Shadows Rising: The Seals

Nightfall in Brahmir: Shadows Rising

Chapter One – The Seals

City of Night, Part Four: City of Night: the Lamplighter

Packed streets of shuffling citizens droned a dull murmur of the night to a chorus of sorts, hundreds of voices spoke over one another about the comings and goings of their days, seemingly uncaring about the fact that Olem stumbled through the street, hang at his stomach, bleeding profusely.

He stepped out of Lantz Ironworks, some time after Veinar had cleared the room. Upon reaching the top of the access ladder, he and the hunter had arrived in the boiler room. Veinar immediately made mention of something else with them in the darkness, but he never saw it. The hunter killed whatever had met them, and as soon as he had, the blood that flooded the room began to dry up. He’d never heard of a spirit before who was able to produce blood in such a quality. Of course, there was the chance it wasn’t a spirit at all.

Shortly afterward, Veinar and himself made their way to the street, and immediately he noticed the procession of people moving through the streets. As though it were any other day, they marched along visiting shops and gossiping with one another about the recent advent of the Breaking Sun’s Archbishop, Dhurri, who had come out with a message that the Breaking Sun would be dismantled.

He couldn’t believe his ears.

Olem gripped his gut, whatever magic the hunter had given him was beginning to wear off, and the bleeding began again. He moved toward a nearby crowd all speaking in hushed tones, whispering to one another until he was within earshot at which point, they all silenced immediately and turned to face him.

“Hello,” He mumbled. “What is going on? It’s well into the night, how are you all moving so freely through the streets?”

One of them, a pudgy teen girl with wood framed glasses giggled.

“Old man, haven’t you heard? The Breaking Sun has been disintegrated. Archbishop Dhurri made the announcement a few hours ago. There is no more need for the church, or the Mana Wards! Ammon’s Reach is safe again.”

Olem couldn’t believe his ears.

“Are you sure you weren’t deceived?” He asked, limping forward. “Are you sure you understood what he said?”

“Yes,” the girl laughed. “Because I’m not smart enough to understand a city wide announcement.”

Olem eyed her, was she telling the truth? He supposed it didn’t matter, if this many people were out wandering the streets, something surely must have changed while they were in the undercroft.

“Thank you.” He winced, limping away from the group as another of them spoke up, an older boy, Academy aged.

“Hey, sir, are you alright?”

“I am.” Olem nodded. “Just an old man, you know. I would like to go see Archbishop Dhurri.” 

The boy shrugged and pointed down the lane. He followed the boy’s guide and looked out to see in the town square, a collection of folks gathered together around the fountain which stood in the center of the city. Atop the fountain stood Dhurri alongside a handful of other Bishops from the Breaking Sun. They had stripped themselves of their garments and instead, wore traditional street clothes.

Dhurri waved and smiled at the crowd, gesturing to the shops whose oil lamps were lit, many of whom had already ripped up their Mana Wards.

Olem thanked the boy and marched toward the town square.

“There is no chance this is real.” He thought to himself. “This is a trick, a mind game.”

He winced once more, as if someone stuck their finger into the wound and twisted it, a bolt of pain rocked him. He didn’t stop moving until the crowd grew near, hundreds of citizens gathered around the Archbishop and his companions, each of them smiling and laughing amongst the people, saw him approaching.

Dhurri stepped down to a swell of citizens reaching out to him and touching him, some of them fainting upon doing so as he passed through the crowd on his way to Olem.

The detective paused, leaning on a fencepost, to double over in pain.

Archbishop Dhurri stopped a few feet before him with his hands raised. “Bartholemew! It is so good to see you, but ser, you seem unwell.”

Olem raised a hand, seeing Dhurri take a step toward him.

“I am not unwell, Archbishop, what is the meaning of all of this?”

The old man grinned. “I know! Isn’t it wonderful, we’ve spent all of our lives hiding from these things, and when we are caught, we are imprisoned or killed and now, the pain is finally over!”

He shook his head. “I do not know what provoked this sudden change, but my Lamplighters have told me there is no more need for the Mana Wards. The goddesses bless us.”

Olem gritted his teeth, watching the old man hop and skip merrily as city guards and automatons kept the raving crowd at a distance.

“That can’t be true. I saw you hours ago, how much could have changed in such time?”

“Oh my boy,” Dhurri winked. “Things change all the time, no sense in wondering why. This world is ours now. Go, go home to your wife and daughter. They will be safe.”

Olem sneered. “My daughter is missing. You gave me Veinar and Orri to find her.”

