TITLE: Of Sacred Powers and Beasts Divine
GENRE: Epic Fantasy
The Citadel walls rumbled, rattling sconces and weapon racks, rousing Dusk from his fist-induced stupor. He opened his eyes, tearing the seal of dried blood, and realized the rumbling wasn’t the first he’d heard--the ones before had been incorporated into his dreams, an accompaniment to visions of bloody-knuckled fists and taunting laughter.
His hands were strapped and tied to an oaken ceiling beam. Nightshade was gone. Dusk was alone in the east barrack’s common room, where he had spent many late nights drinking and dicing with the other Attuned--men he had called brother for as long as his memory stretched.
Another explosion boomed. Men shouted. Feet pounded. Dust motes floated down through the gloom, sparkling in the ruddy light passing through the narrow window set high in the stone wall behind him.
Dusk’s heart raced, his palms slicked with sweat. Even after years in the presence of Mages, the thought of the dragons they kept, and the fire the dragons breathed, was nearly enough to unman him. But the glow of the fire passing through the window was different from dragon fire. This fire was mundane, the kind that simply destroyed. Dragon fire devoured with a ferocity that hinted at sentience.
Dusk tested the straps holding him and cursed himself for falling into the trap. Nightshade had let Dusk ride right to the city gate before ordering his arrest, waiting for the largest possible audience, the greatest opportunity for humiliation. Or was Dusk himself to blame for his current circumstance?