One character I’ve been waiting to introduce since the beginning of the series was Dariadus. While he’s a driving force behind Telyn’s choice to be a warrior, and behind Nacaris and Telyn’s relationship, he’s been a kind of background ghost of a character, spoken of, but never really known. With SISTER OF DRAGONS, Dariadus comes out of the shadows, and the interaction between Telyn and her old mentor became one of the most touching scenes of the entire book.
“Master and Apprentice” – Excerpt from SISTER OF DRAGONS (Legends of Tirum, Book 5)
A wry smile tugged at Telyn’s lips as she neared the larger, banner-bedecked tent near the center of the camp. She knew, from the moment they arrived, she would eventually end up here. She could no more avoid Dariadus’ counsel than she could avoid Kishfa‘s edicts. Truthfully, she wasn’t sure they weren’t one and the same.
She came to a stop just outside the tent, still telling herself she could avoid the awkward fear clinging to her. Dariadus still didn’t know she was here…
“Are you coming in, or have you chosen to have yourself reduced to a pillar of salt and sand, instead?” The voice from inside the tent was familiar, and laced with a remembered hint of caustic laughter.
Telyn’s lips quirked up further, and any hope of escaping fled her. What a fool she was! Of course Dariadus would sense her lurking right outside his tent. Somehow, she always managed to forget what an accomplished Majin he was.
“Why do I bother trying to have a private thought?” She quipped back as she ducked inside the tent. She stopped as the tent drape dropped behind her, and blinked as her eyes adjusted to the lighting difference, the night-sight which was her father’s genetic gift taking over to allow her to see as clearly in the dimness here as it did in the bright sun.
Dariadus lounged, desert-style, amidst a pile of cushions. His once-dark hair was now threaded with streaks of white and faint lines carved by laughter and life framed his eyes and mouth. But age had been kind to her old friend, and his body showed little of its ravages, his hands still steady as a rock, his form strong and steady as ever. He grinned at the sight of her, and opened his arms wide.
“Come. Greet me properly.”
She laughed, crouching to embrace him in a Sheliac greeting of kinship. “You’ve never had passing acquaintance with ‘proper,’ Dariadus. Why start now?”
As his arms came around her, she felt a familiar energy pulse through her, and deftly deflected his attempts to read her bodily and spiritual condition. She backed out of his embrace and settled across from him, to see the grin on his face.
“You’ve come into your own, then. This is good. I always worried you would try to outrun it until it was forced to kill you.”
Telyn cleared her throat and glanced away. No way would she let him know how accurate his fear had been. Until Ulambara, she hadn’t faced her destiny. The memory of the fiery, blinding battle with both herself and her enemy rose up, and she shoved it away. She wasn’t about to relive those memories now.
“I hear rumors,” Dariadus continued, as if unaware of her inward struggle. “They tell me you’ve not returned alone.” His gaze dropped pointedly to her midsection, where her pregnancy was becoming more obvious by the day. “I would say they’re correct.”
“I travel with two other Chosen, plus a Pyracanthrian and a child other than my own,” she confirmed, then lifted her chin and met his gaze directly as a fiercely protective energy welled up within her. “Nacaris is with me, too.”
Dariadus didn’t look the least bit surprised or unhappy about this news. “I did wonder if that boy would ever find you.”
She blinked. “You knew?”
He laughed. “The whelp held me at the point of his sword and swore he’d cut out my heart if I didn’t tell him where you’d gone. Not much can stand in the way of that kind of determination and regard. Just tell me I did no wrong when I hinted you went home to the Gild.” His gaze narrowed. “Tell me he treats you well.”
A soft smile curved on Telyn’s lips, and she chuckled. Nacaris more than treated her well. He loved her to distraction, which she knew was no easy task. She had more than enough fears for all of them. “There’s no one I would rather have at my side.”
Pick up your copy of SISTER OF DRAGONS, today… And see how the legend begins, with DAUGHTER OF ASHES, PHOENIX RISING, SPIRIT MAGE, and MISTRESS OF CATS, all available at Desert Breeze Publishing or Amazon.com