Palladium – Chapter 26

FanX was a lot of fun last weekend. I’m tired and now I’ve got to be restocking books and painting for Thousand Springs coming up in a couple weeks, but that’s a good problem to have.

If you are joining here after meeting me at FanX, welcome. We’re in the middle of a novel right now, but the blurb below will get you caught up. Be sure to subscribe to the blog so you know when a new post is released.

And away we go.

Previously: Cirvel heads through a festival on his way to meet up with an old “friend” who has a map that Cirvel needs. The friend, Sapere Imor, isn’t happy to see Cirvel and tries to persuade Cirvel with other temptations. Irritated with not getting his answers, Cirvel seals Imor into a genie lamp. A ninja steps from the shadows and steals away the lamp containing Imor, leaving Cirvel holding only air. He returns to the shrine to discuss the situation with the Grand Sapere, who demands to take it to the Dragon Council. Cirvel knows the Council will take far too long to come to a decision. Cirvel decides to act on his own. Returning to the market, he hopes to see the woman who had taken his lamp. He finds her and but she’s not quite ready to get down to business. At least not the kind he wants to discuss. When she does give him a chance to explain, he tells her that what he has trapped in the lamp is not a genie and that she won’t be able to use the lamp irregardless because she’s not the rightful owner. She bargains with him: help in exchange for the genie lamp. He asks her why she needs a genie. She replies that she needs a powerful trap. Treshauna then takes him to the meeting house for the ninjas to meet their leader, Drelin. Cirvel pulls Imor out of the lamp to prove that Imor is not genie — just a human. But Drelin learns that Cirvel is the genie. Cirvel “convinces” Imor to reveal to him the location of a place known as Alexander’s Den. Now that Cirvel has what he wants, the ninjas are ready to go on their mission. Before traveling the Wells of the Onesong, Cirvel needs to make one stop at the shrine first. Cirvel gets the coordinates for where they are traveling and he heads out. Meeting up with the ninjas, they take to hiding within his shadow. They go through the Wells, but as soon as they come out on the other side, they discover something is waiting for them. Blindsided, Cirvel gets severely injured. He withdraws and takes Treshauna back through the Wells, but is unable to pull Drelin along. Once back, the saperes realize how wounded he is. His world blurs as he’s taken back to be healed. Waking up, Cirvel realizes three things: Treshauna has stayed with him, he’s lost the book about Alexander on a doomed world, and he is still not fully healed. He returns to his lamp where he knows he can take care of himself. After taking to the sands to heal, Cirvel returns with the strange feeling that he has fallen in love with Treshauna and she with him. He knows they must put their feelings aside, hard as it may be, to deal with the Shniktaur. Treshauna begins to ask him questions and he reveals how he had been an experiment which turned him into a unique novihomidrak (a champion born from a dragon). They then begin to make plans to find which dimension Drelin is in and to rescue him. For that, Cirvel needs supplies. Then go to the workshop of a gnome named T’kiel, who grudgingly allows the genie inside and gives them a clean space to work. T’kiel sets Cirvel and Treshauna up with everything they need to complete the spell to find Drelin, but outside forces work against Cirvel. T’kiel takes over helping the novihomidrak when Cirvel proves to be too distracted. Once Cirvel gets his focus back, he completes the spell and discovers Drelin’s location. T’kiel is interested in how Cirvel got tangled up with the ninjas and gives Cirvel a charm made of unicorn horn for protection. Cirvel and Treshauna leave T’kiel’s place and head out to find Drelin. Cirvel opens a portal to another world. They step through and they find Drelin, but are being tracked with attack imminent. Cirvel has Treshauna take Drelin to the shadows while he hunts. The Shniktaur follows Treshauna from the shadows, attacking them. Once again, Treshauna retreats to the shadows, taking Cirvel with her. He feels movement, and strangely even senses the Humline strongly here even as he is surrounded by chaos. Treshauna brings them out of the shadows. They stand before huge gates closing off the city before them and try to gain entrance. The guard demands to be shown that they have magic among them, a strange request, but Cirvel obliges with a simple fire incantation. They are allowed to enter the city, but not very welcomed. They only get the briefest of replies in response to their questions about a healer for Drelin. Cirvel and Treshauna begin to walk the streets of this town they have happened upon. In looking for the healer, Madam Orcee, they discover that they are being followed. A brief encounter with their pursuers threatens to detain them from getting Drelin healed, so Cirvel uses magic to get away, only to be countered at ever spell, almost in a taunting way. At last, Madam Orcee’s shop is ahead of them. Once inside the tea shop, they convince Madam Orcee to help heal Drelin. The guards following them enter the tea shop and capture Cirvel and Treshauna, using some sort of magic which leaves them powerless and transports them to a cell. In the transition, a feeling comes over Cirvel that there is more going on here and that the Shniktaur has no intention of destroying this planet, not yet at least. They are released from the cell to go be presented before the Queen.


Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©
Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

Palladium

Chapter 26

by Dawn Blair

“I shall walk on my own, thank you!” Cirvel growled as he tore away from the boy. 

“Just move,” he snarled back, not nearly as impressive in his cracking voice.

Continue reading

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Palladium – Chapter 25

Last week, I woke up at 1:30 a.m. and came fully awake with the realization that I was being told something at close to 2 a.m. I then spent two hours allowing the information to come through, sketching, and writing it all down. What it was was a diagram and understanding of the Onesong on a completely new level and what I need to do to change Dragons of Wellsdeep. As such, there is no way that Dragons is going to be ready for FanX.

I can’t tell you how bummed out about that I am, but I trust the energy. It’s magnifying the scope of the book and making the story so much stronger.

Now that I’m letting that percolate a little, I went back to book 5 of the Sacred Knight series, The Missing Thread. I’ve revamped the beginning so far — just a few tweaks, but I feel a major change coming up ahead. It’s strange, because I don’t even remember what happens next necessarily and I use to be able to hold every aspect of the plots for 10 different books in my head at once. That makes me feel old.

Anyway, my writing chart has been sparse for so long, though strangely enough I haven’t fallen too far behind in my word count total for the year, that I’m wondering if I can actually get back to it and keep going now. I hesitate to say that too loud, but we shall see what happens.

Previously: Cirvel heads through a festival on his way to meet up with an old “friend” who has a map that Cirvel needs. The friend, Sapere Imor, isn’t happy to see Cirvel and tries to persuade Cirvel with other temptations. Irritated with not getting his answers, Cirvel seals Imor into a genie lamp. A ninja steps from the shadows and steals away the lamp containing Imor, leaving Cirvel holding only air. He returns to the shrine to discuss the situation with the Grand Sapere, who demands to take it to the Dragon Council. Cirvel knows the Council will take far too long to come to a decision. Cirvel decides to act on his own. Returning to the market, he hopes to see the woman who had taken his lamp. He finds her and but she’s not quite ready to get down to business. At least not the kind he wants to discuss. When she does give him a chance to explain, he tells her that what he has trapped in the lamp is not a genie and that she won’t be able to use the lamp irregardless because she’s not the rightful owner. She bargains with him: help in exchange for the genie lamp. He asks her why she needs a genie. She replies that she needs a powerful trap. Treshauna then takes him to the meeting house for the ninjas to meet their leader, Drelin. Cirvel pulls Imor out of the lamp to prove that Imor is not genie — just a human. But Drelin learns that Cirvel is the genie. Cirvel “convinces” Imor to reveal to him the location of a place known as Alexander’s Den. Now that Cirvel has what he wants, the ninjas are ready to go on their mission. Before traveling the Wells of the Onesong, Cirvel needs to make one stop at the shrine first. Cirvel gets the coordinates for where they are traveling and he heads out. Meeting up with the ninjas, they take to hiding within his shadow. They go through the Wells, but as soon as they come out on the other side, they discover something is waiting for them. Blindsided, Cirvel gets severely injured. He withdraws and takes Treshauna back through the Wells, but is unable to pull Drelin along. Once back, the saperes realize how wounded he is. His world blurs as he’s taken back to be healed. Waking up, Cirvel realizes three things: Treshauna has stayed with him, he’s lost the book about Alexander on a doomed world, and he is still not fully healed. He returns to his lamp where he knows he can take care of himself. After taking to the sands to heal, Cirvel returns with the strange feeling that he has fallen in love with Treshauna and she with him. He knows they must put their feelings aside, hard as it may be, to deal with the Shniktaur. Treshauna begins to ask him questions and he reveals how he had been an experiment which turned him into a unique novihomidrak (a champion born from a dragon). They then begin to make plans to find which dimension Drelin is in and to rescue him. For that, Cirvel needs supplies. Then go to the workshop of a gnome named T’kiel, who grudgingly allows the genie inside and gives them a clean space to work. T’kiel sets Cirvel and Treshauna up with everything they need to complete the spell to find Drelin, but outside forces work against Cirvel. T’kiel takes over helping the novihomidrak when Cirvel proves to be too distracted. Once Cirvel gets his focus back, he completes the spell and discovers Drelin’s location. T’kiel is interested in how Cirvel got tangled up with the ninjas and gives Cirvel a charm made of unicorn horn for protection. Cirvel and Treshauna leave T’kiel’s place and head out to find Drelin. Cirvel opens a portal to another world. They step through and they find Drelin, but are being tracked with attack imminent. Cirvel has Treshauna take Drelin to the shadows while he hunts. The Shniktaur follows Treshauna from the shadows, attacking them. Once again, Treshauna retreats to the shadows, taking Cirvel with her. He feels movement, and strangely even senses the Humline strongly here even as he is surrounded by chaos. Treshauna brings them out of the shadows. They stand before huge gates closing off the city before them and try to gain entrance. The guard demands to be shown that they have magic among them, a strange request, but Cirvel obliges with a simple fire incantation. They are allowed to enter the city, but not very welcomed. They only get the briefest of replies in response to their questions about a healer for Drelin. Cirvel and Treshauna begin to walk the streets of this town they have happened upon. In looking for the healer, Madam Orcee, they discover that they are being followed. A brief encounter with their pursuers threatens to detain them from getting Drelin healed, so Cirvel uses magic to get away, only to be countered at ever spell, almost in a taunting way. At last, Madam Orcee’s shop is ahead of them.


Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©
Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

Palladium

Chapter 25

by Dawn Blair

They landed inside the shop among all the tables spread out. A long white board hung on the wall to Cirvel’s left, with nearly a third of it split off by a counter running perpendicular to it. Behind the counter, a back room was hidden from view by a long, red curtain.

“You are not from around here, are you?” a woman’s voice called out.

Treshauna took a step forward. “We’ve traveled a long distance and need the help of Madame Orcee. We’re told she can heal our friend.”

“I don’t mean you. I mean the one with the powerful magicks.” A woman emerged from behind the curtain, letting it flap closed behind her. “You better carry a weighty title or Marthryn will have your head.”

“I am Lord Cirvel,” he announced, giving in to the most impressive title he could remember ever hearing.

Continue reading

Palladium – Chapter 24

I went on vacation last week. Since I didn’t post on Friday, I’m putting one up for you now. Enjoy.

Previously: Cirvel heads through a festival on his way to meet up with an old “friend” who has a map that Cirvel needs. The friend, Sapere Imor, isn’t happy to see Cirvel and tries to persuade Cirvel with other temptations. Irritated with not getting his answers, Cirvel seals Imor into a genie lamp. A ninja steps from the shadows and steals away the lamp containing Imor, leaving Cirvel holding only air. He returns to the shrine to discuss the situation with the Grand Sapere, who demands to take it to the Dragon Council. Cirvel knows the Council will take far too long to come to a decision. Cirvel decides to act on his own. Returning to the market, he hopes to see the woman who had taken his lamp. He finds her and but she’s not quite ready to get down to business. At least not the kind he wants to discuss. When she does give him a chance to explain, he tells her that what he has trapped in the lamp is not a genie and that she won’t be able to use the lamp irregardless because she’s not the rightful owner. She bargains with him: help in exchange for the genie lamp. He asks her why she needs a genie. She replies that she needs a powerful trap. Treshauna then takes him to the meeting house for the ninjas to meet their leader, Drelin. Cirvel pulls Imor out of the lamp to prove that Imor is not genie — just a human. But Drelin learns that Cirvel is the genie. Cirvel “convinces” Imor to reveal to him the location of a place known as Alexander’s Den. Now that Cirvel has what he wants, the ninjas are ready to go on their mission. Before traveling the Wells of the Onesong, Cirvel needs to make one stop at the shrine first. Cirvel gets the coordinates for where they are traveling and he heads out. Meeting up with the ninjas, they take to hiding within his shadow. They go through the Wells, but as soon as they come out on the other side, they discover something is waiting for them. Blindsided, Cirvel gets severely injured. He withdraws and takes Treshauna back through the Wells, but is unable to pull Drelin along. Once back, the saperes realize how wounded he is. His world blurs as he’s taken back to be healed. Waking up, Cirvel realizes three things: Treshauna has stayed with him, he’s lost the book about Alexander on a doomed world, and he is still not fully healed. He returns to his lamp where he knows he can take care of himself. After taking to the sands to heal, Cirvel returns with