Grancaliga sat on the wooden throne as the great hall filled with soldiers prechosen to participate in the deification ceremony. His long gray cape spilled down from the throne onto the steps before it. His colonels stood in a line down and to the side of the throne, their armor and uniforms without blemish. In the windows overlooking the city, a great noise emanated from the streets as the rest of the army prepared to celebrate as soon as the proclamation was made following the ceremony.

Looking around the rows of banners and flags hanging from the ceiling, Grancaliga frowned for a moment before summoning a colonel. “Where is she?”

“In her chambers.”

“Bring her to me now.”

The hall grew quiet as the colonel left in haste. All looked at Grancaliga as he listened to the cheers ascend from the city and through the castle windows.

The colonel returned with Kara behind him and escorted by four guards. Every eye turned to her. She wore the red ceremonial dress as before, her hands covered in matching gloves that went up to her elbows. However, her hair was now unbraided and covered by an ice blue headscarf.

The other colonels gave him a worried look, but he offered them no reassurance as he stood from the throne and came down the steps. Everyone bowed, save for Kara. The manuscripts in one hand, in the other she held the king’s crown.

“Why did you bring it?” Grancaliga asked.

“The same reason you brought me here.”

“I didn’t go through all that trouble to find you so you could make me king. I’ve fought too many campaigns to destroy it.”

“We’ll see.”

He laughed as he stroked her feather-light hair. “I won’t let your feeble attempts to provoke me spoil the evening. Once I’m deified, it won’t matter. When I become a god, none can resist my will.”

Overcome with fervor, the colonels threw up their fists as they hailed Grancaliga. Their passion swept through the hall as the soldiers joined in praise of their leader, the air filled with rattling spears and swords

“It is with this devotion I triumphed,” he said to Kara. “Imagine then what it will be when I am a god. I will make Forenia greater than it has ever been, its armies feared by any invader that might arrive. We will become a united people again. You soon must choose what place you want to have in it.”

“Wherever there is someone willing to oppose you.”

The high-pitched sound of a war horn bellowed outside in the distance. Grancaliga pushed Kara away from him as she dried her lips still wet from his kiss. He approached a window and gazed out beyond the city toward the hilly plains surrounding it. He could hardly make out the silhouetted single figure along the horizon mounted on a white horse.

A courier rushed into the great hall. “Sir, our watchmen say the rider bears the royal standard!”


“No, the king’s banner.”

“I had them all burned.”

He noticed Kara breathing heavily.

“It’s Telman,” he said.

“How could he have returned so quickly and without one of our scouts spotting him?” a colonel said as they looked out the window. “And where would he have retrieved that standard? He didn’t have it on him when he found him.”

Grancaliga was quiet for a while as he studied the lone rider, then Kara as she avoided his gaze. He lowered his head. “I win a hundred battles, a dozen campaigns, and not once did I make a mistake until now.”

“How, sir?”

“I had the heir to the throne in my hands, and I not only let him live, but go free.”

“Telman? He can’t…”

Their leader gestured at Kara. Her face seemed to settle their doubts. Another blast from the war horn sounded through the city and sent a slight tremor through the stone fortress. Gradually, the hilltop filled with more riders until they formed a single rank across the plain.

“The man must be insane,” Grancaliga said. “He comes at me with a few dozen horsemen. Does he think he can take the city, let alone the castle?”

He turned to a colonel. “Gather a vanguard of cavalry, divide them into two groups, and then send them through the city’s side gates. At the same time, have a company of pikemen in reserve come out the front gates. The vanguard will flank them from behind and push them toward the city, where the pikemen will block any escape.”

“What of Telman?”

“If convenient, have him brought here alive. Killing him will be my first act as a god. A fitting thing, if he is indeed heir to the throne. What better way to mark the end of kings?”

A minute later, the castle drawbridge lowered as a thick column of horsemen strode out into Merce Haelle, splitting off in opposite directions in the city grand center led by standard bearers holding Grancaliga’s banner. Behind them marched pikemen, the glint of their spears like jewels in the night’s sky.

“Come, my dear,” Grancaliga said to Kara. “You must watch. It is the first time you will have seen my perspective during a battle: the side of the victor.”

She held herself at a distance with arms crossed, but her eyes switched back and forth from the plains to Grancaliga, his hand comfortably wrapped around his warrior belt. He allowed her to pray without interruption.

