Middle English, from
Latin, from Greek (hē) dia pasōn (chordōn symphōnia), literally,
the concord through all the notes, from dia through + pasōn, genitive
feminine plural of pas all — more at dia-, pan-
First Known Use: circa 1501
Otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic
(The Crow Maiden is a standalone story in the Arcadia
She betrayed her goddess for him…
He betrayed her.
Plotting her revenge is her only
solace. Until now.
Nahla is the Crow Maiden, an
Arcadian, and once a priestess of Artemis. Now she is a captive, a being who
lives in the shadows until her vile master the sorcerer-king Aramon summons
her. Another releases her from the Shadowlands, and while he might be the
champion she has waited for, the gods must be playing a cruel joke. Her
champion is crippled.
An Achaean lord who once ruled a
great city, Balin is a broken man. He has lost everything—his kingdom and his
family. Revenge consumes him. Although wary of the mysterious, cold-eyed female
who appears and claims he summoned her, she may be his only hope to exact
vengeance on the king who ruined him, the same man Nahla seeks to destroy.
They are bound by revenge, and
soon, both learn they are bound by much more, but the secrets she hides might
tear them apart and ruin their only opportunity for vengeance—and their chance
to love again.
“Ms. Heckart draws the reader
into the pages and enchants them with her words.”
Karen McGill, Coffee Time Romance
Summoned from the
Shadowlands, Nahla landed in a place of encircling darkness. Rays of light too
weak to pierce the black shield glowed in the distance. Cold, damp air embraced
her, penetrating her clothing and draping her body like a heavy winter cloak.
echoed all around. She struggled to come to her senses, fighting
disorientation. Seized by a wave of dizziness, she steadied herself on the
hard, rough ground beneath her feet. The footsteps grew louder. They approached
from the direction of the faint light.
staggered backward and banged into a hard wall. Her arms extended, she moved to
her right. Cold rock scraped her knuckles. She lunged left and grimaced as
another firm, unforgiving surface stopped her other hand. Bound there by more
than the walls, she waited in the stygian blackness.
a torch, her summoner appeared and came toward her at a forceful pace. The fire
blinded her, and she barely saw the glint of metal flashing in front of her.
she could evade the thrusting weapon, a cold, heavy blade touched her neck. The
unfamiliar feel of a sharp blade against her skin made her freeze out of
instinct, not because she was afraid of death. Nahla had already died once.
waited for the weapon to slice through her flesh. A foreboding prickle raised the
fine hairs of her nape. Something was different about this summoning. Her
master would never kill her. He would never be that kind to her and set her
one who wielded the blade dropped the torch in order to hold the weapon with
both hands. The flaming light burned low and sputtered behind him or her,
though she sensed whoever had brought her here was male by his leather,
un-flowery scent and by the strength he possessed holding the heavy, brutal
blade. Shadows concealing her summoner remained, and his deep, ragged breaths
spoke of anger and despair.
are you? How did you get in here?” he asked, his voice gruff.
summoned me.” She remained guarded, the cold metal still caressing her neck,
but excitement fluttered in her stomach at the significance of this unusual
silence was palpable, broken only by his now heavy and uneasy breathing. After
a few moments, he growled, “If that is so, then you are not what I asked for.”
frustration, and anguish filled his voice. She was in the true place. All she
knew was death and misery and sorrow.
came because I was summoned.”
go away.” He removed the blade from her neck, picked up the fallen, smoking
torch, and retreated through the low, narrow opening toward the beckoning
glimmers of light from a far away chamber.
followed him and stepped forward toward the opening. Another dim chamber filled
with dust and cobwebs greeted her. Glancing back at the black, unpleasantly
cold space she’d landed in, she suppressed a shudder and then ducked into the
other brighter, small chamber. Piles of dusty blankets, a war shield, and dull-looking
bronze plate armor filled one corner. Nothing about the solemn room looked
familiar to her. She walked past uneven rock walls like the ones found in
caves. An earthy scent like that of dark, damp places permeated the air. Caves
were for creatures like her that roamed in the shadows, the unseen realm
between life and death, the place she called the Land of Sorrows, not for
humans that had no need of darkness.
summoning wasn’t true. Only one man could call her forth from the Shadowlands.
Was she finally free of her tormentor? No, the bond to her master remained,
lingering like a loose tether, but she also sensed she couldn’t travel too far
from this stranger. Did this unusual event have anything to do with her
constant yearning for the life that had been stolen from her? She could reclaim
all she’d lost if she found a champion to kill her creator and master. It had
Multi-published author Kelley Heckart lives in Arizona with
her musician husband, dog and a number of backyard “pets.” Her stories reflect
her passion for ancient and medieval time periods, storytelling and the
supernatural. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her tales are filled with fierce
warriors, bold women, otherworldly creatures, magic, and romance. When not
writing, she works as a freelance editor and practices target archery. She can
be found online at http://www.kelleyheckart.com/