Storm Holt (The Prophecies of Zanufey Book 3)

BOOK: Storm Holt (The Prophecies of Zanufey Book 3)
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Chapter 1
- Demons

Chapter 2
- Into The Past

Chapter 3
- To Be A Coward

Chapter 4
- Marakon Returns

Chapter 5
- Demon Trouble

Chapter 6
- The Elders' Visions

Chapter 7
- The Daily Brawl

Chapter 8
- Beneath Doon's Light

Chapter 9
- Friends Of King Thaban

Chapter 10
- Freydel Returns

Chapter 11
- Raven Messenger

Chapter 12
- Against All Odds

Chapter 13
- The Witch And The Seer

Chapter 14
- Not A Moment Too Soon

Chapter 15
- Hunting Her

Chapter 16
- Creating From Memory

Chapter 17
- Dreaming Of Home

Chapter 18
- Project Dread Dragon

Chapter 19
- The White Owl's Prey

Chapter 20
- The Wizards Arrive

Chapter 21
- Maggot

Chapter 22
- Remembering The Prophecies

Chapter 23
- The Shores Of Home

Chapter 24
- Seat Of A Lost Land

Chapter 25
- The Battle Of Wenderon

Chapter 26
- The City Of Rivers

Chapter 27
- Old Friends

Chapter 28
- The Soul Knows

Chapter 29
- Demon Dreams

Chapter 30
- Powerful Men

Chapter 31
- The Vote

Chapter 32
- Into The Storm Holt

Chapter 33
- The Wizard's Reckoning

Chapter 34
- Demon Light

Next In The Series


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The Prophecies Of Zanufey

Book Three

A. Evermore

Copyright © 2016 A. Evermore.

All rights reserved.

Cover art by Jessica Allain

Published by Starfire Epic Fantasy

Kindle First Edition

ISBN-13: 978-99920-3-073-8


Thank you to Jon and John Jarrold for their excellent editorial work and advice. Thanks to Jessica Allain for her wonderful digital art. Thanks to the Cosmos for making this work possible. I would also like to thank you, the reader, for continuing the adventure.

For Fortitude

Chapter 1

ISSA cradled the raven talisman in her lap. It glittered even in the darkness of night. Ehka dozed beside her, and together they sat alone by the stream. There were no moons tonight, and above the forests of Southern Frayon, the overcast sky blocked out the stars.

‘Light,’ she commanded.

The talisman responded and a soft indigo glow pushed back the darkness. It would respond to simple requests such as light, much like Freydel’s orb and staff, but nothing else. Holding it in her lap did no more to reveal its powers than leaving it wrapped up and tucked in her blacksmith’s belt.

She couldn’t sleep, despite being exhausted. Every time she closed her eyes she saw Ely’s face, ashen and lifeless in death, and then the pain and anger came. Finally she’d given up and left the others sleeping, telling Palu’anth - who kept watch - that she would be by the stream if anything happened. That wasn’t likely, since they were hidden deep in the forest with only small animals busy in the night.

‘It must do more than that,’ she murmured, inspecting the glimmering stone closely. Ehka ruffled his feathers. ‘Some help you are,’ she said. He snapped his beak. She smiled. It was touching that he chose to come with her, rather than roost in the safety of a tree bow back with the others.

‘We’ve been through a lot together, haven’t we?’ she whispered, and tickled his neck. He made a crooning sound.

She yawned. Maybe she should go back to the others and lie down, at least she could just rest. But Ely’s face would still be there to haunt her.

She looked back at the raven talisman. If it helped her enter the realm of the dead, perhaps it could also help her reach the sacred mound, where she might find answers about its powers. What harm could trying do? She had to learn how the talisman worked somehow.

‘I have no spell to say aloud, Ehka,’ she said, turning the talisman over in her hands. Without thinking too much, she closed her eyes and imagined clearly the sacred mound. Instead of seeing Ely’s face, the familiar ancient stones appeared before her. The entrance to the mound itself was pitch black and mysterious. She placed the talisman against the raven mark on her chest and spoke clearly.

‘Take me to the sacred mound, the place I see in my mind.’

