Once more, I’m here in the Cauldron. I’m aware of my name. Kyra Nevalyn. Only it’s not just mine. Nevalyn isn’t simply a family name, it belongs to the Serpent. It gives Her power. It could summon Her, awakening the part of Her that’s alive and my mind.
No, it’s my name as well. I must make the name Nevalyn my own as much as Hers.
Especially if I’m to save Stephen.
Long ago, he and I were wards of the Dragon temple. He disappeared after facing down an aspect of the Serpent in Her lair to save me. I thought she swallowed him. For years, I lived with the lonely guilt of having gotten him killed and the fear it might happen to anyone else whom got too close to me.
Stephen didn’t die, though. He’s now Prince Stephen Jasior, adopted brother and heir to the Imperatrix.
I saw him years later in the magical arena, bearing that title. Challenging anyone willing to face him in battle, offering his hand in marriage to the victor. Destroying with his scorching golden flame all of the losers, feasting on their life energies as they burned.
Its Her power he’s wielding. How Stephen learned to channel that, I have no more idea than how he managed to become a prince. Especially since the golden haired are hunted as serpent spawn and enslaved by the Imperatrix and the dragon clergy alike.
I just know I have to free him from Her madness gleaming within his eyes. Even if this means I have to step into the arena as another of Prince Stephen Jasior’s doomed suitors.
Happily I have a wealthy patron even if I cannot trust her. I also have a loyal friend who remembers Stephen who isn’t without connections of her own.
It’s still a challenge, trying to save Stephen. This is why my story (currently a Work in Progress) is called A Suitor’s Challenge. It’s set in the World of Omphalos, centuries before Trouble at Caerac Keep. I wait in anticipation for my creatrix to finish it and release it into your world.
Please let her know if you’re interested in my tale. It may affect its priority. She may mean to self publish both A Suitor’s Challenge and Trouble at Caerac Keep, along with Stealing Myself From Shadows, The Hand and the Eye of the Tower, A Godling for Your Thoughts? and the rest of the Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest novels. It could be she means to connect the World of Omphalos with that vaporous dream realm known as the Shadow Forest. I’ve yet to fathom my creatrix’s mind on some of the plans she has for us. (shakes head)