Today we have a sneak peek from the fantasy novel by Paul M Vander Loos, Three Stones of Destiny.
Mirrortac is found guilty of sacrilege against the god of his ancestral cousins, the roznogh, after he steals their most sacred object of power, the Werdstone. Worse, he later kidnaps its keeper in a mission to liberate three planets from enslavement by the god Yidu – a much revered deity of an alien master race. The key to his power lies in three mysterious stones, all of which connect to the Werdstone.
Mirrortac not only loses face, but also his mind, leaving his three children and an unlikely ally the only ones who can ensure the success of his ambitious quest.
Here is an excerpt from Three Stones of Destiny…
When everyone had finished eating, Mirrortac ordered them to begin their march up the narrow stairway. Ameece mooched along at the tail of the party, accompanied by her ever-present and loyal guardian, Evarngar. She was sullen and even less impressed now than before. Her despair hung thickly in the atmosphere.
In next to no time they were able to peer up and make out the brilliant yellow walls of the castle with its inscriptions in some unknown tongue. Twenty steps on, they could see the blue spires spearing upwards from each of the three towers, and above them the looped, diamond shaped pinnacles and poles. Aquamarine flags fluttered on the poles, bearing an alien symbol. Enormous webs were strung between the spires, hinting of some oversized arachnid. Mirrortac knew this did not bode well, and the hyfnuks shuddered when they beheld the ominous webbing. Each step was also marked with alien symbols which Mirrortac examined as he crept up each one.
As they ascended around a sharp curve, the steps levelled out, stopping short of a high arched gateway. A portcullis blocked the entrance. It bore a central metal plate bearing the symbol Delta and below it an inscription that Mirrortac translated to mean “Protectorate of Oashu”. The first Stone of Destiny was somewhere beyond that gate and in the castle. And obtaining it would be no mean task, the erfin judged.
The hyfnuks inspected the gate and the castle with something close to awe. Karn ran his palms over the stonework and the metal bars of the portcullis, feeling the solidity and hardness of these alien materials. Ameece lifted her eyes with cautious scrutiny, taking in the wall of the castle beyond the gateway. High above them, the twin green flags hung limp from the pole on the central tower; ominous in the still air.
Mirrortac lifted the Werdstone up to the central plate of the portcullis and uttered a few brief words of maja.The aged metal squeeked into life, groaning as the gate lifted into the stone arch above. He stepped forward into the courtyard followed by Ameece and their retinue of hyfnuks. Around them the ground was just dust with no ornaments or fountains to please the eye. A shadowy archway yawned at them from the base of the central tower, revealing a wide internal stairway as they approached. A fragment of giant web, like rope, was strung out from a nearby balcony to the perimeter wall. The Werdstone pulsed brightly like a guiding beacon, showing the way. Mirrortac let it pull him into the darkened stairway of the central tower and up its spiral to the level above them.