Preview of The Convergence
Jagged rubble scattered the small glen that surrounded her tower keeping the Arbin forest at bay in a wide circle. An unnatural summer heat had baked the grass to a dry, crisp yellow and left the trees brittle. The base of her tower, her home, stood like a splintered stump of a giant felled tree and with her body fractured and torn, Lylith crawled behind a large cracked boulder to hide. The dark of the morning was black and deep, her eyes could barely pick out her opponent from the shadows. Her heart trembling weakly in her chest, she no longer felt the tears that traced scars of clean skin through the gritty layer of blood and dirt that caked her delicate face. Her mind was aching from forcing so many volatile spells out of her, scraping her memory for all the most deadly conjurations that she had ever read, but still the creature stalked her.
Its majiks were keen and lethal, its talons sharp and quick. Subduing it or capturing it seemed very much out of the scheme of things at this moment. This battle would only end in death, either its or hers.
Struggling to catch her breath, Lylith tried her best to not make a sound. Perhaps the beast would not find her, and she would be able to regain her strength, her courage to face it once more,…or the courage to flee.
A click of falling stone behind her. She froze, the terror icing her veins as she looked up atop the boulder at her back.
Black claws curled over the edge of the rock, silhouetted by the starry sky. A pale, leering grin loomed above her. Lylith felt her breath stop in a squeak.
How had it escaped? Her mind screamed, and if she couldn’t kill it before, what was she going to do now?
SIX MONTHS EARLIER, The Island Of Daie.
The lush vegetation of summer on Daie was long gone, faded to a dismal gray as the cold northern winds of Glacia swept over the beaches and up the black, bare arms of the ancient volcanic spouts bringing winter to the fractured Kingdom as it drifted about the Western Sea.
King Nimor hid inside his palace at Iannad staring into the long chill shadows and seeing the movement of skeletal hands reaching out for him and hearing the unworldly moans of specters that were not really there. His citizens had peeked out of their doors months ago, hesitantly emerging to find their city quiet and safe for the business of living to resume after the madness and horror that had occurred during the Festival of Life last spring. The humans and dravas did find that their lives, though saved from war or death, were not unchanged. As the search for the elven traitors that the king had declared had stolen the Dawnstone only turned up two culprits, the crown had intensified its new policy of arresting and interrogating all elves found, which resulted in the slaves within the kingdom of Daie risking life and limb to leave and join the rebel fae of Anwana, who had vowed to gain freedom for all her kin. The cities, once proudly lounging in the tropical sun of complacency were now tucked deep in snowy pockets of jungle like stone and wood citadels of fear. Tales of undead armies of elves that haunted the woods kept many from seeking out the truth of these rumors and they simply looked to their powerless king for hope. His soldiers hunted the runaways deep into the trees with trembling spear and darting eyes, for few that wander out of the city walls ever return to them. The interrupted rebellion that fateful night under Unara’s spring Face was not a total failure; and the elven warriors hidden high in their abandoned mines and treetops smiled down sardonically at the fearful humans that used to be called their masters.
The crown of Nimor was never to sit so easily upon his head again. He was seen as weak. A pompous failure and he knew one of those responsible for this lay within his clutches.
It had been a mild winter compared to most he had suffered through in his life, yet for Keinigan this winter had proven to be the bleakest and harshest because of his torments. As far as his mental reckoning could guess, it was the last week of the month of Dae’Rheas. Spring was on the horizon and the new year was about to begin with the Festival of Ennaeg, an ancient Faerl celebration to call the rebirth of nature as winter faded to spring. Thinking on the festivals of his childhood brought a sharp ache to Keinigan’s heart as he looked about the earthen walls confining him. The isle of Daie was drifting north at a pace so slow that it was practically imperceptible to the naked eye; but the floating land mass took the same route every year, following the currents of the wide Western Sea. The peoples of Daie lived with the reality of the island’s two year trek dictating the seasons as it passed the north pole one winter and the southern pole the next, but the imprisoned faerlin prayed to any and all gods that he had ever heard of that he would not still be suffering in this dismal prison cell until the island reached its southern most point.
And it seems that his prayers had been answered.