Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Change in Attitude

   It's amazing to me how much one simple achievement has changed my attitude about myself. For years, as I struggled with my writing, I despaired of ever completing anything much less actually getting it published. Now that my first story is up on Amazon, it's like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. There is now a simple confidence inside me that says you can do it. I may take a little more time than others, but I'll keep on writing and more stories will be published.
   The other change is that I now see myself as an author, not just a writer. I've spent the last couple of days setting up author pages on Goodreads and Facebook now that I see myself in that new light. There's also a new confidence when I talk to others about writing. Before, I used to hesitate when folks asked me what I did. If I said I was a writer, the inevitable question was always, "Have you published anything?" Now I can answer that without a bunch of excuses. Having gone through the whole process of final edits, cover design, and formatting, I feel a little better qualified to talk to other aspiring authors about what to expect and how to get through the process.
   Sales of my book have dropped off significantly the last couple of days, but that doesn't surprise me since I've done nothing to promote it. What's interesting though is that the pages read chart continues to hold steady. I'm not the kind of person to fill up everyone's feed with constant reminders of my book, so next on the learning curve will be several small attempts at promotion.
   For this week I wanted to share the Prologue for my upcoming epic fantasy which will be the next book published.
   Thanks for reading!

                                                 End of an Age

Now was the time to finish this. Only Demitrios, the last surviving Deluti High Lord, had the power to locate and if possible, destroy the Dark Lord.  He rode at the forefront of the Army of the North, an alliance he had forged between Northern Ogre, Mountain Wolves, the light-shifters of the Elintria and Humans. That alliance proved to be the turning point in a war that had lasted for decades. The Dark Lord of the South refused to acknowledge the intelligence and fighting abilities of the non-humans. For that reason, his entire army was comprised of humans, whom he treated little better than slaves.
The Army advanced steadily across the Plain of Sarglon and approached the Stagwood Forest. Ahead of them stretched an ancient, densely packed wood where the Dark Lord had established his final defensive line to protect his fortress at Bryhom. At the High Lord’s signal, the army positioned itself for attack with archers and mages to the front, followed by ogres, wolves and human swordsmen. The horsemen were positioned as rear guard due to their disadvantage in the thick forest.
As the first volley of arrows darkened the sky and fireballs launched by the human mages sped towards the forest, lightning strikes sent by the Dark Lord’s sorcerers began falling among the archers. Holding position, the mages and archers continued to provide covering fire until the wolves, ogres and Elintria assassins reached the edge of the forest. The swordsmen then followed to sweep through the forest in the wake of the non-humans. Riding among them, Demitrios provided as much protection as he dared but every death added to the burden of sorrow weighing on his heart.
His personal shield protected him from attack but did not block out the pungent odor of ozone and the sickly sweet stench of burning flesh. They had left behind a plain littered with the bodies of human and animal, but in the forest, Demitrios knew they would have the advantage. The wolves and ogre were formidable forest predators and the Elintria would quickly eliminate anyone attempting to hide in the trees.
 A sudden immense gathering of power alerted him to the presence of his enemy and the shocked realization of the terrible mistake he had made. The forest was a trap. With the last of his energy he sent out a powerful mental command to the entire army to abandon the forest immediately.  Face buried in the mane of his horse to keep from being swept off, they careened through the forest with the roar of an inferno pursuing them. Tendrils of smoke trailed from the burnt ends of the horse’s tail as they escaped through the western edge of the forest and ascended to a rock strewn meadow. The horse, lathered and trembling, stopped a few paces away from the body of a man slumped against the side of a large boulder. Demitrios fell from his saddle and stumbled over to his brother. The face of his twin was beyond recognition.
Compassion overwhelmed all other emotions as he gazed at the burnt and blackened body before him.
“Why have you done this to us Scorpios?” he cried. “Your lust for power has destroyed the last members of our race. The Council of Five gave up their lives by forging their spirits into the five Amulets of Focus that are now scattered throughout both continents. The Deluti are no more. You have placed the future of this world in the hands of the humans.”
The body of his brother convulsed, one eye cracked open and a hiss escaped through burnt and blistered lips.
“Kill me.”
“I can not. Regardless of what you have become, you are still my brother.”
Anger invoked by the senseless destruction and death his brother was responsible for rekindled the power of a Deluti High Lord in him. He rose to his feet and stood straight and tall.
“However, since you attempted to kill us all and took in more power than your body was able to control, I sentence you to live and suffer from those injuries and the knowledge of what you have done to our people.”
Demitrios walked over to stand next to his horse and stared at the smoking ruin that had once been the Stagwood Forest. With a faraway look in his eyes, he continued.
     “Many generations from now, the blood of the Deluti will return through the line of humans even stronger than before and our time on this world will come to an end. I have foreseen it.”
Back in the saddle, he turned his horse away from the broken body on the ground and whispered, “Goodbye my brother.”  He never looked back.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What I'm Feeling Right Now

