Kind of strange to do a teaser with Lost this week and not use her debut book. That’s usually my go-to idea, so I wanted to search the others for her scenes. To be honest, finding character specific teasers from War of Nytefall is difficult. There are so many characters that they share scenes and it’s a lot to keep track in my head. Still, I promised to do this long ago and here we are. Enjoy.
With a long creak, the front door opens and the congregation wanders out, their eyes squinting in the midday sun. Composed primarily of halflings and humans, the group of travelers and locals settle into idle chitchat. None of them are wearing holy symbols, which deepens the mystery of the temple and those who reside inside. As the crowd thins, the members begin to demonstrate odd tics and gestures. Some stop in the middle of speaking, their mouths left open until they continue a few seconds later as if nothing has happened. Others scratch itches that are not there or skip instead of walk, each incident lasting less than a minute. Those who witness the abrupt habits can only stare blankly until they are stricken by a similar event. Only the children are left untouched by the time every adult has been inflicted with an unnerving blank spot in their memory that gradually fades away. Within minutes, the congregation has hurried away from the isolated temple, which becomes eerily quiet and gradually transforms into an abandoned building. A shadow darts away from the structure an instant before it loses the last of its holy luster and the bricks turn a sickly brown.
“Just a ghost wanting attention,” Lost sighs as she climbs down from her perch. Wiping pine needles out of her silver hair, the Dawn Fang sends her bunny to get a closer look at the crumbling building. “Too bad I can’t use my powers on you. Probably have a good story considering your body is still in the wall. At least you got what you wanted. As a Princess General who once led an army, I can relate to wanting your glory days back. Still, there’s something to be said for moving on. Then again, you really shouldn’t have killed those three babies. Why did I come here?”
The snapping of a twig causes Lost to whirl around, but she moves so quickly that she turns in a complete circle. Realizing her mistake, she turns again and tries to remember where the noise came from. Catching the sight of a cloaked figure in the trees behind her, the Dawn Fang whistles and pretends to walk in the opposite direction. She swiftly scoops up a rock before spinning to hurl it at the stranger, who vanishes before her eyes. The projectile is about to disappear into the woods when an arrow flies out of the brush. Sun glinting off the metal arrowhead, it pierces the stone and carries it back to Lost. Awestruck by the unexpected and impressive counter, she forgets to get out of the way and takes the shot in the shoulder. The surge of pain causes her to scream and stare at the blood oozing down her arm. Instead of plucking the arrow from her flesh, the vampire growls and has her bunny soar into the forest. Trees are knocked down by her pet’s erratic searching, which only stops when Lost feels the push of metal against the base of her skull.
“Lou will be sad if I kill you,” Kai whispers as he pulls back further on his bow. With blinding speed, he raises his arms and fires in order to pin the approaching bunny to the side of the building. “I have plans for Leo Kandrel and the Fist of Durag. My suggestion is that you stay out of this. No more hunting him or you will ruin everything. If your side insists on going after him then it can only be Clyde. The rest of you don’t factor into my plans, which I can assure you do not break the truce.”
“Nobody hurts bunny!” Lost shouts before diving forward. She rolls and is about to come up to her feet when vines erupt from the ground to catch her limbs. “You old-world vampires and your magic are annoying. I refuse to obey your commands. Although, I would like to know how my not-father is doing. He doesn’t talk to me or send me presents on my birthday. Maybe I should have told him when that is or stayed on friendlier terms. By the way, I think I can do something like this too.”
Kai leaps into the trees before tentacles of dirt reach for his legs and crumble when they stretch too far. “You can only do so much with your powers. Dawn Fangs aren’t that difficult to fight once you know their abilities. Swallowing a ring that protects against telepathy negates your greatest strength. Now, are you going to deliver my message or will I have to use your body as a warning?”
“You know what I meant, kid.”
“I am the Princess General of Nytefall and you shall address me as such.”
“Something isn’t right here.”
“Uh . . . Continue paying attention to me. I command it!”
Sniffing at the air, the cautious spymaster licks his lips and fades into the surrounding foliage. The only signs of his retreat are the unnatural shaking of branches, but the trail suddenly splits in three directions. Unable to track Kai by his thoughts, Lost puts her hands in her pockets and sadly trudges to her bunny. At her gentle touch, the animal flails and opens its mouth to hiss until she violently yanks the arrow out. With her pet still stuck to the projectile, the Dawn Fang taps it against her head and thinks about the brief encounter. She is barely aware of Bob stepping out of the forest, his lance held ready for a fight and his right boot having an uncharacteristic smudge on the toe. Lost casually waves to her friend, who she realizes has come from the opposite direction of Kai’s three possible escape routes. An idea pops into her head and she flicks the arrow with her finger to send it completely through her bunny. The animal shivers and yawns as the gaping holes are closed by its flesh and fur are pulled over the wound. After a brief stretch, it jumps into the air and happily circles its master, who throws it a handful of small tomatoes that it greedily devours.
“Is everything okay?” Bob asks when he comes close enough to whisper.