Tag Archives: Dark Lord

End of the Journey

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Spring is the season of rebirth and new beginnings.  Winter’s white blanket melts away, and the slumbering earth awakens.  Tender shoots spring from roots thought long dead, emerging shyly at first and then, emboldened by the warming sun and nourishing soil, they burst forth with vibrant life.

Castle of Blood, final book of the Dark Lords of Epthelion saga, begins in the spring.  Between the rocky spires atop a forbidding peak stands a beautiful castle of purest rose quartz, erected by a demon for his chosen one, a person he will endow with the Black Arts but carefully mold to his will.  So whisper the superstitious Rauths of Barren-Fel.  Hans Ogilvie rides to investigate, filled with dread, for he fears he knows the Chosen One’s identity.  The castle, if it exists, portends Hans’ death and Epthelion’s ruin.

When Hans does not return, Arganian mystic Arris Marchant rides to find him.  Initially, his brother, Davon, accompanies him; but a series of visions draw Davon to aid the beleaguered woodsmen of San-Leyon.  On their separate quests they battle shapeshifters, black magic, and an ancient evil they cannot kill.  And when Davon is later captured, Arris must somehow destroy this evil without killing his brother.

Throughout the story the demon’s allure draws even the most honorable of men to himself.  A beautiful ruler seeks to obliterate her own people and reinstitutes the gory rites of human sacrifice.  A tribal leader’s attempt to utilize a fearsome beast to evict raiders who stole their land ensnares him in a grisly contract he cannot break–and by his slightest misguided thought he murders his loved ones.  A stalwart warrior suffers a ghastly curse.  Only the demon’s destruction can free them–if Arris can accomplish this.

I loved creating this mystical tale with its exotic setting and colorful characters.  The last leg of this journey is complete.  I have now embarked on a new journey into paranormal realms, which proves every bit as intriguing as the Dark Lords of Epthelion.  I love sharing my worlds.  You can catch a glimpse of them here.

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Castle of Blood

© Everthedreamer, 2017  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

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New Release: Castle of Blood

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Just released on Amazon.com:  CASTLE OF BLOOD, Book 3 of the Dark Lords of Epthelion trilogy.  Just $0.99 in the Kindle store through January 2017.

A new castle founded by an ancient demon has appeared between the rocky spires of a menacing peak high in the Mystic Mountains. Hans Ogilvie rides to investigate and when he does not return, mystic Arris Marchant journeys to the castle to find him. His search leads him to an old nemesis who must be destroyed before plunging Epthelion into utter destruction. But can he destroy an enemy who cannot be killed?

Escape from the mundane into the Castle of Blood.

 

 

 

Lucius Mordarius

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“Fools!  They believe they have triumphed, but at the opportune moment I shall strike!  I, Lucius, Mordarius, once deemed unworthy by the Dark Lord Ryadok, shall conquer and reign supreme.  The Dragon’s colors shall fly over every kingdom in Epthelion while the Serpent cowers in his hole.  And when he does come forth, he shall serve me!”                                                                                              ~Lucius Mordarius, Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel, Book 1 of the Dark Lords of Epthelion series

Lucius Mordarius was Ryadok’s apprentice and cousin of Merewyn Havalseth, the novel’s heroine.  Orphaned at a young age, he was adopted by his uncle, Jonah Havalseth of Valhalea, who served as King Nicholas’ most trusted adviser.  His relationship to a prestigious and highly respected uncle, along with a virtuous facade gained Mordarius many friends among Valhalea’s elite.

But selfish ambition festered in a corrupt and merciless heart filled with contempt for the uncle who loved him as his son.  Mordarius’ innate craftiness, military prowess, and persuasive talents caught Anhuapta’s attention, and with seductive promises of wealth and power the Serpent god lured him into the inky bowels of Barren-Fel to Ryadok’s fortress.  Thinking Mordarius a useful puppet, Ryadok took him into his service.  Mordarius proved an apt and eager pupil, quickly mastering the Black Arts and embracing Ryadok’s vision of total dominion over all Epthelion.  However, servitude did not become Mordarius; he wanted Ryadok’s throne and position.  As a result, the enraged sorcerer cast him from a castle tower.

Anhuapta, disguised as a green dragon, appeared to Mordarius, strengthening and granting him the power needed to engage Ryadok.  He still sustained Ryadok, but throughout the story pitted one against the other in a quest to determine and then elevate the stronger of the two.

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© Everthedreamer, 2016  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

Dark Lords of Epthelion: Anhuapta

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“Reclaim your power and rightful destiny.  You need give up nothing.  Reclaim your power and stem the rising madness.  You are strong, stronger and wiser than any before you, for you entered the demonic realm and returned unscathed with your honor intact. . .”                                            ~Anhuapta, the Serpent god, A Dark Moon Rises,  Book 2 of the Dark Lords of Epthelion series

The demon Anhuapta was the driving force behind Epthelion’s evil kings.  Preying on their selfish lusts, he drew them into his lethal web, enduing them with supernatural powers and satisfying their whims while they unwittingly served his purpose.  When their usefulness ended he cast them aside, murdering some and leaving others to their fates.

Anhuapta could alter his shape, but usually appeared as a hooded red-eyed serpent and thus was worshiped as the serpent god by cults across Epthelion. A master of the Black Arts, he could render himself invisible and was capable of flight and moving at lightning speed.  Only a few of the High Arganians possessed such power and only two fought Anhuapta face to face, engaging him in the Corridor, the tubular interface between the natural and supernatural worlds.  One Lesser Arganian, however, would prove his most formidable foe.

