Raging Sea and Trembling Earth (Paperback)
Raging Sea and Trembling Earth (Paperback)
Book 2 of The Soul Force Saga
A new threat from an old empire.
Damien St. Cloud has barely begun his search for Connor Blackman when a new threat appears on the horizon.
Ships sailing out of the Old Empire. No one has had contact with the empire in 400 years.
What could they want and what will it mean for the kingdom?
Meanwhile, out in the haunted lands, Connor searches for an artifact of dark and dangerous power. An artifact that could bring the kingdom to its knees.
Out in the Western Ocean Damien will come eye to eye with the most powerful creature on the planet. In the haunted lands Connor will risk his existence to see his sinister plans to completion.
Jaden flew through the beautiful blue sky along his patrol route, the wind whistling in his ears, his tan tunic snapping. Below him the vast expanse of the Western Ocean spread out as far as he could see in every direction, the blue-green waters broken occasionally by small, sandy islands or pods of playing dolphins. Silas, the other junior sorcerer stationed on Lookout Island, even claimed to have seen the serpentine shadow of the Leviathan once, but Silas lied so often that no one took him seriously.
Jaden had seen no sign of the mighty water dragon nor did he have any great desire to. The sailors who brought supplies and replacement warlords to man the fort spoke of the Leviathan the same way they did a hurricane. They considered it a force of nature rather than an aware creature that made rational decisions. Jaden didn’t know the truth and he suspected no one else did either. They couldn’t exactly seek the creature out and ask.
Today found Jaden on the northern patrol route. North a hundred miles, west fifty, then back to the island for lunch. The whole trip took about five hours. Master Soran had only begun to trust Jaden to make the patrol by himself in the last month.
He smiled, remembering how proud and nervous he’d felt when his master told him he could go out on his own. That had been a tense, exhausting trip even though he’d seen nothing more threatening than a breeching whale.
He paused to conjure a far-seer construct. It had taken Jaden a full two months of practice before he mastered the complex conjuring. Multiple, overlapping layers of soul force combined to mimic the effect of a spyglass, only much more powerful. Looking through his construct Jaden could see twenty miles out into the ocean like it was twenty feet.
Nothing lurked on the western horizon. No ships, no dragons, just endless blue, exactly as Jaden preferred. He let his construct collapse and continued his patrol. Twice more Jaden paused to study the horizon and each time he found it every bit as empty as the last.
What would the cook make for lunch today? Probably something with fish. The warlords spent most of their time swimming the clear waters with spears in hand. It was a rare day indeed when none of the ten men and four women brought anything delicious from the blue depths. Jaden only wished the cook’s skill equaled his father’s.
Jaden loved his quiet new life, but he missed his parents a great deal and couldn’t wait for his next leave in two months. Dad had promised to make all his favorites. Thinking about it made his mouth water as he paused for his next scan of the empty horizon.
It couldn’t be!
Jaden shifted his construct from wide scanning to focused zoom. There, maybe forty miles out—four dark-hulled ships, their sails taut in the breeze. They came out of the west, from the direction of the Old Empire. In the 220-year history of Lookout Island no ship had ever been seen on the western horizon. The warlords and sorcerers assigned the post considered it either a punishment that kept them out of the real action or a reward that kept them out of the real action.
How could this have happened less than a year into his posting? Jaden dug through the satchel hanging from his shoulder. Master Soran’s call stick had to be here somewhere. Pawing through the random shells, polished stones, and other junk he’d accumulated, never taking his eyes off the impossible ships, Jaden finally found it. The thin piece of wood snapped easily in his trembling hands.
Master Soran arrived surrounded by a glowing aura and looking a bit out of breath. His long, wild white hair made the sorcerer look more like an island castaway than an expert soul force wielder. “What’s wrong?”
Jaden hadn’t looked away from the four tiny ships bobbing out on the waves since he’d broken the call stick. He didn’t now, afraid if he did they’d vanish like a mirage. Instead he simply pointed. “Ships.”
“It can’t be.”
Jaden sensed his master conjuring beside him and a few seconds later he gasped. It sounded like he believed now. “What do we do, Master?”
Master Soran didn’t speak for many long seconds. When he finally did he said, “For now we’ll keep watch, day and night. They’re still weeks away from reaching the island and more weeks yet from reaching the kingdom. The ships may turn back or alter their course. Until we know something for sure we do our job and watch them. If they haven’t changed course within a week we alert the archmage. After that it’ll be for her and the king to decide.”
“At least there aren’t enough ships for an invasion,” Jaden said.
“No. More likely they sent an envoy who’ll demand we rejoin the empire and if we refuse the invasion fleet will follow shortly.”
Jaden swallowed. So much for this being an easy posting.