Teaser Tuesday: And So We Come to the End

Going to take another blast from the past here.  This is a scene from The Compass Key.  Getting harder and harder to find non-spoiler stuff in the newer books.  I’m talking stuff that ruins twists and previous book stories.  Promise that I’ll get back to Nevra Coil next week.  Fingers crossed that it’ll be when I’m heading for a weekend debut.  As usual, I put everything behind a ‘See More’ cut in case there’s a spoiler I either missed or didn’t see as one.

By Kayla Matt

By Kayla Matt

“And so we come to the end!” the Lich declares from his low balcony. He grins at his enemies as they step out of the stairwell and into the brightly lit basement. Leaning on the marble railing, the necrocaster calmly eyes the unknown face among the heroes. “Are you going to introduce yourself, new champion?”

“I’m Delvin Cunningham,” the warrior says to the Lich’s surprise.

Nyx swats her friend in the arm and glares at him. “Why did you answer him? Never tell the undead monster what he wants to know.”

“Well he asked and it isn’t like my name is a secret,” Delvin responds with a shrug. He turns back to the Lich and smiles warmly. “Would it be possible for you to hand over our friend and let us leave? We’ve caused you so much trouble that it seems smarter to give us Sari and call it a day.”

“You’re an interesting one,” the rotting creature laughs. He wipes away nonexistent tears before regaining his composure. “That would be easier, but I don’t have her.”

“Tell me where she is!” Luke roars.

The forest tracker steps toward his enemy and stops when several winged forms dart out from behind the necrocaster. Their emaciated bodies are held aloft by molting wings that lazily flap in the stale air. The creatures’ narrow eyes blindly scan the room as they groan in mild agony. Each one carries an ebony longbow and a quiver of arrows, but none of them are prepared to shoot. When Luke takes another step, one of the archer’s eyes burst open into orbs of pure white aura. In a fluid motion, it nocks an arrow and fires at Luke who jumps out of the way. The Lich swiftly holds up his hand to stop the creature from firing again.

“As I was saying, I don’t have your friend,” the necrocaster continues, gesturing to an ice-covered door in the corner of the balcony. “My . . . ally has her and he is the only one who can give her back. I’m sure he will get bored and return what’s left of her soon enough.”

“You’ve been demoted to a minion? How pathetic,” Nyx says with a sneer. She throws a small fireball at the frozen door, but it is dispelled in a puff of smoke.

“That is not normal ice,” Timoran whispers, eyeing the flying archers. “You should focus on those bowmen.”

The caster looks around the room, her eyes searching for anything suspicious. “I agree, but there’s something wrong. The Lich isn’t attacking. He should be sending the archers after us while he hurls spells.”

“I should be, but I want to savor this encounter,” their enemy answers from across the room. His boney fingers screech across the smooth railing, the noise painful to anyone with ears. “After all, it could be our final meeting. I’d hate to kill all of you without getting a chance to enjoy your banter and say good-bye.”

Delvin bows to the undead creature and draws his longsword. “Then we thank you for being a friendly host. It’s unfortunate that I met you so close to my demise. I’m sure we could have had some glorious battles.”

“Oh, I’m really interested in you,” the Lich hisses, his rotting tongue snaking out to lick his teeth. “Zeclobi! Appear and defend!”

Timoran and Delvin charge as Nyx tries to envelope the flying archers with a rolling wave of flames. All but one of the quick creatures dart under the spell and fire away at the caster, who covers herself in a glistening shield. She is about to hurl a lightning bolt when she sees a glimmer appear in front of Timoran. Changing the attack spell into a speed and strength enhancement, Nyx sprints forward to knock the barbarian to the side. He turns in confusion until he sees a scythe-like arm slash down at his friend. The caster’s magic bracelet jerks her arm up to block the attack, sending a numbing pain through her body. The towering, red-skinned creature growls at its frozen limb and raises its other bladed arm to strike.

“Thank you,” Timoran whispers. He returns the favor and blocks the razor sharp scythe with his great axe.

The Zeclobi steps back on hooved feet and tries to slam its solid, domed skull onto the barbarian. Timoran jumps back, taking Nyx with him and blocking several arrows as he leaps again. The monster dents the ground with its head and immediately rises to its full height without a sign of injury. More arrows fly at the barbarian, who leaps to the side with the caster tucked under his arm. He smiles as Delvin yells and waves his arms at the archers, getting their attention with a few crude insults.

“We need magic!” the brown-haired warrior yells while dodging and blocking arrows.

“I need a few more seconds to recover!” Nyx shouts back, cursing the bracelet’s magic-cancelling side-effect. She keeps flexing her fingers and focusing on making a spark. “At least we’re holding them back!”

“Where is Luke?” Timoran asks, noticing that the forest tracker is not flipping around the battle as usual. He glances at the stairwell to see that Luke is standing still, the half-elf’s rage-filled eyes locked on the Lich. The young warrior’s breathing is pronounced and his body is quivering. “What in all of Windemere is he doing?”

“What? Damn it, Luke!” Nyx screams as she feels her magic return. Slipping out of Timoran’s arms, she fills the air with lightning and has her spell chase the speedy archers around the ceiling. “Help us, Callindor!”

“This ends now,” Luke growls.

“Agreed,” the Lich responds from across the room.

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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11 Responses to Teaser Tuesday: And So We Come to the End

  1. Heading there next. Great scene.


  2. L. Marie says:

    A great scene to excerpt! “Never tell the undead monster what he wants to know.” Hilarious! And good advice. 😀


  3. Awesome! Great action scene – I loved the interplay between the characters 😀


  4. Brilliant scene! As I always say, there’s no excuse for rudeness. Glad to see that Delvin shares my belief 😀


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