Remembrance

Rastain Monsaic - Ancient Darkness - R.K.Souliske

“I have a proud heritage, one that stems not from nobility and long lineages but from honor and courage. My parents fought during the great war. The war that the elves call “the time of great sorrow”, while the dwarves grumble and swear “Told you so”. Some misguided humans, who desire power over all else called it “the time of great strength”. Regardless of what the great war was called it was a dark time that ripped apart all of Shadora.

The scars across the land still remain, even as the shadows of evil slowly slip away. We must always remain vigilante and never let the blood of our forefathers be in vain. Peace and freedom for all the races was won, not by just one person but by all. Today we see our memory slowly fade and our endurance falter. We let politics and the games of kings decide our fates. The battles that once were waged with magic and steel are now fought in the shadows with daggers and decrees. The blood of our forefathers cries out for us to remember. Remember what it was they fought for..”

Ash put the quill down as he stretched. He had been at his desk for hours, writing and rewriting the same speech over and over again. He wasn’t a politician, he was a warrior like his father and mother. The others though felt differently. They hung the very future of the kingdom on his shoulders, upon his family’s name.

A soft knock at the door interrupted his thinking. He sighed in relief as he looked up at the old tattered Kaldr bane flag that hung on the wall. He let his hand run along the flags torn edges as he remembered his father and mother.

“Enter” he answered as the soft knock sounded once again. The door slowly opened as a young maid entered. Her long blond hair cascaded down over her face as she entered with her head bowed.

“I apologize for the intrusion sire.” She spoke softly as she entered the room.

“Stop that. How many times must I tell you Summer, do not call me sire and do not act like you are my servant.” Ash answered with irritation.

Summer smiled and nodded. She could hear his father in his tone.

“The dwarves and the elven representatives are waiting for you in the main hall.” She smiled as Ash frowned. He hated meeting with politicians and it showed on his face and in his overall demeanor.

“just to be forewarned, they are not happy”

“Who the dwarves or the elves?” Ash asked, even though he already knew the answer.

“Both of them” Summer answered as she picked up his cloak from a chair and held it for him.

“Of course they are unhappy…. they expect the impossible. They both want their way and have thousands of reasons why it must be so.” Ash grumbled as he headed for the door. He stopped and turned abruptly.

“What would our father have done in this situation?” He asked Summer.

She had been with his father and mother for many years following the great war, after they had found her barely alive They had nursed her back to health and took her in like family. They never asked her why she was left for dead on the roadside, nor did they ever wonder about it. Summer had grown up with Ash. She was his older sister. She was elven by heritage, but she was a Monsaic by right.

“He would have simply burnt Xanter to the ground” She smirked as she left the room.

***

Extended Universe excerpt from future projects and novels that are in the works. I hope you Enjoy!

Advertisements

The aftermath

poster concept 6 final

The morning came quickly as the first gray rays of light entered the valley. The gray overcast skies loomed overhead but a fresh light covering of snow seemed to cast the valley in a dazzling display of sparkling light. Kiera was the first to rise. She had sat and watched the early hours of dawn transform from darkness to light. The gray skies still existed but a new day had dawned. The fresh snow seemed to have given the world a different perspective, one that did not go on noticed by Kiera. She felt a new sense of purpose an urgency that forced her to press on. She smiled and thought of her mentor.
“Belief… that’s where it starts, from there everything else grows…” Icardan stood behind her as he spoke. She turned to him in surprise and wondered how the priest could have known her current thoughts.
“How could you know what I was…?”  She was interrupted by him as he turned and headed down the rock strewn ledge.
“Did I read your mind? It was all over your face… I have seen it a hundred times before…the moment one realizes that the day is new as is the journey…”
He turned and beckoned her to follow.
“Come on, let us leave the dreary talk behind and set forth on the adventure of a life time… I have a feeling that this quest of yours will be one that makes the tales of old seem to pale in comparison.”
Kiera smiled and pulled her pack on, she felt the sense of excitement in her grow as they headed down the valley.

They had traveled for several hours before they came across the burnt out settlement. The small wooden huts smoldered in the cold valley air, as the smell of burnt flesh still lingered in the air. The bodies lay piled in a gruesome heap in the midst of the small settlements center. The ground was covered in blood and entrails as if the settlers had been butchered and then the mangled remains just left where they fell. Kiera leaned over the edge of a rock and vomited at the gruesome sight. These weren’t soldiers or rebels they were old men, woman and young children. The Erahaim flag was pitched in the middle of the gruesome tower of flesh, proudly fluttering in the cold breeze.  Kiera dropped to her knees as the tears welled up in her eyes. She had wanted a reason to justify her fight against the Erahaim and now she was given it. She hated them now more then ever, her fear and hopelessness seemed to suddenly melt away under the intense flare of hatred and anger.
Icardan drew his sword and slashed the flag down. He picked it up with the tip of his sword as if it was infected and vile smelling. He dropped it into the nearest smoldering fire. With solemn determination he went from each burnt out hut gathering any wood or oil that he could find. He stacked the wood at the base of the pillar of flesh, while he soaked it in oil as well. Kiera joined as well and they went methodically and silently through out the village gathering what they could to create a funeral pyre.

