A Crown Forged By Victory’s Consequence
by Aaryanna Abbott & Marlayna James
(The Blackened Tablet Series, #1)
Publication date: January 3rd 2023
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Three hundred years ago, the sacred tablet granted by their god, Jezabet, turned black, and eight kingdoms broke free, plummeting into the bottomless sea. There was no warning, and no one knows why.
Now, a strange illness plagues Aldersward. Crowned Prince Aedyn’s sisters, Achelle and Annora, his father, and countrymen are desperate and grief-stricken. All hope is lost…
Until someone dreams, and Aedyn leaves behind his mistress and his betrothed to cure their nation. He enlists his friends; a brazen playboy, a gentle strongman, and an ancient mentor. Together, they set out on a perilous journey—few believe they will survive.
This isn’t a fairy tale—s3x becomes currency, murder is ordinary, and love doesn’t conquer all.
Everyone loves a hero—good triumphs evil. But few dare to question how victory ripples into consequences. Explore this exciting concept in the Blackened Tablet Series.
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Crow’s Pass City, Baitsloam
The Alders, strung together, were marched through the torch-lit streets as deafening crowds lined any stairwell, rooftop, or balcony. They shouted, spit, and threw food. Auren could see Bennet’s lifeless body carried by two men. He focused on containing his anger and scrutinised their surroundings. If any hope for escape presented itself, the information would be invaluable.
“Not as brave here, are ye?” A lanky Bait man stepped forward and spit in Auren’s face.
The Alders filled with rage and pulled at the thick restraints wound from their hands to their elbows, wanting to defend their leader, but Auren shook his head, stopping their struggle.
Pointing, children merrily chanted, “We’re going to hang the olive monsters!”
“This was too easy, ye cowards.”
Someone tossed a pail of urine and excrement over them.
“We’re going to kill yer families.” Another vehemently called.
“I’ll enjoy watching ye swing.”
Cackling laughs followed every phrase.
They left the commoners behind as wood rubbing against stone rang out. A massive gate lifted above their heads, and the military men stomped through with their prisoners in tow.
When the gate fell behind them, many Baits dispersed, leaving about fifty to escort the captives. Auren counted the paces as they came to a stone structure. He noted the other buildings and landmarks, then what the building looked like as they pushed him inside.
They planted the Alders, faces first, against a hard stone wall and a wooden door swung outwards, then they tossed Bennet onto the floor.
“Inside.” The first man was hauled forward by his tunic, and the others had no choice but to follow.
The door slammed shut on the windowless dark and musty room. The sound vibrating through to their souls. It felt very final as the lock loudly snapped into place.
In the blackness, Auren’s men fought against the coarse restraints.
What looked like a candle flickered to life between them as Adrian pointed his finger and held it to the slick-coated binds holding them together. As his flame dried the piss, excrement, and other juices, the stench was putrid. Finally, the rope caught fire and burned.
He rushed to Auren, but his solidly tied binds had no give, and as the other men offered their hands with the same outcome, they sat on the cold, damp floor. The ropes were too tight to burn without injury.
Auren waited motionless for the last one to be checked and an internal battle waged between his vanity, self-pity, and honour.
I can’t do this. Wasn’t the wolf attack enough? He stretched out his shaking hands in front of him.
Adrian’s shoulders slumped in defeat as he turned to face their leader.
Women will never let you touch them again. What would Anya think if she knew you stood by and did nothing?
Understanding their leader’s request, Adrian shook his head and escaped backward until his frame was trapped against the cold stone wall.
I can’t lose a limb. Can’t it be someone else’s turn to do the right thing? Do this. Auren strode towards him, throwing his bound hands on the man’s shoulder.
Animated with fear, Adrian shook his head.
Can your body take any more pain? Everyone will pity you, just as when you were a child. You could be their only hope. The leader pinned the man’s eyes with his own.
The pain from it—you’ll never want to touch another woman. Sweat built from fear on Auren’s skin, but he nodded, persuading the gifted man.
Your men are counting on you. I’ll be worthless to our kingdom—to Aedyn.
Adrian lowered his hands, holding them farther from his own body.
Isn’t your day to day hard enough already? You’ll die from this. You’ll be a helpless invalid. Auren dragged his hands down, then jumped up and down a few times, forcing adrenalin to rush through his body.
You coward! You’re weak. It’s no wonder your parents gave you away. He took a deep breath.
You’re nothing but a quitter. You could be Aedyn’s only hope. He lifted his wrists into the flame.
The sweet smell of burning flesh carried through the small room. The men focused on the sacrifice their leader made as they listened to the sizzling meat and his muffled cries of pain.
From somewhere in the darkness, someone hurled himself onto the pair—contact and flame broken.
Auren struggled where he fell, his restraints making it impossible to sit. Adrian rolled on his side and relit his finger.
Bennet towered over them, shaking his head as he pulled at his own ropes. Blood seeped from the friction on his wrists, making the restraints slippery. He sat between them, lifted his heel to his wrists, and used his boot to force the rope over one of his thumbs, freeing his hand. He pulled his gag free, then removed Auren’s as he surveyed the blistered and broken flesh of his hands.
The old man’s voice seethed with anger. “Jordan and Jezabet, what were ye thinking?”
“Getting us out of here. Are you okay?”
Bennet nodded. “Better than ye, I don’t know if I can get ye untied without causing ye pain.”
“Untie another first. Return to me when the rest are free.”
Aaryanna Abbott: This is another of my pen names. For every pen name, I use a different part of who I am. I imagine this is how she looks.
What’s this part of me like?
I was a daddy’s girl. The very epitome of spoilt.
I love to be wild and crazy—experience everything the world has to offer. I’m adventurous and my carefree disposition is contagious.
I’m loyal to a fault and don’t care what expectations or labels society has bestowed upon me. I believe one’s truth is more valuable than anyone’s perception.
This part of me writes for escapism—to be free of my mundane day to day and live in a magical world almost as real to me as earth. Except in my imaginary world, I control all things and it pleases me to no end.
Do you know how happy you would be living there?
Marlayna lives in Canada where she writes romance, erotica, women’s fiction, and fantasy. She loves video games, TV, reading, and writing.
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