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By Joseph R. With fresh knowledge of magic and steadfast resolve to see the end of the war that plagues her land, Myranda sets out to find and unite the five fated heroes, the Chosen. Each new warrior brings her world a step closer to peace, but does she have the strength to survive the trials ahead?
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author. A story half told is a crime, and there is no crime greater. When this tale began it was the tale of a common woman in an uncommon circumstance. A woman unprepared, unskilled, and unready.
When the last words were written, they spoke of a master many times over. She was a woman filled with resolve--fearless, steadfast, and, above all, determined. A woman firm in her belief and single in her focus, willing to charge into the jaws of doom for her cause.
A job needed to be done, and she had the tools to do it. Imagine what the next pages will bring. I have lost my mind, Myranda muttered to herself. Behind me is paradise. A warm bed waiting for me every night and hot meals waiting for me every day. The people there care for me, respect me, even admire me! I am turning my back on it in favor of a dark cave that will very shortly be filled with water, chasing a confirmed and shameless killer with hopes of convincing him to end a war and save the world.
The paradise was Entwell. It was a place of learning, populated by the wisest wizards and the mightiest warriors. All had come seeking a beast of legendary ferocity. A beast that each believed had taken the lives of all before them. A beast that had turned out to be the cave itself. For two short periods a year, the cave was dry and passable. The most recent such period was, in moments, going to come to an end. The killer was a creature with seemingly no true name.
Myranda first knew him as Leo, then as Lain. The name most knew him by was The Red Shadow. He was an assassin, known and feared throughout the continent.
He was also a malthrope, a hated and dying breed of creature that looked like a human and a fox combined. Most important, though, was what had days ago been revealed. In a ceremony designed to both summon one divine warrior and identify another, he had been revealed as a Chosen One. A tool of the gods, fated to end the war that had been eating away the people of the Northern Alliance and Tressor for one and a half centuries.
Rather than embracing his fate, he had turned his back on it. Now he was somewhere within this cave, heading for the war-torn world, with no intention of playing his role. And so she had followed. Myn merely shot her a quick look of acknowledgment before continuing on her task.
The dragon, not yet a year old, hadn't spent a day away from Myranda, and she never intended to, no matter the difficulties the travel might bring. Her claws were better suited to the rough walls of a normal cave. The glassy walls of this one offered a challenge, but it was by no means the greatest challenge on the horizon.
Already the pair was far enough along that the light from the entrance was dimming behind them. They were rapidly approaching the point of no return. Myranda pulled the staff from her bag as the darkness deepened. The well-crafted tool was longer than her own had been, and stouter. No doubt perfectly suited to the height and grip of its former owner, her friend and former teacher, Deacon. She coaxed a light from within the crystal with ease.
Being in the cave reminded her of just how recently she had come upon these new talents. When she was here last, she'd had to rely upon a torch. Now, thanks to Deacon's teachings, she could simply will light into being.
She had dared not dream of such a thing months ago. The pair had only been walking for a few minutes when the mountain let out a bone-shaking roar that each knew all too well. A blast of icy air was cast up from behind her as the way to safety was drowned in a flood of water. She quickened her pace while Myn practically jumped out of her skin, scrambling with renewed vigor along the glassy tube.
When they had faced the flood last, it seemed to creep up at a few feet every minute. With any luck, she would be able to keep ahead of the rising water. It was not long before it became clear that luck would most certainly not be with her.
During their escape, they had thankfully been pulled from the basin of the waterfall before the falls had begun in earnest. Now she heard the roar of the mountain grow steadily. Before long, she could hear the restless rapids sloshing about behind her. They were not creeping along as she had hoped. They were surging. Myranda tried to quicken herself to a run, but the slick ground would not permit it. Finally, she stopped and strapped the bag of supplies to her waist. There would be no outrunning the water.
Best, then, to brace herself for it. Myn, far from willing to meet her fate standing still, cast a pleading glance at her friend. When Myranda saw the terror in the beast's eyes, she knew the roaring water was upon them. The wall of icy water met her with the force of a raging bull. She was swept along at a speed faster than she could run.
Faster than a horse could run! A moment later, she collided with the familiar form of her dragon, and she held tight to the terrified creature with one arm as the other held firm to the staff. Amid the chaos of the water, she had precious little concentration to spend on light.
What little she did have of her mind was devoted to a blur of spells aimed at keeping herself and her companion from being dashed apart against the walls. There was no telling how much of the cave was whisking by her, and her dim memory of the way she had come would be useless to her, even if she managed to survive the flood.
The unwilling trip she was taking ceased to be an upward one and doubled in speed as she found herself sliding down an increasingly steep incline. For a moment, Myranda wondered if this was a fortunate turn of events or an unfortunate one.
As usual, fate made its answer to her prompt. The ground sliding along below her suddenly dropped away, and in an instant she was plummeting. She released Myn and tried to set her mind to levitation, hoping to stop her fall--but there was a reason this mountain had been so trying to wizard and warrior alike. Crystal-strewn rock mangled and twisted all but the simplest of magic.
This spell, it seemed, was just a bit too complex to slip past the cave's confounding effect, as she soon felt her hold on the mystic energies scatter. She felt a sharp pain in her abdomen as she collided with a wall. Instinctively, she reached out with both hands, clutching madly at anything that offered a grip.
Somehow she managed to cling to the rough surface of the wall. For a long moment, she held firm, and slowly reclaimed the wind that had been knocked from her by the impact. The roar of falling water surrounded her. She opened her eyes, though doing so was ultimately pointless, as the staff she had released would give off no more light until she willed it to do so. Indeed, before she could even think of illuminating the cave, she would have to find the staff. Having dropped it into the chasm below when she struck the wall, there was a stronger likelihood of the staff finding her than of she finding it.
As she sorted through the limited options open to her, Myranda felt a nudge at her shoulder. The unexpected feeling nearly jarred her from the wall. Of course, the dragon was once again in her element. She could scamper up and down these uneven walls as easily as along the ground.
The dragon flicked her hot tongue in and out, licking at Myranda's ears, thankful for getting her through that torrent. Yes, yes. You are welcome. Now it is time to pay me back.
The Great Convergence
By Joseph R. With fresh knowledge of magic and steadfast resolve to see the end of the war that plagues her land, Myranda sets out to find and unite the five fated heroes, the Chosen. Each new warrior brings her world a step closer to peace, but does she have the strength to survive the trials ahead? This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
The Great Convergence (Library Edition)