Forces and the Malachite Stone follows the journey of Ki Morin and his crazy side-kick, Gezzle.
From exploding potion shops to giant roaming spiders, Ki Morin is used to the cursed land of Isred, but everything is about to change.
When the ruler comes to him with a gruesome task to prove his loyalty, Ki must make a decision: follow the expected path no matter the cost or go his own way into the unknown.
In search of the prophecy that brought the ruler to him, Ki must face a transforming curse, various dangers, and a sorceress with a darker agenda than the ruler himself… all with a few untrusting accomplices and a single Malachite Stone.
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Continue reading for an excerpt from Forces and the Malachite Stone!
A Dark Request
The wet streets were barren except for the trash that swept past him.
Ki Morin clutched his satchel to his side as he made his way to the potion shop. He could hear the crunch of footsteps nearby, but it was impossible to spot anyone in the dense night that permeated the city.
The sooner he could get to the safe confines of the little shop, Potion Devotion, the better. Isred was not a safe place, especially not at night, and not even in the early morning.
Thick black smoke snaked its way from the town’s chimney’s, coating the sky in what looked like billowing storm clouds. The few trees that had managed to grow between the valley walls of Isred were bare and scraggly, a cold contrast from the vibrant light illuminating from the windows wedged in the clay walls. Not all of Isred was clay walls and forsaken trees, though. Tall, narrow wooden structures had been erected here and there, wobbly and crooked on weak beams.
A warm breeze wafted through Ki’s hair, followed by an eery hiss he couldn’t quite place. Was it the snakes, or steam from nearby pipes?
Ki’s heart thumped as he maneuvered past deserted tents and various buildings. He had a simmering potion waiting for him, one that, with good luck, would be completed today. It would be his most advanced one yet. He tried to focus on this as the sounds of the vacant streets, homes, and buildings hissed and moaned in the wind around him. Something always lurked in dark alleys and corners in Isred.
Ki made his way past the familiar tatty sheets that were strung from building to building on clotheslines, along with various torn and frayed store banners swaying in the wind. It was here that Ki lived. In the hot, humid, drab city of Isred.
Focus, Ki thought as he neared the rickety steps of the shop. Focus on something. He forced himself to think of the recent news instead of the rustling of dead leaves behind him. The news of yesterday would surely be today’s news again. He stuck the key in the lock but dropped it. With cold fingers, Ki grabbed the gold key from the dirt and jammed it back into the lock, trying to turn it. Focus, he told himself. And then, with great relief, the door swung open. Swiftly, Ki dashed inside and shut the door.
At once, the familiar, warm little room enveloped him, along with the scent of a mint potion. He strode to the window near the door and peered into his potion. The thick, minty green substance was bubbling, making popping noises as the air escaped. Moving with experience, Ki grabbed a wooden spoon and gently stirred his most prized work yet. And though potion- making normally kept his mind very occupied, the news of yesterday bore its way into his thoughts.
Everyone in the streets had been whispering about it, some louder than others. Everyone, even Ki, hadn’t been able to help but wonder and ponder yesterday’s announcement.
An ongoing search had turned up something frauds had been trying to procure for years: part of a long lost prophecy; one which spoke of a cure for the land, and now they were searching for the one destined to fulfill it.
From time to time, Ki scribbled down notes about his potion, measuring the consistency, the heat, and other important potion-making requirements. And slowly, the sun’s rays tried, but mostly failed, to permeate through the thick smog of Isred.
The sooner the one of the prophecy was found, Ki thought, pouring a sample of the potion into a vial, the better. Things in Isred were already bad enough.
Ki shivered as the thought about it and who it could be, but it wasn’t just the news that gave him the creeps, it was what was lurking outside of his window, what he’d feared had been following him this morning.