Saturday, November 30, 2013

Let's Hear From The Villains - from Moon Summoned by Janet Lane Walters

Moon Summoned has three villains so today I thought I'd share them with you.

Together the three men rolled a huge stone across the mouth of the inner cave where the bodies of the Triad who had once ruled the three branches of the priesthood of the Lord of Shadows had been buried. Their powers had been spent during the battle with those who served the Mistress of the Moons.

Gamish, now Thamaturg brushed his hands on his gray-tinged blue robe. The buried men had begun what he and his co-rulers would finish. “’Tis done,” he said.

“What now?” Lugal, the Cabal asked.

“We go to the land they prepared for us.” Sargon, the Gladius, strode to the scrying pool. “Surely the under-priests and princes have had enough time to subdue the people of Keltoi.”

“I fear we must complete the taming,” Gamish said. “They are a most stubborn and ungrateful people.” He started toward the cavern mouth.

“First let us use the pool to see what those whose mantles we wear wrought during the battle.” The Cabal rubbed his fleshy hands in anticipation.

Wouldn’t if be better to foresee what will come, Gamish thought. Though if these two have no inkling of what may happen, my plans will bear the fruit I crave.”       

Sargon gestured to the pool. “Who begins?”

Gamish censed the dark water. For an instant, the cloud of noxious smoke obscured the pool. “Let us see what has passed.” A glow from beneath swelled. Pictures formed of the battle on the plateau near the sacred place of those who served the Abomination. Lugal and Sargon watched the changing scenes with avid interest.

Would they see what he had? Gamish fought a desire to laugh. Did the Cabal and the Gladius know the battle wasn’t finished? Did they know the Queen of Darkness was the other face of the Mistress, just as the Lord of Light held the Lord of Shadows in his depths?

Lugal waved the serpent rod over the water. “Now the victory horns will sound.” The serpent raised its head. A stream of venom shot into the pool. With slow sensuous movements Lugal stroked the snake.

Gamish held in a snort of disdain. He had no liking for his co-rulers. Neither man seemed to know that what had been fought must be met again. In all the times of watching the scene of confrontation, hadn’t they noticed the bodies of the Three weren’t among the dead.

The Gladius laughed. “Look, the Warrior has fallen. The power of the Three is broken.” Flames flowed along his sword, touched the water and raised clouds of steam.

Just as the fog had rolled from the mountains to hide the retreat of the priestesses, Gamish thought. His lip curled. His co-rulers were fools. Did they think the nome of Keltoi belonged to the Lord of Shadows? In the future, a second eclipse loomed. Unless those chosen to succeed the Three were found before the power was passed, the battle would be fought anew. No matter what the others thought, he would plan, and where a Triad now ruled, he would stand alone.

The rock floor of the cave shook. From the earth a rumble sounded. Gamish grasped the censor. “We must be away and make haste to our destination.”

Lugal nodded. “A ship waits on the shore.”

Sargon strode ahead of them. “We go to claim the reward our predecessors forged for us.”

Gamish followed the pair from the cavern. As he stepped into the night, he stared at the waning moon. Clouds gathered in the sky. The tremors of the earth grew in magnitude. A great roar rose from the cave. The place where those who had once ruled the three orders of the Lord of Shadows were interred was swallowed for all time.

Just as I will swallow my enemies, Gamish thought. During his childhood in the stronghold of his father, he had learned his skills in secret planning. His talent had taken him from that house, but the trickery he’d learned there had earned him his present position. Though the Three would rise again, he would prevail. He would raise a woman to corrupt the Three and thus Seer, Warrior, Healer would be his to command.

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