Genre: Dark Fantasy
Excerpt from Chapter 4:
Lazarus re-centered, finding the threads of power again. The number of souls astounded him, even if a spirit seeker hadn't visited here for years. The farther he traveled from Tyrrnah, the higher the spirit count, but this time the number leaped, compared to the last town, more than was logical.
Even more. How was this possible? Another burying ground. He hadn't seen signs of a second. Spirits lingered at the edge of his senses, though, out of reach. He'd pry the location from the chief tomorrow. Nothing he could do from here.
No use worrying about those souls now.
He wrapped the tendrils of power and light around as many bodies as he could. Not even a third of the lost ones in this graveyard. Then he called them.
"Come. Seek your bodies where they rest. Come." His voice was a mere whisper, but the ground trembled. "Come. Join the bones you left behind. Come."
And they came. One by one, the restless spirits sunk back into the ground and curled up in their rotting, useless bodies.
When all the ones he had called rested in their empty husks, he twined the threads of energy around their necks, anchoring them. Some struggled and attempted to escape. The booming in his head from their wails sickened him. No matter the hope for a peaceful send off, there was only pain. Once, he had tried to be gentle, before he knew better--if his teacher hadn't been there, loose, angry souls would have rampaged the town.
Lazarus tightened the threads around the spirits' necks, choking off their ambition. Time to send them where they belonged.
Lightning flashed overhead, paired with thunder, and the tombstones rattled. The cords loosened. The storm disrupted his power, so he pushed harder, nearly emptying himself and the orb, funneling it into re-tightening his hold before the souls wiggled out of his grasp.
"Go. Leave this world. This is your past. Go." The spirits ceased struggling, freezing at his words. They listened, as afraid as the living outside the graveyard. "Go. To the realm of souls. You are bound. Go."
He yanked on the threads, his jaw and muscles tight from the strain, and pulled the spirits out of the ground, gathering them together into a large ball. The sphere glowed, a pulsing purple snaked with green, blue, and red. Only to him, though. Those standing watch behind him saw nothing.
More lightning blinded Lazarus, a boom of thunder clapping in his ears, the jolt of his own power slamming him in the chest. The energy lines containing the ball flickered. He released the last bit of power he could spare from his orb, the strain plastering him to the muddy earth. He should have been more careful, should have checked for hints of a storm. There had been no signs at dusk, surely.