…stuck in this grey rock, don’t know what’s in their minds! [hits his forehead with his right index, then quiet long enough to search his thoughts] What was I saying?

Enter KALYUS from the right gate, in deep thinking.

Ho! Is it not the illustrious Kalyus! Thy sheets in the water of purity wash my lord…plenty of villains around to try burn them while they are hot!

Enter WYONUS from the left gate, stern, mumbling to himself, walking to the right gate.

Trick-full Heavens! How do I swear this man to be of grand birth and even grander designs! [wipes his face on his sleeve] Our great Queen-sweet her greatness, yet her unfulfilled passion even greater!- said a foundling he was, back when she was but an infant Princess, at the place where today lie [shudders] the Forbidden Vaults. Nay I say, and thee [stares at the Earth] forgive me, Dead Mother, for innuending against the greatest of your remaining grandchildren!

Enter OLARYA from the central gate, running.

What ho! Is this not the beautiful aid of our Princess? Swear to thee [he grabs at KALYUS’s tunic] her silence is not one of emptiness of expression! Deeper her soul than the beauty capturing the eye! [OLARYA tries to smile at him reassuringly, but it is an awkward smile.]

Enter ALLYRA from the left gate, embracing OLARYA. KALYUS turns his gaze away, releasing himself from AGARYUS’s grip; AGARYUS rubs his beard

[to himself] Embrace they do not! Lord Kalyus would never such reserve exhibit, unless instructed to!

[to Allyra] Anything my exhausted trunk may help thee with, Milady?

Allyra. [kindly, smiling] No, dear Agaryus, I trust the widows under your care are doing fine?

Agaryus. [nervously] Great conviction takes to resist touching thy robe, Milady! Before the Dead Mother I swear, though I may be a whore of a man, never, I swear, shall I touch those under my care!

Allyra. [smiling kindly] I know. [she kisses him on the forehead; OLARYA can not hide her disgust.] Now that I think of it, care to help me in one important regard?

Agaryus. [firming his posture] Milady! I am yours to command!

Allyra. Good! This is the task I shall set for thee to perform. [OLARYA is shaking her head in disapproval] You are to enter my chambers upon the time my mind will call out to thee. You are to take care of whoever is in my chambers-may that be me, my love [OLARYA coughs at this hint of indiscretion] a plantweaver attending her herbs, or a child, or our great Queen, or a coot of an old man, barely capable of standing! You are to do so, each and every time, till my return! Do you understand?

Enter KLYFIXUS from the left gate.

Agaryus. Oh! And such were the labyrinthine instruments of the village’s whore, that the purple, no the yellow sky begun sobbing with rain full of gore! [ALLYRA shakes her head at KALYUS]

Kalyus. [patting AGARYUS on the back as an old comrade and moving his hands up and down wildly, as if drunk, embraces KLYFIXUS even as ALLYRA slips something into OLARYA’s hands; OLARYA departs from the left gate, we see her carrying a small parcel] Well spoken! Thus did the heavens, their utmost disapproval and timely warning cast before the whore’s hubris! For she had all her charms combined, to assure a royal lying! Thus the King of the land, with a terrible disease did she seed, the mighty monarch howling in his deathbed like a faltering, insubstantial entity-nay, a ghost!- begging Charonis’ sweet caress! And, upon the approach of Lady Death’s liberating fingers did the sky boom over the whore-whose disgraceful name has been forgotten out of shame’s perilous ever-present note!- and the Spirits their final chance of redemption spoke before pride’s fleshy canyons of fault!