“You noticed the marks on it, I see,” he said as he tugged at the belt. “Some keep track of how many they’ve slain. A man in my position must either find something else to track, or enjoy collecting belts. I only remember the great ones I’ve killed, the worthy ones who impressed me. The ones who deserved to die at my hand.

Kara was silent.

“You’re wondering whether I will include a mark for Telman on it,” he said. “But in truth, I’ve been more curious about your foreign companion. Would the boy be worthy? We’ll never know.”

“I already know.”

He waited for her to go on. When she said nothing else, he chuckled. “Even if he is with Forenia’s ‘heir,’ he won’t enjoy the scrap of mercy Telman might receive.”

The two group of Grancaliga’s horsemen had departed the city and vanished into the darkened countryside, while the pikemen advanced to the front gates and moved across the field toward the hillside. There, the king’s standard remained in place, as did all the riders on its flanks.

“What are they waiting for?” a colonel said.

“Telman wishes to die with honor,” Grancaliga said. “He wants to face the enemy head on. Commendable, but foolish.”

Behind the king’s standard, a commotion arose, as though Forenia itself groaned. Then a horseman rode up to Telman and handed him something. His steed reared as he stood up in his saddle, holding aloft Grancaliga’s banner.

The general reacted coolly, crossing his arms as he called to his colonels. “We may need reinforcements.”

Blowing his war horn a third time, Telman drove down the hill, his sword held high as the horsemen behind formed an arrow-like shape. They charged toward the pikemen, who quickly gathered into a tight shell-like cluster.

A dozen or so war horns then thundered. Infantry appeared on the hillside and raced onto the plain. Wave after wave swept the field until they covered it like a wave of blackness.

“Sound the alert,” a colonel said to a courier standing in the hall’s doorway.

Converging on the pikemen, the heavy swordsmen hacked away at their foes’ spears, cutting them down as Telman drove through the center. Within a moment, the pikemen had been entirely slaughtered. The king’s standard moved from the mass of corpses and toward the city itself.

Grancaliga remained still as he watched his colonels issued frantic orders. The remaining soldiers in the room kept calm.

“Nervous?” Kara said.

“Hardly. I’ve been in this position many times.”

“Then there’s no reason for us not to continue with the ceremony, is there?”

“It is because I am so confident in my men that I postpone it. I won’t let anyone say I needed to become a god to vanquish Telman.”

“It’s not just Telman you fight. How do you think he amassed such an army?”

Grancaliga withdrew and spoke privately with a courier. “Have the castle defenses put on alert.”

“They already have, sir. The reserves are still in their barracks.”

“Have them woken, but don’t deploy them yet.”

Returning to the window, he found the battle had now reached the city walls. He concealed his anger with a tight fist as the unsecured gates flung back and the enemy streamed into Merce Haelle. By the time more defenders had arrived to hold them back, numerous street blocks were overwhelmed.

“The city is lost,” Grancaliga said. “Pull our men back to the castle.”

A watchman on the battlement outside the window flashed a message flag to a bugler on the castle’s lowest level, who then lifted his instrument and sounded general retreat. The defenders fending off attackers in the alleys and streets fell back in an organized manner toward the drawbridge and began filing inside. More and more enemy infantry swarmed through the three city gates, threatening to cut off Grancaliga’s men still outside the castle.

“Perhaps Telman might let one survivor live,” Kara said.

“I personally turned the tide of more desperate battles than this before you were born,” Grancaliga said. “I know this castle well. While I was hunting for you, it was resupplied and armed. With my men, I could hold it for years…whether I be a god or not.”

Kara ignored him as she watched the battle unfold through the window, her eyes never blinking. “I now know battle from your perspective, general. Soon, you will know mine.”

The fighting moved closer to the castle. The drawbridge was overflowing with men desperate to enter before the order was given to close it. Grancaliga waited for as long as he dared, then signaled the bridge to raise. Soldiers pushed through into the castle courtyard, while the remaining troops left outside were swiftly overrun.

“Let us see how well prepared they came,” Grancaliga said. “I see no catapults or engines in their midst.”

Unable to cross the wide, deep moat, Telman’s army began to toss garbage and refuse into the water. Their work slowed as archers on the battlements kept them pinned behind large wicker barrier. Gradually, makeshift crossings appeared in the moat at various points. Before they were complete, the enemy stormed across them and threw themselves against the high castle walls. Ladders, grappling hooks, and other climbing implements followed.

