My Legacy Character
Part 5 of 5
Cover by Erika M. Szabo
So now we come to the final chapter, where I introduce you to Mad Shadows II: Dorgo the Dowser and the Order of the Serpent . . . Golden Quill Award Semi-Finalist
In the first story, The Girl Who Loved Ghouls, Dorgo falls in love with Valuta Jefoor, a “Wikku” witch who practices Earth Magic and is the guardian of a small tribe of ghouls. Valuta adopted the ghouls after the death of her young son many years earlier. She has become a surrogate mother to the ghouls, who are being framed for a series of murders in the village of Widow’s Fell. So with Valuta I deal with the loss of a child and how a devastated mother dedicates her life to protecting harmless, innocent creatures that prefer not to have anything to do with mankind. Now, we meet a number of disabled veterans who live in Widow’s Fell, and through them we learn what true courage is all about. One other character, the sleazy Lord Balambo Mogg, has a secret and murderous agenda born of the fact that his father took him away from his mother when he was just a child, and didn’t discover the truth behind her death until he was an adult. So here we deal with child abduction and a character that has “mommy issues.” This fuels the story and sets the plot into motion, and introduces three brothers who will play a short but pivotal role in part two. I haven’t neglected the “tropes” of heroic fantasy, not by a long shot. There is plenty of magic, murder, mystery, mayhem and monster as Dorgo battles creatures from another dimension and meets one very special cat named Crystal. It’s also the first time he hears about the ancient death cult — the Order of the Serpent.
Part Two is called The Book of Echoes, and it’s a pretty straightforward story: “a little knowledge can be a deadly thing” is the main theme, with such minor themes as (again) loss, as well as revenge. Like The Maltese Falcon and a number of films directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this story isn’t so much about this mysterious book as it is about the people who will do anything and stop at nothing to get their hands on it. It all starts on a cold winter’s night when a young woman is murdered and a strange book of arcane lore is stolen from her. This is where the three characters introduced in The Girl Who Loved Ghouls enter the story and play out the roles that destiny has assigned to them. Along the way Dorgo is joined by Praxus the satyr and Heegy Wezzle, known as The Big Dwarf, both of whom were introduced in the first Mad Shadows. And let’s not forget Cham Mazo, Captain of the Purple Hand Constabulary in the city of Valdar, where Dorgo lives; Mazo has figured prominently in almost every Dorgo story to date. Dorgo also encounters a number of other characters who are seeking The Book of Echoes for their own agendas: a femme fatale named Teela Darp, a drunken lowlife named Balu Zill. We meet other characters, too, such as Quarik Lhaney, the gargoyle who rings the bells at the cathedral of Sahn Andor, who has some insight into the book. There’s also a strange man from another world known simply as The Mask, who is the key to the riddle of the book. Not only does Dorgo discover that the book is a priceless relic from another world, it has a power, a magic all its own. It also has a life of its own, and reading it without using a special lens called the ocuvista has dire, dangerous and horrible consequences. As the story progresses, Dorgo learns more about the snake-worshiping Order of the Serpent. But first he must battle both humans and demons in order to find The Book of Echoes. But if he gets his hands on it will he keep it or destroy it?
Finally, we come to part three, The Order of the Serpent. When called upon to help a young girl named Jivvy Trenovis trapped inside an evil spell, Dorgo must confront fiends born of dark sorcery as he tries to save her life. Found lying in a deserted part of a forest by the ever-present Captain Mazo, Dorgo discovers a piece of paper clutched in one of her hands. On this paper are written two words: Ophidious Garloo. Is that someone’s name or the words to a spell? That’s something Dorgo sets out to learn because he’s sure it’s the key to what happened to Jivvy. This story deals with parental abuse, abortion, love, betrayal and incest. But fear not, for once again I give you plenty of mayhem, murder, magic, mystery and monsters to go around. Besides the ever-present Captain Mazo, there’s large cast of characters populating this story. We meet a number of Dorgo’s underworld cronies, such as a gangster named Vorengi Deega, a 9-foot cyclops who controls all the gambling in the city of Valdar. Then there’s the booze-addled, two-bit mage, Hajir Basim, who knows more than he lets on. We’re introduced to Lisera Icari, a Sahlyra, or Spellbreaker who uses healing crystals and metaphysical tools in her work. Then there are the ill-fated lovers — Jivvy’s brother Vaddo and his fiancé, Erula Sarforn. Erula’s father, Pulo, is a frail scholar who has a fondness for reptiles and was once romantically involved with Jivvy. He’s accompanied everywhere he goes by his strange butler known only as Stealth. And finally, we have a pair of sick and sadistic satyrs named Quarg and Zulo. We also learn a bit more about the nature of Dorgo’s dowsing rod, its metaphysical origins, and how it works. The climax is weird, wild and brutal after Dorgo discovers that Ophidious Garloo is an ancient, powerful and undying warlock, and how he manages to maintain his near immortality. The climax is weird, wild and brutal as Dorgo and Lisera battle to destroy the leader of the Order of the Serpent and his hell-spawned minions.
Well, there you have it — the history of Dorgo the Dowser. I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I hope I’ve intrigued you enough to check out the first two volumes of Dorgo’s adventures. The third volume, Dorgo and the Heroes of Echo Gate, is already in the making. This time I’ve done something I swore I’d never do — write a long, full novel where not only is Dorgo’s world in jeopardy, but so is the Past, Present and Future of every parallel world of the multi-dimensional cosmos I call the Echoverse.
But you know what they say . . . “Never say ‘never.’”
You can check out both Mad Shadows: The Weird Tales of Dorgo the Dowser, and Mad Shadows II: Dorgo the Dowser and the Order of the Serpent, as well as my other novels and anthologies by clicking on the link to my Amazon Author page. Thank you!
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