Serpent Cult Revised Edition Sale and Excerpt
The revised edition of Serpent Cult, Book 2 in the Heroes of Ravenford Series will be free this Thursday and Friday, January 12 & 13. As for the rest of the series, the revised edition of Book 3, Dark Monolith, should be released in the next month, and Book 4, Princess of Lanfor has passed the 200 page mark! In the meantime, here is an excerpt from this latest version of Cult:
Seth yanked out his pick, but it was too late. He felt a gust of wind suddenly pick up around him. Seth immediately spun around and bolted down the stairs. He leapt over the assassins’ bodies, grabbed the railing, and vaulted himself over the landing. Seth’s feet hit the flight below, not stopping as he ran down toward the second floor. He had almost reached the bottom when he vaulted over the banister again and landed on the next flight. Seth charged down those steps and yet again flung himself over the banister, this time yelling a single word ahead of him.
Aksel immediately heeded him, turning and sprinting down the hallway toward the front door. Unfortunately, Glo hesitated, a bewildered look upon his face.
“I said run!” Seth scrambled down the last steps, skirted passed the waiting wizard, and bolted down the hall beyond. Behind him, Glo began to move, but it was too little too late.
A quick glance over his shoulder confirmed what he expected to see. A whirling vortex came sweeping down the steps. Paintings flew off the wall, the small table in the hall upended, and lamps were blown off their sconces. It caught up to Glo and swept him off his feet, then stopped there at the bottom of the steps. The whirlwind whipped the elf around like a rag doll, spinning him mercilessly.
Seth screeched to a halt, whipping back around to face the creature that had his friend. The whirlwind was large. It spanned the width of the hallway and reached all the way to the ceiling. Dragon dung! This Maltar doesn’t fool around.
It was a Great Air Elemental. The winds from the creature would soon tear Glo apart! We need to get him out of there fast.
Seth drew his knives and ran forward. He was not sure what his small blades would do against a creature made of air, but he had to try something. Suddenly the hallway around him began to shake. What now?
Seth halted and glanced over his shoulder. He was just in time to see the doors to the foyer fly off their hinges. They sailed out into the hallway, slamming into the walls on either side. A large figure marched through the entryway and lumbered straight for him. It was The Boulder. Seth jumped back and flattened himself against the wall, just in time. The stone golem stomped by him and marched toward the stairs, halting in front of the whirling elemental. The Boulder was tall, but the air creature towered over him. Glo was still caught inside the vortex. Seth could hear his cries as he was whipped around.
The Boulder raised its huge arms. Seth flinched. If the golem started flailing away at the creature, Glo would be pulped! Yet, instead of swinging at the elemental, The Boulder took a step forward. It stretched its long arms out into the whirlwind.
It’s trying to catch Glo! Smart, Aksel, very smart.
The little cleric had drawn up next to him. Seth nodded curtly to him, but Aksel’s eyes lay fixed on the scene before them. The duo stood there, side by side, grim-faced as The Boulder attempted to grasp the spinning elf. The sudden sound of heavy footfalls caused Seth to whirl around and crouch into a defensive stance. A tall form rushed down the hallway toward them. Seth immediately recognized the figure. Lloyd!
Lloyd rushed passed them, drawing his twin blades, both coming alight as he did. Seth, daggers in hand, followed close behind. The Boulder’s arms were now completely immersed in the elemental, its great weight preventing it from being buffeted by the fierce winds. Glo was now at the top of the whirlwind, the elemental trying to keep its captive out of the golem’s reach.
Lloyd and Seth got as close as possible without being swept up themselves. Man and halfling swung and stabbed at the creature. They must have hit something in all that wind because the monster visibly shuddered from each swipe. Without warning, there was a blinding flash and a resounding boom.
Seth and Lloyd jumped back instinctively as the elemental lit up from the inside. That’s lightning!
Seth blinked his eyes until his vision cleared. Up above, Glo still swirled around at the top of the whirlwind. Seth was impressed. Somehow, Glo had managed to fire off that spell. In spite of the high winds, Glo’s arms began to move again. Seth immediately recognized those motions. He’s trying to cast another spell.
The elemental must have realized it as well. Without warning, it ejected Glo from its body. Seth’s eyes went wide as Glo flew overhead. He arced through the air, landing far down the hallway. The hapless elf tumbled end over end until he finally stopped by the broken doors where he lay in a heap. Aksel was already on the move, reaching Glo’s side in seconds and kneeling over the still form. Seth fought down the urge to run after them as well. Glo was in good hands, and they still had an elemental to take care of.
After a momentary pause, Lloyd weighed back in. He swung furiously at the elemental, both his blades burning bright. Seth darted in and out once more, stabbing at the creature with both daggers. The elemental continued to shudder, but neither man nor halfling slowed down or backed away. The Boulder then joined the fray. Overhead, two huge grey arms swung at the giant whirlwind. The creature visibly flinched from each blow. After a few more swings, the elemental tried to withdraw. Suddenly a red-hot beam arced overhead. It lanced past the golem and caught the elemental full on. Seth glanced over his shoulder. At the end of the hall, Glo was up again. He knelt on one knee, his right hand pointing down the hall while Aksel supported him under the other arm. A grim smile crossed Seth’s lips. As he spun back around, he noticed something strange. Is it my imagination or are the winds dying down?
Inside the dervish, he could vaguely see the outline of a transparent figure. Its back was arched, and it appeared to be silently screaming. The winds died down a bit more, and then the form abruptly vanished! The whirlwind slowly sputtered to a stop and then completely disappeared.
Seth breathed a sigh of relief. It’s over.
Lloyd was flushed from exertion. “That was some battle!”
Seth peered at the tall young man and for once genuinely smiled. “You can say that again.”
Down the hall, Aksel held onto Glo, the latter with a look of keen satisfaction on his face. Seth sheathed his daggers and strode toward the duo. A number of smart remarks came to mind, but before he could utter a single word, Glo closed his eyes and slumped down. Aksel struggled but managed to keep him from falling. Seth and Lloyd reached them as Aksel eased Glo onto the floor.
Lloyd’s voice was laced with concern. “Is he alright?”
“He’ll be fine,” Aksel assured them. “I told him you guys could handle it, but he insisted on shooting the thing.”
Seth shook his head and let out a short laugh. “If he’d just listened when I said run...”
He was interrupted by a voice from the foyer. “Did I miss anything?”
Martan stood in the entryway, newly-fixed bow in hand. The archer’s eyes were wide as he took in the smashed doors, the thrown furniture, and the general destruction up and down the hallway. “This place looks like it was hit by a hurricane!”
Seth, Aksel, and Lloyd all laughed.
“More or less,” Seth quipped.
Martan eyes came to rest on Glo. His face went pale. “What happened to Glolindir?”
A wide smirk crossed Seth’s lips. “I guess you could say he spun out of control.”