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Authors: Adam Blade

Tartok the Ice Beast

BOOK: Tartok the Ice Beast
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B
EAST
Q
UEST

B
OOK
F
IVE

T
ARTOK

T
HE
I
CE
B
EAST

A
DAM
B
LADE

ILLUSTRATED BY
E
ZRA
T
UCKER

With special thanks to Stephen Cole

To Karen, for all she’s done on the Quest

Contents

Cover

Title Page

Dedication

Dear Reader

P
ROLOGUE
: B
LOOD ON
I
CE

C
HAPTER
O
NE
: Q
UEST TO THE
N
ORTH

C
HAPTER
T
WO
: A S
IGHTING ON THE
I
CE

C
HAPTER
T
HREE
: E
NCOUNTER ON THE
P
LAINS

C
HAPTER
F
OUR
: T
ERROR BY
N
IGHT

C
HAPTER
F
IVE
: T
HE
E
XPEDITION

C
HAPTER
S
IX
: T
HE
R
ESCUE

C
HAPTER
S
EVEN
: T
ORN
A
PART

C
HAPTER
E
IGHT
: F
URY ON THE
I
CE

C
HAPTER
N
INE
: T
HE
P
RICE OF
V
ICTORY

C
HAPTER
T
EN
: T
HE
H
EALING

Copyright

Reader,

Welcome to Avantia. I am Aduro — a good wizard residing in the palace of King Hugo. You join us at a difficult time. Let me explain….

It is laid down in the Ancient Scripts that the peaceful kingdom of Avantia would one day be plunged into danger by the evil wizard, Malvel.

That time has come.

Under Malvel’s evil spell, six Beasts — fire dragon, sea serpent, mountain giant, night horse, ice beast, and winged flame — run wild and destroy the land they once protected.

The kingdom is in great danger.

The Scripts also predict an unlikely hero. They say that a young boy shall take up the Quest to free the beasts and save the kingdom.

We pray this young boy will take up the Quest. Will you join us as we wait and watch?

Avantia salutes you,

Aduro

P
ROLOGUE

B
LOOD ON
I
CE

A
LBIN TOOK THE LEATHER SATCHEL FROM HIS
back and kneeled down beside a small patch of dirt and rock peeking through the ice. Gently, he began to work the rock free, careful not to damage what might be beneath.

As a young boy, Albin had learned the ways of the ice. He knew that the sun would heat the exposed rocks. And that around and underneath the warmed rocks, moss, lichen, and other plants would grow. His father and others could take these mosses and make them into medicine. He had seen wounded men, sick children, and frost-weary travelers restored to health by these plants.
And he had felt their healing powers for himself — a few years ago, a deadly fever had threatened his life. The moss medicine saved him.

It was Albin’s first time collecting without the elders, and he was determined not to come home empty-handed. He started in right away, pulling up stones as he went and surveying the ground below. Albin’s cousin, Oskie, walked nearby, kicking roughly at the occasional rock and checking hastily underneath it. But Albin was too focused on his own task to notice.

Underneath one of the larger stones, Albin found something. The bright green lichen on the underside of the rock was among the rarest. The medicine it made was strong — one plant would be able to save many lives.

“Over here!” Albin called to his cousin.

“What is it?” Oskie asked lazily. He was lying on his back nearby, watching the long, wispy clouds in the sky.

“Look at this!” Albin pointed to what he had found. “A healing herb.”

Oskie got up slowly and came over. Together, the boys carefully pulled the lichen from the rock. It came off in long strips that they rolled into tight coils. When they finished with that stone, they turned over another, larger one.

Under the next rock was even more of the healing herb. The boys worked quickly. It was already late in the afternoon, and they would have to return to their village before it got too dark.

As he adjusted to the rhythm of the work — overturning rocks, pulling up the moss, and storing it in the satchel — Albin forgot to stay aware of his surroundings. The first rule of the ice is to always know where you are and what is around you.

Suddenly alarmed, Albin looked up from the rock. He surveyed the hard, icy landscape stretching out into the distance, glimmering under the
burnt orange of the setting sun. Satisfied that things were safe, he went back to work.

Finishing with that rock, he moved to the next.

“Oskie, help me turn this stone,” he said to his cousin. But there was no reply. “Oskie?”

Albin turned around to see what Oskie was doing. Expecting to see his cousin daydreaming again, he was surprised to find him standing with a rigid, terrified look on his face.

“What is it, Oskie?” Albin asked.

“There! In the distance —” Oskie stammered, fear in his voice.

On the horizon, drawing near, was a towering creature. Its shaggy fur was thick and dark, and stood out against the white of the icy plains. Blood-red eyes glared at the boys, and its huge, curving claws sliced through the air. Drooling jaws snapped open to reveal stained, yellow fangs.

Albin was too scared even to scream. He slowly backed away, pulling his cousin with him. Dragging
his eyes away from the monster’s jaws, Albin saw it wore a glowing collar around its neck. The fur there had been clawed away to reveal raw pink flesh.

The monster stamped one massive paw down on the ice. Sparks seemed to dance around it, and the shockwave jarred every bone in Albin’s body. The cousins tried to scramble away, but the ice was cracking all around them. Huge gaps began to open as the boys tried desperately to get away from the roaring Beast.

Albin was too slow. The monster’s claws swiped against his side, tearing through his thick clothes. He gripped his side in pain and fell to the ground. But the Beast wasn’t finished with him yet. The next blow sent Albin sliding toward a huge crack in the ice.

Oskie flung himself toward Albin. But the ice was slippery, and Oskie couldn’t hold on for long. Together, the cousins went tumbling into the dark abyss under the ice.

C
HAPTER
O
NE

Q
UEST TO THE
N
ORTH


O
F ALL THE PLACES OUR
B
EAST
Q
UEST HAS
taken us,” Tom said, “this must be the most incredible!” He stared out at the icy plains. They stretched into the distance under a sky of vivid blue.

“It’s so open,” Elenna agreed, pulling her shawl tightly around her. “It looks as if the ice goes on forever.” In one direction, the ice plains seemed to disappear into the horizon. On the other side, snow-capped mountains rose like sharp teeth biting into the sky.

Tom smiled at his friend. Something about the landscape felt magical. Elenna smiled back. Her
pet wolf, Silver, pressed up to her, his shiny gray fur speckled with snow. She looked grateful for the warmth of his body against her legs.

“I’ll check the map and see how much farther we have to go,” Tom said. He pulled the well-worn scroll from the saddlebag of his stallion, Storm. The horse stood like a dark shadow against the whiteness all around, and gave a soft nicker as Tom patted his neck.

“We’re close to the northern edge of Avantia. We’ll need to go eastward soon.” Tom pointed to the red path on the map that showed their route. It glowed and pulsed on the parchment paper.

This was no ordinary map. It was a magical map given to them by the wizard Aduro. It guided Tom and Elenna on their quest to rid the kingdom of a deadly threat.

The Beasts.

All his life, Tom had heard stories of the Beasts
that dwelled in the deepest corners of the kingdom of Avantia — dragons, sea serpents, horse-men, and giants, just to name a few. Growing up with his aunt and uncle, he used to think they were fairy tales. He’d certainly never seen a Beast. But then he’d never laid eyes on his father Taladon, either, and Tom believed he’d meet him one day.

BOOK: Tartok the Ice Beast
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