Stian's Mistake, A Starbright Secrets Novella
All Stian wants is to be seen for who he is - not just an orphaned wanderer or a skilled warrior, but someone worthy of belonging to the Tribe of Hebron. He dreams of fulfilling his father’s broken legacy - leading the Tribe to the Garden.
Zarea has always understood him, but her future is tied to a secret past that could tear the Tribe apart. Her father Abraham is determined to keep this past buried, so he awards Stian the Hero’s Mission.
If Stian lives long enough to succeed, he will secure the Tribe’s loyalty and gain a chance to marry Zarea one day.
But Stian isn’t the only one to accept this mission - and only one man can become a Hero.
Author’s Note: The events of this novella occur before the events of Justice Buried, Starbright Book One. Stian’s Mistake may be read as a prequel or series introduction.
Thank you to Hilary for joining us today! Make sure to check out Stian's Mistake, and we'll see you all in our next Fathomless Females post.Herein lies the problem. None of us actually knows what awaits us if we ever find Asphodel. There is nothing concrete in the prediction except the time, and even that is beginning to seem like a cruel joke. I think again of the calendar on the walls of the longhouse.Sixteen years past the due date, and no sign of a savior or a city.Zarea sits near me, but not too close, and Thadd sinks back down heavily. Conversation swirls around us - more of the same. Rumors and gossip. Laughter and boasting.I glance at Zarea and she meets my eyes. I raise an eyebrow, silently asking if she’s ready to leave. But she shakes her head, twitching a finger at me to wait.“So Thadd,” she calls over the noise. People settle when she speaks, like they do for Abraham. No. Different - they settle for her because they respect her. “What makes you think you’ll be successful when nobody else has?”He grins the way only a drunk man can. “Luck, beautiful. Time is on my side - time is on our side!” A few people cheer with him.“And who will you take as your protector?” She asks. This really quiets everyone, and I know she’s onto something.“Where I’m going, nobody can protect me,” Thadd answers, flushing.“So it’s true, then. You’re taking the Hero’s Mission?” Her voice cuts through the night easily now, as true silence surrounds us. A log in the fire cracks in half, sending a brief shower of sparks into the air above us. I look around the circle and no eyes meet mine.Nobody has taken a Hero’s Mission since my father.If Thadd fails, he can never return to the Tribe - an unaccomplished Hero’s Mission is grounds for death. But if he succeeds, he can have whatever he wants. It takes me only seconds to process the implications.If Abraham is offering a Hero’s Mission to Thadd, he will be offering me the same when we meet for lunch tomorrow: he is eradicating his competition.People gradually begin to recover from the revelation, and Thadd is bombarded with questions and new congratulations.I stand and walk into the night without even a glance backwards. My gossip-gut is indeed full.
Next time on Fathomless Females: The lovely Sky will be joining us.