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The Rooting of Evil
Book Two of the Trencit Legacy
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-722-6
Genre: Fantasy/SF/Science Fiction
eBook Length: 320 Pages
Published: January 2010

From inside the flap

Book Two of the Trencit Legacy

This time the horrors of the deadly lowlands follow our protagonists out into the more civilized realm, and are just as devastating. There are also developing political complications. You might think that an ancient monster thought extinct might be shy about attacking a fortified human city. You would be disabused. Piers Anthony

Reviews and Awards

Piers Anthony on "Ogre's Passing":
"It's a great adventure novel."

"You have here a fine fantasy adventure with many compelling threats and almost unremitting tension."

Piers Anthony on "The Rooting of Evil":
"Almost unremitting action, as the monsters of the dread Lowlands emerge to attack settlements. Exciting and well done."

The Rooting of Evil (Excerpt)

The Rooting of Evil

The four companions made their way quickly past the vast fortress of Gorothagled, the empty streets silent and shrouded within the pervasive mist which consumed the entire valley. Alayian remained in the lead, the bodies of Charadan and Rundin strapped to one of the great war horses of Trencit.

Sarion felt incredibly weary, his body aching from the bruises and cuts he’d sustained in battling the ogre and the predators hunting the vale. But more painful were the emotional wounds. The loss of General Charadan and the other brave warriors. Tears moistened the corner of his eyes and he felt the muscles in his jaw clench, tightened to ward against the raging despair which longed for release. But he couldn’t let it happen. Not here in the dangerous valley, and certainly nowhere within the confines of the unpredictable Grammore Lowlands. He doubted sorrow would ease the hurt, but that path was denied to him regardless. Caution simply would not allow for it.

He looked forward at Chertron’s tall frame as the man kept himself directly behind Alayian’s slender form, the vigilant warrior unready to trust the na-dryad, just as he mistrusted everything else in the Lowlands. And wisely so, Sarion knew.

Forlern brought up the rear, moving catlike several yards behind him, soundless and alert to anything which might be onto their trail. Sarion had learned first hand the hazards which patrolled the valley as he’d encountered a host of prowling Grimhounds before entering the ancient citadel. Alayian had treated his wounds, but they would remain sore for days. He fervently hoped that the girl’s ability to avoid detection would bring them out of the vale without further mishap. He didn’t want to think about the prospect of facing another skirmish while in their fatigued condition. And he couldn’t forget that a Killworm still lurked somewhere within the city...

At times Alayian paused, her head moving to either side, her delicate chin lifted skyward. Sarion thought she might be sniffing the air. Another thing he noticed was that at times she would reach into her pouch, grabbing what looked like fine brown powder, and scatter it around. Something to confuse their scent, he surmised.

They passed several mounds of the blasted rock which he’d seen on his approach to the fortress in pursuit of his companions. Alayian steered them well clear of the strange protrusions. Obviously she knew something of their origin or purpose. Sarion had avoided them earlier out of sheer instinct. The group picked their way across shattered rocks and small boulders, gradually angling upwards towards the lip of the valley. There was no way to be sure of their exact direction, but Sarion’s skill as a tracksman confirmed her choice of path. He was confident they were heading in the right course, and the ground became steeper as they trudged through the fog, which thinned somewhat as they left the depths of the valley behind them. The mist grew less, but it still remained with them. It never seemed to leave entirely, always prevalent in some form throughout their travels in Grammore. The air was continuously damp, the mist often blanketing the landscape in thick, sluggish clouds, obscuring vision and permitting only a window of several feet. The mist was almost a living entity in itself, existing only to thwart the warriors’ movement and poison their spirit. Oppressive, repulsive even as it surrounded them, effectively cutting the group off from any chance of glimpsing the sun, or the celestial sky at night. And it made the Lowlands appear even vaster and more formidable than it already was, concealing so much of the life and landscape it held beneath its strangling, remorseless cloak. It was an enemy. Sarion had felt its touch constantly since their initial entry into Grammore. Just one more obstacle which needed to be confronted and overcome, he realized.

He slipped on loose shale, swallowing heavily and pushing forward with renewed determination as the slope grew sharper. They had to be nearing the lip of the valley, and several moments later Alayian turned, speaking to Chertron. The big man nodded, peering ahead into the gloom. Sarion could scarcely make out Alayian’s lithe figure within the haze, and she looked like a forsaken wraith, gliding smoothly, effortlessly along the stones as she led the horse. Chertron looked over one shoulder, checking on his companions and whispering.

"We’ve reached our camp, she says." He paused, then added quickly. "She also gives warning, that something follows us from behind."

Both men turned around, watching as Forlern skipped towards them, peering at them with wary eyes.

"What is it?" He shrugged, carrying a long knife in one hand. "Trouble?"

"I don’t know." Chertron answered. "The girl says we’ve reached the spot of our descent." He pointed, and they saw her disappear into the mist.

"Well, let’s be out of this cursed vale all the quicker then." Forlern spat, gazing down the path they had come.

"Alayian believes we’re being tracked." Sarion’s face was grim, but no trace of fear showed. Weary he felt, terribly hurt by the loss of Charadan and the others, but his frustration over their misfortune would not turn into fear. He would not permit it. He had faced death too many times, knew the guises it could take, and knew yet another thing -- that like the mist, it was a constant, unwelcome companion, patiently waiting to strike. They all needed to be ready for whatever form it decided to mask itself within for the next encounter.

"Did you hear anything?" Chertron pressed him, nervously looking towards the ledge of the valley.

"No." Forlern shook his head. "Maybe she’s wrong."

Sarion shook his head. "I doubt it. To remain alive in this land requires incredible skill or instinct. Or both. And she’s a native...I think we need to gather our belongings and clear out immediately." He rapped the hilt of his sword. "Flight is our only option, regardless of what follows."

"Let’s be off then, the quicker the better. Already the girl has vanished." Chertron stamped one booted foot, dust swirling lazily upwards from the harsh ground.

The three men hurried forward, finding extra strength from hidden reservoirs deep inside themselves. But Sarion knew they would need rest soon.

Very soon.