Several hours later they stood silently watching the flames roar and engulf the bodies. They stood for as long as they could in silent reverence until the stench and smoke overwhelmed them. Icardan stood at the edge of the village looking back one last time before they headed down the road.
“Someone will see the fire and come to investigate” His tone was emotionless as he merely stated facts. Kiera was taken a bit back by his emotionless response but she said nothing, she herself felt numb and emotionless as well. The Erahaim and their hosts of demon warriors had declared war against Shadora and now all those that refused to worship and submit would suffer the fate of those in the village.
“We best move on and get as far from here as we can then. Hopefully no one was near enough to get here before we are long gone.” Kiera drew her own sword and kept it gripped tightly as she ran off down the road. Icardan looked at her for a moment and followed.

Excerpt from Ancient Darkness – A novel by R.K. Souliske

Available where ever books are sold on August 20th 2013

Incursion


“Are you a religious man doc?”

 “I consider myself a man of faith if that’s what you mean.” The doctor answered, noting John’s sudden change of focus. Taking the focus off of himself and projecting the conversation towards another. He needed to guide John back.

 “So were you religiously motivated? Are you trying to tell me God told you to commit this crime?” The harsh disapproving tone in the doctor’s voice was not missed by John.

“No doc, this has nothing to do with God… at least not in the sense you are suggesting.” John sighed, like an adult trying to explain the simplest of things to a stubborn child.

 “Do you truly believe that God would create a vast universe full of mystery and beauty and thousands upon billions of stars and galaxies and then make life only possible here on this little dirt ball of a planet?”

John’s question once again confused the doctor. Nothing seemed connected. Every question and statement John was making pointed in several different directions at once. The patient’s psychosis was splintering off into any direction that his imagination dared venture at. John’s mind was at the whim of his own fantasy. The most puzzling part was John showed no sign of derangement or paranoia that most subjects would have shown. Instead he appeared frustrated. The doctor got the sense that John was fighting against something. John was desperately trying to sum up a much larger story in mere moments.

 “Such things are better left to theologians and scholars; their time is much better spent debating such things. Our time now is better served in getting to the core of your problems.”

 “But that’s the very problem that exists, we let others tell us what to think! They are counting on that! The more lost we are in our ways of thinking and understanding of the universe and our place in it. The better off they are!” John’s frustration was evident as he continued to look at the clock.

 “Everyday of our lives we walk around ignorant of what really is going on around us. We hear stories, rumors but we just shove them off as conspiracy and fantasy. Have you ever once stopped and thought, why does every story, myth from every culture of the world since the dawn of civilization always seem to tell us the same story?” John sighed as he tried to tell the doctor everything he knew and had discovered.

 “We have been lied to, manipulated and controlled for centuries. That’s all over now. The two sides have drawn a line in the sand and one of them has decided to step over that line.” John was getting frantic he could feel the rumbling from deep within the ground even from several stories up. He focused his mind and took a deep breathe. He needed the doctor to understand and not just right him off as a lunatic.

Just a small excerpt from one of the novels that I have been kicking around over in the background.

The storyteller

“Grandpa… I asked dad what Kaldr bane meant the other day and he told me to ask you.” Ash looked up and noticed his Grandfather gazing into the fire his eyes misting over and glassy.
“Grandpa..?” Ash asked again.
Grandpa looked down at Ash and saw a spitting image of the boy’s father. The memories of a lifetime quickly came rushing back into his mind threatening to over take his senses. He sighed and smiled at Ash.
“I suppose the easiest way to explain it is like this. Kaldr bane stands for hope. It’s the destruction or the bane of all the dark and hopeless things that we come to identify winter by. These things are despair, darkness and hopelessness….” Grandpa paused as Ash interrupted him.
“But I like winter grandpa… it is fun playing in the snow”
Grandpa looked down at the innocence on Ash’s face. He could tell the youth really didn’t understand.
“What about the cold and darkness? The bitter bite of the wind as it whistles through the keeps walls?”
“Well then I sit near the fire to get warm…” Ash smiled as he looked satisfied with his answer.
Grandpa smiled back. “That’s what Kaldr bane is… It’s the warmth of the fire that brings back hope to your cold and dark world…”
Ash looked at the floor and concentrated hard as he tried to understand what his grandfather was saying.
“I don’t get it… Kaldr bane means fire?”
Grandpa smiled and leaned back in his chair as he let his mind drift down the corridors of his past.
“Maybe you are too young to understand what that really means… Let me tell you a story to explain it instead….