Allyra. Thus did the Spirits speak, not sing, [she points at KLYFIXUS’ stomach with her left index] for unworthy of their songs she already was, and so did her fatal pride consume her even more-oh frail Humanity! When the Stars deign to shine as white angels before mortal eyes, why must our weed-full hearts their gentle voices despise? [KLYFIXUS smiles darkly and points at himself with both his indexes]

Klyfixus. [grabbing AGARYUS’s wrists gently] Yet, alas! Despise did, the perilous whore, the servants of the wondrous Source-naw, I call it a Sword!- for curse the Sword’s name she did, and spat for the low station she had been born in, and with sand filled her unwashed hair, screaming her hatred for her stolen maidenhood by man born noble, when she was just transforming into a woman fair! [intensifies his grip, AGARYUS morphasms in pain] Fie upon the heavens she cried, so I dare say she screamed, that your accursed children –hypocritical buffoons! suicidal insects!- bury themselves shall, with the very reason justifying their souls, will they one-another tear apart! And the relentlessness I see in thy angels’ eyes, the subtle indifference of heavenly hosts unaware of pain’s omnipotent device, will one day my Ghost bring down to or before your so-called Jewel of Earth, a truly ruined whore, yes, so let thy higher children see what thou made of me, of us, and us I dare say, for now the King dies, his last breath cast, shouting-I feel! I swear!- my name as that of his most beloved lass, one at the end is the whore and the King- for the eyes of Charonis us all equals deem! [releases AGARYUS, who howls in pain and anguish, falling on his knees]

Allyra. [to herself] Oh by our Lady Queen! Can it be after all that the Fiend pursues our most loyal and efficient Lord? –Gentle Klyfixus! Did thou not spend night and day to arrange our resources so that no mother and child will live Selena’s dark winter with no wheat to feed?

Enter OLARYA from the left gate.

Klyfixus. Aye.

Kalyus. And did thou not persuade Her Majesty to enact a law, which forbids the penalty of death-no matter the offence?

Klyfixus. It’s true.

Agaryus. And did thou not fund from your personal treasure the Weather Machine, which helps to feed us all? And constructed the Outer Dome which keeps us safe from the rays from beyond? [AGARYUS grabs his bottle, bows to ALLYRA placing both his hands on his heart, and rushes off to the left gate]

Klyfixus. [smiling awkwardly] Of all this, there is no doubt.

Olarya. And would you not sacrifice your life for the Kingdom?

Klyfixus. [smiling darkly] As long as I walk these corridors, so shall the Kingdom be!

Enter MOLHYRTA from the central gate, her arms hidden under a nightgown.

Allyra. [runs towards MOLHYRTA with an apologetic look] Did we awake you, dearest aunt?

Molhyrta. Indeed, thou would have, child. I trust you have a task to assign to someone?

Allyra. The Eyes! The Eyes!

Molhyrta. Indeed, the Eyes! If I cannot establish Order even in the Corridor of my own Palace, why am I here?

Enter AGARYUS running through the central gate, but not in a straight line.

Agaryus. [falling on his knees before the Queen] My Liege! I beg thee blame not the Dove! Mine is the blame, not the Princess’!

Molhyrta. [sceptical] Is this true? What say thou, dear Olarya?

Olarya. Lie can I not Milady, upon my first occurrence in the corridor…did I find Lord Agaryus here shouting incomprehensibly!

Molhyrta. [amused] So I-via the Eyes- noticed! Dear Kalyus! What punishment should I grant this foul, dim-witted debaucher?

[A disembodied, female voice is heard echoing across the corridor, but only ALLYRA, KALYUS and KLYFIXUS appear to notice, startled.]

Voice. If this man be dim-witted, let the Stars thy amusing blindness not cure, o Queen in wine livid!

Kalyus. [visibly shaken] I say that this man be forgiven and pardoned!

[Another voice, a male one this time, echoes, but this time perceived by MOLHYRTA as well]

Voice. A voice whispered parts of thy truth to two children, traitor of old! See them beware of thee, and as I am obliged to warn thee, hide thy machinations efficiently!

Allyra. Yes, Milady, please forgive this poor, drunken man for his foolish insolence!

Molhyrta. [slightly trembling] What say thou, dear Klyfixus?

Klyfixus. [scratching his chin, seemingly indifferent] I say that this debaucher be granted a parole- [heavy with sarcasm] and be assigned to our merciful Princess to perform household chores from time to time-a man of such a busy schedule need not be taken fully from his artistic and familial burdens and duties!

