Obsidian Trilogy

-- Illustrated fantasy novel --
Updates thrice a week

Chapter 14. Intruder

Chapter 14. Intruder

Lost in the vastness of Sereg’s land, a lonely man was making his way through the blizzard. He was cold to the bone; the tattered cloak he wore offered little protection from such weather. He was ill; on top of all his suffering, cruel fits of coughing sometimes made him bend over with pain.

The long journey had left the man almost empty-handed. The only thing left in his backpack was a heavy lab journal.

The man’s name was Ney Kargill. It was the name he had believed would be known to every man, woman, and child in Omnis one day: “Ney Kargill, the greatest scientist of humanity”, no less. But approaching the precious truth dwarfed that dream, made it look as ridiculous as a little child’s fantasies. The light of the greatest discovery was blinding; nothing could compare with it. No wonder the practical, level-headed Ney abandoned everything and everyone to bring the word of his findings not to human mages but to Sereg himself. The wonderful light still burning under his heart, Ney kept going on and on, even after getting robbed and beaten up on his way there; even when the horrible blizzard began.

The blizzard… It hid the sky and the mountains, the forests and just any other landmark that could’ve helped Ney to find out where he was. He was lost.

Ney wasn’t a spellcasting mage - his strength was theory, not practice - but even if he were one he wouldn’t be able to make a fire here, so close to Hora Lunaris. His only hope now was to be found and rescued by Sereg or one of his servants. And that hope was slowly dying along with him…


Orion was looking for Kangassk everywhere but couldn’t find him. Finally, a tiny handwritten note in the lab gave him a clue as to where to look for the lost Apprentice: in the armoury. So Orion headed there.


“Hi,” he said, closing the door behind him.

“Hi,” Kangassk quietly echoed his greeting. The young man looked busy.

“What are you doing with your sword?”

“Removing the handguard.”

“What for?”


Kan put the sword aside and lifted his eyes to Orion.


“Ever heard of Lifekeepers?” he asked.

“The warriors of mercy…” Orion scratched his smooth chin thoughtfully. “Yes, I’ve heard of them.”

“Well, I have decided to become one,” said Kangassk, a tone of stubbornness in his voice.

“Commendable choice,” the son of stars nodded. “Let me guess what led you to it… Did Vlada show you the Primal World?”

“You knew!” Kangassk’s voice tinged with anger. “Why did you do that, Orion? It was YOUR dream! You should’ve been the one going there with Vlada…”

“Yes, I knew,” said Orion in a cheerful tone as he was drawing something on the dusty table with his finger. “Since Malconemershghan’s time, the worldholders have been silent about their world. That guy used to be the only Apprentice they had trusted with the secret of the Primal World, and you know how things turned out with him. Still, I had a feeling that giving that photo back to Vlada or Sereg might shake their old beliefs a bit. They can be sentimental sometimes, you know.”

“Why did you waste this opportunity on me? Why!” Kan slammed his fist on the table; tools rattled.

“Whoa, calm down, Kangassk,” said Orion softly, “you’re scaring poor old me here. See, if I were the one who found the photo, I’d return it and reap the reward for sure. But since luck, fate, or whatever had given this chance to you, who was I to take it away? Friends don’t do such things, right?”


Kangassk didn’t answer; he got back to work instead.

His Kuldaganian master would’ve done better, he thought, as he looked at the modified sword. Modifications, however small, should never be done carelessly. Kangassk removed the guard but put a metal ring of the same weight in its place to avoid changing the sword’s balance. Of course, his master would’ve found a better solution and would call him worthless…


“Ahem,” Orion attempted to get Kan’s attention again. “Sorry to interrupt your work here but there is a good reason why I was looking for you.


Kangassk snapped out of his dark brooding mood and was now looking at his friend with burning shame. He felt so stupid and so guilty…


“We have a guest,” continued Orion. “He wants to see Sereg but, alas, both Sereg and Vlada left the Tower last night in a hurry; must’ve found a new lead on the Hora thief, I don’t know, they didn’t tell me. Anyway, entertaining the guest is now on us.”

“Who is he?” asked Kan, without much enthusiasm.

“He says he’s a scientist. Looks more like a mad genius, though. Unauthorized transvolos are forbidden in the Grey Tower’s valley, so he came here on foot through the blizzard and all. I found him near the Archangel-Archdemon gate. He was half-dead from cold and exhaustion but guess what he was doing? He was packing his lab journal into his cloak to protect it from the snow.”

“Wow!” exclaimed Kan, his gloomy mood suddenly vanished in front of the stranger’s bravery.

“Yeah, our guest is a brave man,” nodded Orion. “His name is Ney Kargill. I healed his pneumonia and tried to send him to a guest room so he would have some sleep after his long journey but he refused to go. He wanted to speak with Sereg, said it was a matter of the utmost importance. I tried to explain to him that Sereg is away and I’m in charge here until he returns but Ney didn’t want to listen. Well, after an hour of waiting and raving, he agreed to speak with someone else but only if it would be a ‘soothstone specialist’. Aren’t we lucky to have one!”


Kangassk opened his mouth to protest but Orion gestured “no” before his friend spoke.


“Please, Kan,” he smiled amiably. “He is in the living room, stuffing himself with coffee to stay awake. Just talk to him so he can have some rest.”

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Random stuff: I wrote "Cold Obsidian" when I was 20. Translating it into English has been my dream since.
Random stuff: "Obsidian Trilogy" is the reason I decided to learn to draw. I was too poor to pay an artist but wanted my novels to have beautiful covers.
Random stuff: The biggest obstacle in translating my novels into English was poetry. The poems included in my stories couldn't be removed and I couldn't translate them. Without Alan Jackson' help, there wouldn't be the translation of OT. (English poetry is still a mystery to me).
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Random stuff: Obsidian Trilogy is currently my side project. My main progect is Gifts of wandering ice (a sci-fi webcomic 750+ pages long)
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Random stuff: Every story begins with a spark: a small idea in the author's imagination. For "Cold Obsidian" it was a dream where a warrior woman was shopping for weapons and chose one made by an apprentice, not a master.
Random stuff: I wrote "Cold Obsidian" when I was 20 and rewrote it while I was translating it into English at the age of 36. Why rewrite it at all? Because there were too many scenes that made me exclaim: oh my! What was I thinking! It doesn't make sense at all! Scratch it!
Random stuff: The name Kangassk was inspired by Kangaxx. If you played Baldur's Gate 2, you've sure met that guy.
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13th Jun 2021, 7:46 PM in Book 1. COLD OBSIDIAN

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Author Notes:
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Kangassk can be insufferable sometimes.
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