Ilsead

Ascension

Book 3
Black Dahlia Press
Free sample

 They are the stuff of nightmarish and cautionary tales told to children. Sirens of the swamps, the Ilsead lure unsuspecting suitors in an effort to climb the ranks of southern society. Then, once entrenched and under the guise of nobility, the Ilsead begin to breed. Their children born skinless, these terrible creatures then rip the flesh from Human babies in order to dress their own. Should you be unfortunate enough to be kissed by the Ilsead, she'll steal your soul and inherit your very spirit, leaving you for dead and getting high from your lifeline. These are the fabled Boo Hags of the southern wilds and, as with most folklore, it leaves such a quite unflattering portrait and, in the end, it's utter b.s. 
In truth, the Ilsead are an ancient order of souls, not of the Third Dimension. They exist to right wrongs in the present timeline. We learn that there are troublesome souls that have been directed to disrupt the preferred end of the Dark Age and these transgressors must be stopped. The Ilsead fulfill this role. Allied with the Third Order of Lucifer, the Ilsead are immortal creatures that set about their mission many millennia before, at the dawn of the Human population on Earth. They are sadly and, at best, misunderstood. In this volume of ASCENSION, we meet one such sect of Ilsead. 

The Gullah understood. At least they once did. The GeeChee of the South Carolina isles revered the Ilsead and took them in as equals and protectors. The Ilsead in turn honored their Human counterparts and made them Symposiarchs; sires that would breed new vessels as needed and direct them to the many wants of the masses. Crops were protected, oppressors were frightened away and, eventually, political offices were taken. It was all for the betterment of the timeline. 

Benny Watt, though, had an agenda. The Ilsead, he'd heard could be crudely utilized as assassins. He had certain enemies that he would prefer removed and so he longed for Edith. He dreamt of her. Perhaps he thought her a pet but he was awfully mistaken. He was predestined to meet her. Unbeknownst to him, Benny is a decedent of a great line of Symposiarchs and Edith was merely calling him home. 

As he discovers his destiny, he also comes to realize that the Ilsead have become lazy. Preoccupied with the spoils of the Third, their mission has gone terribly awry. Petty jealousies and power struggles within the sects of Ilsead had given way to disruption of the mission. While he doesn't stand a chance to right all of the many errors (the sinking of the Titanic, for example, was inexplicably the Ilsead's doing), Benny must come to terms with his role. He and his offspring must set the timeline right and learn to protect the greater good; the cessation of the Human Ascension. 

It's an insurmountable task but the comedy of errors that leads Benny and Edith together is told, at first, in tribute to the American Romantic stylings of Edgar Allen Poe and Washington Irving, the story then takes a decidedly comic and more modern turn as readers are jolted into present day as we learn of the legacy of Benny Watt's Ilsead and their haphazard attempt at completing their mission, all the while attempting to overcome the beauty and distractions of the Third Dimension.
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About the author

 Brian Rickman is a published playwright ("Tarantella", "When in Love with a Blind Man", "Danny, Kick a Hole in the Sky"), poet ("Blood That Moves The Body"), non-fiction author and Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy novelist (the Ascension series). He's represented by Word|Link Literary Agency. 


Brian Rickman is also an on-air radio personality and has produced programs and oversaw radio stations throughout the United States. He is the former songwriter/guitarist for recording artists' Another Roadside Attraction.

The film rights for one of his novels has been sold and the story is presently in development.

Find more information about Brian at his website: www.brianrickman.com

You can also find him on Facebook: www.facebook.com/rickmanwrites
On YouTube: www.youtube.com/rickmanwrites
And on Twitter: www.twitter.com/brianrickman
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Additional Information

Publisher
Black Dahlia Press
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Published on
Oct 2, 2014
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Pages
222
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ISBN
9780692270097
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / Subjects & Themes / Science Fiction & Fantasy
Fiction / Fantasy / Contemporary
Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy
Fiction / Fantasy / Epic
Fiction / Fantasy / General
Fiction / Fantasy / Humorous
Fiction / Fantasy / Paranormal
Fiction / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Science Fiction / Alien Contact
Fiction / Science Fiction / Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic
Fiction / Science Fiction / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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 Casper is a modern man with decidedly modern problems. His chain of pizza shops is preparing the risky task of changing their menu. In addition to their traditional fare, he'll now begin serving grinders and chicken wings. Casper is doing so in an effort to compete with the likes of Dominos and Pizza Hut and it's costing him a lot money to do so. There are long nights experimenting to discover the perfect dressing for certain subs. He has radio advertising to purchase and menus to print. It's stressful. 
Couple this with his now sexless marriage, two teenage kids and a mortgage that he can barely afford, Casper is being pushed to his limits. As the bills pile up, so does his anxiety and he eventually suffers a nervous breakdown. Dissatisfied with the benzos prescribed to him (they only make him sleepy, and his wife swipes them regularly), Casper turns to internet forums and discovers a promising research chemical that has received rave reviews from those with similar debilitations. 