   It's hard to put into words what I'm feeling right now, but I'm a writer so I'll try. As some of you may know, if you've been following my blog for a while, writing is difficult for me. It's not the writing itself, since once I sit down with a pen in my hand, words just seem to flow. That is if I can get my phantom editor to go away. It's the battle with my inner self that prevents me from sitting down in the first place.
   Realistically, I've had a fairly successful life, so how do I explain to folks that in my mind I've always felt like a failure. It doesn't make any sense, but depression rarely does. How do you convince yourself to write when your internal voice is constantly telling you it's a waste of time, nobody will like what you write, or you'll fail at this just like you've failed at everything else? Even though I've had a number of people tell me they like my writing, it's still a battle to write every time.
   Two days ago, I took a gigantic step for me and put my first book out there for the world to criticize. It's just a simple fantasy novella that took way too long to write, and honestly, I expected it to flop. I always figure friends and family are lying to me when they say my writing is good so I take their comments with a grain of salt. I have no idea what constitutes a successful book release, but the fact that a number of people actually bought the book, read it overnight and sent me e-mails today saying how much they enjoyed it, has sent my inner demon scurrying for the corner, grumbling.
   The fact that total strangers read and liked my story may have finally broken down the barrier and I may actually begin to believe in myself. This should give me the confidence I need to sit down everyday and write like I want to. In the future, when that old demon tries to come up with more excuses, I can remind him of the sales and comments made by people who enjoyed the story.
   Today, I'll share the blurb I wrote for Amazon and since this is my blog, I don't feel guilty about plugging my story again here. The title is "The Princess and the Apprentice", and her is the link if you're interested. Thanks for reading.

Aldan arrived at the King’s castle expecting to apprentice to the King’s Mage. Before he is able to recover from the journey, the castle comes under attack and he is forced into the role of Princess Odessa’s protector. Along with two guardsmen, they flee the castle through a secret passage where Aldan is confronted by beings and places he’d only read about.

Plagued by Aldan’s lack of confidence in his abilities, and his confusion over the budding relationship with the Princess, the companions struggle to reach a neighboring kingdom for help. With every confrontation, however, Aldan’s confidence grows, but Odessa is forced to embrace an ancient source of magic that will isolate her forever.

Upon reaching their destination, they discover the kingdom is under attack from an ancient evil only they have the power to counter. Will Aldan’s confidence and Odessa’s rare magic be enough to prevail and guarantee the help they need to return home?

So begins the story of “The Queen of Darkness”.


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Why Do You Write?

   Some people write in a popular genre because they just want to sell books. Some write based on personal experience and some use nothing but imagination. Others have a political or spiritual viewpoint they want to share with the world. Then there are those who simply want to get in your head and scare the crap out of you or gross you out.
   My stories won't influence your view of the world, but will give you a chance to escape the world. At my age, I've experienced enough of the dark in this world and have no desire to add to it. I love to write about characters and how they face the challenges in their world. There is always a little humor, some heartbreak, maybe romance, but always upbeat and positive. I guess that's what I love about light fantasy, the dark side may win a couple battles, but good always wins the war.
   I also enjoy the challenge of creating a completely fictional world that hopefully still makes sense. Introducing new species into the world, who may or may not act human, adds flavor to an otherwise bland world.
   I write the kind of stories that I like to read, so even if others don't like them, I will.
   Thanks again for reading. This week I thought I would share a scene from my epic fantasy that's still in progress. Hope you enjoy.

The only sound to be heard in the clearing was an occasional crackle from the fire. Emma and Sebastion alternated between looking at the path that Navon had taken and staring at each other. Eventually the silence became too much for Emma.

“Well, what do we do now?”

“We doing nothing be,” he answered. “Amulet and pups him protecting. Wanting thinking time alone.”

“That’s easy for you to say, fur face. It’s me the Old Man will hang from my toes if anything happens to Navon.”

