I have befriended vampires and made a pact with a dragon. I have fought a war that was not my own, for a city that was not my home. I have made enemies simply because I am different. I won the fight against a werewolf horde and saved a city, but the fight is far from over for me. The repercussions of the war were far greater than anyone could have anticipated, and now my life and the lives of my best friend and my family are all in jeopardy. My name is Ivan, and time is running out.
A Banished Land: The Turning is more than your average vampire tale. Ivan, a man turned vampire by his beloved and best friend, made many enemies in the war against the werewolves—on both sides of the battlefield. As a result, he and his friends and family are in grave danger. Now, Ivan has a choice: take the life’s blood of a human to gain the strength he needs to defeat his enemies and save those he holds dear, or stand by his values and find the strength to defeat his enemies from within.
Suddenly laughter echoes from the trees around us. I jump to my feet and look in the direction of the laughter. It seems to move around us as we stand motionless. “Having moment of nostalgia are we,” a familiar voice chuckles. The assassin walks out into the clearing, his claymore in hand, ready to cut us down in a single stroke. He rests the blade on his shoulder and looks at the three of us. “So you thought that you could just slink back to Haven without me knowing,” he says pointing a finger at us. “You really thought that you would have made to Haven even if you had gone through the gateway before me?” “No,” I say drawing my sword and pointing at him. “We’re here to stop the chaos that’s being caused here by us and by you.” “I think that you mean entertainment, not chaos,” the assassin laughs. “Then let me entertain you for a while,” I say spinning my sword around my hand. “As you wish,” he says swinging his sword through the air. I rush towards him and our swords clash with an earsplitting ring. Even with a sword as large as a claymore he’s still surprisingly fast, but I’m a vampire now too. I don’t think that the blood a vampire drinks make him stronger, I think that it’s the will of that vampire that makes him stronger. I shove him back and slash him across the stomach before he can counter. “So you finally decided to drink the blood of a human, just to stand a chance,” he says with a fiendish grin. “Wrong,” I shout as I put a sizable gash across his shoulder. “You wouldn’t understand where my strength stems from.” The assassin only laughs and charges at me again. This time I dodge his attack and move behind him. “Predictable,” I whisper to him as I run my blade through his back. I pull my sword out and slash him across the back of his arm as he turns. I can see a hint of surprise on his face, but it is masked mostly by rage. I know that I won’t be able to kill him with the cuts I’m inflicting, but I’m just buying us time until the gateway opens, if it opens. He swings his sword at me and I step to the side and kick him in the stomach. He stumbles back and falls to the ground. “Get up,” I say. He slowly stands, and then turns on Scott as he does. Scott doesn’t even have time to draw his sword. The assassin’s blade grazes Scott’s arm just as he jumps back. Scott draws his hand and a half sword and attacks. The assassin blocks the attack and counters, only to meet Scott’s blade once more. I run up to the fight and begin attacking whenever I see an opening, but the assassin manages to dodge and block with impossible timing. Suddenly a blast of cold wind screams through the clearing. The assassin looks from me to Scott. “John, get out of the clearing,” I yell over the wind. The assassin attacks me and then Scott, before we can recover he runs after John with his sword ready for the kill. I run after the assassin as fast as I can, as I run I pick up a burnt limb and throw it at the assassin. It hits the back of his legs, but does little to slow him down. He glances back and at me and I tackle him. We both hit the ground hard and he drops his sword. I press the blade of my sword hard against his throat. I look at Scott and there is a flash of lightning. When my eyes adjust to the light again Scott’s gone, just like last time in this clearing. Then there are two more flashes of lightning and everything goes black, again.
Jacob Jauch loves fantasy and science fiction, which led him to take up writing at an early age. He wrote his first novel at seventeen. Jake lives with his family in Alabama, where he continues his writing.