“That I did, ser, but I’m sure the good hunter has made some progress. Despite his strange demeanor. I assure you, Bartholemew, the city is in safe hands without the Breaking Sun.”

Olem shook his head. “You will doom us all.”

The Archbishop met his gaze and held it as he started to laugh.

“By bringing us into an age of prosperity? Unburdened by the harmful ways of the Church? My boy, you know I only became a Bishop because my father required it of me, to “make an example” of my family. To be an inspiration to others, but with no more night time patrols and no more need for protection, we can live the lives we’ve always deserved to live. Happily and free from harm.”

“Why?” Olem asked, grimacing.

“Because…” Dhurri let his words fall into the empty space between them as the crowd silenced in unison and turned to him. Hundreds of citizens of Ammon’s Reach stared, piercing their eyes through him as the Archbishop strode forward and knelt before Olem, his eyes wept black tar. “We deserve to be free!”

The detective looked backward as Archbishop Dhurri’s lips warped into a hungry grin, his teeth grew sharp in an instant as he stood, towering over Olem. Above them, the sky tore open to reveal a massive bloodshot red eye gazing down upon it, twitching erratically, it cast a vile red light over the city that swirled and moved, passing over denizens of Ammon’s Reach who screamed in pain, there skin tore as they hunched over and wept. From within them, horrifying terrors burst from the shells they were trapped within and Archbishop Dhurri cackled.

Olem pushed off fo the post and began to run as fast as his wounded abdomen would allow, away from the crowd of screaming, half mortal, half ethereal beings.

“Detective Bartholemew, truly I must thank you.” Dhurri’s voice boomed over the town as his other Bishops began to weep black tar as well. “We could not have accomplished this without the aid of your dear, willing daughter.”

He forced himself not to respond, to keep running as he backtracked to the Ironworks where the group of whispering youths had evolved into a mass of gnashing teeth and weeping, blistered eyes lumped together by strands of tendon, parts of themselves still there, entangled within the mass of bubbling flesh they had become. 

From one of the mouths, a tongue lashed out and struck Dhurri in the leg, slicing into him with a bladed edge. He stumbled, pain flared through his calf, but he kept running. 

Before him, two Bishops waited along the road, their arms split open at the wrist, useless hands crumpled and peeled away from the bone hung relaxed next to ripped veins and tendon wrapped around shining steel knives embedded into their forearms. Their pale skin covered with tar.

He reached for his gun, but found it was not on his hip. He quickly veered into a nearby alley as the pair of Bishops approached, screaming.

Down the alley, there appeared at first to be no one. Olem stumbled through as the oil lamps went out one by one as soon as he passed by them. Above him, the eye scanned the streets, looking for him. The red beam of light found its way to the far end of his alley and rushed through it. He jumped to the side, beneath a worn metal awning just before the red light passed over him. 

He wracked his mind, trying to remember the neighborhood. Thinking of where to go.

As the eye light moved on to another street, he stepped out from his hiding place to find the pair of Bishops had caught up to him. Mere feet away, the first lunged with its arm, slashing toward him. He ducked, barely dodging the blow as the second circled around and lunged from the other side. The blade caught him in the arm. Searing pain enflamed the cut as Olem spun and kicked the bishop in the chest.

He ducked below another swing from the first and ran as fast as he could down the alley.

Breaking through to the other side, he found a swarm of citizens half mutated had gathered, cutting him off from one side. He turned, moving to the other end of the street and saw Dhurri once more, standing before him.

“It is no use to run, Detective. You are mine to do with as I see fit, now.”

Above them, the eye wound its pupil over the alley once more, and with nowhere to hide, Olem closed his eyes as the red light passed over him, his body tingled and shuttered, and though he expected it, no pain came from the light.

He cracked his eyes open to see Dhurri standing before him, mouth agape and eyes wide, staring back at the congregation of beasts who gathered behind. Try as he might, Olem couldn’t turn to see what had possessed the Archbishop’s attention, but could hear a voice.

“My children,” A woman spoke over the crowd. “It has disappointed me so, that you have become such unbecoming things.”

Behind him, came the skitter of legs like a thousand spiders, followed immediately by the screams of the city, and Dhurri looked away from the woman who held his attention and snarled at the detective.

“This is not done yet, Bartholemew Kane.”

Olem tried to turn back, baffled by the sudden demeanor of the crowd, and just as his legs freed, he turned to look at what had come, when he heard a familiar voice.

“Wake up, old man!”

