G I V E A W A Y E N D E D
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He’s lived a sheltered life. But after his village is destroyed, will he be able to find his way in Evorath without the guidance of his own kind?
Zelag, an inexperienced shapeshifter lived a life free of strife or conflict. But when a new spell brings humans to Evorath, his village finds itself in the path of destruction. The sole survivor of the attack, he must now face the realities of life on his own.
Rescued by Evorath’s Avatar, Zelag joins with the heroes who drove back Yezurkstal last year. While they struggle to gather enough support of their own, their enemy continues to grow stronger. Together, they must fight to protect the vulnerable humans from being enslaved by Yezurkstal.
Will Evorath’s heroes have enough strength to overcome Yezurkstal and his growing undead army?
The Rise of Yezurkstal is the second book in the Evorath epic fantasy series. If you enjoy mythical creatures, magic, and exploring an expansive fantasy world, you’ll love Joseph P Macolino’s fast-paced adventure.
Buy The Rise of Yezurkstal today and see if Evorath’s heroes can hold this growing evil at bay.
Artimus squeezed Savannah’s hands, gazing adoringly into her sweet eyes as the priestess spoke.
“…And after this day, these two shall no longer be separate individuals, but instead are to be united as one. As they embark on their journey and enter into a new life, they must learn to act as one. Evorath has blessed us with all that we could desire, and now these two shall become one and bless one another with all they have…”
Some of the smoke from the incense crept past his nose, causing Artimus to turn his gaze downward and squelch a cough. The smell of pine filled his nostrils as he cleared his throat and returned his attention to Savannah.
“…Like a seed planted in fertile ground, the connection that is established today will still need to be nurtured and cared for. Love must act like water. Trust, like sunlight. Commitment, like compost. Only by truly accepting one another can these two spirits be joined in matrimony.”
Artimus noticed Savannah’s smile expand, her eyes glimmering with excitement. He could not help but reciprocate, a foolish grin coming over his face.
“So, Artimus Atyrmirid, will you devote yourself wholly to this woman, protect her, love her, and provide for her?”
“It is Evorath’s will and mine as well. She shall be of my own flesh.” Artimus felt as if he was observing himself as he incanted these words, a tangible excitement running down his spine and filling him with energy.
“And Savannah Sylvanas, now to be Savannah Atyrmirid, will you devote yourself wholly to this man, support him, love him, and bare his children?”
“It is Evorath’s will and mine as well. He shall be of my own flesh.” Savannah looked as if she might burst with excitement as she spoke, her voice higher pitched than usual.
“And so it is, and ever shall be. Once Evorath has willed it, it cannot be unwilled.” The priestess spoke with force now, her voice booming throughout the clearing.
“Henceforth, Artimus and Savannah Atyrmirid shall be united as one. Through times of abundance and times of scarcity, they will have a bond beyond the physical realm. Their spirits are intertwined and shall remain as such for all eternity. Let everyone bow their heads now and observe the song of Evorath.”
The bard in the east continued playing the harp, the melody of his tune slowing to a modest rhythm. He played four consecutive notes in a simple meter, progressively moving from a low pitch to a higher one. This simple melody continued for a few measures before the western bard pulled out a wooden recorder and joined in.
Tapping his foot to the rhythm of the first bard, the woodwind player started with a soft and calming melody. Each note worked to propagate the romantic atmosphere. Like most aspects of the ceremony, this traditional song was simple but effective, the soothing melody instilling a palpable feeling of love and commitment.
Artimus stood cradling Savannah’s hands, peering deep into her eyes. The entire crowd stood listening in silence, affected by the contagious feeling of bliss. Artimus could feel his skin tingling as if he was being influenced by magic as the music rose in intensity, the recorder playing louder and more pronounced notes.
After the crescendo, the music lulled back into a soothing tone, a feeling of completeness overcoming him. Artimus was not a musician, but as he stood watching tears of joy well up in Savannah’s eyes, he felt a connection to the music. Though he had heard this wedding song a few times in the past, it was different experiencing it from the center. This was a day he had been awaiting, and this song signified that the wait was over.
Yezurkstal Scene – Villain POV
Standing erect, Yezurkstal closed his eyes and spread his arms wide. He channeled magic into his core, centering himself and grounding his feet in the earth. He felt the energy swelling inside and pushed it around to engulf his body. Feeling the energy coat his skin, he held his eyes shut tight before releasing the energy to the northern rune stone.