Soon the castle’s front wall was lined with men scurrying up to the top. Many fell, but as they dropped, three more took their place. Eventually, some reached the top but were easily pushed back as additional heavy swordsmen reinforced the defenses.

The struggle went back and forth as Grancaliga paced the room, never taking his eyes off the castle walls. Kara was equally fixated, her hands clasped in prayer.

Eventually, the attackers withdrew across the moat and stood on the outskirts of the town while the castle defenders rejoiced.

“The first of many assaults,” Grancaliga said. “Each shall be as easily repulsed.”

Kara acted as though she hadn’t heard him.

A rumble shook the floor, the chandeliers swinging widely above them. Then a section of the castle’s front walls stirred before collapsing into a heap of stone. A thick, heavy cloud of dust swept over the battlements and into the air as the wind blew it upward. When it had settled, a large gap in the wall appeared before them.

“How could they have tunneled it so quickly?” Grancaliga said.

“It was always there,” Kara said. “Telman knows this castle better than anyone; his family built it.”

A thundering cry reverberated through Telman’s ranks as his light infantry charged once more across the moat and into the breach. Disoriented still, Grancaliga’s men struggled to regain their composure. A call from the bugler roused them. Retrieving their fallen weapons, they converged at the breach and struck hard against their foe.

“They’ll never break through,” Grancaliga said. “Once they withdraw, the wall will be repaired by morning. Telman used his best secret against us for nothing.”

The two observed the fighting as Grancaliga’s men formed a collective shield wall, preventing Telman’s forces from exploiting the breach. The more they solidified their position, the more anxious Grancaliga grew.

“Get my colonels to the tower,” he said to a courier. “We’re holding the ceremony now.”

Under escort again, Kara followed behind the general as they proceeded from the great hall toward the mountain summit.

“Are you that uncertain of victory?” she said.

“I’m not postponing my godhood any longer. That battle is over. Your divine pleas did nothing.”


They reached the top of the tower, where all the preparations Kara had dictated were present. An altar covered in red cloth was placed along the side of the tower overlooking the lower castle and Merce Haelle. A large candlestick sat on it, a ceremonial sword beside it. Kara broke from her escort and placed the sacred texts and crown on the table. Surrounding the outer rim of the tower were guards uneasy in their impractical ceremonial garb.

The colonels appeared at doorway and bowed in front Grancaliga. “The line is holding, sir.”

“When this affair is completed, I will personally take charge of the defenses.”

Approaching the altar, Grancaliga knelt before Kara with his bent arms stretched out. “The time has come to fulfill your promise.”

Nodding slowly, Kara lit the altar candle and picked up the manuscript. Turning to a marked page, she gave the sword a special blessing. When she was finished, it glowed a fiery red.

“Look!” a colonel said.

Everyone turned to their left, where on the castle wall just below the tower, a cloaked figure clung to the side. A watchman above stoked his fire until the light brightened the surface to reveal a person climbing the thick vine that covered the castle wall like a spider’s web.

The watchman tried to shoot him, but the intruder sent an arrow straight into his eye. As the man fell off the wall, Grancaliga noted Arthema’s distinct white bow in the man’s hands.

“Jed,” Kara said.

“Kill him,” Grancaliga said.

The guards armed with crossbows lined the wall and fired in unison. The arrows struck near Jed’s face and side, bouncing off the thick stone with a loud clack. Kara fell to her knees near Grancaliga, her hand covering her mouth.

“He will die,” Grancaliga said. “You can either watch it, or not.”

Her tears drying immediately, Kara rose to her feet and began reciting from the text. The ceremonial guard grew close as they listened to her mysterious chant. With her right hand extended out above him, her gentle voice turned deep and low.

Above them, darkened clouds formed and swirled as though caught in a vortex. Lightning raced across the sky like a wild stallion. Grancaliga remained still throughout the chant and the roar of thunder and the ongoing click of arrowheads against rock.

A man cried out, followed by urgent calls to pull back as watchman retreated to the center of the tower. Kara and Grancaliga were oblivious to it, as though caught in a same trance.

Kara then gripped the blade in her hand, placing the flat of the sword on Grancaliga’s head. She recited a final verse that brought a pillar of fire from the clouds down on him. All his men gasped at first, only to feel no heat from the flames, while Grancaliga still knelt unharmed within. The bright inferno ran through him and pierced through his eyes and limbs. He leapt up and cried out as the blaze rose back into the sky and rolled into the clouds before vanishing.

