Descent Into Darkness
The Mancers’ Guild House has fallen. Jevanel lies in ruins. In the aftermath of destruction, the Mancers struggle to rebuild their numbers while the Monster of Menie schemes.
Though Ba’tvian Delthanurk hunts them, Mancers must still heed their sworn duties. Responding to a call from the Rathburn Watch, one of their number returns to the city he once called home. A murderer is stalking the city of Rathurn, leaving mutilated bodies in his decade-long wake. The Watch suspect a local; the Mancer Veln Greenmeadow suspects a blood mage.
As Veln searches for the truth in Rathburn, Absol Omine prepares his people as best he can. Time is running out as Ba’tvian and his Shadowed Ones close in on Destiny’s Way. Absol’s hope lies in the boy he’s raised, one whose power may be equal to the blood mage Delthanurk’s. While the Mancers plan, the elven lady Nerisse se li Astorae enacts a scheme of her lord’s making. Every step she takes is haunted by what she’s done. As she tries to separate the madness she fears from the reality around her, Nerisse struggles for reprieve.
One will lose all sense of self. Another will perish in failure. And the Monster of Menie will lay the foundation of new future.
A conflict is coming. By the end of it, fire will scour the blood-soaked earth.
The dove flew to Labiyal’s hand, sat there as he produced a message tube and affixed it to the bird’s leg. The small bit of paper in that tube would launch the next act of this elaborate play. With careful planning and manipulation, he would succeed in something at which even Daemon Lords had failed.
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Ba’tvian Delthanurk, the Monster of Menie, is leaving the frozen north. With him are the loyal elven lady Nerisse se li Astorae and the mute barbarian Ibestor. As they ride southward, they seek to turn the tide against the Mancers who hunt them – and they are not along in their ambition. Their path will converge with others’ yet even as the fledgling alliance promises to deal a blow that will leave the Mancers reeling, a new threat arises for Ba’tvian’s strongest supporter. Torn between her past and her present, faced with madness, a one-time priestess must again choose: a slow death or her lord’s command.
Descent Into Darkness, Part 4: His Command is the latest installment of the novella e-series by Doris Ross. It’s now available on Amazon.com.
Descent Into Darkness, Part 5: His Revenge will release as an e-book at the end of September. Both His Command and His Revenge will be included in the upcoming printed omnibus, Descent Into Darkness, Volume 2: His War, which will release in late October.
I will be attending North Florida Comic Con with Trinity Gateways LLC on October 26, 2014 in the Jacksonville area. If you’re in town, come on by to check out our books and chat. I’ll be selling copies of Descent Into Darkness, Volume 1: He Begins, Descent Into Darkness, Volume 2: His War, and the first book in my new Hidden Reaches series entitled Blood & Rain. I hope to see you there!
Life is full of meetings and moments. They shape our destinies, can change the very course of our lives. Two years have passed since Nerisse se li Astorae made her choice to follow Ba’tvian Delthanurk, and still they are hunted. As they flee north from the Mancers that pursue them, Ba’tvian will encounter a barbarian who is more beast than man. Nerisse must face down an ability that could force her from her lover’s side. Yet these are not the least of their worries. A Mancer has picked up their trail, and blood will stain the snow before the hunt is over.
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He was precise in his butchery, in the carving. The runes he made on the corpse held only a fraction of the power they would on living flesh. The diagrams he sketched with the blood would retain nothing, unlike when they were drawn before the kill was made. Their purpose was to make a point, a statement.
Ba’tvian Delthanurk was to be remembered and feared.
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EARLY WINTER, 1306 AF
THE NORTHERN WILDERNESS OF ORTHANOR
IT was a small cabin, the family crowded into the largest room for warmth. A hearth stood at one end of room, embers smoldering in the ash. On the opposite side, two braziers were eating through their portion of firewood. They, along with the thick bedding cocooning each person, provided heat to stave off the bitter cold outside.
Amongst the mounds of blankets and people was a dog. In the night time gloom, it was hard to make out the breed. The size, however, indicated that it could be one of those used for hunting or protection.
A silent order was sent out. Something began to slither in the dark.
