So, as I was preparing some submissions the other night and pasting in the specified number of chapters, I realised that I didn’t really have any excerpts up.
I don’t really like the idea of posting excerpts all over the place; I feel that a couple of good scenes will get the point across, and I’d rather direct people to just one place.
And so, below are three select parts from Arising. There will be a number of characters mentioned here, so check out their linked pages to find out more, and enjoy!
A pleasant conversation
As Nerys worked on Dunarys’ request and the party took time to rest, she joined Morgue at the doorway to the elements; the night was beautiful and fresh, stars populating the endless ocean of the heavens as if they had journeyed to listen to a story.
“I haven’t been this far from the Winter Palace for a long time…strange that this place feels like home,” she said.
“Before your change?” he asked.
“Yes, things weren’t all that different where I grew up. Perhaps it’s because Nerys was there…”
“He does have a quality that’s hard to describe…he’s not a Vampire, is he?” Morgue enquired rhetorically.
“I think he’s more than that, though I couldn’t explain in what way. I’m sure if we need to know, he will tell.”
“Did you ever return?” Morgue asked gently. Tanith took a deep breath and stared into the sky.
“I thought about it, but always asked why…I loved my family, but it held no purpose to return; let alone as a Vampire,” she said meeting his gaze. “Anyway, sir, the balance of information continues to hold sway in your favour,” taking back her usual tone of light sarcasm. He laughed in return, “I’m all yours, ask away.” She thought for a second, purposefully construing her brow to emphasise the point.
“Just how many Vampires have you killed?” was the shocking question she asked, nonchalantly holding hands with an upbeat tone.
“Well, if I count my fingers, will you do my toes?” he retorted as best he could. She thumped him on the side.
“Come on, how did you manage it?”
“I was shown the basics when I was young. But in truth, that never came into it. It just felt natural…not the hunting or killing, but rather the fighting…to survive, I guess. I probably scared them until they realised I could be used like that. Nevertheless, I always felt at odds with what I was asked to do…deep down.”
“You remind me of how I was. I used to spend every night like this I could outside, gazing into the stars, hoping for more. I knew it was there…I just had to let it find me,” Tanith said with a smile, “Just as you did…”
From the resting group behind, Klor came to join them; a strange, but pleasant, surprise given his usual quietness.
“A beautiful night indeed,” he said simply. “Almost like what one might find in a dream,” as he stepped out into the air.
“I’ve had a lot of them recently,” Morgue remarked.
“No doubt, becoming who you are now has unlocked something. Have you ever had a waking dream?” he asked.
“What do you mean?” queried Morgue with interest.
“A waking dream is one where your consciousness regains its usual control, only you are still physically asleep and the dream is now yours to manipulate.”
“I certainly don’t remember so.”
Klor laughed lightly, “Not to worry, there will be time to learn when we arrive in France, and I can teach you. What about you, Tanith?”
“I do remember one when I was young actually…I decided to grow wings and fly off into the distance,” she said.
“A real dreamer,” Klor replied with a wink.
A whistle and a thud gate crashed the moment however, as an arrow pinned itself into the timber of the frame above Morgue. He quickly unfurled the small parchment bound to it and read: shadows.
Without hesitation, Dantos let out a roiling carpet of emerald flame towards the nearest Farother mage, parting around his urgent ward, but reducing two of his regular comrades to fleshy screams. Immediately, the sea of immortals collided like a storm front upon the invaders as a flurry of cape and steel amalgamated with ecstasy. The council members present charged down the mages as everyone else picked a foe, Gustav and Severine fighting side by side. Morgue had never really fought one who wielded both steel and sorcery, but his newfound speed and personal power continued to favour him. With great pleasure, the extension of his soul that was his blade danced effortlessly through the air, as if it knew every chink in his opponent’s armour. Turning side on to avoid a trust of power that cracked like lightning, he followed through on the movement with what could only be described as a pirouette made razor, catching the mage across the throat.
With the hot blood spattered across his face, Morgue could feel the deep hum of whatever darkness he had encountered only moments ago with Severine, a dark pulse within him that felt like an eternal fire; burning up his spine and throughout his body. Some great pleasure drove him into the Farother ranks with Vampires he had yet to even speak with, swirling as if a whirlwind had embodied him out of corporeal desire. This was not like the first encounter with Farother men however, and supported by the magick of stolen secrets, they put up a much tougher resistance, and they began to feel like those trained solely for the purpose they were here. Morgue even recognised techniques in their style, given that they had also been pushed upon him, as he dodged thrusts to his heart. For a moment, he allowed himself to become concerned for Tanith, given that he not yet seen her, and his error resulted in a slash to his shoulder. Unnervingly so, the wound burned more than it should, and he realised that their weapons were either enchanted or coated in some arcane oil, perhaps both knowing their methods.
In the distance, he heard the whistle of a bolt from Klor’s crossbow, and with it he remembered the battle outside the Winter Palace. It seemed so long ago that he had travelled on a journey without really knowing who he was, or what he was here to do. And yet, in that space of time, his world had been transformed as if from lead into gold, and now he stood in halls of time immemorial, fighting the purest of evil with the greatest friends he could imagine. Not that he was broken, but Morgue rallied through the shock of the wound, a furious heat and energy pouring throughout his body as the respective emotions reared like a stallion raised for Odin. Single-handedly he took down one Farother man after another, without a passing acknowledgement to what his eyes saw; he could feel the enemy and he knew every move they wanted to make.
A cerulean horizon was slowly pouring out over the land, like the forerunner to the guardian who would soon reappear to check all was still in order. Morgue knew what it was like to absorb the energies of a new day, especially before anyone else, but never as a Vampire. He knew not what would exactly happen, only that the transformation typically locked all to the boundaries of night. Hopefully, he would not have to find out without choice. What Dunarys called home was an expansive camp site that seemed to exist in tandem with the forest; the beams of small huts nurturing their own edens whilst tents were cleverly painted into the background with moss. The remains of a bonfire hissed in its stony circle as it waited for the inevitable resupply of wood, worn benches goading it on. He leapt atop a stump acting as a pedestal and addressed those before him .
“Brothers and sisters, tonight we were victorious against an enemy who would have ground our bones into dust. Tonight, we have lived to greet another dawn-but I am not the one to thank,” he looked at Morgue and indicated to the others, “See this man not as a Vampire, but a soul. A soul is what we all have in common…and we have a common enemy on this earth. But rest now, gather yourselves. Prepare for the journey that awaits us, lest we never see each other again.”
Clearly Dunarys was a natural born leader, though in a way, Morgue could tell he was as much a master of himself as he was the world around him. He may have appeared barbaric, but from within his soul sang a melody of experience and wisdom.
“So, do Vampires really turn into dust?” he asked, determined to shake off the reality of the situation for the time being.
“We would all live underground, if that were the case,” said Vlad jovially.
Dunarys laughed, “Of course, and you are too tall for that sort of thing. You can rest at my cabin while we gather ourselves…and do not worry, you are welcome here.”