Read The Inner Circle: Holy Spirit Online

Authors: Cael McIntosh

Tags: #friendship, #murder, #death, #demon, #religion, #sex, #angel, #war, #holy spirit, #owl

The Inner Circle: Holy Spirit

BOOK: The Inner Circle: Holy Spirit
2.55Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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Book Two

The Inner Circle

Holy Spirit

Cael McIntosh

Copyright © 2015 Cael
McIntosh

All rights
reserved.

ISBN-10:
0646938150

ISBN-13:
978-0-646-93815-8

 

DEDICATION

 

 

For the broken.

CONTENTS

 

 

 

Prologue: Someone
Missing

1

1

Sometimes Blood is Not
Thicker than Water

10

2

Tears

22

3

The Curse

34

4

The High Elder

49

5

Distant Horizon

60

6

It Begins

67

7

Upon the Wind

75

8

The End is Nigh

81

9

Demons

95

10

Unexpectation

106

11

Your People

119

12

Sa’Tanist

126

13

Betrayal

136

14

Rain

146

15

The Clouds Are Caving
In

154

16

Wept For

165

17

Tension

176

18

The Devil’s
Crown

186

19

Far-a-mael’s War

195

20

The Inner
Monster

204

21

Home

214

22

A Turn for the
Worst

225

23

The Sufferers

232

24

Black Powder
Bombs

242

25

Hel Fire

249

26

Mother

256

27

A Formidable Foe

265

28

In the Dead of
Night

274

29

He Gathering
Winds

282

30

Disruption

289

31

Disunity

296

32

Murderer

306

33

The Disquiet
Spirit

320

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prologue

Someone Missing

 

 

His fingers ached due to a temperature
lower than that which he’d felt in many years. Snowflakes gently
gathered and clung to his short beard and dark hair. His back was
sore from countless days riding atop a horse and yet still he
persevered.

What made an ordinary countryman
travel half the length of the world leaving both his home and
business to crumble? Gifn Eltari loved his daughter.

Across the empty expanse of smooth ice
towered the immense frozen cliffs that were home to the secretive
cleff societies of the Elglair. The cleff that Gifn had fixed
firmly in his sights was known as the Sixth and he’d travelled a
hazardous journey to reach the place. He’d ridden on little more
than faith and a few offhand tips from strangers in foreign cities
that had happened upon the party he now perused so vehemently.

Gifn had travelled from Elmsville to
Sitnic and on into Riverend, where he’d been tipped off in regards
to his daughter’s destination. The man warned that Gifn’s daughter
had boarded a riverboat destined to cut through the heart of Cold
Wood. Gifn dared not to take that route, instead travelling all the
way from Sat Elmore to Sat Effin and finally into Sat Elam. It was
there that he discovered rumours of an Elglair woman having passed
through the city with a young companion. Up until reaching Sat
Elmore, Gifn could’ve only been a matter of days behind the
travellers, but having had to take the long journey north of the
city he could only imagine how far behind he’d fallen.

The scenery surrounding him
would’ve been beautiful to the hardest of hearts, but for Gifn the
ancient place held memories naught but grim. The great cliffs drew
up painful recollections of the price his wife had had to pay to be
him.

Jil-e-an--or, as she’d later came
to be called, Jillian--had very rarely spoken of her home in the
Eighth Cleff. In many ways, Gifn had been aware of her desire to
return, even just one last time. But that was impossible. It was
forbidden that any Elglair should marry an outlander. Even
association was frowned upon. Chapped lips smiled grimly as Gifn
drove his horse ever closer to the waiting city. Jil-e-an had been
a strong woman and she’d chosen a life of her own desire. If only
she could’ve lived it a little longer.

