Excerpt from Rahasya – Magick Monday
His thoughts racing, Zorastres tried to figure out what the man was talking about. There was no doubt that Death Bringer was a wizard nor that he practiced black magick, given that he set out to do harm with his spells. However, it was precise and direct in a way he’d never seen before.
“I hope you don’t take this personally” the wizard went on. “But you and your friend have proven troublesome and I simply must get you out of my men’s way.”
Lost in his thoughts, his head snapped up at the Vucari’s shout in time to see the fireball coming at him. He threw himself down into the snow and felt the heat as it passed overhead to slam into the frozen trunk of an oak behind him.
Death Bringer chuckled. “Well, well, it seems you’ve got better reflexes than I thought.”
“I said for you to let her go.” Keeping his eyes on him, Zorastres got to his feet and drew his xiphos from its sheath. “In fact, I’ll do you one better. Get out of here and take what’s left of your men with you.”
“Happily. As soon as we have our slaves.”
“Not going to happen.”
Zorastres charged but instead of casting another spell or trying to defend himself, the wizard smoothly dodged his blows. His quick-stepping retreat kept him ahead of his attacker as he moved along the line of slave wagons.
“Dark brown hair and even darker brown eyes. Tall, gangly frame and wielding a xiphos. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say you were a Shamiran warrior.”
Slipping on snow-covered ice, Zorastres tried to catch his balance but went down hard on his chest.
“Or a Shamiran at the very least.”
Death Bringer came back and stood over him, his black boots and slacks vivid against the virgin snow. Zorastres’ eyes slowly followed them up to his pale face.
“I’m not a warrior. I’m a wizard.”
“No!” the Vucari cried.
“Bingo.” A wide grin spread across his face. “Adiuro me magum in manibus temperare viribus meæ!”
Something powerful and unseen wrapped itself around Zorastres’ body, holding him inert. It wasn’t a spirit or any manifestation of the Worlds or Realms. It was the force of the Worlds and Realms themselves. It was the very essence of their existence, of his existence, of the existence of all things. He was suddenly extremely glad he hadn’t revealed his name. Just knowing his race and career preference had been enough to give Death Bringer an uncomfortable amount of control over his person.
“I don’t know how much time you’ve spent in the company of the Vucari, but didn’t anyone ever explain to you why they hold their names so secret? Among other things like the names of their packs, locations, even their Gods?”
“You’re an alithis onoma.” Zorastres twisted in his invisible bonds. “A wielder of True Names. Command the name of the thing, command the thing itself. The closer you are to the True Name of something or someone, the greater the power you have over them.”
“Very good. You’d be surprised how many of us there are in ThuaidhImeall. Perhaps you’re not as dense as I thought you were. Though for a wizard” Death Bringer brought his hand around and his binds slammed Zorastres into a nearby tree trunk. “You still have a considerable lack.”
~Excerpt from Rahasya (release date 10/31/16) copyright AJ Culpepper 2016