Welcome to Tales from Terramyr! Terramyr is the world I created, and where my books and stories come from. Here you may browse upcoming releases, musings of my sporadic and highly distracted mind, or see what I have been up to lately.
Sign up for email updates, and I will send you a free e-book!
Kelden looked at the ocean in front of him, trying
to guess how many hundreds of miles he had been transported by the demi-god’s
spell. How was he supposed to help his queen from such a remote place? Or was
this a trick, a practical joke played upon him by the demi-god? Had she saved
his life only to fling him out to the furthest reaches of the known seas and
watch him languish helplessly? Her final words to him came back to his mind.
She wanted him to solve the cube’s riddle. Kelden looked down to the magic box
and sighed. A lot of good solving the riddle would do if he could never return
to Queen Dalynn, or if Lisei had killed the queen along with the sorceress who
had attacked their ship in Lisei’s name.
“Icadion will give you your due, Lisei,” Kelden
mumbled. He picked himself off the beach and held the cube in his left hand. It
was far too large and bulky to put into his pockets. He would have to make a
bag for it somehow. He took in a breath and turned to survey the area around
himself. The island was large, extending northward for perhaps a mile before
rounding toward the east. The coastline to the south was twice as long, and
dotted with more rocks along the sand. The interior of the island was harder to
survey with a veritable wall of trees blocking his view from the beach. Bumps
far behind the tree line indicated possible mountains, and that told him there
might be a freshwater stream or pond. Knowing he would need to first find
shelter and sustenance, he decided to make his way for what he hoped was a mountain.
“Well, at least it’s a beautiful prison,” he
commented to himself. “I suppose she could have dropped me on a desolate rock
covered in gull droppings.”
Not wanting his boots to chafe and blister his
skin, he removed them and tied the laces together so he could hang them over
his left shoulder. He left his wool socks on for the small amount of protection
they would afford him, and trudged off through the sand toward the trees. As he
neared the forest, he heard the songs of birds. Birds were a good sign. If they
were here, it was because they had something to eat, and more importantly,
something to drink. The first sign of movement Kelden saw was a large, colorful
parrot with a beautiful red tail that extended two feet below its purple body.
Green markings brightened the wings. It cocked its head and looked at Kelden
with one large, dish-shaped eye which was set into a featherless head of white
skin. As Kelden neared, the large parrot turned its head to look at him with
the other eye.
If Kelden had a bow, he might have taken the bird
as his first prize, but since he had no weapons with him, he decided it would
be a futile waste of energy to try and catch such an animal at this point. He
pushed through the thickening underbrush, watching for signs of any other
animals. There were a few black and yellow birds, about the size of sparrows,
and a couple of green birds that resembled hawks peering down and watching him
“And how many of you are spies for Lisei, hm? Or
does she watch me with some sort of crystal ball?” Kelden looked up to the sky,
half expecting to see the demi-god floating there observing him.
He walked through the dense jungle for about an
hour, mumbling and grumbling about Lisei occasionally, before he finally came
to the base of the mountain he was searching for. Unfortunately, there was no
water anywhere to be seen. With a sigh and a hopeful glance up the slope, he
decided to ascend the mountain in the hopes of finding something along the way.
A great clap of thunder rumbled off in the
distance as a set of heavy clouds rolled in front of the sun, darkening the
forest around Kelden. For a moment, the exiled warrior wondered if his insults
over the last hour had finally brought Lisei to him.
“I’m not in the mood, Lisei,” Kelden muttered as
he turned his head skyward. He was only all too relieved when instead of Lisei,
rain appeared. Big, heavy drops tore their way through the tree canopy and
plopped all around him. He smiled and nodded his thanks. “I’ll take the rain,
but I’m still not praying to you,” he said as he quickly went to a nearby tree
that sported large, thick green leaves. He plucked off a leaf that was nearly
as long as his forearm, and wider than both of his hands put side-by-side. He
folded the leaf gently along the center and then tipped up the ends, forming a
bowl. He didn’t have any string or twine, or else he would have fashioned
several rain catchers from the leaves. Still, even with only the one he was
able to gather enough to drink and quench his thirst.