Veinar’s voice came to him, distantly as if the hunter shouted from down a long hallway.

A sharp pain in his chest shocked him, blurring his vision briefly, and then, everything around him went black.

Olem jumped to consciousness, his fists up, reaching for Dhurri’s cloak and found himself lying on the floor of the Lantz boiler room, Veinar standing above him, covered in cuts and splattered black tar.

“Welcome to the land of the living, detective.”

The floor of the room still soaked with blood, Olem pushed himself up and reached for his stomach, where he’d only moments ago had a deep gunshot wound and found it entirely healed.

“What is happening, Veinar?”

“Well, if I had to guess, that old haunt everyone at Breaking sun warned me about, Korrigan, is back in action. One of his thralls attacked me and tried to do to me what happened to you. You were asleep, Olem. Nothing you saw in that place was real. Well, not nothing. He was there, I could hear him talking to you.”

Olem stood and tried to wipe the sticky blood from his coat with little success.

“What happened?”

“I killed it, not to worry.” Veinar put on a showy grin and turned toward the door at the opposite end of the boiler room.

“You killed it? Are you sure?”

The hunter waved his hand. “As sure as I could be about most things, yes. I hurt it a lot and it went away. Don’t fall asleep and you should be fine for the time being.”

He followed, his hand on his pistol, which thankfully, was actually there. 

The pair worked their way out of the boiler room and into a production room which, last time Olem had visited for a routine inspection of the grounds with the Lamplighters, looked far better than it did now. Every surface of nearly every machine in the place had been covered with a sticky black tar, that looked the same as what he’d seen in his dream. His boots threatened to slip from his feet with each step.

“Killed them here, in case you’re wondering.” He spun his cane around in his hand, which Olam hadn’t noticed before, was covered in the same tar.

Through the production area and into the entryway, where the tar had somewhat dissipated, Olem and Veinar tracked until they arrived at an access door in once side of the facility. They stepped out into the city of Ammon’s Reach to find it deep into the night, with the first moon already descending behind the horizon.

“Keep your guard up.” 

Olem drew his pistol and stepped out into the night, prepared for the worst.

“Let’s regroup with the Breaking Sun.”

“What about Orri?”

Veinar shook his head. “I don’t know, but she’s tough, she will be fine.”

Olem didn’t like abandoning his friend, but whether he liked it or not didn’t matter, there was something happening in Ammon’s Reach. If Karrigan was walking free, it meant someone had gone out of their way to break his seal. A seal only a few people in the city knew about. Besides himself, Orri and Veinar, only the Bishops and Archbishop Durri were allowed such information. The various seals around Ammon’s Reach were closely guarded. Most of them were watched nearly each hour of the day.

Besides the seal in Lantz Ironworks containing Korrigan, there was also a seal deep within Barrenthal Academy. One in the High-rise, in the basement of Styne Manor, as well as one in Whitehall Hotel outside of town in the mountains up north. Whether or not the Whitehall Seal had been checked was above his pay grade. Beyond those, there was a seal at Silman’s Farm just outside of town and another at the Lachmann Research Center. However many more there were he couldn’t be sure. The Breaking Sun had been established for such a specific purpose, with how infrequently he was on a case related to one of the seals he had no idea how many there truly were.

Given that each of the seals was designed to keep the truly malevolent spirits locked away, he wasn’t sure he wanted to know how many were really out there.

Veinar didn’t speak much as they crept through town. Both of them laying low to keep from alerting anything that might be wandering the cool night. Despite how capable they were, neither of them could easily kill a phantom, let alone something potentially worse. Veinar had nearly died fighting Korrigan’s thrall, let alone actually going toe to toe with the beast itself.

Ammon’s Reach itself, or rather, the Flourmill District seemed somehow emptier than usual. In part due to the frequency of dim Mana Wards they’d passed. What should have been refilled each night by the Lamplighters appeared to have been neglected. Occasionally they would spot one entirely extinguished, but most of them were burning through their first day’s reserves. Every single Ward was installed that in case of emergency, the Ward would remain lit at a constant burn for up to three days and then some. In Flourmill, most of them had been wearing in to that stockpile.

As they made their way out of Flourmill and back to Moonside, they finally set sights on the Moonside Chapel of the Breaking Sun. Where many of the congregation called their home. 

The nearer they were to Moonside, the more frequently the pair noticed entirely drained Mana Wards, some of the lamps had even been removed from their station and cast aside, their glass windows broken and the ether vials within, shattered.