“I protecting you be, little one,” Sebastion grinned at her from his place by the fire.

Before she could come back with a barb of her own, all the wolves sprung to their feet growling, and stared into the forest. Frantic howling could be heard in the distance, coming closer. The two male pups careened into the clearing, broadcasting terrifying images of a brilliant flash of light that even Emma and Sebastion saw clearly in their minds. Bright Star and Drifting Snow were forced to clamp down on the necks of the pups to settle them.

Emma, who had a better rapport with the elder wolf than the pups, had to wait for a clearer image of what frightened the pups. What she did pick up from Bright Star made no sense. A white clearing with white buildings suddenly appeared on the trail, a voice that sounded in their minds, then Navon and Moonlight disappeared along with the clearing. Emma knew this forest better than any other and there had never been a white clearing like they described.

All eyes turned to her. Once again, silence filled the clearing except for the quiet whimpers of the pups and a low rumbling growl from Bright Star that Emma could feel.

Sebastion stood, then sat again, hand clenched on the hilt of his sword. Slowly and carefully he spoke. “Little one, somehow we have failed. This is beyond any of us and we need direction. Only you have the power to contact the Old Man.”

Emma nodded and reluctantly reached inside her tunic to pull out the talisman she kept on a chain around her neck. The Ancient One had given it to her many years ago to contact him in an emergency. She had only used it once before in a fit of frustration, and received a tongue lashing for her actions. Even though this was an actual emergency, he would not be pleased. At the touch of her finger along with a small release of power, a misty figure formed in the center of the clearing.

A deep, powerful voice filled the clearing as High Lord Demitrios faced Emma.

“This had better be important, little one.”

“What, did I wake you from a nap?” she bristled. “Of course it’s important, Your Ancientness.”

Sebastion let his fangs show in a smile, and then quickly put on a serious expression as the image of the Ancient One turned to him.

“Sebastion, I am disappointed in you. I had hoped you would have her under better control. Now, I see all of you gathered here except young Navon and what is most disturbing, I can no longer sense his spirit. What has happened?”

Sebastion could only shrug while holding his hands out to the side.

Emma approached the glowing figure, hands clenched at her side. “That’s the problem. We don’t see him either. According to the wolf pups, he and Moonlight have been taken away by your Deluti Spirits. You should have warned us.”

“What do you mean? And who is Moonlight?” He stared off into the forest before turning to the elder wolf. “Bright Star, may I question your young ones?”

With a bark of command, the pups moved forward to sit at the feet of the old Deluti High Lord. He stared into their eyes for a short period of time, and then released them. They rose and returned to their parents, no longer whining.

The Ancient One paced back and forth with a look of concentration on his face as he pondered. “Which one of the Councilors inhabits the amulet that Navon wears? He is not ready. What is the purpose of the bond to the she-wolf? This changes everything.”

“Stop babbling, old man, and explain to us what is going on,” Emma demanded.

He turned to the ogre, as if he hadn’t heard. “Sebastion, I must ask that you travel to the capitol city and present yourself to the King. Princess Sofia of Dahlian will arrive soon to fulfill an agreement between the two nations. My vision is unclear but I sense that the Princess is next in line to receive an amulet. One of the Dukes is planning something and I have to assume he is an agent of my brother. He will do anything to get his hands on one of the amulets. Tell the King I have sent you to be her personal bodyguard.”

He ignored the fuming Emma and turned to the elder wolf. “Bright Star, my old friend, the fate of your daughter and young Navon is now out of our hands. The Deluti spirits have activated the Arches of Rineron. We cannot interfere or aid them in any way.” The Old Man paused as he raised his eyes and gazed to the south. “They must have passed through the first arch. I now sense Navon’s spirit far to the south in the land of the Shadhuin Nomads. If he and Moonlight survive their trial they will return to the north through the Shadow Mountains. Wait for them there.”

Finally he turned to Emma with a look that caused her to step back. “And you, my favorite little tree climbing assassin, will accompany Sebastion to the capitol, find out what the Duke intends, and then contact me again. Stay out of sight and stay out of trouble if you can.”

Before she could respond, the image of the old man returned to her talisman, leaving her and Sebastion to stare at each other in apprehension.

“That went well, don’t you think,” Emma beamed. “Did you hear him? He said I was his favorite! C’mon Sebastion, let’s take care of the wagon and get going. The sooner we can arrive at the capitol, the sooner I can find out what the Duke is up to.”