The rainstorm dissipated soon after, and the
clouds rolled away from the sun once more. Kelden continued his hike up the
mountain, careful to avoid a rather brightly colored viper hanging from a low
branch. He saw three of the snakes along his trek, the third crept up and took
one of the black and yellow birds by surprise right before Kelden’s eyes.
Kelden rubbed his hand where he had once been
bitten by a rock-jumper, a small, six inch long viper with a deadly bite. He
had no intention of repeating such an experience here and gave each snake he
found a wide berth.
Eventually, he reached the top of the mountain. It
was not a pointed peak as he had thought when he first spied the mountain from
the beach. Instead, there was a large area that went down again, like a bowl
cut out of the mountain, and then a slightly higher ridge off to the far side
of the mountain. The entire depression was surrounded by tall trees as lush as
the rest of the island, but here there was something that Kelden had not found
A small lake, fed by a short waterfall running
over the edge of the ridge on the far side of the lake.
Kelden went to the water and looked into its
depths, pleased to find that the liquid was clear and clean. “This will make
things a bit easier,” he commented. “With fresh water aplenty, I can make a
shelter up here and then go out for food.” Deciding first to reward himself for
finding the lake, he hiked around the edge of the water until he came to the
waterfall. He stuck out his hand and tested a bit of the water. It was fresh,
“When are you people going to learn?” a voice
called out from above.
Kelden backed away from the waterfall and looked
up. There stood a man, roughly Kelden’s height, though a bit thinner, wearing
ragged trousers and holding a sword in his left hand.
“I will not go back with you! Ever!” the man
Kelden put his hands in the air and continued
backing away. “You misunderstand, I am shipwrecked,” he explained. “I haven’t
come here by design.”
“This is my
island,” the man shouted as he leapt out over the edge and dove into the water.
He swam under the surface and came up on the edge of the lake some thirty yards
away, still holding his sword. He shook his head and then advanced toward
Kelden. “Who are you? What is your name? Where did you come from?”
“Easy, friend, I mean no harm.” Kelden lifted his
tunic to show that he wasn’t hiding any knives. “I am unarmed. I came up here
hoping to find fresh water, that’s all. I don’t wish to fight you.”
“Ah, then you’re a coward eh? Like the last one
they sent to take me back.”
“I really don’t know what you’re talking about,”
“How did you find my island?” the man pressed.
Kelden sighed. There was no way this half-crazed
hermit was going to believe that Lisei had sent him here. Still, he wasn’t good
at making up lies, so he stuck with the half-truth. “I told you, I was
“And where were you headed?” the man said.
“I was on my way to be exiled in Jibbam,” Kelden
“Jibbam eh?” the man echoed. “Then it is lucky you
came here first. Jibbam is not as pleasant, though it does have a fair lot more
women there than here.”
“There are women here?” Kelden asked, surprised to
hear that anyone else was on the island.
“Of course not you dunderhead, what’s the matter,
you drown your wit while swimming to shore?”
Kelden frowned. “Just that you said…” Kelden
sighed. “Never mind. It isn’t important.”
“What’s that in your hand?” the man asked as he
came closer, still pointing his sword at Kelden.
Kelden had almost forgotten about the cube in his
hand. “It’s something that may help me return home,” he said. “If I can figure
out how to open it.”
“A magic box?” the man mused. “I have seen one
like it before, but not for a long time.”
Kelden held up the cube and opened his fingers so
the man could get a better look at it. “If you know how to open it—”
The islander cut him off. “Nothin doin! I don’t
play with magic boxes. That’s what got me stuck out here in the first place. I
found a box like that, back in the mountains. Next thing I knew I had assassins
and thieves chasing me. No! You take that thing and stuff it up your backside
for all I care.”
Kelden bristled at that, but there wasn’t much he
was going to say to a half-crazy man holding a sword on him. He stuffed the
cube into one of his boots hanging over his shoulder. “What was inside your
box?” he asked.
The man shook his head. “I never opened it. Threw
it out in the sea when I came here.” The man moved in a couple steps closer.
