There a boy was—in the midst of aged stone and sacred soil—shuffling his feet between rows of eternal rest beds. Clouds of silk veiled the moon and a small breeze chilled his frail body. No matter how many times his mother told him to wear his cloak at night, he always rushed off without it—one too many details for a determined child to concern himself with. His trousers and shirt revealed the wisdom of his age. He could not have cared less about the hair on his arms dancing to the beat of the evening’s briskness. Too preoccupied to even buckle a loose shoe, he walked on.
The range of hills on which Tempertime Cemetery rested was vast—stretching far and wide, dipping down and up. Patches of grass alleviated the expanse of dusty, chalk- like surface. Identical tombstones engraved with the antique styrenei language marked every grave, forming rows and rows of captured death that lined the terrain symmetrically and equidistantly, forming eerie patterns. Punctuating these patterns, intermittent placements of larger and much more intricate stones and sculptures protruded from the cemetery’s repetitive arrangement.
The sculptures were masterfully constructed and darkly beautiful. Most of these monuments were carved in the form of styrenei that reached towards the stars— garments full with the look of blowing wind hanging from their long, slender bodies. Hands of magic, ready to be used, were held in their signals of ancient power. Featherless, webbed wings tucked against their backs waited for flight. Despite the fierce looks of calling upon their three-eyed faces, they were stuck, comatose in stone.
On other larger, more elaborate stones, the symbol of the styrenei—the concentricle—stood high with its six circle-rings of decreasing circumference, one within the other—a forgotten sign to travelers concerning the overlapping of worlds. They rose like beacons that cried out for attention, but only the boy’s deep, hazel eyes gave them any notice.
This was Amory Demshen’s first time at this magnificent place—a place forbidden to his entrance for at least another several years. He had snuck here, compelled by the uncontrollable curiosity and wonder that toiled the dreamscapes of his mind. It was forbidden that anyone lay a foot on Tempertime Cemetery grounds without first knowing the histories and languages of these monuments and passing a rigorous test. Immense danger and sanctity were intertwined here, and so laws were enforced to protect children from exposure to either. Lessons of such things came in stages, and Amory was not close to completing even one of the advanced segments.
That was just part of chapter one from
In the world of Awya, where cities are scattered across isles in a seemingly endless ocean called the Black Waters, an umyn boy by the name of Amory Demshen is unable to suppress the insatiable longing to explore Tempertime Cemetery—a place forbidden to those without proper training and knowledge. After a spryth guides the boy to a realm that links the isles of Awya together, he is thrust into the dreadful role of collecting Spirits by the beguiling Mr. Grey Pearl. To be successful at collecting spirits, Frin, the boy's collecting jar, leads him throughout the Apocryphalum to gather the necessary tools. Powerful beings, potent magic, fantastical creatures, and hidden agendas await Amory at every turn as he spirals deeper and deeper into the darkness of the spirit collectors.
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