The Pentacular: Sample Chapter

The story

Lilly and Marshall are going forward with their wedding plans, and Valaura and Evan join them in New Orleans. It is a happy time despite the fact that one of the twins has been left behind in the other dimension. Through the offices of a marble tile pentacle design in Lilly and Marshall's new home the four adventurers are pulled through into The Land of the Pentacle.

Despite their joy at the re-uniting of the young family, they can't help but notice that everything on this side of the dimension is a mess. King Nicholas looks old and tired, and his brothers are worried. And everyone is tired of the occasional wars that pop up.

So Marshall, who is rather festival oriented, being a performer, dreams up a peace festival which has everyone working overtime. One of those most heavily employed is Feldspar, Silvera's husband, and he is captured by the slavers. And there, among the slaves, is Satana, Lucifer's Queen.

Rescuing Feldspar and Satana takes some doing, for there is magic in the way. A solution to the specific magic that can make a lightbearer's beam take him or her to the wrong location is found in an old tome called The Pentacular. But there is more trouble ahead, for emissaries arrive from a place none of them has heard about before, Hades. This place is highly polluted due to their manufacturing of the metal that contains enough magic to harm lightbearers.

But there is worse to come, for Valaura is having visions of people and animals enduring great suffering in Hades. One day, a sadly damaged dragon comes to call and ... Well, it's off to the rescue again.

A Sample Chapter: #10 - Where's The Book?

The conference room was getting a lot of use, these days, the maids at the Castle of the Sword thought irritably. Didn't anybody ever sleep anymore, including them? Now their majesties were trying to decide whether they should attack from where they were, or adjourn the whole party to the Castle of the Pentacle, half the world away. There was talk that Satana, Lucifer's missing queen, had been found, the prisoner of some filthy slavers and runaway Slamite males. The whole thing was creepy, but it just meant more work for them.

"I think we should send a message to Vashi," Abaddon volunteered, from where he was sitting on top of the drapes.

Lucifer glanced up at him in annoyance. "I think it's time you were in bed, not sitting about on the ceiling. Sterling, can't you make your son go to bed?"

Sterling yawned. "No more than you can, dear old daddums. We need Ariel here -- where is she, by the way?"

"With the rest of the women, of course, trying to decide how best to outfit themselves for battle. Valaura and I are ready to go, if anybody wants to take a hint."

"And what are you planning to do once you get there?" Evan growled at him. "This is such a bad plan it could've been thought up by the Pentagon."

"Don't you mean Pentacle?" Abaddon asked, then started to giggle.

"Someone silence that brat," Beelzebub commented, then stopped to stare at his grand-nephew. "Pentacle ... of course! Meph; The Pentacular! You're the keeper of the book -- why didn't you think of it?"

Mephistopheles considered this. "What do we need it for?"

"Because those slavers have some kind of a magic mirror, that they use to suck the power out of the Light Bearers. Lady Lilly is the only one who can evade them, because she's not of our world. Only The Pentacular has spells to contravene any kind of magic. Why didn't we think of it before?"

"Because we're too tired," Lucifer responded. "So are we on our way to pay a visit Meph's house after all?"

"What's a Pentacular?" Evan asked. "I've heard of a pentacle."

"The Pentacular is a book that contains all the occult and arcane lore of our world. If anything can help us rescue the prisoners, The Pentacular has it listed."

"I always thought it was unfair that Nick got to have the tapestry and you the book. What does that leave for Beel and me?" Lucifer asked plaintively.

"Oh, shut up," Marshall snapped at him. "Let's go get this infernal book before we all fall asleep. The sooner this is over, the better."

"You're getting very crotchety now that you're a married man, Marsh," Evan observed.

"In case you never noticed, so did you. It must come with the territory. Who's gonna go get the book? Lilly's the only one who can beam around now without getting caught, so I guess it'll hafta be her." Marshall sounded resigned. "My wedding night is over anyway."

"Do you do something special on that night?" Sterling asked him.

"He wouldn't've been doing anything he doesn't do every night," Evan retorted. "He's young yet -- he hasn't cut back to a couple of times a week."

The kings all thought this was funny, except Lucifer. "Do you mean that's all you do it?" He asked. "I wonder the lady Valaura hasn't taken a lover."

