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Transitions

Title: Transitions

Series: The Imperium Saga: The Adventures of Kyria, Special Edition

Author: Clifford B. Bowyer

ISBN: 978-1-60975-025-1

Product Code: BK0033

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 236

Release Date: September 2015

Cover Price: $24.95

Our Price: $24.95

 

 

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Book Jacket

 

In a time of great darkness, when evil sweeps the land, a prophecy foretells the coming of a savior, a child that will defeat the forces of evil and save the world. She is Kyria, the Chosen One.

 

After everything that Kyria and her closest friends have been through, their hardest challenge yet may just be experiencing the changes in life and how each of their decisions impact them all. The Mage's Council has been destroyed, and from the ruins, it is up to Kyria and her friendsMica, Sartir, and Tyreneto go on a dangerous quest that will either save the future of Mages or ultimately lose all hope of magic ever being restored in the Imperium.

They soon must come to terms with the fact that they have grown up in a deadly and dangerous world, and their calling and futures may not be the one that they had always expected to have happened. As life and tragedy weighs upon them, each mist make the decision to face the future in their own special way.

KYRIA, the child of prophecy destined to save the world is desperate to live up to her legacy and protect the ones that she loves.

MICA, the playful fairy who has always been by Kyria's side through thick and thin must come to grips that the best way to help Kyria is be leaving her side.

SARTIR, the loyal sabrenoh finds himself challenged in ways unexpected, and his path may need to be one of redemption, not salvation.

TYRENE, the dwarven healer has never felt comfortable with the adventures of her companions, but is determined to prove her worth.

KAI, the Madrew guardian sent to protect and guide Kyria struggles with the fact that the savior before her is not the girl Kai first met, and wonders just how she can help one who has become so independent and brave.

GRAZLIN, the minotaur warrior who has joined Kyria's crusade out of a sense of honor, and who has vowed to do whatever he can to help her fulfill her destiny.

TARWAS, the sarnal Gatherer who was once viewed as an enemy now will do anything he can to prove to Kyria that he is a true ally.

Transitions marks the end of the Adventures of Kyria, the end of childhood and innocence, and sees Kyria and her friends embark upon the next stages of their lives.


 

Book Excerpt

 

PROLOGUE

  

He had never been on a hunt like this, and he doubted very much that he would ever be on one quite so magnificent again. He had been raised in the Mage’s Council, learning everything that the Mage’s taught, absorbing their knowledge, information, and customs. He had thrived, even going so far as feeling superior to his peers. He was often smarter, stronger, more athletic, and gifted magically.

It was these traits that attracted Zoldex to the boy named Kruskall. Kruskall was ambitious, bold, assertive, and highly competitive. He was insatiably driven to prove that he was the best, and in an Academy where rules were so stringent, he could only rise so far.

Zoldex had shown him a different way. Kruskall could follow the teachings of Zoldex and forget about learning all of those useless facts that happened thousands of years ago, or about sonnets and philosophical ideologies. How would those help him in the future unless he desired to become a Professor like the Masters that were training him? That held no appeal for Kruskall.

No, he wanted something more than that. He wanted the ability to help shape the world in his own image. As the apprentice of Zoldex, Kruskall was given that opportunity. Perhaps not the entire world, but Zoldex trained him and helped hone his magical abilities, allowing Kruskall to go out and bring his vision of the future forward. A vision that Kruskall shared with Zoldex.

Kruskall saw it as an unprecedented opportunity. No longer was he just another student in the Academy, now he was the heir to the empire that Zoldex was forming. On this night, Zoldex controlled six of the Seven Kingdoms, including Danchul, Dartais, Dartie, Frocomon, Suspinti, and Tenalong. Only Falestia remained free, and even that would soon fall before the armies of Zoldex.

He was no longer told what he had to do, or where he had to go, or how he had to dress; he finally was his own man, making his own decisions. The resistance throughout the realm saw Zoldex as some kind of tyrant or madman. Kruskall saw him somewhat differently: he was a savior, the man who set him free.

 On this crisp night, Kruskall felt a chill in the air and knew that soon a storm would rage down on the land and cleanse it of all remnants of the time that was. Before Zoldex liberated him from the Mage’s Council, Kruskall never had experienced a night like this, nor had he ever set foot outside of the Mage’s Council. Now, he was many miles from Trespias, in the Ventell Mountains.

