by J.B. Mehrhoff


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781449059095
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication date: 03/16/2010
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)

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Book One: Arctane, Part One: A new Companion
By J.B. Mehrhoff


Copyright © 2010 J.B. Mehrhoff
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4490-5909-5

Chapter One

Sunset 10 Telos Before Silvermoon's Birth

Sultry Vain Savage

Such are the words that explain the life and domicile of Sunset. Sunset has put in motion the series of events that will later cause her to find a life she would consider a dream. But sadly all dreams must come to an end.

"SUNSET!" Yelled the voice of her older cousin as Sunset crawled on her hands and knees, she was trying to escape her violent cousin who was attempting to kill her. Throbbing with pain, her legs had been badly burned by her cousin's uncontrollable powers. Her father, the King, has just died and the battle for control has just shown its ugly head. Greed, power, fame, and history are what the ruthless leaders in Emberland care most about. They each think they are the one to re-write history and become immortal in the minds of their people. Crawling as fast as her wounded body could, Sunset was making her way through the castle and taking as many cuts and turns as possible to maneuver out of sight from her approaching cousin. There were many ancient passageways leading through the old castle. Pathways and escapes that Sunset would try to use in order to evade her cousin, but unfortunately her cousin knew of these paths as well as she did.

Her older cousin, Pyronius the Damned, had just claimed the throne of Emberland for himself, and was now trying to eliminate any sort of competition for leadership. Pyronius went by the obvious name of Pyro, and was unbelievably powerful in his ability to control fire magic, especially at a younger age. Creating, controlling, and manipulating fire is known as conflagration. Pyro had so much raw, uncontrollable power that no one dared to challenge him, but he was not willing to take a chance that another family member would possibly backstab him for the throne. The possibility that a relative would try to take the throne over Pyro was more than he could bear.

Along with his paranoia of losing his crown to Sunset, Pyro also searched for the power from an ancient item that all successful Emberland kings possess. No king had won a battle without it, but there was only one person who knew of its whereabouts. Sunset was told by her father to give the helm to his successor, which would be the Emberman that she chose to marry. Pyro waited until the king was weak and his health was failing before finishing the job early and proclaim himself as the new king. What he didn't take into consideration, was that he would need Sunset to tell him where the ember helm of kings was hidden. The ember helm of kings was said to be the helmet of the first Emberland king. Forged by their god of fire, it helped to create the first person who could conflagrate, and is said to double the wearer's powers of conflagration. Sunset would die before telling Pyro of the helmet's whereabouts. She also knew that as long as he did not know where it was, he would not be able to kill her.

Sunset had to escape the wrath of Pyro or else she would be imprisoned and just be another victim in the beginning of his fearsome reign over Emberland. Sunset was not all alone; she had a few embermen and emberettes she could trust, even in her time of need, which was very rare on their brutal planet. Followed by two deadly-looking fire elementals, Pyro paced quickly through the halls of their castle, chasing after his fleeing cousin. His mind already mad with power, he would not stop until he knew where the helm was and that Sunset was deceased and burned to ash.

The elementals looked and moved like the flickering flame from a candle. Accept these were much larger than a candle flame. Their faces were constantly changing as they morphed with every flicker of their flames. They did not have mouths, but they did have what appeared like eyes that were two dark blue flames surrounded by orange and yellow.

Sunset was actually very good at conflagration. She was still a young woman, but she had such a gift, that if she was in fact a male, she would have been the obvious heir to the throne in her father's passing. But being an emberette, you were not allowed to practice conflagration openly. Instead she practiced in private and taught herself to control it very well. Her father secretly loved her disobedience and determination. Her understanding of conflagration was different than almost everyone else. Almost every single person that learns to control fire abuses it and tries to maximize its power. Sunset was different in her own discipline and taught herself to control it with her mind, not just with her body, and was able to manipulate it masterfully. It wasn't her goal to just create an enormous fireball, or wall of flames like her juggernaut cousin.

Sunset collected herself, preparing for the painful run that was approaching. She was going to escape into the market district in their city of Smolder where she could find her trustworthy friends. Raising herself up painfully with the assistance of her arms, she turned towards the main entrance of the castle and began to make her final dash for freedom. Just as she approached the thick black doors, they slowly slammed shut just before she could escape. Stepping into the main hall behind his cousin, Pyro grinned wider than the great doors of the castle. He began to cackle madly, starting silent at first and growing in volume. He was truly inebriated with power and was anticipating finding the helm and the death of his little cousin.

Standing before the unyielding Sunset, Pyro held both hands forward and created two wide and long swords made from intense flames and heat. The hottest flames that could be controlled were blue flames and Pyro had almost mastered them. The swords flickered from red to blue as if they couldn't make up their minds on which color they wanted to be.