Above Excerpt from  “Ancient Darkness – A Novel By R.K. Souliske”

The Faceless Enemy

A man stood looking back over the path he had traveled. He looked forward and saw only choices. So many choices and so little answers. He saw just darkness and fog, covering over the unknown path before him, as far as he could see. The dark forest seemed alive and treacherous to him. All he could hear were is own echoing thoughts.

Which was the correct path?

Which one led to joy?

Which one led to suffering?

He wasn’t sure where to go next. Soon a stranger arrived and offered to show him the correct path to take. The man sadly stood there and said “No thank you”. Some time later the stranger returned and asked if the man wanted him to show him the way yet. The man sadly stood there and said “No thank you”. This time the stranger asked him why.

The man answered “I keep trying to choose but my feet refuse to move, they are stuck. Content I think to stay here in this very place”. The stranger smiled and simply answered.”They are not stuck you just keep repeating the same steps over and over, because you fear the faceless enemy.” The man looked up at the stranger and said,” The faceless enemy?”. The stranger simply smiled again and answered. “The faceless enemy, he hides in the shadows whispering in your ear.”

“No you cant go that way – what if you make a mistake and lose your way? How will you ever get back to this place where it is safe?”

“He will whisper this for each path you choose. You then will simply repeat this story over and over, and the result will always be the same. You have been walking in place for so long, you convinced yourself that your feet are stuck.” The stranger smiled again. His smile was infectious and his demeanor was confident. The man couldn’t help but feel like this stranger really knew what he was talking about.

“So how do I defeat this faceless enemy?”  The man asked.

“You don’t you simply take a chance and stop saying no thank you.” The stranger answered as he extended his hand.

 

How often do we repeat the same things over and over in our lives?

Do we take chances and make different choices?

Do we stick with “What we know” as our preferred mode of operation?

The faceless enemy is always our own fears. Fear of failure, fear of rejection or fear of the unknown. The list is endless we all fear something in one way or another. It’s time though to take a chance and challenge what we think, what we believe and what we fear. Take the hand that reaches out to us and plunge forward.

Adventure awaits!

(Ok I could not help but use Doctor Who images, they just fit.)

The Mansion – ( Part III – Draumr verge)

(Draumr Verge Part III)

The vestibule, that’s about as close as I can get to giving the entry room a name, is dark and damp. The faint smell of must and dirt tickles my nose. A single candelabra lights the room, as it sits oddly on a cracked and well worn oak table. I look around, but there is little else to see. The dull cobblestone floor is well worn, its apparent that many people have stood here at this very threshold. The stone slab walls are dark and foreboding. I can not help but shiver slightly as a cold breeze flows through the room from somewhere unseen . I firmly believe this is by design, since the only exit is warm and inviting. The amber glow that washes over me is inviting  and it beckons me to enter.

I walk through the doorway and notice the ornately decorated room with its plush carpeting and heavy tapestries hanging from the ceiling. The warm glow of a fireplace tucked into a corner beckons me. I walk over and see a large red velvet chair positioned next to the fire.

I sit in the chair, its high back and thick pillow cushions feel so inviting as does the warm heat from the fire. I feel drowsy and sigh in contentment, as I let myself sink into the cushions of the chair.

I could sit here for hours and just sleep”.

It sounds so inviting to my weary mind. I look around and notice that a large leather book sits on the table next to the chair. Its dark leather bindings and metal clasps are well worn, and written in bright golden letters that glitter with fire light are the words “The three kingdoms”. I try to open the book but I cannot, the cover remains sealed shut. Just as a reach forward to lift the book up a large group of people come rushing into the room. The book is swept up in the hustle and bustle of this group. I too am pushed from my chair and swept forward out of the room.

At first I was completely disoriented, it felt like this mass group of people were about to suffocate me. I forced myself to calm down and move along with the group. I no longer resisted them instead, I followed. I then occurred me that like many other things in like simply following the crowd made things a lot easier. I didn’t like that realization, but the current circumstances dictated my actions more so then my personal disdain for being a mere follower.

Myself and this group of people continued traveling through out this large mansion. The mansion was enormous more like an ancient city full of rooms and hallways. Many of the people I see are old friends from my youth and days in church. Some are older and some are exactly as they were years ago.