the strange feeling that he has fallen in love with Treshauna and she with him. He knows they must put their feelings aside, hard as it may be, to deal with the Shniktaur. Treshauna begins to ask him questions and he reveals how he had been an experiment which turned him into a unique novihomidrak (a champion born from a dragon). They then begin to make plans to find which dimension Drelin is in and to rescue him. For that, Cirvel needs supplies. Then go to the workshop of a gnome named T’kiel, who grudgingly allows the genie inside and gives them a clean space to work. T’kiel sets Cirvel and Treshauna up with everything they need to complete the spell to find Drelin, but outside forces work against Cirvel. T’kiel takes over helping the novihomidrak when Cirvel proves to be too distracted. Once Cirvel gets his focus back, he completes the spell and discovers Drelin’s location. T’kiel is interested in how Cirvel got tangled up with the ninjas and gives Cirvel a charm made of unicorn horn for protection. Cirvel and Treshauna leave T’kiel’s place and head out to find Drelin. Cirvel opens a portal to another world. They step through and they find Drelin, but are being tracked with attack imminent. Cirvel has Treshauna take Drelin to the shadows while he hunts. The Shniktaur follows Treshauna from the shadows, attacking them. Once again, Treshauna retreats to the shadows, taking Cirvel with her. He feels movement, and strangely even senses the Humline strongly here even as he is surrounded by chaos. Treshauna brings them out of the shadows. They stand before huge gates closing off the city before them and try to gain entrance. The guard demands to be shown that they have magic among them, a strange request, but Cirvel obliges with a simple fire incantation. They are allowed to enter the city, but not very welcomed. They only get the briefest of replies in response to their questions about a healer for Drelin. Cirvel and Treshauna begin to walk the streets of this town they have happened upon.


Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©
Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

Palladium

Chapter 24

by Dawn Blair

“Where’s the business district?” Treshauna asked.

“Probably closer to the castle. Come on.” Cirvel started down the street, then took the first cross-road to head up the slope to the castle. He went up several of the numbered streets before he started to look down for something he might expect a business district to look like.

About halfway up the hill, he realized Treshauna was no longer with him.

Continue reading

Palladium – Chapter 23

I promised this week you’d discover where they had landed. Of course, if that was if you’d read the story Onesong when it was posted here. (grin) Of course, you sort of see a glimpse of it in To Birth a Destiny, but it’s not clear there, nor was it meant to be obvious. I only realized what was going on when I writing the Onesong stories (which are now Tangled Magic and Walk the Path).

If your new to my writing or haven’t read/don’t remember Onesong, don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you. I never know where people have started reading or what they have read, so it’s all good.

But for the core fans who have been with me for a while, I suspect there is going to be a small sound of delight at having hit a nugget of things coming together, followed by a, “Wait, how’s that possible? OMG! Need more now!”

That’s when the magic happens. (grin)

Enjoy.