“Now, tell me exactly how you got here. I didn’t see a ship. I didn’t see a
rowboat. I didn’t even see a raft or a log. I watch the sea every day.” He
brought the point of the sword dangerously close to Kelden’s neck.
Kelden, being no stranger to deadly situations,
nodded his head and figured perhaps the man was just crazy enough that he might
believe the story about Lisei. However, at the same time, Kelden started to
shift his weight and devise a strategy to fight the man. He’d likely get cut if
it came to violence, but he was reasonably sure he could overpower and out
maneuver the thin islander. “I’m not sure if you know of the two kingdoms,
Shausmat and Zinferth, on the main continent to the west, but they were at war.
The queen of Zinferth hired me as her agent. When we lost the war, I was
sentenced to death, but through a series of fortunate events found myself on
board a ship with my queen and a few other trusted comrades. We were headed to
Jibbam for exile.” Kelden shifted his weight to his back leg. He wasn’t sure
the man was buying his story, and he wanted to be ready to lunge to the side at
a moment’s notice if needed. “There was a battle at sea with a powerful
sorceress of some sort.”
“You have seen magic?” the man asked breathlessly.
“Are you certain?”
Kelden nodded. “It turns out the Mage Wars did not,
in fact, eradicate all magic users.”
The man nodded slightly. “Was the sorceress very
“Quite,” Kelden said frankly. “She did such a fine
job impersonating Lisei, the demi-god of lightning and storms, that Lisei
herself showed up to put an end to her.”
“And where were you during all of this?” the man
“I was fighting the sorceress, trying to protect
“Why did she care about the queen?” the man
Kelden shrugged. “The sorceress said she wanted
something the queen had, but I am not certain that is true.”
“Why doubt her?”
“Because Lisei said that this particular sorceress
had been terrorizing the seas lately, destroying several ships and their crews.
They can’t both be telling the truth.”
“So you choose to believe the real Lisei?” the man
Kelden shrugged again. “Lisei pulled me from the
ocean after the imposter sent me overboard with a spell. She saved my life.
Then, she sent me here, transporting me most of the way through the air on a
small cloud. I was dropped in the shallow waters though, so I did have to swim
the last bit myself.”
“And the cube?” the man asked as he looked to the
boot dangling from Kelden’s shoulder.
“She hurled it after me, I suppose. For it landed
on the beach right next to me while I was catching my breath.”
“And you expect me to believe all of that is
true?” the man asked.
Kelden studied the man coolly. The time for
violence was almost upon him, and yet, he hesitated. There was something in the
man’s voice that told Kelden he wasn’t in as much danger as it seemed. “You
asked for the truth; what you believe is up to you, but that is what happened.
Now I am here, sharing an island with you and trying to figure out how to leave
and get back to my queen.”
“A man will come who destroys shadows and stands
loyal…” The man’s words were soft and he took a half step back.
“What did you say?” Kelden asked.
The man shook his head and waved off Kelden's question. “Come, I think there is something you need to
see,” the man said. He turned and sheathed his sword. Kelden stood there
confused, watching the man scurry back along the shore. After the man realized
he wasn’t being followed, he turned and waved his hand frantically. “Well come
on,” he said. “Don’t just stand there like an idiot. Move your feet. I want to
show you something.”
“What’s your name?” Kelden asked, trying to gain
some sort of control over the conversation.
“Don’t remember,” the man said quickly. “Besides,
no one to talk to out here anyway, so who cares. Now come on. If the tide
changes before we get there, I won’t be able to show it to you. Hurry up!”
Really, all you need to know about this wonderful tale is encapsulated by the cover. (Thank you, Bob Kehl for the great work!) We have all read the same kind of story many times. A lonely farm boy with seemingly nothing to offer is found by a great and powerful wizard, teams up with an elf or a dwarf (or both) and goes off to save the world from an uber bad guy who wants to conquer the whole planet/realm/kingdom/universe...
Well, this is exactly like that-- except it's better. Simplin the Wise is the great wizard in this book, and he is on his way to find the Epic Farm Boy prophesied of as the savior of Deltynne. Simplin is the best wizard for the job too, because he got all A's during his training at the College of Spells-n-Stuff. (Well, except for frog-transmutation, but really, who uses that spell anymore right?)