He was not alone, and as the apprentice of Zoldex he had no reason to be. He was searching the mountains with twenty of the most ruthless and bloodthirsty warriors he had ever learned about. They were purple-scaled warriors from another land known as zurkith. They had a pair of horns extending from the sides of their bald heads, eyes that were glowing with an eerie blue hue, and tails that could topple a brick wall with a single swing.

Kruskall had seen them in action already and admired both their ferocity and efficiency. They could become intangible and walk through solid rock without being hindered. They also had custom designed gauntlets that extended blades from their backs if they pumped their fists, making them always armed, and always dangerous.

The mission that Zoldex had sent them on was a simple one: track down the escaped Mages and do whatever you wanted to them. Kruskall knew exactly what that meant: he would find the Mages and make certain that none of them dared to challenge the rule of Zoldex. Thus far, Kruskall counted fifteen confirmed kills on his tally since receiving this mission. Those kills were nothing to what he was searching for this night.

As the first streak of lightning illuminated the nighttime sky, Kruskall searched for movement. The darkness would not bother the zurkith much; their eyes could quickly adjust to the darkness and still see clearly. Their quarry would not elude them for long.

Kruskall could feel the presence of one of his old instructors. He knew he was close. He had been close for several days, but somehow the Mage Master managed to avoid being discovered. Kruskall just grew more excited by the chase; he knew what was at stake.

It was ingenious, actually. Kruskall laughed uproariously when he had heard what had happened. During the attack on the Mage’s Council, every student of the Academy and all of the professors were brought to the Colosseum. Kruskall remembered the Colosseum well. It was the home of many of his achievements. It was ironic that he would be after that, essentially.

After the students were assembled there, two members of the Council of Elders magically shrunk the Colosseum and all of its occupants so that it was small enough to fit inside of a single Mage’s satchel. Imagine, thousands of scared children, all helpless and smaller than ants.

This was not the end of it though. The attempt to shrink and hide the Academy was entertaining enough, but Master Balfour, the History professor, was given the Colosseum to take back in time with him, using a mystical artifact known as the Shard of Time. Master Balfour used the Shard in his classes to show students what really happened during historical battles. Who ever would have thought that it could be used to save every member of the Academy? It was ingenious!

As the battle began, Master Balfour was standing atop of a hillside watching. He already knew that the Mage’s Council was lost, and that the future was entrusted in his hands. He was to take the children to safety, but what was still safe?

Zoldex had communicated this discovery to Kruskall through his corryby, the magical communication devices that Mages use. He said that through torturing Master Jeffa, a Council of Elders member, he learned of the miraculous escape. Kruskall was to focus his attention on finding Master Balfour first and foremost, and eliminating the next generation of Mages.

Kruskall wondered if he would harbor any regrets or doubts when the moment was upon him. The Mages he killed thus far he had never met before. What happened when it was time to destroy the Colosseum and thousands of Mages that had at one point been his classmates and peers? The thought was fleeting. He doubted very much that it would even slow him down. His conscience was no longer so heavy now that he had joined Zoldex.

As lightning struck again, Kruskall howled in the night, sounding more feral than his human form should have been. As the rain began to pound, Kruskall tore his shirt from his body, leaving his chest bare. He felt more alive than he ever had in his life.

It has been months since he wore Mage robes, garbed now in dark leather and a cloak, and occasionally wearing spiked armor. Tonight was not one of the nights he donned his armor. Against an army, he felt like it added an edge to his abilities, and served as a symbol of intimidation. Against a former professor, he felt that he was terrifying enough as he was.

Tossing his tunic aside, Kruskall reached down and drew a sword of his own design. The blade was serrated, and the hilt was composed of thousands of highly detailed and carefully chiseled skulls. Zoldex had shown Kruskall how to enchant the sword, and in doing so, Kruskall could absorb the life energy of those around him.

Kruskall grinned at the memory of watching a sarnal Master withering away to little more than skin and bones under the effects of his sword. It was the first Mage he had killed, and Kruskall felt invigorated by the effectiveness of his blade. Since the sword seemed to leach the powers and vitality from others, he decided that an appropriate name would be “Leach.”

Leach was not his first enchanted weapon. Zoldex had also instructed him on how to make another sword before he had left the Mage’s Council. It was little more than an onyx hilt, but a blade magically appeared when Kruskall was using it, emitting a bubbling aura of darkness that would poison anyone it touched. This original blade he dubbed “Venom.”

Closing his eyes, feeling the rain pounding on him, Kruskall began to concentrate. He could sense Master Balfour. He could hear the celestial breathing erratically. His heart was racing as he desperately fled his pursuers. Kruskall licked his lips, savoring the sensation and moaning with pleasure at the fear he could feel in his old professor.

