The Compass Key Teaser: Allies Before the Storm Part 2 (Spoiler Warning)

Art by Kayla Matt

Art by Kayla Matt

The Lich ignores the ghostly woman’s request and clutches a rainbow-colored shawl. It seems out of place among the black and gray of his robes, yet he tenderly strokes it as if the shawl is the dearest item in the world to him. A warm glow runs along the shawl, growing in intensity until it is bright enough to blind anyone who looks at it. The glow seeps into the Lich’s chest and runs down to his mangled lower half. Within minutes the bones of his legs and pelvis reform with scraps of rotten skin on them. His robes unfurl from their frayed edges until they cover him completely. With a sigh of contentment, the Lich rises onto his freshly repaired feet.

“Why didn’t you do that after Luke Callindor nearly destroyed you?” Trinity asks with a small smile. The cobalt-skinned elf snaps her fingers and has a throne of bone appear behind the Lich, who cautiously sits down.

He rubs the arms of the chair and caresses the smooth skulls at the end of the armrests. “I prefer not to use my stored aura unless it’s an emergency. It will take me months to recharge my shawl, which means I can permanently die if I’m not careful. As much as I despise regenerating slowly over the course of months, the alternative would be to put myself at risk.” The Lich looks up at Trinity, who is nervously biting her lower lip. “That is not a face I’m accustomed to. What is wrong?”

“You need to run, Tyler. Forget the champions and the master. If you value whatever passes for your life, you need to get out of here.”

The Lich cackles maniacally until his voice sputters and cracks. “You actually care about me, Chaos Queen?”

“Not in the least, but there’s more going on here than you realize,” Trinity says. She spins and creates a weave of purple magic around the room. “Now, we have some privacy from prying eyes and ears.”

“You’re worrying me, Trinity,” the Lich hisses, feeling a bead of sweat trickle down the solitary scrap of flesh on his forehead. What is going on?”

“Stephen is setting you up for destruction,” Trinity replies, rubbing her arms as if a cold wind keeps whipping at her. “He doesn’t care if the Baron punishes him because he thinks you’re a waste of attention. You’re failure with the krypters in Hero’s Gate has given his father a reason to turn a blind eye toward Stephen’s actions toward you.”

Enraged, the necrocaster clenches his fists and rises to his feet. “The krypters were worthless and poorly constructed! They fell apart in water and were killed with ease. Why should I be punished for Stephen’s shoddy craftsmanship? We are better off without those wastes of flesh and aura, but it’s not my fault that plan collapsed.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Trinity soothingly claims, hoping to calm her ally down. The thought of the Lich trying to attack Stephen fills her with dread, even though she knows it would be entertaining to watch. “Those creatures could have removed Nyx from our path or, at the very least, kept her in check. We both know Stephen made them to fail and set you up for a bigger downfall, but his father doesn’t see this. If he does see it then he no longer cares and he’s against you.”


About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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