Every story has more than one point of view.
As mate to the Dark Mage Morgorth, Aishe has learned a lot about magick, love, and himself. He tries to find a home with Morgorth, to be accepted into his world and to survive in a world full of treachery and deception. But all the while he struggles to keep a secret about his past and their intertwined destinies. Despite the obstacles thrown at both of them, Aishe is determined to stay by Morgorth’s side, no matter what the future brings -- even if that future turns dark with death should Morgorth embrace his grim destiny.
When Morgorth leaves with his mentor to collect another stone of power, Aishe is left behind. It is then that a surprise attack comes, and Aishe, determined to protect and defend his new home, decides to take the invaders on by himself. It might prove to be too much for him to handle... especially when he learns the one who leads the invaders is a mage.
The third book in the “Stones of Power” series allows us a glimpse inside the mind of Lord Morgorth’s better half, a dialen named Aishe: his motivations, his personal sorrows, and his struggle to find a place to call home.
Excerpt I realized only half the pack had followed Grekel; the other half was currently fighting the kellpy -- it was a lot bigger than I imagined. Its body was pure white, while its hair was a light, frozen blue that seemed to be blown by wind. But there was no wind at the moment. Its red eyes had square pupils that flickered and twitched, keeping all its enemies in focus. Its hooves were black and sharp, standing impossibly on the flowing water. I skidded to a stop and nocked an arrow, aiming for the blood red eyes. The kellpy stamped and kicked, keeping the pack away. The pack was snarling and snapping, using every means they could to distract the beast from its target. That was when I noticed the puppies. Their little paws were iced over, latching them to the sheet of ice over the river. They whined and struggled against their bonds, but every time an adult got close enough to free them, the kellpy would send ice spikes at them. Then other adults would snap at the kellpy's legs.
Neither side could keep this up for much longer.
The pups looked drenched, and they were shivering. If they didn't get dry soon, they would die, saving the kellpy the trouble of drowning them.
I took a breath, held it, then let loose my arrow. It whistled through the air, and for a moment I thought that my aim would prove true. But the kellpy noticed it just in time to flinch. The arrow still struck its thick neck. It reared up on its hind legs, sending out an ear-shattering scream.
"Grekel!" I shouted, running forward. "Distract it! Everyone!"
The entire pack risked death by sliding across the cracking ice. I dropped my bow, shucked off my quiver and heavy coat, called myself a fool, and dropped to my knees on the ice. My momentum slid me forward, and I used my hands to steady my speed. I reached the pups in a heartbeat, and yanked out my dagger, hacking ruthlessly at the ice manacles. The pups whimpered and struggled but didn't attack me. They knew I was there to save them.
I kept part of my attention on the kellpy, knew the moment it realized what I was doing. It shrieked again and charged me, the pack close at its heels. I got one pup free and tossed him none-too-gently to the shore. He landed with a whimper of pain but quickly got up and immediately turned around to start barking madly at the kellpy. He didn't have much sense.
I barely managed to dodge getting pummeled by the kellpy's hooves. I rolled and slid awkwardly, but quickly steadied myself. Sweat slid down my face, my limbs shaking with fear and cold. The kellpy was now on the ice, its weight barely making a dent; whereas I was making the ice crack underneath me. I swallowed hard, my breath forming clouds of mist in front of my face.
Similar mist was being formed by the kellpy as it stared me down. I bared my teeth, carefully stood, and lifted my dagger.
I said something I'd heard Morgorth say a couple of times. "Bring it on."
The kellpy shrieked and charged me again, hooves clattering steadily on the ice. I threw myself, knowing I couldn't run on ice, to the side and rolled, coming up on my knees. The kellpy now had its back to the pup and the pack. I didn't even glance to see what the pack was doing, knowing they were taking the advantage of me being the distraction to free the pup.
The kellpy was no longer thinking about food. It just wanted death. My arrow still stuck out of its neck. Pinkish blood oozed from the wound. It bared its teeth -- they were sharp, black, and unnervingly big.
Mother, protect me.
"What are you waiting for?" I said, my taunt clear.
But just as the kellpy was about to charge me again, a streaming ball of red came shooting out of nowhere, striking the kellpy hard on its side. It flew off its hooves and slammed hard onto the opposite shore, letting out a scream of pain.
My head whipped around. Morgorth stood on the shore, his hand outstretched, his eyes burning. The wichtln who had to be Iger ran past Morgorth, joining the rest of the pack. The little puppy I had saved was dancing around Morgorth's legs, apparently thrilled. But then he raced back to the edge of the water and started whimpering, obviously wanting his sibling back.
Master Ulezander stayed near the tree line, his arms crossed, his eyes missing nothing.
The kellpy got to its feet slowly. It rounded on Morgorth and charged across the ice. Obviously, it was a kellpy who didn't know what forest it had traveled into or who ruled it. It was about to get a hard lesson.
With a flick of his hand and a murmured word, Morgorth sent the kellpy shooting up into the air, and then down to the ground, slamming it once again on the opposite shore. The wichtln were now all off the ice and surrounding their puppies, who were shivering and whimpering. Grekel stood outside that circle, watching the kellpy, noticeably closer to Morgorth than the others of the pack.
I was now the only one on the ice. I stood carefully, sheathing my dagger. A muscle in my leg burned, and I suspected that I'd pulled it. Wincing, I carefully stepped toward the shore, but the ice had had enough. I gave a shout as I plunged into the cold water, which lashed at my flesh the moment it touched me. The air was sucked immediately out of my lungs as I scrambled for the surface.