#DID

Introducing Descent into Darkness Part 5: His Revenge

 

DID 5 - His Revenge

Descent Into Darkness, Part 5: His Revenge by Doris Ross

 

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.

His Command- The War

A silent war has begun. Ba’tvian Delthanurk is leaving a path of death in his wake as he hunts down the one force that can stop his rise to power.  The Mancers have begun to fall, but they won’t die easily under the Monster of Menie’s blade.  Allies are needed.  As he seeks those who share his goals, Ba’tvian is faced with losing the one person that could mean the success or failure of his plans.

 

Nerisse se li Astorae, the Elvanaraen Empath who loves him, is losing strength.  Condemned by her people, her life fading slowly, she needs to find a way to survive – no matter the cost.  With madness and death hanging over her, she will have to muster all her courage to make a terrible choice to keep her power for Ba’tvian’s own.

 

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.

His Command Quote 2

s Quote

 

In sleep, without the intensity that was so much part of who he was, he looked defenseless, exposed somehow.  Her lord, her lover, had vulnerabilities that few could comprehend.  The world stood against him, the Mancers hunted him – those were the reasons he’d turned to blood, to death.  They had not given him a choice.

I will keep you as safe as I can, she promised fiercely.  I will not let them drive you to failure.

 

Available on Amazon.

His Command Sample Chapter

SAERLAN si le Therian, High Priest of the Elvanarae, laid his hands on the earth’s altar.  The smooth, granite looked almost white under the slate blue skin of his hands.  His silver eyes picked out the flecks of gray, black, and pink in the stone.  They roamed the lines of the altar until they focused on the center-piece, a rockery set within a recessed section of the stone.  Each piece within it, from the loose sand to the rich soil, from the lack-luster sandstone to the rough crystals, represented the earth in all its forms.

Homely or beautiful, sterile or nourishing, the earth provides and shelters…

Saerlan closed his eyes, murmured another prayer.  As he finished, he smoothed a hand over his alabaster hair, its long length pulled back in a queue.  His fingers moved to touch the amulet he wore, an engraved silver disk with a rough-hewn topaz mounted in its center.  It was the symbol of his office, the etchings on it his oath to nurture and protect his people.

It felt cold now, lying heavy against the fabric of his woolen white robes.  The weight of it reminded him of the burden he had to bear.

He was alone in the main temple, striving to make peace with the disturbing news he’d received from the Mancer Absol Omine.  In a few minutes, he would meet with the family a would-be priestess, one that he’d known since she was a child, one that he had chosen for the priesthood.  He needed to tell them that, after vanishing for two years, she had been found.

He would have to tell them that she was a blood mage.

It made no sense.  He was unable to comprehend how Nerisse se li Astorae – an Empath – could have been able to aid a blood mage, let alone participate in the rites.  Yet Absol had been adamant that it was true.  She had helped to kill a Mancer.

It should not be possible for an Empath.  How…why?  She was such a sweet girl, a true child of the earth…

Saerlan heard the temple doors open behind him.  He would have to give this news without inner peace.

The priest turned from the altar, watching as Nerthet si le and Elisse se li Astorae, Nerisse’s parents, approached.  They, too, sported the trademark slate blue skin and white hair of their race.  Garbed in simple earth-colored tunics, darker trousers for the man, a skirt for the woman, the represented the typical Elvanarae living in the subterranean city of Jevanel.  They stopped at the base of the steps leading up to the altar to bow.  The respect engendered by the gesture held hints of their anxiety.  He returned the formality, then descended to join them.

“High One, have you received word of our daughter?”  Nerthet stroked his wife’s mane of white hair.  It occurred to Saerlan that Elisse most closely resembled her daughter.  As with Nerisse, there was a shy, sweet air about her.

Again, he wondered what had happened to her that she’d taken this darker path.

“Yes, I have.  Sit.”  He motioned to the steps, waiting for the couple to be seated before continuing.  “What I need to tell you is…difficult.”

“She’s dead.”  The flat declaration came from the mother.  She raised sorrowful eyes to the priest’s.  “My child is dead.  Killed by that monster.”

I wish it were that easy, that her death was what I had to tell them.

“No.”  He kept his voice soft, gentle.  “This, I’m afraid, is much worse than death.”  He reached within his white robes, pulled out a scroll detailing what the Mancers had discovered concerning Nerisse.  He turned it over in his hands.  “Ba’tvian Delthanurk, the Monster of Menie, has turned her.  She has allied herself with him.”

Her parents paled, their minute hope – every parent’s hope – crushed by disbelieving shock.

“No, that can’t be.”  Frantic, Elisse looked between the High Priest and her husband.  “She’s empathic.  How can an Empath be a blood mage?”

“The earth has confirmed that she has spilled blood for him.  Willingly.”  His heart ached for them, for himself.  Their loss was also his own.  “I am sorry.”

Face graying, Nerthet wrapped one arm around his wife as she crumpled onto his shoulder.  He stared at the scroll in Saerlan’s hands.

“They sent written notice of this?” he demanded.  “Of our daughter’s betrayal?”

“Yes.  Absol Omine, the Mancer who sent the notice, has had little knowledge about us.  Without personal knowledge of whom to contact, he could not send us a mage sending.  So we learn of her betrayal a month after he discovered it.”  He looked down at the scroll in his hands, remembering what it said.

Nerisse se li Astorae has been found to be complicit in blood rites performed by the blood mage Ba’tvian Delthanurk…

“They found her arcane signature at a horrific scene outside of Piete Town,” he said aloud.  “There is no question.”

Elisse was weeping now, rocked by her husband.  They both were aware what their laws demanded in cases such as this.  Nerthet, bleak and grief-stricken, stared at nothing as he asked, “When will the ostracism rites begin?”

“Today.  The priesthood will undergo them first, then the general populace.  So many people knew her…it will take weeks, if not months, to complete.”

“Then we have time to mourn, to…come to terms.”  He buried his face in his wife’s hair.  “My daughter, my only child…”

Saerlan placed a hand on his shoulder.

“We mourn with you, my friend.”  The High Priest sat beside them to share their pain.

 

For more, buy it on Amazon.

His Command

Descent Into Darkness, Part 4: His Command

Descent Into Darkness, Part 4: His Command by Doris Ross
Cover Design by Doris Ross

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.

Upcoming Releases

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.

Future Appearances

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!

Descent into Darkness: Part 3 His Beast -Moments

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.

Find it today on Amazon.com!

Descent into Darkness Part 3: His Beast Quote 2

DIID 3 - Quote 2

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.

 

Available on Amazon in print and ebook.

Descent into Darkness Part 3: His Beast Sample Chapter

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.

Available on Amazon.com

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