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Book 3

Twilight Kingdoms of Thanonal

Reforged!

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 Who is the villain, and who is a hero? Who is a demon or who is a human? Do the lines ever blur?

Thank you for looking into my Dark Adventure series. Andrea Wellington nearing the end of her training in the city of West Bale as a sorcerer, has found her life changed when the oppressive religious government charged her family with treason. She agreed to be a sacrifice to her god, Bhuul, in atonement for her family's sins. On the altar, she was approached by a voice and a pair of glowing eyes that gave her a way to live. She said, “Yes,” and the destruction that followed as Andrea became the “Hand” of Katalina. There’s more to it than becoming the avatar of a dead god. She had begun a transformation into a creature, a monster capable of harvesting the souls of the living.

Now she has to balance her humanity with the demon she is becoming. Is this a curse for accepting a pact with a god? Or will she accept what she becomes?

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First Chapter

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Harsh Reality

Blackthorn Forest

Andrea continued to walk in her mind full of fog. Her world was like walking in a tunnel, focused on one step at a time. As the sun-sphere set, her mind cleared enough to put more than a simple desire to run away. Her bare feet were sore, surprisingly not blistered or wounded. She glanced down at her blood-splattered body, the blood had dried and coated the blue ceremonial dress she was wearing, it had a particularly pungent odor, that of dried blood. The light blue dress had several small gashes in it, some gashes were small tears others were slices as if they had been slashed by a sword.

In her right hand, she carried the golden ceremonial dagger that… had been plunged into her heart! She put her hand where the wound was, a she could feel a scar, she ran her index finger to the length of the scar, it was the length of the wound. She looked down at her chest, where the scar was, a red tattoo could be seen. The tattoo was that of a hand inside of a circle. She looked at her wrists and her feet. The elegant silver shackles were still attached, though most of the chains had been cut off, only leaving a few links left on each shackle. The wounds on her wrists and ankles had healed, but like the scar on the heart, left scars as well.

The dagger had a clear gem in it’s hilt when she had first seen the golden blade in the hands of the priests, now that gem had turned blood red. Red runes burned with an unnatural red light on its blade. She dropped the blade, it made a strange echoey sound as the blade changed its orientation to land blade first into the ground.

That was this morning, she thinks. She could not remember what happened, her heart was racing, I will be okay, oh-oh I got to go back, I got to get mom and Alexander. She reached up with her hand to wipe some of the dirt and grit off of her forehead and to adjust her seeing aspects by force of habit, her face was dried, she knew she had been crying, her eyes were dry. Her seeing aspects were not on her head, she must have dropped them someplace, but her hand hit something hard and long. She traced this thing to the side of her skull, it was a horn, like that of ram twisting out of the side of her head. She felt the other side, one was there too, what did they do to me? She looked down and spotted the metal frame of the seeing specs. When she put them on, she noticed that she could see very well. She was able to focus and make details out, more than she ever could before.

She remembers that sometimes sorcerer’s entered a pact with some sort of other world spirits to gain more power. Am I possessed? Did something enter… she then remembers the eyes, the red eyes in the darkness and the calm commanding voice “Do you wish to die?“...terror...fear… the realization I made a pact with something otherworldly at the moment of my death…..the voice was so comforting, the words echo, “Just say my name @#$&$#@“... “@#$&$#@” weakly she says aloud.

For a moment there is nothing, then things begin to glow red, the jewel in the hilt of the dagger brightens. She feels a warmth from behind her eyes, her blue eyes disappear into a crimson glow. A tingly sensation goes up and down in her back and lower spine, her body felt hot, she let out a soft moan and drops to her knees as large red leathery demon wings erupt and spread out from her lower back. She feels pressure on her lower spine as the fleshy tail twice as long as her arms push out her tailbone revealing a scorpion barb stinge. This transformation sends waves of pleasure up and down her body. A wave of red energy blasts outward from her core, knocking over nearby trees and tossing debris out for hundreds of feet in all directions. The momentary pleasure was replaced with searing pain. Small ember-like glowing red fissures open up on her arms and legs, blood slowly seeps out of the wounds, dripping to the ground. Then she sees the eyes appear before her, they are the same hue as she saw on the altar table while she was being sacrificed.

