Ancestors of Fire: Book 2 The Empowered Spirits Series
Ancestors of Fire
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Hell's Raging Fury
Dragon Lord of Kells




Within the Circle of Light

The Stone of Destiny sleeps

Hidden beneath

The Cavern of Desperate Souls

Her Flame of Light is stolen

By an Evil beyond belief


The Circle of Twelve is awakened

Their fury is felt tenfold

Through the portal they journey

Through the mists of time

A secret so compelling

It rocks their world and mine


Two houses have been chosen

To set upon this quest

The house of Dravon and Talyn

Have been summoned to the test


Beyond the wasted lands of time

                               Beyond the folds of life

There stands the circle called the Twelve

Beyond the tides of strife

They hold within their mighty grasp

A secret oh so dire

They hold the mandate of themselves

The Ancestors of Fire


Chapter One

Dark clouds nestled low over the horizon. A

storm was brewing. The air was thick and heavy

with its energy. Aeryn stood next to the window in

the high tower, her mood as dark as the clouds that

hovered near. She leaned her hip against the

window ledge and wrapped her arms about her waist

watching the sun disappear in the west. Shivers

crawled up and down her spine as if little needles

pricked along her flesh. There it was again, the faint

sound of echoing voices whispering on the breeze.

I see nothing, but I hear them. She inhaled,

holding her hands to her ears. The vibration tickles

the back of my mind, tugging at some elusive

memory. Aeryn turned from the window and took a

deep breath. How many times had she come here for

solace? Too many, and this night was no different,

except for the voices. She walked to the door, opened

it and called for her man, Fergus.

“My lady?” he asked appearing around the

corner of the hallway.

“I have seen Stalkers rummaging on the forest

floor. Tighten the guard but otherwise do nothing, at

least until we know what has awakened them.”

“Yes, my lady.” Fergus spun on his heel and left

her alone.

Why have the stalkers risen again? If she didn’t

know better, she would swear evil had returned to

the realm of the living. Studying the woods she could

barely make out shadows moving restlessly between

the trees. Stalkers were half dead creatures that

roamed in the night. Usually they did not pose a

problem as they fed upon the carrion in the woods,

but there was a time when Stalkers had hunted

man. If something awakened them, there was a

chance no one would be safe.

When Stalkers and Orcs alike had been pressed

into service of the evil that once walked among

them, many people lost their lives. Aeryn had hoped

the evil was gone. But now she wasn’t so sure. Aeryn

left her tower behind. Perhaps some rest would

alleviate the voices. She walked down the winding

staircase. Shutting the door to her bedchamber, she

prepared for sleep. The voices haunted her until

darkness took over. Later that night, more than

voices disturbed her rest.

A swirling mass of energy surrounded Aeryn,

making her skin tingle. Coming fully awake she

realized she was floating above her bed. She had no

time to think, because in the next instant, she was

sucked through some kind of gateway, or eddy. She

wanted to scream with the intensity of the pressure.

The vortex burned her skin as though it were being

flayed from her body. Just when she could no longer

stand the pain, she was spit out onto a hard rocky

surface. The portal disappeared, leaving her in the


Groggily she got to her feet and looked around.

She stumbled over some rocks trying to get her

bearings. Her skin still tingled from the friction of

the portal. Her heart thumped so fast it was hard to

catch her breath. Where am I? The air felt cool and

drafty. A whiff of mossy fragrance caught her

attention and then the stench of sulphur. She

reached out and touched the dampness spread

across the wall. It felt like a cave, but where…and


A rustling noise to the right made Aeryn jump.

They came out of the darkness, a brilliant light

like a million fireflies, formed a circle around her.

She raised her arm to shield her eyes. Her heart

pounded; fear gripped her insides until she could

barely breathe. Slowly she lowered her arm. Shading

her eyes with a cupped hand, she took in her

surroundings. Twelve embodied figures

encompassed her within their mighty grasp. Though

she was afraid, she could not deny the beauty of

these creatures. They were so ethereal, Aeryn

couldn’t be sure they were even real.

Their bodies were encased within a swirling

energy of flames, yet they generated no heat. She

had never seen anything like them before.

Instinctively she knew she would never look upon

their kind again. They were magnificently beautiful

in an awe-inspiring way. Their bodies shimmered

from red to orange to green and blue, and shades of

colors that mingled with each other. You could

almost see right through them…and yet not. They

stood tall as oaks and towered above her, yet she did

not feel threatened, though by all rights she should.

She trembled as she stood before them. “Who

are you? What are you, and why have you brought

me here?” Aeryn asked in a near whisper, warily

keeping an eye upon them. Her magic was for

healing, not battles, though she was fair with a

knife. But alas, she had not even that to protect


“You know who we are, Aeryn of the house of

Talyn. You have known of our existence all your


Suddenly Aeryn knew. The voices! These were

the voices that niggled in her mind these past days!