When the newly married couple had
chosen Elmsville--a quiet little town in Gor Narvon--as a place to
settle down, they’d done so under the impression that there, they
would be safe. The place was as far away from the Frozen Lands as
one could get while maintaining a healthy distance from Old World.
At the time, it was commonly believed that not a single whisp had
made it so far north as Elmsville in well over a hundred years.
It’d been a cruel twist of fate that one should reach their town
with the intent of killing Jil-e-an.

Jil-e-an had died without making
a sound. It was the screaming of his infant daughter that had woken
Gifn. At the sound of her piercing cry, he’d thrown the blankets
aside and hurried out into the hallway. There he’d found Jil-e-an’s
lifeless body, collapsed outside their daughter’s bedroom. All that
was left to tell of her demise was the final slithers of black mist
penetrating her flesh.

When the screaming came to a stop,
Seteal went for many days without uttering a sound at all. She
didn’t cry for food. She didn’t laugh or respond to any of the
games she’d once enjoyed. It was as though she’d felt her mother’s
death.

A shiver ran down Gifn’s spine. She
very probably had.

Seteal had been a quiet, somewhat
complacent child, waiting until her teenage years before developing
a hot-headed and often rude disposition. Gifn had never told his
daughter of her heritage. He knew her too well. If Seteal had
discovered the truth, she’d have likely packed a bag and travelled
to the Frozen Lands of her own volition. As a half-caste, there she
would find only rejection and ridicule. True to Jil-e-an’s wishes,
Gifn had successfully kept the secret--up until so many weeks ago
when the Elglair came knocking.

Even now, Gifn was unable to
fathom why they’d come for Seteal. Jil-e-an had said that they
never would. Not only was Seteal a shame to the Elglair, but by
their standards, she was the child of an illegitimate marriage. If
the Elglair chose any action at all, Jil-e-an felt sure that they’d
more likely avoid Elmsville than enter into it.


Whoa there.’ Gifn
called his horse to a stop several strides before a steep decline,
where the ground sank to form an immense basin valley. Never having
been to the Sixth Cleff, he’d made sure to be cautious approaching
it. The Elglair were known for their trickery and the basin was
very likely a defence mechanism against invasion. Climbing steadily
from his saddle, Gidn made his way over to the edge. The cleff was
composed of the ice-carved structures one would expect in the
Frozen Lands, but upon closer inspection, it became evident that
all was not well in the Elglair city.

At the centre of the cleff was a pile
of partially melted rubble so large that Gifn could only guess at
the size of the structure that’d previously stood there. Great
pools of water had formed where the ground had caved in. It was
very difficult to melt Elglair-manufactured ice and Gifn couldn’t
help but wonder what might’ve happened to destroy it. Other
buildings in the city had been decimated, too, but none more so
than the one at its centre.

On the eastern side of the basin, a
hidoan of thousands had been gathered, but plenty more of the
Elglair soldiers milled about in the central parts of the cleff.
Tents of varying sizes filled the area to the east. It was there
that Gifn realised he’d find the man he sought.

After about twenty minutes of
searching for an entrance into the basin, Gifn came upon a sloping
pathway that led down to the eastern side. Realising that his horse
was nervous about descending the dangerous terrain, Gifn tied the
animal to an ice tree and continued on alone. Eventually the
pathway levelled out and he found himself walking cautiously
amongst Elglair homes. Men and women going about their business
turned to stare at him, their white pupils locking on him in
astonishment.

A small boy pulled at his mother’s arm.
‘What’s wrong with his eyes?’ The woman responded only by dragging
her son in the opposite direction. Gifn shook his head in
disbelief.

Eventually the roads thinned out
and Gifn found himself travelling across open planes as he
approached the eastern military operation. Small tents filled the
space on the outskirts of the gathering, but as he got closer, he
noticed more prestigious abodes at the centre. As he slid past the
first row of tents, he began to wonder how long it would take
before he was noticed and questioned.

Gifn wasn’t left wondering very long.
The cold blade of a long sword touched the flesh of his neck and he
froze immediately.

BOOK: The Inner Circle: Holy Spirit
2.55Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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