We've all had one of those days where it's just hard to be us. But did you ever have one where you think to yourself, "I can finally check off that project I've been trying to finish for the last year" and then that last checkbox on your to-do list releases a forgotten evil on the land? No? Count yourself lucky. This is Aeryn Ravane's day in a nutshell at the start of book 1 of my dark fantasy series, Into the Darkness.
And how exactly does one's day turn THAT sour? It starts with a healthy dose of guilt.
Aeryn's father, or rather adoptive father, died the year before in a tragic accident, one she blames herself for. Afterwards, she asks herself what was the one thing on his bucket list that he really wanted to finish? Oh, yeah. Break the ancient curse on the Black Caverns.
And who wouldn't want to tackle that one? It had only been going strong, killing one adventurer after another, for over a century.
Derek Ravane was a soldier and a guy who LOVED puzzles. It didn't matter if it was military game theory or an ancient curse, he was there. So, Aeryn picks that one, thinking she can kill two birds with one stone: honor her father and collect a sword sought after by many. This sword happens to have belonged to legendary adventurer Tynan Selvantyr, the one who set the curse in the first place. Aeryn's decides that if she can get the sword out of the caverns, maybe she can forge a new path for herself. After all, according to the stories about him, the sword was pretty good at bringing Tynan some good luck, at least until his demise.
But as they say, the best laid plans often go astray.
Not long after Aeryn enters the caverns, she finds she has a tag-along, one named Theo, a thief with some issues of her own. This discovery places Aeryn in the uncomfortable position of becoming the young thief's reluctant caretaker. Then they have a new problem, as things in the caverns start getting strange.
Something dark and unseen dogs them through the caverns. It follows them all the way back to the city of Valis. By the time Aeryn is confronted by the evil that she unleashed, it's too late for her to turn back.
While the twin problems of watching out for Theo and facing down the evil once imprisoned in the caverns would make some people turn tail, Aeryn's father taught her never to back down from a challenge. She runs straight into the darkness to stop what she let loose, with every intention on winning. Even if it kills her. But that might be a little poetic justice in Aeryn's mind.
Nobody ever said Aeryn was a little ray of sunshine.
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