After finding the Epic Farm Boy destined to save the world, there are adventures aplenty as somehow the villain discovers the boy at the same time Simplin the Wise does. They run from giant spiders, fight nasty demons, and do lots of walking through epic landscapes that look great in your head, but probably would look better on screen if filmed in the mountains of New Zealand with a handful of A-list actors and super awesome effects... but I digress.
Throughout the tale you will laugh, and possibly dance on the table like the dwarf on the cover, as you see Simplin the Wise get his gardening advice from a sage by the name of Yew Toob, an accident with giant spiders leads to Shelob's creation, Simplin the Wise gets into an argument with the author about plot details, you witness a fun cameo by Dr. When -- the not-so-famous cousin of another Dr. who uses a blue box instead of a red one... and much, much more!
Kelden sipped at the cup of fresh water in his
hands and watched the sunrise cast its rays over the water. The ship moved
gently up and down, cutting through the waves easily and stirring up the smell
of salt. They had been at sea for nearly a week, and still the island country
of Jibbam was at least another day away.
The queen seemed in good spirits. She and Karmt,
her most trusted advisor, were still working on the puzzle of the cube, some
sort of ancient artifact said to hold proof pointing to the rightful heir of
King Dailex’s lost empire. Queen Dalynn claimed to be the sole surviving member
of that lineage, but neither she nor Karmt knew precisely how to open the cube.
Kelden was still surprised that the Shausmatian captain who had overseen the capture
and occupation of Kobhir had let them keep it. Kelden could only speculate as
to Captain Vald’s motives, but there had been other signs of mercy as well. When
Sir Alexander had been taken prisoner in battle defending Kobhir, it was
Captain Vald who had personally set him free and allowed him to return to Queen
Dalynn’s service. Kelden knew it was likely too much to hope for, but the
thought crossed his mind that perhaps Vald sympathized with them, and wanted
them to use the cube to restore Queen Dalynn to the throne. It would have been
very easy to execute the royal family and all her advisors, but instead, they
were only exiled.
However, if Karmt was correct about the artifact,
then the contents inside the cube would prove that Queen Dalynn was not only
the rightful ruler of Zinferth, but the true and living heiress to the old
empire that had broken apart some five hundred years earlier after the Mage
Wars. In the centuries following King Dailex’s death, loyal families and
factions persisted in both of the newer kingdoms that up until Kobhir’s
conquering had split the continent. If Queen Dalynn could prove herself the
rightful heir now, then perhaps those factions would rise up, and even if the
old empire was not reformed, then perhaps Zinferth would be able to come out
from under Shausmatian occupation.
Not that Kelden knew what to do with the
information even if they could break the magic that sealed the cube. They were on
their way to Jibbam, a large island nation several hundred miles away from the
coasts of Kelden’s homeland. As far as he knew, there were no sympathizers
there. None of the islanders would go out of their way to help a dethroned
queen. He doubted a small cube, or anything inside of it, would change that
fact. Kelden sighed, wondering if Vald was not only merciful, but also
vindictive enough to send them off with the cube, knowing full well that
holding it in their hands would serve only to taunt them with what they could
Kelden drank the last of his water and pressed
away from the rail overlooking the waters just as a great shadow cast itself
over the area.
“Storm moving in!” a sailor shouted in the crow’s
“Kelden, you had best go down below and check on
your charges,” Kitter said as he moved around the deck.
“Where’d the storm come from?” Kelden asked. “The
skies were clear all morning.”
Kitter, the ship’s second in command shrugged his
shoulder. “I’m not fer knowin’ but you best get below. Vald gave us strict
orders to ensure you all made the journey to Jibbam safely and I don’t want to upset the man.”
Kelden understood. Still, just for a bit of fun,
he handed Kitter his empty cup. “Thanks for the drink.”
“Bah!” Kitter said as he tossed the cup to the
deck. “Arrogant dog,” he muttered to Kelden’s back.
