This is the book I was working on publishing and wanted to publish May 10th, 2018. However, I decided to let it go in January so that I can sort of refocus and decide later if I want to work on it again or if I need to just let it go completely. We'll see what comes of it.Word Count: 52676
Contributors: R.M. Archer, Author; Cathy Gilstrap, Editor; Rachel Ramey, Editor
Archmage Pagod Vandal has gone rogue, but in a tower of brainwashed mages his daughter Lian is the only one who notices.
When alchemy mages Darklin and Alark realize it too, Lian is more than ready to assist them in overthrowing her father.
But Pagod will stop at nothing to achieve his ambitions, and he has allies more powerful than the trio could imagine.
If Pagod succeeds, Lian's world will be destroyed. Yet, even if she stops him, nothing will ever be the same.
They walked through the tunnels for several minutes before emerging on the surface. But it wasn't anything like an earthly surface. The ground was black, the sky was stone-like with stalactites hanging from it, and the whole atmosphere was penetratingly dark.
The castle that loomed in front of them was especially dark. Whatever material it was made of seemed to absorb what meager light there was, and the towers were like cold stone claws that would reach down and crush or impale her at any moment. The gates were bent outward like ribs, and the small dank breeze seemed to make them shift like there really was a beating heart behind them.
"Do we have to go in there?"
"Of course. That is the Conqueror's castle."
Asphodel led the way up to the gate and Lian followed, trying to seem more courageous than she felt.
As they passed through the gates and walked up to the front door, Lian tried to quiet her rapidly beating heart. It felt like a caged animal trying to break free, making her feel like her chest would explode.
She survived the walk to the front door however, despite almost running into Asphodel when the demoness stopped suddenly to pull the bell rope. Its gong was eerie and melancholic almost causing Lian to shiver again.
The door slid open soundlessly and the two of them entered, passing through several corridors. The only sound was that of Asphodel's heels clicking on the odd black floor.