Excerpts: Mad Lord Lucian

Captain Thrace Morden’s voice echoed through the narrow passageways of his ship, Lucian’s Fury. Master Brok, who had been searching for Jon and Saemus, thought he knew where to find them. He peered around the doorway and into the room. Jon and Saemus stared at a large map covering a wooden table, their heads nearly touching as they pointed to the location of Haunted Island. Captain Morden stood nearby, arms crossed over his chest, a sliver of wood jumping around between his lips.

“I thought anyone who visited the island never came back alive,” Jon said.

“Aye, ‘tis true lad, for the most part,” Morden said.

Jon and Saemus shared a glance. “So what did you see?” Jon asked.

Morden stared at the map, his eyes glazing over as the sliver of toothpick moved even more quickly. “Some things are better left unsaid.” The man turned and nearly ran into Brok who was still lurking in the doorway.

“I guess we’ll never find out what happened.” Jon sighed.

“Morden is right. Some things are better left unsaid.”

Jon and Saemus jumped at the sound of Brok’s voice.

The old Mystic shooed the two young men out of the room, shaking his head when the two gazed back at the map longingly, as though they could see the secrets of the island in the charcoal drawings on the faded parchment.

Perhaps I should tell the boy.

Brok watched Jon as he made his way up the stairs to the deck. After all, what happened on the island had a direct connection to evil doings and dark magic.

Jon may know how to call on the forbidden power but he has no ounce of evil in him.

Brok walked to the quarters he shared with Jon and Saemus and rummaged through his knapsack. He pulled a thin book from the depths. Brok turned it over in his hands, remembering the first time he had come across this piece of history.

He was new to this world and was diligently working to build his new identity. Brok had traveled to Vis Rellisa soon after arriving through the portal from Gentra. He needed to establish himself there for a short time before traveling to Heart Stone to meet his Chosen. His studies back home made it possible for him to quickly blend in and become nothing more than another Mystic, another learned man waiting for the call to serve a village or town of his own.

The invitation to attend a banquet by Lord and Lady Stoneworth had given him the perfect excuse to get away from the dormitory and the reading of books and scrolls on history. Torches cheerfully keeping the dark at bay surrounded the manor house. Brok handed his invitation to a servant who then escorted him to the main hall.

“Lord and Lady Stoneworth will be here shortly. Please enjoy the refreshments.” The servant bowed and disappeared back to the front door.

Brok’s hand dipped into the pockets of his robes and stroked his wooden pipe. He pursed his lips wondering how long it would be before the Lord and Lady of the manor would make their appearance. He spotted a door at the back of the main hall.

Just a quick smoke is all I need.

He had taken to the act of smoking quite well since coming to this planet. It was something that could never be practiced on his watery home world. There was something soothing in the drawing of the smoke into the lungs and watching it loop up to the sky as he exhaled. He had even managed to learn the art of smoke rings and could even use his magic to give them any shape he wished.

Brok shuffled quickly down the darkened hall, hoping to find a side door that led outside so he could have a few puffs on his pipe.

He passed a partially opened door and peered inside as he slowly walked past. He paused when he saw the shelves full of books, his love for them warring with his love of pipeweed. A quick glance in either direction showed that he was alone. Brok darted into the open door, closing it softly behind him.

The light from the single lamp was enough to reveal the luxury of the Lord’s library, the warm glow of the honey-colored wood, the richness of the leather-bound volumes. Brok touched each one as he made his way slowly along the length of the shelves.

What’s this?

Nestled between Lady Arie and The Secrets of the Blasted Lands was a thin book, shoved so far back as to be almost invisible. Brok pulled the volume out, brow furrowed when he was met with a blank leather front.

Curiosity not to be ignored, Brok opened the book and began reading. Within a few sentences, his hands began shaking and he slammed the book closed, eyes darting to the closed door, certain someone was about to come bursting into the room to take the book from him. In seconds, the book was tucked into a pocket sewn into the inside of his robes.

Brok left the library and wandered down the hall, feet taking him somewhere his conscious mind wasn’t aware of. His hand reached out and opened a door and Brok left the manor house, pipe and pipeweed forgotten.

He reached the dormitory and walked to his rooms, ignoring the greetings from fellow Mystics. He grabbed his belongings and left that same night, heading for the village that was to be his home until the signs appeared that would lead him home.



Brok shook his head and gripped the book until his knuckles turned white. The events of that night were surreal, as though they had happened in a dream or to someone else and he had only witnessed it. Something else had been at work, something that needed him to find that book and take it.

It’s for the boy.

He took the tiny volume and headed on deck to find Jon. It was time the lad learned the truth of what the dark magic could do. It was time to tell him the true tale of the Mad Lord Lucian.

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