That put a smile on the man’s face. It wasn’t that
Kitter was a bad man. In fact, Kitter had been the one to allow Kelden some
amount of freedom on the deck rather than confine him to a solitary cell in the
hold. Still, Kitter was a Shausmatian sailor, and that made him the enemy, no
matter how cordial he might be on this journey. Kelden had ever been a man
sworn to duty, and even though his queen sat below deck on her way to exile and
his homeland now flew the enemy’s flags, he still had a job to do. He would
strike back at Shausmat any way he could, even if it was just by insulting
As he made his way toward the door leading below,
the ship pitched sharply and he stumbled toward a large crate. He managed to
catch himself on the wooden box, but just barely. He then held tight as the
ship tilted the other way. A fierce, chilling wind rolled in, bringing clouds
as black as night to cover the seas.
“This is no storm,” Kelden said to himself.
As if in answer to his words, a great voice
rumbled overhead as three flashes of lightning coursed through the black cloud.
“I am the goddess Lisei, and you have trespassed
Kelden looked up as the cloud parted and a chariot
of white and gold, pulled by two stallions made of fire, came toward the ship. Kelden
screwed up his face and then glanced to the waters. He was not one of Lisei’s
followers, but he was familiar enough with the pantheon of demigods which had
taken control of Terramyr to know that she was the patron of storms and
lightning. It seemed strange to him that she should come so far out to sea.
Moreover, how had anyone here trespassed against her?
“You have taken something that belongs to me!”
“We have angered her, we must pray for mercy!” one
of the sailors shouted. He dropped to his knees and began praying vocally. A
few of the others did likewise, but most of the men turned to Kitter for
A streak of lightning tore through the air and cut
the mast just under the crow’s nest. Kelden watched helplessly as the sailor who
had been on duty there tumbled to the deck, breaking his neck as he landed on
his head and the platform fell on top of him.
“Battle stations!” Kitter roared.
Kelden glanced from the chariot to Kitter and then
back to the angry Lisei. He had fought many battles wherein the odds had not
been in his favor, but this was different. Much different. “Icadion, give me
strength,” he prayed quietly. He then turned to Kitter. “Give me a weapon!” he
shouted as a torrent of rain fell upon them.
Kitter dismissed the notion with a wave as other
sailors rushed about with large crossbows in their hands. The sailors dropped
to their knees to steady their aim and then fired at the goddess. Lisei laughed
as the crossbow bolts were consumed by a series of lightning strikes emanating
from her hand. A second later, a massive bolt of white lightning tore through
three sailors, leaving only their smoldering corpses upon the deck.
“There is a woman aboard this ship that has something
of mine! Give her to me for punishment and I will let you all live.”
Kelden cocked his head at those words. Could Lisei
be after the cube? If she was, then how had a merchant come by such an artifact
in the first place? After all, Karmt had purchased the cube from another sailor
and sent Kelden after it. Whatever the origin of the cube, Kelden couldn’t let
Lisei take Queen Dalynn. So, he did the only thing he knew how to do. He rushed
to the nearest fallen sailor and went for the weapons. He seized the crossbow
first, finished loading it with a new bolt and spanning it. He then looked up
and took aim just as Lisei turned her chariot to the side and knocked several
other sailors to the deck with a gust of wind. He fired. The bolt went up and
struck Lisei’s left shoulder.
“You dare fight against a goddess?” Lisei shouted
as she turned around once more and fired a bolt of lightning at Kelden.
The agile warrior rolled out of the way as the
sizzling lightning tore through the deck and splintered several boards. “You’re
a demi-god,” Kelden snarled. “You’re not a full goddess.” He spanned the
crossbow once more and then fired as quickly as he could. This time, an
invisible barrier shielded Lisei from the bolt. It ricocheted out toward the
sea as the demi-god laughed.
She leapt from her chariot and pulled a flaming
“Charge, men!” Kitter shouted.
“No, wait!” Kelden called out, but no one was
listening to him. A streak of lightning snaked through the air with the most
deafening crash of thunder Kelden had ever heard. Bodies hit the deck, some
split in half, others with a sizeable hole in their chests. Then the flaming whip
cracked in the air and Kitter grunted as it wrapped around his neck. Kelden
watched as Lisei yanked the man to the deck and strangled him in an instant.
