Night of the storm an ep.., p.1
Night of the Storm: An Epic Fantasy Novel (The Eura Chronicles Book 2), p.1K.N. Lee
Captive Quill Press
Fort Mill, SC 2016
Copyright 2016 K.N. Lee
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Publisher’s Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Locales and public names are sometimes used for atmospheric purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses, companies, events, institutions, or locales is completely coincidental.
Night of the Storm/ K.N. Lee. – 1st Ed.
Dedicated to Simi and Sohana
Table of Contents
About the Author
Titles by K.N. Lee
MORE GREAT READS FROM K.N. LEE
Human, mermaid, and Mithrani territory
Focus—prominent trait: increased focus
Evasion—the ability to confuse an opponent by making one’s image flicker and shift to another spot
Split—the ability to split into two identical beings
Accuracy—increased precision when using a weapon
Breath—prominent trait: the ability to breathe underwater and bestow the power to do so to others temporarily
Hypnosis—the ability to hypnotize others with their eyes
Mock—the ability to manipulate the prominent trait of every race
Tryan, fairy, and mermaid territory
Enchant—prominent trait: the ability to make weapons or items stronger and more powerful
Creation—the ability to create objects from ordinary materials or invent new ones
Blessed shield—a shield of energy that protects its user
Vex—the ability to confuse an opponent temporarily
Mind Telling—the ability to read the thoughts of others
Heal—prominent trait: the ability to heal wounds with energy power
Enchant—the ability to make weapons or items stronger and more powerful
Flight—the ability to fly
Soothe—the ability to calm others, including animals
Silver Elf and mermaid territory
Agility—prominent trait: the ability to climb and increased balance
Accuracy—increased precision when using a weapon
Stealth—the ability to go invisible
Shift—the ability to change into an animal
Shadow Elf and mermaid territory
Dart—prominent trait: lightning-fast speed
Rage—the ability to become more powerful when angry
Camouflage—the ability to blend into their surroundings
The one Dragnor had hunted for almost eighteen years.
Lilae. The Flame.
Master was not pleased.
Dragnor looked up at the night sky, still frozen in awe by the amount of power his prisoner had displayed in that very courtyard just seconds ago.
“I knew this would happen,” he whispered as she vanished from his sight like a shooting star.
His sharp glare stared at the disturbed clouds. He just let his only bargaining tool escape.
“You disappoint me.”
The eerie voice made Dragnor’s body stiffen with dread. As if he were all around him, Wexcyn came to him like a monster in a dream.
The world went dark. Nearly a hundred palace guards surrounded Dragnor, and yet he was the only one to notice the strange darkness that smothered him like a blanket.
A god, even a forgotten one imprisoned by the other gods—could do remarkable things.
“I brought you back from the dead. I gave you power,” Wexcyn said. Far away in his prison, the forgotten god could still reach his agents.
And there were many.
There was nowhere to hide.
“The Cursed is still yours to command,” Dragnor said, his eyes searching for a way out of the darkness that threatened to force him to his knees.
Escape. If only he could fly away, the way Lilae had just done. Too late for second thoughts. Dragnor’s life—his soul—belonged to Wexcyn.
“I have weakened the emperor with a potion that will leave him vulnerable to The Horrors and bend him to our will once more.”
“You have done nothing but prove that Emperor Kavien cannot be controlled.”
“But he can, Master. The Flame’s influence over Emperor Kavien was only a temporary setback. I can fix this.”
“Dragnor,” Wexcyn hissed. His voice made the fine hairs on Dragnor’s arm stand on end.
“Find the Storm, Flame, Inquisitor, Seer, and Steel and any other person that dares to defy me, and kill them. I swear
“I will. I swear it.”
“Fail me again and I will let Vaugner have you. Do you know what he does to those that escape the Underworld?”
The thought of being sent back to the Underworld, into enemy hands, frightened Dragnor into silence. He’d just escaped the clutches of Vaugner, the Elder that wanted him ripped from the living world. He would have gotten on his knees and begged if he wasn’t standing in the presence the Avia’Torenan soldiers and guards.
