The Seventh Circle
Todd Cheney, author
The Seventh Circle is a tale of high adventure, fantasy and destiny. An excerpt: "Mal Tarsis laid the book on the ground before the altar. He then knelt before it and opened it to a book-marked page. The bindings creaked with age as they always did. He remembered long nights poring over this tome just to decipher the ancient dialects within it. He found it strange that he had slaved so many long hours over this book. But he always knew there had to be something in it. Something that would give him the power that was rightfully his. If he succeeded in this ceremony tonight, then nothing could stand in his way. As Mal Tarsis knelt before the altar, he laid the curved blade atop the book so that it balanced over the curving pages. The first part of the ceremony would imbue the blade with the proper powers and nuances. Mal Tarsis read aloud from the book. He could hear nothing but his own voice now. The man's cries and pleas were a distant dream. He saw nothing but the aged, yellow pages and his hands as he followed the lines of text. He must concentrate. “With the soul of fire I consecrate you, With the stone of earth I will create you, Take from him his, which is not his, Take from him life, and give him this.” Mal Tarsis rose from the ground after reading these words. The knife took on a reddish hue. Everything went according to plan. Yet he had barely begun. Sweat began to bead on his forehead. . . . . . Mal Tarsis edged his way to the head of the altar. The final, most important, cut neared. He laid the blade across the man's throat. With a dark elation, the warlock drew the knife from one side to the other. As he did so, he spoke again. “I summon thee, oh timeless ones.” The warlock bolted from the center of the circles. To remain within would be suicide. Soon the tortured souls would bridge the gap between the Lands of Death and the mortal world. The outer circle of herbs protected the summoner and any others present from the souls of the damned. As he reached the outer edge of the second circle of herbs, Mal Tarsis quickly glanced at the red candles. The candles had not been very tall to begin with. They were almost three quarters down now. He must finish the spell quickly."