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Title: Crossing Forbidden Lines
Author: J.W. Baccaro
Genre: Dark Wizard / Coming of Age Fantasy
Synopsis: The Elemental Crystals were originally created to protect the earth. However, Abaddon the Demon Lord plans to use them to transform the earth into a realm of haunting darkness and witchery, forever. In Guiding The Blue Flame, a young but powerful Nasharin Warrior, Darshun Luthais is drawn to one of these magical crystals of immense power. He learns he’s the fulfillment of the two thousand year old Prophecy of the Guardian. The Wizard Olchemy informs him that he is the protector and guardian the earth has been waiting for.
With Darshun’s ability to sense the Elemental Crystals, Olchemy devises a plan to obtain them. Accompanied by a small group of companions the hunt is on, in hopes to retrieve the long lost crystals before the Demon Lord claims them. During the journey, Darshun encounters Aurora, the sole survivor of a now extinct people. He falls in love for the first time, and now resents the so-called Guardian of the Prophecy role.
Due to Darshun’s naïve spirit he’s caught off guard by Nayland, a mysterious dark warrior who confronts him about his abandonment of the quest. He reveals that he too, is a Nasharin warrior, though far exceeding Darshun in skill and power. Darshun’s father, Mirabel saves him from death at the hands of Nayland.
Outmatched and in bewilderment from the attack, a fire awakens in Darshun. He plans on reaching his father’s level of power with a journey to Shajin Island, where Nasharin Warriors train. He’ll be gone for only one day in Earth realm time, but due to the magic of the rigorous island, it will be seven long years for him. Entering the mystical realm of Shajin, he eagerly awaits its life threatening challenges.
In Crossing Forbidden Lines, Darshun faces a solemn heartbreaking betrayal by the woman he loves and is left dying from a hideous torture inflicted by the Queen’s guards. He is healed by a female Elf, Kelarin who he calls his angel.
Feeling his power to be tripled, he battles Queen Talvenya’s son and slays him. Thus, earning the Queen’s undying vow of revenge. Afterward, he faces the Demon Lord in a fierce battle which nearly kills him once again. After a mysterious Elder nurses him back to health, he returns to his father, Mirabel to help defeat the massive army of the Demon Lord.
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Excerpt from Chapter Three of CROSSING FORBIDDEN LINES
The sun rose as Mirabel and Seth sat around a fire, fellowshipping about past times and listening to the war drums of the approaching Barbarians, no more than two hours away. The drums were a low tuned, powerful beat. Dark sounding, intended to drive fear in their enemies. Sometimes the drumming would stop, replaced by a long silence, only to start again with the same repetitive beat.
“It’s been a hundred years since I’ve seen a Barbarian,” Seth said, sipping his mug of coffee. “Many memories of that war have risen in my mind old friend. There is no doubt you remember those days also.”
“Of course.” Mirabel nodded. “That is when my journey alone began.”
Seth knew what he meant; he spoke about his wife and son. Ever since their deaths, he’d carried an overwhelming sadness with him wherever he went. The pain never truly gone, the loneliness never ceasing. At times it seemed difficult to bear. Mirabel loved them more than anything and always blamed himself for what happened. “Brother,” Seth began, in a most soothing, comforting tone, “I know how it feels to lose someone. The pain of loss cuts deep. True I never married, choosing celibacy for this life instead, but I did lose my dear mother—the only one I’ve ever been close to in those days. She cared for me, taught me, inspired me to love. Wonderful she was but she’s now gone from this realm. There’s nothing I can do to bring her back. Neither would she want me to, or especially dwell in disparity. I know this is difficult to hear, but you have to stop blaming yourself for what happened. It wasn’t your fault. Viliah and Asiel wouldn’t want you to carry this guilt. Neither does Abidan. Please, let it go.”
“I know that my friend, I know,” Mirabel answered, casting a dim smile and then finished the rest of his coffee. “You have been by my side through toils and snares, times of goodness and eras of darkness, never asking for anything in return. A true friend you are indeed, always ready and willing to help another in need. You say these Barbarians remind you of the war? You know what I am reminded of by them, strangely? The times before the war, before even my family, times of you and I, when we used to journey hundreds—thousands of miles across the land searching for Milandrith Metal. Seeking out new territories, looking for possible Wizards still in existence. The wind in our hair, the smell of the woodlands, the adventures over the mountains…remember?”
“I would say I’ve grown senile if I’d forgotten those days. Wonderful times they were indeed. We bonded quickly, you and I after our duel in the Martial Arts Tournament that is, ha!”
“Heh heh, yeah, a duel I barely won. That, next to probably Olchemy in his days of youth, was the toughest battle I ever fought.”