This drug makes everything better. He's more confident and focused; his libido is through the roof. Unable to find sexual satisfaction at home, Casper, once again, takes refuge online. He meets a beautiful, young escort and begins an ongoing tryst. In his stupor, he concludes that this is his perfect scenario. That is, until her pimp begins to cause problems. 

It is then that Casper recalls a talent from his youth. Since he was a child, he has always been able to stop time. Although long dormant, the research chemical he's taking seems to reawaken this ability. A chance meeting with his courtesan's handler, which promptly turns violent, results in Casper putting the world on pause and manipulating his surroundings. People die and now he's on the run. Casper is no longer the owner of a pizza shop chain, he's now an outlaw, evading the authorities with an effortless zeal, his pretty, young, and understandably confused, escort in tow. 

It is then that Casper gets the call from the Front Office. He's being called into service. They've been waiting for years for him to come around. He's given a handbook and a shortwave radio. His instructions and procedures will be outlined therein. These are simple matters, really. Stop a bus and prevent a child from being crushed beneath its tires, for this child serves a purpose. Push an old man in front of that bus instead, as he does not. Certain souls belong in this timeline - others do not. The shortwave will tell him who to remove. The goal is to assure the Human Ascension. Casper is also told to beware the Ilsead; nasty bitches they are, fighting against the cause and allied with the Third Order of Lucifer. 

Of course, this is all quite overwhelming for Casper. His trusted assistant manager is running the pizza shops but is quickly becoming overtasked, he's lying to his wife (he's attending a never ending convention of dough manufacturers it seems), he has this hooker to take care of, and now he has to make sure that certain people die. He's also constantly concerned that he will face a terrible withdrawal should he not keep a steady supply of the addictive research chemical on hand. 

