The Latest Fantasy Series From Nan Cederman

BOOK EXCERPTS

 

Prologue

Imagine archeologists from a distant galaxy travel from their homeworld, Aludra, searching for and studying barren worlds.  They travel in three starships on this journey.  But flight problems and charting errors for time and distance cause the transports to deviate from the original destination.  The operations crew is unable to reprogram the VDU and monitors in time to avoid a catastrophic failure.

 

The transports enter a spacial rift and there is no going back.  The three starships encounter a planetary system with a hospitable world.  Landing is possible but prohibited by their galactic laws.  

 

Imagine, nonetheless, you are ordered by the mission commander to attempt a landing.    The passengers arrive safely but are trapped forever; they bring with them a mystical, magical culture with unforeseen ominous capabilities.

 

The Aludran kinspeople survived on Earth for five millennia.  Their civilization included three distinct bloodlines — the Salkar (spiritual), the Viskar (political), and the Previs (warrior). The kinspeople flourished until 

their mystical abilities evolved to an unearthly level, and they expanded the ability of mind whispering,with its unsettling potential of mind control. 

Chapter 1

Sorrow’s Child

 

Beth cautiously climbed until she saw Caeth and then asked her, “Are you, all right?” 

 

The weeping maiden breathed deeply and moaned, “No, Beth.  You have warned me to never give into my memories of Raessa’s death …”  She pressed her hands against the sides of her head trying to squeeze out the recollection.  “But I still wonder if I should have done something to stop her from confronting the evil being.  He was a beast and he should have died instead of my beloved friend.”  

 

Teary-eyed Caeth whimpered, “My headaches are increasing and the mind whispering is becoming worse.  The voices are calling for release from their burden.  I ask for relief from these voices but my pleas are unanswered.  Why don’t you hear them?” 

Chapter 2

The Archives Keeper

            

Suddenly, eerie echoes shrieked as the cavern’s opening sealed.  Caeth stumbled backward.  The shrieking unnerved her. “What, why are …”  Without warning, the mysterious mind whisperingreturned.  “You must release us from our burden.  You are destroying us.”  Caethwhispered angrily,“This cavern held the memories of my ancestors.I am doing what is necessary to keep our world hidden from outsiders.  Leave me alone.”  She sensed her psyche being challenged.  Her head throbbed.  “Not again, not now.  I will complete my task.”  She gasped as smoke filled her lungs and foreboding filled her mind.

 

Chapter 6 

Shattered Dreams

            

Doubting thoughts overwhelmed Sael, “She could never love me.  I am a kinsman but nothing more.  Tessa, you should have told me.”  He raced up the trail leading away from the lake and stopped when he saw the campsite in front of entrance to the Archives Cave. He dropped to his knees and sobbed, “I do not belong in this world.”  He believed his warrior training had given him false hope.  He would never be good enough for Caeth.  Now, the despair that his mother had experienced when awakened from stasis consumed him.

 

He rose to his feet and walked toward the dark opening.  Inside the cave, he stared down into the deep crevasse and heard the distant waterfall beckoning him to jump.  “Tessa, dear sister, forgive me for leaving you.”  He stood on the edge of the precipice closed his eyes and slowly leaned forward.

Chapter 11

The Cleansing

 

“My vision reveals the worst.  Azzori, the enclave is occupied only by dethomorphs.  There are no dark warriors waiting to attack us.  They have all turned into the vile beasts and are no longer aware of their warrior form.  I have lost the ability to summon them.”

 

How will you communicate with them?” Azzori asked. “Give me your sword.”  “What?  My sword has slain hundreds of dark warriors and these evil beings.  What are you planning to do …?”  Azzori’s prized weapon lurched from his grip and floated toward the enclave – a lair of tunnels with no exit. 

 

Kaela spoke softly, “The dethomorphs are trapped.  The opening is the only way out for them.  You should cover your ears.”  The sword dangled in the air in front of the entrance and began to vibrate. The pulsing infiltrated the enclave; the ground around the companions trembled.  Kaela closed her eyes and concentrated on redoubling the throbbing vibration.

