Read The Mists of Sorrow: The Morcyth Saga Book Seven Online

Authors: Brian S. Pratt

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The Mists of Sorrow: The Morcyth Saga Book Seven

BOOK: The Mists of Sorrow: The Morcyth Saga Book Seven
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The Mists of Sorrow
The Morcyth Saga
Book Seven
Brian S. Pratt

Copyright 2006, 2008

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The Fantasy Worlds of

Brian S. Pratt

The Morcyth Saga

The
Unsuspecting Mage

Fires
of Prophecy

Warrior Priest of Dmon-Li

Trail
of the Gods

The
Star of Morcyth

Shades of the Past

The
Mists of Sorrow*

*(Conclusion of The Morcyth Saga)

Travail of The Dark Mage

Sequel to The Morcyth Saga

1-Light in the Barren Lands

2
-
(forthcoming)

The Broken Key

#1-
Shepherd’s Quest

#2-Hunter of the Horde

#3-Quest’s End

Qyaendri Adventures

Ring
of the Or’tux

Dungeon Crawler Adventures

Underground

Portals

The Adventurer’s Guild

#1-Jaikus and Reneeke Join the Guild

For my children,
Joseph, Breanna, Abigayle
Prologue
_________________________

The smell of corpses rotting in the summer
heat reaches them long before they arrive. Over a dozen wagons
trundle across the gray desert in search of treasure. Several days
earlier a massive explosion had rocked their small village to the
west, a tower of flame reached far into the heavens until finally
returning back to earth.

Unsure what caused the explosion, they were
curious but fearful. Then word came a day ago that what they
witnessed had been part of a battle and the dead were lying all
over the place. Knowing the worth of weapons and armor the dead may
still possess, they immediately gathered their wagons and went
toward where the tower of flame rose. Times are hard in the desert
and the gold they can get from the sale of the items could well
mean their continued survival.

A half day into the journey, they encounter
the gray sand. Fear grows among the scavengers but the promise of
wealth pushes them onward. The gray sand wasn’t so much sand as it
was a powdery substance which worked into every crease of their
bodies, making the trek miserable. But these people are no
strangers to adversity, life in the desert being what it is and
all. Pushing onward they continued forward.

Finally, the dead begin to appear ahead of
them. Zyrn, the leader of the scavengers, licks his lips in
anticipation when he sees the armored bodies lying before them.
Scanning to the left and right, he searches for any others who may
already be here to gather the booty. But as far his eyes can see,
there’s nothing moving.

“What a haul!” exclaims Nyn, a goat herder
by trade.

“Yes,” nods Zyrn in agreement.

Continuing to draw closer to the dead, Zyrn
suddenly comes to a stop and an odd expression comes over him.

Stopping beside him, Nyn asks, “What’s
wrong?”

Pointing to the area where the dead lie, he
says, “The gray sands end where the bodies begin.”

Nyn looks ahead and sees the almost perfect
circular area wherein the dead lay. “What could it mean?” he asks.
Indeed, in some places where the dead must have fallen across where
the gray sand begins, the parts that would have extended out onto
the gray area are gone. Sections of bodies lie all the way around
the perimeter, all of them show signs of scorching from great
heat.

Shaking his head, Zyrn replies, “I don’t
know.”
What could have caused this?
Scanning the area once
more he glances back to Nyn. “Looks okay now,” he says with a touch
of nervousness.

Others come abreast of Zyrn and Nyn as they
too look upon the oddity. Mumbled fears pass between them until
Zyrn raises his hand and the others fall silent. “Whatever happened
here is past,” he tells them. “Let’s be about our work.”

Once again rolling forward, the wagons move
to the dead where the men and women begin stripping them of their
weapons, armor and other valuables. What gold and jewels they find
go into a communal pot so to speak, which will be distributed
evenly among them upon their return to their village. The armor,
weapons and anything else of bulk goes into the wagons.

While stripping the dead, Zyrn finds not
only dead northerners, which he assumes once belonged to what
people are saying was a band led by none other than Black Hawk, but
also soldiers of the Empire. When he comes across a slain Parvati
lying in the sand, his hand hesitates a fraction of a second before
removing the swords from its dead hands. He knows what a Parvati
would do should he see a non Parvati in possession of such.

As they continue about their work, the mood
of the scavengers lightens from that of fear. When nothing
immediate happens, they press forward with more vigor and
enthusiasm. Wagon after wagon begin to fill with the booty from the
dead, not only weapons and armor, but clothing as well. Anything
that may be of use or sold is taken.

They work throughout the afternoon until the
sun begins to reach the horizon. “We’re not going to get it all
before the sun goes down,” Nyn says as he comes to where Zyrn is
taking a knife from the chest of an Empire soldier.

Standing up, Zyrn flips the knife into the
nearby wagon and gazes around the battlefield. Still a hundred or
more of the dead have yet to be stripped. The wagons are all but
full and none wish to remain in this area once night has fallen.
There’s just a bad feeling about the whole place.

Gazing to the sun to gauge the time, Zyrn
turns to Nyn and says, “Another half hour and then we’ll
leave.”

“That’s cutting it kind of close don’t you
think?” he asks.

