Read Crystal Throne (Book 1) Online

Authors: D.W. Jackson

Crystal Throne (Book 1)

BOOK: Crystal Throne (Book 1)
12.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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PROLOGUE

Thad sat near the edge of the valley watching everyone. To him, it felt as if only weeks had passed, but his son was no longer the small child he had once known. He had grown. Thad didn’t know why it seemed so odd to him. He had watched his son travel halfway around the world in search of him, but it was still hard to believe his eyes.

At the moment Bren was talking with a Vathari woman whose eyes were soft, yet dangerous. Thad had seen the young Vathari many times while he was watching his son, but he had not paid much attention to her. Shaking his head, Thad looked back to the shimmering door that stood in the center of the valley.

The large crystal creature still pacing back and forth in front of the door. The scion, as the gods had called it, had tried twice to exit through the doorway. Each time, the shimmering had abated and the scion had been unable to enter. Though it had failed to enter their world so far, Bren could feel that the doorway was getting stronger with each try.

“Are you enjoying the fresh air?” Humanius asked, taking a seat next to Thad.

“It feels odd,” Thad admitted.

“It won’t be long before the door stabilizes and the scion can get through,” Humanius said, following Thad’s eyes to the shimmering portal.

“Can’t you stop it?” Thad asked. “You are a god.”

“We could fight it,” Humanius replied. “A lone scion would be easy to kill with our numbers, but where there is one, there will be many more, and they are just as strong as we are, if not stronger.”

“Then, what do we do?” Thad asked.

“I hate to say it, but I think our only option is to try and seal the door. However, I don’t think that will work unless we limit the source,” Humanius said, not sounding very pleased at his own words.

CHAPTER I

“Bren, we need to talk,” Thad said quietly to his son.

Thad led Bren to the edge of the valley where Humanius and the other gods stood. “What is this about?” Bren asked, his voice stuck between anger and curiousness.

“Things are a bit complicated,” Thad said to his son as he looked to the gods.

“We have to enter through the door so that we can find out what has gone wrong with it,” Humanius said, walking up behind Thad.

“The door is right there,” Bren said, pointing toward the shimmering door and the scion that waited on the other side.

“Not that door,” Belaroan said, followed by a mocking laugh. “We need to fix the door that connects our world to the center.”

“What are you talking about?” Bren asked, slightly confused.

“Magic, the source of all of our power, comes from the center of the Omniverse,” Humanius said, giving his sister a scathing look. “Long ago… Long before I or my father were born, our ancestors found a way to open a door between the overlapping universes. When they opened the door to the center of the Omniverse, they found they couldn’t close it. Their first choice was to explore, but more than ninety percent of those who entered through the doorway died within a few hours. The few that survived were unlucky enough to meet what later became known as scions. Crystal guardians that killed all but one of the men who was able to make it back through the door. The scion tried to follow, but there was not enough magical energy at the time to sustain the creature. Deciding that the door posed too large of a risk, they made a wall of sorts to block off the doorway. It wasn’t perfect, and still allowed the energy to slip through, but it kept the scions from being able to cross over. If there are now scions in our world, then that door has fallen and needs to be fixed.”

“Why don’t we just close off this door?” Bren asked, looking back toward the shimmering door.

“That might work, but we don’t know for how long,” Humanius replied. “As I told you, the last door was closed off so long ago, I doubt that the mountains would remember it. We could try to close it off, but if we fail the scions will come through, kill us all, and this land would become nothing but a wasteland. We need to make our way to the palace and find out how they made the original door and fix it while we are there. If we can do that, it will give this land a buffer from the scions, and I promise you that you want as much distance from them as you can get.”

“If they can get through, then what do we do to keep them out while we are gone?” Bren asked, looking back toward his friends.

“There are steps that we can take to slow them down and weaken the doorway,” Belaroan said, stepping in front of her brother. “We can’t stop it, but we should be able to buy us enough time to make it where we need to go and back.”

“What do we need?” Thad asked, looking at Belaroan skeptically. He trusted Humanius, however that didn’t mean that he liked him. So far the god had done nothing to show dishonestly in his nature. He was not so sure of Belaroan though.

“There are only a few things that can disrupt magical energy,” She replied, waving her hand at the shimmering portal.

“Such as the white metal that the swords were made from,” Bren said hesitantly.