Previously: Cirvel heads through a festival on his way to meet up with an old “friend” who has a map that Cirvel needs. The friend, Sapere Imor, isn’t happy to see Cirvel and tries to persuade Cirvel with other temptations. Irritated with not getting his answers, Cirvel seals Imor into a genie lamp. A ninja steps from the shadows and steals away the lamp containing Imor, leaving Cirvel holding only air. He returns to the shrine to discuss the situation with the Grand Sapere, who demands to take it to the Dragon Council. Cirvel knows the Council will take far too long to come to a decision. Cirvel decides to act on his own. Returning to the market, he hopes to see the woman who had taken his lamp. He finds her and but she’s not quite ready to get down to business. At least not the kind he wants to discuss. When she does give him a chance to explain, he tells her that what he has trapped in the lamp is not a genie and that she won’t be able to use the lamp irregardless because she’s not the rightful owner. She bargains with him: help in exchange for the genie lamp. He asks her why she needs a genie. She replies that she needs a powerful trap. Treshauna then takes him to the meeting house for the ninjas to meet their leader, Drelin. Cirvel pulls Imor out of the lamp to prove that Imor is not genie — just a human. But Drelin learns that Cirvel is the genie. Cirvel “convinces” Imor to reveal to him the location of a place known as Alexander’s Den. Now that Cirvel has what he wants, the ninjas are ready to go on their mission. Before traveling the Wells of the Onesong, Cirvel needs to make one stop at the shrine first. Cirvel gets the coordinates for where they are traveling and he heads out. Meeting up with the ninjas, they take to hiding within his shadow. They go through the Wells, but as soon as they come out on the other side, they discover something is waiting for them. Blindsided, Cirvel gets severely injured. He withdraws and takes Treshauna back through the Wells, but is unable to pull Drelin along. Once back, the saperes realize how wounded he is. His world blurs as he’s taken back to be healed. Waking up, Cirvel realizes three things: Treshauna has stayed with him, he’s lost the book about Alexander on a doomed world, and he is still not fully healed. He returns to his lamp where he knows he can take care of himself. After taking to the sands to heal, Cirvel returns with the strange feeling that he has fallen in love with Treshauna and she with him. He knows they must put their feelings aside, hard as it may be, to deal with the Shniktaur. Treshauna begins to ask him questions and he reveals how he had been an experiment which turned him into a unique novihomidrak (a champion born from a dragon). They then begin to make plans to find which dimension Drelin is in and to rescue him. For that, Cirvel needs supplies. Then go to the workshop of a gnome named T’kiel, who grudgingly allows the genie inside and gives them a clean space to work. T’kiel sets Cirvel and Treshauna up with everything they need to complete the spell to find Drelin, but outside forces work against Cirvel. T’kiel takes over helping the novihomidrak when Cirvel proves to be too distracted. Once Cirvel gets his focus back, he completes the spell and discovers Drelin’s location. T’kiel is interested in how Cirvel got tangled up with the ninjas and gives Cirvel a charm made of unicorn horn for protection. Cirvel and Treshauna leave T’kiel’s place and head out to find Drelin. Cirvel opens a portal to another world. They step through and they find Drelin, but are being tracked with attack imminent. Cirvel has Treshauna take Drelin to the shadows while he hunts. The Shniktaur follows Treshauna from the shadows, attacking them. Once again, Treshauna retreats to the shadows, taking Cirvel with her. He feels movement, and strangely even senses the Humline strongly here even as he is surrounded by chaos. Treshauna brings them out of the shadows. They stand before huge gates closing off the city before them and try to gain entrance. The guard demands to be shown that they have magic among them, a strange request, but Cirvel obliges with a simple fire incantation.


Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©
Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

Palladium

Chapter 23

by Dawn Blair

The huge wooden gate started to swing open. It stopped with barely enough space to admit them through.

Heavy shadows lingered in the space beneath fortification wall. Its wide depth spoke to its strength. He doubted it would be much protection against the Shniktaur. But, to be this thick made him wonder what enemies it had been built to keep out. Cirvel noticed a guardhouse off to the right, built into the wall. The fact that it had a heavy wooden door with iron slats covering the small window as well as slots in the wall for arrows to be fired from expressed the permanence of the guards.

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My Secret Project

Okay, it’s not so secret, except that I keep wanting to tell people about but then I don’t.

I’ve been working on getting Dragons of Wellsdeep finished up. At this point, I still have a little ways to go. I’d really like to have it done for FanX. Not sure if I’m going to make it or not. I keep distracting myself — I work on it, then I want to tell people about it so I write up a social media post or this blog, then I don’t actually hit the post button. I usually end up deleting it all out and chiding myself to get back to the book. Yes, even know I’ve got the war going on in my head telling me that I need to not post such a dorky update and to get back to the real meat and potatoes of the work — getting the book done!

Well, except this time I really do want people to know that I am writing as well as painting. I’m trying to regain my balance. Which is why I’m just hopeful of having Dragons of Wellsdeep done by FanX.

Wish me luck. No, wait! Wish me, “Have fun storming the castle,” instead cause it’ll take a miracle.