In a booming and commanding voice, she hears the voice from before. “I will warn you never to speak that name aloud again, for it is our true name. It is a name of power. I will protect that name even if you do not. I am god known as Katalina and you are now a Hand of God, you are my avatar. You are the newest and greatest incarnation my Ka’Azalin often known as the Demon Lord Ka’Azalin."

Ohh crap, my schooling told of the Demon Lord’s, the gods defeated them and banished the ones they could not kill to the Gods Death Desert. Ka’Azalin… murder… death… pain suffering, God of lies, the Mother of Monsters…the destroyer of the world. What have I done…. Her heart was racing again. Noooo… this can’t be happening.

“Calm down Ka’Azalin,.. this level of grace is very taxing on our body sharing this level of existence is taxing."

Ohh crap... I am going to be a god’s flesh puppet..

“You are more than that my Ka'Azalin.”

Ahhh, she can read my mind!

“Yes, I can hear your thoughts, you are my vessel. Let me dial this back a little. We are tearing ourselves apart, now KaAzalin.. slow your breathing and heart rate, think on this. A waterfall, cascading into a valley, a hundred feet down crashing into a large river.”

Imagines flood into her mind, Andrea begins to see these images unfurl, what shocks her the most is the night sky, all the white twinkly dots, and the large white disk in the sky. The scene was calming for some unknown reason, she had expected to see images of horror in her mind, twisted perversion and torment.

“I have seen something like this before, the pictures in the old books." She felt her anxiety lesson. The bleeding cracked flesh on her limbs began to seal and the bleeding stopped.

“It is a place where I like to go when I need a moment of serenity. We are stable for a bit. We have a few more minutes before I go.”

“Go, go where!”

“It takes up a lot of grace, In this day, I have a new Celestial Vessel and a new Avatar. You spoke my true name, So I will give this to you in a nutshell. I am physically in three places at once outside of my allowed space, in other words, I am breaking the rules. From here on out, you are me and I am you. You are my Hand outside of Avalon. You can walk where I can not. You will hear my voice and thoughts in your head, you will dream my dreams and I will dream yours.

"As you grow in power, you will remember more and more, these are the memories of my time in the old world. These are the memories of my former avatars before you and my personal experiences. I am fine with the choices you make, this is your world. Be it, hero or villain, I am more of an agent of chaos, one who disrupts the status quo, and more than likely some higher power, beyond myself wants us here, wants me here, at this time and in this place.

"Just remember you can still die, you are not immoral. Your body is still growing, it is not yet ready to accept my full grace. You will have already experienced some of the powers, faster healing, tougher skin, improved eyesight, and maybe mental changes. Expect some physical transformations such as the elegant horns on your head for example.”

Andrea asked, “Why me?”

Katalina’s voice penetrated her mind, “You said yes, you spoke my true name, and you are one of my descendants, part of the family line I created ages ago. When I was at the height of my power and when worlds trembled under the fear of my name. You are unique, for it has been ages since I have been able to form a connection to a vessel capable of containing enough of my grace. You are a worthy vessel, with you being my Hand of God, my avatar. My line was passed down from your father’s bloodline to you and your brother , I exist because you exist.

“The gods will be coming for us, you will have to learn how to move mountains and defeat the other avatars. I will teach you how I will aid you with unique equipment. I will educate you on your new body as you change. You will grow in your power, I will say there is a price to pay. We have already attracted much attention, the young gods will have taken notice with two calls of my grace in a single day and in a similar area.

"You will need to grow stronger, you must if you want to survive. Find yourself a cause, fight for it, either in the front lines or from the shadows. We have a destiny you and I, we both have been chosen for a role to play. You will not be able to walk away or avoid this duty. We will talk later, it is good to meet you my Ka'Azalin. I am looking forward to shaping you into a new goddess. When I think you’re ready I will inform you of your duties, for now. You will learn my favorite way of teaching, trials by fire.”

The area light begins to fade back to the darkness of night. The demon wings and tail retract, in a painful cracking sound, not as good the pleasurable feeling when they came out. Andreas’ eyes return to their natural blue color and the red light fades. She feels exhausted, very fatigued, and once again sore, she could more than likely catch a nap.

I don’t think this is a good place to sleep.., she sight begins to fade and she collapses on the spot.