 

The dethomorph colony began to crumble.  Fissures cracked the tunnel walls and the floor’s gaping chasms swallowed countless beasts.  Others raced outside in a mindless stampede.  They jumped and snarled at the resonating sword until the fourth Mystic of 5appeared before them.  She was the unknown enemy and the mindless beasts reacted as a pack.  Blood lust boiled in their dark souls and they rushed toward their victim. 

Chapter 13

Commitment

 

The pain etched on Lilith’s face drained her rosy cheeks and specks of silver churned in her steel-grey eyes.  She gazed at the Skyheaven as twilight turned to nightfall then closed her eyes to ponder Kynn’s letter written more than two millennia ago and delivered to the Archivists living in Homeland.  Suddenly, a waking vision terrified her.  Her prescience revealed the nation as it exists in the present. 

 

Pale-faced women worked on war implements to extend the nation’s territorial reach.  Men planned future upheavals in neighboring regions.  Male children outnumbered females two to one.  The boys played brutal, combative games and laughed and bullied any child who didn’t support their cruelty.  If a mother tried to intervene for her child, she was forced to bear the wrath of her companion.  Yet, Lilith’s vision was incomplete.  Over the millennia that this nation had existed, something had changed.  Her brow wrinkled as she wondered, “What is being hidden from me?”

 

Sorrow overcame her.  Her body trembled, her heart quickened.  She feared the deadly mission that awaited her and her loved ones would be an unforgiveable burden.

~ ~ ~

                  

Lilith sensed her companion and their daughter walking the path to her retreat.  Joliph embraced her and waited for the sorceress to speak.  “Beloved, it is time.”Joliph answered, “Beth and I will be by your side.”

 

“No! I will not allow our daughter to be part of this deadly mass execution.”  Lilith turned toward Beth, brandishing a weak fiery orb and cursing the darkness.  “Your father and I have had the scourge of my ancient vow torment our entire existence. If necessary, I will do anything to keep you from having to share our burden.”  

 

Beth answered boldly “Mother, I am coming with you and Father.”Lilith tossed the orb so it would land in front of Beth.  But the fiery sphere didn’t land at Beth’s feet.  Lilith gasped at the mystical skill her daughter now displayed.    The orb detonated in midair, sprinkling star dust on the two women.  

            

Joliph arched his brows and folded his arms across his chest.  He watched Lilith’s eyes churn with silver flecks and their daughter returned her glare – her eyes swirling with silver flecks as well. He shook his head at his companion. “Lilith, you have provoked Beth into using mystical skills she was unaware she had.  Now is the time to accept what you knew was inevitable.”  

Chapter 15

Challenges

 

Rain began to chill the night air and Beth heard the distant thunder.  The rainfall intensified and doused the flames. “Well, this is a nuisance.” Thunder clapped close by followed by of flashes of lightning.  “Time to retreat indoors.”  Just then, lightning struck the fir tree in front of her cabin.  Needles ignited as the top of the tree split off and fell towards her.  Beth dropped to the ground, shouting, “No!”.  She waited for the impact but it never happened. She found herself safely in her cabin.  She shuddered, “What just happened?”  

 

Lilith and Joliph saw the scene and raced to their daughter’s aid.  “Are you all right?” asked Lilith. Beth gasped, “Mother, I’m fine but I’m in my cabinand I’m unsure how I got here.”  Lilith smiled, “You teleported.  Now, you must challenge yourself to refine your skill.” “And how do I refinethis skill?”

~ ~ ~

            

Joliph located Lilith sleeping in a copse, a thicket of fir trees, at the edge of the meadow.  When he arrived at the site, he knelt down next to her.  She quietly moaned as she tried to rid her mind’s eye of the visions of the dark nation.  She whisperedto Joliph, “My vision of the dark ones is incomplete.  Help me see what is being hidden from me.”

            

“Lilith, wake up.  I sense your slumber is impairing your visions.”  Joliph huddled next to his beloved companion.  His body twitched when he understood the ominous foreboding she felt.  “You are terrified by what has not been revealed to you.”

 

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