They did not speak as she spoke. It was as though

the words appeared within her mind. Trouble was,

the voices spoke all at once, though the one behind

her was more prominent. She rotated to face him

and continued her thought, “You are mistaken. I do

not know who you are or where you come from, or

why I am here.”

Aeryn pushed back a stray lock of hair. Flames

shot out from all around him—at least she thought it

was a male. His eyes—or where his eyes were

supposed to be—were hollow circles with a dark void

within their depths. There really wasn’t much of a

mouth though the line was there, but no shape of

lips could she see. She shivered. Who were these


“Search your deepest memory, Daughter of the

Light, and you will know.”

“I am no Daughter of the Light. I am a mere

mortal who has never seen the likes of you before.”


Aeryn spun around at the sound of a second

voice; this one a bit different, a bit more melodic, if

that were possible. She flinched as he—it—reached

out and touched its flaming hand to the top of her

head. An explosion of memory blasted through her

brain. Dropping her to her knees, deeper and deeper,

the pain grew all-consuming. Her bones felt as if

they had turned to liquid. She fell forward, scraping

her hands on the sharp rocks of the stone floor. She

cried out. And then suddenly, there was no more

pain, just amber waves of memory bursting one upon

the other; her mother, the ritual, the binding to

these creatures. She inhaled sharply with the

suddenness of it.

The voice spoke again. “Yes, you remember


“Aye, I remember all of it.” Aeryn rose from the

ground, hoping she hid the wobbling of her knees.

Until this moment, the memories had slept

peacefully within her mind. She was a Daughter of

Light. The ceremony her mother performed left a

birthmark in the shape of a flame behind her left

ear. She’d never actually seen it, but as a child,

when she wore her hair pulled back, people pointed

and whispered about it. She’d forgotten all about

that until now. Many more memories vied for her

attention. Aeryn shook her head to dislodge them.

She would sort things out later. Now there were

other matters to attend to.

“You are the Circle of Twelve. What the

Daughters of Light call the Ancestors of Fire.”

“Yes, our daughter,” they said in unison.

“Why have you summoned me?” she asked,

shimmers of pure magic coursing through her veins,

renewing the energy within.

“We have need of your services in this world, our

daughter,” the collective voices rang out.

“Could only one of you speak at a time? It is a

little unsettling to hear you all at once.”

“Of course, we are sorry to have to call upon you,

but we are in dire need of your help,” the original

speaker replied.

Aeryn faced the spokesperson, his brilliance was

nearly blinding and again she cupped a hand to

ward it off. “What has happened that you need my


“You are familiar with the Stone of Destiny?”

“Aye, any man who would be king came to the

Stone of Destiny for as far back as time itself. It is

said that when a true king is found the stone is

supposed to sing. I have heard men say no true king

has yet to be found.”

“There are those who have wished it to be so,

but they do not carry the blood of a true king. There

has not been one upon the throne for nearly a

thousand years. The Circle of Light has kept its vigil

upon the Stone of Destiny awaiting the heir’s


“Are not the Circle of Light and the Stone of

Destiny hidden deep within the Cavern of Desperate



“Is that where we are? In the Cavern of

Desperate Souls?” Aeryn was stunned. She peered

over his shoulder at the darkest recesses of the space

but saw nothing of which they were discussing. The

Cavern was many leagues away. She had never been

here before and was a little disappointed she could

not make out the relics they’d been talking about.

Then his words penetrated her senses. “Wait. You

said it was hidden here. Where is it now?”

The Council looked at each other then back at

Aeryn. She felt apprehension wash over them all.

Something was dreadfully wrong.

“The Circle of Light has been stolen. If it is not

returned soon, both our worlds will be destroyed.”

How could that be? Only an Immortal could

touch the Circle of Light and live, or could they? She

had heard that Immortals roamed the world, but

why would they have taken such a sacred relic?

Would it not behoove them to protect such an


“Who could have taken the Circle of Light from

its bed? Is it not magical? No mere mortal would be

able to take it, would they?” She supposed it was

possible thieves found its cradle by chance and had

no clue what they possessed.

“No, they would not be able to take it if they

were made of mere mortal flesh. The instant they

touched it they would perish.”

“Then you are saying an Immortal took it?” She

didn’t want to believe it.

“No, he is not an Immortal, though his powers

are great. He can be killed.”

“Then why haven’t you already taken care of


“For reasons I will not go into at the moment, we

cannot touch him. It is written that only the

bloodline from the houses of Talyn and Dravon can

destroy him.”

“Why me? I am but a healer. I have no battle

skills to draw upon. And who is this Dravon? I do not

understand any of this,” Aeryn cried. She wanted to

go home. She did not want to be around anyone, let

alone go on a quest to vanquish some creature who

had stolen the Circle of Light.

