Vavaun: The Shadow of the Revenaunt
by Paul E. Horsman
Publisher: Red Rune Books
Publication Date: June 12th 2016
After helping King Ghyll to his victory in Zihaen, the beastmasters Uwella and Damion turn their attention to their own country of Vavaun.
High time, too, for the rumors have been persistent. There is something wildly amiss in the Gray Order, the temple protecting Vavaun from the Dar’khamorth’s machinations.
When Uwella DeGry, herself a wikke of the Grays and the heir to the throne of Vavaun, returns home with Damion DeAsharte, her mate and main competitor, they find their country in dire straits. Vile sorcerers and their beastmen roam the land, killing and ravaging at will and the Gray Order has almost been wiped out.
With only two very young fire warriors to help them, the ducal beastmasters vow to liberate their country, defeat the Dar’khamorth and bring peace between their competing Houses of Gry and Asharte.
Will even their mighty feline alter egos be strong enough to survive against the dark magic of the Revenaunt’s minions?
Vavaun is a tale of struggle, friendship and bravery against an enemy who plans total annihilation.
It is a stand-alone ‘Shadow of the Revenaunt’-adventure, running parallel to book 3, Ordelanden, and it starts after the final battle at the Owan Abai in Zihaen.
CHAPTER 1 – CALLED HOME
‘Wella! Help, Adalien… Come quickly!’
A faint voice echoed in Uwella’s mind, killing her sleep. She lifted her sleek silvery head and stared at her mate.
‘What’s that?’ Damion said sleepily.
Uwella shook off the cover of dry leaves and rose to her forepaws. Her whole, supple mountain lion’s body was tense, on high alert. ‘The kerran Adalien called me. There must be something wrong.’
Damion yawned, showing two rows of razor-sharp incisors. ‘Your home? Who was it?’
‘I don’t know.’ Uwella felt a wave of angry frustration. ‘It was a woman’s voice, but I didn’t recognize her. She called me Wella. Only my siblings and a few of my oldest friends still use that darned pet name.’
‘Strange,’ Damion said. ‘Someone who has known you from the cradle calls you home, even though we’re six hundred miles away?’ He rose, his massive black-and-white tiger bulk brushing aside the bushes as he padded into the open. ‘You’re sure you didn’t dream it?’
‘Of course I’m sure,’ Uwella snarled. ‘You caught it too, didn’t you? We’re going home.’
Damion’s whiskers twitched. ‘I caught the echo from your mind, love,’ he said calmly. ‘But I agree it was far too vivid for a dream. Only, what could threaten a whole settlement full of powerful wikken and their high priestess?’
Uwella thought of her home, the kerran Adalien, main center of the Gray Order of Arikal she’d been part of for six years, and a vague fear came over her. She didn’t answer, but listened to the forest around them; the talking birds, the smell of the earth, and the great oak rising over them. Here, no danger threatened. Not here.
‘They need me,’ she said. ‘We were going to see Archodea anyhow. We’ll go to the kerran and if anything is wrong, she’ll tell us.’ Perhaps, she added mentally. As the high priestess, Archodea doesn’t confide readily. We’ll probably have to twist her arm a bit.
Damion growled; a deep, soul-shattering sound that always delighted her with its strength.
‘All right,’ he said. ‘If we hurry we’ll make the temple portal in Jenetrazt before dawn. A teleport to Din-Werdzom and from there you can guide me to Adalien.’
For a moment she thought of the buck they’d killed yesterday. A pity to let all that fresh meat go to waste. Ah well, they could always have a snack rabbit along the way.
‘Let’s go,’ she said.
About the Author
Paul E. Horsman (1952) is a Dutch and International Fantasy Author. Born in the sleepy garden village of Bussum, The Netherlands, he now lives in Roosendaal, a town on the Dutch border with Belgium.
He has been a soldier, salesman, scoutmaster and from 1995 teacher of Dutch as a Second Language to refugees from all over the globe.
Since 2012, he is a full-time writer of epic light fantasy adventures for Y.A. and older. His works have been both trade published in The Netherlands, and self-published internationally.