False Gods The Prophet Trilogy Book 1 by Don Newton Genre: Epic Fantasy
How many gods do you really need? Erador has more than its share…
In a strange multiverse ruled by magic and immortals, the last remaining souls, fleeing the destruction of Earth, struggle to survive. The Draggons want them dead. The gods want more power. But the humans want to live, and there’s only one sorceress who can make that happen. The fate of humanity is in her hands – so, no pressure…
Gods always want more power…
The Civil War fractured their world, and the gods just made it worse. Now their followers are split into four separate factions, and they all hate each other. Riots and bombings force further divisions among them, and the leaders are at a loss about what to do. Most of them, anyway.
Heroes are sometimes girls…
Alisha Callus rose through the sorceress ranks, mastering the Orphic currents and learning to bend space and reality to her will. Now, she’s the last Adeptus Supreme on Erador, and she has to kill a god. But she’s not sure she can.
Gods don’t like to be killed…
But sometimes, they deserve it.
Can one Sorceress, two Draggons, four warriors, and a god crush this evil influence from existence? Follow this ragtag band of heroes on an epic quest to free their world from an immortal’s vicious grasp. Who knows, they might do it…
Three-hundred yards into the mountain, they came across the first choice in their journey. The tunnel split in three directions. Mordus tested the crystal at each opening. There was no difference in the intensity of the glow. They’d seen no sign of Draggons. “Which way do we go?” Faran stood there watching Mordus. “We’ll need to go down each of these tunnels to see if it gets brighter.” “I don’t like this,” Faran said. “So, what?” Mordus turned on him. “You want to give up your power and live like we were before? Abandoned and powerless, on an alien world?” “No! Of course not.” Faran’s pupils grew larger. “I just don’t like Draggons: they scare me.” “Which is why we need to get this done and get out of here.” Mordus headed down the center fork of the tunnel. “Look, it’s getting brighter, come on.” They’d walked about a hundred yards when they heard something: it was grating, and it reminded Mordus of a blade drawn across a rough surface—claws on stone. Along with it, came the sound of breathing—deep, hollow breaths echoing from the walls of the tunnel. Solid footsteps completed the image in their minds—rhythmic footfalls of a Draggon shuffling toward them. They turned and went back the way they’d come from. When they got to the intersection, they stopped, listening, holding their breath. Faran couldn’t hold it any longer. A squeak of breath slipped past his lips as he took a gulp of air. In the emptiness of the caverns, the sound bounced off the walls and headed down the surrounding tunnels, forming multiple echoes. Mordus slapped his palm across Faran’s mouth. They sat in silence, waiting for the doom they imagined would come; it never did. Faran wrenched Mordus’ hand away from his mouth and spat on the rocky floor. “Get your hands off me!” He hissed. “Then, stop making noise!” Mordus whispered. “You’ll get us both killed!” “You’re the one yelling…” Faran said. “I’m whispering, just like you are,” Mordus said. “Well, it’s very loud…” Faran brushed imaginary lint from his robe and looked away. Mordus pushed away from the wall and headed for the tunnel, the sounds of approaching Draggon fading down an alternate passageway. “Come on. We need to keep moving.” They retraced their steps, alert for the sound of Draggons. They heard many down several tunnels, but they somehow avoided them all.