“Careful.” Veinar whispered, raising his pistol and his cane.

Olem nodded and prepared himself as they rounded the curve in the street and set their eyes on the courtyard of the chapel to find a scene of stark brutality.

Strew across the garden that was tended to by the Lamplighters, were bodies. The very servants who tended the gardens had been slaughtered en masse, their corpses scattered around the grounds. Some of them hung from trees, impaled on sharp branches. Others with deep bruises and crushed ribs. Most, covered in blood.

Olem took off running for the grounds, much to Veinar’s disappointment, who followed begrudgingly. 

In the garden, Olem noticed more than the corpses, there were no signs of a fight back. No ether burn on the ground or the walls, no residue from chemicals. Not even the smell of fragrant ointments. All signs of a fight against a Lamplighter, and they were all but vacant. Whatever happened to the people at the Chapel, happened suddenly and ended quickly.

“This is a massacre.” Veinar quipped, prodding at a corpse with his cane.

“Or a trap.”

Olem raised his pistol and approached the front doors, which rested, wide open. Veinar caught up to him after taking a moment to inspect the dead, and the pair pushed into the foyer of the chapel together.

Inside was no different than out, save for a few signs of self defense. Circular barks burned into the walls, a glittering grey residue left over from the use of ether. Olem gestured to the marks.

“Whatever attacked came from the outside, then went in. The Lamplighters here were able to defend themselves.”

Veinar inspected the residue and stepped over the body of an older woman, twisted and broken and wrapped around itself. 

They moved from the foyer into the gathering hall, where they found only a single victim. An older man Olem had recognized spending time with Orri. He lay on his back in the center of the room, the life drained from his eyes. Where his limp legs had fallen, Olem spotted two muddy boot prints that tracked to the entrance of the Foyer and out into the night.

“Was this a supernatural attack?” He guessed.

“I don’t think so, too much evidence.”

He plucked a frond of blonde hair from a pew and waved it. “This had to have been at least partially mortal.”

The hunter grunted and moved deeper into the church. In the kitchen and conjoined dining room, they found more bodies. Included among the mess were not only bishops and other members of the clergy, but piles of disintegrated plasm, a natural reaction caused by intense heat against the bodies of spirits. The easiest way to rid yourself of one without ether or another form of magic, and also the reason the guns had been fashioned in the way they had. They once crafted firearms built for shooting pellets of metal, but decided that casting a pellet served them less favorably than to eject flaming liquid. In their sacrifice of range and stopping power, they traded the ability to terminate spirits more easily.

“Olem,” Veinar called, gesturing to another room. He obeyed, catching up to the hunter who had made his way to the Lamplighter’s sleeping quarters. In the back, a small wooden door hung open, the wallpaper of the room had covered it, and judging by the spilled bookshelf on the ground beside it, it wasn’t meant to be a door the Lamplighters were aware of.

The pair moved for the hidden room without saying a word and found yet another ladder descending into blackness.

“Undercroft?” Olem peered over the edge.

“Suppose we should find out.”

Shaking his head, Olem climbed down the ladder and into the darkness with Veinar right behind him.

At the base of the ladder, they found themselves in a small room, not dissimilar to any of the others they’d come across since discovering the tunnel system. The exit shaft opened into a wide hall, at the far end stood what appeared to be a prison block of sorts, cells pieced together with scraps of metal and wood decorated the room, which appeared to be empty. One of the cell doors hung open. Olem quickly inspected the room, but found nothing of value within. 

He caught up with Veinar in a nearby room, a study, or perhaps an office of sorts, where they found a steel lockbox with the lid open. Within, Veinar slipped a small silver necklace with a charm attached, a burning feather.

“Doesn’t this belong to someone we know?”

“Orri.” Olem looked into the box himself, inspecting it for Mayeli’s belongings.

Among the various rings and necklaces worn by Orri and the rest of the Lamplighters, he found nothing of inherent use to them. They took a moment to inspect the room further and found still nothing, establishing it was time to move on. 

Back in the hall, they heard a bang echo through the undercroft from a side room and voices approaching. Two male, one of them much deeper and gravelly than the other. 

Veinar ducked back into the study and Olem fled to a nearby room as the voices quickly approached. 

“I don’t have time for this, the girl is bonding with the ring. There is nothing else we can do.” The higher pitched of the two quipped.

“It isn’t so simple. We were paid a lot of money to do this, and if it blows up in our faces, we are going to get crucified.”

“Don’t be ridiculous.” The high pitched man spoke again. “They haven’t crucified a mortal in Ammon’s Reach for two centuries. No reason for them to start now.”

