Originally, this was the prologue to book one. I changed it when I made a choice to re-do the cover and didn't like any ideas the book presented because they all seemed to give something away. However, when I began to imagine covers for the rest of the books, I envisioned what is now on the cover of book one, Brenna and her grandfathers. I thought it was mystical, eye-catching, and would tickle the fancy of Fantasy-lovers. Therefore, I switched the prologues.
It was time to summon the Chest of Souls.
The light was dim inside the cave, the Guardian noted with disapproval. Even then it wasn’t a steady glow, but the dancing flickering light that came from torches.
The faces of those with him, four Sons of Ammon, and four women, were shaded and appeared altered or grotesque as the uneven flames fought the draft coming from below. In respectful silence, seven of the others took their positions near the sacrificial pool. He noticed they did not meet his eyes when he looked at them – except one man; his best friend. He wished he hadn’t. The pity there was almost too much.
He clenched his jaw and took his place near a mammoth-size block of stone that had been wood eons before. Sitting on the stone was the sacrifice, a tall woman dressed in pristine white. Her face was tight with anxiety and her slender hands were clasped tightly together in her lap. He gently laid a massive hand on her shoulder and contemplated the task before him. He had objected to what was to take place in no uncertain terms. He even threatened some of those present with physical harm, but it boiled down to one fact: They had a chance to destroy the city of Sogo and they must take it, no matter the cost. He found it ironic that he had been the one to say those very words. He hadn’t known the cost; could not have, or he would never have said them.
The price was one soul - hers.
“You don’t have to do this,” he whispered, “let me.”
“I have the strength to do this one thing,” she said with fearful determination. “You have the strength for the rest.”
They anxiously watched the Poolseer gracefully kneel beside the sandpool. She was no ordinary Poolseer; she was also a Mage. Over a year before, she knelt in this sacred place and learned Father of All’s will to destroy the city of Sogo and was told how it could be done.
She lightly touched the surface of the sand with her right hand. The sand hardened like stone, returned to granular form, and then flashed bright purple.
The surface of the sandpool awakened and spun faster and faster until wisps of color-filled sand smoked up from its surface.
“I summon the Chest of Souls,” said the Poolseer firmly. Then she looked right at him with now-purple eyes, “Whatever happens, don’t let her go or she’ll kill everyone in this room.”
The willing sacrifice rose, her hands in fists. The Guardian grudgingly put his massive arms around her from behind, then clasped them over her arms as the sandpool turned white and the screaming began.