Molhyrta. [eyeing Allyra suspiciously] So be it, then. Off with thee! [AGARYUS bows clumsily as he rises, and leaves the corridor from the left gate]

As for the rest of you, to thy chambers at once! I did not deem this Corridor to be empty of servants and permanent inhabitants so that insanity shall run free! [without another word, she turns to leave. All but KLYFIXUS depart from the right gate.]

Molhyrta. [suddenly turning her back, now facing the audience. She is holding a chalice, now empty of wine; she looks at it] By the Heavenly Hosts! Did my faculties deceive me? Did this filthy liquid [she throws away the chalice in disgust] cast the ocean of my thoughts in tumult? I’d swear I heard the voice of my deceased cousin speak! Fates help me if it isn’t true! Fates help me more if it is true! Am I losing my mind, or am I truly doomed? Dear Sister! Is this true? Is it what you believe as well? Is it? Is it? Is it? [kneels and begins sobbing at the middle of the corridor]


Enter SYNPHICUS from the central gate, walking slowly, back bent, his gnarled cane rhythmically hitting the stage.

Molhyrta. [both hands covering her face, weakly] Who walks there? [more intently] Who dares enter the Corridor at this time of the night?

Synphicus. How many nightdays have you existed?

Molhyrta. [still kneeling, turning her head; intense] Answer my question, intruder! Who are you?

Synphicus. Were you watching whence I come from, second nature to thee should be to call me Sucihpnys. Yet the ocean of eternity strolls only in one direction in this tiny locality of Infinity. Synphicus you may call me, Queen. My question shall I answer truly too, for thee. By the Homeworld’s Calendar-

Molhyrta. [rising, pointing at him] –Speak not of the Homeworld, Stars bless thee, old man! Cry out not for the infinite blue forever lost! The immortal green which, as if transformed into a soul, joined the Sky, letting only poisonous weeds floating behind! Whisper not of the waterfalls chiming, of the wind rustling the dew, the tornado upsetting the waves where once we dwelled, free of the perils of drowning and poisoning! Speak not of-

Synphicus. [striking his cane three times] Speak not, of King Meyus’ hopes of returning to the cradle, reclaiming Old Earth? Speak not of how Meyus and Nayakal had perished upon their return? Eighteen thousand, five hundred and sixty nine Earth self-revolutions old thou art, yet as an infant’s your fear blooms; the doubt wise are thee to possess, misguided yet its blossoms and flawed its roots; for the fear of exposing love-

Molhyrta. Speak not of love before my eyes! Into Lesmonia’s Chamber shall thou-

Synphicus- Enough! Though the waves of fate reverberate as if stone would be thrown into this emerging pond’s centre, the humble deed I still undertake-though the Shadow exploit it will, this, my duty, I retain!- and utter I that thou art a pitiful, poor, frightened child, full of strings pulling your heart, hand, back and behind!

Molhyrta. [open-mouthed, in disbelief of such insolence] You shall-

Male Voice. An echo, a wisdom so distant, as of three generations removed, do I perceive! Yet the two mortal voices the pendulum ever-faster, in their presence, swing! Alas, what could be a thousand years, now I see reflected into this very year’s last, forbidding tears!

Molhyrta. [desperate] Meyus! Meyus!

Synphicus. Farewell for now! [lights dim, the sound of very intense, roaring wind, gradually subsiding as SYNPHICUS moves towards the central gate, his cane hitting the stage rhythmically; MOLHYRTA tries to move, but her frantic motions indicate she is locked into place; SYNPHICUS walks into the central gate, and the wind ceases]

Molhyrta. Guards! Guards! Seize him! Seize this man!

Enter KARHAL and ALTHAX running into the Corridor from the main gate.

Althax. Your Majesty! Art thou allright?

Molhyrta. [finally able to move, strokes her half-numbed neck, staring at them in disbelief] You dare disobey my orders? Whence are you coming from?

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