Sebastion shook his head and chuckled as they broke camp.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Don't Go It Alone

   Probably the best piece of advice I received after starting down the road to become a writer was: "Build a network of friends, especially writers, before attempting to publish anything." The closer I get to publishing my first book, the more I realize how important that advice was.
   Even though I'm not very active socially, I have managed to attract several thousand friends on Google+ a quarter of which is made up of writers. I have a Facebook account but that's mainly for family and close relations. I haven't tried any of the other social media sites yet since I don't normally have much to say. I joined a writers critique group and a writers support group several years ago. The two groups serve a completely different purpose but are both equally important. I also gained the attention of a local independent e-book publisher who has been extremely helpful in guiding me along this path.
   Without the critique group and beta readers, I don't think this story would flow as well as it does. They identified problems and plot holes I didn't even know were there. Living on a fixed income doesn't leave any extra money for cover design or editing but here again my friends came through. Several volunteered to help me put together a cover that looks great and others have gone through the manuscript for me to tighten up the writing and to make sure I've got commas in all the right places.
   The point I'm trying to make is that unless you're a highly gifted writer, editor and graphic artist, e-book publishing is not a one man show. It takes a team to put together something that sells. I've lost count of the writers I've run into who tried going it alone and can't understand why they aren't selling books. They usually had a good story but it was presented in a way that kept readers from taking a chance.
   I'll probably spend several more days going over the manuscript one last time and then have my publisher friend take me through the process of getting it on Amazon. As soon as I have a date, I'll let everyone know. The goal is sometime before Christmas.
   For this week I'm back to sharing a scene from my fan/fic.
   Thanks for reading.

   Wait a minute. Something tickled the back of her mind. It had to do with Elayne and Warders, specifically the Warder bond. Egwene realized that Elayne had been unusually quiet the whole meeting and seemed pre-occupied with something, staring at the wall of the tent. Now that Egwene looked a little closer, she saw a slight smile on Elayne’s face and a warmth in her eyes Egwene had never seen before. Oh Light! Elayne wasn’t staring at the tent wall, she was looking right in the direction of Rand’s camp. Little hints, like the pieces of a blacksmith’s puzzle, started falling into place. Elayne has bonded Rand as her Warder! That’s how she always seemed to know what Rand was feeling and where he was. But hadn’t Nynaeve told her that their group first tracked Rand through Alanna and then through Min since both seemed to know where Rand was. None of this made any sense. Blood and bloody ashes! Now she was upset. Upset that she hadn’t figured this out sooner and upset that her best friend had kept it a secret from her.

   “Elayne,” Egwene said, trying to keep the annoyance out of her voice. “I think we should start with the secret you’ve been keeping from all of us. The secret of you and your Warder.”

   At Elayne’s gasp and startled look, Egwene knew she had caught her woolgathering. Elayne recovered quickly though and answered. “You know I can’t talk about that.”

   “I‘m not talking about Birgitte, I’m talking about your other Warder, Elayne.”

   Egwene watched in amazement as a number of emotions flashed across the other woman’s face. Some she couldn’t even identify before Elayne’s training took over and the Queen of Andor sat before them once again.

   “First of all,” she declared. “I am not going to ask for forgiveness for what we’ve done and I don’t regret keeping it a secret. As you will see, there are some very personal reasons behind it and a matter of safety for those involved.”

   That got everyone’s attention.

   “Please be patient,” she asked. “I need to go back to a time before I knew any of you.”

   For some reason she stared at Nynaeve and Egwene a moment before continuing.

   “After the two of you, with Rand, Perrin, Mat and Thom, left the Two Rivers with Moraine Sedai and Lan, the first town you stopped at was Baerlon, right?”

   “I didn’t leave the Two Rivers with them.” Nynaeve grumbled. “But that’s where I caught up with them.”

   With a sympathetic look for Nynaeve, Egwene answered the questioning looks on the older women’s faces. “A story for another time.”

   “Anyway,” Elayne continued. “I don’t think either of you are aware of the fact that the main reason Moraine Sedai wanted to stop in Baerlon was because Min lived there. Moraine knew all abut Min’s ability to look at someone and see their future. Remember, Moraine knew that one of the boys had to be the ________ and hoped that any viewing of Min’s would lead her to the right one. Min told me that when she looked at the three boys, she almost fainted at the number of images swirling around their heads. With so many images she could only be sure of two things. The first being that the three of them are so closely tied together that if any one of them fails then possibly the entire Pattern fails as well.”