“No, dear boy,” Belaroan said with a dark laugh. “My brother’s little toys were well made, but they didn’t destroy magical energy. Instead they redirected it so that he could use them to power his own spells while he was in the abyss.” Belaroan turned to Humanius and gave him a toothy smile. “I must admit, more than once I wished I had the same foresight.”

“That was always your problem dear sister, you never thought ahead,” Humanius said, shaking his head. “All you ever cared about was what was happening in the moment. You never cared what might come in the future.”

“There you go again,” Belaroan said with a snarl. “Always preaching the same things as father. If we spend all of our time worrying about tomorrow, then we might as well be dead.”

“The same thing can be said about living in the past,” Humanius said, his voice rising slightly. “We need to be mindful of our past and future otherwise…”

As Thad watched the two, he didn’t see gods. What he saw was two overgrown children bickering. “Enough,” He said after a few moments of the siblings continuing their argument. “What do we need to slow down the doorway?”

“What!” Belaroan said, turning her attention back to Thad. “A lot of glass will keep the door from being able to stabilize longer. If we had some of the material that your son’s sword is made of, that would be the best, but normal glass will work for what we need.”

Thad watched as Bren looked down at his sword. “The only person I know who could get more of this would be Crusher, and he is far away from here.”

“Where is this friend of yours?” one of Belaroan’s sons asked. He was a young looking man who stood over eight foot. His skin was a slight golden color and his eyes looked like emeralds sparking in the firelight.

“He is in his shop in Torin,” Bren replied after a short moment of looking over the strange god.

The elven god stuck his hand onto the ground, but after a moment pulled it back and looked to his mother and uncle. “My magic won’t reach past the mountain. Something is interfering.”

“Brother,” Belaroan said, looking to Humanius with a crocked smile.

“Fine,” Humanius said. The god walked up to the mountain and placed his hand against the cold stone. Thad could feel a large amount of magical energy gathering, far more than he had ever felt before. If he were to compare it to his strongest spell, it would be like comparing a mug of water to a lake. It was in that moment that Thad understood why people called him a god. “It is gone,” The god said as he removed his hand from the stone.

The elven god once again placed his hand on the ground and closed his eyes. Once again, Thad felt a rush of magic though not as strong as what Humanius had used. After more than an hour, a large root twice the size of a man erupted from the ground and spit out a large dwarf who looked none too happy.

“What in the nine hells is this about?” Crusher said, awkwardly pulling himself to his feet favoring one leg over the other.

“Still as much of a cantankerous old fool as ever I see,” Thad said, helping the dwarf to his feet.

“Thad…” Crusher said, blinking his eyes as if he was just waking. “I thought that you were dead.”

“You should know better than that my friend,” Thad said with a short laugh. “You’re not that lucky.”

“That aside, what are ya thinking dragging me through the dang ground to this god forsaken place,” Crusher said, his voice recovering much of its bluster. “Gonna take me a year to wash out all tha sap from those blasted trees.”

“We need more of the black glass that you used to make my sword,” Bren said, walking up beside his father.

“Bren, should have known that ya would be about,” Crusher said, giving the young man a strong hug. “So ya need more do ya? How much do ya need?”

“As much as you can get, my son,” The short and broad dwarven god said stepping out from behind his mother.

As soon as Crusher saw the god, his eyes went wide but he didn’t hit his knees or prostrate himself. “That might be a bit tuff,” he said, his gruff voice sounding more humble. “If I was back at my shop, I have a few bars about, but my source is far to the east in Uraler.”

“We can’t transport the black glass like we did your friend, but I will go and talk with the dwarves of Uraler and have them bring as much of it as they can, as fast as they can. With a little divine help, it should take no more than two weeks for it to reach us,” the dwarven god said to his mother.

“Then hurry. The longer we wait, the more scions that will be drawn to the door,” Belaroan said turning to her son.

As soon as the words left her mouth, the dwarven god was gone and along his way. “While we wait for the black glass, we should find a source of normal glass to slow the opening of the gate,” Humanius said, bringing everyone’s attention back to the present.

“That should be easy enough,” Bren said, drawing everyone’s attention to him. “Just past the mountain is a sea of glass that could fill this whole valley.”

“Then all we need to do is to make sure that it is gathered and positioned around the portal to keep it from stabilizing,” Thad said, looking between the god and his son.