The door to the lower decks flew open and three
men came out ready for a fight. Each of them had their glaive-bow, a hardy
contraption that fused a small, but powerful, crossbow onto a glaive, firing
the bolt out through a groove that would allow them to fire and charge at the
same time. They fired their weapons and moved in. Lisei snapped one of the glaive-bows
in half with her whip, blasted one of the other warriors with lightning, and
dodged the third by riding an air current toward the port side of the ship.
Fortunately, that put her within just a few yards of Kelden’s current position.
Kelden reached out for a cutlass and ran at Lisei
from behind. His feet fell silently and quickly upon the deck. The blade came
up and slashed at Lisei’s back. A copious amount of blood flew out over the
deck, mingling with the rain water that was pooling there.
Lisei screamed and wheeled around with her whip.
Kelden dodged the weapon, but was struck by an invisible force. He landed on
his back and slid across the deck until his body slammed up against the railing
in front of the prow. He struggled to his feet as the men with the glaive-bows
advanced on Lisei. The demi-god lifted a hand and threw the men fifty yards out
to sea without taking her eyes off of Kelden.
“Pathetic mortal,” she said. “You thought you
could beat me?”
Kelden smiled. “Put down the magic and let’s see
how you fare then,” he said.
Lisei called four bolts of lightning from the sky
and gathered them in her right hand. They condensed into a crackling, quaking
ball of violent energy as she stepped toward him. “You are going to die
slowly,” she said.
“And yet, the gods will welcome me,” Kelden fired
back. “What will they do when your dishonorable existence is finished?”
Lisei raised her hand to her lips as if blowing a
kiss. The ball streaked through the air faster than Kelden could see. There was
a burning pain in his chest, followed immediately by a force that launched him
out from the ship. He flew through the air so quickly that it seemed as though
the rain were falling sideways instead of downward. His body skipped upon the
surface twice and then he hit what felt like a wall of liquid that slowly
pulled him in, and then down. As the water engulfed him, he tried to summon the
strength to stay above the surface, but the spell had sapped him of his vigor,
and it was a losing fight.
Just then, a hand reached down and lifted him from
Kelden looked up to see a beautiful woman with
silver hair and violet eyes staring down at him. At first, he thought it might
be Osei, the demi-god of the ocean come to chase Lisei away from his domain,
but Osei was a man, not a woman. His next thought was that Lisei had rushed out
to keep her word, and save him a few times while torturing him until he was
finally too weak to keep alive, but this woman was not the same as the one who
had sent him overboard. The curves of her body and the tightness of her skin
upon her face spoke of youth, but there was a fire behind those purple eyes
that suggested a great amount of wisdom. More than that, there was a crackling,
tangible thickness to the air around her. The other woman had power to be sure,
but this one seemed to have more. Much, much more.
“You would stand and fight a demi-god?” she asked
in a subtle, yet thunderous voice. Her calm demeanor while holding Kelden so
close convinced Kelden that he was right. She was vastly stronger than the
other, else she would not be so stoic while holding a potential enemy within
Kelden looked down as he continued to rise until
he stood upon a thin layer of cloud with the woman. Water ran off of him and a
warm wind caressed his body. He looked up to her, but found it hard to match
her gaze. “I will not bend the knee to any who have usurped Icadion’s throne. Demi-gods
are not gods. They stole power from Terramyr by draining the very essence of
the world and stealing it for themselves. Icadion, and he alone, is the
rightful ruler of Terramyr.” He spoke reverently, and yet firmly.
“Usurpers…” the woman smiled faintly and let go of
Kelden’s hand. To his amazement, he remained standing on the cloud that was now
a few feet above the water. “Yes, I suppose that is as correct a title as
demi-god,” she said. She then turned and narrowed her keen eyes on the battle
still raging on the ship. “I am not like the others,” she commented. “I did not
seek the power for myself. I sought the World Seed as one who might remain as a
buffer between those who abuse power, and those who would otherwise be
As the woman spoke, Kelden saw the disdain in her
eyes while she watched the battle. In that instant, he knew the truth of it
all. “You are Lisei,” Kelden said as he watched her. He then looked to the
ship. “My queen is on that ship, along with other good men. If you did indeed
take power from the World Seed to stand as a buffer, then won’t you help them?”