The crystal grew brighter the deeper they traveled into the mountain maze, so bright Mordus began shielding the glow with his hands, only checking it at intersections when they needed to choose a path. More than once, they returned to a junction they’d passed because the glow diminished. The Draggons had lived here forever, and they’d made improvements. Some tunnels were raw: natural rock as rough as the day it was formed. These would sometimes empty into massive stone halls decorated with columns and arches, carved with ancient themes Draggonish in nature. Mordus recognized none of it. Rounding a turn in one tunnel, they were surprised by a group of five Draggons, all in humanoid form—they were far quieter, but their senses were diminished. The pair beat a hasty retreat down a passage they’d found, but dismissed because of its narrow size. More surprising, when Mordus once again checked the crystal, it was shining like a miniature sun. He covered it and jammed it into his pocket. The glow showing through the material was still bright. “We’re close…” Mordus started walking down the narrow tunnel, “I think we’ve been going in a circle around it. This is the way.” “I don’t know,” Faran looked askance at him, “are you sure you know how to work that thing?” “It’s pretty simple, Faran: it glows, and I hold it.” Mordus turned toward him. “Would you like to hold it? Would it make you feel better?” “I’m not touching it,” Faran said, backing away. “She gave it to you. Who knows what might happen if I touch it?” “You are very paranoid…” Mordus looked at him in awe. It surprised him that he was just now recognizing it. “I can’t imagine what it must be like, distrusting everyone…” “I’m alive, and I like it that way,” Faran said. “My paranoia is a test, and most fail it.” “What about those who help you?” Mordus checked the crystal once more, and it blinded him. He shoved it back into his pocket. “Do you automatically think they can’t be trusted?” “You’re very interested in trust. Let me ask you this: who do you trust?” Faran asked him. Mordus stared at him for a moment, turning the question over in his mind. “Ok, point made. We still have to find this staff, and I think it’s right in front of us.” “I think Zaril picked you as the leader.” Faran pushed him. “You should go first. I’m right behind you...”
Mordus sighed and rolled his eyes. They moved down the tightening path, the tunnel walls closing in on them. At one point, the walls were inches from their shoulders. They came to a solid wood panel. Mordus noticed the light shining in at the junction of walls and wood. He pushed on the wood. The grumble of cabinet sliding across stone echoed back down the tunnel behind them. Faran grabbed his shoulder, making him halt, but purpose forced him to proceed. The cabinet slid out into the room, the light spilling into the space behind them. They stepped through the now-empty hole into the room beyond. It was a treasure room. There were crates of silver coins, statuettes, and figurines, paintings, and sculpture: the spoils of thousands of years of Draggon aggression. There was so much it boggled their minds. In the two-thousand-odd years they’d been playing Gods, none of them had amassed a hoard this size—not all four of them combined. There were other things as well, besides money. Technological devices—some Mordus knew, but most he’d never seen. Weapons and armor, mostly empty black-leather Draggon armor, but some of Zyrsteel, and some of the more base metals. The pale light of three golden plasma lamps lit the metal sea, glinting and gleaming from the waves of spilled coin. They stood silently in awe for several moments. Mordus pulled the crystal from his pocket and held it out. He rotated in place, first left, then right. The glow was brightest to the left. The pile of devices in one corner of the room seemed to be the target. Most were haphazardly thrown about, but a bunch of cased items were stacked to one side. He ran the crystal over the surface of the cases; one, in particular, made it shine like a star. He grabbed the handle and extracted it from the pile. Faran watched as he laid it upon a crate and flipped the two catches open. The snapping sound bounced off the walls, reminding them where they were. “Shh, listen…” Faran was pale, and his pupils were dots of white against a black circle. “Something’s coming!” They froze in place, straining to hear over the roaring silence. It reminded Mordus of holding a shell to his ear. Silence truly could be deafening. After several minutes they relaxed, making gestures at each other to stay quiet, both nodding agreement. Mordus carefully opened the case. The letters spelling NASA were engraved into the lid. Mordus had no idea what it meant. Probably an acronym that meant something to the original humans. The staff lay inside, cradled in a foam substance. It was three feet long and constructed