Palladium – Chapter 22

I think Loki had a hand in writing the first paragraph of this week’s segment. Just a small warning. (grin)

Previously: Cirvel heads through a festival on his way to meet up with an old “friend” who has a map that Cirvel needs. The friend, Sapere Imor, isn’t happy to see Cirvel and tries to persuade Cirvel with other temptations. Irritated with not getting his answers, Cirvel seals Imor into a genie lamp. A ninja steps from the shadows and steals away the lamp containing Imor, leaving Cirvel holding only air. He returns to the shrine to discuss the situation with the Grand Sapere, who demands to take it to the Dragon Council. Cirvel knows the Council will take far too long to come to a decision. Cirvel decides to act on his own. Returning to the market, he hopes to see the woman who had taken his lamp. He finds her and but she’s not quite ready to get down to business. At least not the kind he wants to discuss. When she does give him a chance to explain, he tells her that what he has trapped in the lamp is not a genie and that she won’t be able to use the lamp irregardless because she’s not the rightful owner. She bargains with him: help in exchange for the genie lamp. He asks her why she needs a genie. She replies that she needs a powerful trap. Treshauna then takes him to the meeting house for the ninjas to meet their leader, Drelin. Cirvel pulls Imor out of the lamp to prove that Imor is not genie — just a human. But Drelin learns that Cirvel is the genie. Cirvel “convinces” Imor to reveal to him the location of a place known as Alexander’s Den. Now that Cirvel has what he wants, the ninjas are ready to go on their mission. Before traveling the Wells of the Onesong, Cirvel needs to make one stop at the shrine first. Cirvel gets the coordinates for where they are traveling and he heads out. Meeting up with the ninjas, they take to hiding within his shadow. They go through the Wells, but as soon as they come out on the other side, they discover something is waiting for them. Blindsided, Cirvel gets severely injured. He withdraws and takes Treshauna back through the Wells, but is unable to pull Drelin along. Once back, the saperes realize how wounded he is. His world blurs as he’s taken back to be healed. Waking up, Cirvel realizes three things: Treshauna has stayed with him, he’s lost the book about Alexander on a doomed world, and he is still not fully healed. He returns to his lamp where he knows he can take care of himself. After taking to the sands to heal, Cirvel returns with the strange feeling that he has fallen in love with Treshauna and she with him. He knows they must put their feelings aside, hard as it may be, to deal with the Shniktaur. Treshauna begins to ask him questions and he reveals how he had been an experiment which turned him into a unique novihomidrak (a champion born from a dragon). They then begin to make plans to find which dimension Drelin is in and to rescue him. For that, Cirvel needs supplies. Then go to the workshop of a gnome named T’kiel, who grudgingly allows the genie inside and gives them a clean space to work. T’kiel sets Cirvel and Treshauna up with everything they need to complete the spell to find Drelin, but outside forces work against Cirvel. T’kiel takes over helping the novihomidrak when Cirvel proves to be too distracted. Once Cirvel gets his focus back, he completes the spell and discovers Drelin’s location. T’kiel is interested in how Cirvel got tangled up with the ninjas and gives Cirvel a charm made of unicorn horn for protection. Cirvel and Treshauna leave T’kiel’s place and head out to find Drelin. Cirvel opens a portal to another world. They step through and…


Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©
Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

Palladium

Chapter 22

by Dawn Blair

“Take him to the shadows!” Cirvel’s shouted instructions made it out only moments before he was struck across the face and sent flying through the air. He slammed diagonally against a tree, bending his back slightly and slamming his head against the trunk after the rest of him had impacted. The tree cracked and shook its leaves. Some came loose, falling through the air like celebratory confetti. Shniktaur: two; novihomidrak: zero!

He slid down the bark, little shards of wood tearing at his cloak. It felt like slow motion until he hit the ground. He knew he had to move.

