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Tempus_The Terraunum Origins Series


  Tempus

  The Terraunum Origins Series

  R.J. Batla

  All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, R.J. Batla, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

  TEMPUS: The Terraunum Origins Series

  Copyright © 2017 by R.J. Batla

  Website: rjbatla.com

  Twitter: @RJBatlaAuthor

  Facebook: fb.me/rjbatlaauthor

  Email: [email protected]

  Cover design and Illustration by:

  Damjan Gjorgievski

  Editor:

  Melissa Jackson good-girl-editing

  Map Illustrator:

  Ellana Turrell perryelisabethdesign.com/

  Dedication

  Free Book!

  Books by R.J. Batla

  Map of Terraunum

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Other Books by R.J. Batla

  Did you enjoy TEMPUS?

  About R.J. Batla

  Dedication

  Thanks always goes to God first.

  Thanks to my wife for all her support and help, even when she’s saturated with fantasy.

  Thanks to my kids for their constant joy and entertainment.

  Thanks to friends, old and new who have helped in any number of ways.

  And to you, the reader, thank you!

  Free Book!

  Join my Reader’s Coalition and get AGAINST THE BEAST for free!

  Royn Crowell’s first assignment is a tough one - stranded on the West Side of the Breaks with a commanding officer that hates him and unwilling to let him to use his gifts.

  Talk of demons finally forces the captain’s hand, and sends Royn on his first mission. Unfortunately he comes face to face with the most feared creature in Terraunum. With the situation getting worse by the minute, can Royn find a way to defeat the monsters, or will his death mark the first in a long line and threaten all humans on Terraunum?

  Sword and Sorcery, Superhero, Military, and Steampunk elements combine in the fast-paced, action packed adventure in Terraunum, where monsters and men clash in a battle for survival.

  Grab your copy now!

  Other Books by R.J. Batla

  Buy Fire Eyes Awakened - you’ll be sent to my website, then click on the cover and you’ll be there!

  Jayton Baird worked for years to save enough for his powers to be Awakened, becoming a Senturian. Protectors of Terranum from the terrors on the West Side. This power comes with a price - Jayton becomes the most powerful Senturian Awakened in a hundred years. And the most feared.

  With an invasion imminent and a death sentence over his head, Jayton is chosen to fight in a gladiator style tournament to prevent a potent weapon from falling into the hands of an enemy bent on conquest. A team of elite warriors escorts him on the trek fraught with danger.

  Can Jayton and his team survive long enough to complete his mission, or will the dark power burning inside consume him?

  The first in the Senturians of Terraunum Series, FIRE EYES AWAKENED combines epic fantasy with fantastic powers. Join the action and adventure!

  Want to know more about the world of Terraunum?

  Click below to sign up for my list to receive the Ranger’s Field Manual, my free gift for you!

  Get the Field Manual for free!

  You’ll get an email with the link to the book (if you don’t check your spam folder or email me and I’ll get you your copy).

  I’ll also send periodic updates on my author journey and future books.

  Thanks!

  RJ

  Tempus

  The Terraunum Origins Series

  Map of Terraunum

  Chapter 1

  “Great job at the graduation last night, sailors. You made all your training officers extremely proud.” The drill sergeant looked at his watch then back up at his students. “It’s now oh-eight-hundred. Be back here at seventeen hundred hours to receive your assignment. Between now and then, the time is yours. Dismissed.”

  The one hundred blue-skinned Tempus navy recruits saluted, shouted their excitement, and, grabbing their gear, split off into groups to go about their day. Celeste Dumas turned, in a black wetsuit like all the others, and with twenty of her fellow classmates, headed towards the beach. One of her female friends passed by her, heading the other direction and touched her shoulder. “See you at the assigning ceremony, Celeste! Must be nice to be top of the class and have the best assignment locked up,” she said with a wink. “By the way, I dig the red-hair! That’s one of my favorite traditions! It definitely stands out in a sea of blue.”

  Celeste smiled. “Thanks! I’m glad you like it. See you tonight.” At least someone noticed. Traditionally, the top cadet in each class died their hair red for the graduation ceremony, so everyone would recognize them easily.

  “Come on, Celeste! Let’s go!” someone called from behind her.

  “Gotta run!”

  Turning back and picking up her pace, she ran toward her friends who were already on the beach. Kicking off her shoes, feeling the sand between her toes, she jogged and quickly caught up with her comrades. Her best friend, Bogata, lagged behind the group slightly, waiting for her, his smaller frame offset against the much larger men in the group. She slowed to a walk and he matched her stride as she came up to him, following the others. “About time. Thought you might have gotten your assignment and set sail without me.”

  She narrowed her eyes. “Of course not. You know I’m going to request that you be on the same ship as me, no matter what assignment I get.”

  Bogata scoffed at the statement. “Yeah right. You may be top of the class, but I’m on the bottom. You won’t have any choice in the matter. You’ll be off on a high-class ship while I’ll be stuck scrubbing the decks on some five-man rowboat crew.”

