English schoolboy Terry West’s life continues to be a wreck. Ever since his best friend Joe was lost in another land, Terry has continued to pray he would be healed and returned safely. Everything that has happened to date has been his fault. If only he hadn’t given Joe one of his rune coins. Those damn rune coins that transport him to his other world where Terry is the soldier, Teern Truthbringer, tasked with protecting the Xannu. Wars are brewing in the Southern Lands and people from many countries and religions want the Xannu for themselves.
Both Terry’s school-life and private-life are a mess and Terry’s girlfriend, Susan, continues to be everywhere that Terry is. All he wants is a little solitude in order to keep himself together, but everything is conspiring against him.
Back in the Southern Lands, Maria is determined to bring Joe home using whatever kind of magic is available to her. But others are plotting to ensure she fails. In a world inhabited by warlocks, seductresses, priests and prophecy, everyone has their own personal agenda.
How will Terry balance the two lives he leads, solve two sets of problems, and understand the lessons he receives from both? Only time will tell. But time is something Terry doesn't have too much of, as everything is unfolding in ways he could never have imagined!
Book 3 of 'The Southern Lands' saga
“To him who is given that destiny, is also given power. Not just a mortal power, but a power over all mankind. A power that will last forever. A power that surpasses all others. Once it is unlocked it will never be tamed. Once it is released it will never be quashed. Once it has struck it will never be quenched.” (The Holy Scriptures of Luux - Tablet II)
Teern sat with his sword across his lap staring at the carving of the winged cobra on the hilt. He smiled to himself as he absentmindedly traced the carving. “This sword has served me well,” he said quietly. He leaned back against the bed and pulled his long ginger braid free from behind his back. “Times have changed much, though. Now I need to get organized and make a plan for us both.” Teern smiled and laid the sword on the bare wooden floor next to him. He leaned back further against the hard wooden bed and closed his eyes.
Teern had been making the most of the relative comforts of the Castle View inn these past few days. At last he felt rested again and ready to carry on with those things that needed his attention. Matthius had left the inn earlier that morning. He had told Teern he was going to the marketplace but Teern knew he was really looking for his sister, Selene. In any case he felt ready to join Matthius in that search now. He had needed the last few days just to recover from the grueling journey they had had traveling through the Broken Mountains. It had been a journey that had cost them dearly. They had lost their horses, lost their friend Trimble over a cliff, and finally lost Selene in The Unforgiving. Thankfully they had found the Pool of Forgiveness and Matthius had been cured of the terrible illness that had afflicted him. Eventually they had reached the city of KA’Samay. Teern smiled, glad that Matthius was his old self once more. It was just unfortunate that he had not been able to protect him more fully. If he had then maybe Matthius would still have the use of both his eyes. But history couldn’t be changed. Even Teern knew that. Even Teern, the soldier that had once been immortal, but who was now just another mortal person. He had fulfilled the major part of his duty. He had sought out and proclaimed Matthius as the Xannu. And for his reward he was now made mortal. He picked up his sword once more. “You are all I have,” he said out loud, wiping the blade with an old cloth. He shivered as a gust of cold winter air forced its way through the open window of his room. Teern stood up and crossed to it, peering through to look outside. Down below he could see the small courtyard of the inn; void except for a few empty barrels and a cart propped up against one of the corners. He couldn’t see the castle. He and Matthius had been given rooms that faced away from the building the inn was named after. Further away Teern could see the empty streets of winter. The few people that were outside were well wrapped and hurrying to their various destinations. The sun was already high in the sky but the blanket of clouds kept its warm rays from reaching the ground. In the distance Teern could hear an argument between an innkeeper and a customer. Someone was already drunk before the day was halfway through.
“Enter,” Teern answered, to the knock on his door a little later. He reached down to grasp the hilt of his sword. The door opened and Matthius came shivering through. He closed the door behind him. Teern got up from the floor and crossed to greet his friend.
“It’s certainly cold out there today,” Matthius said, blowing on his hands to warm them up.
“Shall we go downstairs and warm ourselves by the fire?” Matthius nodded and turned to the door once more. Teern followed. In a couple of minutes they were both sitting next to the fire that burned in the inn’s common room. “Any luck?” Teern asked.
Matthius didn’t look up from the warm cup he was staring into. “None,” he replied. His curly fair hair had grown long, and as he bent down toward his cup, his hair covered his eyes. Teern couldn’t see the patch that covered his empty eye, but only the twine that kept it in place, wrapped around his head.
“We’ll find her.”
Matthius looked up, brushing the hair from his face. “Do you really think so? We have heard nothing of her and we have been here several days already.”
“We will conduct a more thorough search. I feel most rested now and once we have been to visit the King we can spend some of our joint energies on this task. There are still a few days until Maria is due to arrive here. We shouldn’t worry. Selene is a very stubborn girl and a capable fighter. I’m sure she is just resting somewhere getting her strength back.”