“This is your destiny, Daughter of Light. You

have powers you have yet to unravel.”

“So I am to find this creature, destroy him and

return the Circle of Light in order to save both our


“Yes, but you cannot embark on this quest alone.

You must find the man from the house of Dravon

and join forces. Without him, all will be lost.”

“If you so wish it, I can do this on my own. I do

not need a man—”

“Silence! You will fail if you do not heed our

warning. It must be the blood from the house of

Dravon who accompanies you or there is no hope of

completing your journey.”

“But why? I do not understand.” Aeryn did not

want to do this with someone she did not know.

Especially a man. If she must take a man, she would

take her guardian, Fergus. He was a great protector

and an able bodied warrior at that.

“All will reveal itself at journey’s end. I can say

no more on the subject.”

“Very well, then. How can I find the one called


“Look to the west. That is all I can tell you.”

“Can you tell me who this creature is or where

this Dravon and I should start our journey?”

“All we can tell you is that he came from our

world and must be stopped at all costs.”

“But what—”

“ENOUGH! You have until the moon has risen

three times past the spring equinox. If the Circle of

Light is not restored within these walls, both our

worlds are doomed for destruction. Do not tarry

Aeryn, our Daughter of Light! You have been


Aeryn awoke with a scream upon her lips. She

gasped for air and her whole body felt on fire. By the

Goddess she was back…and in one piece, her flesh

tingling from the return ride.

“My lady! My lady, are you all right?” a deep

voice bellowed from the other side of her door.

Aeryn trembled as she invoked a soft

incantation, relaxing visibly as she spoke the words.

It had not been a dream. It was real, the creatures,

the cave, the smell, oh that smell, something like

sulphur that would be forever embedded within her

nostrils and time was ticking away. The loud

pounding beating against her temples matched the

urgent banging on her door.

“I am fine, Fergus,” she called, hoping her voice

remained even and confident.

“Are you sure?”

“Aye, ‘twas only a dream. I will see you upon the

morrow. We have much planning to do then.”

“Planning? For what, my lady?”

“I will explain later. Good night, Fergus.” Aeryn

listened for the sound of fading footsteps upon the

stone floor. Tossing hair from her eyes, she lay back

on the bed and took a deep breath.

Aeryn closed her eyes and forced her body to go

limp. Her mind swirled with all the new memories

embedded there. Memories she had not known

existed, now buzzed heavily like bees pollinating the

garden outside her window. It was difficult calming

the fury roaming in her head. Aeryn rested her arm

across her forehead in thought. So much to absorb.

She hadn’t thought of her mother in years. She was

an infant when her mother died. So they’d had no

real connection. Father always refused to talk about

her, his pain remained raw for so many years.

When the Ancestor laid its hand upon her head,

it was like a book of fire opening and blazing new

pathways through her mind. She saw clearly the

ritual giving her as a Daughter of Light to the

Ancestors. The words spoken that day were now

embedded within her memory for all eternity. A

great sadness gripped her heart.

Since her ravishment and brutality at the hands

of Harper Glendaugh last year, she could not see

herself with any man, which meant no children to

pass on her heritage. The thought left a horrid pain

deep within her soul, but her conviction was strong.

Clearing her throat of the lump, she rummaged

through more pebbles of memory. Their bloodline

had been kept pure. The Daughters of Light only

mated with a specific male. One whose bloodlines

were also pure and, in that fashion, each firstborn

daughter inherited the powers of her ancestors.

Though how they knew each other eluded her. But

the information was moot as Aeryn was not looking

for a mate.

She reached farther down into the recesses

buried in her consciousness. It wasn’t as though she

could actually see or hear anything, but the feeling

that there was more was deeply rooted. More of

what she did not know, and vowed to pursue it

further, when time permitted. Her heart slowly

eased its rapid pounding and the tingling sensations

through out her body diminished. What the Circle of

Twelve demanded was beyond belief. What right had

they to drag her into their fight? But even as she

wondered, Aeryn knew, as the Daughter of Light it

was her responsibility. One she accepted quite


Tomorrow she would hunt the one called

Dravon. Fleetingly she wondered if the Ancestors

had called upon him as well and how he had taken

the news. It mattered not. Together they must

search for the creature and restore the Circle of

Light to its post. Then she could return home. Aeryn

heaved a ponderous sigh and turned on her right

side. The moon rose through the dark clouds as she

gazed out the small window of her room. It was but a

sliver passing through the night. It would sleep now

before showing its brilliance again. Once that

happened it would turn full and then they would

only have three risings past the spring equinox to

reach their goal. Two, perhaps three, weeks at most,

was not that long a time frame to do what had to be


Aeryn attempted to contemplate her next move,

but the exhaustion took hold and sleep enveloped


Available March 2010