The Warlord's Secret (CHAPTER EIGHT, page 1 of 16)

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Excerpt from The Book of the Damned,

Eighth Warlord of Tiyan

It tried to kill me today. I feel my body weakening - -it refuses to heal me this time, now that it's chosen its successor, as my father said it would! If only I'd been older, wiser, more willing to listen to him.

If I had the strength to warn my son! If I could share with him what madness the monster brings! It won't let me, and I lie here, unable to speak, my voice taken by my own hand.

My trusted advisor reminds me I am a servant of Tiyan. What is one man's life to save so many, he asks?

I cannot speak, but I would tell him the evil I've done for the beast, and then ask him if he thought the curse was worth a wall we might have built ourselves!


Taran closed the book. It was past nightfall, and shadows and light from the hearth danced around him. He set the book down, picked it up, then replaced it. The fire mesmerized him as he thought.

In the body of the good, the demon's magic was used for good. In the body of one such as Memon… He flipped the book open again.

Even in the body of a good person, the demon tried hard to corrupt. The more the warlords used the magic for themselves, the worse their fates and the faster their madness came.

Taran closed the book again, disturbed.

He understood the depth of her fear. She knew she was damned and wasn't willing to condemn anyone else with the creature in her blood. Rissa was destined to be the last warlord of Tiyan. Her father had seen to this.

Tiyan, above all else.

He rose and tossed the book away, wanting to distance his thoughts from the monsters that had condemned generation after generation of warlords with the beast. They'd truly thought their sacrifices would help their people, that they could control the darkness of the demon. And yet, Tiyan would not only fall into war, it would lose the bloodline and demon the warlords fought so hard to preserve!

Tiyan's fate was sealed the day its warlords welcomed a demon into its midst!

"Fools!" he muttered. He retrieved the book and flung it away from him. The wooden covers broke against the wall. The pages fluttered to the floor, like leaves in autumn. He resisted the urge to burn them, in case the brittle papers held more secrets he needed.

She had to die with the demon in her.

He paced again and rubbed the back of his neck, unable to determine another fate possible. The demon needed to be destroyed. She would die with it.

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