of shiny metal, and there was a keypad of some kind in the center. It didn’t look like Zyrsteel or Paladrium—the closest he’d seen to it would be Aluminate, but the color was more yellow, not silver. He picked it up and turned toward Faran, whose pupils had returned to a more normal state. “This is it?” Faran reached to touch the keypad. Mordus pulled it away. “Don’t touch it. We don’t know what this thing might do.” “I wasn’t going to push anything…” Faran looked hurt, his fangs jutting out. “See that you don’t.” Mordus replaced the staff in its case and quietly snapped the catches closed. “Let’s get out of here. Cast a portal back to the temple.” Faran uttered three words of the spell when Darkonus strode into the room. He was in human form, which is why they hadn’t heard him approach. The look on his face said he was as surprised by their presence as they were by his. Faran stopped casting and moved behind Mordus. “So, rats in my pantry after my cheese.” Darkonus grinned. He reached to his neck to draw his daggers, moving closer to them in a spider-stalking-a-fly manner—slowly and full of menace. His eyes glowed a hot yellow, so bright the room was lit by it. “I knew Zaril couldn’t abide by our terms.” “Zaril didn’t send us.” Mordus attempted to bluff the Draggon. Darkonus chuckled and shook his head, spinning the daggers until the points were facing down. “Don’t lie; there’s no need. Even if I believed you, it wouldn’t change what’s about to happen.” Darkonus continued stalking them across the treasure room, all three of them kicking coins aside as they moved: a tinkling overture to a symphony of violence. They backed away until they met the far wall. Mordus held the case in front of himself for protection. “Ah, yes. That belongs to me,” Darkonus said. “Lay it on the floor; I don’t want to get blood on it.” “Stop! Wait a minute!” Mordus handed the case to Faran, who held it at arm’s length like it was a snake. “Surely, we can give you something you want in exchange?” “I already have a deal with Zaril, but I assume you know that, and you’re both trying to salvage your power by stealing from me. He told me what would happen to you when the
humans are gone—he’s not your friend. Too bad for you; it doesn’t concern me. But I can’t have people thinking they can take my things, so I’m going to make an example of you two.” As Darkonus crept closer, Mordus turned to look at Faran. He hated him, but in the tension of the moment, he couldn’t recall the reasons. All the petty issues between them—between them all—melted like the distance between them and the Draggon. He began to feel the heat from Darkonus’ eyes. “Faran, the generator…” Mordus pushed him hard; he stumbled several feet to the right and fell, still grasping the case. “I left mine on the table…” Darkonus lunged. Mordus held his hands up to protect his face, but the daggers were aimed at his ribs. He felt the thin blades puncture his sides, the sharp tips penetrating his organs. The breath he was holding exploded from his lungs: a fine red spray coating the Draggon’s face. Darkonus grinned at him, teeth crimson-stained, blood dripping from his chin. “No cheese for you…” The last thing Mordus saw as his blood-stained vision faded to black was Faran stepping through a dark portal, the case in his hand…
Draggons The Prophet Trilogy Book 2
Revenge is always sweeter face to face…
The false god, Zaril, died in a blazing bolt of light, victim to the wrath of an Adeptus Supreme. Now, it’s Kat’s turn for some payback. All she can see through the red tinge of hate that fills her eyes is the face of her lover’s killer. The fact that he’s also her father barely weighs on her mind. He chose his side, and now he’ll pay for his decision.
