In the opening chapters of Secrets Kept, Ayianna discovers her father has been keeping a secret from her, a deadly one.
He guards the Corrupted Dagger.
Only three people know its whereabouts. Ayianna’s father, brother, and mother. Unfortunately, the enemy discovers this and is now coming for her and her family.
Mystery surrounds the corrupted dagger of Raemoja. Of course, only those who oppose it would call it that. Only dwarves knew how to “corrupt” a blade, strengthening it against things not of this world, but they denied any involvement in its creation. Some say the blade was forged by the Queen of the Underworld herself. And most would agree with that.
It is the blade Lord Stygian used to sacrifice the prisoners to open the portals between Nälu and the underworld, strengthening him and giving him immortality. When he was finally defeated, the Guardian Circle gave it to Lord Elothryn’s great, great grandfather to guard and keep secret–even from the guardians!
Who is Lord Elothryn? Ayianna’s grandfather.
In the short story, Indestructible, we meet Lord Elothryn and his son, Arlyn, Ayianna’s father. Elothryn is the keeper of the dagger. For many years the dagger had been kept secret, fading from memory until the Sorceress Semine learns of it and its power to open the portal to the goddess she serves. She will stop at nothing to reclaim the dagger. Hunters hunt Elothryn and he does his best to thwart them.
But sometimes, our best is not enough.
Each of the short stories have a special place in my heart for various reason, but this one resonates with me. I connected deeply to Elothryn’s struggle to bear the burden he bore.
While working on this story, I stumbled upon this song by Tenth Avenue North. Worn. This IS Elothryn’s song, and during that season in my life, it was mine.