Hello, everyone. I try to put a blog post up everyday, but today I find myself short on time. I’m trying to format Cayneian properly for Createspace. So, here’s a chapter from Cayneian.
The pattering of rain upon the Abbey’s roof combined with crackling fires gave the church an oppressive air. Dysart stood, feet spread, looking at Erimte’. He placed the claymore onto his back. She smiled. Her eyes turned into little crescents the way his grandfather’s used to; though it happened far less after Lysander’s death.
“Come, sit with me a moment,” she said.
“I must return to Golvundehr and finish what I started,” he answered curtly.
“Dysart…you cannot face Salamandrus alone,” Erimte’ persuaded.
“I don’t have time to waste,” he growled back.
“Then I’ll follow you,” she replied, coming to her feet.
“You can’t keep up,” Dysart snarled.
“Please, then,” she begged. “A moment of your time. You need the rest.”
He wiped his face then heaved a sigh. Glancing at his hand, he realized his face felt foreign to the touch. With a wipe of the hand over his armor, he smeared more Vespeel blood.
“A moment,” he agreed.
She smiled again before patting the pew where she took a seat. He stormed over and joined her. A scent wafted from her. Lilac. He grew leery of the situation, wondering if Salamandrus was tricking him with striking images, but she interrupted his thoughts.
“Do you know from where Salamandrus came?”
He shook his head slowly. The look of indifference on his face prompted her to touch his hand. He pulled it away.
“He is a beast created from the schism of dark and light. Like his brother, he is born of flame, but unlike Ifritus, who still resides in the flame, Salamandrus has tricked men, and with their souls, he utilized their power to leave the flame,” she explained.
Her words were inconsequential to Dysart, if interesting. Hmm, she is aware of both Salamandrus and Ifritus. Perhaps…he allowed his rumination to end.
“Salamandrus fled the flame, and guided by the voice of prayer-the voice of the foolish king and his servants-he came to Volgunther,” Erimte’ continued. “For a time, those who entertained the ritual of Sang Daemanus ruled over the island, and those who prayed to Venekihr, the star mother, were slain.
“Like the ritual of Sang Daemanus, the teachings of Venekihr were passed down to those willing to learn. Of those willing to learn, Etmire came to be the most prominent student, and eventually she ascended as one of Venekihr’s valkyries.”
“How do I know nothing of this?” a furrow creased Dysart’s brow as he asked.
“You are a man, and this was long, long ago,” she replied with another smile. “So, Etmire watched from on high as her beloved home changed. During the tumultuous time Salamandrus gained enough power to free himself from the world of Daemons, and walked across Volgunther in the flesh.
“Those who were long time practitioners of his abhorrent art changed into lesser Daemons. Those who were relatively new to his art rejected him, but he was a vile creature, and he punished them. Only the followers of Venekihr, who wielded a power outside of his control, were able to thwart him. Alas…they could not slay him. True Daemons are eternal.
“The priestesses prayed to Venekihr, and she sent her valkyrie, Etmire, who gave all of her power to seal the Daemon away, deep, deep beneath Castle Golvundehr. For a time, all was quiet. Most who survived Salamandrus’s attack fled the island for lands unknown. Others stayed behind to try and rebuild, but the Daemon beckoned, and the Daemon called, and many more men were lied to. So, he took more power and spread his evil rituals all over the world.
“During that period, worshipers of Venekihr gave their lives for Volgunther. The Daemon then turned his remaining practitioners into lesser Daemons. No man remained on the island for years.
“One day, an expedition arrived. They were strangers from far off lands. They said their king’s wizards-the Council of Five-detected a source of power, but it was a trick. Salamandrus had all the souls he needed to draw a very special wizard, and this wizard opened the seals, and once more evil was unleashed. Only this time, it threatened the whole world.”
“Hold a moment,” Dysart said, his hand raised. “First I was taught that Salamandrus was sealed away by practitioners of Sang Daemanus. This was why my grandfather was going to journey here, because only a practitioner can unseal him.”
“Yes, that is the case. Do you know why a practitioner like Tigueron does not break the seal?” Erimte’ asked.
Dysart scrutinized the woman next to him. She knew a great deal; not only knowledge unfamiliar to him, but she also held knowledge of current events, such as the appearance of Tigueron.
“A practitioner must give his life to break the seal,” Dysart replied.
Erimte’ nodded then continued speaking, “True, but it was Etmire who sealed him away, and cursed the seal.”
Dysart gave a loud sigh. There was a great deal to which he was not privy. She touched his shoulder in empathy.
“We’re almost finished,” she said. “Things changed after the wizard, Wilheim, arrived. Through ancient and incomprehensible magic he forced open the Tomb of the Sealed. Those first servants of Salamandrus, who remain in unlife for eternity, attacked.
“Together, the men of the expedition fought, and made it beyond the Tomb, and into the Chamber of the First Blood. This is where you are going. To give yourself to open the seal, yet they were not practitioners of Sang Daemanus, and did not possess the Daemon’s blood as you do.
“He changed them, you see, into beasts, and sent them into the world to cause havoc. They were not true Daemons, and they were slain by brave warriors.”
“Then when did the king come onto the island?” Dysart asked.
“It was during the time of Daemonic attacks across the world. He left his failing country, coveting power. I don’t know what happened to him after he ventured into the castle,” she replied.
“How did anyone make it into Golvundehr if it was bloodsealed?” Dysart asked.
“This island is alive, Dysart. Salamandrus is like a parasite, living within its bowels. The only thing he cannot do, is break the cursed seal,” Erimte’ replied.
“Why did I need to know all this?” he asked coldly.
“Because I am afraid that you will forget yourself. You have been here less than a month, yet you have imbibed a great deal of Daemon blood. You have seen much death, and now you have a taste for it. I’m making certain you do not change your mind.”
“Who are you?” he asked incredulously.
“I am Erimte’, a descendant of Etmire, and the last priestess of Venekihr.”
The ebook is available on smashwords
Hope you enjoy and I’ll let everyone know when it’s out in paper back.