“You have gotten a lot stronger since then. There comes a time though, when one physically reaches his maximum of strength. I think I have reached mine. For I care not to progress my skills any longer, just my spirituality.”
“Sometimes that is the best path. If I could give up fighting forever in exchange for a world of eternal peace, where there’d be no need to improve the speed of one’s punch, the accuracy of a throwing dagger, the stamina of the body or the fancifulness of the sword, I would. And I think Darshun would too. As skill hungry as he is, the boy has never accepted the only certainty among this realm, the process of death. He cannot even harm an insect, not unless provoked—and sometimes not even then!”
Seth laughed. “An unusual soul indeed. Hey, speaking of Darshun, he should be on his way back.”
Mirabel nodded, for there was no question whether or not Darshun survived Shajin Island.
“Do you think he reached Ascension?”
“If Marsainn and myself reached it, I am positive the Guardian of earth has reached it also.” He smiled, perhaps thinking about his adopted son, how he always made Mirabel laugh, and was good company to be around, kind-hearted, warm. Just how he hoped Asiel would have turned out.
“You really love Darshun don’t you?” Seth asked, reading his face.
“With all my heart.”
“I do too. And I believe he was not only born to save this world, but also as a gift to you from Abidan. A son to love.”
Mirabel’s blue eyes glistened beautifully in the firelight, and Seth could have sworn the extravagant shine was a reflection of tears. “My friend, of all the battles we fought and survived together.” Mirabel grasped Seth’s hand. “May today prove to be another victory, so we might continue our fellowship in elder years?”
They both sensed an incredible power moving fast approaching from the west. It wasn’t like the power of a transformed Nasharin, giving off such enormous amounts of energy, but an inner power of great change, great achievement even Mirabel couldn’t fathom.
“Aye.” A huge smile radiated on his face. “He has returned.”
The wind shifted and they looked to the sky and saw the golden eagle gliding down toward them, the morning rays of sunlight reflecting off his gorgeous gold-brown feathers. In a slow descent he landed and Darshun slid off his back, making a light thump onto the ground. “Thank you, good friend.” Darshun patted his head.
The eagle nodded, glanced over to Seth for a moment—the Nasharin exchanging a look of gratitude—and then flew away.
Darshun looked very different. His honey brown hair had grown longer, reaching the tail of his back. His natural build and muscles increased in size. But overall, the change in his face, the look in his amber-speckled steel blue eyes; he seemed so confident, fearless. “Father, Uncle Seth, it is good to see you two again,” Darshun greeted them both with a long hug. They needed to remember for Darshun it had been seven years since he stood in the presence of them.
“I hope you’re hungry lad,” Seth prompted.
His fearless look instantly vanished in exchange for an excited expression. “Oh, am I!”
Seth already prepared him breakfast: fresh elk sausage cooked with a few pepper-like spices that naturally grew in the area, giving the meal extra kick .Also, including fried potatoes and of course a large mug of hot coffee.
Darshun gulped the food down in seconds then started on the coffee.
“Same old appetite,” Seth noted with a chuckle.
“There’s not much to eat at Shajin Island. In fact, I haven’t had a meal this good since—well, since I left! That was seven years ago to me. I was expecting the world to be different, being gone for so long.”
“Twelve hours for us lad.” Seth shook his head.
“I know. To fathom that is difficult.”
The drums of the Barbarians started again, echoing across the plains and through the woodland. This time they were louder.
“It’s almost time.” Seth looked uneasy.
“What is that?” Darshun asked.
“The war drums of the Barbarians,” Mirabel explained. “A tactic they use to install fear in their enemies. Beware of them my son. Before they charge into battle they take a secret drink that changes their natural state. Their energy dramatically increases and they feel an uncontrollable desire to kill. That is why they are also known as Bezerkers. The most ancient of tribes they are, and fight in the most brutal of ways. Merciless. Unforgiving.”
“Let them come!” Darshun growled. “I promise you not one will survive this day.”
Mirabel and Seth never heard him say such a thing before, regarding an enemy. It wasn’t so much his words, but tone— filled with justice and perhaps a bit of a frenzy rage. He’d definitely changed.
J.W.Baccaro is the author of the Guardian Series. In his free time he enjoys literature—fiction and non-fiction, playing electric guitar in the heavy metal band Rigor Hill, Consciousness and NDE studies, and thinking how to intertwine his thoughts about the world’s myths, legends and distinct truths into his novels. He lives in upstate NY with his wife Melissa, his son Alexander, his two German Shepherds and his three cats.
Where to Find: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | YouTube
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