Dalo sprinted toward the corner where Kat had disappeared. The sewer tunnels were pitch-black, but the Nano-suit goggles bathed the walls, floor, and ceiling in an eerie greenish glow: it was like moonlight, but ten-times brighter. Sewage-pipes protruded from both walls; he tried hard not to think about the viscous ooze that flowed from them: a wet, smelly liquid that seeped down the brick walls and ran into one of two deep channels cut into the floor. She’s so fast… Katreena was barely five feet tall, but what she lacked in height she made up for in speed and skill, and attitude. “You’re so slow…” the comm built into the Nano-suit hood crackled, “they’re getting away. I thought these suits made you faster?” “No, just stronger.” Dalo turned the corner and found her: she was standing at a fork in the tunnel, her head bouncing back and forth between the two choices. He stopped next to her and touched the control button on his right eyepiece—the orange heads-up-display popped across his
view, and the thermal sensors activated. On the floor of the left tunnel, he could see three glowing-red sets of footprints leading away. He turned to tell her, and fire burned into his eyes— two searing beams of red-orange light. “Aaagh!” He clawed at the goggles, unsnapping them from the hood. He didn’t fall entirely to his knees, but he was bent severely at the waist. “Eustas warned you about those sensors and looking at my eyes,” Kat said, the fire in her pupils flaring. Dalo wanted to sit down but then remembered where he was and reconsidered. He rubbed his eyes, trying to make the stabbing pain go away; when he opened them, all he saw was flame. “You could’ve turned your head,” he said. “Why should I turn my head?” she asked. “Because you’re the one that can see in the dark!” Dalo snapped. Kat laughed. “It’s not my fault that Draggon eyes are superior to human eyes. You’re the Chieftain of the Na’Geena—I would think you’d be smart enough not to look at me with the sensors on; an orangus could remember that.” “Right—blind me, then insult my intelligence: classic Kat.” The fire was fading, his vision returning to the inky blackness it should’ve been. He pulled the goggles back on and snapped them in place. “I feel sorry for the Draggons if Darkonus dies.” “Why?” “Because you’ll be their Queen…” Dalo turned and started up the left tunnel. They followed the three sets of prints for half an hour. Dalo insisted she stay behind him; she didn’t like it and told him so, several times, complaining that even an orangus could move faster. In the weeks since the Draggons first attacked Erador Prime, breaking the eighty-year truce with the humans, he and Katreena had formed a weird bond. The fact of who they are could’ve made them arch-enemies: the Na’Geena Chieftain and the Draggon Princess, but they shared the love of the same woman—his mother, Delia. They’d forged a grudging tolerance for each other at first, but it had morphed into something closer to respect on both sides. “Wait…” Dalo crouched and grabbed her forearm to stop her. “Do you hear that?” He flicked the button, turning the thermal sensors off, and concentrated on the surrounding sounds. An occasional splash punctuated the continuous drip-drip-drip of the waste-flow from
the pipes; each sound echoed down the tunnel. In the distance, a metallic scratching noise caught his attention: it was slow and steady, evenly paced. It bounced off the walls like the liquid sewersymphony and became distorted. His imagination worked to match the sound to an image in his mind, but he came up empty. “What do you think that is?” he whispered. Kat leaned close and put her lips next to his ear. “It’s the sound of Draggon steel on a whetstone.” She pushed in front of him, drawing her daggers, The Twin Fangs, from the sheath at the base of her neck. He grabbed her elbow and stopped her; she spun around and glared at him. Thank the gods he’d shut the sensors off: the flame in her eyes lit the tunnel twenty-feet behind him. “Eustas wanted us to follow them, not attack them.” “We’ve found what we wanted: we know how they’re getting inside. I don’t see the point in following them anymore…” Her face was hard, the corners of her mouth drawn into a grimace of hate. After Darkonus killed Delia, Kat launched herself on a murderous rampage against her own kind, intent on balancing the life she’d lost to her father’s betrayal, with hundreds that he cared for, and she had an excellent start. She had the highest personal body-count of dead Draggons since the war started—higher even than her uncle, Karal, and Dalo had seen him take on three Draggons at once and not break a sweat. He wasn’t sure if Draggons did sweat, now that he thought about it. “I don’t want you to get lost in this, Kat.” “Lost in the sewers?” she asked. “Lost in revenge,” he said. She shook her head and yanked her arm from his grasp. “Revenge will be this blade,” she held the right Fang up, “shoved into my father’s chest while I watch the fire in his eyes burn out. Are you with me, Chieftain? Or is all the big talk about the Na’Geena just that…?” “Eustas is gonna kill us.” Dalo shook his head. “We’ll say they attacked us.” She turned toward the sound and crept away. “Which is what will happen, if we can get a little closer…”
The Prophet Trilogy Book 3
The Draggon King, Darkonus, died at the hands of his daughter - the cold steel of her dagger taking his life, and the void-wraith trapped within sucking his soul away. Now Kat has ascended to the Draggon throne and become their Queen.
