No, you didn't read that incorrectly. Today is the last update for Mortis Custos Book 1. After a quick discussion with Zak, I felt at this point, the book needed to be wrapped up. However, this isn't the end. Read today's update to see what ends have been neatly tied up, versus those that remain open.
Several days had passed, and the people of Dragonshold, who had fled, were slowly trickling back. They had expected more damage to the castle but marvelled that the worse of the damage had been to the surrounding land. Deep farrows showed where a fight had taken place between titans, but there was nothing left of what had fallen.
The undead beyond the walls had quickly been dispatched before being thrown into deep pits and burned to ash by magical flame, releasing any tortured souls that may have remained. Any of the living who had fallen within the castle were quickly honoured and buried deep, with a few enchantments to keep their mortal bodies entombed forever, thanks to Noxus.
She wasn’t the only one at hard work. Gorox had been charged by the queen to hunt down roaming undead, and he had only just returned with a few wagons full of unmoving undead. The two initiates of Kai had been invited by the queen to remain within Dragonshold for the bravery that they showed, yet both declined. They felt that they were ready to seek out new brothers and sisters and restart their quests. Their failure was now long behind them. Mary wished them well.
Of the religious zealots, none remained except for bloody smears that needed to be scrubbed clean. The Blaze Knights took on this task with zealous fury. However, instead of burning the scriptures, they locked them up and sent them to the home of their order with a messenger to tell of what happened. The Knights themselves were bickering about who of them would become the retainers for their new leader.
Mortis wanted nothing to do with the new responsibility placed on his shoulders and often retreated to the tombs of previous kings to clear his head. Here, he discovered he could call upon his sister. The fighting and the spell used to bring them back had created a rift which the two siblings could communicate through at will. However, it wasn’t open all the time, and would abruptly close for several hours or days before it opened once more. Occasionally resulting in a spirit of a previously past family member wandering where they shouldn’t.
Stephan, whose mortal body had been destroyed, but still retained his spiritual body, was charged with the task of keeping the dead from crossing into the mortal realm. A task he gladly took up for his undead queen.
Eventually, Adiran released the curse placed upon the tongue of Christoff, the high mage, and took him away for several days. No one knows of what they spoke, but when they return, both men seemed to have a newfound respect for each other.
Mary finally had the time she needed to mourn. She wore her mourning clothes and spoke to no one for two days to make peace with losing her husband. The young prince stood in his mother’s stead, despite it being his sister’s responsibility. He knew she was with her friend, who had seriously been injured. Adrian would spy Magna coming home late at night, only to vanish again as soon as first light appeared, with the kitchen’s pantry being significantly lighter.
Magna, skirting her royal duty, together with Helga, slowly nursed Derric back to health. By the time Millmor dug himself out of the grave dug for him, Derric had finally opened his eyes. He was still covered in fading scars, and only spoke a few words now and again, but he was alive and conscious.
“Why did you leave?” she demanded.
“You are not our people.” Said Millmor, “And Dragonshold isn’t ready for the truth about the young prince.”
“And what about me? And I ready to learn the truth? I can’t have a young prince roaming my land without knowing where he came from or his lineage.”
Derric gripped her arm, his wrists showing faint bands of purple that were not bruised, and whispered, “Soon.”
“Soon? What does that even mean?”
“You think this is over young queen?” Millmor shook his head slowly. “This is only the start. You and your brother are now God-touched. Your uncle should be preparing you for what is coming.”
“You mean my other uncle? I know mother is apprehensive about him…”
“There is so much more happening, and the land’s curse has barely shifted. This is only the start.”
Temolach barely managed to escape the land of Dragonshold. If it hadn’t been for the two remaining generals, the floating-ever-changing creature, and the blindfolded warrior, he doubt he would have been able to return. His energy and magic were just about gone, a small price to pay for the service he had given.
Yet, now that he was home, he knew he would have to face the fury of his master. The man had used so much power to prepare for this war, for there to not be a victory, surely he would be furious. However, as Temolach enter his master’s chamber, he heard him chuckle.
“So, the avatar spared you. I am glad it was you I sent to Dragonshold.”
A cloaked figure rose from its seat at a table.
“But Lord, I failed?”
“On the contrary, you have brought everyone I need for the next part of my plan together.” The figure waved his arm and a simmering sheet appeared next to him.
On the sheet were several people from the castle. Magna, the shape-changing boy, Adrian, Adiran, the Queen, and a few people Temolach didn’t know. One of which seemed to be riding ahead of a column of armoured knights toward Dragonshold.
“The avatars have tired each other out, and now my Master can make its move.”
Temolach froze. His master? Didn’t they serve the same Dark One? The necromancer’s confusion caught the attention of the figure. He laughed.
“Oh dear, you weren’t supposed to know about that. Oh well, you have already served your purpose. Your services will no longer be required Temolach.”
Temolach knew that his life was forfeit before the claws of the creatures behind him tore him to pieces. With the few precious seconds he had left, he looked up from the ground to the man he believed to be his master remove his cloak and grin. It was a face he had seen in the castle before. The name died on his lips as his life bled out on the floor.
“Clean that up. I have preparations I need to do before all the players are where I need them to be.”
It has been an amazing, year-long journey with @zakludick. At this point, there is nothing else that can be explored without opening a can of worms that is best for later books.
Yes, you read that right, books. Zak has created a massive world and we have barely scratched the surface. We're likely to chat over the weekend to see where we go from here, but rest assured that more adventures are inbound!
Thank you to all the fans that have read the entire book, I can't express how much it means to me and Zak that we have fans around the world reading our scribbles. There are even some future plans to get this down on paper, but that is a much later concern. For now, keep your eye peeled for the new book!
Mortis Custos Parts
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