Crown of Sight – scene 2

<Read the first scene>

Enjoy this additional preview scene of The Crown of Sight, the new novella in the Eternal Dream Legends sequence, releasing on March 22.

2

Prince Darathel leaned over the table. His sword,
made for his father’s hands, banged against the ancient wood and he moved it
behind him nervously. Covering the table was an immense map drawn on canvas.
Ghostly glowing points and clouds hovered over the surface, indicating where
the enemy was camped and where its soldiers moved. The lamp above, filled with
the ethereal light of the prim, flickered out for a few moments, dimming the
relief of the castle and outer walls, leaving the blue-white of the enemy army
on the map as the sole source of light in the room… or nearly so. Before the
lamp sprang back to life , Darathel caught the gaze of Ared, a dark elf and
long-time advisor to his father in the ways of war and magic. Alone of the
figures in the room, his eyes glowed with inner light.

“We will need scouts soon,” Ared said, his eyes
fading back to a natural hue of blue as the lamp filled the space once again
with warm light. “The enchantment on this map will fade like the rest without
eyes that can see our enemy.”

“I don’t know if we can afford those eyes,”
Darathel said. “We’ve lost so many, just keeping the Draesenith where they
are.”

“Whether we can afford them or not, we will be
blind soon,” Ared said.

“Blindness to the enemy’s movements should not be
our primary concern,” Faedra, the high mage of the court, said in her
characteristic even and soft tone. “Our empty larders will soon no longer be
hidden from the people.”

“Could we forage for food in the Fay Lands?” said
Mardrel, the head of the guard.

“Not unless you are willing to chance many hands
to bring back…” Faedra’s voice faded away. She smoothed her long hair and
sighed, “probably nothing.”

“I could go,” Ared said. “But I might not return
with enough food… or in any sort of time that we need.”

“How long?” Darathel said. “And how much food
could you bring back?”

Ared chuckled.

“How much,” Darathel
repeated.

“You lack the understanding of your father or Faedra,”
Ared said.

“He might return in months, or years, or moments,”
Faedra said. “He might forget why he went.”

“I don’t forget,” Ared said. “But it’s easy to get
sidetracked in there.”

“If we could create food in any other way, we
would have,” Faedra said. “Conjuring something that complex requires direct
access to the Prim, not just a vague understanding of a few concepts.”

“Yes, but the balance has shifted,” Darathel said.
“My father is clearly losing control.” He flicked the lamp. The light within grew
slightly. “The magic of the fay isn’t responding anymore.”

“We’ll need to evacuate, then,” Mardrel said.

“And leave the Crown of Sight for Katach?” Darathel
said.

“I didn’t say that,” Mardrel said.

Faedra shook her head. “If it leaves the city, all
that we have built will-”

“Nevermind that. Where could we evacuate to?” Darathel said. “The Draesenith have
us totally hemmed in.” He ran his hand through the blue lights on the map. “It
would be suicide.”

“Suicide would be better than handing over the
crown,” Faedra said. “I suppose we could still evacuate into the Fay Lands. The
Draesenith dare not follow us there.”

“You make the Fay sound like suicide,” Darathel said. “Or worse.”

“It can be worse,” Ared said. “If you die, you can
return, yes? Even for the Draesenith, this is true. But if you are changed into
something other than you are…” Ared shrugged. “Well, it may be the last option,
either way.”

“We can’t take the crown in there,” Darathel said.

“We could,” Faedra said. “Though its power here in
the world-that-is would be extinguished. But seeing as we are evacuating, that-”

“My father still bears it, and he will refuse to
take it there,” Darathel interrupted, holding up his hand.

Mardrel gritted his teeth and rubbed at his face.
“Or we could negotiate surrender.”

“I won’t enslave our maidens to the grey skins,”
Darathel said. “Forget about surrender.”

Mardrel took a steady breath. “Will that be for
you to decide, my prince? If we throw open the portals to the east and tell our
people to charge into the ever-shifting dream, do they not deserve the choice
to be a slave?”

Darathel frowned. “I won’t entertain it. We’ll
have to think of something different.” The lamplight flickered, but remained
on. He stared at it a moment. “I will go check on my father. The rest of you,
start thinking.”

“Thinking or not, I will have to lead a skirmish
soon, lest we be blinded,” Ared said.

“I’ll do it,” Mardrel said. “I now know the paths
through the edge of the fay from our secret entrance as well as you do. Besides,
I have a feeling your council will be needed here.”

“Fine,” Darathel said, turning to the door. “Do
it, captain.”

“I will join you, my prince,” Faedra said.

Darathel nodded to her and left the room with the high mage following close behind.

If you enjoyed this, and the previous scene, consider pre-ordering the book!

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