The ground beneath their feet shuddered as Morde stood and stretched and they ran. Callindra had thought herself dead, but once restored she knew only terror. Cronos was still trying to incant a spell, but she and Vilhylm took him by the arms and dragged him bodily from the chamber and Morde’s laughter followed them as they fled.
Outside the remains of the Keep, all the Abyssal spawn were gathered rank upon rank. Overhead the great black scaled dragon they had seen over Starvale slowly circled, emerald green vapor flowing from its fanged jaws.
“Gods and demons.” Callindra breathed, “How are we going to face this?”
“Together.” Vilhylm and Cronos said at the same time.
Callindra looked around, trying to find an escape and saw a simple Greatsword thrust into the ground. The moment she saw the blade she knew it.
“Master!” She said, grabbing the hilt. As she touched it, Callindra could feel Glarian’s presence.
“Callindra. You need to break the sword.” Glarian said, his voice perfectly calm.
“If I break your sword won’t it set your magic loose?” She asked, “Won’t it make you unable to control it?”
“You’re half right.” He said, “Now break it fool girl, before it’s too late.”
Callindra grabbed his sword with both hands and slammed it into a boulder. The sword sliced cleanly through the stone without showing a single mark on its flawless edge. Stabbing it into the ground again, she drew her own sword. Running her hand down Shadowsliver, she released a spell, her hand vibrating in the same way Beliach’s had. She flicked the flat of her master’s blade and whispered “Shatter.” It exploded into a cloud of steel shards.
Glarian stepped out of the explosion of metal with a grin on his narrow face and the hilt of his sword in his hand. “You never do anything halfway apprentice.”
The dragon roared and Glarian laughed. “Time for me to take care of this.” He waved the hilt of his sword and the fragments of metal reformed into a perfect blade.
“How did you do that?” Callindra asked, her own sword trembling in her hand.
“I need your help.” Glarian said, “I need you to get your siblings out of here while mine handle these spawn of the abyss.”
“No.” She said through clenched teeth. “I’m not leaving your side. Not ever again. If I’m not good enough to fight with you then I’ll die here.”
“You need to stay close then.” He said tersely. “I cannot watch out for you once the real fighting begins and I would feel your loss more keenly than the stab of a blade to the gut.”
“Cronos! Vilhylm! Stay with me!” She cried, watching as her Master wrought a spell, cutting a rent in the air with his huge sword.
A beautiful woman stepped lightly through the portal, carrying a gourd and wearing a gown made from coral. A man with hair and beard made of fire walked beside her, eyes blazing like the sun. They surveyed the scene with implacable faces.
“Our cousin has perished at the hands of the cursed one.” The woman said, her voice like the crash of waves on a cliff.
“He must be chastised for his impudence.” The man said, a forest fire crackling behind his words.
“Vandis. Ild. Glad you could join us.” Glarian said, wiping sweat from his brow.
“Luftin, the ilk of the cursed one seems frisky.” Ild said with a harsh laugh, “I believe we should join the dance.” Flames licked out from his left hand and burned the entire first rank of Abyssal creatures to ashes.
“Things are always interesting when you call us brother.” Vandis said, waving a hand and sending a scattering of water that turned to scalding steam as it passed through Ild’s flames and scoured the flesh from the bones of the next rank of monsters.
Callindra stared in disbelief at the gods who stood before her, calling her Master their brother. “Luftin?” She whispered, “You’re Luftin? You’re a bloody GOD?”
“You two think too small.” Luftin said, ignoring Callindra’s outburst. “These tiny ones are hardly worth the effort.” He raised his sword above his head, spinning it in a circle and a cyclone burst from the cloud covered sky, descending down on the vast black shape of the dragon that circled above. “I have a mind to pick a fight with an old enemy.”
Thanks for following along, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Sorry for the cliff hanger… but hopefully it’ll make you itch to read the next book! I’m 34 pages into Book 3; tentatively titled “A Fall of Stars” and I’ll begin posting more of this series as soon as I have the damn thing done! See ya next time Space Cowboy,