Nyx spent a few books being pushed to her limits, but these creatures are the first time her magic was ever truly negated. They’re hungry to devour her aura and flesh, but nobody really knows why. Check out their debut in FAMILY OF THE TRI-RUNE, which is available for $2.99.
REMINDER: Tomorrow will have the teaser debut (out of Family of the Tri-Rune) for the BIG BADDIE of the Legends of Windemere series.
Tzefira leads the three adventurers away from the group, looking back to see Conrad climbing into a tree with a black longbow strapped to his back. In tense silence, they carefully weave their way through the thick forest until they reach a dark river. The mighty trees of the forest have stopped, giving way to the watery earth of a swamp. Luke is instantly reminded of where the Caster Swamp and Visindor Forest meet, but the air smells more like that of a flooded cemetery than a natural swamp. He looks at Nyx, touching his nose with the tip of his saber, and she nods her head in agreement.
“You smell rotten flesh too?” Sari asks, gently placing her lips against Luke’s ear.
All he can manage is an awkward nod and a comforting pat on the gypsy’s arm with his saber. His eyes fall to the stiletto clutched in her left hand, which bears a striking resemblance to the one he had lost in his first encounter with Kalam. Sari notices him staring at the weapon and experimentally waves it in front of his face. He shows her his sabers, but she only shrugs and gives him a playful smirk. Luke is about to talk when Tzefira startles him with a flick on the ear and points ahead.
Looking across the river, the young adventurers see the remains of a herd of elk that have been brutally torn apart. Even from far away, they can hear bones crunching and flesh tearing before they pinpoint the source of the noise. Nine muscular creatures are moving among the slaughtered elk, their faces pressed to the blood-soaked ground. Their glossy skin is a swirling mixture of deep black and bloody red. One of the creature rises from its hunched position to stand at its full eight-foot height. It angrily hisses at the sky and shows off several rows of sharp teeth. The standing krypter scratches at its side with long claws, sending scraps of twitching skin to the ground. The adventurers hold their breath and freeze when its head turns toward them, staring in their direction with an eyeless face. It sniffs at the stale air before hunkering down for another mouthful of elk.
Tzefira pulls Nyx close, so she can whisper, “Hit them hard and fast. We need a first strike.”
Nyx swallows the lump in her throat and focuses on the ravenous creatures across the wide river. The longer she stares at them, the more nauseated she feels. It is as if the very sight of them is a testament to her violated aura. She waves for her allies to take a few steps away before her hands burst with hot water behind her back. Nyx patiently waits for several minutes until four of the krypters gather close to each other, making them a perfect target for her boiling water spell. Her hands rise above her head before the krypters take notice and threateningly roar in surprise. With a high-pitched scream, Nyx launches a large wave of steaming water over the river.
All of the krypters bravely gather in front of the incoming spell and rise to their full height as if to jump. Instead, they hold out their hands and let the magical attack wash over them. Instead of tearing them apart, the water becomes a whirling pillar that shreds the surrounding tree branches as it rises to the clouds. With a horrifying screech, the krypters open their mouths and inhale Nyx’s spell until their bellies bloat and throb. A coating of blue fire covers their sharp claws and icy horns sprout from their heads as they sway on their feet in ecstasy.
“Run!” Tzefira shouts. She grabs Nyx by the arm and drags the stunned half-elf into the woods. She hears Luke and Sari running behind them as the krypters shatter the silence with trilling screams. Risking a quick glance, Tzefira sees the krypters leap over the river and move faster than she has ever seen them move before.