   “Blood and bloody ashes,” Siuan blurted out. “That means Perrin and Matrim are just as important as Rand in the upcoming battle. We have been so focused on Rand that no one has been keeping an eye on the other two.”

   At a sharp glance from Egwene, Siuan sat back in her chair muttering under her breath.

   “It’s a little late to worry about them now, Siuan. From what I’ve been able to learn, the two of them have done very well on their own.” Turning her attention back to Elayne, she asked. “What was the second thing Elayne?”

   “When she looked at Rand, she saw that she would fall hopelessly in love with him and that two others would love him also. The viewing didn’t tell her whether or not he would love her or any of the other women. If he did, then somehow the three of them were going to find a way to share him.”

   “Fish guts, girl,” Siuan exclaimed. “That is the most disgusting and indecent thing I’ve ever heard. Besides, I would box the ears of any man I caught trying to juggle three women at the same time.”

   “Siuan,” Egwene said with another sharp look. “Control yourself. It isn’t that unusual. Many Aiel women share a husband and it wasn’t that long ago that the idea of an Aes Sedai marrying her Warder was frowned upon. I think we can safely say that prohibition has come to an end, can’t we?”

   Since Siuan had married her Warder, Gareth Bryne, and Egwene was planning on marrying her Warder, Gawyn Trakand, Elayne’s brother, there was nothing left to say.

   “It’s still indecent,” Siuan muttered.

   As Elayne and Egwene shared a smile between them, Egwene continued. “So, Min was the first, you obviously are the second, but who is the third?”

   Before Elayne could answer, Nynaeve looked up with an incredulous expression on her face. “Aviendha. It has to be Aviendha. Is that what all that first sister business was about?”

   Egwene could only sit and stare as memories of their time in the Aiel waste flashed through her mind. Aviendha was the last person she would have thought of. All the time that they had spent together as apprentices to the Wise Ones, Aviendha had treated Rand with scorn and appeared to hate being around him. And what was this about first sisters?

   “Elayne,” she said. “Aviendha is the last woman I would have ever guessed. Remember, we spent a lot of time together in the Aiel waste and she certainly never acted like she wanted to be near him. Plus, I’m sure I don’t understand all of the intricacies of Aiel relationships and family bonds, but I know that to be first sisters means you have to share the same mother. What am I missing here?”

   With a laugh of understanding and ironic amusement, Elayne answered. “Egwene, the only way to understand Aiel ways is to be born and raised Aiel. I don’t even try anymore. But to answer your last question first, the Aiel Wise ones have developed some amazing weaves over the years. If two women care for each other enough and want to be first sisters more than anything, the Wise Ones have a ceremony that can simulate being born together from the same mother. Actually, Amys acted as our surrogate mother. The experience was so intense and I guess you could say primal, that I can’t even begin to describe it. Anyway, we became first sisters in heart and mind, if not in blood.”

   It was obvious from the look on Elayne’s face and the beginning of tears, that this was still a very strong emotional experience for her and she would need some time to recover. Egwene decided to get up and see if there was any tea left in the pitcher. As she got up, she thanked the Light again that her new chair was nothing like the one she’d had in the rebel camp. That thing would collapse every time she moved it and had dumped her on her backside a number of times. It’s extremely hard to maintain any kind of dignity when you’re on your rump with your dress around your knees. Thankfully, there was still tea left, so she proceeded to fill anyone’s cup who wanted more.

   “No thank you, Egwene,” Elayne grimaced. “I’m still only allowed goat’s milk because of the pregnancy.”

   After Egwene returned to her chair, Elayne continued. “I’m afraid you will have to ask Aviendha about her side of the story, because I’m not sure it’s something I can discuss. But I can guarantee that she loves Rand as much as Min and I. So when Rand came to Caemlyn to drag Nynaeve off on his mad plan to cleanse the male half of the Source, the three of us got together and confronted him, explaining how we felt. Of course, being a man, he thought we were all crazy and gave us some drivel about how he didn’t want us to be hurt when he died at the Last Battle. He finally confessed that he loved all three of us and agreed to let the three of us bond him.”

   “But Min has absolutely no ability to channel the One Power. How could she have bonded him?” asked a very puzzled Nynaeve.

