As I mentioned during my intro on Day 1, I'm an indie author with two books released.
Day 2 was B for my Brotherhood of Blood series, a dark ages vampire tale set in Wales.
Today on Day 4, D is for my Dragonsfyre dark fantasy series.
What is dragonsfyre, you may ask?
In the Eighth Dominion, where magic is outlawed and where nobles fear their power-hungry family as much as any enemy, dragonsfyre has two meanings, each equally apt to put a chill in the heart.
The first is fairly straightforward.
The population of the Eighth Dominion lives in fear of dragon sightings. In this realm, a solitary dragon may make its lair in their kingdom, and will emerge from its den to feed from time to time. However, though many have tried to predict the timelines of the dragon, no one has been able to accurately do so since magic was outlawed many generations ago.
Because of this, the nobles and servants alike live in dread of the scorched lands left behind by actual dragon's fire.
Dragonsfyre, however, is a powdered substance made from the crushed orange-colored fungus that grows in the mountainous regions inhabited by the shadowy Sibiu people. Hard to obtain, it is used exclusively by an order of monks during an ordeal ceremony.
In this ceremony, a monk inhales the dragonfyre powder, which causes the initiate to experience two things: first, his psyche will suddenly be confronted with those times in his life which carry the most guilt. Second, he will experience excruciating, burning nerve pain throughout his physical body.
If the initiate has achieved his full training, he will no longer be disturbed by guilt, and his body will not burn with dragonsfyre.
Because the Eighth Dominion is a cruel land, this powder -- which is never supposed to be in the hands of anyone except for monks at the completion of their training -- has become an interrogation tool amongst the nobility. Men commonly spill their secrets even without inhaling the dreaded powder, even if it is merely whispered that they might be subjected to it.
I'm currently at work on this series, with book 1 released as Bound by Dragonsfyre.
Here is an excerpt of what I'm currently working on.
Elysienne, daughter of Lord Visigard, House of Pruzhnino – age 3
Her tummy burned for something to eat. She turned to locate Nurse, hoping it was time to leave the garden to go back inside for tea.
Nurse already stood from the bench, her stitching dropped from her lap onto the gravel path, her neck craned to look up.
Elysienne followed her gaze. A dark bird loomed in the distance, flapping such big, big wings.
The guards watching over them bolted towards the manor house, scooping up the children as they ran. Nurse gasped in terror, frozen for a moment on the gravel path.
Elysienne reached up and took Nurse’s hand, tugging as she headed in the same direction as the guards. Thankfully, that action seemed to snap Nurse from her reverie.
An eerie sensation raised the hairs on the back of Elysienne’s neck. In the distance, a horrid sound of swooshing wings made her wish she’d never heard anything so large and terrifying. Her little legs ran as fast as they could, but the flap-flap of the enormous being dwarfed the efforts of all of them.
Nurse and the guards had only managed to herd the children as far as the little roofed garden house with no walls that Elysienne liked to pretend was a palace. There were still the lawns and the flower gardens to pass through before they got to the safety of the double doors that led to the breakfast room.
The massive flying thing hung in the air overhead, casting them all into shadow. Nurse and Elysienne stopped running, since it made no difference now. They could never hope to get away from it.
Instead, they stood and stared up at the scaly body, the frightening stretch of the leathery wings and the clawed feet gliding above them. Elysienne heard other children screaming and some of the guards shouting orders, but she and Nurse were silent as they stood hand in hand, looking up.
The giant mouth opened and the massive eye stared.
Another flap-flap, and the thing had flown past their manor house, on its way over the forest lands. As it headed over the treetops, that open mouth screeched out a sound that Elysienne could never have imagined existed in the world.
© 2015 Julia Phillips Smith