It’s only five days to go until Heirs of Power is released! So I thought it was about time for some sneak previews…
Perpetual twilight filled the world. The only illumination was a grubby, reddish light given off by a fungus that was the only thing desperate enough to grow on such rocky terrain. It was getting worse. Devin ducked into the crumbling aperture that led to the meeting place of his father and the other Nine. It was no different inside to out- the same heat from the ever-increasing lava formations, the same sickly light: Tenebria was dying.
The Ten stood before him, strengthening their devotees. The humans received their gifts with awe and thanks, then departed back to their own world. They were ready to betray their homeland for a taste of power… it was sickening, but it served the cause. The Ten returned to their high-backed thrones. They were set in a circle that faced inward so whomever they were speaking to was made to be constantly turning in order to address all of them.
Another human closed the portal that the devoted had returned through and placed the golden Urn on a pedestal before The Ten. This servant was twisted beyond recognition- too much exposure to Tenebri magic. More magic than Devin had ever received from The Ten. He fell on his knees before them and they motioned for him to speak.
“Great Ones, I’ve heard that once again we are setting plans into motion to claim the world that is rightfully ours. I beg you to give me a purpose. It has been many years since I have crossed to New Tenebria to fight our war. In my youth I recruited the devoted, I furthered our plans, I even killed…”
“We are aware of your works, Devin,” Hereth, First of The Ten, cut in.
“You must trust that what we are doing is for the best,” Phiskelle added, gazing patronisingly down at him from her throne. “In this case we believe that Kaphira is most suited to the task.”
“With the utmost respect, Great One, you say that because she is your daughter.”
“As you are my son,” Virender added from behind him. “This decision was made by us all.”
The shame and anger was overwhelming, but the scrutiny of the ten most powerful beings in the world caused Devin to remain humble.
“Yes, Great Ones. Then I beg your leave.” Being the image of obedience, he left the second they acknowledged his request.
Devin made his way back outside, attempting to force some of his external calm into the inner turmoil that grieved him. He had always been loyal- a model Tenebri- but as time went on he felt increasingly forced out of the inner workings of the saving of his people. He knew there was plenty to do here in this world, he just felt drawn across the barrier to do…something, anything.
“Devin,” His father had followed him from the meeting chamber.
“Great One,” He intoned, bowing before the imposing figure.
“You would do well not to question our decisions, this only makes the others feel that you are not suited to follow their orders,” Virender warned with a sigh.
“You are right, of course… but- Kaphira? She is not more suited to lead our devoted, at least not in her actions. I admit she has had an advantage with the gifts she has been given…” Devin growled accusingly.
“Ever you question your betters.” Devin couldn’t tell if his father was more angry or disappointed. “You think that your lack of exposure to my magic puts you at some sort of disadvantage? Yet, in truth, it is a blessing. Every human we gift with our power looks less human each time…”
“I am no human,” Devin almost sobbed. “I am your own.”
“You are more Tenebri than the majority of humans, it is true,” Virender agreed. “But you would be changed.”
“Kaphira is gifted, she is changed. This has made her excellent in the opinion of The Ten. Why do you not allow me to look like my true kind? To have these abilities?”
“Kaphira is a maul. She hits hard and does this well, but no-one cares for what it looks like. You see it coming and dodge it with ease. You, my son, are the nondescript knife that ends up in your jugular when you least expect it. When the time is right, you will ghost across New Tenebria wearing the face of those that oppose us. Then you will kill them wherever they have a sense of security. It is in this way that you will serve our people.”
The feeling of relief was tangible; Devin had his purpose and he would make The Ten proud.
“I was wrong to question The Great Ones, it will not happen again,” Devin assured. “I will obey.”