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I've been watching you for several minutes. Next time, don't splash so much. Did you really believe you could elude a god?
~ Cerinthus to Meagan and Jesse
This girl is the author of lies! I remember her now. She has been an enemy of God from her childhood. A witch! A prophetess of darkness! I have personally witnessed the destruction caused by her black arts. It is because of demonesses like her that Paul proclaimed his doctrine that women should keep silent in the churches.
~ Cerinthus after hearing Meagan's claims against him

Cerinthus is one of the secondary antagonists of Chris Heimerdinger's 1998 novel The Lost Scrolls, and a major antagonist in its follow-up The Golden Crown. He is a high-ranking member of the Sons of the Elect and is claimed to be the son of Simon Magus.

The Lost Scrolls

Cerinthus is first introduced when Meagan Sorenson and Jesse are being held in the catacombs of the Sons of the Elects' villa. Simon Magus and Cerinthus enter the catacombs while Saturninus is interrogating Meagan about the knowledge and power she claims to possess. Simon introduces Meagan to Cerinthus, and they present her with the modern-day appliances that the Sons of the Elect had stolen from her and Harry Hawkins. Meagan looks over the appliances and finds that Cerinthus had tampered with some of them and rendered them useless. Embarrassed, Cerinthus suggests that Meagan use her so-called sorcery to fix them. Meagan shrugs him off and goes over the various appliances, providing made-up explanations for their uses.

Simon then orders Meagan to reassemble the damaged items for Cerinthus. However, Meagan insists on doing it for Saturninus instead. Cerinthus tries to convince Meagan of his own sorcery, only for Meagan to reiterate her claims of knowing the future. Megan asks Cerinthus questions about what will happen to Rome as history goes on in order to prove herself. Cerinthus gets many of the answers wrong, and is bewildered by Meagan spouting the amount of information that she does. Cerinthus, Simon, and Menander conclude that Meagan is a false prophetess and leave her to her quarters.

Later, when Meagan and Jesse figure out a way to escape the catacombs, Cerinthus is the first to catch up with them. Jesse tries to throw a lantern at Cerinthus, but he dodges it, and the lantern starts a fire. Cerinthus grabs Meagan, hoping to stop her, but Meagan claws him with her fingernails. Meagan and Jesse escape while the palace of the Sons of the Elect goes up in flames.

Cerinthus, along with the rest of the Sons of the Elect, are able to evacuate their burning palace and gather at Mount Gerizim. They make camp there, planning to wait for Harry Hawkins to bring them the Scroll of Knowledge. After recapturing Meagan and Jesse, the Sons of the Elect prepare for the ritual where they kill themselves and go to heaven with the knowledge they receive from the Scroll of Knowledge. Cerinthus and Menander bring Meagan before Simon to watch him kill Saturninus for insubordination. After Saturninus' death, Harry Hawkins shows up with Gidgiddonihah and Garth Plimpton. He gives the Scroll of Knowledge to Simon and demands Meagan's and Jesse's release, only for Simon to go back on his promise and tie up Harry, Garth, and Gidgiddonihah.

When the Roman soldiers led by Apollus start to set fire to the mountain, the Sons of the Elect start their ritual. Cerinthus brings a cup of poison to Simon, only for Harry to break free of his bonds and knock it out of Simon's hands. Cerinthus tries to seize Harry, but Garth comes in his way and stops him. Right then, the Roman soliders ride into the Sons of the Elect's camp and attack them. Unbeknownst to the heroes, Cerinthus manages to slip away as his comrades, along with Simon Magus, are killed by the flames and swords.

The Golden Crown

Near the beginning of the book, Cerinthus witnesses Harry Hawkins and Gidgiddonihah accosted by the gladiator Problius, with a group of Roman soldiers coming in to break up the fight. Later, when Meagan and Garth come looking for them, Cerinthus tells them that Harry and Gidgiddonihah were taken by the Romans to a slave camp. When Meagan refuses to believe him, Cerinthus insists that he's given up on his corrupt ways of the Sons of the Elect and is now looking to repent of his sins. Meagan and Garth decide to act on Cerinthus' advice and get Apollus' help in liberating Harry and Gidgiddonihah from the slave camp.

Years later, Cerinthus is living in Ephesus, serving a role as a false prophet who decieves the people. He is giving a speech to a gathering of people when Meagan and Apollus, along with Jim Hawkins, Sabrina Sorenson, Steffanie Hawkins, and the Apostle John come. Meagan recognizes Cerinthus from the battle at Mount Gerizim and tells the crowd that he's a fraud. Cerinthus shoots down her and Apollus' claims, saying that, by the laws of God, they need three witnesses to confirm their story. Right at that moment, Harry, Jesse, and Mary come onto the scene and vouch for Meagan. As Harry, Mary, and Jesse reunite with Meagan, Apollus, Jim, Sabrina, Steffanie, and John, Cerinthus leaves.

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