This book contains a pirate crew that is inclusive (including disabled, LGBTQ+, and diverse characters and related topics/issues). Please be aware of this and if this will bother you then this is not the book for you.
Tides of Chaos is a brand new standalone novel in the world of Dakaal that explores the world of the pirates seen in Regret (Book 1 of the Assassins of Dakaal series). This is Dark Fantasy. It may contain instances of horror elements, steamy scenes, and dark humor.
This book is written with all the best intentions and the author welcomes thoughts from people in those communities to ensure that they are being properly represented. Due research is being conducted and the main characters have interacted with people from those communities for years in other forms of media.
Tides of Chaos will be free-to-read as it is written. It is being posted as a serial novel until it is finished. As such it is being minimally edited before it is posted. If you would like to read the polished and professionally edited version please wait until it is published as a book. The author does welcome feedback from readers should they want to take the time to do so. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read this. I hope you enjoy these characters as much as I enjoy writing them.
For a manor previously owned by one of the worst offenders of using forbidden dark magics, Inxli actually felt rather safe in Ruel’s home. At least, until he noticed the fluffy black cat following them. It stuck to the shadows but every so often its golden eyes would glow and catch Inxli’s attention. “Cat?” Inxli asked the older elf that was leading them through the manor’s halls toward Ruel’s office.
The servant looked at them, puzzled, then noticing the cat behind them smiled. “Ah yes, forgive me. I have forgotten to introduce you to the true lord of the manor.” He paused and bowed to the shadowed corner the cat had sat in. “May I present the esteemed and feared pirate kings Inxli and Recklyss?” The servant gave a sweeping bow and pointed to them.
Recklyss raised a brow skeptically at the cat but Inxli motioned for him not to say a word yet. He could sense magic at work and he didn’t trust it.
The cat lashed its plume of a tail then stuck its nose in the air with a regal air as if it found them wanting. A CAT.
“Masters Inxli and Recklyss, may I introduce you to Floof, magical cat extraordinaire, esteemed guardian of King Ruel, and lord of this manor,” The servant said, quite seriously, staying bowed as the fluffy cat came prancing out of the shadows.
“’is name is Floof?” Recklyss mumbled.
“Yes! His name is Floof!” A younger voice chirped from behind them. There was a happy noise from the cat and Floof dashed past them to jump directly into the arms of the well-dressed, red-haired young elven man who was clearly Rubei’s son, Ruel. They’d both seen enough of Rubei to recognize the family resemblance.
“That will be all,” Ruel said politely to the servant and waited for the man to leave before waving them forward into the office. “Welcome to Aderaan! It’s not often I get to host pirate kings! Please have a seat if you like.” Ruel nodded to the very comfortable looking plush chairs in front of his desk as he sat behind it, the fluffy cat perched on his lap and looking quite smug to be there.
Inxli looked around the office. Lined with bookshelves, a fancy desk, elaborate carpets, curtains. Boring. He sat in one of the chairs while Recklyss casually leaned against the wall near the door to secure their exit. “So I can’t help but mention we saw your brothers on the way in. Both of them. I don’t think I’ve seen Ladykiller since he almost started a war in my city.”
“That wasn’t my fault,” Onyx muttered as he slipped into the office with a scowl. He nodded to them then took up position behind Ruel’s chair, resting his arms over the tall back of it and watching them. Less welcoming and trusting than his adoptive brother.
“I saw the reports about the house that was slain here…” Inxli started, but paused when they were joined by another elf. This one was clearly Onyx’s identical twin except for their eye color, where Onyx had green, Niyx’s eyes burned ice blue with magic. The room immediately became frigid at the entrance of the lord of winter and ice crackled on the dark knight’s black armor.
Recklyss shivered and moved a little closer to Inxli and away from Niyx out of reflex.
“Which house?” Onyx asked as Niyx joined them with little more acknowledgment but a nod as he stood near the desk. “There’s been at least four houses that have been slaughtered but only one was full of nobility.”
“Four? Well I’m guessing it was the ‘important’ one then, the noble house. I forget the name of it.” Inxli waved a hand dismissively. “The important part is I think I can fix your problem because your problem is the same one I’ve been hunting my entire life!” Inxli paused then frowned and looked Niyx over. “But before that I have to ask, why is the King of the Undead here?”