 

My young son is with me but he is much younger then he is in reality. We are walking through the city and halls of this mansion like city. We enter a large room that is filled with bones and dust. The piles of bones and dust cover every thing. A maze of death and dust swirls before me and I am suddenly gripped with a sense of fear and dread. I stop and tell everyone to not go into the room.

” Its a crypt, there is nothing in there for you but death….”

“The dust is diseased.. it will not comfort you at all.”

No one listens instead they laugh and carry on ignoring my pleas.

I wipe the dust off my clothes and vigorously make sure none is left on me. I will not enter this room instead myself and my son remain in the main hall. We start to walk around and notice that several other rooms exist off this room. I notice as we walk around that two men are always milling around. They are older and sullen, with dark stains on their ashen skin. They look around vacantly as if they don’t see us. I decided to call call these two men the caretaker and his assistant. I suddenly notice that many more people are wandering around the main hall. Several are sitting at tables and benches throughout the room, simply staring off blankly into nothingness.

I notice the caretaker hobbling over to the room I have dubbed as the crypt room. He opens the door and steps back holding it open, much like a servant or valet would. I look in the room and see my friends and those that I knew in church growing up, as they frolic and have a good old time in the crypt room. Slowly one by one as the dust covers them they leave the room and join the others in the main hall. They pass by me and my son but none of them seem to notice us.

Suddenly an old man runs from the room skipping and twirling as he laughs. He stops in front of me and looks directly at me. The first to notice us since we entered this strange mansion.

“welcome to hell.!!!!” he shrieks and laughs manically as he springs off down the nearest hallway.

Now normally in dreams, feelings and moods are very strong and they are indicators of your state of mind during said dream and give us clues to the meaning of events and or images. My reaction was not surprise, dread or fear, instead I was calm and intrigued.

The caretaker turned to me and my son and acknowledged us for the first time.

“Welcome to Helsmar Manor” He bows deeply before us.

“Please forgive some of the guests, not all are as well suited for this place as others are” he smiles knowingly and simply continues talking, giving me no option to answer or question him.

“They only stay here till they learn what ever it is, that they need to learn….”

“Some take longer then others.” He motions to a man sitting at a table in the dark corners of the room

“He’s taking way to long… but I guess any moment he will move one.. or at least I hope so”

I turn and notice the caretakers assistant walking around sweeping. He looks at me and grins. He nods as if he knows something. I get a bit nervous and look for my son. He’s there running around playing  and enjoying himself. He seems oblivious to anything that is happening around us. I get the strong feeling that nothing we are seeing even exists for him. I get a sudden sense of knowing again this time, its a realization that none of this does exist for him. He’s not in the dream world he’s a reflection from reality that I brought with me. I take a strange comfort in that, I don’t want him to have to take this journey.

I don’t want him to take this journey.” The thought echoes in my mind over and over.

I look over and see a young girl in a panic sitting on the floor with her sister I know them from my youth. I walk over and ask her whats wrong. She just mutters”But my witness… I must give my testimony and then it will be different….” she’s terrified but I don’t know why. I try to convince her that its not about that it. It doesn’t matter not anymore. I get frustrated she’s not hearing my pleas to ignore her religious upbringing and see what “hell” is trying to show her.

The caretaker taps me on the shoulder and points toward the corner. The man was gone, and his assistant was cleaning the corner out as though preparing it for its next occupant.

“He finally got it…. good thing to.. he was here longer then he needed to be..”

 

The transition from one world to the next is not always smooth, and sometimes things get jumbled. I understand that since the ending is never truly the end.

Soul Sabbath by Dale Thompson

Dale Thompson the front man for the band Bride has written an amazing novel and has made it available for all to download free.

Here’s the description in his own words.

I have written a series of books called “The Eternal Mortal Series.” The first book in the series is called “Soul Sabbath.” This book is historical fiction mixed with an element of sci fi and fantasy. The plot is: A monk is punished for sins against his monastery. He is imprisoned in a room and only given utensils to scribe with. During this agony of working day and night he cries out for relief. Magically the pages of the book comes to life and sucks the monk into the book. The monk becomes the book – The Codex Gigas – which means BIG BOOK. When the other monks realize that the ostracized monk is missing they find the BOOK completed with its pages elaborately scribed. The Monk has become the book and the book contains his soul. – Dale Thompson

971728_378462675607385_2016303183_n

I’m in the process of finishing it up and it is amazing! A thrilling ride of fantasy and science fiction. Once you start you wont want to stop!

http://www.bridepub.com/dalebook.htm