As Kruskall opened his eyes, he stared up the mountain. “Where are you going?” he asked, speculating as to whether Master Balfour was just fleeing in fear, or whether he had a destination in mind. Whatever it was, Kruskall would track him, he would find him, and then he would kill every student in the Academy with one swift blow, eliminating all hope for the next generation.


 

 

 

CHAPTER

1

  

 

Over the past two years, Kyria had experienced more than she ever could have imagined before first learning about magic. Once, she was the daughter of a fisherman in the village of Arkham. She was not sure where her life would take her, but she assumed that she would marry and raise a family of her own. That life was not meant for her.

Now, she was a Mage, the realm was at war with a vicious tyrant named Zoldex, and it was her destiny to save the world; a far different fate than raising a family in a small fishing village. It began with a prophecy, one by elves from a faraway land, and then radically altering her life, forevermore.

She left the only home she had ever known, though she was unconscious at the time, and experienced a world of possibilities. She found herself in a world of danger, where every turn lurked a predator ready to lash out. Her inexperience was staggering, but she survived. She then was brought to the Mage’s Council, where at first she thought she was a prisoner, but eventually she adapted and embraced what the Mages had to offer, learning far more in a month than a student at Arkham would learn in years.

Like Arkham though, the Mage’s Council was left in ruins, and Kyria once again left a home that she called her own, trying to rebuild her life. The realization that the Mage’s Council was no more was overwhelming. It was hard to even try to comprehend how large of a tragedy it really was.

The Mage’s boasted the greatest education in the world. Their students went through rigorous programs from the earliest ages until the end of their sixteenth year. They learned about arithmetic, art, astronomy, culture and languages of the races, diplomacy and negotiations, ethics, geometry, grammar, history, law, logic, music, philosophy, rhetoric, science, self defense, strategy and creative thinking, and much more.

Mage students took classes for almost twelve hours a day, seven days a week, for the entire year, receiving only a one-week vacation, known as the Founding Celebration. Kyria found the schedule to be demanding, and most times, unreasonable, but she was the only one who felt that way. Those who were raised as Mages had never known another way and they thrived on the routine that the Mages designed.

At the age of fourteen, Kyria’s friend Sartir knew more than anyone that she had ever met. There were elders at Arkham, people who had seen eight decades, a long life for a Frocomon sailor, who knew less than Sartir probably forgot. Such was the vast difference between the education of Mages compared to those that were not fortunate—or cursed if one considered it so— to be a Mage.

There were also far more Mages than anyone could possibly guess. Kyria had hundreds of classmates, and that was only the students that were the same age as her. Since Mages were of a wide variety of creatures, some that lived many centuries, the number of Mages in the realm was impossible to fathom. All that Kyria knew for certain: the Mages were recalled to the Mage’s Council, leaving very few who ignored the summons, and instead of finding a safe haven, they found their doom.

When thinking of what Zoldex accomplished by destroying the Mage’s Council in terms like that, Kyria felt weak at the knees. So many lives, so many Mages, from Council of Elders, to trained Masters, to Paladins, to Apprentices, to Academy students, and those that even spent their lives as servants or Gatherers, all gone. It was a tremendous blow that Zoldex had scored, and if the rest of the realm knew of the magnitude of the loss, the resistance against the eternal could likely flee and never look back. What chance did armies of warriors stand when one of magic users was so utterly decimated?

There could still be hope though. The slimmest of hopes, but it was there. One member of the Council of Elders survived. One of the oldest, wisest, and influential members: Ilfanti. He had summoned many warriors to Faylinn, the elven home of the Elandeeril, and devised a plan that he hoped would see them through this tragedy.

There were many pieces to the puzzle he unveiled, meaning that if one part failed, the whole thing could crumble, but his words were encouraging and persuasive. Kyria did not feel like they would fail. She had faith.

There were four basic directions that those against Zoldex were to take. The first, and most obvious, was the resistance against Zoldex’s forces. The refugees of the conquered Kingdoms were making their way north, into Falestia, the last free Kingdom of the realm. The warriors and surviving armies would unite there and continue the war against Zoldex, doing their best to hold off his forces and also try to rescue those that were left behind.

The second mission was one that would reverse one of Zoldex’s schemes. He had abducted Empress Karleena, but did not stop there, pointing the finger at a distant neighbor, the Aezians. The Imperial forces went to war, trying desperately to save their Empress. It was a war on a distant land, against an enemy that had done no wrong. This war had to be halted, and the warriors returned to the land that truly needed them.