The Trial of Sa'riya Prelude to The Prophet Trilogy
Draggons are the worst…
The war with the Draggons is raging, and only the battle-hardened Na’Geena warriors can stand against them. They have the weapons that can kill them, and the Griffins they ride are the mortal enemies of the lizards. There’s a chance they could be defeated, but they have allies in the Eradorians, and a secret mission could turn the tide and destroy the Draggon King. Only a god can make it work. But will he help?
Ok, her twin sister was killed, but it was an accident…
When the Carolonian sun exploded, Zi’anna was caught in the blast-wave, and even her immortality and the powers of the K’Pa couldn’t save her from certain death. Now, the immortal’s Elder Council wants her sister, Sa’riya, to pay for that loss, with her life… But not all of them…
Follow along as the trial unfolds. Will they find her guilty? Would you?
“When you know the right question to ask, the answer will be obvious.” - Yin, The positive aspect
The southern face of Krasus Cauldron was aglow with the reddish-tinged light of the morning suns: the red sun now peering above the horizon, following the yellow on its daily trek across the sky. Darryl stood at the edge of the rock ledge flanked by two Griffins, pointing the tip of Sinreaver at the two Draggons in front of him. The Draggons looked at the sword and Griffin claws and froze. “That’s wise.” Darryl grinned. “Carion, Shera, if they move, kill them.” The Griffins made a trilling sound and took one step toward the Draggons, their heads down and the tips of their wings trembling in anticipation. The Draggons backed up. Darryl turned to check on his brother’s progress with the Council guard. Karl raised Bloodrender above his left shoulder and swung down hard; the blade carved a sharp flashing arc through the air—stray drops of Draggonfire flying from the edge. The Draggon tried to dodge, but the tip of the sword cut a flaming gash across its right thigh—roaring in pain, the fire in its eyes intensified, focusing on the Na’Geena Chieftain. The Draggon made the mistake of breathing fire upon the sword: it was legendary, and all the Draggons knew what it could do. Bloodrender was dangerous even when it wasn’t on fire; all three of the Na’Geena swords were: they might absorb and redirect Draggonfire, but they were also one of only three things which could cut Draggonskin. The beast circled Karl, limping to his left, trying to find an opening in the Chieftain’s defense—there was none. “You’ll let me inside this Council chamber,” Karl growled at the Draggon, “or I’ll go through you.” The Draggon shifted into its human form: the scales and teeth and the twenty-foot lizard body morphing into a young man grimacing in pain. He clutched the bleeding-smoldering gash on his leg and shook his head at Karl. “Markus would kill me, or Darkonus…” “I could kill you right now,” Karl said, “and save them the trouble if you like, but I’m still going inside.” The Draggon limped to the cliff wall and leaned against it, waving Karl past with one hand. “Be my guest…”
Karl glanced at Darryl. “Don’t worry.” Darryl pointed toward the archway carved into the side of the mountain. “I have this covered, go. These Draggons are right where I want them.” Karl sheathed Bloodrender and stepped through the arch. The pain made him scream. It felt like he was being pulled apart one molecule at a time: fire ran through his veins and nerves, through every muscle fiber, burning all the connections. The reverse was true on the other side where his atoms smashed together again, reforming the burned and ripped apart body into a whole once more. He wound up on his knees on hard black granite, his hands clutching his chest, out of wind and half-dazed; smoke belched from his lungs when he finally caught a breath. “Humans really shouldn’t use that…” He looked at Nu’reen as his vision cleared; she had a look of mild concern on her face. Sa’riya ran to him and picked him up from the floor, her hands on his cheeks pulling his face to hers. “Are you Ok?” Karl shook the cobwebs from his head and threw his arms around her. “I’m fine, or I will be.” “You shouldn’t be here.” Darkonus stepped toward him. Karl drew Bloodrender and aimed it at him—the blade still burned with Draggonfire: drops of it fell from the edge, igniting the stone where they landed—sizzling plumes of molten granite