The Chronicles of Irindia
Book One: The Gathering
By: D. John Watson
Blurb of The Chronicles of Irindia: Book One (YA Fantasy):
Excerpt from the Prologue:
BELOW him stood the object of his quest, the source of the voice that had guided him since his departure from home. The depression was several hundred yards in diameter, and looked like it had once been home to a small settlement or large temple complex. He could see the outlines of several foundations, the remnants of tumbled walls and up heaved stones. Much of the ruins were overgrown with thick vines and scrub as well as stunted trees. It might have been a grand place hundreds of years before but there was little left of it now. Time and the elements had stolen its grandeur, and it was slowly returning to the forest from which it had been carved. On the far side was a dark hump that seemed to melt into the base of the rise. The voice whispered dark promises into his mind, promises of power and magic that would make him greater than his brother, greater than even the father who was trying to hold back his education. Here, he knew was magic that had been denied them both by their father, a powerful sorcerer himself. But there was power that could be learned under other teachers and this teacher was promising him the most secret, arcane arts he could ever want to know. Not even his father would have attempted to enter this world. He would, and he would do so willingly.
I am here the voice told him, and even from this distance Sama could feel its overwhelming power. In all of his nineteen years he had never felt anything as strong as this. This power was so filled with promise. Not even his father, who was exceptionally powerful, could compare to what waited for him below.
What are you?
I am power and magic, came the response, like thunder in his mind. I am everything that you want and hunger for. I am you future, ready for you to claim.
I can’t, Sama said, as he found strength to resist. It was an evil power.
Then you will fall into your brother’s shadow, and be second to him in your father’s eyes. You will be inferior in every way if you turn away from this gift, the voice said in a seductive tone. I can make you more powerful than your father could ever imagine. In me, you will find the means to exact you revenge on all those who betrayed you, imposed their limits on you.
It was true; he was in his brother’s shadow. His younger brother had always been the favorite, the one their father doted on in every way because he found it easier to master the magic that was part of their heritage. He was inferior, and his father had never let him forget that. Sama felt the words brush his mind and revive his desire to be more than others would dare to be.
Forever eclipsed by a power that cannot reach its full potential, as you cannot reach your own, sighed the compelling voice in his mind.
Deep down he knew it was true, but was this the way? Could he handle the power that was being promised? Or would he succumb to it and be destroyed. His father had warned them both that there was power that should never be embraced. Ancient magic that was both arcane and evil. It was best left to the past and never brought out into the light. Theirs was magic of the light. Very powerful, and in the right hands more powerful than any dark magic. But there were some who delved into the secret arts, plumbing the depths of dark magic for the ultimate source of power. Many ultimately went insane. Others were destroyed by white magic. Embracing dark magic was a road to destruction.
They were ill equipped to handle true magic the voice assured him. Weaklings a zbabělec, the voice finished
For the past three days the voice had been there. Coaxing, seductive, at times demanding, but always there with answers to fit the questions. As he stood at the top of the knoll and looked down at the ruins below he knew that everything he wanted was only a few yards away. It was there waiting to be claimed and if he didn’t take it, another would. He would return to his brother’s shadow. Sama knew that he had to have it at all cost. For the last three days he had wandered the wilderness in search of the source of his benefactor.
Come and accept what I have to offer. Again the voice uses an enticing tone. A tone that was soft as a kiss. With it came images too horrible to describe. For three days he’d wandered without rest or food. His dark blue traveling cloak had been left behind the first night, hopelessly entangled in brush. His clothes were torn and his limbs were scratched and bruised from the trek through dense undergrowth and across very rugged terrain. He was ragged looking, with leaves in his normally flawless long dark hair. There was a fresh wound across his cheek. Only the cut of his tattered cloths gave any clue to his status.
Now, standing at the end of the journey, he could see the remains of a structure built into the hillside a few hundred yards away. It was a distinct shape in the foliage. Even though the entrance was covered, he knew it was there all the same. Who are you? He asked.
I am who you need me to be came the soft response. I am your destiny.
Yes the voice sighed. Become what you have always been meant to be.