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The Road Into Chaos
Book Three: Chaos Reigns Saga
- Carol Hightshoe
After escaping from Thynitic’s control, Kyrianna and her friends find themselves back on Shokar. All but one—Brular, the priest of Hellavar, who sacrificed his freedom to protect them, is now a prisoner of the Lady of Chaos.
Each member of the group is given a different vision to follow as they seek aid in rescuing Brular in the short time they have before they must journey into the Abyss to challenge Thynitic herself.
As they seek aid from various areas of Shokar, they find their efforts blocked by the temples of Mykaylene and Hellavar. They also learn others are preparing for a coming war against a group they only call the Faithless.
All of them find something unexpected, including Kyrianna—who finds a way to return home as well as an unexpected romantic entanglement.
Kyrianna must make choices—to accept her feelings for Tristan Duvall and risk losing her friend and companion—the unicorn Cewyr. To return home, to a family willing to welcome her back or face the Goddess Thynitic and eventually her own destiny as a Daughter of Chaos.
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Kyrianna watched as the others left. She didn’t remember much from the time she had been pulled through the portal until she awakened in this room. There had been the demoness who questioned her about Myrith and Andrinor. She claimed to be working against Thynitic but still threatened to turn Kyrianna over to the Lady of Chaos if Kyrianna didn’t answer her questions. Despite not wanting to, she found herself answering those questions. Then Myrith and the others arrived and the demoness told her Thynitic was having an amulet made for her and the goddess already had everything she required to bind Kyrianna to it once it was completed.
Her mind retreated into itself at those words. She could still feel the pain Brular suffered constantly from being tortured. She did not want to imagine herself as a plaything for the Lady of Chaos for all eternity—without even the hope of death releasing her. Brular had said when he died, his soul would again be trapped by the amulet. Now, even if she escaped Thynitic’s influence, she knew when she died, her soul would not go to Frayrith but would instead end up trapped by Thynitic. She didn’t know what Thynitic needed to bind her soul to the amulet, but the image of the goddess standing before her as she cut her cheek and caught the blood that flowed from the wound came to her and she knew the demoness had spoken truthfully.
As she had lain there, unable even to whimper, Tristan Duvall’s face had flashed in her mind forcing the image of Thynitic away. The same fear that he was in danger grabbed at her heart just as it had at Tyril’s cabin. After that, everything had faded into a swirling gray fog. She had felt someone helping her up, but had been unable to focus on anything through the fog. Then had come a sensation of something powerful studying her. Something that tried to block the chaos and give her a thread of order to grasp onto, then it was gone. Gone too had been the fear she had felt for Tristan.
She had emerged from the fog and chaos to find herself being held by Myrith and Andrinor in this small room. The older woman held a vial and urged her to drink. As the warm liquid flowed down her throat, she felt something blocking the memories of what had happened. The sharp edges of the pain were dulled and she found she could ignore them to focus on what had to be done—find a way to rescue Brular from Thynitic.
She considered the Cleric of Hellavar a friend and he had given her something she could never repay—she was not going to let Thynitic have him without a fight. Myrith had said they would talk tomorrow about going after Brular, but she needed to talk to her now. Kyrianna had no doubt Myrith would be willing to attempt the rescue, but she needed to know about the demoness’ interest in both her and Andrinor.
Kyrianna waited until the noise in the hallway died down then got out of the bed. Shadow Seeker whined softly as she approached the door to the room.
“Don’t worry Shadow, I’m not running off.” She opened the door to see Andrinor looking at her.
“Myrith told you to rest.”
Kyrianna shook her head at the frown on the young man’s face; a frown not reflected in his pale blue eyes.
“I’m sure she told all of us to rest. What are you doing here?”
“Guarding you—per her instructions.”
Kyrianna sighed. Still trying to protect me. I thank you for it, Myrith, but there are some things even you cannot protect others from.
She placed a hand on Andrinor’s arm. “Do me a favor and tell Myrith I need to talk to her. Now, without the others. I will remain here and Shadow can alert you if anything happens.”
The wolf moved past them to sit in front of the door.
Andrinor nodded. “We’ll be back shortly.”
Kyrianna left the door cracked open as she sat on the edge of the small bed. Perhaps now, before she lost the chance, she should also tell Myrith about her past as well as the demoness and the amulet.
She looked up as Myrith entered the room. “What’s wrong?” the older woman asked. Her concern was evident in her disheveled clothes and her sword in her hand.
Kyrianna caught Andrinor’s gaze from where he stood next to the door. The young man just shrugged then turned to leave.
“Please stay,” she said.
“You need to know the demoness seemed extremely interested in both of you. I don’t know why, but she kept asking me questions about you. Andrinor, she was interested in where your power came from. Myrith, she seemed more interested in where you came from and who your father might have been.”
“While we did not know she had questioned you about us, she did not hide her interest when we arrived. She made a comment that indicated she had a son by my father. We will deal with her if we have to.” Myrith paused and looked at Kyrianna. “Was there anything else?”
“The demoness told me Thynitic is having one of those vile amulets made for me.” The words came out in a rush and Kyrianna sat there not saying anything as she waited for Myrith to react.
