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The Book of Deacon By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5828

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:03


Myranda froze as she tried to comprehend what her eyes were telling her. Inside of the garment was nothing more than air, yet it swept about as though it were worn by someone agonized by the attack. Her distraction was long enough to allow the creature behind her to act. Her hood was pulled back, and something clutched her head. Instantly her mind became clouded. She could not hold onto a single thought as the world seemed to spin around her. Myranda tried to fight it, but against her will she slipped into unconsciousness.

#

Far to the north, in a dimly-lit room, a pair of individuals waited. The first, a tall, graceful elf woman in ornate armor, stood facing a wall of maps. Beneath her arm was her helmet, and on her face was a look of concern, impatience--and, most of all, anger. Seated at a large desk behind her was a nobleman. His face was a mask of deliberate composure, and his clothing was of the finest variety. In appearance and demeanor, he seemed as though he should be sitting in a royal court at the right hand of the king. In front of him were scattered countless sealed documents, military dispatches, coded messages, and royal declarations. His fingers were steepled in front of his face, and his eyes were locked on the door.

"Does he normally take this long?" the woman asked petulantly.

"Patience, General Teloran, " replied the man.

The elf sighed and turned back to the map. It showed the whole of the continent, though there was no reason. The top third of the map, representing the Northern Alliance, was cluttered with figures and military patterns representing every aspect of the year's battles. Below that, a thin line representing the front was obscured almost completely by carefully recorded

hrough the door and into the massive entry hall of this, Verril Castle. At one end of the long, vaulted room was the throne, currently vacant as the King attended to the affairs of state. Opposite it were the massive doors that lead to the castle courtyard.

The General donned her helmet and marched toward them, drawing the images on Bagu's map to her mind. Slowly, meticulously, she envisioned what moves should be made. Foot soldiers here. Cavalry there. Siege weapons at the ready here and here. Yes. When these distractions were dealt with, when the Alliance proper was cleansed, then she would be at the front once more. And she would be ready.

#

Consciousness slowly returned to Myranda. All around her was darkness. She was unsure if she had even awoken. The ground heaved with sudden, regular jolts. The air was heavy with an oppressive heat and an indescribably horrid smell. It was a gruesome combination of stale blood, perspiration, and half a dozen other odors that she'd never known before and hoped never to know again. She tried to feel along the floor, but a jingle followed by a resistance revealed that she was shackled to the floor.

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