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About the author:
Camilla Klaus is an erotica and romance writer who resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. After finishing her bachelor’s degree in history, she decided to pursue her passions and write full time. She is a lover of the unconventional, the surreal, the untamed. Her writing is inspired by her background in history, her life and struggles as a woman of color, and her love of the supernatural and fantasy.
Here is a short sample from the book:
where I am from, the moment that a child displays the potential for magic is the moment that they come.
“They” are typically tall, able bodied men who are rarely over middle age—they don’t last long and they die young. They wear the crest of the College that is well known throughout the Continent, a symbol of a crescent moon with a chain wrapped around it. They are well equipped and well armored, both physically and mentally, trained with arcane knowledge that they use to restrain us.
They found me when I was five years old. Out of anger, I had unintentionally set the barn on fire when my older brother had stolen my doll. I remember looking at him, cowering in fear behind a stack of hay, whimpering as the fire spread and roared around us, quickly consuming the brittle wooden walls of the barn. Somehow, my brother and I had both survived, but I don’t recall exactly how we escaped.
I do, however, recall them.
Two men, one taller than the other, both wearing the symbol of the chained crescent moon on their breasts. They clanked when they walked, the metal of their armor click clacking as they burst through the doors of my father’s small cabin.
The shorter one picked me up. The taller one talked to my father.
My family didn’t miss me when I was taken away—frankly, I don’t miss them, either. Witches, mages, sorcerers—doesn’t matter what you want to call us. The thing is, people are afraid of us and our powers. We are possessed. We are controlled by those entities which posses us, and if we are allowed to run loose we will eventually succumb to the darkness and destroy everything within our paths.
Or, at least, that’s what they have said. Too many stories of rogue witches gone wild, venturing over into madness where they ignite whole villages and flood cities with powerful storms. If you listen to these stories, honestly it makes a lot of sense—witches sound like assholes and they need to be controlled.
So, naturally it follows that my father was glad to get rid of me.
I don’t miss him.
Everyone on the Continent votes, and they’ve all voted consistently to keep us—the witches, mages, sorcerers, whatever—away from the innocent—the people who are not like us.
So, in short, I was taken from my home by them when I set my father’s barn on fire. They took me to a College in the northeast that was a few hundred miles from my home village. I was mostly raised there when very young and trained in the ways of magic, before being transferred to another College by the age of twelve that stretched halfway across the Continent in the south—Farose, to be exact. I spent most of my life there, trapped on an island surrounded by dense, thick jungle.
Eventually, when I turned twenty one, I was given the option that all of us magical people are given—the choice in where we would like to live.
Essentially, you were allowed to choose your own prison once you came of age.
I had chosen the Diorean College. Like the College I had first gone to, it was located in the north. I didn’t choose it out of nostalgia for my home, rather I had chosen it because the second College which I had transferred to was located in the south, where it was miserably hot and humid. I hate tropical weather, believe you me I know how shitty the rainforest is—endless nights of stifling, sweaty warm weather where your robes cling to your skin in a mess of moisture and heat that the fabric basically becomes a part of your body.
Fuck that nonsense. I’d be happy if I never saw the damn sun again.
So, I moved to the Diorean College in the north. I had been there for all of three months before I had met Roland.
Let me just get this straight: witches are not allowed to leave the College without an escort. Those men I just talked about? You know, them? Well, those fellows function as our guardians, protectors, wardens, punishers and escorts. They’re called Paladins, and if you want to ever leave the grounds of your College you better follow the rules, not set shit on fire, confront or agitate the Paladins in any way they deem unfit.
It is incredibly difficult to get an escort. Granted, it depends on the College, but the rules are strict. If you’re a mage, you’re essentially a prisoner: every movement you make throughout the day, everything you read, buy, eat, every time you get sick, every fellow Paladin or mage you befriend, literally everything that you do is monitored and recorded and stored away. And if you ever once get caught breaking the rules, that transgression will be held against you for the rest of your life.
Fortunately, I hadn’t been caught breaking any rules. You see, I had discretely been communicating through an underground railroad of sorts with rogue witches—mages who had escaped the ring of Colleges on the Continent and lived in exile and seclusion. I had been practicing a forbidden form of magic that allowed me to transverse through multiple planes of existence. To put it bluntly, I had learned a series of spells that had made me incredibly difficult to detect. I had been studying this form of magic, learning as much as I possibly could about it, for a number of years.
I was getting good. But there was a problem—the spell was difficult to cast, physically and emotionally exhausting, and temporary. I couldn’t control when I would or wouldn’t become visible again—I had no power over how long the spell would last. In that way, it was unpredictable and risky to use.
But I liked taking big risks. Honestly, I kind of get off on it.
So, after about three months had passed since I was relocated to the Diorean College, after I had become accustomed with the Elite Paladins and had made a few friends, I finally decided that it was time for me to skip school and become familiar with the lands surrounding my new prison.
It was then that I first met Roland.