"See little cuz, in my conflagration I have already almost mastered the top level of flame. Never has there been a King of Emberland that has been as young and talented as yours truly. You should be proud to be the first to die from my wrath as king. If you tell me where the ember helm is, I will make sure your memory is that of honor; how you stood your ground and fell silently before your King, sacrificing your life as a sign to my leadership" Pyro stated confidently with his commanding voice. He moved the swords close to Sunset and they began to swing and dance brilliantly in front of her as though to torment her into telling the location of the helm by threatening her of an impending death. Sunset was not going to let Pyro have the last laugh. She raised her hands and knew that there was no better moment than now to demonstrate her knowledge of conflagration. Creating a long, powerful two-sided fire lance before her, she raised the weapon made from flames up to eye level.

Pyro laughed and smiled at Sunset's attempt to stand up to his power.

"So ... a toothpick it is huh, well gosh little cuz, I had no idea that you were learning how to end the suffering of meat getting stuck between the teeth of the Emberland people. That could come in handy some time. Maybe I should keep you around after all." He laughed hysterically.

Taking no more time to trade words with her ignorant cousin, Sunset began to focus hard on the lance she had created before her. It too began to flicker blue as her cousin's weapons had done at first. Then suddenly in a flash of blue light that shot in all directions the lance grew twice its size and was engulfed by blue powerful flames that caused her cousin to step back.

"No, no, you couldn't, how can this be? You, a mere emberette, more powerful than I?" He paused just before bursting into flames. "NOOOOOOO!" shouted Pyro angrily as he clenched and shook his fists as he leaned back. He created four additional flame swords and launched them all towards Sunset. Sunset's lance began battling the swords majestically. Her power obviously more advanced, the lance destroyed the six swords as it was able to cut through them with ease. Each sword her blue-fire lance destroyed was consumed and became part of Sunset's lance causing it to continue to grow larger and stronger. After each sword was destroyed, Pyro grew angrier and angrier. Realizing that his younger cousin was much more powerful than he could have imagined, Pyro decided to sick his elemental bodyguards on his cousin, for they would be too much for her to handle and fighting fire with fire would do her no good. Laughing to himself, Pyro had made his decision. Pyro was so embarrassed that his cousin was more powerful in conflagration then he, that he would rather kill her and search for the helm without knowing its location. His arrogance was his biggest enemy.

Not waiting for last words Pyro raised his right hand and motioned for the fire elementals to kill his cousin. The elementals hovered forward as their flames flickered, their heat could be felt growing in intensity. As they got closer, Sunset could feel her body absorbing the heat and energy and her flesh was being cooked. Living on a fire planet has made her extremely resilient to hot temperatures, but life cannot be sustained in the temperatures that the elementals are composed of. The elementals began shooting flames toward Sunset in order to finish their job. Sunset's blue-fire lance poked and prodded the elementals to no avail. They simply sucked from the lance as though it was a breath of fresh air and they sucked in the power that Sunset created. Enjoying the last few moments of Sunset's existence, Pyro smiled at her one last time as he turned to leave her for dead.

"I want her ashes thrown into the depths of the lava sea before sundown ... or should I say, Sunset! Muah ha ha. Good bye little cuz, and props on the conflagration skills, tis a shame they will do you no good against my guards" Pyro stated as he walked off into the castle and disappeared. As he moved further away, the glow from his power grew weaker and weaker until it had completely disappeared.

Sunset could not believe her cousin was so foolish and full of pride that he would be willing to kill her and lose any possible information on the whereabouts of the ember helm that she may possess. His biggest mistake was leaving her alone with the two elemental cronies that he thought would be too much for her. Now with her cousin gone, this was her chance to use her ability to manipulate fire. This is where it came in handy mastering a different style and approach of conflagration. Raising her hands against the intense heat that was cooking her alive, Sunset began to push the heat and flames backwards toward the elementals. The elementals resisted Sunset to the best of their abilities. But Sunset was not going to die here, and definitely not going to die at the hands of her terrible cousin. The elementals began to tremble and shake madly as their power was beginning to fade. Suddenly Sunset was on the attack and pushed them backwards. The elementals could not be killed, not by Sunset anyways. But she could disperse their energy long enough so that she would have a head start before they could warn the new King of her escape. Lunging and pushing her hands forward as hard as she could, she pressed the elementals backward fast causing them to burst into smaller flames that shot in all directions before disappearing.

Knowing the castle well, she took a secret passageway in the back which lead to a hidden chamber. She was able to sneak into her room where she collected some important items and stuffed them into a backpack, making sure she would have room for the most important item. She crept back to the secret passageway and began making her way to the place where she and her father had hidden the ember helm of kings.