Ruel glanced at Niyx, clearly looking at approval. Just another nod from the frosty king. Didn’t Niyx talk? Apparently not if it wasn’t important. Inxli redirected his attention to Ruel, clearly the youngest of them in the room. Which was strange since Ruel ruled one of the largest cities left in this world.
“A number of Niyx’s people…” Ruel started hesitantly.
“You mean the undead…ta be clear,” Recklyss cut him off, eying Niyx with concern.
Niyx crossed his arms and narrowed his blue eyes at Recklyss.
“Go on!” Inxli prodded Ruel, eager to stop a confrontation.
“Niyx’s people were kidnapped. We think one of the houses did it to fight whatever it is killing the…” Ruel started to say again.
“You mean the demon that’s eating people because someone let it loose again,” Inxli chirped, making everyone else cringe. “Oh, okay. We have two Night Creatures in here, one who also is King of the Undead, a magic shadow cat, and two pirates, but we draw the line at talking about demons is that it?”
“You will summon it by talking about it,” Niyx grumbled finally.
“Nonsense. Watch!” Inxli hopped off his chair, raised his hands, then waved them around as he chanted the name of the demon. Ruel ducked lower in his chair, clutching the cat, eyes wide. Onyx cursed and his hands went to the elaborate daggers at his side and Niyx’s hand likewise rose to the broadsword on his back.
When silence fell over the room it was deafening. Inxli waited a few moments then slapped the edge of Ruel’s desk with the staff he had brought with him, the loud crack of wood on wood making everyone in the room jump. “You silly people! If it was that easy to summon the monster you think I’d have come all the way to the very city I hate to catch it? I could’ve just summoned it to Port-Town! Stop being superstitious.” Inxli huffed and settled back on the chair.
“You can destroy it?” Niyx asked after a few moments of silence.
“I intend to catch it. In this…” Inxli took off his bottomless hat, dug around for the vessel, then took it out to show it to them.
“Why would you make it captive instead of killing it?” Niyx scowled at him with distaste.
“I’m guessing you only called me in because you and Onyx already tried killing it and that didn’t go well,” Inxli said, rolling his eyes. “Right?”
The twins looked at each other then grudgingly nodded.
“That’s because you have to contain it in one of these special traps before you can kill it. I’ll kill it, I just have to catch it first. So which one of you knows where it is? Let’s go! I don’t want to be in Aderaan longer than I have to be. Recklyss didn’t even want to come here in the first place. We’re wasting time. Every moment we waste someone else is getting eaten,” Inxli put the vessel in his pocket, replaced his hat on his head, then hopped off the chair again.
“That is the problem. We lost track of it after it destroyed the last House,” Onyx grumbled, crossing his arms again.
Inxli stared at Onyx for a long moment as uncomfortable silence stretched in the room again. Then he sighed. Addressing Ruel, he said, “I really have to do everything myself?”
Ruel smiled at him, slowly petting the cat in his lap. “Father recommends your skill highly, King Inxli. I have every faith that you’ll find this menace and rid my glorious city of it swiftly. You will be handsomely rewarded, of course. Since father also mentioned you enjoy feasts I have one at the ready for the moment of your exciting triumph over this terrifying dark force plaguing us!”
“The only terrifying dark force is that cat in your lap,” Inxli muttered as Floof’s eyes locked on his and he could see the intelligence in them. He smiled brightly then. “Food and reward, gold, yes?”
“As much gold as your ship can carry,” Ruel promised. “The Houses of Aderaan have been quite generous in donating toward their own continued survival.”
“You say that now…” Inxli said, then grinned, knowing exactly how much gold the Flamingo could hold. “Deal! Let’s go, Recklyss. Keep those pesky paladins away from us and we’ll have this problem solved in no time!”
“I will inform the Templars they are to leave you two in peace,” Ruel nodded as he stood. “Thank you!”
“Thank us when we’re done,” Recklyss muttered as he stood. He then followed Inxli out of the manor and back into the city.