Quickly, Casper becomes quite unliked among all involved. A Despicable Man, indeed. But he now has a purpose. He's dangerous. He's feared and respected. He thinks he might get used to this.
In INVOCATION, the Earth bound Humans are the attack dogs of the universe. Feared throughout galaxies, we are an aggressor species, bred by our makers, specifically for war. Unaware of our destiny, we have been left to develop on Earth since our inception. We are now being called into service. So discovers Alicia Parker, a field reporter for a major news organization, sent to Alabama to cover a remarkable tear in dimensions appearing in the sky above a tiny, rural town. From the tear, a yellow fog is now enveloping the Earth and a voice on the radio is promising all Humans a grand enlightenment. A teenage girl, claiming to be a princess from another dimension, however, tells a different story. Princess Sariana, as she calls herself, relays to Alicia the history of all souls on Earth. It seems that the planet Lucifer, once located between our present Mars and Jupiter, was home to a civilization of ascended souls living peacefully in the third dimension. However, a great civil war erupted on the planet as a sect of Luciferians announced their intentions to ascend ultimately to the realm of God. As this is forbidden by universal law, the offending Luciferians were cast out from the planet to live in exile, in the far reaches of the universe. They returned, however, more powerful than before and now calling themselves "Humans." They destroyed the planet Lucifer, took captive the surviving souls and finally did the unthinkable. The Humans created new, vicious souls in their image and bred them on Earth with the sole purpose of occupying the front lines of a large, inter-dimensional war. Today, the rings of Saturn are all that remain of the planet Lucifer and the Humans are poised for domination of all dimensions. They've come now to collect their disposable soldiers. Sariana maintains that she is Alicia's grand-daughter. She insists that it is Alicia's destiny to lead a revolt of Earth-bound souls and to become the Grand Queen of the Third Order of Lucifer. The ascension must be stopped, and the lost souls of Lucifer must be found in order to halt the Human aggression. While Alicia is quite certain that the girl is more than a bit troubled, something about her seems familiar. Her story seems to explain a lot including the Human preoccupation with war and the apparent isolation of Earth in a densely populated omniverse. Nevertheless, being a Luciferian Queen will surely have a negative impact on her career. While outraged pundits debate vigorously on television and merchandising runs rampant, the gravity of the situation eludes most of mankind. Alicia must decide her role in the coming rapture and, perhaps, the fate of all Earth-bound souls. On the upside, free commemorative glasses are available with the purchase of any value meal at participating fast food merchants.
The Luciferian Preemptive, as it had come to be known, was a failure. The Humans were successful in collecting their Earth-bound souls, full of vitriol and hate. These souls, made in the Human image, are the sole possessors of a concept known nowhere else in the known Omniverse: death. With the Humans now in possession of this ultimate weapon against their oppressors, other worlds and soul groups prohibiting their further ascension appear to be at risk of extinction should they oppose the Human will to become the ultimate power in the Omniverse. Meanwhile on Earth in the Third Dimension, the Grand Queen Alicia holds rights to no Queendom. In the lawless, post Ascension world, she struggles for survival among her peers, those who have also managed to opt-out of the promised Human enlightenment. Perhaps surprisingly, the world still functions for the most part but it lacks organization. With no clear leaders and supply chains breaking down, Alicia concludes to use her leadership skills and her access to a world-wide television and radio link-up to rally the remaining citizens of Earth in the spirit of cooperation. Forging a new society based on barter and, eventually, when required, brute force, Alicia's new Luciferian society proves successful. Working in cooperation with the Christians in Alabama and Mississippi, their influence begins to spread throughout the South. In time, the Luciferians and the Grand Queen Alicia will become among the dominant powers in Third Dimensional Earth. Promised by Sariana that a savior would return to lead her people to another, more rightful, Ascension, Alicia and her society await further instructions. Finally, an original Luciferian Warrior Soul arrives but he is not the benefactor Alicia's citizens had hoped for. Disgusted by these "new" souls and their seeming obsession with violence and death, he reluctantly leads them to meet the Second Order of Earth Bound souls. The Second Order of souls are the lone bearers of the "unknowing"; that which might erase death from the young souls inner logos, thus freeing them from their role only as weapons and permit them Ascension as free souls to live as one with the remainder of the Omniverse. However, it is discovered that other, more menacing soul groups are playing a part in this Third Dimensional timeline. The Third Order of Souls comes to discover that there are numerous alliances at play, altering the timeline and preventing countless scenarios that would have led to a Luciferian revolt and thus, resulting the failure of the Luciferian Preemptive. Nevertheless, they have yet to discover the sheer magnitude of these manipulations and how it will further impact their coming role in the Omniverse. For more details visit www.brianrickman.com or find the book on Amazon.
Vant Hu’l is cursed. Dragged to the center of a wasteland by a ruthless malevolence, the legendary warrior discovers a cavern filled with devious riddles and fiendish traps. Upon solving the labyrinth, he is confronted by a hideous creature. A beast with unimaginable abilities. A being of unspeakable evil...


Death.


Without a shred of clemency, the demigod presents Vant with a choice: do his sinister bidding out in the world, or suffer an eternity of horrifying torment. Thus begins Vant’s quest out of the badlands, through the hostile wilderness, into the clutches of twisted townships, and finally toward conflict with the vile stewards of a corrupted civilization. 


But Vant will not go it alone. In the midst of his journey, he develops an unlikely companionship with a clever and venturesome teenage girl, the expert survivalist Skii Tavee. They also form an alliance with two newfound—but questionable—companions: Kram Grammie, the sneaky con man who is as crafty as he is klepto, and an off-kilter eccentric bizarrely known as The World’s Worst Magician. United, they set out to dispatch their foes, rescue the innocents caught in the crossfire, and unite the forces of a world gone astray, all while reconciling with their own haunting pasts. 


"Mortal Enemy" is an experience like no other. It is a relentless whirlwind of action and adventure. A tale of conflicted heroes and dastardly villains. A story rich with darkness and struggle, yet filled with devilishly wicked humor. It is jam-packed with nightmarish scenarios, fantastical environments, rich mythology, incredible weapons, unique technologies, and characters dripping with personality… with shocking surprises awaiting you at every turn. 


Come experience Death… if you dare.


