Monday, August 2, 2010

An Excerpt from Let There Be Love

While we're waiting for the release, I thought I'd share an excerpt from chapter one of Let There Be Love. Enjoy!

The Ironhaven University was a short, but bleak walk from New Mortyr. Sibylis dreaded the daily trek, where raw sewage floating by in the ditches turned her stomach. The homes and businesses were all built with the same gray stone, with a few narrow windows, where every resident could look out to see a strange contrast on their smelly streets. At practically every corner stood sooty gold-plated statues of the emperor, and at the bottom of each one was engraved a motivational slogan, such as "Let us thank our Emperor for peace and prosperity".

Sibylis smirked at the statue just outside the School of Dark Arts, its arms spread wide in a sickening fatherly gesture. Beside the statue stood one of the many newspaper vendors, selling the only newspaper in Ironhaven, The Emperor's Wisdom. She often wondered what the city had been like in the days of Xegon, when it was said that the dark elves of Mortyr and the humans of Ironhaven had shared the land in peace. All she had ever known was the progressive tyranny of one corrupt human ruler after another, until Sarvonn assassinated the rightful king and rose to power. Now he called himself Emperor, posing as a benevolent leader, brainwashing his people with these wretched statues and propaganda.

Sibylis entered the great library and tossed her bag onto a table. She began to search through the musty tomes on the shelf and found Understanding the Undead, written by the ancient warlock-king Xegon himself. Thumbing through the pages, she tried to discover another secret hidden in the cryptic journal. She paused when a familiar voice whispered to her from behind.

“Why do you insist on studying necromancy, Sibylis?”

The dark elf male sat a box of new tomes on the table, began to sort them alphabetically, and placed them on the shelves.

“My reasons are my own, Ashten. Leave me to my work,” Sibylis whispered.

Ashten D’Vynn sidled up to Sibylis, opened her bag slightly, and peeked inside. She jerked it away and pulled the drawstring shut.

“You’re going to be shunned wherever you go, even among our people.”

Sibylis answered him with silence and flipped through the pages of the old tome.

“Look, I know you’re hurting…” he began.

She jerked her head up to meet his gaze. “What do you know of pain?” Sibylis snapped.

“She was my twin sister. And they were my parents. I was deployed with the army and couldn’t be there…to even try to save them. I have no family left at all. Do you forget that?”

Sibylis lowered her head and tried to concentrate on the words in front of her, but couldn’t seem to make sense of what she had just read.

“You can’t bring Ashanee back, Sibylis.”

“I don’t want to bring her back, but I want to do more than just stand and watch another person I love die in pain."

Sibylis lowered her head and averted her eyes, regretful she had divulged such emotion.

Ashten laid his hand lightly upon hers. “Then why not be a healer?”

“And be forced to mend Sarvonn’s army? Never!”

The head librarian raised his head from a nearby table and sneered at them. Ashten tightened his grip on Sibylis’s hand.

“You may be forced to raise an undead army for them—have you considered that?”

He leaned in closer as he whispered and his violet eyes peered down into hers. For a dark elf, Ashten was tall. Sibylis was tiny. The top of her head barely reached his chin. He had been drafted as a fighter with the militia, but had badly injured his leg during one of the Emperor’s raids in Leogard. Though he had healed quite well, he still had a slight limp. He was grateful, actually, when the militia had deemed him unfit after his injury, so he worked as a courier between Mortyr and Ironhaven, and took on other menial city jobs as well.

Sibylis almost jerked her hand from his grasp, but felt somehow comforted by his touch. She had grown up with him and Ashanee. Her best friend’s twin brother seemed like her own family. They shared a bond formed out of the pain of loss no one else could understand. She wasn’t even sure if she understood it.

“When I am powerful enough to raise an army, I will have acquired the means to lead my family to safety,” she whispered.

“For your sake, Sibylis, I hope you can. If they can kill my family because their taxes were late, I hate to see what they might do to yours if they discover your secrets.”

He gently squeezed her hand one more time and returned to his duties.

No comments:

Post a Comment

***NOTICE*** Thanks to a spam bot infestation, every comment must now be subjected to a full-body search. If you pass, you can skip the anal probing...maybe.