The walls and floors were all made from many stones fitted together. Finding the right ones would be the trick, as this wall looked like any other in the castle. She pressed on two stones on the floor with her feet, and then two other stones in front of her on the wall with her hands. Releasing her right hand first, the stone lit up after her hand was removed. After her right hand moved, she picked up her left leg. The stone on the floor that her left foot had been standing on then lit up. This was supposed to be an easy thing to do, but with her leg badly injured, she was finding that keeping her balance was more difficult than her recent fight with the elementals. Removing her left hand next, she was left standing on her right leg which was throbbing and trembling under the strain. She fought back tears because the pain was so intense. The stone lit up which meant that she could move her final foot and the password would be complete. Hopping to the side and nearly collapsing, she braced herself against the wall that was behind her.

The four stones were all beginning to glow brightly. Four lines of energy and flames could be seen creeping around the other stones as they began to connect; they weaved around the other stones like a maze. Once the stones were connected, they made glowing lines and drew a rectangle in the wall that continued to glow bright. The floor began to sink and turned into stairs as the wall peeled backwards giving way to a small hallway. Limping down the steps, Sunset looked down the gloomy, aged hallway that was about ten meters long. At the end was a mount that held the ember helm of kings on it. Sunset could feel its power reaching out to her, as if it knew its last owner was now dead and it yearned for her to wear it and become its new owner. Sunset had never felt such power from an object before. She thought of the things she could do with its power. She could defeat her cousin and claim the throne for herself. These were both things that she knew were unlike her and she needed to escape this life of hate, death, and betrayal, and not become part of it.

She tried to stay focused on her task at hand as she grabbed the helmet and placed it into her backpack that she slung over her shoulders. The helmet weighed about thirty pounds and made her backpack bump out which would make it obvious to her cousin if he caught her. Sunset knew she did not have much time, so she closed her eyes tight, clenched her lips together and took one deep breath before exhaling through her nose. Time to leave, she thought to herself.

Sunset was able to slip out a different entrance and remain undetected. She made her way into the market district of Smolder and found her friends who were unaware of her cousin's deadly intentions. Quickly giving her some help, they attempted to patch up her wounds and gave her some supplies. Sunset needed to find her fire drake in order to escape the city. Pyro would surely kill her drake soon, so she feared the worst for her companion. The drakes are very similar to dragons, but some are smaller and some are larger than their close relatives. With scales as strong as steel, and strength of some of the most powerful dinosaurs, the drakes are unsurpassed when it comes to physical attributes. It's their combination of physical abilities and magic that makes them among the most deadly creatures to have ever spawned. The more advanced drakes have the ability to communicate and are great warriors to have on your side. A powerful drake requires a powerful master otherwise they do not listen or follow orders.

Making her way back towards the drake stables she spotted a guard that was actually escorting her drake towards the castle, most likely to be executed. Running as quickly as her wounded legs would carry her, her bag bouncing on her back, nearly pulling her backwards to the ground. She shot a sharp burst of heat and flames directly into the unsuspecting guard, launching him backwards and knocking him out. Her drake was energized by the excitement and knew nothing of what had happened earlier to Sunset. Pulling on the reigns hard, the fire drake leapt into the air as fast as it could. Being a smaller drake had its advantages as well as disadvantages. The fire drake was stocky in size, but made up for its size in speed and agility. Moving its wings in a flurry, it rose from the ground and shot east towards the portal that would take them from Emberland to Earth, which was located on the Forsaken Island. The Forsaken Island lay off the coast twenty miles and was surrounded by the Lava Sea.

Knowing that her cousin would be alerted of her escape soon, Sunset flew for her life. She knew that taking the portal to Earth would be her best chance for survival. Entering the portal was not allowed for many reasons; one of them being because then everyone would leave the tyranny of the Emberland kings. Sunset was hoping that word of her cousin's attempt to kill her had not reached the guards of the Forsaken Island so she could order them to allow her access. If they knew that their new King was intending to kill Sunset, they would gladly stop her to assist their new King and stay on his good side. As Sunset reached the gates of the outpost on the Forsaken Island, she was relieved to see that they had no clue of the events that had just occurred back in Smolder. Reaching the gates, she ordered the guards to allow her access to the portal immediately. The guards obliged the princess and allowed her uncontested access to the portal.


Excerpted from SILVERMOON by J.B. Mehrhoff Copyright © 2010 by J.B. Mehrhoff. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Sunset....................1
Chapter 2: Grilloc....................17
Chapter 3: Power in Disarray....................37
Chapter 4: Test or Tragedy?....................49
Chapter 5: Revealing a Long Lost Rivalry....................67
Chapter 6: Slybranch & Vizerlocks....................85
Chapter 7: A King's Decision....................105
Chapter 8: A Champion's Welcome....................117

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