A native Angeleno, Sean has been engaging in the serious business of writing for the last several years. In the spring of 2015, he was a paralegal major at West Los Angeles College, and he began writing his novel The Gitax War in TPI editor Nuala Mary Lincke's creative writing class at West. During the class, he was surprised at the praise his work garnered: "You write like a seasoned fantasy writer: the brief--almost laconic--descriptions. Not a word wasted." We'll see where life takes Sean--or where Sean takes life.
Two men holding dim-lit lanterns trudged knee-deep in the marshes of Sulghoul. The first man was a middle-aged man with a lanky build, and a hardened face. The second man was a much younger, heavy-set man. "Uncle Ruffus, why are we going so deep into Luna's territory?" Asked the young man. "Because your mom wanted me to take you on a grave robbing trip, and I figured going this deep into Sulghoul will do some good for you" "Why go this deep with just a few shovels, and a puny dagger?" Asked the young man, who was looking around nervously. The stern man waved his lantern around,"look around. Do you see any life in this sickly swamp?" "Not yet, but I'm sure Bull Gators are lurking about." "Nonsense child, Bull Gators dwell around Necromancers, Necromancers live in the Timid Swamp, thus Bull Gators live in the Timid Swamp. We are far from the Timid Swamp." His uncle's words gave the young man a small sense of relief." But what of the Vampires?" Ruffus laughed,"Vampires? Do you see castles or fortresses? Vampires like to own lands of worth; lands of immense value. This swamp is a vast nothingness." "Fine, but what about-". Ruffus interrupted Reevus, "Reevus, you're a fat coward. Your mom wanted me to bring you, because she thought it would strengthen you as a man. I thought you would be too much trouble. Was I wrong to bring you?" Reevus straighten his posture,"no. I will make you proud." Ruffus smiled,"good." They went further into the slimy marsh. The two grave robbers were swatting at mosquitoes, while slowly making their way further into the swamp. "Look uncle! A casket!" Shouted Reevus. "Shhh," whispered Ruffus. "Good job son, but be more quiet next time." "You said we had nothing to worry about." "We are still in Luna's swamps, which means we still have to worry about Wolves, also we need to worry about the random Zombie." "You never said anything about Zombies." "You never asked." Ruffus pulled the rotted casket onto solid land. He flips the lid carefully to reveal several coiled snakes. Reevus cowered away from the site of the snakes. "Damn boy. Relax. These are common marsh snakes. If they were Ash Coil Snakes or Vampyres Vipers, then you should cower like a frightened puppy." "Can't we sell these snakes to Necromancers or Hex Breakers?" Ruffus laughed,"we would be lucky to get a copper piece." Ruffus slammed the coffin lid. The two went hours without finding any caskets or ancient tombs. "Maybe we should leave uncle. We are getting awfully further into this wretched bog." The old man sighed,"maybe." Something gleamed in Reevus' eyes." Uncle what is that?" Ruffus made his way to what looked like a silver pod."I don't know boy, but we may have hit pay dirt. Help me pull this thing out of the marsh." Both men pulled with all their might. It took them a good ten minutes to pull the pod from the grasp of the murky swamp. They dragged the pod against a dead oak tree. "Uncle, what type of metal is this?" "No idea, but it looks to be very fine quality. Never seen this type of metal before." "Should we open it?" "I think so, but it may be tough to get into to." Ruffus examined the silver pod to find strange buttons, and a moss covered handle. He knew not what any of it was. "How do we get into to it without breaking it?" Asked Reevus. "Oh don't worry this a fine steel; nothing can break it," said Ruffus as he slams his hand onto the pod. The pod creaks open, and a gray gas leaks from the pod." The hell," said Ruffus. Ruffus opened the pod door, and suddenly a gray oil bursted from the pod engulfing Ruffus and Reevus. Reevus flailed like a fish out of water." Uncle! What the hell is going on? I can't breathe." Ruffus was choking on the oil,"boy.... run.... get the damned hell out of here." Ruffus clawed his way out of the murky waters, and made his way to a spongy patch of land. Ruffus heard voices in his head." Rejoice human filth. You have ushered in a new era of Gitax life, and for that we grant you new life." Ruffus clawed at his throat; his eyes oozed a gray sickly oil. "I knew this was a bad idea," murmured Ruffus as he blacked out. Reevus ran as fast as he could. The Owls mourned the death of their swamp, and the Vultures mocked the young man. "You can't escape us, pitiful youth. All you can do is embrace our gift to you," said a voice that seemed to come from everywhere. A skeletal being with long blonde hair appeared in front of Reevus. Gray ooze poured from the skeletal beings eyes and mouth." Come let mother help," moaned the skeleton. "No! Stay away!" Shrieked Reevus. The skeleton walked toward Reevus. The young man ran, but stumbled on a log. Before he could get up, the skeletal being was on him. The skeleton clawed Reevus, then planted its teeth into Reevus' skull. Reevus screamed in utter terror.