  Celeste gently laughed and shook her head as the pair caught up with the rest of the group. The ocean waves crashing next to them, the Tempus recruits, each a varying shade of dark blue, reveled in the slight respite from training. Free time wasn’t something that came regularly to a Tempus navy recruit, and despite their excitement of being assigned to a ship, the brief period of relaxation was a welcome respite from their hard training.

  One of the men ahead of them said, “Can you believe the graduation ceremony last night?”

  “It was pretty incredible, wasn’t it?” another replied. “There had to be over three thousand people there just to watch.”

  It was pretty amazing to see all the people of Terraunum in one place. The colors in the audience had been incredible: red Phoenix, purple Elves, brown Dwarves, yellow Manus, lighter blue Reka, and icy blue Helion even made the trip. It was a glorious representation of what the West Side of the Breaks was suppos
ed to mean: a truly united front.

  “Did you see how many human Senturians were here? There were almost as many of them as there were Tempus,” another of her friends said.

  Celeste smirked – technically all of the Races, despite their varied skin colors, were human. Each of the Race’s ability to use a unique element from birth had altered their skin, giving them a color similar to the element they used. Over time, people of the same ability had congregated in one area, forming the current societies while the “normal” humans had to get their powers Awakened.

  While anyone with powers were called Senturians, the Races preferred to be called by their proper name. Humans alone earned the title of Senturian once their powers had been Awakened.

  Jameson, one of the largest guys in the group, glanced back and caught sight of Celeste. “Hey, there she is; the one who made us all look bad.” He winked as he said it and Celeste saw Bogata roll his eyes.

  Celeste laughed. “Ha! I didn’t make everyone look bad, Jameson. You gave me a run for my money when we ran the Gauntlet for our final test, if you remember.”

  Jameson smiled. “You’re being too modest, Celeste. You beat everybody by a good ten seconds, including me. You’ll probably get assigned to captain a ship just by that Gauntlet run alone.”

  Everyone laughed at that – no Tempus recruit had ever been given their own vessel upon graduation, no matter how high their marks.

  And although Celeste scored the highest of any Tempus graduate from the Bastion, the Tempus school, it was ridiculous to think that she would ever be a captain right out of the gate. Laughing, the group walked along the beach, enjoying the sun. They pulled water from the ocean and bounced it between them like a human would a beach ball, keeping it together and aloft with their energy and will.

  Celeste enjoyed herself, laughing along with her classmates. Bogata was quiet, but he always was in a group setting – too self-conscious of his below-average ability. But Celeste didn’t care – he had a heart twice as big as the rest of them. If she wasn’t there, the others would be picking on him. She’d long ago showed them that while she was around, he was off-limits.

  A half mile later, they came upon some canoes, just lying on the beach for anyone to use. With their close affinity to the ocean, boats were a part of the Tempus lifestyle. While in the capital city of Watuaga, you couldn’t walk on any beach for long without bumping your shin into some type of seaworthy vessel.

  Approaching the boats, they took a closer look and then peered out over the water. Jameson said, pointing, “Speaking of the Gauntlet, there it is right there.” Celeste saw the massive rocks jutting out from the sea floor just fifty yards off the beach, the waves pounding against them. Jameson turned to Celeste. “Care to make a wager, oh top-marks lady?”

  She narrowed her eyes. “Depends on what it is.” Because she was a woman, the guys were constantly looking for ways to challenge her, to push her, to keep her in her place. Which meant she constantly had to prove to them that she was better than they were. And so far, she had, every time.

  “I’ll bet you a thousand gold pieces and my Smith-made cutlass that you can’t run the Gauntlet in one of those canoes.”

  The group grew silent – no Tempus had ever been able to complete the Gauntlet in anything bigger than a kayak. She knew it and they all knew it.

  Bogata poked her side. “He’s just trying to push you.”

  “That’s only half of a bet,” Celeste said.

  “So you’re scared?”

  “Not a chance – but there’s something you want, isn’t there?”

  Jameson smiled. “If you can’t do it, you’ll give me your Sea Wings.”

  The group gasped. Celeste had earned her Sea Wings by being the top in her class in the Gauntlet run. Among the Tempus, it was a badge of honor, a status symbol, and held high value in Tempus society. It would open doors for her in more ways than one.

  “You can’t possibly be considering this,” Bogata said.

  “Let the lady decide herself, Bogata. We all know you’re too weak to do it – consider yourself lucky Celeste even hangs out with you.” Then to Celeste, he said, “Go on then, hotshot. Show them what a real Tempus can do. Or are you too scared?”

  She considered his offer – one thousand gold pieces would go a long way to fill her bank account, and instantly hurtle her into the upper class of Tempus society. Add in the dwarf-made sword from the best maker of all time, and it was a tempting offer. But could she risk her Sea Wings, something she was so proud of and marked her to everyone as an exemplary Tempus?