“Are you now praying to a demi-god?” Lisei asked
as the faintest hint of a smile tugged at the right corner of her mouth.
“Surely you wouldn’t let an imposter slay innocent
people in your name if you use power the way you claim,” Kelden reasoned.
The rain stopped then, suspended in mid air as the
wind ceased its relentless blowing and the whole world stood still. “This
particular imposter is more deserving of the title, usurper,” she said. “Only a
few days ago, one of the demi-gods was slain by a mortal. Since then, others
have risen up to challenge several demi-gods. I prefer to remain close to my
home, but it has come to my attention that this woman has terrorized these seas
for the last week. In my name she has sunk twenty vessels, and slain numerous
sailors.” Lisei turned back to Kelden and put a finger to his chest. “No, I
will not let this stand. She has called to me in a way that cannot go
unanswered. But as for you, you have another path to travel for now, one that I
must help along, lest the fates be damaged beyond repair.” A bright, warm spark
transferred from her finger to him and he felt a well of strength fill his
body. Lisei’s purple eyes became white as snow, and her hair floated out behind
her as the smell of static electricity built up around them. “Perhaps we shall
meet again, Kelden Ferryl,” she spoke.
Before he could ask how she knew his name, the
cloud they stood upon broke in two and he was whisked away at a blinding speed.
At first he thought he was being sent back to the battle to aid his queen, but
as the moments passed and the rain began to fall once again, he realized that
he was flying out to the east, toward the vast emptiness of the sea.
A white flash ripped through the sky and the black
storm cloud was rent to pieces. Lightning flurried around the ship. The seas
calmed and a massive bolt of lightning came not from the sky, but from the real
Lisei. There was an explosion, and the ship was hidden from view by a massive
cloud of smoke. Kelden was certain that the imposter who had assaulted the ship
had been destroyed, but there was no way of knowing whether Lisei had been
careful in exacting her vengeance, or if the ship, and all the remaining
survivors upon it, had been consumed by the lightning as well.
Kelden flew for several minutes over the waters
below until a large island came into view on the horizon. At first he saw only
a pair of green mountains, but as he hurtled toward it, palm trees and the
white sands of the beach came into focus. The cloud slowed somewhat and as he
came within fifty yards of the beach, it vanished from beneath him. He fell and
crashed into the shallow water, flailing his arms and legs in an attempt to
stop himself from churning uncontrollably in the sea. When he finally righted
himself, he swam up to the surface and spat out a bit of salt water. He aimed
himself for the sand and swam. It took him some time to drag his muscular frame
through the water, but with the help of the added strength from Lisei, he made
it to the beach. When he reached the sand he rolled onto his back and caught
After a few moments, he sat up and stared back out
at the sea. What was he to do now? His friend Yeoj, a fellow agent of the queen’s,
had freed him from execution for the sole purpose of keeping Queen Dalynn safe,
and now he had failed. He knew there wasn’t much he could do against a
demi-god, or a sorceress impersonating one for that matter, but he couldn’t
shake the sense of failure from his heart.
A terrible thunder ripped the peaceful air in the
Kelden narrowed his eyes and saw a golden flash in
the distance. A great gust of wind churned the surface of the waters toward
him, splattering him with sea-spray and then there was a heavy thabump in the sand next to him. He
looked down and saw the cube half buried in the sand. He reached out for it and
took it into his hand. As he did so, the sand fell from its surface and the
metal shone brightly. A warmth came into Kelden’s heart once more, the same as
had happened when Lisei had sent that spark into him.
work to do, Kelden. Go and solve the cube’s riddle. Do well, and perhaps we
shall meet again.
The voice wasn’t audible, it was in Kelden’s mind,
and still he knew it was Lisei.
He didn’t much like the idea of working for a
demi-god, so he chose to convince himself that she was working with him. He
picked himself up from the beach and turned to face the dense forest behind
him. He wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do, or how he was ever going to
leave this island, but the cube gave him hope. Perhaps Lisei had spared Queen
Dalynn after all.