Pugs-Lofa knows she is special, everyone on the Missionist Council has told her, including the High-Missionist of Cormona. It is a heavy burden though, to have such expectations placed upon one’s shoulders. It has been a long while since the last Chosen Missionist and people seem to be expecting her to be the next one. So they keep sending her on missions, each one harder than the last because she has a talent for surviving them. She has to, for her lover, Gazho-Hula. If she dies, the woman she loves might move on. She might find someone else and arrive in the afterlife in love with someone else. That is the only things that she truly fears. Her death could cost her, her love. If the God of Strength has some special fate in mind for her, she will gladly accept it. But if He does not, that would suit her just fine. As long as she can be with Gazho-Hula, the rest is unimportant. For all her religious faith, the only thing she truly believes in, is their love.
And then her lover leaves. After all those missions she went on, Gazho-Hula finally has one of her own: an expedition to the Northern Continent. The Gorths uncovered a settlement of sorts as well as mass-graves. They found grosses of skeletal remains from at least nine different karzuns. And no one knows what happened to them or why they were there in the first place.
After a few months, Pugs-Lofa is finally allowed to travel to the Northern Continent and spend time with her love. Her life. But when she arrives, she finds that the place is empty and there are no signs of any struggle. But she does find the telltale signs of people falling over and there are strange footprints everywhere. They seem to have been made by feet that have talons instead of toes. She knows of only one karzun on this continent that has those: the Northern Korrosin. A viciously intelligent people, dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. As part of that pursuit, they perform terrifying and horrible experiments on living subjects. And they do so in their underground lands, known to the outside as ‘Hell’.
A cold takes hold of her. The devils took her lover.
She whispers it to herself. “The devils took my lover.” Then she repeats it, again and again, until warmth returns to her. And that warmth becomes a fire, raging in her soul.
They took her life from her.
She sneers at the world. No worries, she will just have to take her back.
Read alsoThe Two Civil War Battles of Newtonia
Though the First and Second Battles of Newtonia did not match epic Civil War battles like Antietam, where over thirty-five hundred soldiers were killed in a single day, and Gettysburg, where twice that number died in three days of fighting, such smaller engagements were just as important to the men who lived through them. The ones who didn’t were…
Books in the Valderia series:
V01M01 Chosen Missionist
V02M02 Heretical Missionist
V03M03 Hellbound Missionist