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Palladium – Chapter 21

Previously: Cirvel heads through a festival on his way to meet up with an old “friend” who has a map that Cirvel needs. The friend, Sapere Imor, isn’t happy to see Cirvel and tries to persuade Cirvel with other temptations. Irritated with not getting his answers, Cirvel seals Imor into a genie lamp. A ninja steps from the shadows and steals away the lamp containing Imor, leaving Cirvel holding only air. He returns to the shrine to discuss the situation with the Grand Sapere, who demands to take it to the Dragon Council. Cirvel knows the Council will take far too long to come to a decision. Cirvel decides to act on his own. Returning to the market, he hopes to see the woman who had taken his lamp. He finds her and but she’s not quite ready to get down to business. At least not the kind he wants to discuss. When she does give him a chance to explain, he tells her that what he has trapped in the lamp is not a genie and that she won’t be able to use the lamp irregardless because she’s not the rightful owner. She bargains with him: help in exchange for the genie lamp. He asks her why she needs a genie. She replies that she needs a powerful trap. Treshauna then takes him to the meeting house for the ninjas to meet their leader, Drelin. Cirvel pulls Imor out of the lamp to prove that Imor is not genie — just a human. But Drelin learns that Cirvel is the genie. Cirvel “convinces” Imor to reveal to him the location of a place known as Alexander’s Den. Now that Cirvel has what he wants, the ninjas are ready to go on their mission. Before traveling the Wells of the Onesong, Cirvel needs to make one stop at the shrine first. Cirvel gets the coordinates for where they are traveling and he heads out. Meeting up with the ninjas, they take to hiding within his shadow. They go through the Wells, but as soon as they come out on the other side, they discover something is waiting for them. Blindsided, Cirvel gets severely injured. He withdraws and takes Treshauna back through the Wells, but is unable to pull Drelin along. Once back, the saperes realize how wounded he is. His world blurs as he’s taken back to be healed. Waking up, Cirvel realizes three things: Treshauna has stayed with him, he’s lost the book about Alexander on a doomed world, and he is still not fully healed. He returns to his lamp where he knows he can take care of himself. After taking to the sands to heal, Cirvel returns with the strange feeling that he has fallen in love with Treshauna and she with him. He knows they must put their feelings aside, hard as it may be, to deal with the Shniktaur. Treshauna begins to ask him questions and he reveals how he had been an experiment which turned him into a unique novihomidrak (a champion born from a dragon). They then begin to make plans to find which dimension Drelin is in and to rescue him. For that, Cirvel needs supplies. Then go to the workshop of a gnome named T’kiel, who grudgingly allows the genie inside and gives them a clean space to work. T’kiel sets Cirvel and Treshauna up with everything they need to complete the spell to find Drelin, but outside forces work against Cirvel. T’kiel takes over helping the novihomidrak when Cirvel proves to be too distracted. Once Cirvel gets his focus back, he completes the spell and discovers Drelin’s location. T’kiel is interested in how Cirvel got tangled up with the ninjas and gives Cirvel a charm made of unicorn horn for protection.


Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios
Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios
Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©
Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

Palladium

Chapter 21

by Dawn Blair

Treshauna headed toward Cirvel. The gnome stood in a doorway at the far end of the hallway, an unpleasant look on his face and his hand on his hip as if he’d had to take a firm, solid stance in a dispute. Treshauna didn’t seem to notice him at first, then looked up at him in surprise. “Done already?”

“I have what we need,” Cirvel answered.

She spun right around. “Good.”

“What happened to Veniq?”

“Ninja detention.” Before Cirvel could ask what that was, Treshauna raised her hand to silence him. “I’ll explain sometime later. Just know he won’t be bugging us for a while. I just won’t have him talking to Drelin’s business associates like that.”

They went back out into T’kiel’s main shop, where the gnome stood on a stool behind the counter, already making his next dealing. After finishing with his current customer, he turned to them. “Done already?”

Treshauana glanced to Cirvel once more as if in confirmation. Then she nodded. “Yes. What do we owe you?”

T’kiel gave her the amount and gems, rather than money, changed hands. There was even a round, golden orb. “Much obliged.” T’kiel nodded his head in gratitude.

Back out on the street, Treshauna turned to Cirvel. “Where to? What do we need to do?”

Having a hard time not smiling, he quirked an eyebrow instead. The look must have delighted her because she grinned back. “What?”

“Now that I have the location, it’s as easy as me doing this.” He waved a hand flat against the air before them, then made the gesture he’d created back in T’kiel’s shop. Pushing outward with his hand, he felt the slight resistance against his palm. It gave way and though he couldn’t see any visible difference, he knew the portal was open. He reached down and took Treshauna’s hand in his. “Let’s be off.”