Chapter 1: Gideon's Dream
Gideon lifted himself out of bed, roughed up his brown hair, and scratched his black stubble of a beard. Gideon would normally take this time in the morning to shave and eat breakfast, but instead he packed a bag with urgency. He took only what he needed, and ran out the door with his bag and trusted sword. Gideon rode his horse into town square. He was met by a bloated old man. "Gideon, what is the meaning of calling everyone to this sudden meeting," asked the man. "Mayor Tummel, your question will be answered in few minutes." Gideon with a roar like a Lion, called upon the people. "People of Gathana, I call this meeting to tell you of dire news. Kalia's great avenger, Ratumus came to me in a dream. He came as a great white ball of light, with great pillars of light shooting from the ball of light. He told me a great evil will wage war upon the five nations of Terragall, and that Gathana would be the first victim of the nation of Kalia." The people laughed at Gideon, and scoffed at his dream. "The nation of Kalia has enjoyed a great age of peace, that has lasted hundreds of years," said Mayor Tummul. "Why would our great savior, Kalia forsake us now?" "She has not forsaken us; she just doesn't have the power to save us from this terrible new threat." The people of Gathana continued to mock Gedion. "How dare you say Kalia is too weak!" Shouted some of the villagers. Tummel tried to calm the people,"now. Now. Calm down my people of Gathana. Where this evil suppose to strike from?" "Sulghoul," said Gideon dryly. The people of Gathana laughed in mocking manner. "Sulghoul?" asked Mayor Tummul." No one has heard from Sulghoul in ten years. Even if we did, how would they attack without warning the neighboring nations of Searean and Bazzark?" "I was not told of how they would get to Kalia. Only that these creatures would make their way to Gathana." "I'm sorry Gideon, but this is ridiculous. Now I won't stop anyone who wants to go with you, but i will not command these lovely people to follow you to wherever you are going." " I was commanded to ride to Kalio, the capital. I was told to warn King Thorrus of the invasion." Tummul scoffed at him, "nonsense, King Thorrus will never believe your nonsense." "That may be, but I must try. Now please I beg of you at least let me take your child to Kalio." "Never!" Shouted the villagers. "We would never give our kids crazy man like you." Gideon was overcome sadness, for he knew by tomorrow they would all be slaughtered. A blonde haired boy with beaming blue eyes, raised his hand meekly. "Yes child?" Asked Gideon Wurmtooth. "Can we pray to Kalia for an answer?" Asked the young teenager. "Yes. I implore you all pray for answers. You have till noon tomorrow to leave the city." The boy nodded than left for home with urgency. A sickly woman brought her twin daughters to Gideon. "Please take my daughters to Kalio. I'm sick, and would not be able to care for my kids." The girls cried for their mother, but their mother urged them to follow Gideon. "Don't worry my lady, I will take your daughters safely to Kalio. If no one else will come, then I must be leaving. Pack what you need girls; we leave soon. Farewell Tummul, I hope I'm wrong." "Farwell Gideon, may you travel with Kalia on your side." Gideon rode off with the twins to the great city of Kalio. The people still mocked Gideon when he was long gone. A great priest of Kalia wearing fine white robes and wielding a gold scepter decorated with fine jewels, told Tummul of what he thought, "don't heed that warrior; he's a novice of an old era. This city, and the great cathedral of Kalia will never burn." "Thank you Father of Kalia for your words," said Tummul. Tummul was still not sure if he made the right decision. The sickly mother was torn from having to say goodbye to her children. She coughed, then headed to bed. She dreamed that her two daughters died of old age on a tropical island; surrounded by grandchildren. The mother died in her sleep, but died knowing that Kalia would bless her kids with a long life. When the boy came through the door, he heard his mom. "Tommen honey, is that you?" "Yes mom." "How was the town meeting you so badly wanted to go?" "Gideon Wurmtooth warned of a great evil, and told us we were going to perish." "Really? smiled Tommen's mother." "Yes, and I'm going to pray to Kalia for the answer." Tommen's mother smiled, "good. I hope you find the answer." It was late, and both Tommen's two older sisters and parents were asleep. He knelt, then Prayed to Kalia. "Dear Kalia, I come to you a humble child seeking an answer. I only seek one answer. What must I do concerning the leaving of the city I was born in?" When Tommen finished his prayer, a great light flashed. An Angel with curly blonde hair, and fair skin emerged from the light. "My child Tommen, of all the people of Gathana, you were the only one to pray to me, and for that I thank you. Tommen, I want you and your family to go to the wilderness of Murugana. Take only what you need and, go to the wilderness." "Won't it be dangerous to dwell in the wilderness, and even Murugana, a completely different nation?" "If you follow my every word you will be safe from harm. In three hours you must pack your things and leave." The light faded, and just like that Tommen was left with his own thoughts. Tommen woke his family, and told them of his vision. His older sisters mocked him, and even threw small rocks at him. "Enough," said Tommen's father. Mera, what do you think of Tommen's vision. "Erren, I believe our son's vision with every fiber of my being." Erren looked around, then made his decision. "Pack your bags. We leave in the early morning." The sister grumbled and moaned,"why should we believe him? He's just a child. A small, pathetic boy." Gina, Kylie, you will be quite now!" yelled Erren. "Your brother is thirteen years old; by the laws of Kalia he is a man. We must trust his judgement. The family packed their things, and before they left, they prayed to Kalia. An old farmer tilling his land saw the family head into the Great Plains. "I see you're heeding Gideon Wurmtooth's warnings." Tommen told the man of his vision. The old man felt compelled to leave with them,"can I leave with you?" "Yes, but you should pray to Kalia. Your path may be different than ours." said Tommen. "Yes boy. That sounds like a good idea. Let me get my things." The old man packed his bag, and even felt compelled to take his pitchfork. When he came back, they fled west, heading to Murugana.