Until Emperor Kavien was awakened, Dragnor would rule in his stead.
“I will find them and kill them all.”
There was no further reply. As Dragnor stood in fear, awaiting Wexcyn’s voice, the darkness was lifted, and the world was bright with torches and moonlight once again.
“Clear out. Search the entire city for the slave,” Dragnor ordered.
The soldiers and guards cleared the courtyard, going in sectioned troupes to search for the missing slave. Lilae would be halfway across the realm by now, but he had to at least try.
If he had to mount his wyvern, Tari and fly to every kingdom in Eura, Dragnor would do so. He’d done it before. He’d do it again to keep his place in Wexcyn’s new world order.
THE HAIRS ON LIAM’S neck stood on end at the ghastly sight between him and The Barrier.
The head of a Tryan man was set on a pike in the middle of the jungle.
“Stay back,” a female voice boomed from the trees as Liam, Nani and Rowe approached The Barrier. “You are not welcome in Nostfar.”
Liam’s bright blue eyes glowed in the dark as they shot from the pike to The Guardians that awaited. They stood before the open doorway that stretched hundreds of feet into the black sky. The glow from The Barrier’s ancient power illuminated the giants before him, swords ready in their massive hands.
They were silent, and whoever did speak was unseen.
His blue eyes narrowed as he looked up to the tops of the trees. The dark leaves rustled with the wind, yet revealed not even a trace of who spoke.
Shadow Elves. They could blend in anywhere.
“Turn around and leave.”
Liam’s brows furrowed. “This, coming from an elf in the Tryan realm.”
His sword. If only he had it on his hip at that moment.
Pain seared into Liam’s leg as a thorny black vine wrapped itself around his thigh and yanked him to the slick black ground of the volcano.
Liam hit his head on the hard packed dirt.
He was so close to The Barrier and finally meeting The Flame. Her face came to him as darkness threatened to take over.
Liam cradled his head with a hand. For a moment, he was disoriented. In a haze, he watched Rowe grab a skinny male Shadow Elf by the neck and slam it into the ground with such strength that the sound of crunching bones filled the dark jungle that surrounded them.
“Kill them. They must not enter Nostfar,” the same female voice yelled from the trees as several Shadow Elves jumped to the ground with such agility that they were barely seen.
Liam’s eyes widened as they prepared to attack his greatest friends in the world. He sat up and reached for the vine wrapped around his thigh. The instant his fingertips touched it, the vine lifted him from the ground.
Cool air whipped past Liam’s face as he was slung through the air at such a speed that he saw nothing but blackness. His mind raced as he searched for a way to free himself. Before he could react, more vines reached Liam and snapped themselves around him body, pinning his arms to his side. Like a cocoon, they ensnared him and slammed his wrapped body into the base of a tree that appeared to be dead, yet rumbled like a hungry stomach.
A quick glance at the ground revealed the source of the vines.
The tree branches shot through the clearing, attacking his friends and forcing them into a tight space before The Barrier.
“Liam,” Nani shouted, as she tried to fly to him. With a broken wing, he could tell that she struggled. The branches blocked her path, ascending as she fought to fly over their blockade.
“I can’t get free,” Liam said.
Liam looked at the sky. He could summon a storm.
How would that help? He needed the use of his hands to direct the lightning without harming Nani and Rowe. He used all of his strength to try to break through the vines, and yet they only held on tighter, so tight that he found breathing laborious.
A lithe female Shadow Elf jumped down from her spot in the tree top and landed beside Liam. She looked strong, and tall, with leather over chainmail covering her chest and stomach. Her arms were bare, revealing white tattoos and scars. The points of her ears stuck through her auburn hair that looked to be slicked back by mud.
Ferocity filled her brown eyes as she straddled his chest and held her dagger to his throat.
Not now. Not like this.
Not after Liam had already escaped death once. The Ancients might not give him another chance.
He met the eyes of the Shadow Elf. Lilae awaited him. He had to see her in person at least one time before he died.
Almost as if the Shadow Elf woman read his thoughts, she paused, her brow raising as she searched his eyes with her own dark purple gaze.