“You know that isn’t what I meant,” The gravelly voice entered the hall.

Olem tensed, his hand on his gun.

“I meant that we are being watched here. The Archbishop has his eye on us, don’t you think that means something?”

Another thud came from down the hall, followed by heavy footsteps.

“I think it means we are doing exactly what we need to do. The longer the city has their eyes on us and the Lamplighters, the better we will be able to hide ourselves. Getting caught now would be disastrous, and not merely for us. It could throw everything we’ve worked for into chaos.”

The larger man grunted.

Olem peered through the cracks in the door, hoping to get a look at them. Both men turned as if they knew he was trying to identify them and faced the prison. The man with the higher pitched voice was much smaller in stature than his companion, who could have been seven feet in the right pair of shoes. 

“Do you see that?” The skinny man pointed at the prison. “Where is the Lamplighter?”

The large man ran down the hall and inspected the prison, the cell door creaked as he opened it.

“She’s gone.”

“That is quite evident, thank you.” 

The thudding of footsteps from the other room grew louder.

“Well I suppose it would be wise of ou to make time to find her, then, wouldn’t it? She is the only thing that Sinder cares about. We cannot lose control of him. No matter the circumstance.”

The large man grunted in acceptance and returned through the hall, on his way to the access ladder back to the chapel.

As he passed by Olem’s door the rotten stench of death wafted through, threatening to choke him.

The sensation passed as quickly as it arrived and soon, the man was gone and Olem was left to watch the thin man, alone as he rambled to himself.

“If Orri is free, that means she’d likely seek help from her friends, that useless detective and the hunter. Suppose, though, she doesn’t. Where does she go when she doesn’t need assistance?”

He turned, still considering his thoughts when the door across from Olem’s burst open and a hulking mass charged through it, grunting and shouting as it charged the thin man.

Olem watched as this third person whom he did not immediately recognize, burst forth and grabbed the other by his neck, hoisting him into the air.

The man squirmed and whimpered, and with a quick twist, he snapped the man’s neck and dropped him to the ground.

Olem watched as the giant turned, looking through the room, a long leather apron stained with blood draped his neck and the realization hit him.

“That’s Silman’s Son.” He thought, holding his breath tight as he watched through the cracks in the door.

Silman’s Son turned and made his way down another door, his heavy steps shaking the ground as he went. Olem held his breath for as long as he could, and released it just before the footsteps went silent in the distance and fell against the wall.

Veiner crept out of his room and into Olem’s, closing the door softly behind him.

“Well, that’s good news right?” He whispered. “Orri is alive.”

“And the Seal at Silman’s Farm is broken, which, is less than good news.”

Veinar forced a chuckle.

“I’ll take what I can get.”

Their investigation through the rest of the undercroft was short lived, as they soon found themselves back on previously treaded ground. Thankfully, they’d not seen hide or hair of Silman’s Son, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t around. He could be anywhere in the maze like tunnels and if they weren’t careful, he’d find them and charge them without a second thought.

Their retreading of the tunnels was growing monotonous, quickly. Veinar marked their path, and made certain to double mark where they had visited a second time. 

“We should get out of here. It won’t do us any good to keep winding through these tunnels if we don’t know where to go or what to look for.” Olem eventually said as Veinar etched a symbol into a support beam.

“Suppose you’re right, only trouble is, how do we find our way out of here now? We’ve covered our tracks, and backtracking over our previous path is only going to get us more lost.”

The pair stood at an intersection between two altar rooms which had been constructed to be identical. Each of them contained six pillars, and a small clay plinth in the middle. Neither of the plinths had been used, it appeared. The center of the plinth had a small bowl fashioned into it, with two channels which ran from the bowl.

“We could wait here, I suppose.” Olem suggested. “Sooner or later someone is going to come by and we could follow them.”

“What if the someone that comes by is that hulking beast and we’re snapped like confetti crackers?” Veiner huffed. “We should keep moving. There is more to this maze we haven’t seen, we’ll run the risk of being found either way. Better to prevent ourselves from being sitting ducks.”

Caught between two ultimately useless plans, Olem agreed to Veinar’s and they set off once more through the looping halls of the undercroft.

Though they could identify where they had been through the symbols they’d scratched onto the walls, it didn’t help make the series of tunnels feel any different. Each of them decorated the same, save for the massive replica of the cathedral, were dirt walls and bare wooden beams. The altar rooms which they’d regularly passed through, were all nearly identical as well. Some of them with six pillars, some with eight, most of them sported the same clay plinth in the center. Olem had counted at least fifteen on their return trip, how many he’d seen the time before he couldn’t recall.