  “Naw, she’s just a scared little girl. She’s smart, but no one in their right mind would try to do that,” one of them said.

  The boys were snickering back and forth to each other.

  They were goading her. She knew it. That didn’t mean it wasn’t working.

  “She couldn’t do it anyway – that’s why she’s hesitating,” another in the group said.

  “Damnit,” Bogata said, seeing the change come over her face.

  “You’re on!” she said, poking Jameson in the chest and turning away, running down the beach to the waiting boats and water.

  “Celeste Dumas, you can't pilot a canoe through those rocks – you’re going to get yourself killed!”

  Dreadlocked red hair flapping behind her, Celeste called back, “Watch me, Boga!”

  Whoops and hollers from her friends behind her cheered her on. Getting to the boats, she flicked her wrist, commanding the water to rise and dislodge the outrigger canoe with its one pontoon from the sand, then jumped aboard.

  “Push!” she said, throwing her arms forward, blue energy pulsing around her arms as she sent energy into the ocean. Her skin was much darker blue than the water that obeyed her powers. Fish scattered as she gained momentum, the canoe moving faster and faster.

  Three more Pushes and the boat hit cruising speed, a pair of dolphins matching her pace, jumping and squeaking beside her. Astride the canoe like a surfboard, she kept her speed with strong overhead swimming strokes, each accentuated by her power, the water obeying her will and propelling her on, the pulse in the ocean beating along with her own racing heart.

  Bogata slid to a stop at the water’s edge, breathing hard and throwing up sand. “You’re crazy, girl! I don't care if you're the top of our class; you're going to wreck that boat!” Then quieter, though she still heard it carried over the waves: “Fool. The Gauntlet was made for kayaks, not longboats. And she knows we’re not supposed to be running the Gauntlet without permission.”

  The group of graduates gathered at the edge of the water, whooping and watching as she neared the Gauntlet, her black wetsuit standing out against the blue of the ocean.

  Celeste concentrated on the task at hand. The wind whipped around her, like it always did around the Gauntlet, billowing her hair behind her. Ten-foot waves rose and fell, edging her even faster towards the thousands of rocks that made up the Gauntlet – the obstacle course that all Tempus must pass before graduating the Bastion, and as a rite of passage into the community.

  During the graduation tests, she'd breezed through her run through the Gauntlet in her kayak, but this was a different story piloting a much bigger and less maneuverable vessel.

  Chancing a glance back, everyone cheered, even Jameson himself, though Bogata had one hand on his hip the other pointed at her, like she was being scolded. She smirked. Well, here I go. Blowing out her breath and falling into a relaxed stance, a wave crested behind her, propelling her through the first set of rocks and fully into the Gauntlet.

  The noise of the waves crashing all around her assaulted her ears like a constant thunderstorm, drowning out anything else as her boat plummeted down a wave that had suddenly emerged toward some rocks to her left.

  Celeste Pushed, this time to the left, and the ocean responded by shifting the boat right, narrowly missing the rocks as she slid by.

  That's one obstacle down. She narrowed her eyes and pressed on. Water foamed
and tossed the twenty-foot vessel. Celeste was a blur of motion, Pushing left, right, forward, back, sliding up and down the boat, working the water to avoid a crash. Five minutes flew by and she was drenched with sweat and seawater from the exertion and the spray of the waves. Halfway through.

  Then the rocks shifted. This was what made the Gauntlet so dangerous. The unstable platform underneath the rock formation caused it to move at random intervals and in random directions. Damn! A rock scraped the bottom of the canoe.

  “Rise!” Celeste said, raising her arms above her head, water pulling under the boat, lifting it off the stone and back into the current.

  But now there was a hole, and seawater rushed into the canoe. Quickly she flicked her wrist and, with a pulse of light, froze the water, stopping the leak.

  Three quarters done. Half a boat of water. No problem. I hope…

  Her arms and legs burned, breath coming in ragged gasps from controlling so much energy so fast.

  Dodging left and right, Celeste moved the boat through the crashing waves with the grace of a dancer. Two rocks smashed together on her left, sending shrapnel that hit her left arm, throwing her slightly off balance. She narrowly avoided another shifting boulder. That’s gonna bruise. But no time to stop.

  Barely missing a beat, the boat sliced through the water, gaining speed, right for the last opening. I'm through!

  The rocks shifted again, filling the gap. Dangit! Have to adjust course! She spun and Pushed the back end of the boat with her right hand and the front with her left, swinging the boat around ninety degrees. Then she Pushed hard forward, putting on as much speed on as possible to what she thought was another opening, but turned out to be some shallow rocks. Oh no!

  Pulling her arms up, the ocean pulled beneath the boat, but not fast enough. Come on, come on! She was going too fast, the boat not rising enough, the rocks looming ahead.

 
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