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Authors: Adam Blade

Epos the Winged Flame

BOOK: Epos the Winged Flame
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B
EAST
Q
UEST

B
OOK
S
IX

E
POS
T
HE
W
INGED
F
LAME

A
DAM
B
LADE
ILLUSTRATED BY
E
ZRA
T
UCKER

With special thanks to Stephen Cole
To Matthew Egerton

Contents

Cover

Title Page

Dedication

Dear Reader

P
ROLOGUE

C
HAPTER
O
NE
: T
HE
F
IERY
T
HREAT

C
HAPTER
T
WO
: B
URNING
S
ECRETS

C
HAPTER
T
HREE
: E
SCAPE TO THE
C
AVES

C
HAPTER
F
OUR
: T
ALES OF THE
P
AST

C
HAPTER
F
IVE
: T
HE
P
LACE OF
B
ATTLE

C
HAPTER
S
IX
: T
HE
M
OAT OF
F
IRE

C
HAPTER
S
EVEN
: T
HE
D
ARK
F
IGURE

C
HAPTER
E
IGHT
: T
HE
W
ILL TO
S
URVIVE

C
HAPTER
N
INE
: T
HE
F
IRES OF
D
ESTRUCTION

C
HAPTER
T
EN
: T
HE
F
INAL
A
NSWERS

BEAST QUEST

Copyright

Reader,

Welcome to Avantia. I am Aduro — a good wizard residing in the palace of King Hugo. You join us at a difficult time. Let me explain….

It is laid down in the Ancient Scripts that the peaceful kingdom of Avantia would one day be plunged into danger by the evil wizard, Malvel.

That time has come.

Under Malvel’s evil spell, six Beasts — fire dragon, sea serpent, mountain giant, night horse, ice beast, and winged flame — run wild and destroy the land they once protected.

The kingdom is in great danger.

The Scripts also predict an unlikely hero. They say that a young boy shall take up the Quest to free the beasts and save the kingdom.

We pray this young boy will take up the Quest. Will you join us as we wait and watch?

Avantia salutes you,

Aduro

P
ROLOGUE

I
’M LOST,
THOUGHT OWEN.
T
HE
T
UNNEL
ended in yet another dark cave. Panic rose in the boy’s throat as he tried to retrace his steps. But he knew it was hopeless. Although he had left chalk markings on the rock walls, it was too dark to see them.

Only a while ago, Owen had been playing outside the caves on the north side of the village. Then he had heard noises coming from inside the caves. Scraping, scrabbling noises. People hardly ever entered the caves, as they were unsafe and stretched for miles underground. Rockfalls were common, too. But he couldn’t just ignore whatever was in there.

An animal must have wandered in and got lost,
he’d told himself.
It won’t take long to help the poor thing back out.

He had tried to follow the scrabbling sounds he had heard — and now he was hopelessly lost. He stood helpless in the cold blackness.

“Is anyone there?” he called. His voice echoed eerily back at him. These caves took the slightest sound and twisted it, making it seem as though it came from one direction when it came from another.

He felt ahead and his fingers brushed against pitted rock — then nothing. Stepping forward, Owen realized he’d found the mouth of a new cave. A little way in, there was a faint light. He looked up and saw a chink of gray sky in the rock, high above.

Then his foot scraped against something on the floor. It was a piece of scorched armor. Where had
this come from? And what had happened to the knight who had worn it? It looked like a bevor — which knights used to protect the chin and lower face — only smaller.

Suddenly, a terrifying screech sliced through the air. Owen yelled out in terror, staring around wildly.

A dark shape detached itself from the shadows and towered over him. In horror, Owen realized it was a giant bird!

Its huge, sail-like wings unfurled. They were covered in short, dark-gold feathers. Its beak was as long and sharp as a sword. Two fierce eyes fixed on Owen, blazing like irons in a blacksmith’s fire. The creature’s huge talons were scratching on the rock, tearing it up. Heart pounding, Owen realized that this was the sound he had heard. Here was the animal he had hoped to rescue…. Now he needed rescuing — and fast!

The creature lurched toward him — and then its massive, feathered bulk burst into flame! Owen hurled himself to the ground as the Beast launched into the air, its great, fiery wings beating wildly as it flew straight at him.

C
HAPTER
O
NE

T
HE
F
IERY
T
HREAT


W
E MUST BE NEARLY THROUGH THE FOREST
now,” Tom called to his friend Elenna, who was walking behind him. He drew his sword and hacked at the thorny thicket barring his way. The light was thin, the gray sky barely visible through the heavy branches overhead.

“I hope so,” Elenna called back. She was leading Storm, Tom’s sturdy black stallion. She stopped for a moment, leaning against the horse for support. “I sure could use a good rest!”

They had been traveling for nearly two weeks and were both exhausted. It had been a long Quest, but they were almost done. There was just
one more Beast to defeat before they could return home.

“I’m tired, too,” Tom said solemnly. “But we must keep going — the kingdom needs us.”

“Not many people would be in such a rush to battle Epos the Winged Flame!” said Elenna, a weary smile spreading on her face.

Tom smiled back, but didn’t slow down. With a swell of determination, he raised his sword and swiped fiercely at the undergrowth. He was on a vital quest for King Hugo and he couldn’t give up now, with the end in sight.

His mission was to save the kingdom from the Beasts — creatures of legend placed under an evil spell by the Dark Wizard Malvel. Tom used to think the Beasts were just fairy tales. But now he knew there was nothing make-believe about them.

Elenna and her wolf Silver had joined Tom and Storm on the Quest, and together they had risked their lives trying to set the Beasts free from Malvel’s
curse. They had already stood up to a one-eyed giant and a slithering sea serpent. They had tamed a night horse, a fire dragon, and a terrifying ice monster. Now their task was to free Epos the Winged Flame. Normally, Epos protected the kingdom from the volatile volcano just outside the capital city. But now that it was under Malvel’s evil spell, there was no telling what could happen, especially if the volcano were allowed to erupt!

Tom pulled his shield from his back and used it to crush some bracken — dense ferns that would make for a soft place to sit. “Let’s rest for a few minutes while we check the map,” he said to Elenna.

“Great!” said Elenna, slumping to the ground beside Silver. “I thought we’d never stop.”

Storm leaned over and rested his muzzle on her shoulder, snorting softly.

Two leather bags hung down on either side of Storm’s saddle, and Tom reached into one to pull
out the magical map of Avantia. It had been given to them by the king’s closest adviser — the wizard Aduro.

Tom sat beside Elenna. As his finger traced the trees, hills, and lakes, the pictures rose up from the parchment, standing as tall as his thumbnail. A pulsing red line marked the path he and Elenna had taken from the ice fields of the far north to this great forest of the east.

“We’re nearly at the forest’s edge,” said Tom with relief.

Elenna pointed to a mountain on the map, just beyond the forest. “That must be the volcano.” As she watched, tiny puffs of smoke rose up from the map’s miniature mountain. “I thought the volcano was supposed to be dormant,” Elenna said, her brow furrowing.

“Well, it used to be….” Tom thought about this for a moment. If Epos was keeper of the volcano, and if Malvel had put the Winged Flame
under a spell, then that meant the volcano might be active. Tom shivered at the thought. The kingdom would be in grave danger if the volcano erupted. A jolt of anticipation ran through him. “Aduro said Epos was the most powerful of all the Beasts.”

BOOK: Epos the Winged Flame
3.37Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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