They stepped through.

Out of the desert city and into the middle of a forest. Treshauna gasped as she looked around at the trees. Cirvel, however, watched for the Shniktaur. The closeness of the trees all around him made him closed in and edgy. It heightened all of his senses. 

“This isn’t what I expected,” she breathed. “Are you sure this is where the Shniktaur brought Drelin?”

“It’s where the book came from after it was sucked through the vortex. I doubt this Shniktaur can redirect where his portal is going after he creates it.

Treshauna leaned close to the ground. “People travel through here frequently. No wagons, but definitely horses with riders.”

“How can you tell?”

She pointed to a dent in the ground. “There’s at least three sets of hoof prints here, along with several footprints. The hoof prints vary in depth, which means the horses all bore riders of different weights.”

“Or the horses were different sizes.”

“The stride is all about the same length. Yes, one of the horses could have weighed more than the others, but more likely it just carried a heavier weight, probably a man.”

“They teach you this when you train to be a ninja?”

A little jolt went through her shoulders, something akin to a laugh or a snort. “I was trained to be an Usanbein soulcolist. Sometimes the lost ones I looked for weren’t relegated to antiquity. Some had merely been missing.”

“But always presumed dead,” Cirvel added as more of a statement than a question. She nodded. “Did you ever find anyone still alive?”

A dark shadow passed over her face as she took her gaze away from his. She rose slowly to her feet, continuing to look toward the forest. “Never.” A shiver went through her. “I was once within the same hour as the deceased. If we could have just gone a little faster.”

“I’m sorry.”

She shook it off. “The family hadn’t been expecting us to be so close. I did my job, we went home.”

“Still hard though.”

“Still hard.”

He let her assess the ground for a moment longer and gave her time to level the emotions arisen from the story before he asked, “Which way should we go?”

“This way. All the tracks are leading in this direction.” She started walking up the mountain path.

“All of them? Don’t you think some of them would be returning?”

“Afraid of a one-way trip? Might be paradise up there.”

A low growl vibrated through the trees. Cirvel grabbed Treshauna’s arm and pulled her behind a tree several feet off the path.

“What?” she whispered. “What’s going on?”

“Didn’t you hear it?” As he finished his question, another low rumble went by them. “That.”

“No, I didn’t hear anything.”

“Shh!” He motioned for her to stay and bent over as he moved through the trees, staying as close to the ground as he could as he went.

The rumble’s strength increased, but he still couldn’t see what he was getting close to.

“Are you sure there’s something out there?” Treshauna asked. He could practically hear her heartbeat screaming for her to flee. She may not hear it, but her instincts could feel it.

He nodded. 

“Do you want me to slip to the shadows and take a look?”

He thought about how stealthily she had moved up on him when she’d been in the shadows at the festival. He hadn’t even known she was there until she stood right beside him. “Will you be safe?” 

Now it was her turn for a confidently sly grin. “Definitely.” Then she was gone. 

He searched the ground for her footsteps and found none. He no longer felt her near him and the absence bothered him a little. How had he gotten so accustomed to having a ninja close to him?

Another growl brought him right out of his thoughts. He felt the ground pressing against the soles of his feet, the chilly wind and the thin mountain air touching his face.

“Vochey, Luminous.” A chain mace with three thick balls of spiked iron came to his hand.

It breathed somewhere close to him. His body naturally met it’s pace and he found the pace measured and relaxed. Whatever this was, it knew they were here and had no fear of them.

Cirvel, however, remembered all too clearly his face getting rearranged in one punch. Fear bleed into him and no matter how hard he tried to push it away, it returned with a vengeance. Novihomidraks weren’t use to being injured.

“Drelin! He’s over here!” Treshauna called out.

He wished she hadn’t spoken, let alone yelled out her position. The thing tracking them turned and Cirvel no longer heard its breath.

***

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Palladium – copyright © 2019 Dawn Blair Published by Morning Sky Studios

Cover and layout copyright © 2019 by Morning Sky Studios

Cover design by Dawn Blair/Morning Sky Studios

Cover art copyright © Rodjulian | Dreamstime.com, ©

Xneo | Dreamstime.com, and © Gualtiero Boffi| Dreamstime.com

This excerpt is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.