   “Aviendha and I worked out a new weave using parts of the Warder bond and part of the first sister weave,” Elayne explained. “We tied the three of us together and then bonded Rand with one bond. Instead of having three separate bonds, there is one bond with a link to each of us. I had no idea how strong the bond was until something in Rand changed and a circle of blue sky opened up over Caemlyn. I’ve heard the same thing happened over the Stone of Tear where Min was staying. I have no doubt that where ever Aviendha is, blue sky is there also.”

   Siuan snorted as she got up and faced each one of them in turn. “I still don’t know what to think about what the three of you have done. However, it’s obvious to me that we’ve been living to long with the belief that just because something has never been done with the Power means it can’t be done. I’d rather clean out the bilges than admit this, but we Aes Sedai have become stagnant and lost the ability to be creative, which brings us back to the purpose of this meeting. Do we dare let Rand destroy the remaining Seals on the Dark One’s prison? Do we dare stop him? We all know that more than half of the Seals have failed already and the others will fail soon. Are we against it because of pride or because of ignorance? Even the youngest member of a crew knows that when you start putting new patches over old ones in the bottom of a boat, it’s time to replace the whole bottom. This grates on me like a pair of old, rusty oar locks, but I think it’s time we stopped trying to control and guide the _________ and just give him the support he asks for. Didn’t he say that the seals were a last ditch measure taken because the female Aes Sedai of the time refused to help him? If we give him our full support this time, maybe instead of patches he can make the Dark One’s prison whole again. You’ve been speaking a lot about trust this evening, Mother. Maybe it’s time we trust the Dragon to do what needs to be done. Besides, from the look of the world right now, what do we have to lose?”

   What do we have to lose? Egwene thought. If we lose, the world and everyone in it will cease to exist. Could she trust Rand that far? Did they have a choice? She would have to make a decision by tomorrow and hope it was the right one.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Are We There Yet?

   I don't know if other writers feel this way but I'm getting to the point where I just want this story published and out of my hair. If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that writing is not easy for me. It feels like I've been working on this story forever and it's still not done. Should get the final comments from the last beta reader soon and then it's time for the final edits. The book cover is good to go so as soon as the edits are complete, it's off to Amazon for publishing.
   The plan is to get the story published before Christmas. I doubt I'll do anything special like a release party since I don't know how but I will post the date it becomes available. Hopefully with the few friends I have on Google and Facebook, the word will get spread to enough people that some may actually check it out.
   The title of the book is "The Princess and the Apprentice" and I've included the tagline, back cover blurb and the synopsis here.
Thanks for reading.

Tagline: Apprentice mage Aldan did not foresee the responsibility of protecting a Princess. Neither did he anticipate falling in love.



Generations have come and gone since the end of the Mage Wars when renegades rebelled against the authority of the Council of Mages. Mages no longer held the trust of the people and magic use was shunned.

An ancient scroll from a previous age had predicted the war and the subsequent decline in magic. It also warned that there would once again come a time of mages seeking power but that one would be born with the power to subdue them and re-establish the Council. A cryptic message at the end of the scroll, penned by a different hand, read simply, “Beware the magic of blood”.

The spirit of the High Mage still haunts the Citadel and believes that Aldan Beaverson may be the one foretold. Forced to flee her home, Aldan assumes the role of Princess Odessa’s protector. He leads them into the Citadel where the High Mage gives him a Staff of Power. Princess Odessa is forced into embracing the magic of women, the Blood Magic.

Will the love that blossoms be enough to overcome their differences or will Odessa succumb to the seduction of the Blood? Only time will tell…



Aldan arrived at the King’s castle expecting to apprentice to the King’s Mage. Before he is able to recover from the journey, the castle comes under attack and he is forced into the role of the Princess Odessa’s protector. Along with two guardsmen, they flee the castle through a secret passage where Aldan is confronted by beings and places he’d only read about.

Plagued by a lack of confidence in his abilities and confusion over the budding relationship with Princess Odessa, the companions struggle to reach a neighboring kingdom for help. With every confrontation, Aldan’s confidence grows. Odessa also discovers a source of magic only she can use.

Upon arrival they discover that the kingdom is under attack from an ancient evil that only they have the power to overcome. Will Aldan’s confidence and Odessa’s rare magic be enough to prevail and guaranty the help they need to return home?

So begins the story of “The Queen of Darkness”.