With the discussion over, Thad and Bren walked back to where the rest of his son’s friends waited.

“Father, it seemed as if I was missing something,” Bren said, once they had moved a few feet away from the gods. “Is there something that you’re not telling me?”

Thad ran his hand through his hair and for a brief moment looked back toward Humanius and the other gods. “There is something, but I am not sure if it is a good idea. Humanius believes that the only ones who should cross over the door into the other world are the gods and the demi-gods as he calls them, and that would include you. He said he won’t stop me from going though, and he was not keen on the idea, but no others may come with us.”

“I don’t think that my friends will agree to that,” Bren said, looking at the small group sitting near the entrance to the valley.

“It’s for their own good,” Thad said, following his son’s eyes. “As Humanius said, most of those that had first entered the center died within hours. It was because the immense magical power warped their bodies. The one who lived, died within a year of returning and he was there for less than a week. If they cross the portal then you might as well dig their graves now.”

“I can understand that,” Bren said with a weak grin. “Though I doubt they will understand.”

“They don’t have too,” Thad replied. “Humanius said that since the door is not completely opened, he and his sister will have to force it open so that we can pass and only those he want to will go through.”

“Wait,” Bren said, stopping in his tracks. “Won’t you die if you pass through?” Bren asked worriedly.

“Humanius is not sure on that matter,” Thad replied hesitantly. “There is a chance that I will, but since I can use magic I will have a chance. How much of a chance, I don’t know.”

“Then you should stay back with the others,” Bren said adamantly. “I didn’t travel half way across the world to have you throw it away.”

“I see that you have inherited your mother’s tongue,” Thad said laughing. “My life is my own and I will not have my son face danger that I am unwilling to go through myself. If you wish to stop me, you will have to lock me away in a prison much stronger than the one I was in before you found me.”

“Father,” Bren said, but he was cut off by the look on Thad’s face.

“Nothing you say will change my mind. I already have Humanius’ word that I will go with him, and not even you have the power to change that, god or not.”

“I am not a god,” Bren said, his voice more of a whisper.

“You are the same as those two,” Thad said, waving his hand toward Belaroan and Humanius. “Just like them, you have enough power to change the world, you just haven’t mastered it yet. You are a god, if not in mind, at least in name.”

“What was that about?” Faye asked as soon as the two mages came close.

Thad moved away from the group as Bren explained what was happening and about to happen over the course of the next few days. Sitting with his back against a small tree, Thad watched his son. He was a strong and confident man. Much stronger than Thad himself had been at that age.

Shortly after Thad sat down, the Vathari woman came over and stood in front of him, her eyes dark and unreadable. “Yes,” Thad said, shifting uncomfortably on the hard ground. Even after years, he still found the stare of a woman unnerving. How many times had he let those looks move him into doing something he shouldn’t have?

More times than I think anyone can count. I wish you would get over that little weakness. I can understand you following your son, and risking your life for him. I have grown quite fond of him myself, but I still don’t understand your weakness for these women.

“It is good to know that you haven’t changed in my absence,” Thad replied to Thuraman with a mental chuckle. “I half expected you to have found a nice female staff to enjoy your time with by now.” 

“You’re my father,” the Vathari said, snapping Thad out of his mental discussion with Thuraman. Thad was too stunned to say anything, so he leaned against the tree and listened to what the young woman had to say. “My mother was the priestess that brought you to Sae-Thae. I doubt that you would remember her.”

“Bahai,” Thad muttered more to himself than to the young woman, but at the mention of her mother’s name, Thad noticed something akin to a smile briefly flash across her face. “What is your name?” Thad asked, his mind still in a haze.

“Isophena,” she said strongly, her eyes never leaving his. “Bren and the others call me Phena.”

“Isophena,” Thad said, tasting the name on his tongue. “It is a very beautiful name.”

“Bren said that you, he, and the gods will be going through the door to the other world,” Phena said her voice sounding tight. “He said that you were only allowed to go because you could use magic. I am a mage as well, so there should be no problem with me accompanying you.”

“I am afraid that won’t be possible,” Thad said, his voice lacking the strength that his words needed. “Only Humanius can allow others to cross the threshold.”

BOOK: Crystal Throne (Book 1)
12.92Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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