Their journey through the undercroft continued for what felt like hours. Endless hallways stretching between useless destinations, he no longer knew what part of the city they were in, and it was useless to try to figure it out.

“Here.” Veinar gestured to a long hall where the pattern of beams had changed. They were much closer together, providing better support for the tunnel itself. The hunter didn’t wait for confirmation before he strode into the darkness. 

Olem reached for his Sprite, which he’d kept stowed in his pack since the boiler room, and retrieved it. The creature woke with a start, it’s new home suddenly shaking violently. It’s dull buzzing voice shouting from within its prison, it illuminated and cast a blue light on the walls around them.

Veinar didn’t seem to notice the walls, but Olem had.

In between the beams which ribbed the tunnel system, the dirt had been covered in clay, and the clay had been etched with symbols unfamiliar. He ran his fingers over the etchings, which had been there for some time, judging by the faint cracks that broke and fled from the markings. 

This tunnel, unlike the others they’d grown used to, was straight and long and completely unlit by anything. 

“Finally, some progress.” The detective mumbled, following the hunter towards the end of the tunnel.

After venturing into it for some time, Olem hadn’t bothered keeping track, they began to hear a noise from the side of the tunnel they approached. A rhythmic sound, at such a low volume Olem couldn’t identify it, but with each step it grew louder until eventually, Olem realized what he was hearing.

“Is that, waves?”

Veinar’s quick walk became a jog as the sound of crashing waves grew louder and louder, echoing through the tunnel until the sound could no longer be carried. Beneath the sound of the crashing waves and matching its frequency came the rattling of metal. He began to jog alongside the Hunter who, moments before he did, arrived at the end of the tunnel. 

A large door made of wood and covered in clay stood, locked by a metal bar wedged between two small metal loops, and the door itself pulsated against the pressure of the crashing waves, shaking it against its lock.

The hunter came to a careful stop and raised his hand as the Sprite’s blue glow washed over it and revealed a collection of etchings which read:

“Diamond Vale”

Veinar turned, expectantly at Olem while the door rocked against the waves.

“We’re not even in Ammon’s Reach anymore.” He muttered, approaching the door. Within the small lantern, the Sprite still shouted muffled vulgarities at him.

“Diamond Vale is a park outside of the city, fifteen miles or more, far longer than we’ve actually been traveling. But…” He reached out and touched the door. “It’s home to another Seal.”

“Whose seal is this?”

“Sorvane, a child who drowned at the lake here. His mother fished his body from the lake and slaughtered a bunch of kids the following year, the resulting massacre brought him back to life, and now…”

“And now,” Veinar interrupted. “He’s one of the things your people keep locked away with a seal at the location of his haunt, rather than just exterminating them where they stand is that it?”

Veinar had finally had enough, it seemed, as he yanked the bar from the door. A wave crashed into it and sent the door swinging open. Water rushed into the tunnel from the lake and the hunter waded through the knee high runoff, into the open. Olem gripped his pistol and followed.

The access tunnel emptied out into a small cave at the eastern side of the lake, sheltered from the elements, save for the crashing of the waves itself, they found themselves standing alone in the cave watching the waves on the lake rush toward them.

“It isn’t that we choose not to kill them, Veinar.” Olem spoke when he’d caught up to the hunter. “It is that we do kill them and they come back.”

Veinar popped open the revolving clip on his pistol and reloaded it with a few silver bullets.

“Well, no one has killed them like I have before.”

Mean for the Holidays is an annual writing project where I post new writing every day for the 13 days leading up to Christmas, this year the theme is “The Night Alone” — Telling you stories about things that go bump in the night. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you come back to see how this story ends. If you enjoyed it, I’d be honored if you sent this to a friend.

Nightfall in Brahmir is an episodic fantasy fiction story taking place in the world of Brahmir, where the lines between dead and alive are not simply blurred, they are almost nonexistent. In this place, all manner of horrors plague the denizens from returned corpses, trickster spirits, to killers stalking the daylight. Part One will be four Chapters, each of which follow one of the main characters as they try to work out what happened to Mayeli, and rescue her from the grasp of the strange powers that be within the merchant city, Ammon’s Reach.

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One Reply to “Shadows Rising: The Seals”

  1. […] Part Two, Chapter One: Shadows Rising: The Seals […]


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