A Haunted Past: Prequel Fatal Empire Story ‘Keeper of Prophecy’ Now Available

I’ve spent a lot of the past few months in the Dharakmeni Empire–a dark realm, filled with deadly intrigue. The core books follow Raziel’s journey as he attempts to navigate treacherous politics and forbidden magic as an assassin apprentice. It was a bit of a challenge to pick up the narrative where I had left off at the end of Keeper of Secrets back in 2012/2013 (even though I always intended to come back to it), so I decided to give a shorter adventure a go and write a prequel story.

Writing a prequel adventure from Raziel’s foster-father’s point of view (Admon) for ‘Keeper of Knowledge‘ was an easy choice. Admon is an established character from Keeper of Secrets, with an implied backstory I enjoyed fleshing out. But what I really wanted to do was try something from Raziel’s mother’s perspective (Moriah), which was quite a bit more intimidating. She doesn’t appear in Keeper of Secrets, and much of her backstory is unknown by the other characters. What little the other characters do know about Moriah is a mystery.

I knew it would be challenging to write a story about her past that revealed more about her, while not giving away too much and spoiling the main books. At this point, Moriah only existed as a character sketch, and in the memories of the other characters. So I started off by throwing her into the deep end to find out what she was made of. Then she dragged me down with her.

Her story unfolded, adding new layers I didn’t expect. (And potentially triggering an idea for another backstory that takes place even deeper in the past…) I kept telling myself as I was writing, “This is only supposed to be a quick prequel story!” Eventually, I just stopped fighting it, and went where the story wanted to go, which was much deeper than I had planned.

So here it is–a piece of Moriah’s past that feeds into Raziel’s future, which can be read either before or after the other books in the series:

Keeper of Prophecy: A Fatal Empire Short

Keeper of Prophecy Fatal Empire coverI have never put much stock in prophecy. I may serve as the goddess’s loyal daughter, but I make my own way in this world.

In an empire beset by violence and intrigue, to put your faith in anything beyond your own two hands means almost certain death. The blood embedded beneath my fingernails confirms it.

…But some destinies, you cannot outrun.

Meet Raziel’s mother Moriah, and learn her secret past in this short story prequel from the richly imagined Fatal Empire fantasy series by award-winning author, Jacquelyn Smith.

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