Available now, Darkness Falling by Mark Franzosa, the first book in the Scrolls of Exodoria series!
How far would you go for revenge? Would you have the courage to give up everything you’ve ever known for vengeance; even if you lose sight of your own humanity? When Sart tries to save a young girl from a terrible fate, he invites the wrath of the guild council on himself. With nowhere to turn for help, he flees the town into the dark unknown of the nearby forest, until he can return and exact revenge. His one friend on his journey is an elf named Selene. During their travels they encounter hostile elves, dragons, dwarves, and orcs; each with their own agenda. With the consuming thought of retribution on their minds they push onward, but will they be able to achieve their ultimate goal, and at what cost?
Darkness Falling Teaser:
His pack contained things he thought he might need. Things like herbs, water, a certain illicitly obtained magical tome, and some food. He wore his light chain mail battle armor, greaves, and leather boots. For additional defense he carried a small heater shield and a broadsword, and although he had never actually used them in battle, he had trained with them for years in his guild.
Even before Guildmaster Sung had mentioned it, he knew that no one who had left to explore the woods ever returned and no one knew why. At least this way he was in charge of his own fate and not subject to the whims of the guild leaders and the council. For all he knew, the people who had left had been hunted down by the town council for refusing to listen to them, he wouldn’t put it past them. He knew the town was more of a dumping ground for undesirables from the western continent than anything else.
Slowly, deliberately, he turned his back on the town below and walked the winding path going into the trees. Although it was still morning, the trees overhead filtered out most of the light, leaving it cool and dim once totally inside the forest canopy. The path led into the woods for a few hundred yards before it slowly disappeared and vanished altogether. It was obvious this was about as far into the forest as anyone ever went who wanted to return.
Sart pressed on, determined not to be slowed down. The town would soon find out he was nowhere around, if they hadn’t already, and he wanted to put some distance between him and them. He was now farther from human civilization alone than he had ever been his entire life. The guild council kept a tight grip on the townsfolk and made sure they never strayed far. The invisibility spell he had used was a spell that was outlawed by the guild leaders. Spell-casters knew it existed but weren’t taught it. The council didn’t want anyone but themselves to have access to such power.
“Stupid vines,” he muttered as his foot became twisted in yet another tangle of vines at his feet. He seemed to be walking into every tangle in the forest and the lack of light did not make his going easier. He sat down and pulled out the magic tome. “There must be something in here to help,” he said as he began turning pages looking at all the spells. He didn’t understand a lot of the words or the language they were written in, but he finally found a spell called ball of light, which was written in a language he understood. Casting that spell created a floating ball of light above his head that followed him and lit up the space around him.
With a newfound sense of purpose and confidence, he set out again, making much better time than before. Mile after mile, he went into the forest. It must have been early in the afternoon when he sat down for a break that he had an uneasy feeling of being watched. He pulled out his sword and shield and continued on his way, but twigs cracking in the darkness beyond his light kept his nerves on edge. He had heard all the stories of undead walking these woods, of wraiths and demons hunting lost hapless victims.
“They are just stories made to scare you, just stories,” he said to try to assure himself.
He started moving faster, but the sounds in the forest just out of sight kept up with him. He decided his best chance would be to suddenly run as fast as possible, maybe he could outrun whatever was keeping to the shadows. He looked for a break in the trees where he could run in a fairly straight path. Once he saw his opportunity he took off through the forest. At first he thought his plan was working as the noises around him stopped, however, his joy was short-lived. He had gone about a hundred yards when his foot caught on a trip-line on the ground. This caused a log that had been set up next to the path to swing out and hit him in the side. As the log slammed into him, it sent him sprawling into a very large, very hard tree. He thought he heard some laughter, which was replaced with darkness as he blacked out.