The Two Masters

By: Lisa Rector

(Chronicles of the Half-Emrys Book 2)



Fallen Emrys and the Rise of Cysgod’s Empire

From the Lore Chronicles of the Half-Emrys



Before the reckoning of our time, in a battle to save an ancient dragon species, the Master of Light, Deian, fought against his brother, Cysgod. Jealous of Deian’s creations and desiring their extinction, Cysgod entered the immortal realm of Gorlassar, where the dragons flourished, and destroyed them all—save one egg. Deian imprisoned Cysgod for his treachery, under the volcanic mountain Uffern, sentencing him to an eternity without physical form.

Deian used his light to limit access, setting magical protection at the dragon realm’s entrance. Only those without evil in their hearts could enter this now spoiled world. As the realm healed and the dragons once again spread across the valley, Deian charged his immortal Children of Light, the emrys, to protect his beloved dragons.

But Cysgod was not powerless in his prison. His wicked influence seeped into the pores of the mortal world around him, corrupting desperate souls. His power weighed heavily, and even the immortals who stepped through the dragon realm’s entrance were not exempt from his call—from his cunning allure.

This was how Cysgod snared a pure one of light.

Siana with her faithful dragon, Nimue, stood where Gorlassar’s exit emerged high in the Eirwen Mountains. In the eyes of an emrys she was yet a child—youthful in knowledge and truth, and delicate in her light’s abilities—but still a woman. Her beauty would never fade. Her fair skin, blonde hair, and green eyes—all traits of the immortals in varying shades and degrees, would remain unchanged in the human realms. She would not age. She would be an enigma, and men would want her. Siana could have anything she desired.

Little did she know, these were the whisperings—the tricks—of Cysgod.

The emrys did not want their world tainted by corruption, so if Siana left, she would be exiled. Siana wondered why Deian left the passage open between the worlds. Surely the two worlds were meant to be part of each other, and surely an immortal could make the choice to move between the realms.

Siana climbed onto Nimue and did not look back. She couldn’t. Cysgod had ensnared her with his deceptive influence, blinding her to reason. Nimue leapt into the air and took glorious flight over the frigid mountain and into the nearby highlands.

And so Siana was lost. Branded a fallen emrys. Ignoring their once beloved daughter, the immortals turned away—their indifference too great, their charge to protect the dragons too precious. Her parents wept for her. The Master of Light cried for his child wandering in the world of darkness, subject to the craftiness of his wicked brother. Siana would have travail, leading her down an unbearably bleak path.

But she found her own way.

Siana began the bloodline of an entire race of half-emrys—immortals who followed the Master imprisoned under the fiery inferno. Born of light and darkness, the half-emrys who chose to wield the evil power built an empire nearly as extensive as Gorlassar’s. They rose up as Dark Emrys, ruled by the hand of Cysgod’s mighty vessel, who used them to wage war.

A young half-emryn king never imagined how the choice of one woman thousands of years before could affect his world. He never suspected how the precarious balance of his light and darkness could shift, threatening to turn him into one of Cysgod’s own. Only through trial and fire could the truth in his heart overcome his fears.

This is his story and that of another’s—two half-emrys from vastly different worlds. Their light against their darkness. Two separate souls following two distinct Masters.

And so we continue the half-emryn chronicles.



Written by the hand of Ceisiwr, Lore Master of the Libraries of Gwireddau in the mortal realm of Terrin





PART I

INNOCENCE





Choose the light or choose the darkness, but you cannot have both.





CHAPTER ONE

FOR GLORY



Impatience teemed in Rhianu while she stormed down the long, winding tunnel miles under the mountain Uffern. Her heavy steps fell with purpose, and her thick cloak swirled behind her. She carried no torch. Rhianu had traveled the dark passage countless times in the past thousands of years, and she could do so with her eyes closed. Dangerous drop-offs and steaming rivers of underground lava marked the way, but she strode the tunnel without a pause in her step, feeling the wall’s edge with her dark energy, like groping fingers guiding her in the shadow.

Sweat drenched Rhianu’s black, studded bodice and leather pants that graced her muscled body. Her blood-red hair trailed down her back and stuck, matted to her neck from the humidity. She wrapped her fingers around the cloak at her throat, loosening it, and unsticking the cumbersome fabric from her skin. Rhianu wished she’d left this annoyance on the surface. Heat in the passage made breathing tiresome, but she’d grown used to the discomforts from her master’s service.

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