rising into the air between them. “Ok, maybe we can overlook this…” The Draggon stepped back and took his seat. “What gives you the right to abduct my wife?” He faced the Council, examining their faces. “Why shouldn’t I kill you all right now?” “Because it would be ridiculous to believe you could, for one.” Jurak bounced up from his chair. “But, by all means, give it your best.” “Order!” Nu’reen slammed the gavel against the wood and pointed at the D’jinn. “You sit down.” Jurak spun and glared at her. “Don’t speak to me with that tone.” “You’ve all agreed, my decisions are final. Now sit down and shut up!” Nu’reen shifted into a much-older version of herself: gray hair and wrinkled skin, but the silver fire in her eyes grew brighter, and a luminous halo circled her head. The light from the halo ran down and lit her robe,
making it fluoresce in the dim light of the Council chamber. “Is this better Jurak? Do you accept my rulings in this form?” Jurak took his seat and stared at the floor, his arms across his chest. Nu’reen looked at Karl, the softness returning to her face. “Sa’riya, take him out… and explain,” she pointed at the archway, “and then return.” “You can’t let her go!” Markus jumped to his feet and turned on Nu’reen. “She’s given her word, and that’s all I need.” The silver flame intensified again as she stared at the Draggon, the halo pulsed in time with her breathing. “Are you going to challenge me as well?” Markus looked at Darkonus, who tilted his head to one side and raised his eyebrows. “Not yet…” Markus said. “Well, you let me know when you change your mind.” She banged the gavel. “In the meantime, let’s take a twenty-minute recess until Sa’riya gets back.”
Don Newton is a writer and armchair philosopher, author of the science fantasy trilogy “The Prophet”, and short stories too numerous to count. Don has been in love with science fiction and fantasy his entire life. The first alternate world he created was the result of a sixth-grade essay assignment, and he’s been hooked ever since. That world has grown and transformed into an entire multi-verse of possibilities to explore. Don’s not just a writer though, he has hobbies too: like making up funnier lyrics to popular songs. He sings them to himself when no one’s around—especially in the car. Don has a degree in Nursing and he’s a certified Paramedic. Six years in the Army sent him to places as diverse as Hawaii and Germany, where he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal for conduct above and beyond the call of duty. Having lived in nine different states and two foreign countries, he now calls the desert southwest home.
Erador sits at the conjunction of multiple dimensions: all identical, all dangerous, and all ruled by immortals with their own agendas. Humans aren’t the pinnacle of the food-chain here. There are other, more powerful races who hold that distinction: but we’ll get to that later. The purpose of this lesson is to introduce you to the Multiverse and how it works.
Eradorian scientists have long believed in a manifold multiverse, combining numerous universes, each with three different dimensions. Proof hasn’t been forthcoming until now, but we finally have it, and thanks to some specific people (who have asked that their names not be mentioned) we also have a good idea how it works.
Everyone remembers the lesson from primary-school about Orphic currents. We’ve always known they existed (after the Gods started teaching us about them) but we never knew how they worked; now we do.
Dimensions come in sets of three: the positive, the negative, and the neutral. There are countless universes contained within the bucket we call the multiverse, and each one operates by this tri-dimensional law. Energy (Orphic, mostly) passes from the negative and positive dimensions into the neutral, where it’s recycled and sent back in a usable form. The energy is transferred between the dimensions through the void: a nether region: its only purpose (as far as we know) is as a conduit.
This polarity of dimensions explains why the immortal races prefer a specific charge when it comes to choosing their home, except for the Draggons, who seem to be slightly different from the others. But we’ll get into that in the next lesson…
Hartley Carolus – Senior Researcher – Erador Prime Science Academy
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