J.F. Posthumus

J.F. Posthumus

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Virginia, United States
A computer tech and artist that thrives on writing fantasy to escape the harshness of reality.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - Into the Lion's Den

Well, here's a little more to Banshee's Daughter.  I skipped ahead, since I didn't want to give out the whole first few chapters. ;)

Previously on Banshee's Daughter: Iliana has acquired a spellbook from Earth and, after being chased by three goons, continued on to Nid Tir where she caught a transport to the Fellhaven.  (Though most believe Fellhaven is pure fiction, it's an actual land on Baradwys.  And everything that goes bump in the night?  It's all true.)  In Fellhaven, she goes to the Bartered Soul.  From there, she's approached by two Thorns (hirelings of Darkflower, a docelfar hated by almost everyone).


Some things never changed.  May it be the service of a business, food, or the slums of a city, which was where the Thorns were escorting Iliana.  The slums of Fellhaven started in the Fifteenth District and continued further down until you encountered the cannibals in the lowest districts, where few people ever ventured. 
Buildings were made of patchwork-materials, scavenged from anywhere possible.  Tents made of shabby and gauze-thin materials littered the roads, alleys, and bazaars where tables and wooden booths were impossible to keep together due to the fact if it wasn’t nailed down or too heavy to move, it would be stolen. 
Merchants barked their wares to anyone passing them.  In the lower districts, they sold nearly rotten meats, stale and partly moldy breads and cheeses as well as fruit that only looked fresh and edible, but one didn’t start encountering that until the Nineteenth District.  If Iliana wanted food, she’d eat at the Bartered Soul, whose reputation outshone all but a few of the others in the district, or eat someone in the higher districts. 
One of the Thorns opened the door to a rundown building, much like the one she’d used originally when Darkflower had first approached her through his minions.  It smelled of mildew, mold, and dust.  It looked even worse.  The sound of squeaking followed by skittering feet told her rats lived in this particular warehouse; which explained the distinct, rancid odor that could only belong to the vermin.  She hoped they were only rats and not the wererats that were said to inhabit the older, more rundown buildings. 
Following the Thorn in front of her down a set of rickety stairs, she felt her own unease growing.  Something about the pair didn’t set right; the last time there had been more Thorns escorting her the closer they neared Darkflower’s domain.  So far, she hadn’t seen any but this pair.  It didn’t help that the one leading was a powerful magic user, a wizard or sorceress, perhaps. 
  Iliana also hated the fact they were in total darkness, which mean the pair escorting her were either pure blood elves, or half-elves.  Yet again she thanked her bean sidhe blood for allowing her to see in total darkness, otherwise, she’d be panicking.
Fortunately, they soon neared a door.  The figure leading them paused and Iliana felt the familiar essence of magic being used.  The hair on the back of her neck stood on end and she forced herself to remain relaxed and unconcerned.  Especially when she noticed the fine edge of silver that defined the outline of a portal. 
Oh, hells, this can’t be good, she groaned inwardly.  She knew the pair wouldn’t answer, but she couldn’t prevent herself from asking, “You aren’t really Thorns, are you?”  Silence.  The “Thorn” didn’t even bother to look at her.  No surprise there.  “Didn’t think so.”
The door opened and she felt herself shoved forward unexpectedly.  Bloody hells, I’m going to… 
She trailed off as she swirled around to face the Thorn only to realize there was carpet under her feet, a dim lighting reminiscent the perfect image of an ancient study, and walls covered with beautiful artwork. 
Turning, she focused her attention on the man sitting behind the desk and couldn’t help but smile her appreciation of the handsome, dark-skinned elf that was studying her as a scientist studies a new specimen.  Beneath a microscope while holding a scalpel.  At least he wasn’t holding anything in his steepled fingers.  Yet.
Iliana knew the elf before her was a docelfar; his power and magical aura was too much like that of Darkflower’s and the rare few other docelfar she had met.  She also knew that the docelfar weren’t the nice, kind, charitable type of elf, either.  Unless you included their charitable acts of stabbing they friends and enemies in the backs when it suited them.  Iliana always thought of the docelfar as being similar to the mafia, with the exception being women ran them and the head honcho was titled “empress” instead of “don”. 
There was also the fact that the docelfar put the Mafia to shame when it came to scheming, backstabbing, treachery, and secrecy.  And that was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
The man before her, most certainly had the presence and bearing of a Mafia Don.  Including the cold stare and amused Mona Lisa-type smile.  She couldn’t prevent herself from raising her own brows in query as she waited for him to speak.


  1. Nice immagry. A little much with the smells though. You desc one way then add a new smell that was already there??? I dunno, maybe I read it wrong. I do LOVE how you compared the docelfar to a Mafia Don. It's gives me the vision of brando sitting behind a desk stroking his kitty... LOL

  2. trust me, mold mildew and dust have a completely DIFFERENT odor than rats. Maybe I should edit that part... since rats have an acidic, sharp, rancid smell.

    thanks! though... the one sitting behind the desk is more Don Corleone-ish in attitude and Samuel L. Jackson in appearance (just give him long silver hair ;) )

  3. Great excerpt! I really like it. Now I'm trying to piece it together from what you gave us last time!

  4. Wow, tons of setting! I like the tone of this, and the comparison to the mafia is a great touch! :) Your premise sounds really interesting!