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CHAOS EMBRACED
Book Two - The Chaos Reigns Saga
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-641-6
ISBN-13: 
Genre: Fantasy/SF/Medieval
eBook Length: 290 Pages
Published: February 2009
OUT OF PRINT

From inside the flap

As the title implies, CHAOS EMBRACED by Carol Hightshoe is an adventure into the unpredictable—a continuation of the journey begun in CALL OF CHAOS, the first book in the Chaos Reigns Saga.

Where CALL OF CHAOS simply set the stage for the adventure yet to come, CHAOS EMBRACED literally embraces that adventure and ups the stakes.



Reviews and Awards

Truly one to embrace ~ Sheri L. McGathy, author of OMNIBUS, a Collection of Fantasy Stories

CHAOS EMBRACED (Excerpt)


CHAPTER ONE

Myrith waited by the door to the basement, her impatience showing as she gripped and released the hilt of her sword. Kyrianna had gone down several minutes ago to face the shrine of Thynitic alone. She had promised to give her friend ten minutes, before going after her, but was worried even that would be enough time for the Lady of Chaos to exert her influence over the girl. She had seen Kyrianna’s reactions to Thynitic’s symbol several times before and it seemed they were getting stronger each time. It had taken both her and Tristan to drag Kyrianna out of the shrine several days ago when it appeared she was being controlled by the symbol on the wall above the altar.

"She’s had long enough," Myrith said, reaching for the door. "Tristan, come with me."

"What’s wrong?" Kyrianna asked as the door opened.

"We were coming to get you." Myrith watched her friend closely. Previously, she had picked up a sense of some evil power having touched Kyrianna’s soul. Now, it appeared that taint was gone.

"Thank you," Kyrianna said. "However, my business is concluded. It is time we left this place."

Myrith nodded and placed a hand on her friend’s shoulder. "That it is," she said. Yes, the power she had sensed was gone. Perhaps their initial fears about Thynitic could be forgotten.

"We will need to return to Duvshire so I can pay you the gold I promised as well as to clear up the matter involving Myrith," Tristan said.

"I suggest nothing be said regarding the ledgers or the nature of what we found here," Kyrianna said. "Don’t put the mayor or his son in a position where they may believe they must take action to protect their own interests." She smiled at Tristan. "At least not until you’re ready."

"You have a devious mind," Tristan said, returning the smile.

"Not devious enough," Kyrianna whispered as she looked away.

Myrith glanced at her friend and saw the pain in Kyrianna’s dark green eyes, but didn’t press the matter. She knew Kyrianna was still suffering from being disowned by her family for her actions as a member of the Thieves Guild in her home. "We should get going," she said, turning to the group. "There is no way to know if that assassin is still tracking Tristan or not." Her gaze lingered on Tristan for a moment then shifted to Kyrianna who had gone pale.

"What’s wrong?" Myrith asked.

"I had forgotten about him."

"You said something in the maze about being tired of assassins in this world trying to kill you, no matter what form they decided to take," Myrith said.

"What?" Tristan stared at Kyrianna. "Were you attacked also? Why?"

"I was going to see if Tyril might have the power to send me back to my home or at least suggest a mage I could talk to. I was attacked in the woods. He used a poisoned blade." She glanced at Myrith then dropped her head. "It was Elvioril who fought him off."

"What!" Myrith grabbed Kyrianna’s chin and forced her head up. "Elvioril rescued you from an assassin and you didn’t interfere when we fought." She jerked her hand away from the girl’s face. "If you had said something, that fight might not have happened. I thought he was chasing you with the intent of hurting you. Then when he wouldn’t respond to me, only kept charging and yelling his insults and challenges." Myrith took a step back and shook her head. "Kyri, why?"

"He was a midnight elf and a follower of Thynitic, I didn’t trust him. You gave him an opportunity to stop and he charged and attacked you; you were only defending yourself."

"Why would this assassin attack you?" Tristan stepped between Myrith and Kyrianna.

">From what I learned; true elves on this world have a strong hatred of those with mixed blood-to the point of killing them as well as their families," Kyrianna said.

"You said nothing about this," Tristan said.

"I had other things to worry about at the time," Kyrianna whispered. "Sorry."

Myrith slammed the door to the basement shut then headed for the main doors. "Let’s get moving."


***

"Myrith, do you want to press on or make camp?" Kyrianna paused and looked up at the darkening sky. "It’s only a few more hours to town, but it will be full dark soon."

"I would prefer to get back to town as soon as possible," Myrith said. She turned and looked back at the others. "And the rest of you?"

"I agree."

"Press on."

"A real bed."

Myrith smiled at the last remark, which had come from Hendandra.

"Unfortunately, while I agree with pressing on," Tristan said, "I believe we should wait till morning to actually enter Duvshire."

"We can camp just outside the town," Myrith said.

"Sorry, Hendandra," Tristan said. "However, if you stay another night in the town, I will pay for the finest room, in whatever passes for an inn at this time, for you for the night."

"Agreed!"

"Rangerette," Myrith called. "You’re the scout. Let’s get moving."

Kyrianna nodded then moved silently down the trail as the others followed.


***

Kyrianna led the group to a small clearing just outside Duvshire and Myrith watched as she carefully checked the tracks in and out of the area before deciding it was suitable for a camp. She remembered the doubts she had had about this girl when she first joined their group in the temple the Moon Swords had been seeking to cleanse. While she still did not know very much about Kyrianna’s background, she had come to trust the girl during these last few days.

She glanced around at the rest of the group and frowned at the look she saw on Laraf’s face as he watched the ranger. There was a longing there. A longing she very much doubted Kyrianna was willing to return. For a moment, she wondered if he had said something to Kyrianna at some point, as it seemed she had been keeping distance between them for the last couple of days. Maybe she just feels the same way I do, Myrith thought. Personal relationships on the field will get someone hurt or even killed.

"We still need to set watches," Myrith said as several people started unrolling their bedrolls. They were tired, she knew; she and Kyrianna had pushed them pretty far this day in order to reach this spot.

"I’ll take first," Kyrianna said immediately.

Myrith glanced at Laraf.

"I’ll stand watch with Kyrianna," Tristan said before anyone else could say anything.

"Very well," Myrith said. She turned away from Laraf to see Tristan watching him also. "How long do you estimate till dawn, Rangerette?"

Kyrianna glanced up at the sky then inhaled deeply. "About six hours," she said, looking at Tristan who nodded.

Myrith looked at the others and shook her head. "Can you handle three hours on your watch? You can wake me and Laraf when you are done."

Tristan shrugged then nodded as he glanced at Kyrianna.

Kyrianna nodded slowly. "I’m sure we can manage."