Since the dawn of time there has been conflict driven by something sinister behind the scenes. When two men cursed with immortality discover secrets hidden in the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of them uses the knowledge in an attempt to bring humanity to judgement. In a race that spans time, these two eternals travel to various locations around the globe to seek out ancient artifacts of legend. They meet and inspire key historical figures, while leaving their marks on history and igniting wars. No matter who becomes victor of this conflict, one thing is for certain… humanity won’t be prepared for what’s to come.
Targeted Age Group:: Teen – Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I had a concept for doing a book about war throughout various points in history for a few years. After coming up with a plot I decided that I could add an element of mystery and mythology to it in a way that makes it less depressing and more intriguing. The world is surrounded by conflict, so there wasn't a better time to do it than now.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Cain, Tehum and Lilith have all been in at least one of my prior novels, and though their fates weren't all positive, readers loved Cain and Lilith especially. I decided that I could bring them both back in a redeemable prequel sort of way. At the end of the book I came up with Dr. Erin Vaughn, who I felt would be a strong lead female character for future entries. She's based on the many amazing women in my family and whom I know.
Seeds of Conflict
Approximately 196,000 years B.C.E.
Darkness is as ancient as the universe itself. It creeps up when least expected, yet also remains constant as cyclical night. It is an embodiment of nothingness. Evil tends to lurk there but rears its head in mysterious ways. And what defines evil? Is it a definition by mankind of a point of view that most don’t understand? Or is it truly something wicked and vile reigning as the antithesis to who we naturally are?
When man first sinned the entity that has been defined as evil was invited into this world. It is by all definitions of the word, “conflict,” regardless of its origin by name. An ancient
entity residing within the dark had remained lurking in the
shadows as a silent observer. Then man sinned again, this
time taking the life of another. The entity rose from the shadows and saw opportunity in one who would do what it thought was the way it should be. While history recorded Cain as the murderer of his brother Abel, indeed this was only part of the truth. The real villain of the story had premeditated what would have been Cain’s jealous reaction.
Cain had never actually taken Abel’s life, but he regretted ever having the thought of doing so. The real murderer was
unsatisfied by the deed, and when darkness came upon
him he accepted it with open arms.
Evil had taken the form of man. Since that time, he’d gone by a few names, but he would have many more monikers throughout his existence. On its own the entity of evil could never achieve more than a temporary victory over its better counterpart. By merging with a human; however, it saw potential and an approach that it couldn’t take directly.
Using one man to persuade and influence other humans, the Dark One could go to war in a quest to find a solution to passing judgement on those who have been perceived as good. None were all that good, for all had flaws. Judgement would come upon them all, and the entity would be the one to pass that verdict on its terms.
It would take a long time, but patience was something of
which the evil one had plenty. The more people that could be allied with the darkness, the more powerful it would become.
The killer’s birth name had been forgotten over the two thousand plus years he’d been merged with the dark one. When asked for it, he’d simply reply, “Tehum,” which meant “dark abyss”. It was a fitting title when one needed to use it for reference.
On this particular day, he had been asked just that such question. “What shall I call you?” said a man with sun crisped skin in loose, ragged robes. He was an elder of the land. That fact Tehum knew by the man’s ancient looking appearance. His age, indeterminable by the standards of the time, didn’t matter. What the Dark one needed from the merchant was only his wisdom.
The murderer addressed the old man, “You can call me, Tehum”. His voice was gruff as if age had taken its toll, but not in an elderly way. It was hoarse as if he’d spent hours shouting obscenities at the sky. He’d never actually done that, but the thought had crossed his mind on more than a few occasions. Anger was not part of his persona. No matter how frustrated he might become, he always kept a level head. It was this approach, his cool and calm demeanor that made him more intimidating.
This intimidation resounded with his voice. “Word travels across the lands that you are a man who tells an interesting story.”
The old man studied him suspiciously. “That depends on which story you are wishing to hear.”
Tehum sat across from the elder without being invited and said, “I want to know the story for which people make a mockery of you.”
The old man grunted. Waving a dismissive hand he claimed, “I haven’t told that in a long time. Forget the
old tales. Those words are just those of a fool’s imagination. Perhaps these will interest you instead.”
The dark one’s eyes didn’t even glance down at the linens that the old man was selling. It was ironic that the one wearing the ragged clothes would be selling better ones. It didn’t seem like a very good marketing standpoint. Instead, Tehum pushed them away and stood tall before the geezer saying, “I have traveled far for a good tale. I don’t care what people believe or don’t believe. I want to know what your story is. You’d be surprised at how much I enjoy ancient things. I myself have some tales I could tell. For now I want to know about the cave people from beyond. You will share this with me, now won’t you?”
The old man grinned and held out some of the linens. “For a price of course.”
Tehum reacted by retrieving a precious stone from his waist pouch. He flicked it with a thumb at the man. It spun in the air and landed in the elder’s palm. When Tehum refused the linens, the old man became cautious. Biting the stone to test for authenticity, he soon discovered it was real by the taste and texture. To pay this much for a story must mean this Tehum was a lonely man or a fool. Reluctantly the man tossed the linens down and rested his weary legs as he sat upon the ground and this time invited the other to do so as well.
When Tehum sat, the old man began, “When I was a child, I used to hear noises at night. My great grandfather had told me about the cave dwellers of the sky. It was a silly tale, but I always thought these noises were wendigo or perhaps even a Grendel. One night I found out otherwise. I’d braved the blackness of night and followed one of the closer noises. It could have been a large animal from the heavy touching of feet upon the ground, but animals do not move in such patterns. I was able to follow the sounds, until I stepped into an unseen hole and fell. I don’t know how far it was, but I do know what I saw next. There were stars under the earth that filled deep caverns with daylight. They marked a path further down into the cave, where I saw something that was not quite human, yet not quite animal. It terrified me, so I quickly ran away. I managed to escape unseen after climbing a steep wall. I swore to return the next morning to investigate, but I could never again find that entrance.”
Tehum sat forward with interest. “Tell me about these creatures.”
“It turns out that I believe my great grandfather’s story may not have been all false,” claimed the elder. “He’d told me that long ago, before the time of man the planet was a place filled with gigantic beasts and lizards. These dragons ruled over all, until something fell from the heavens. It struck the ground with the wrath of the gods. Most died. Few lived on, but not many. From within the center of this godly wrath, emerged a large group of people. They were not like us, but in some ways they were. It was said that they carried ancient artifacts and the secrets to the universe. They knew things we never will, but they kept it all secretive from us.”
“How do you know that is the type of creature you saw?” asked Tehum.
“My grandfather,” continued the elder, “said that the legends told of man and woman who hunched over much like a gorilla. Their teeth and jaws were more pronounced, along with their foreheads. Sinewy muscle covered their bodies, and while they could walk upright, they chose to use all four limbs to traverse faster. That is the type of creature I saw, and I could hear them speak too. They weren’t animal. They were something much more. At the time I was frightened, but I wish I’d never left. After all these years of being mocked, I still believe it in my mind.”
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