* * *


Keywords:

- Dystopian Science Fantasy

- Cyberpunk Science Fantasy

- Goth Fiction

- Epic Post-Apocalyptic

- Teenage Girl Survivalist

- Immortal Warrior Dark Fantasy

- Thrilling Dark Fantasy

2018 BookNest Fantasy Awards Finalist for Best Novel

“This book has everything I love: Clean, crisp worldbuilding. Characters that live and breathe. A story that teases and surprises me. I like Master Assassins so much I wish I'd written it, but deep down, I know I couldn't have written it this well.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Patrick Rothfuss

Two village boys mistaken for assassins become the decisive figures in the battle for a continent in the thrilling new desert-based epic fantasy by the author of The Red Wolf Conspiracy.

Kandri Hinjuman was never meant to be a soldier. His brother Mektu was never meant for this world. Rivals since childhood, they are drafted into a horrific war led by a madwoman-Prophet, and survive each day only by hiding their disbelief. Kandri is good at blending in, but Mektu is hopeless: impulsive, erratic—and certain that a demon is stalking him. Is this madness or a second sense? Either way, Kandri knows that Mektu’s antics will land them both in early graves.

But all bets are off when the brothers’ simmering feud explodes into violence, and holy blood is spilled. Kandri and Mektu are taken for contract killers and must flee for their lives—to the one place where they can hope to disappear: the sprawling desert known as the Land that Eats Men. In this eerie wilderness, the terrain is as deadly as the monsters, ghouls, and traffickers in human flesh. Here the brothers find strange allies: an aging warlord, a desert nomad searching for her family, a lethal child-soldier still in her teens. They also find themselves in possession of a secret that could bring peace to the continent of Urrath. Or unthinkable carnage.

On their heels are the Prophet’s death squads. Ahead lie warring armies, sandstorms, evil spirits and the deeper evil of human greed. But hope beckons as well—if the “Master Assassins” can expose the lie that has made them the world’s most wanted men.
 Casper is a modern man with decidedly modern problems. His chain of pizza shops is preparing the risky task of changing their menu. In addition to their traditional fare, he'll now begin serving grinders and chicken wings. Casper is doing so in an effort to compete with the likes of Dominos and Pizza Hut and it's costing him a lot money to do so. There are long nights experimenting to discover the perfect dressing for certain subs. He has radio advertising to purchase and menus to print. It's stressful. 
Couple this with his now sexless marriage, two teenage kids and a mortgage that he can barely afford, Casper is being pushed to his limits. As the bills pile up, so does his anxiety and he eventually suffers a nervous breakdown. Dissatisfied with the benzos prescribed to him (they only make him sleepy, and his wife swipes them regularly), Casper turns to internet forums and discovers a promising research chemical that has received rave reviews from those with similar debilitations. 

This drug makes everything better. He's more confident and focused; his libido is through the roof. Unable to find sexual satisfaction at home, Casper, once again, takes refuge online. He meets a beautiful, young escort and begins an ongoing tryst. In his stupor, he concludes that this is his perfect scenario. That is, until her pimp begins to cause problems. 

It is then that Casper recalls a talent from his youth. Since he was a child, he has always been able to stop time. Although long dormant, the research chemical he's taking seems to reawaken this ability. A chance meeting with his courtesan's handler, which promptly turns violent, results in Casper putting the world on pause and manipulating his surroundings. People die and now he's on the run. Casper is no longer the owner of a pizza shop chain, he's now an outlaw, evading the authorities with an effortless zeal, his pretty, young, and understandably confused, escort in tow. 

It is then that Casper gets the call from the Front Office. He's being called into service. They've been waiting for years for him to come around. He's given a handbook and a shortwave radio. His instructions and procedures will be outlined therein. These are simple matters, really. Stop a bus and prevent a child from being crushed beneath its tires, for this child serves a purpose. Push an old man in front of that bus instead, as he does not. Certain souls belong in this timeline - others do not. The shortwave will tell him who to remove. The goal is to assure the Human Ascension. Casper is also told to beware the Ilsead; nasty bitches they are, fighting against the cause and allied with the Third Order of Lucifer. 

Of course, this is all quite overwhelming for Casper. His trusted assistant manager is running the pizza shops but is quickly becoming overtasked, he's lying to his wife (he's attending a never ending convention of dough manufacturers it seems), he has this hooker to take care of, and now he has to make sure that certain people die. He's also constantly concerned that he will face a terrible withdrawal should he not keep a steady supply of the addictive research chemical on hand. 