“Then that is one more thing we will take care of when we face her. I have no intention of letting her have you again,” Myrith said. “Her power was weakened by the events of the last day. If we hurry, we may yet be able to rescue Brular and destroy both amulets.” She turned toward the door then stopped and turned back. “Drink the potion, Kyri. Allow it to help you sleep. We’ll talk again in the morning.” With that she turned and left the room, followed by Andrinor.
Kyrianna glanced at the vial of pale blue liquid sitting on the table as Shadow Seeker came back into the room and jumped on the bed next to her and pushed his head under her hand. She closed her eyes for a moment as she scratched the wolf’s ears, letting her mind still enough to hear the murmuring in his mind telling her to rest; he was there to protect her.
“Thank you,” she whispered. Kyrianna turned to blow out the candle on the small table next to the bed. The flames puffed brightly and smoke filled her eyes. She coughed, then found herself staring at a familiar clearing. It was the place she had seen in her link with Brular. The clearing where he found Torliana as she prepared to perform the dance to welcome the coming of spring. The place where she asked him to stay with her and he failed to see what she was truly offering. An offer that, if it had been accepted, could have changed many things.
She picked up the vial and threw it against the wall. She had had enough of magic being worked on her. Shadow Seeker whined and stuck his nose in her face. “Ugh, dog breath,” she said as she pushed him away.
The wolf barked playfully then pounced at her, his tail waving. Kyrianna reached out and grabbed him around the neck and hugged him tightly. The wolf relaxed and she rested her head against him and started to drift off to sleep.
Kyrianna froze as she heard a voice; no it was two voices woven together as one, whispering in the silence. No, she thought. No.
:Peace, Kyrianna, the voices said.
“Frayrith?” She whispered the name into the darkness; her breath held as she waited.
:Yes, Daughter of Arielle. There was a pause. :You have won back your soul. You witnessed what could have unleashed Chaos and have turned it back toward the Balance. You have done well—see the change you have brought about.
An image formed in her mind of Thynitic’s throne room. Brular lay on the ground with Torliana sitting beside him their hands clasped together.
:Order and Chaos joined. Balance can yet be restored. Rest, Kyrianna, you have braved the darkness; tomorrow wake in the light.
~ * ~
When Kyrianna woke the next morning, she found herself more rested than she had felt in many months. Yes, there was a fog in her mind blocking the pain and dulling the edges of the memories she knew she still had to face, but at least she would have the chance to do so without the sharp ache and guilt buried behind the fog. This had to be an effect of some magic cast on her, but she was willing to accept it.
“Where are we?”
:The Coliseum, Jerietlan called it, Shadow Seeker’s voice said. :A temple to Mykaylene.
“Then I shouldn’t need these.” She placed her swords on the bed. “However, I do need something better to wear. She rummaged through her pack until she found a clean tunic and riding skirt. It was the closest to appropriate attire she had, other than the one gown she had brought, but that just didn’t feel right. She started looking around for her boots, when she heard something moving outside the door. She glanced at Shadow Seeker, who put his head back down on the pillow on the bed.
She shook her head when she opened the door to see Myrith standing there. “You can’t guard me every hour of every day,” she said, smiling.
“I can most certainly try.” Myrith didn’t return the smile.
Kyrianna sighed. “I’m up and will call if there are any problems.”
Myrith nodded and started to walk away, then stopped. “Did you have a vision in smoke or fire last night?”
Kyrianna took a deep breath then nodded. “Yes, I saw the glade where Torliana invited Brular to watch her dance. Something tells me I should visit that place.”
“Hmph.” Myrith shook her head. “I was given a vision of this very temple. I guess you go without me.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll be fine. I will have both Cewyr and Shadow Seeker to protect me.”
Myrith nodded once then turned and headed down the hall, barely avoiding Hendandra as she stepped out of her room.
“Come on, Myrith. Do I have to watch out, even when we are in the safety of a temple?”
Kyrianna laughed as the older woman didn’t break her stride. “Every minute of every day,” Myrith said.
Hendandra shook her head as Myrith entered her own room. “She needs to lighten up.”
“She feels responsible for us and we will be traveling into even greater danger this time,” Kyrianna said.
“Stop reminding me. I don’t want to go, but he did help us and I can’t let you go alone and get skewered by some trap.”
Kyrianna placed a hand on Hendandra’s shoulder. “Scared?”
Hendandra stared down the hall and nodded her head. “Myrith told me she would prefer that I stay behind.” She turned and looked up at Kyrianna. “I think she is afraid for me. I think that demoness Drezmona said something to her. Kyri, what could she have said that Myrith, who really doesn’t like me anyway, is concerned for me?”
Kyrianna knelt down in front of her friend and placed a hand on her cheek to still the fear she saw in her eyes. “Don’t worry, Hendandra; we will all be there to face the dangers—together. She is just being—Myrith.”
“Come on, Kyri, let’s see if we can find something to eat. A temple this large must have a dining hall.”
Kyrianna smiled. “Let me get my boots on. I’m sure Shadow Seeker can locate the kitchens if not the dining hall for us.”