On the far side of the tower, Jed climbed over the parapet. The guards formed around him to attack, until they heard Grancaliga stir.

The general got up from his knee. He looked no different than he had before. But all could sense a mystical new power within him that seemed to flow through them. Kara moved back to the altar as Grancaliga clenched his fist and laughed at Jed. His voice was now soft and gentle, but somehow terrifying.

“You’re too late. It is over.”

The guards pulled back, allowing Jed to approach. His face was concealed underneath his cloak hood. His bow was strapped to his back, his hands at his sides.

“What do you intend to fight me with?” Grancaliga said.

Jed was still. Then he brought a sword from inside his cloak and held it with a high guard. Its appearance provoked no response from the watchmen or the soldiers or the colonels until they saw the hopeful look on Kara’s face.

“Ah, so it is real,” Grancaliga said. “How funny is it that legend and myth is so often true.”

Glancing at the crown, he gestured to Kara. “You’ve made me a god. Now make me king.”

The young girl laughed. “You first mocked me for bringing it. I brought it, because I know you. You don’t know yourself at all.”

“Crown me, or pay the consequences.”

“I’ll pay it. The price for crowning you is higher.”

Enraged, Grancaliga drew his great sword and lashed out at Kara. She fell before the altar, a ghastly wound in her side. Before anyone could speak, Grancaliga grabbed the crown and, despite baffled look on his men, placed it on his head. As soon as it came to rest, the crown became like a sun, radiating streaks of light that raced into the sky. When the light faded, Grancaliga turned to those before him and raised his hands upward

“All shall bow before me!”

As soon as he finished speaking, the battle below them ceased. Whether friend or foe, the combatants knelt in submission. The colonels and watchmen and soldiers on the tower did the same, so that all but one held their head low in servitude.

Grancaliga watched Jed remain upright, then scoffed. “I shouldn’t be angry that you stand. After all, you’re not Forenian.”

Taking several steps forward, Jed stopped and threw back his hood. Before it fell, Grancaliga recoiled. The boy’s face was now white as theirs, his light gray hair short and cropped. His eyes flared with the same amber hue.

His voice was now eerily similar. “You were saying?”

“What do you want?” Grancaliga said.

“Your head—crown on it or not.”

“Once more, I should be more thankful than furious. Because of this foolish girl, I have both crown and texts in addition to godhood. To think I was once willing to accept mere guardianship. Now I am more than even a god; I am the god-king who shall rule eternal. With the girl dead, none shall know what the texts say, except what I say is written in them. And thanks to you, I will also have Impora as further proof of my divine claim. If ever my rule were to be questioned, these shall put to rest any argument to the contrary.”

“Impora’s in my hands, not yours.”

“That will soon change.”

“You still won’t wield it.”

“We’ll see.”

His hand raised to the heavens, Grancaliga cast a power spell so that the sky became an inferno; cradling flames in his hands, he channeled it at Jed, who easily extinguished them with Impora.

“That won’t work,” Jed said.

His great sword in hand, Grancaliga came up to the boy. “My gratitude is only greater. Now I will get to kill you with my own hand, not by divine powers.”

“I’m still alive.”

“Enjoy your time left, if you can.”

With a great war cry, Grancaliga leapt at Jed and brought his sword down with all the might he could summon. The boy evaded the strike as it cut through stone like butter. He then swung at his side, almost wounding the self-appointed king. Grancaliga jumped back and then struck again, missing. He then threw spells to distract, but soon realized Impora’s wielder was more than able to stop them, and even when he drew lightning from the sky, Impora fully absorbed it without harm to Jed.

The fight quickly turned into a frantic trade of strokes and parries. Those witnessing watched in awe as the two opponents pursued each other across the mountain’s treacherous summit. Despite his enormous height, Grancaliga was unable to bring his full weight against Jed, who dodged every fatal strike and flipped away whenever he was about to be cornered.

Initially on the defensive, Jed then struck back against the god-king, a ferocity in him that left Grancaliga deflecting powerful strokes. With swing after swing, Jed knocked him off balance, his aggression intensifying with every successful strike.

“So you want to be king?” Grancaliga said. “My men will never follow you. You’ll never be a Forenian. Impora will never change that.”

“Your head is enough.”