The dark magic enveloped him, a tingling sensation filling him with vigor. A stream of magic poured out and impacted the first stone, causing it to glow with his black energy. The magic continued to pour forth, branching out to both the eastern and western stones. They both began to glow as well and simultaneously shoot out beams of magic towards the southern stone.
As the square was complete, the ground around Yezurkstal started to shake and the rune stones began humming at a low frequency. They lifted off the ground, floating rhythmically around their creator. The magical energies intensified, a black veil surrounding Yezurkstal.
It was euphoria like none he could have ever imagined.
His body seemed ethereal, his consciousness reaching towards the heavens. Suddenly, he felt omniscient, aware of everything in Evorath. Images from around the world flashed through his head. He felt a strange familiarity as pictures of tundra and desolate arctic lands to the north filled his head. There was a castle located on an island, the greatest fortress ever conceived; constructed in his honor.
There was power in this ritual square. Even more power than he had imagined.
Yezurkstal opened his eyes.
The magical veil around him was like a reflection of his inner thoughts. Images of faraway lands flashed before him: great deserts to the west, unexplored mountains on a southern continent, a strange and wondrous city to the east.
This must have been what it felt like to be a god, or so Yezurkstal thought. There would never be another creature that would understand this feeling of power he now had. But this was not what he was looking for. No, these images were all coming from Evorath.
With a maniacal smile that stretched from ear to ear, Yezurkstal refocused his energy, willing his mind to home in on the space beyond his realm, allowing himself to get lost in the sheer thrill of the magic.
His looking glass seemed to shift focus, the dark energy fluctuating and changing pitch. The visions went completely blank, nothing but an empty darkness stretching for as far as the mind could fathom. As his visions shifted, Yezurkstal could feel a pit in his stomach, a feeling of complete emptiness and isolation.
He was accessing the ether. Now he just needed to reach one step further.
Irontail was as still as a tree, glued to the central guard hut in anticipation of more news. The sun was climbing in the sky, noon approaching and offering a taste of the upcoming summer heat. A brief gust of wind swept through the village, providing a moment of relief against Irontail’s sweaty fur.
After assuming his role last year, Irontail had to make some difficult decisions. A few months into the position, he began to realize not all his fellow centaur thought the same way he did. For many, being told what to do had become so normal that the concept of not being led by elders was too unfamiliar to adopt. It was this fact that made finding good leaders so difficult, but he had managed. He had a vision for what this tribe could become, and he intended to fulfill that vision.
Since the Avatar’s visit, that vision was a bit less clear. Erathal was a big place, with lots of races and plenty of villages and cities, but now it didn’t feel quite so large anymore. If there were other worlds out there, where was his tiny tribe of Dumner in the grand scheme of thing? Did Evorath really care so much for such a small society of centaur? If Yezurkstal did make a move soon, how would Dumner be able to survive?
As a gentler breeze swept through the village, Irontail adjusted his stance. He swung up and swatted a fly from the air before resuming his stance. Just as impatience started rearing its head, he could hear hooves coming from the south.
“Sir, I have a report,” the sentry barked, trotting towards him.
“There is no human activity to the south, but there are some elves approaching from Erathal. It appears two messengers are nearing the village,” the sentry finished with a slight bow.
“Alright,” said Irontail scratching behind his head. “You may return to your post.”
The sentry nodded and turned back around, trotting back through the tree line and to his post at the south.
A few seconds after he had vanished behind the foliage, Irontail could hear another sound from the southwest. Leaning over and grasping his trusty club, he looked in this direction expectantly.
In a flurry of leaves, an agile figure darted through the coverage and landed just a meter away. Lifting the club up to swing, Irontail stopped himself short as he recognized the unexpected visitor.
Husband, father, and seeker of truth, Joseph Macolino has a passion for nature, philosophy, and all things fantasy. An unwavering Christian and self-declared anarchist, he dreams of a future human society where people can truly cooperate and voluntarily exchange ideas, goods, and services.
When he’s not writing Evorath, he’s likely outside gardening, spending time watching a show with his family, or reading a book on philosophy. Considering himself a lifelong student of humanity, Joseph enjoys meeting new people and being exposed to new perspectives. He believes each person’s unique gifts can help contribute to stronger communities and hopes his work encourages others to embrace their gifts.
Evorath introduces a rich world full of magic, adventure, and diverse characters trying to find their place in the world.