Tomb of the Gods: Alive and Kicking
When a god dies, do their powers die with them? What if what remains holds an ancient evil at bay? What if that evil were set free?
At the end of Protectors of Penwick, the original companions had a deadly encounter with the dracolich, Jinkolothos. That confrontation left Glolindir frozen solid and Seth gone in a cataclysmic implosion.
Two blog posts ago we found out what actually happened to Glo, yet Seth’s fate still remains a mystery. With the release of Tomb of the the Gods just over two weeks away, I will now, as promised, reveal the destiny of our favorite acerbic halfling.
Like Glo, did Seth manage against all odds to survive that fateful encounter? Find out in this excerpt from the third chapter of Tomb of the Gods, entitled Alive and Kicking:
Seth felt confused and more than just a bit annoyed. Glo had assured him that placing one portal bag inside of the other would end up in a deadly explosion. Seth had banked everything on it, getting as close as he could to that damn bone dragon before stuffing the two bags inside each other. Though the result had been different than he expected, he had to admit it was nothing short of spectacular.
A rift four times as tall as Seth formed in the air around him. It had been large enough in fact to completely engulf one of the dragon’s legs. Still, he had been hoping for something a bit more—explosive. Instead, the rift had sucked him through to this endless gray void before it closed. It had not been a complete loss though. The rift had also pulled the dragon’s entire leg with it.
Seth had found that quite amusing at first. His laughter stopped, however, when the dragon leg proceeded to try and stomp him out of existence. It couldn’t have just fallen over like a normal severed leg. No, that would have been far too much to ask. Instead, the stupid thing chased him around the void trying to stamp him into the ground—or whatever passed for the ground in this gods forsaken endless void.
“Alright already!” Seth screamed at the stupid leg after rolling away from under it for about the tenth time. “Can’t you pick on someone your own size?”
“Well, there’s something you don’t see every day,” a familiar voice sounded behind him.
That sounded like Xellos. Was he hearing things now too?
Still wary of the dragon’s leg, Seth cast a quick glance over his shoulder. To his surprise, another portal had formed in the grayness. Even more surprising, Lloyd, Aksel, Xellos, and Alys all stood in front of it. They actually came looking for me!
Seth felt like jumping for joy, but it wasn’t in his nature to get all mushy. So instead, he responded the way he knew best—with sarcasm. “You just going to stand there all day and gawk?”
A wide grin spread across Lloyd’s face. “Nice to see you too, Seth.” A second later, he took off into the air, his blades coming alive with flames.
The rest of them rushed forward as Seth dodged yet another attempt by the dragon leg to squash him. Xellos let loose with a barrage of arrows. Normally, arrows would not work against a creature of all bone, but the archer had a knack for pinpointing critical spots in even the toughest of opponents.
As Seth rolled out of the way, Alys hit the creature with one of those sonic shrieks. Such was the force behind the assault that it caused the leg to stop in its tracks and even made its bones rattle. At the same time, a large translucent hammer slammed into the leg. Aksel’s doing no doubt.
Above them, Lloyd strafed the dragon leg with his two swords. Made of star metal, his black blade would cut through almost anything. His other blade, a holy sword, acted as an anathema to the undead dragon leg.
Never seeming to run out of breath, Alys held the leg immobilized while the others pounded and sliced it to pieces. When it was over, all that remained of the leg was a large pile of bones.
Seth glared at that pile with a keen sense of satisfaction. “Told you to pick on someone your own size.”
As Lloyd landed and the others gathered, Aksel confronted Seth with a hard stare. “So, were you trying to get yourself killed?”
“Tsk.” Seth clicked his tongue. “More like I was trying to stop the rest of you from dying.”
Aksel folded his arms in front of him and narrowed his eyes even further. “By sacrificing yourself?”
“Well, duh.” Seth shrugged. He thought that would have been obvious by now.
Aksel unfolded his arms and stepped forward until his face was mere inches from Seth’s. When he spoke, his voice was thick with emotion. “Well don’t you ever even think of doing that again.”
Aksel’s anger over his ‘almost’ death truly caught Seth by surprise. He had no idea just how much the little cleric cared about him. Still, Seth didn’t do emotions very well. So once again, he resorted to sarcasm. He took a step back, clicked his heels together, and gave Aksel a sharp salute. “Yes, sir!”
Aksel glared at him, then sighed and shook his head. “Seth, you’re incorrigible.”
A wicked grin spread across the halfling’s lips. “I am, aren’t I?”
“Well, I’m just happy you’re still alive!” Lloyd declared emphatically. Before Seth could stop him, the young man grabbed him and pulled him into a bear hug.
Seth blanched at the unwanted attention. “Get off of me, you goon!”
Unfortunately, his complaints just made Lloyd grin even more. “Awe, I missed you too, Seth.”
When Lloyd finally put him down, Seth hid any further embarrassment by vehemently brushing himself off. “Thanks a lot, Lloyd. It’s going to take me forever to get the wrinkles out.”
“Well, I think it’s cute how all your friends care about you,” Alys practically gushed.
Though Seth didn’t dislike Alys, he didn’t much care for her emotional ramblings. An interesting thought suddenly crossed his mind, leading to a derisive snort. “If you think it’s so cute, maybe you’d like Lloyd to squish the heck out of you instead?”
Alys’ cheeks abruptly turned a bright shade of red. She cast a sidelong glance at the handsome young man. “I don’t think that would be quite appropriate.”
Seth had obviously struck a nerve. Interestingly, Lloyd’s face reddened as well. Instead of responding though, he quickly changed the subject.
“Um, yes. Well, anyway, we should probably be heading back. With any luck they’ve managed to defrost Glo by now.”
Seth’s breath suddenly caught in his throat. “You mean Glo’s alive?”
Aksel quickly explained Glo’s situation to him. He finished with what Lara, Sirus, and Andrella were attempting in order to revive their elven friend.
After hearing the entire hairbrained scheme, Seth just shook his head. “And you all thought it was a good idea to listen to the ramblings of a mad priest?”
Lloyd’s hand went to the back of his neck. “Well, we really didn’t have much choice.”
Seth grimaced and shook his head. “I think Glo will be lucky to survive this all in one piece.”
Alys fixed him with a curious stare. “Funny, that mad priest said just about the same thing.”
Seth stared at them all incredulously. “And you still thought it was a good idea?”
Aksel breathed a heavy sigh. “Anyway, Lloyd’s right. We should be heading back.” Before anyone could say another word, the little cleric gathered his concentration and traced a pattern through the air. Seth could feel the magic gathering around the pattern until Aksel released it with two words.
As soon as the words left Aksel’s lips, a glowing blue oval of swirling energy appeared in the grayness before them. Through the portal, Seth could clearly see the grounds of the temple complex in Penwick.
“After you,” Aksel said, ushering Seth forward.
He didn’t have to tell him twice. Seth gingerly leapt into the portal, glad to leave the strangeness of that gray void behind.
Well that's all for now. If you want to read more about the original heroes adventures, you can preorder the ebook version of Tomb of the the Gods at your favorite online bookstore by clicking on the link. In coming months I'll have more excerpts from Tomb, as well as news on upcoming audio recordings.
Thanks and feel free to leave comments below!