The fighting moved up toward the summit. Pushing up the slope, Jed hacked through rock as his sword came down hard against Grancaliga’s. The force sent him reeling backwards. Enraged, he counterattacked, but Jed sidestepped and tore through his cape.

“You’re alone,” Grancaliga said. “Now all Forenia submits to me. Even Telman somewhere is on bent knee.”

Using his frame like a battering ram, he tried to knock Jed off the slope. Jed jumped back to ward off a series of fast attacks.

The fight turned savage. Grancaliga was like a feral animal as he lunged at Jed, who in response pushed his full weight against the larger man. Whenever it appeared Grancaliga was about to make a fatal blow, Jed broke out of the trap and delivered a hit more painful to the general’s pride than his flesh.

The duel grew even more ferocious, and gradually the two hacked away at the other’s armor. Were it any other weapon, Grancaliga would have been impervious, but Impora’s edge tore at his body. His men soon became nervous as they observed him hesitantly confront Jed after a brief respite. With his divine powers, he summoned a rainstorm from the clouds. Thick droplets fell like blood from his blade as he raised it high.

He rushed at Jed and as his opponent brought his sword down, thrust forward with a crooked strike. An instant later, Impora lay a distance from them by the parapets.

Grancaliga’s sword went for Jed’s neck, but the boy dove beneath the blade as it swung over him. Rolling across the ground, he snatched Impora and while still on his back held off another killing stroke.

With their backs facing, the two then turned and attacked simultaneously. Their blade clashed as their hilt guards locked together. They pressed against the other with all their strength. At first, Grancaliga brought himself down upon Jed so that the younger warrior was nearly brought to his knees. But just as his leg about gave way, his limbs stiffened. Pushing up and back, Jed gradually gained a footing and slowly stood fully upright. The energy harnessed with the two swords was so great it billowed into the sky. It was impossible to tell whether it was tears or raindrops trickling down their faces as they pressed close.

Grancaliga shouted above the storm raging over them. “You can’t win.”

“How so?”

“Did you not come for the girl?”

Jed looked over at Kara. Though still conscious, her face conveyed imminent death.

“Even if you defeat me, she dies,” Grancaliga said. “Will my crown comfort you then?”

Jed pushed harder.

“This is why I always won,” Grancaliga said. “I was willing to sacrifice everything and anything to achieve victory. She is the price for yours.”

Giving him one last shove, Jed let go of his sword and ran over to Kara. Cradling her head by his side, he reached into his things. As her eyes closed, he poured a tiny drop from a bottle.

Nothing changed. Then her eyes opened. She touched at her side where Grancaliga had struck. Though the dress was still torn, she gasped in relief before noticing Jed’s empty hands.

“Why?” she said. “You should have let me die.”

The men assembled watched in disbelief, then stepped aside as Grancaliga approached with Impora now in his hand. Standing above them, he chuckled. “A noble, but futile gesture. You gave her only a few more seconds of life, at the cost of victory.”

He then turned to Kara. “You said your place was wherever someone opposed me. It seems that place is right here. In a moment, no such place will exist or will ever exist again.”

Bringing Impora high above his head, Grancaliga held his stance as his men waited for the final strike. He remained still as rain dripped down his clothes and robe. Her head bowed, Kara raised it when a long time passed and found Jed staring up at a state-like Grancaliga. He had the look of a man who knew the future but could not change it.

Impora then came down with both hands and pierced flesh and garment. A terrible groan broke through the storm’s noise. Pools of blood formed at Jed and Kara’s feet as small streams flowed off Grancaliga’s boots.

Grancaliga dropped in front of them, his face bearing a strange distant expression. When his hands finally let go of Impora, the blade remained inside his chest, the tip plunging out his back. A blue aurora emanated from the sword as it seemed to drain Grancaliga of his divinity. When the aurora vanished, Grancaliga’s eyes were as dark as his flesh.

The rainfall ceased immediately. Grancaliga’s soldiers stared blankly at their dead commander’s body. Throughout the castle and Merce Haelle, all got up from their bowed stance as a single people. The hostility between them earlier that night was gone.

Kara touched Grancaliga’s body as she spoke to Jed. “Why did he kill himself?”

Jed retrieved Impora and held it by his side. “He didn’t. Forena killed him.”

“You knew he’d never be able to use it against you?”


She withdrew as the colonels approached Jed. Without a word, they snapped to attention and saluted him. Witnessing the gesture, the soldiers and tower guards did the same. Kara took the crown from Grancaliga’s head and placed it on the altar.