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© EvertheDreamer, 2016  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without written permission from the author is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given.

 

Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel (Book 1 of The Dark Lords of Epthelion)

Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel

Darkness.  Misery.  Death.

Her family and countrymen slaughtered by her own cousin, Lucius Mordarius, and his ilk, followers of the Dark Lord, Ryadok.  Beaten down but fueled by hatred, Merewyn stubbornly survives, enduring years of brutal slavery before making a daring escape.  Aided by four men she doesn’t entirely trust, she directs her steps toward Ha-Ran-Fel, land of the savage Horse Lords, where she hopes to gain the strength to return for Mordarius’s head.

But complications arise.  Her companions hunt Lord Ryadok’s beast, the Baugonril, born of magic, indestructible, and capable of destroying every kingdom still fighting Ryadok’s yoke.  Merewyn must look beyond her personal quest for vengeance to the salvation of her world, but her broken heart holds little else but hate for her cousin and  suspicion of her companions.

Dogged by Mordarius’s soldiers and her own inner demons, Merewyn survives maelstroms, near starvation, the dangerous crossing of the raging Ashgard River, and a nearly-fatal encounter with Baugonril before reaching her destination, only to meet suspicion and contempt.  She must prove herself worthy of the right to avenge her family and save her world as the Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel.

 

Writing Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel (Book 1 of the Dark Lords of Epthelion series) proved both an adventure and an escape.  For three to four hours every evening I left the mundane world of computer coding and set my imagination free, enjoying the ride as I waited to see where it took me.  I had but an image:  A young woman standing outside a ramshackle cottage at sunset.  The dying sun stained the cottage walls with rusty hues. A dead tree behind her raised skeletal bleached branches to the sky.  The wind lifted her blonde hair and stirred the sparse native grass at her feet.  Her face wore a haunted expression as she contemplated the darkening sky, trying to decide to which of the mysterious kingdoms surrounding her she could flee.  Whether merely unhappy or facing mortal danger I could not tell, but as she began to speak a tale of indescribable betrayal and tragedy unfolded that made me wonder:  How do you retain your sanity when the unendurable shatters your world and destroys all you hold dear?  How can you ever learn to love or trust or laugh again?

A story of human resilience, perseverance, faith, and victory emerged.  My heroine not only survived but thrived, and continued on to a more fulfilling life than she might have otherwise enjoyed. And during her journey she discovered within herself strength and abilities she didn’t know she possessed.

Warrior Queen of Ha-Ran-Fel swept me into a beautiful and enchanted world with a colorful cast of characters:  The Arganian mystics; the stalwart woodsmen; the evil sorcerer and his ambitious apprentice; the sinister peoples of the Dark Lord’s realm; and the rough-neck mercenaries, among others. Action, suspense, and humor intertwine into an intriguing tale.  I loved writing it.  And I’d love to share my world with you.

Ocean Sunset

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I’m staring at the most beautiful scene: A northern California shoreline at sunset. The sun hovers just above the waves, staining the heavens with brilliant shades of crimson and orange as it settles in for the night. Foam-topped waves tumble shoreward, churning and swirling among the smooth stones before pulling back for another run. Farther out, a jagged monolith juts out of the sea, black against the fiery backdrop, a lone gull perched on its top.

It’s only a picture, torn from last year’s calendar and tacked to my cubicle wall. But I hear the ocean’s timeless roar, feel the brisk breeze on my face, and I remember a time when I stood on such a beach watching the sunset after an exhilarating day flying kites and running barefoot in the sand. For three glorious days I’d thrown off the shackles of adult obligations to embrace childhood again, reveling in the crisp autumn air of a nearly-empty beach and casting aside cell phone, laptop and wrist watch to commune solely with wind and waves and to hear my Creator’s still small voice.

That evening aroused many emotions: tranquility, serenity, awe and breathless wonder, and even some silliness as I contemplated the cloud of steam that should have erupted when the sun hit the ocean. As a child I actually believed that—until my parents finally told me, very matter-of-factly, that the sun does not drop into the ocean. A basic science class explaining the true nature of the solar system later confirmed their words. But I still think one needs to entertain some silliness once in a while. Everyone needs a little humor and levity. I certainly do.

That meeting of sun and sea made me consider another aspect of life: How often does it seem we tread dangerous waters while heading straight into a fire? I know that feeling, as do countless others. Those pounding waves and raging fires can crush and consume—or they can refine and strengthen. Fire and water play leading roles in my fantasy novels as both destroyers and refiners as, literally and figuratively, my heroes pass through both. What determines how you emerge? Partly who you are: your attitude toward life and people, and how you deal with circumstances. Mostly it is what—or Who—you worship. Years ago I chose to worship Jesus Christ. Does he remove the obstacles? No. Do bad things still happen to us? Yes. Does he intervene in our behalf? Yes, sometimes in ways we don’t expect or think to be right. And does he walk with us in trials, offering grace and comfort? Absolutely!

Sometimes as I gaze at that picture I envy that gull which, unfettered by schedules, deadlines, and the demands of life simply takes to the heavens at will. But there’s a place within me where my Creator lives, where I can lay aside my burdens, collect my thoughts, and talk to Him—and listen when He speaks to my heart. Likely I’ll never live near a beach—but Christ has prepared a place for me more wonderful than any place on this earth. And someday I may even revisit that beach, kick off my shoes, launch my kite and watch it soar among the gulls. In the meantime I cherish the truth that, whether in crushing waves or searing fire, my Savior is always with me.

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