A Scholar’s Journey: The Divine Tempest
A Scholar’s Journey: The Divine Tempest is a no-holds-barred fantasy brawl. It begins when the God of Justice and Retribution opens The Abyss and unleashes a vengeful demon upon the mortal realm of Therra. Now it is up to scholar Penndarius Greyson and his tormented protector, martial artist Soren Luna Mortalitas, to stop a crisis that would send shockwaves through the very fabric of creation. In addition, Penndarius is waging an internal battle with a disembodied presence attempting to possess his mind. The two heroes must avoid death or capture, but there is a catch: They have only one day to solve a riddle older than history before a dark host of unstoppable demons is released into the world. The Divine Tempest includes warring factions, betrayal and redemption, and of course, Herrick Erickson-Brigl’s trademark: epic fight scenes. This is the lean, hard-hitting first installment in a series that follows Penndarius’s growth as the avatar of the God of Creation and Soren’s reclamation of his lethal family’s humanity.
Purchase A Scholar’s Journey: The Divine Tempest on Amazon.
About Herrick C. Erickson-Brigl
Herrick C. Erickson-Brigl
Herrick Erickson-Brigl has been reading fantasy since he first learned to read and writing it nearly as long. While in college, Herrick’s passion for writing culminated in his first novel, entitled A Scholar’s Journey: The Divine Tempest. He is currently completing his second book in that series.
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The protective walls of Deiyil were perfectly smooth, as if made by the Creators themselves. They rose higher than the three-story buildings that dotted the area. Three gates to the city were placed in a perfect triumvirate along the circular walls, with massive stone and wood doors that opened to and from the main trade roads of Deiyalia. Wide stairs without railings led to ramparts that were made of the same strangely smooth white stone.
The White Guard was out in force on the high, flat ledges atop the walls, watching with vigilance. Jadice was standing at the gate that led to the northeast, holding his helmet at his side in his usual stance of guarded repose. Diametries stood next to him and looked over at the taller but less assured man.
“Are you ready?” he asked casually.
Jadice grasped the hilt of his fine, ornate great sword. “Lord Diametries, I beg you to reconsider one last time. This is a poorly chosen course of action,” he said with discomfort.
“For such a brute of a man, you do not seem confident in your own abilities. Do I sense fear? Should I recommend you be relieved of your duties, soldier?” Diametries asked the bigger man in a mocking tone.
Jadice rarely spoke, but when he did it was emotionally direct and straightforward. He turned toward Diametries and grabbed him by the front of his shirt with a mailed fist. “Bringing the rahliens and their leader to our city is the greatest folly of judgment that I have ever born witness to. They embody all the ideals of Vae’firon, their Goddess of Betrayal, and they will enact her wicked will on our fair city. I know they are prepared to do such a thing, so take that action…go ahead! Try to take away my captaincy, and then watch as this city burns beneath you!” he challenged.
Diametries clucked disapprovingly but with a dangerous glimmer in his eyes. “That is not behavior that befits an officer, Captain,” he warned. “By Dol’ron’s divine will, I bind your heart! Vakess sthriulmar vassshir!” Diametries intoned.
Jadice let go of Diametries’s shirt, and his armored knee hit the stone ledge of the wall with a metallic crunch. “What did you do to me?” he demanded, gasping as the spell cut to his soul and took all the strength out of his body. He clawed at his chest guard to relieve the pressure.
“I am but the vessel of my god’s will, and he speaks clearly through me,” Diametries said, mocking the bear of a man at his feet, and his words rang with dangerous implications.
Kestrel’s presence tingled at the back of Diametries’s mind. “This display was no divine act, and Dol’ron had nothing to do with it,” Kestrel whispered in the Speaker’s head. “You utilized my abilities and claimed Dol’ron as the source. Despite your intent to serve your god, his power could not be used on an innocent.”
Diametries ignored Kestrel’s accurate claim, which Jadice could not hear.
The Speaker’s proclamation had hit Jadice like a thunderbolt, possibly hurting even worse than the pain in his chest. It was as if the wind went completely out of his sails.
“No!” he insisted vehemently.
“I love watching mortals fall!” Kestrel cried in jubilation from within Diametries’s mind. “Your act was well worth my essence!”
“The rahliens approach!” A guard yelled from the wall above the front gate.
Diametries snapped his fingers at Jadice. “You have a job to do!” he said sharply and headed down the walkway to greet the guests as they entered the great gates.
The magic dissipated instantly, and the pressure eased off Jadice’s chest. He was able to catch his breath in great, gasping gulps. “Dol’ron would not..,” he said as he touched the religious emblem on his armor and looked to the sky. “What did I do to offend you, my golden god?” he prayed. “Why would you grant him the power to do that?” he asked, turning toward Diametries’s back as the Speaker walked away.
Aneurus touched Jadice on the shoulder. “Lord, are you well?” he asked with genuine concern.
Jadice nodded and motioned Aneurus down the steps below him.
“No, I am not,” he muttered in a whisper as they got out of hearing range. He stood up, looked into the distance, and saw thirty or so large approaching figures. “They are here,” he said and made his way to the bottom of the ramparts to wait for the rahliens to enter.
The White Guard was in force at the front of the gate, with roughly sixty of Jadice’s men surrounding the entrance. They all shifted uneasily as the gates opened, and the treacherous rahliens entered the city.