This is another teaser, a bit longer from my novel WIP The Unknown Dragon. It’s a bit rough, but I’d like to share it anyway.
The Manifold Gemstone glittered in the silvery light. Its facets radiated a cold, dark power. The light seemed sluggish to get away from the power of the gem. It almost drew the light back to itself.
His claws reached out to touch the surface, and extraordinary cold, like he had never known. The cold encircled the gem, making the very air icier than the earth’s regulating temperature.
The pedestal on which the gem sat glistened with chill beads of water, an ever-flowing wetness descended the smooth marble, like it would never erode from the water. Even the very cave walls, cut smooth, exhibited moisture, the silvery moss upon the ceiling emitted the only light.
What could he do with the gemstone? There was little enough information and most had been through tales.
He stared into its depths.
He could make out shadows moving within, serpent-like, floating around. Some darted at others, some did not move at all. One, in the center, tried to watch all the others as it spun around.
The cavern was nearly soundless, except with the dripping of the water on the walls. The room felt deliberate, like it was made for something. All the passages leading to it were rough hewn, and very haphazard in their twisting. This room was a near perfect square, with four marble support columns and the marble pedestal holding the gemstone on display.
The Manifold Gemstone was protected by very powerful runes. He could make out a few etches on the pedestal itself, but they were so fine it was difficult to tell. On the walls, themselves, all the runes were engraved in a circle around the pedestal. The lesser runes occupied the lower third of the walls, the principle filled the middle, and the five Lost runes the top most. These runes had very old power.
When he first entered the room, he noticed them right away, and almost shrank back into the passageway he’d just left. But there was nothing but solid wall behind him. The Runes did not direct at keeping anything away, and he laughed. If they had he wouldn’t have known until it was too late. Each rune directed its power on the gemstone atop the pedestal.
The walls were simple illusion, at least the part covering the passageways. He had found several. He remember he entered between the Air and Earth runes.
He could feel the power of the ancient runes, a giant force that would have heated anything through in a matter of moments, but the gemstone cooled the room. If not for the runes it would be freezing, if not of the gemstone it would be boiling. He doubted the design wasn’t purposeful.