Terra Vonnel and the Skulls of Aries – Chapter 3

Written by dcakers@dc-akers.com on August 24th, 2013. Posted in Terra Vonnel

Terra Vonnel and the Skulls of Aries

Persuading the Dead

 

Terra’s heart began to race. Anticipation fueled by excitement coursed through her veins. This is it, she told herself. This is finally it. She had found the remaining Skull of Aries.

Terra advanced on the box, holstering the Diablo and lowering the Vanquisher as she knelt to one knee. With one hand, she reached for the small silver latch and slowly lifted the lid. Her gaze fell to the contents, but to her surprise there was nothing there; the box appeared empty. She quickly raised the Vanquisher, shining its vivid blue flame into the opening of the small box, but there was still no sign of the silver skull, with its telltale horns and emerald eyes.

She could feel the rage beginning to boil inside. There was only one place the skull could be now, she thought: with Dragos.

Then, out of the corner of her eye, she saw something move, a shadow, somewhere behind her.

Terra spun quickly to see a flash of silver gleaming in the darkness as a sword came crashing down. Without even thinking, Terra raised the Vanquisher just in time. An explosion of blue sparks burst into the air as the sword came into contact with the Vanquisher. The grinding sound of metal against metal rang out; blades locked as they both tried to gain ground on one another. Terra gradually pushed herself up onto her feet, retrieved the Diablo from her holster, and fired a single round into the vampire’s face.

The vampire screamed in agony, dropping his sword and taking a step backwards. Terra quickly advanced, slashing at his sword arm, which flew from his body onto the floor. The vampire screamed again but struck back with its remaining arm. Before Terra could react, the vampire had grabbed hold of her throat, lifting her from her feet into the air.

Terra gasped for air, dropping the Diablo to the floor. The vampire was quick and extremely strong, and she barely had time to react. Taking only seconds to regain her composure, Terra swung the Vanquisher upwards. In a bright flash of light, the blue flame severed the vampire’s other arm.

Terra fell to the floor, landing on her back with the severed arm still attached to her throat. As the vampire staggered backwards, she rolled to the right, ripping the lifeless arm from her throat and slashing at the vampire’s legs. The blue flame streaked through the darkness, severing both of his legs.

The vampire stood motionless for a brief second before toppling over onto the cold wooden floor. Terra scrambled to her feet as the beast howled in agony. She stood above the limbless creature, watching his bleeding nubs flap aimlessly.

As he rolled from side to side Terra approached and shoved her boot to his throat. His one remaining eye, shrouded in a mess of blood and flesh, widened as he choked from the applied pressure.

“Where is Count Dragos?” she demanded.

When the vampire finally spoke she could not hear him due to the fighting that ensued outside the cabin. She slowly released the pressure as his garbled, blood-filled words came spewing out.

“I don’t know what you speak of,” the vampire said, gasping for air as he choked and gagged on his own blood.

She slowly moved the Vanquisher’s tip to his chest. The blue flame illuminated his ashen, bloodstained skin, and his violet eye danced with the flicker of the flame.

“Well then you won’t be needing this,” she said, gradually pressing the tip of the Vanquisher into his chest just above his heart. Wisps of smoke sifted through his clothes. A sizzling sound resonated around the room as the smell of burnt flesh filled the air.

He cowered as the pain surged through his body. As she felt his body throb beneath her boot the Sea Vixen smiled ever so slightly.

“AAAAhhh, he is below, down in the hull… amongst the cannons… AAAhhh…”

Her smile grew wider. One step closer, she thought. “You see? That wasn’t so hard. Where is the Skull of Aries?” she asked sternly, pushing the blade deeper into his chest.

“AAAAhhh… I don’t know, I don’t know!” he screamed. “He did not speak of the treasure. I don’t know, I tell you!”

Terra feigned a frown, tightened her grip on the handle of the Vanquisher, and said, “That is unfortunate… for you!”

She jabbed the Vanquisher deep into the vampire’s heart. Blue flames erupted around his body as he exploded into a cloud of ash.

Terra turned, wasting no time, and peered back through the doorway. There were at least six vampires left and only three of her men.

She needed to even the odds, and there was only one way to do that, she thought: Sea Ghouls. Not only were they excellent row men, but they were outstanding fighters as well. Impervious to pain and with a talent for feasting on the dead, the Sea Ghouls were extremely useful assets when in battle. Since they were fighting vampires, which were of the living dead, the odds were considerably in their favor.

Terra reached inside her shirt, grasped the Amulet of Demons, and uttered the incantation. The command she spoke was in Arabic. She had summonsed three of the Sea Ghouls to feast upon the vampires.