Greed and fear battle within him, but greed
finally wins out. “By the time we return, someone else could have
come and taken the rest,” he explains. “I’m sure we’ll be
alright.”

Nyn gazes at him for a moment then nods his
head. Leaving Zyrn’s side, he returns to where he had been working
before coming to talk with Zyrn. He spreads the word that they will
remain another half hour, most of the others are not entirely happy
about it. Speeding up their efforts, they try to collect as much as
they can before it’s time to go.

A half hour later, the sun has reached the
horizon. Everyone is packing the last few items away as Zyrn mounts
his horse and takes position at the head of the wagons. Once all is
ready, he hollers for them to roll and they begin leaving the dead
behind. Dozens of the dead soldiers have yet to be stripped of
their armor, though the rest of their valuables have been taken.
Some look back longingly to the items left behind but none wish to
stay any longer in such an area. The prospect of being here when
the sunlight fades makes them very nervous.

They are still in the gray area when the sun
completely drops below the horizon and dark begins to envelope the
world. Pushing onward through the growing dark, they roll for a
couple more hours until they finally reach the edge of the gray
area. At least they think they do as the only light with which to
see is that of the stars.

Zynn pauses and then dismounts. Picking up a
handful of dirt, he confirms the fact that they are indeed past the
gray area. The sand here once again feels like it’s supposed to.
“Make camp,” he says. As the wagons gather together and the horses
are taken from their traces, he gazes back to where the dead lie.
In a way saddened by the loss of life, yet at the same time
thankful for the opportunity his village will have to survive
another year or two. Sighing, he turns back to the others and helps
with setting up the camp.

The night continues to deepen as the hours
fall away. When the world has slipped into the deepest part of the
night, a figure moves among the dead. His passing brings cold, cold
to the world and cold to the soul. Behind this figure move two
others, both wearing dark armor with another four in robes
following them.

Winding their way around the bodies of the
dead soldiers, the one who leads searches for the place he desires.
All his carefully laid plans are coming to fruition. When his dark
lord set him upon this task so very long ago he knew it would take
centuries until he arrived at this critical moment.

First he destroyed the priests of Morcyth.
His lord told him how they would send for another, one not of this
world. He would know of this one’s coming when the Fire and Star
walked together under the sky. Then, all that followed would
culminate into what happened here.

When he sent Abula-Mazki to bring this mage
to him, he wasn’t sure if this was indeed the one told of in the
prophecy. But when his warrior priest was defeated and said the
Fire walked with the Star, he knew. For Ozgirath, High Priest of
Dmon-Li, the waiting has come to an end.

His yellow eyes pierce the dark as if it was
day, but it is not with his eyes is he searching. Magic of the
darkest sort flows through him as he hunts for the exact spot he
requires. He hardly gives the dead, both stripped and otherwise,
any consideration as he walks among them.

Then, his senses come across a slight
vibration. Pausing for a moment, he searches for its source. Once
the location is found, he moves again and walks to where the
vibration resonates the strongest.
This is the
place
, he tells the others mentally.

They come to a halt and wait. One comes whom
he requires for what is to happen next. He sensed her approaching
since he first came here. That which is driving her leads her
directly to him and it isn’t long before she appears out of the
dark and comes to stand before him.

A bedraggled woman with madness in her eyes,
she doesn’t know why she’s here, simply that she must be. Haunted
and driven by needs and desires since that fateful time in
Willimet, Serenna gazes into the yellow eyes and trembles.

With a thought, Ozgirath has the two warrior
priests take hold of the woman. A scream is ripped from her throat
as her arms are taken. Despite her struggles, the grip of the two
warrior priests is like iron. Incoherent gibberish issues forth
from her as fear takes what little mind she has left.

The four priests of Dmon-Li move into a
diamond formation around the source of the vibration. Once they are
in position and have begun casting the required spells, Ozgirath
removes a dagger from within his robe. The two warrior priests
bring Serenna to the spot where the vibration is the strongest and
hold her there.

Magic continues to build as the priests
ready the area where James’ explosion ripped the fabric of this
plane. Not a hole mind you, rather a weakening in the boundary
between this plane and the rest. Such a weakening can be
manipulated to create a temporary gateway between this plane and
another. For a permanent one, it requires something a bit more.

He holds the dagger in his hand for a full
minute before sensing that the critical point in the creation of
the spells has been reached. Then with a deft move, he plunges the
dagger within Serenna’s heart.

A soul wrenching cry and then she sags into
lifelessness in the hands of the warrior priests. They lay her down
on the ground, her blood aiding to weaken the barrier still
further. But that alone was not why she was here. If that was all
that was needed, he would have used those scavengers that were here
earlier.

With her death, a dark spirit forms above
her lifeless body. It has been waiting within her since that time
in Willimet when she had used the globe to control her followers.
When the globe was smashed, the spirit contained within took up
residence inside of her. Yet again another part of his plan the
mage unwittingly helped along.

It’s a spirit from the plane upon which
Dmon-Li resides. Centuries past it was brought to this world and
put within the globe like a genie in a bottle to await the time
when it will be needed.

BOOK: The Mists of Sorrow: The Morcyth Saga Book Seven
9.63Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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