Nani shot to the ground, faster than Liam had ever seen her fly. She landed in the center of it all. The mayhem that ensued as Rowe fought dozens of Shadow Elves armed with glowing daggers.
She held her hands out before her and closed her eyes.
Liam raised a brow. He’d never seen Nani so calm in the face of danger.
Before his eyes, she started to change.
Smoke began to rise from the ground and up her body as if she’d recently been engulfed in flames. Liam’s eyes widened as the trees began to die all around them. Nani’s hair went from purple to white. When she opened her eyes, gold light filled them as she held out her small hands.
White power shot from her fingertips. Screams of terror and pain filled the air as her power shot into every Shadow Elf within the clearing and hiding in the trees.
Rowe held up his hands and froze, but Nani’s power seemed to be selective, leaving Rowe and Liam free from its terror.
The Shadow Elves were reduced to nothing more than bone and guts.
Liam held his breath as even that turned to ash and floated away with the breeze, leaving the three in silence as the intensity in Nani’s eyes faded.
He hadn’t even realized that the vines had let him free. Glancing back at the tree revealed that whatever Nani had done had killed it, leaving its vines lifeless and shriveled on the ground.
“Liam,” Nani called in a small, timid voice.
Liam stood and turned to her. Her white hair gave her an eerie beauty as it was lifted by the breeze. Whatever power Nani had hidden from them all, made her hover off the ground despite her broken wings.
“Nani,” Liam whispered.
She smiled and slowly returned to her normal appearance.
She walked over to him, Rowe close behind. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” Liam said, running his hands through his thick black hair. “But what was that?”
Rowe cleared his throat. “We didn’t get a chance to tell you.”
“Tell me what?”
Nani wrapped her arms around his waist. He looked down at her small face.
“I didn’t know until today, Liam,” she said.
“Know what? Tell me. I’ll understand.”
She bit her bottom lip and let go of him. Twirling the ends of her purple hair, she flickered a sheepish look at him.
“I am the Inquisitor,” Nani whispered. “Please, don’t be cross with me, Liam.” She lowered her eyes to the ground as she wrung her small hands. “This is all still very new to me.”
Liam took a deep breath.
Could his dear fairy friend be one of the
He picked Nani up and hugged her. “I could never be cross with you, Nani. You and Rowe are my best friends, and together we will rid this world of evil.”
Liam nodded to The Barrier as the giants started to move from their frozen positions.
“Are you ready for this?”
She smiled at him. “I am.”
Lilae squeezed her bright green eyes shut against the memories of being called that vile word. Scars and intricate black tattoos covered her body, serving as ugly reminders of the suffering she’d experienced in captivity.
No one would take her freedom from her again. The blood of the men she’d killed started to dry on her skin and stained her clothes.
“Just a moment longer,” Delia said. She held onto her staff made of willow and bone to steady herself on the top of the black mountain. “The Storm is just beyond those doors.
Rocks and stone surrounded them, and dark woods that stretched for as fas as the eye could see awaited below, but Lilae’s eyes were fixed on the door of The Barrier.
Red hair, wild and glowing in the light of the moon, whipped around Lilae’s face as she glanced back at Delia and the skeleton warrior, Garion.
Lilae’s lips pursed as she waited with anticipation of finally meeting one of the other heirs of the Ancients.
Adrenaline kept Lilae from shivering. In only the sheer nightgown she’d escaped the palace in, Lilae stood taller than the majority of women she’d encountered during her travels.
Lilae’s eyes narrowed at the figure of The Storm as he emerged from the distance. Finally, she would meet this elusive creature.
Clad in gold armor from the Overworld, where the Ancients dwelled, The Guardians turned to Lilae and knelt before her. Their faces and fingers were shielded with metal plates fused to their gray skin.
Each realm had a single entryway that only The Guardians could open. It was wide and under a stone archway that had a film of light stretching from top to bottom.
For years, Lilae and her surrogate family had followed The Barrier along Eura during their travels. Every time she’d imagined what the races on the other side were like. Having met a Shadow Elf and suffered at his hand, she was wary about what creature would step through those doors.
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