A Scholar's Journey: The Divine TempestAmazon.
Website | Twitter
Kickstarter CampaignHerrick is also kickstarting the editing for his second book "A War of Lies"
View Herrick's Kickstarter Page here!
Light shone from an unknown source high above and lit with an eerie glow the perpetual rolling fog that hid horrors just out of sight. Occasionally quick, flitting movements were barely visible as flashing shadows against the gray backdrop, a glimpse of skittering forms that clacked against the hardened, gray, gravel-covered ground. The air smelled of ash and dust.
A bright figure stood in stark contrast with the rest of the scenery. Unlike the obscured outlines that hinted at a grim populace within this shadowy realm, the figure was a creature of the light. It floated persistently down what seemed an invisible path.
The being's body was made entirely of glowing, yellow energy and was clad in the armor of a warrior. Its head and arms were crackling orbs, while its body bore a metal chest piece that, at the waist, joined a flowing warrior's kilt. Its face and hands shone like miniature suns suspended midair, connected by golden strands of energy. The breastplate was stamped with the insignia of a double-headed, golden war hammer.
The entire realm gave it a wide berth. Creatures within the ashen fog did not impede it, and even the mist that pervaded the region seemed to avoid the blazing warrior.
Finally, after floating for many minutes, the warrior stopped and spoke in a deep voice that echoed as though it had originated in a cave.
“I have come for the vaedziur Kestrel,” it said.
There was a flurry of movement. Many claws began to scratch at the aura around the warrior but stopped almost immediately.
A path through the mist extended before the warrior, leading toward a sapphire-hued figure suspended above the fog in the distance. The warrior floated down the path toward the massive being.
The creature was suspended off the ground by chains of energy that stretched into the grayness above until they disappeared from view. A familiar mark branded the shackles; it was the same war hammer that appeared on the visitor's chest piece, and the energy binding the creature was similar in appearance to the warrior’s.
The imp hanging from the chains was humanoid, but his frame was squat and laced with powerful muscles. The creature's inky-blue skin was scaled and dotted intermittently with patches of feathers. His legs were long and sinewy, like a frog's. Prodigious machines built for springing and landing, they were stretched almost straight by the chains, which caused him even greater discomfort.
The prisoner’s face was broad and expressive, patterned with smooth scales that curved upwards. Large, curling horns floated just off the surface of his head and remained in orbit like a spiked crown of bone. Two round eyes as big as a man's fist stared at the visitor intently. The creature's wide mouth stretched from cheekbone to cheekbone, with angular, rotting teeth that spilled over his lower lip.
The single wing that protruded from one side of the imp's back drooped from disuse. The muscles that once powered the majestic appendage were atrophied. Holes dotted the membrane of the wing, making the once-impressive limb appear sad and decrepit. On the other side of the creature’s back was a bleeding stump where the matching appendage had been. Claws had raked across the remnant, leaving jagged gouge marks in a wound that was still bleeding. The creature was a picture of lost glory with a crown of thorns.
“Oh, me, oh, my! A servant to visit little old me!" The imp spoke in a gravely, malicious voice that hinted at insanity. "Why are you here, puppet of the golden god?”