BREAKING SKULL ISLAND NEWS: Protectorate Novel Update!

First draft is in! Author Orrin Grey has finished round one of the upcoming Protectorate of Menoth novel, and as we work with him to get the polished manuscript ready for editing and print, it’s time to give you a quick sneak peek to whet your appetitefor Skull Island’s first full-length Protectorate novel, Godless (Book 1 of the Fire & Faith Series). In this key passage, Tristan Durant has a dark vision that will drive the rest of the novel… 

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            Outside his tent, he could hear the soldiers moving around, removing or cleaning their weapons and armor. He was aware of the resting cortexes of his Repenter and the Aegis of Faith. And then, suddenly, he wasn't. All was silence, and he was alone. He opened his eyes, and he was no longer in his tent. In fact, he could see nothing at all.

            Darkness. Blindness. A dim sun moves across the blood-red dome of heaven like a restless eye. The sun illuminates an unfamiliar city, long shadows stretching out from the buildings to drown the streets in darkness. The city is sinking into the shadows, disappearing from sight.

Durant

            Around it is a blasted plain, red with blood and scorched from some fierce battle, though no bodies lie to mark the titanic struggle that took place here. Instead, an ancient Menite temple stands upon a hill. The shadow it casts out across the desert becomes a chasm in the earth; is it the shadow that swallowed the city?

           Somehow, the shadow seems to be moving backward, so it is reflected upon the face of the temple itself. The shadow becomes a crack, splitting the façade of the temple, and behind its walls waits a writhing corruption. Worms or snakes, as black as the darkness in which they squirm, curl over one another there, waiting.

           The crack crawls up the front of the temple until it has split apart the Menofix that crowns it. As parts of the Menofix fall to the red dirt, they land among men and women who kneel there. They are bound in heavy chains, their heads bowed, and from their throats comes the sound of weeping. The chains weigh them down, pulling them to the earth link by link.

 

           The worms or snakes turn to smoke, but instead of rising up to the sky the smoke pours down from the crack in the face of the temple, running like spilled ink around the kneeling figures. The broken pieces of the Menofix slowly sink beneath the smoke, which spreads out along the ground until it reaches the walls of the unfamiliar city. It laps against the walls until it begins to pour over them.

            In the center of the city is an enormous temple to Menoth, and at its crown stand nine holy figures and behind them a taller form, its masked face lost to the distances of height. The smoke reaches the base of the temple, and then it begins to crawl up the sides like black serpents. One by one, the serpents twine around the figures even as the walls of the temple begin to crumble.

            Even as the walls fall, a figure rises among the kneeling faithful. He wears no chains but instead the robes of office of a sovereign, and he holds in his hands a piece of the shattered Menofix as he struggles against the tide of darkness. He seems to be limned in light, and for a moment he almost turns, his face almost visible…

Godless by Orrin Grey is scheduled for release this spring!

Next post: Tuesday, January 10