Like obedient dogs, the Sea Ghouls engaged the enemy within seconds. Leaping across the bows of both the Aspen and the Mont Delia, the Sea Ghouls attacked with swords drawn and a desire to feed. With the vampires distracted and her men safe, she quickly made her way to the hull below.

**I will post one Chapter each week, so this may take a while. If you just can’t wait, you can buy (Just 2.99) the complete book at Amazon.

You can sign up for my newsletter, follow me on Twitter, or like my Facebook page. For more information, see my website dc-akers.com. Your support is appreciated. Thanks for reading!

Terra Vonnel and the Skulls of Aries – Chapter 2

Written by dcakers@dc-akers.com on August 17th, 2013. Posted in Terra Vonnel

Terra Vonnel and the Skulls of Aries

Battle Ready

 

The Aspen moved alongside the Mont Delia, its bow just a few feet away now. Terra leaped from the quarterdeck and onto the main deck as the Aspen’s forward hull pitched high into the air, crashing through another enormous wave.

Terra braced herself as she made her way across the deck to a small hatch. She yanked open the wooden door and jumped inside. The hull was dark. To each side of the hull sat fifteen Sea Ghouls rowing effortlessly, compelled by some form of mystical trance.

A small lantern hung from a rafter in the back of the room. There in a corner was a large desk bolted to the hull, and seated behind it was a thin, wiry man.

“Come for your weapons, have you, Vixen?” said Tink, the master gunner responsible for the ship’s guns and ammunition.

“Ah, you are so perceptive, Tink!” she replied with a grin. “Yes, and I’ll be hunting vampires!”

Tink returned the smile. He had one tooth, which gleamed of gold, surrounded by a face that resembled a withered pumpkin. His filthy gray hair hung past his shoulders. He wore a dirty gray shirt and black trousers that had also seen better days. Tink was not known to be a neat man, but he was renowned for his knowledge of weapons–magical weapons. Terra knew this early on, which was the reason he was part of her crew.

“Vampires… well then, you’ll be needing this!”

Tink stood and shuffled back to the large red chest closest to him. It was one of many that lined the back of the hull. Wrenching open the lid, he quickly withdrew the silver sword known as the Vanquisher.

The legendary weapon, crafted originally as a slashing sword, was ideal for close-quarters combat. The blade was 30 inches in length, with a two-point serrated edge on one side that emitted a mystical light blue glow when unsheathed.  When in battle, or in a time of distress, the sword would ignite a brilliant blue flame so intense that it could penetrate almost anything. The blade itself was forged from an unknown metal, with a light blue illumines engraving, written in the ancient Nitra language, that translated to, Vanquish thy enemy.  Its silver handle was fashioned into the likeness of a serpent, and the cast metal pommel featured the Nitra symbol for life–the body of a dove with a sapphire jewel for the head.  But the most intriguing feature was its guard, a six-horned dragon with sapphire eyes and central sapphire stone arranged in the image of Kingus, the Goblin God of Retribution.

“And my revolver, too,” she said, grabbing the sword from him.

Tink grinned again. He knew the precise gun. He reached back into the chest and retrieved the Diablo 9 Shooter. The revolver held nine bullets, firing three rounds simultaneously, with a nickel-plated barrel and an ornate dragonhead handle carved by one of the famed Dragon Lords of old.

Terra took the leather holster, strapped it to her leg, and tightened the belt. The gun fit snugly against her thigh like an old, familiar friend.

“Good hunting, Vixen!” he said with a wink.

“Thanks, Tink. I‘ll need it!” she replied as she made her way back up the ladder, to the hatch, and onto the deck.

The Aspen rocked in unison with the Mont Delia as she slid up alongside her. A loud CRASH rang out as the bows collided. Terra untied a thick rope attached to the Aspen’s main topsail. She twirled it around her hand and ran for the side of the ship. With her lunge, the rope pulled tight, swinging Terra over the edge and onto the main deck of the Mont Delia.

A loud voice rang out behind her as five seamen from the Aspen followed after her. “Attack!”

Terra landed on the deck, tucking and rolling till she got to her feet running. Quickly she unsheathed the Vanquisher, which ignited into a dazzling blue flame as the vampire seamen engaged.

White fanged and with gleaming violet eyes, they charged with swords in the air screaming like crazed beasts.

Terra fell to her knees, sliding past the first attacker while slashing through his midsection as the rest of her seamen engaged the enemy from behind her.

She got to her feet and sprinted to the captain’s quarters near the rear of the ship. The deck was slippery, and her line of sight was limited due to the immense storm, but she made it.

