The Gap Series

The Gap Series: Faith

Large balls of ice ride deep into the caves on a strong, swirling wind. Keshur pulls her thick fur rug tightly around her seven-foot frame, leaving nothing exposed. "This is a fierce one, too early in the cold season. The Small Ones will be afraid!" Rising, she hears a howling not of the wind and recognizes it as their terrified cries. She races into the hostile elements.

Lean and muscular, strong legs pumping hard, Keshur sprints the distance. Her shoulder-length, black hair whips in the wind, and she wipes it and the pelting rain from her face as she runs. Purple eyes fixed on her path, she concentrates on her task, ignoring the ice that stings her face and exposed hand. She runs on to the cave of her "precious ones".

After protecting those in their cave, Keshur and others search for six Small Ones who ran into Darkwood Tangle, a dark and dangerous place. There, Keshur fights and kills a trekiya while rescuing a Small One and sees a liviton for the first time; as her eyes lock with the liviton's intelligence seems to flash within its glowing orbs. Unknown to Keshur, Luteria, a sorceress who gained her power from the evil dictator, The Prince, inhabits the liviton. Although, she is his spy and confederate, Luteria has her own agenda.

Later, Keshur leads a hunting party; they encounter a scent Keshur well knows, but is stunned to find there. Those with her do not recognize the scent, or the language Keshur uses when she steps through the trees to meet the Iyms.

Slender and pale-skinned, the Iyms average eight feet tall and possess amazing powers not known to present-day man. Technologically advanced, reclusive, and peaceable beings, they have no real awareness of others populating the planet until they meet Keshur and the Aureffays. A month before, their party of fourteen crossed the river, leaving the gray mist, shrouding their beautiful island and protecting them from the outer-world.

Meanwhile, an Iym named Aken rides his agear to Master's Monvent at the summit of the tallest of three mountains on Iyms Island. Seeking to learn whether the Creator has a bondmate for him, he speaks with a wise but unidentified One, who assures him that He does. Aken frets that they are not together. The One replies, "It is not yet time;" there "is much for you to learn." Impatient and tired of waiting, Aken wants to know "What?" The answer is not what he hoped for: "Your soul longs for your perfect mate; that is as it should be, but first your courage and faith must be tested..."

Another group of beings live in the outer-world; led by The Prince, they call themselves Effays. They are greedy, pleasure-loving beings bound by a nearly unbreakable oath to their evil ruler's will. The Prince has a grudge against Joend, his former lover and leader of the renegade Aureffays; he seeks to destroy the Aureffays and exact a personal revenge upon Joend.

The Prince is arrogant, lustful, pride-filled -- the embodiment of pure evil, of which he is the original author and perfecter. Training an elite group of his followers in heightened evil, he insists that they rape, torture, cannibalize, murder, and use sorcery. He is the most horrible being alive, hating good, or even the appearance of it. A creation once the most beautiful ever made, and perhaps the closest to the Creator of All Life, even in utter corruption he remains handsome, intelligent, devilishly clever, and sometimes quite charming; but he uses it all for the sake of evil.

Desperate to defeat The Prince's goal to eliminate the Aureffays, Joend conceives a plan she believes will result in a measure of protection for her people. It involves producing offspring -- something neither the Effays nor the Aureffays are capable of. Harboring a terrible secret, Joend ruthlessly experiments with reproduction and finally succeeds. Among the "acceptable offspring" are five children born to her. Those five become leaders of outlying colonies established to maximize the chances of survival of the Aureffays in the event of a successful attack on Joend's Hope.

A boundary dispute between the Iyms and the leader of one of the Aureffay villages arises over a small strip of land. After the leaders make an agreement to a new boundary, Aken and several others go to finalize it. The night before execution of the formal document, the Effays attack the Aureffay camp and massacre or take captive those in it. Aken and one of his coworkers escape only because they slept on Iyms' lands behind the concealing gray mist. Far from his last encounter with these horrific beings, Aken struggles to overcome his race's innate aversion to violence and step out in courage and faith.

Raised in a godless society, Joend's eldest offspring, renowned and sometimes feared, warrior-leader Keshur, seeks the Creator of All Life. As she matures, her compassion and sense of justice brings her into serious conflict with Joend. She calls upon the God of the Iyms to help her help the Iyms and wrestles with the question whether the Iyms' God can be her own.

Through betrayal and subterfuge, The Prince obtains the location of Keshur's City and arranges for Keshur's assassination away from it. He and his troops, including his fleet of great livitons, attack. Outnumbered ten to one, Keshur's well-trained forces fight valiantly, but incur many losses. They desperately need their leader!