“Why are you crying?” Jed said.

“Is it truly over?”

Jed went back to the body. Kara covered her eyes and turned as he struck the corpse. Blood fell from his grim face as he faced her.

“It’s over,” he said. “Crown on it or not.”


Telman leaned against the parapet with Jed beside him as the dawn’s rays appeared over the Perelor Mountains and brought light onto the distant plains where enemy corpses still lay. The royal banner now flew at the corner of every watchtower and at the castle gate.

Smoke still rose from all points of Merce Haelle, the streets gutted with wreckage from the night’s battle. His men now patrolled past homes and shops where Grancaliga’s forces had only hours before had stood in total command. The dead general’s men had been disarmed, but freed. They worked along the roads clearing the rubble as common people stared down from their upper-story windows.

Telman appeared disheveled, his clothes tattered and caked in mud. However, he smiled broadly as he patted Jed on the back. “Even when all bowed to Grancaliga, I hadn’t lost hope. I was a bit worried, though.”

Jed nodded.

“The coronation ceremony is tonight,” Telman said. “It seems they don’t want to delay any further. Technically, the Elder Council is still the ruling body of the city and our kingdom. But I don’t think they’re going to be much trouble. I’m not sure what to do with them. Shall I show mercy, or execute them?”

“I wouldn’t play God with Kara. I won’t with you, either.”

“I’m asking for counsel.”

“Leave them in a cell alone with Grancaliga’s head for a day or two, then let them go.”

Telman chuckled, then became somber. “I suppose I can’t talk you into staying?”

Gripping Impora in front of him, Jed shook his head.

“Perhaps Kara might persuade you?” Telman asked.

“She already tried last night. Twice.”

“Well if that didn’t work, then I expect nothing I say will.”

“This is her world. I want to go to mine.”

“Then between us, I’d still take you over a thousand Forenians. Grancaliga wasn’t the cause of our problems. He tried to exploit our weaknesses, and almost succeeded. He didn’t fail because we were stronger. There’s still so much work left to be done, to rebuild, and now finally I assume responsibility. For so long, it’s been outside of my control. Now, there’s nothing to stop me but myself. And yet, for all the challenges that are ahead, I’m hopeful. Things were only going to get worse and worse until something changed. Now, we can start over.”

The two left the battlements and walked to the center of the tower. Kara appeared wearing an ice-blue gown and white-hand gloves, the Varexians accompanying her. She put away a moist handkerchief in her hand and tried to avoid looking at Jed as she greeted Telman.

“All the preparations are ready,” she said. “We’ll hold the feast in the great hall once the ceremony is completed.”

“Very good,” Telman said, turning to the Varexians. “Have the scouts returned?”

“Yes, sir. They’ve reported news of our victory to the nearby towns. The troops there have complied without protest.”

“I imagine Grancaliga’s captured banners have helped.”

“Or his sword and armor. There are none like them elsewhere.”

“There is none like Impora either,” Kara said.

“I’m glad I was here to help, but this isn’t where I belong,” Jed said. “It’s time for me to go home.”

Producing one of the manuscripts, Kara opened the book and pinched one of the pages with her gloved fingertips. “This is the Sojourner Prayer to wish someone a safe journey as they depart.” As she recited it, she paused repeatedly until her wet handkerchief remained in her hand. When she was finished, she kissed Jed on the cheek. He briefly touched the length of her hair before pulling away.

“Simply pray it, and Impora will take you home,” she said. “It’s the one legend of ours I wish weren’t true.”

“A part of me wishes it, too.”

Telman offered a hand of farewell. Jed accepted it, then embraced him tightly.

“If anyone deserves to find peace, it’s you,” Telman said.

“Long live the king.”

Raising Impora once last time above his head, Jed gazed up at the sky and prayed. A breezeless whirlwind formed around him, sparks crackling as the area around him became opaque. He got one final look at Kara smiling hopefully at him before she vanished, and his feet left the ground. Swirling around the outer edges, he rose higher and higher, faster and faster, before his whole body shot out from the world, and the sword disappeared from his hands. In the void, he heard Forena whispering to him:

“Well done. Your wish is granted.”


This is an excerpt from T.J. Martinell’s new novella, The Legend of Forenia: The Twilight Kingdom. You can purchase the book from Terror House Press here.