Book I of the GHOULS AMONGST US series!
From the dawn of time they come. They are a race hidden in the depths and the darkness. They are Goblins, the feasters of the Dead. Once they waged war against mankind by the millions. Defeated, they retreated into their subterranean world... but survived. They survived by mating with humans, creating hybrid races: Ogres and Ghouls. Every generation is more human than the last, allowing them to walk amongst us.
Even to this day, there are GHOULS AMONGST US!
GHOULS AMONGST US
KRANTZ FAMILY CHRONICLES, Book 0
In these fourteen stories, you will see the origin of these inhuman creatures and you will follow them through time. Here Ogres and Goblins will wage war, fought with sword and with magic. The Ogre chieftain Ghazar will lead his people to a new home. Krokol will become enthralled by the Undead. And with the aid of sorcery, King Gob will forge an empire of the Night.
As centuries pass they progressively become more human. We meet the Hunchback of Notre Dame and the Phantom of the Opera. And in the modern day ghouls will become our saviors.
Excerpt from GHOULS AMONGST US:
The pillars now excited the ogres' attention. Upon each of them was bound a writhing human being. Some were men, some women. Some were old but most were young and juicy. They all looked at the ogres with horror which is only natural.
Krokol set his massive hand on young Muzlúk's shoulder. "Son, you be very good to help me get this far—better than no-good brothers. Me let you have choice of these Mans to eat."
Muzlúk, barely believing his reward, grinned widely and reverently at his father. Then he turned and spotted a nearby wench. He knew not if she was Basque or Moor or Frank and he did not care. She was young and beautiful and plump. Her disheveled robes exposed a rounded calf and a bit of thigh. Muzlúk licked his lips once and lunged.
Muzlúk did not land on his victim, however; he passed through her spectral body. She could not have held his weight, even if he'd retained his composure. Screaming, Muzlúk fell into the bottomless pit. The scream lasted half a minute before being lost to Krokol's pointed ears. He heard no thud.
Krokol lamented his position. There was no treasure, no weapons to steal, and the last of his sons was dead. There was nothing but ghosts and he could not eat ghosts. He turned back to the grate from whence he and Muzlúk entered, but it was no longer there. Seeing this, he had no choice but to climb up the steps.
Krokol there found another chamber, smaller, but decked out like a throne room. But this was a throne of the dead, with ragged curtains, broken windows, mouldering furniture, and all covered with cobwebs. And on the massive throne sat a shadowy, robed figure, surrounded by more figures, equally shadowy but seemingly feminine. Under their cowls were skull-like visages and eyes that reflected the fires of Hell.
Sweating and with a knot in his throat, Krokol stood before the dais. His axe hung limply in his hand. It would have served him little, he might have surmised, had he even remembered it was there. These people were dead, he understood instinctually. But they were not ghosts. Unlike Mronk, these creatures were truly Undead.
"Fear not, for I am fear incarnate," said the lean figure on the throne. "That you have come this far gives testimony to your courage. Come forward and we will talk."
Krokol had no desire to come closer. He wanted to run away as fast as his crooked little legs would go. But there was no escape from this place of traps and he knew they would be on him in an instant.
In a moment of clarity, Krokol wondered why he had even wanted to come here in the first place.
He did step forward, at last, standing at the base of the dais. The shrouded figures regarded him with varying degrees of interest. At last the man on the throne spoke again.
"I am Mordos," he said. "I am the lord of the Fortress of Fear."
"Me Krokol," the ogre countered. "Me have no fear."
Mordos threw back his hood, revealing his gaunt, bearded face and straggly hair. His slanted red eyes stared into those of Krokol.
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