Tomb of the Relequim

Tomb of the Relequim

The second installment of the Vitalis Chronicels trilogy is coming. In fact, it’s currently being read by my select reading group. Who is this elite circle of wonder-people, you might be asking? They’re people who loved White Shores but weren’t afraid to give me harsh criticism on its first draft. People that helped make it better. Helped make me better. And now they’re making my second book better.


This is just a teaser cover for the Kindle version. Marjolein is working on the real cover as we speak, and it’s going to be epic. And just to increase the level of tease, I’m going to include a part of chapter 13 in this post. Give me some grace, it’s the first draft after all. And it’s subject to change (though probably only minor changes). I generally hate reading stuff (especially previews) out of context on blogs like this. It never feels quite right. But I’m not posting this for me, so hopefully you fall into the category of people who enjoys a preview.

As always, it’s copyright Jay Swanson 2011 – all rights reserved. But feel free to share this post with anyone and everyone who might be interested.






The room was dank, dark. It didn’t fit well with the beautiful old woman that sat in front of the Shadow King. It smelled like mold and rotting fruit, sick and sweet. She sat cross-legged on a mat, humming to herself some forgotten tune. She wandered brokenly between keys as the melody rolled forth; it almost sounded purposeful.

Her hands rested palms up on her knees. He sat across from her, not more than a yard away. Uncomfortable. He shifted in the low chair but stopped as it creaked beneath him. Her eyes never opened; her hands never flinched.

The only source of light in the room was a low-hanging lantern. It flickered dimly above them, casting shadows that danced towards the outskirts of the small room. The Shade swallowed, the sound deafening in his ears. Finally his questions could wait no longer.

“How did you find me?”

She slowly stopped humming, but didn’t say anything. He wondered if she wasn’t in some sort of trance. Perhaps she had fallen asleep.

“Merodach made it quite obvious where you were.”

“How did we escape? I couldn’t make the jump…”

“Magic, of course.” The patronizing tone caused the Shade’s temper to flare.

“Magic,” he spat. “The walls of the city are enough to prevent the manipulation of the atmosphere.” He disdained the use of the word ‘magic.’ Ignorant talk.

She reached into her cloak, producing some sort of powder. It sparkled faintly as it caught the light.

“The ways of my master are higher than those of this city.”

The words struck his stomach like a gong. He could feel their resonance in his bones.

“Then you’re…”

“Yes,” her eyes opened as she looked at him. “A servant of the true powers.”

She brought her hands together then, dust flying as they collided in the darkness. Instantly a flash erupted from between her fingers. In its wake was left a burning, pulsing, purple light. At its core it looked to be entirely black.

The Shadow King’s face drained of all blood as the medium clenched her hands together; straining to contain the power therein. And then she thrust it to the ground.

Between them was a shallow bowl of water. He hadn’t noticed it in the darkness. It was pulsing with the energy now. He watched as the black and purple light intermingled with the water, swirling until the whole thing looked alight with ghostly flame. His stomach broiled as another flash threw him off balance.

The bowl was left dark; illuminated solely by a ring of purple flame that hung loosely around its edges. It flickered and faded in and out of existence; threatening to die out. The medium was muttering some incantation. Whether she had been doing so the whole time or had just started he couldn’t remember. And then he saw him. For the first time in nearly fifty years he saw the Enemy; the Demon.

The Relequim.


And in honor of ‘Tomb’ leaving my hands and entering others, I’ve reduced the price of the kindle version of White Shores to $5.95 on Amazon. Enjoy!

White Shores on Amazon

Not done reading? My posts on why Ebola is hilarious (yes the disease) and ten reasons to hate moths should give you a few chuckles, if not a chortle.