Standing in front of Count Dragos’s quarters, she kicked open the large, dilapidated door and dashed inside. With the Vanquisher in one hand illuminating the way and the Diablo in the other, she searched the room for Dragos.

The blue glow that emitted from the Vanquisher quivered as she moved it carefully across the room, scanning every inch of the cabin and revealing a small bed, a cabinet of clothes, and a desk, with scattered maps littering the premises. It was then she noticed it in the farthest corner of the cabin–a green box trimmed in silver. It was the same green box she had stolen from the cleric in Pelegosto.

**I will post one Chapter each week, so this may take a while. If you just can’t wait, you can buy (Just 2.99) the complete book at Amazon.

You can sign up for my newsletter, follow me on Twitter, or like my Facebook page. For more information, see my website dc-akers.com. Your support is appreciated. Thanks for reading!

Terra Vonnel and the Skulls of Aries – Chapter 1

Written by dcakers@dc-akers.com on August 13th, 2013. Posted in Terra Vonnel

Terra Vonnel and the Skulls of Aries

Chasing the Dead

Silver clouds billowed across the sky as the winds and rain ruthlessly pounded the famous ship, making the chase ever more treacherous. The massive ocean swells lashed the bow of the galley class ship known as the Aspen. The ship itself was daunting, with its charcoal black finish and red and black sails. But what lie at the root of the Aspen’s notoriety had nothing to do with the ship itself and everything to do with her captain.

Terra Vonnel, a pirate and master thief, stood at the edge of the quarterdeck, her long, black hair tautly secured by a scarlet bandana. Dressed in her signature white shirt, red sash, black boots and trousers, Terra Vonnel embodied to the letter her nickname: the Sea Vixen.

Just seventeen years of age, Terra had won her shipmates’ respect through countless life-threatening adventures, fighting side by side with her crew. Despite her young age, she was an old soul at heart.

“Faster, Coven, faster!” she yelled, her bright green eyes fluttering against the rain.

Coven Breckrill was the ship’s sailing master. In charge of ship navigation, he was the highest paid and most devoted crewmember.

As the Aspen sped through the turbulent sea with its mystical green flames licking its bow, it moved into striking distance. Powered by wraithlike fiends known as Sea Ghouls, the phantom creatures heaving the massive wooden oars, the Aspen accelerated into the squalling wind.

Won in a card game from a gypsy in Tortuga, the Sea Ghouls were her most valued asset to date. With the demonic creatures manning its oars, the Aspen was capable of reaching speeds of over 180 knots. It could outrun, out chase, and outflank any vessel on the high seas.

Tonight the Sea Vixen’s target was the Mont Delia, a dank brigantine class ship from the Mediterranean that possessed one of the twin Skulls of Aries.

Terra, who had stolen the first skull from a cleric in Pelegosto, now headed to Port Royal to seek out the other when word came that Count Dragos and his men had gotten there first.

Dragos, a Sicilian vampire and vicious pirate, had arrived a day earlier in Port Royal. He made his way through the village, slaughtering hundreds, until finding Petre Bendella, the cleric’s older brother. With little effort Dragos killed Petre, draining him of his blood, and stole the Skull of Aries. Now with only one skull remaining, Dragos departed Port Royal and headed toward Pelegosto.

Unknown to Dragos, the Aspen had been waiting cloaked in a blanket of fog, poised to make its move. With its lightning speed, the Mont Delia was no match for the Aspen.

Terra Vonnel waited patiently as the Aspen quickly approached its target. She needed the remaining skull. Without it, the other was useless, but together she would possess a power so unimaginable that even the Gods of the Sea would worship her!

The Skulls of Aries were magical gate keys. When used in unison they would unlock the Gates of Monticule, the last obstacle that stood between her and the Orb of Time.  Once she possessed the Orb, she would be its guardian and free to travel back in time, rendering her meager form of transportation a moot point. She and she alone would have the power of the Gods, and from that point on she would travel like one!

      For Terra, the plan was clear: Steal the Twin Skulls, enter the Gates, steal the Orb, and travel back in time. Her first objective would be July 24, 1715, seven days before the Spanish Plate Fleet, led by the flagship El Capitana, sank in the Florida hurricane. There on July 24 she would steal the 14 million pieces of eight and assorted treasure before it sank, making her, in one fell swoop, the richest and most powerful woman in the world!

**I will post one Chapter each week, so this may take a while. If you just can’t wait, you can buy (Just 2.99) the complete book at Amazon.

You can sign up for my newsletter, follow me on Twitter, or like my Facebook page. For more information, see my website dc-akers.com. Your support is appreciated. Thanks for reading!

Concept Art

Concept Art

Gallery quality print on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using Epson K3 archival inks. Custom trimmed with 1" border for framing.