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Shades of Grey and Black

By katydid

Adventure / Action

Prologue

The tunnels smelled of death and decay and echoed with both the ghosts of the dead and snarls of the living. The Dwarf scout, sent on ahead by his lieutenant commander Gorym, was used to the smell, not the sounds. He felt his body tense almost beyond tolerance each time he had to round a corner and the relief when the coast was clear was nearly as debilitating. There were half a dozen scouts each exploring different routes, following their commanders' orders. Dwarves who were, in turn, under orders from their lords to discover why there would be an increase in the presence of Darkspawn on the surface.

So far, there had been nothing beyond the normal influx, but this scout knew it had to be something more. His path seemed to stretch on forever and when he came to the end of the tunnel, he paused. There was an unholy red light just ahead and he thought he could hear something that sounded eerily like the marching of thousands of feet.

Tightening his hold on his longbow and shifting his quiver-full of arrows within easy reach, he inched forward, checking for Darkspawn in both directions before venturing any further. He found himself in a cavernous room, the ceiling soared away above him and, by the intense heat, he knew he had to be close to the lava pools well below Orzammar. Far across from him, through simmering air, he could make out massive doors and ancient Dwarven architecture. The sound of marching seemed to spike and he moved again, looking around at everything in the process.

He slowed as he realized the heat was roiling up from the chasm yawning before him and he ducked behind a large boulder. Feeling secure enough, he peeked over the edge and almost fell. His eyes took in the overwhelming scene about two-thirds of a mile below him and he muttered curses underneath his breath. He had seen hordes of Darkspawn before but nothing like this. Short, stubby Genlocks were shoving their way through menacing Hurlocks, while the Emissaries remained unmovable and hulking Ogres stared down them all, tossing them about as if they were nothing.

The scout was frozen in dismayed shock until another sound rose over everything and made him recoil against the boulder, his blood turning to ice in his veins. A huge, spiked dragon swooped down, the wind from its wings sending a whirl of hot, death-filled air to ruffle his hair. Its unholy roar filled the cavern and, with a resounding crash, it landed on a broken section of bridge that jutted over the chasm and studied those gathered beneath it. The sinewy neck went back and it arched its head up, letting out another roar before spreading its monstrous wings and taking flight. The scout remained frozen, stunned by the magnitude of what he had just seen and the effects of the dragon's - Archdemon's!! - his head told him, roar.

Suddenly a shout went up from the other side of the chasm and his mind yelled, Caught! even before his eyes found the Genlock. Immediately, and stupidly, he took off running, vainly trying to make it back to the tunnel.

He didn't.

There was a sharp twang and an arrow sank into his neck, dropping him.

The scout died a mere foot from his safety and with his last breath went that warning his commander so desperately needed: The Blight indeed was coming.


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Chapters
1. Prologue
Further Recommendations

Kayleigh Ducroq: I absolutely love this book!! It most definitely takes the number one spot on my list!-

Jesse Mae: Great book. Is there a sequel planned?

lavendercotton: When I first started this book I was hooked I knew I had to finish this book, I'm not big on reading. Because it's hard for me to find a book I can be hooked on to, but the first five minutes of reading I was hooked. After that, I knew I had to read more.

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Danielle Wilson: Ok, so i read the first book and i absolutely loved it, i fangirled about this next book. im in love. I hope you write another series, because this is amazing already. You're a great writer with a big future 😁.

More Recommendations

hopeewilsonn: Story and writing stule are amazing! There are a few continuity errors that I think were made during editing and hven’t been proofread, but it doesn’t take away from the story at all!

bsw71160: This book is well written and I found myself pulled into the story. I know this author is very talented. This is one of the many books I have read of this author and I am truly never disappointed. She describes her characters well a great plot and leaves you emotional but in a good way. I recomme...

Deleted User: Definitely a new spin to the wolf thing. I loved it. Its different and great to read.

Megan Fall: This author is unbelievably talented!!

Kimberly K: This was a very exciting story. I wasn't able to figuratively "put the book down" until I finished it. There were a few grammar mistakes, and there could be a little more backstory for the characters (mostly in how they got to know each other) but it flowed really well and was a fun read. I can't...

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