Quickly, Casper becomes quite unliked among all involved. A Despicable Man, indeed. But he now has a purpose. He's dangerous. He's feared and respected. He thinks he might get used to this.
In INVOCATION, the Earth bound Humans are the attack dogs of the universe. Feared throughout galaxies, we are an aggressor species, bred by our makers, specifically for war. Unaware of our destiny, we have been left to develop on Earth since our inception. We are now being called into service. So discovers Alicia Parker, a field reporter for a major news organization, sent to Alabama to cover a remarkable tear in dimensions appearing in the sky above a tiny, rural town. From the tear, a yellow fog is now enveloping the Earth and a voice on the radio is promising all Humans a grand enlightenment. A teenage girl, claiming to be a princess from another dimension, however, tells a different story. Princess Sariana, as she calls herself, relays to Alicia the history of all souls on Earth. It seems that the planet Lucifer, once located between our present Mars and Jupiter, was home to a civilization of ascended souls living peacefully in the third dimension. However, a great civil war erupted on the planet as a sect of Luciferians announced their intentions to ascend ultimately to the realm of God. As this is forbidden by universal law, the offending Luciferians were cast out from the planet to live in exile, in the far reaches of the universe. They returned, however, more powerful than before and now calling themselves "Humans." They destroyed the planet Lucifer, took captive the surviving souls and finally did the unthinkable. The Humans created new, vicious souls in their image and bred them on Earth with the sole purpose of occupying the front lines of a large, inter-dimensional war. Today, the rings of Saturn are all that remain of the planet Lucifer and the Humans are poised for domination of all dimensions. They've come now to collect their disposable soldiers. Sariana maintains that she is Alicia's grand-daughter. She insists that it is Alicia's destiny to lead a revolt of Earth-bound souls and to become the Grand Queen of the Third Order of Lucifer. The ascension must be stopped, and the lost souls of Lucifer must be found in order to halt the Human aggression. While Alicia is quite certain that the girl is more than a bit troubled, something about her seems familiar. Her story seems to explain a lot including the Human preoccupation with war and the apparent isolation of Earth in a densely populated omniverse. Nevertheless, being a Luciferian Queen will surely have a negative impact on her career. While outraged pundits debate vigorously on television and merchandising runs rampant, the gravity of the situation eludes most of mankind. Alicia must decide her role in the coming rapture and, perhaps, the fate of all Earth-bound souls. On the upside, free commemorative glasses are available with the purchase of any value meal at participating fast food merchants.
The Luciferian Preemptive, as it had come to be known, was a failure. The Humans were successful in collecting their Earth-bound souls, full of vitriol and hate. These souls, made in the Human image, are the sole possessors of a concept known nowhere else in the known Omniverse: death. With the Humans now in possession of this ultimate weapon against their oppressors, other worlds and soul groups prohibiting their further ascension appear to be at risk of extinction should they oppose the Human will to become the ultimate power in the Omniverse. Meanwhile on Earth in the Third Dimension, the Grand Queen Alicia holds rights to no Queendom. In the lawless, post Ascension world, she struggles for survival among her peers, those who have also managed to opt-out of the promised Human enlightenment. Perhaps surprisingly, the world still functions for the most part but it lacks organization. With no clear leaders and supply chains breaking down, Alicia concludes to use her leadership skills and her access to a world-wide television and radio link-up to rally the remaining citizens of Earth in the spirit of cooperation. Forging a new society based on barter and, eventually, when required, brute force, Alicia's new Luciferian society proves successful. Working in cooperation with the Christians in Alabama and Mississippi, their influence begins to spread throughout the South. In time, the Luciferians and the Grand Queen Alicia will become among the dominant powers in Third Dimensional Earth. Promised by Sariana that a savior would return to lead her people to another, more rightful, Ascension, Alicia and her society await further instructions. Finally, an original Luciferian Warrior Soul arrives but he is not the benefactor Alicia's citizens had hoped for. Disgusted by these "new" souls and their seeming obsession with violence and death, he reluctantly leads them to meet the Second Order of Earth Bound souls. The Second Order of souls are the lone bearers of the "unknowing"; that which might erase death from the young souls inner logos, thus freeing them from their role only as weapons and permit them Ascension as free souls to live as one with the remainder of the Omniverse. However, it is discovered that other, more menacing soul groups are playing a part in this Third Dimensional timeline. The Third Order of Souls comes to discover that there are numerous alliances at play, altering the timeline and preventing countless scenarios that would have led to a Luciferian revolt and thus, resulting the failure of the Luciferian Preemptive. Nevertheless, they have yet to discover the sheer magnitude of these manipulations and how it will further impact their coming role in the Omniverse. For more details visit www.brianrickman.com or find the book on Amazon.
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