The canine woke first. It roused with a snuffle, its bi-colored eyes darting around the room for whatever it was that had disturbed it. It clambered to its feet, shook itself, then began to inspect the murk-filled room. Working its way around, it paused by the window, stared at a semi-transparent shape bathed in moonlight. It resembled an over-large salamander, with broad flat head and no legs. It opened eyes of leprous white, its body bunching in on itself. The dog growled low.
It leapt. The canine lunged, jaws agape, a harsh sound reverberating in its chest. Behind it, the floor of bedding began to move.
The creature dove into the dog’s maw, stretching thin. The animal choked, hit the sill, coughed, yelped. The hind end of the creature, a vague shape of blackness, thrashed as it hung out of its opponent’s throat. The canine flung its head about, still coughing, choking. The noises, the motions, became more frantic.
Blood ran in rivulets down the shadow’s length to pool on floor.
Awakened by their pet’s distress, the family scrambled out of their bedding. Three adults and five children gave cries of dismay as the dog collapsed in a puddle of moonlit crimson. The creature wiggled out of the carcass, looking more substantial that the ether it had resembled before. As the adults went for whatever weapon they could find, as the children screamed, it opened its flat, lizard-like jaws. With a sickening crunch of bone, it bit through the dog’s head.
In the gloom around them, the rest of its ilk moved in for the kill.
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Descent Into Darkness, Part 3: His Beast
Two years have passed since Ba’tvian Delthanurk first cut a bloody swath into the world. Enthralled by his side is Nerisse se li Astorae, the elven girl with whom Ba’tvian had been replaced by his late mentor. Life has not been easy; pursuit dogs their steps. To evade the Mancers who hunt him, the renegade mages have ventured into the Northern Wilderness, now frozen in winter. Frustration mounts as being constantly on the run was not the path they had envisioned after fleeing the Trinity.
However, Ba’tvian plans for the future is not the only problem they have. An ability possessed by Nerisse prevents her from fulfilling the role her lover has in mind, yet the search for a solution may mean chancing discovery. The price will be high.
A Mancer has picked up their trail, and a barbarian with crude mage skills of his own is roaming the wilds. Their encounter will leave will the snow stained with blood.
The third installment of the Descent Into Darkness series is available in e-book, and is included in the printed omnibus, Descent Into Darkness, Vol. 1: He Begins. Both can be purchased on Amazon and Kindle here.
The Aftermath of a Con
The authors of Trinity Gateways LLC (of which I am one) just wrapped up our stint at Ancient City Con this weekend. It was fantastic seeing old friends and making new ones. Many thanks to the con staff for having us, and to everyone who stopped by the table. We hope you had as much fun as we did. Lots of pictures were taken; there were some really great cosplayers in attendance. Check them out on the Trinity Gateways Facebook Page.
We are now, of course, pretty wiped out. Convention-itus is setting in; the mental fog has begun to form. I’m making this post tonight instead of Monday so that it doesn’t get lost along the way. Now I must head to bed before I face-plant in my keyboard.
Today marked the second day of ACC. There were a lot more cosplayers than yesterday which meant our residential picture fairy, LJ got to run around capturing even more great costumes, and even posing for a few herself. We got to meet some great people, sell more books, and even had a few laughs. LJ assisted our friends Kevin and Sarah Jo Coryell with their panel on fanfiction and afterwards we stayed for our favorite: The Ultimate Occult Showdown hosted by our friends Kevin Ranson and Brett Link of MovieCrypt.com. If you ever have an opportunity to attend this particular panel at a con they are at we highly recommend it. It’s nonstop laughs as the audience debates on who makes a better________. Our favorite for tonight’s was “Who is a better faery?” Sookie from True Blood or Maleficent from the movie Maleficent.
Be sure to check out our pictures from today at our Facebook page! Only one more day left to go!
Today was the first day of this year’s ACC! We spent the majority of the day manning our booth, selling books, reuniting with past friends and making new ones. We also saw a lot of amazing costumes. It was quite and enjoyable and productive first day. Be sure to visit our Facebook page if you want to check out the pictures we took. We will have more available for your viewing pleasure. Remember, if you mention you saw us online you’ll receive a discount on your purchase!