"She did, and you were it. And if she does it again, I'll find some way of pulling you into our dimension and leave you in Times Square at the height of rush hour. Marsh is right, Lilly will have to get the book -- I take it it's in the library at Meph's castle?"

"Of course it is," Mephistopheles replied. "But the littlest lady won't be able to bring it back -- much too heavy."

"Some book," Marshall muttered. "Sounds like a Gutenberg bible. Then who's volunteering to go with `er?"

"I will. If we're pulled in by the mirror, I might be able to combat it."

"Modest, ain't ya?" Marshall sneered. "What about the plan of lending power -- not that it ever made any sense to me."

"Save that for when and if we need it. I'm off to find Lilly. We'll be back in a few minutes with the book."

"If you're going, why does she have to?" Marshall was definitely losing the thread of the conversation.

"We've already explained that, Lord Marshall," Beelzebub retorted as if he was a schoolboy who wouldn't learn his lessons. "Her alien signature somehow shorts out the mirror's power."


Lucifer returned about twenty minutes later, and they had all fallen asleep around the conference table. He signalled to the two men following him, and they dropped the enormous book they were carrying onto the table, waking everyone again.

"Wow!" Marshall exclaimed. "I thought you were exaggerating! How many pages in that book?"

"No one ever counted. Let's get started, gentlemen. Who wants to take the first shift?"

"First shift at what?" Evan sounded suspicious.

"At looking for the spell we need -- what do you think? Go back to sleep if you cannot be more use than a drunken harper." This dig at Evan, who had indeed first entered their world as a minstrel and spent a lot of his time that visit drinking ale, didn't miss the mark.

"You mean there's no index as well as the pages not being numbered? Don't you people have a clue how to put a book together?"

The kings looked at one another and shrugged. "What, exactly, is an Index?" Beelzebub asked. That told Evan all he needed to know.

"An Index is a listing of every subject in the book, cross-referenced. That's one of the reason the pages are numbered; so then anyone who wants to find something can look in the Index and is told the page number. As it is, you've got to start at the first page and work your way through until you get to the last one, hoping what you want is nearer to the front than the back. Have any of you ever used this book before? Who put it together?"

"Our mother," Beelzebub replied. "We;ve all looked through it at one time or another, but we haven't had much use for it. And when she made it, she collected the spells, remedies and recipes from all over the world."

"What was your mother's name, out of curiosity?" Marshall asked.


"Now why didn't I realize that? And your father's name was Adam?"

"How did you know? had one, too. But of course, Eve was only mother to the younger two boys. Nick and I had a different mother, but the same father," Mephistopheles began.

"Don't tell me, let me guess -- Adam's first bond-mate was named Lilith."

"Uncanny how much you people know about us."

"Yeah, uncanny."

"Of course, that was a long time ago. What Foster Mama started, we've continued. We each have a Pentacular account-keeper who contributed part of the book. If we get them all together, perhaps they can locate the spell we need." Mephistopheles looked pleased with himself at this idea.

"Finally, a sensible solution," Marshall said grumpily. "I'm going To get some sleep with my new wife. Let us know when you need us."

"How about you, Ev?" Mephistopheles asked. "Maybe you and Valaura could get some sleep as well. In fact, we might as well work on this in shifts."

"Good idea."

"Still," Lucifer put in, "I think the Index is a good idea. Perhaps Evan would consent to be in charge of compiling it, since he is the writer in his own world."

Evan stared at the enormous book in horror. Still, he had been the one who told them about the Index ... "Sure, I guess. Not tonight, though. And I'll need a lot of assistant scribes."


It was another eight hours before the correct spell was located. By then everyone had slept at least a little, and the two women who were the principals in this enterprise had been sleeping the entire time. They assembled in the conference room, and Mephistopheles read the spell that would nullify the magic mirror. For a moment, there was silence. Then Marshall said, "Are you nuts? That's a Kamikaze run! Who's gonna volunteer to do that?"

"I will." They turned to see Nicholas standing behind them. The shock was that Nicholas had allowed himself to age, until he now looked like a man of 65. "I have no clear idea of what a Kamikaze is, but if I can save Satana with the last act of my mortal life, I'm ready to do so."