Chapter 1: Pro-Log
Twilight Kingdoms of Thanonal Vol. 4: Katalina, Goddess of the Pit
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Cover Art: by Timidon Nodimit (and Images supplied by Shutterstock)
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Act 1: “The Bond”, Chapters 2-13
Act 2: “Birth of the Blooded”, Chapters 14-19
Act 3: “Dunkir”, Chapters 20 - WIP
What you need to know!
The events here take place right after Chapter 12: Freedom for the Bear, in Twilight Kingdoms of Thanonal - Vol. 1: Reforged. Talendra Valen, a young priestess of Toluene, had made a deal with Katalina to save her comrades. She offered herself in their place. Katalina took the offering; Talendra spent many months as Katalina’s special prisoner, often having her perform strange rituals, all the while teaching her of the past events of the gods of Avalon. The training and rituals have been slowly eating away at who she used to be. Talendra tried for an escape, only to be met by Katalina at the Citdales main door and allowed to leave.
Talendra reached the top of the stairs, and the climb was long and refreshing. Seeing the sun sphere in the sky was a relief. She had only known the inner walls of Calidor for months as the goddess brought her around to the different rooms, explaining what they were used for. Stopping, she let her blonde hair flow with the breeze that the entrance of the pit.
She could see the Maidens Rest from this location, the local Adventures Guild. The grand wood and the stone shaped building was only a couple of hundred feet from the nearest defense tower. The six defense towers were spaced around the edge of the pit. The towers stood to watch against the creatures that would wander out of the pit once in a while. She wanted a drink of wine; the wine that the goddess created was indeed the best she ever had, granted the faith of Toluene did not partake unless it was for a ceremony. She continued up the cobblestone road passing people, carts, and animals. She did not see the world as she once did; it had become darker. Talendra’s mindset was different than when she had first stepped foot in the Citadel of Calidor. At first, there was fear, and then the fear became tolerance and control. The experience was extraordinary, one she could not wipe from her mind. Her ability to grasp the difference between what was right or wrong left her mind foggy. What she had witnessed and forced to perform for this dark goddess left her wanting more of what the goddess offered.
Talendra had finally reached her destination. On the north side of the mountain facing away from the pit, was the Temple of Toluene. The temple was a basic stone structure, a series of square box buildings of different sizes. These were called the 4 Shrines. Each one had a specific role to play inside the order of Toluene. The temple grounds had purification springs, an impressive pool with purified water by the priests, and she was going to need that to wash all the sin out of her. She reached for her holy symbol and kissed the small silver symbol of Toluene. A pair of feathered wings with a sword in the middle. She gathered her strength of will and stepped back into the temple.
Father Mulligan sat across the table and starred the Talendra Valen. She had been gone for months and presumed dead. “Sister, it is nice to see you still alive. None have been able to survive entry into the Heart of the Pit. How did you?”
Talendra spoke in a soft voice as she kept her hands collapsed together. “I survived by listing to the Goddess of the Pit.”
Father Mulligan moved his hands and placed them on top of hers. “Explain, this is not just a Demon Lord?”
“No, father, the goddess is a bearer of change. She is an old goddess, one with a story. She asked me to tell it. To those who would listen. There is some information even Toluene may find useful when dealing with goddess Katalina, The Mother of Monsters.” Talendra moved her head up and locked onto his eyes. “To understand what is, you must first understand what was. This tale is Katalina’s story, as told me by the very mouth of the goddess. . .”