It’s Insane Saturday and I thought I’d share a scene from “Sea of Sands” featuring the mad shadowmancer, YadaLezviya! Enjoy!

The distance across the ravine proved further than anyone first thought and after a while everyone fell silent.  The rope bridge creaked unnervingly above the reverberating din of the waterfall and the rapids, swinging more the further they got.  Every so often a loose plank would fall or break and movement grew even more cautious.

They were just past halfway when Una lifted her hand, her voice a harsh whisper.  “Wait!”

No sooner had the word left her lips than the night darkened.  The light drew away from the moon and the stars.  The cold in their absence intensified until Zorastres felt frost form on his skin.  It was the darkness that grew in the presence of shadowmancers and he looked around with a nervous gulp, his dark brown eyes searching the shadows that were suddenly too close for comfort.

He wasn’t alone in his notice of the environment’s change.  In the obscurity he heard the faint sound of metal scraping metal as swords unsheathed, the sharp *snap* of spears being drawn and the muted clicking of wooden arrow shafts rattling together.

“It’sss taken me longer to kill you than I sssussspected, Zorassstresss Idola.”

The voice coming from the darkness was a blend of countless hoarse whispers speaking in unison.  There was no mistaking the speaker.

The darkness was suddenly shattered as a bright ball of yellow sunshine appeared in the palm of Una’s outstretched hand.  Dazed, the others blinked away the glare, their eyes instinctively going to the figure standing at the end of the bridge.

Her daemonic red eyes glowing with a fierce insanity, YadaLezviya stood barely clothed in living tendrils of darkness.  A figure of pale alabaster skin and incredible beauty with huge sections of her body destroyed, eaten away by the corruption that infected her.  As more and more Abyssal shadows possessed her body, more of her physical appearance reflected the twisting and mangling wrought on her mind.  It seemed that even more of her had deteriorated since the last time Zorastres saw her and he briefly wondered if the disease gained speed as well as strength as the host’s sanity declined.  Then he wondered what that meant for him and his companions. Even now, so many Abyssal shadows occupied her that they poured through her skin in filmy, writhing waves.  He couldn’t even see the natural sentient shadows bound to her Tien blood.

“I’ll take care of this.”  Drawing his short sword, Zorastres swallowed hard against his fear, his dark brown eyes focused on the corrupted Tien as he pushed between Kane and Lassa.

“Yesss, wizard…” YadaLezviya opened her arms wide in a repulsive sort of welcome, darkness trailing from her claw-like fingertips.  “Come…”

Before he could go any further, Lassa clamped a hand on his arm just above his bladed bracer.  He looked at her in surprise, but she wasn’t looking at him.

“I hate to interrupt this very interesting conversation but would someone mind telling me what the blazes is going on?”

When the Tien made no effort to explain or even look at her, she let her hand drop from his arm.

“Zorastres, talk and talk fast.”

“Her name is YadaLezviya.  She used to be a powerful shadowmancer in her own right.”

“And now?”

“She’s tainted with corruption.”

“Possessed by shadows from Duibheagan,” Una murmured, her free hand tracing banishing pentagrams in the air.  Formed of glowing green lines of earth energy, they floated in the air in front, behind and on each side of them, holding the unnatural darkness at bay.  “The Abyss itself.  Beware her shadows.  A single touch will taint you as well.”


~ Excerpt from “Sea of Sands” Book 2 of the Tome Series copyright AJ Culpepper 2013
~ Image courtesy of  Shadowmancer – by on @DeviantArt


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