The third mission would be a dangerous one, but also one that Ilfanti felt strongly about: the rescue of the Empress. Ilfanti had gone on a quest of his own, to the distant land of Egziard where he obtained—through much difficulty—a mystical artifact known as the Orb of Prophecy. With it, he learned the true whereabouts of the Empress, and was leading a contingent to go and rescue her. In his opinion, for the unification of the races to really happen, and the combined forces to confront Zoldex, Karleena must be brought back home.

The fourth and final mission was where Kyria came in: rebuilding the Mage order. Since Kyria was here with only Mica, Sartir, Tyrene, Tarwas, and the former Council of Elders member, Soarex, she was not certain how exactly they were to rebuild the Mage’s Council, but that was their goal.

Master Soarex was given the responsibility of guiding the efforts and working to see the Mages flourish and prosper once more. Kyria remained somewhat skeptical, but she was trying to keep an open mind. She would wait and see what would happen next.

For now though, she was experiencing something new once more. In all of her adventures, she had done so much, but this was her first time soaring in the clouds, her hair billowing in the wind, and feeling more alive than she had in the past two years.

She was standing at the bow of the Sky Hopper, a Wind Soarer designed by the avarians of Estonis. The ship had arrived at Faylinn bringing Master Soarex and a group of griffin riding dwarves along with it. The ship had been assigned to Master Soarex, so wherever he went, the ship did as well.

The crew were all avarians, and all garbed in light brown uniforms. They were all part of the avarian military branch known as the Soarinell, which Kyria thought of as the avarian Navy. After days of watching them, Kyria found them to be extremely proficient in their jobs, and they certainly knew what they were doing. The officers were similarly garbed as well, but they had darker brown jackets with golden tassels along the shoulders, and black boots that extended up slightly beyond the knees.

The Captain of the Sky Hopper, Captain Kindlen, was very formal and official, reminding Kyria at times of Master Forales, the elven History professor who passed away shortly after she arrived at the Mage’s Council. Captain Kindlen was bald, showed signs of aging around his eyes—which still watched people like a hawk—and had a slight limp that required him to use a cane when not flying.

He was always alert and vigilant, and, to Kyria’s dismay, intolerant of children who were curious and wanted to see what the operations of the bridge were like. Mica had challenged this, figuring that she would not be seen, and Captain Kindlen ordered that she be restrained for the remainder of the flight, placing a binder on her wings so she was forced to walk or be carried. He did not make a friend of Mica after that.

Kyria realized that he was not being excessively mean, but rather that he was incredibly formal, and desired to run an efficient and obedient ship. Like Kyria observed with the crew, this ship definitely knew how to operate smoothly. That is, everyone but perhaps Merrick.

Merrick was a junior officer and pilot of one of the Wind Soarer’s shuttles, which Kyria learned was called a Wind Glider. The official rank of Merrick was Second Mate, but he really only commanded one of the Gliders and the few Soarinell that served aboard it. He named his Glider the Hair Raiser, which he thought was relatively humorous.

Kyria and her friends had gotten to know Merrick pretty well since leaving Faylinn. Whereas Captain Kindlen was very structured and firm, Merrick was more of a wild card, doing what he wanted, and when he wanted. When they were first being brought up to the Wind Soarer from Faylinn, Merrick looped the Wind Glider over the Sky Hopper and touched the aerosails before bringing his ship in to dock. Captain Kindlen was livid.

Merrick was much younger than Captain Kindlen. Kyria could not be certain, but she would be surprised if Merrick had so much as a decade over her. He had auburn hair that trailed to his neckline, striking brown eyes, and a smile that seemed to grow whenever he was doing something dangerous. He and Captain Kindlen seemed like two extremes. Between them, Kyria figured that there had to be some kind of happy medium. Perhaps one day, the two would find it.

In the distance, Kyria could make out a small chain of islands on the horizon. She knew that they were the Adlesian Islands. There were six large landmasses, with hundreds of smaller islands and rocky outcroppings for miles around. The central island had a volcano on it.

It would not be long now before they arrived there. The Adlesian Islands were to be the new home of the Mages. Away from the war against Zoldex and isolated, but a location that served as a key support facility for the Imperium.

Kyria wondered how long it would be before Adlai actually seemed like home. With the islands in sight, she headed below decks to gather her belongings. Soon they would disembark, and once again, she would find herself someplace she was unfamiliar, but having to consider home.


 

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The Adventures of Kyria

 


 

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