Celeste is tired. She just wants to be left alone.
For centuries, the half-blooded elf has hidden herself away from the world and lived in isolation. Things have been peaceful, quiet. But some have a greater calling, a destiny. When the humans unwittingly set about a plan to release the source of all evil back into the world, Celeste is called upon by an old ally to stop them, and to keep all of Altierra safe.
Now she must face her past as she and her allies travel across the continent to save a world she has been apart from for eons. Will even her angelic birthright and druidic powers be enough to stop the rise of the last god?
D.S. Schmeckpeper (a.k.a. Dottie and Steve Schmeckpeper) live in Florida, USA. They are a husband and wife team who work together to create the Land of Destiny series. Both have loved the Fantasy genre for many years and have wasted way too much time playing fantasy-based games. Dottie was a vocal performance major in college, before she decided a liberal arts major was not for her. Ironic, huh? They have two wonderful twin boys, who are three at the time of this publication. They are the light or their parents’ lives. Steve does the artwork and comes up with many of the story concepts. Dottie brings the ideas to life. When not working, writing or drawing, the pair love to take their children to Florida’s many amusement parks, and can often be found there.
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Arcus glared down at her. “Too easy.” Then he turned and started back for the bar. Before he could reach it, however, the door flew open and in walked three of the strongest looking men Arcus had ever seen. They shoved roughly past Arcus and marched straight for the table with the two girls and Joseph. Arcus stepped out of the way and waited.
“Hey, you!” The man in front had brown hair and a full beard, and a ship tattoo on his upper arm. He pointed angrily at Joseph. “Yeah, I know it’s you. Joshua or Joseph or something like that. I know what you did – Sam told me! Now you’re gonna die!”
“Excuse me, gentlemen.” Arcus had snuck up behind them and was standing with his hands behind his back. “What seems to be the trouble here?”
“This doesn’t concern you, boy,” one of the other two men snarled.
“Oh, but it does,” answered Arcus. “You see, this man may be an idiot, but he’s my friend, and I’m not going to stand idly by while you kill him. If anyone will kill him one of these days, it will be me.”
“No problem, idiot. Now, what did you do this time? Shall I guess that Sam is a girl?”
“Umm…that would probably be a safe bet. Though, honestly, I don’t remember anyone named Sam,” said Joseph.
“Why does that not surprise me?” quipped Arcus.
“What do you mean, you don’t know who Sam is?” shouted the leader. “Sam is my girl, and you… you…”
“Rocked her world?” Joseph grinned mischievously, and winked at the blonde and redhead, who had already backed away to another table, and were observing the proceedings with curiosity.
“Was that really necessary, Joseph?” Arcus questioned, as the leader roared in fury.
The leader lunged for Joseph, who ducked under the man’s arms, laughing. Arcus whipped his hands out from behind his back, and fire blazed up and down his forearms. He reached for the other two goons and slammed their heads together, scorching their hair. They bellowed in pain. The two girls and most of the other patrons all got up and rushed to the opposite side of the room, to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. The bartender cursed and demanded they break it up. The bystanders shouted taunts and cheers at the group, though to Arcus, the sounds all merged and then vanished altogether as he focused his magic. The man on the left pulled out a dagger, while the one on the right swung at Arcus. He absorbed the hit with his burning hands, which then flickered out. Then, he glared at the one with the knife. “Stop moving,” Arcus hissed in a hypnotic voice, and the spell immediately took effect as the man froze in place, still holding his knife awkwardly. He then turned to the other goon.
Joseph ducked another swing, and then another. He dodged a vicious kick by hopping toward the table. The leader was clearly becoming more and more enraged. Finally, he found purchase and punched Joseph square in the nose, which shattered. Blood sprayed everywhere. Joseph lost his rhythm, and fell hard onto the table. He raised his arms to block the assault, curling in on himself. The man hit him hard in the ribs with his elbow. Joseph held up a shaky hand to cast a small, glowing bolt of energy at his attacker, which struck him in the face, just under his left eye. The man grunted in pain, but didn’t pause in his assault.
Arcus shoved both of his hands flat against his remaining attacker’s chest. Lightning flashed from his palms and the man fell onto a chair without a sound. The chair crumbled to pieces under the onslaught as the smell of ozone filled the bar. Arcus turned to the leader. “Are you sure you don’t want to rethink this plan while you still have a chance? Take a look at your men; you are clearly outmatched.”