Her chest tingled and the talisman turned so incredibly cold, that she gasped and nearly dropped it.
Is it really working?
She flicked open her eyes, and found herself sitting on the rich green grass with the talisman. Ehka was no longer beside her. She was still dressed in her undershirt, and the windless air was cool. The sky above the trees was a soft grey, as if it were dawn or dusk, like it always seemed to be when she came here.

‘Ha-ha. Great goddess, it worked, I’m really here.’ She stood up grinning. Maybe with the talisman she could reach the sacred mound whenever she chose, rather than only when it came to her. It would take practising. She stepped towards the mound, and peered into its dark, mirror-like entrance, straining to see beyond her own reflection. Gripping the talisman, she took a deep breath and stepped forwards into the cold liquid surface.

Freezing blackness engulfed her, so cold she couldn’t breathe for a moment. Then it was gone and she stood in the dark, shivering and completely disoriented. She blinked into the black as the cold receded. Though she could not see the stone steps that led downwards, she knew they were there. Carefully, she stepped down them one by one onto the paved floor.

Light normally would have come by now, but it was still dark. What if it hadn’t worked properly? What if she were somewhere else? How would she get back? Cursing her impulsiveness, she turned back towards the door, but then realised she’d never left the sacred mound by going
through the liquid doorway. She walked up the steps, and reached for the space where the door should have been. Her hands found only hard stone. She felt around the area with increasing haste, but there was no door. Her breath came faster. She gripped the raven talisman.

‘Light,’ she commanded.

Indigo light again emanated from it. She breathed a sigh of relief, and leaned her forehead against the cold stone. Moments later, brightness pulsed from behind her. She turned around. A yard away, a spinning vortex of energy formed in the blackness. It was a mass of swirling blue, white and grey energy, a whirlpool of storm clouds suspended in mid air, about a foot wide and two feet tall.

Lightning flared erratically within it, but there was no sound, which she found strange given the ferocity of the moving energy. She could feel the Flow alive all around her, but it was in turmoil and moved in a wild, unpredictable manner. If she entered the Flow, perhaps she could calm it,
or perhaps it will break me.
Even now she dared not enter the Flow, not after almost losing herself in it on Celene. She was still so weak, and it was too dangerous. All she could do was observe and feel its chaotic movements.

The vortex began to grow, coming closer as it increased in size. She stepped away from it until her back pressed against cold stone. The vortex filled her vision and ballooned until it was only a couple of feet away. It had to be at least a yard wide now, and twice as tall. The frantic energy within it began to take on a magnetising effect, drawing into it the energy of the Flow and the light of her raven talisman.

She could feel it begin to pull on her. She reached behind, searching for some nook or cranny to hang on to, but there was nothing. Hopefully it would pass . . . its chaotic energy would soon burn itself out . . . it had to. She closed her eyes against the flickering spinning light barely a foot away from her face. She was being pulled towards it. She groped the wall again and tried to wedge her fingers between the tight fitting stones, but they slipped free. She clung to the talisman, hugging it to her.

‘Make it stop,’ she commanded, but nothing happened.

She closed her eyes and focused on where she had been by the river with Ehka, but she couldn’t recall the details to form a clear picture because it had been so dark. It didn’t matter anyway, the panic forced the concentration from her. Desperately she reached for the Flow, but that too slipped from her grasp. The very effort of trying exhausted her. The Flow could not help her, the talisman was a mystery, and even if she’d had her sword it would be useless here.

The pull of the vortex increased, its static energy brushing her arm and making her hairs stand on end. Her feet began to slip and she struggled desperately for balance. She lost the battle and screamed as she was dragged into the maelstrom.

If it had been silent before, then it was deafening now. She was spinning in the eye of a storm, lightning flashed everywhere and flickered all over her body making her judder. Thunder boomed in strange sonic waves that echoed forever or ended abruptly. Her ears were filled with the increasing noise of rushing wind and her own screams. A hundred different forces were trying to tear her body and mind apart. She curled up into a ball, hugging the useless talisman as she spun through the vortex.

BOOK: Storm Holt (The Prophecies of Zanufey Book 3)
2.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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