Excerpt: The Ninth Order by @ramsey_isler

The Ninth Order

By Ramsey Isler

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Twitter: @ramsey_isler

Website: HERE

Synopsis: When the world went mad and war brought civilization to ruin, the Rezernaan restored it. Some call the Rezernaan wizards, and others call them radicals. A young man named Falki rose to the top of their ranks with unprecedented speed. Now he will face a danger that will lead him to partner with twin rogues, an exiled murderer, an heir to an industrial empire, and a strange man from his past.

Falki lives in a world that is still struggling to recover from the ravages of The Fall. The golden days before The Fall were guided by a simple phrase: “Progress through knowledge; knowledge through science”. But then the Great War came, and all the sciences of the past led to catastrophic destruction. Out of the ashes rose a mystical group of protectors—the Rezernaan.


The boat was sinking. Fast.

The sulfurous, toxic waters of the prohibited zones had eaten away at the primitive wooden hull of Vannekar's small vessel. The sea poured in through cracks and holes, loading his boat with frothy saltwater. The water beneath Vannekar wasn't his only problem; he also had to deal with the flow from the sky. Rain fell in heavy sheets from black clouds above him. He was stranded and alone in the open, angry, ocean.

But he was not helpless.

He removed the tattered leather glove on his left hand, and the cold rain bit into his exposed skin. On the back of his fist was a silvery, circular mark perfectly etched into his flesh. Vannekar focused his will, and the mark glowed red. A wide opening soon appeared in the dark veil overhead, revealing the starry night sky beyond.

Vannekar took a deep breath and stepped forward. His feet sloshed through the gallons of liquid still rapidly filling his boat. His dark eyes scanned the horizon, peering through the rain that still fell beyond the circle of tranquility he had created in the sky. He turned his attention to his portal to the stars. The constellations were in the positions he expected. He was close.

The waves continued to roll and toss his vessel, which continued a slow descent into the sea. But the boat was still buoyant enough for Vannekar to maneuver it, though the winds did not seem to be in the mood to assist with that. The boat had engines—ancient, rusted machines that had been haphazardly tacked on to the wooden craft—but they had died a sputtering, water-logged death hours ago.

Vannekar's eyes narrowed and his jaw clenched as he channeled his will through the mark on his fist. It glowed again, and the boat began to turn steadily, as if guided by an unseen hand. When the bow was pointed due west, the craft surged ahead.

The boat proceeded forward for ten more minutes, until Vannekar found what he was looking for. There was a dark, crescent shaped rock formation sprouting out of the ocean's surface like a crusty scab. The rocks grew larger as he approached. He could clearly see their jagged edges every time lightning pierced the night.

Vannekar felt a sudden, nearly irresistible urge to turn away. Every bit of his intuition screamed that he was headed for catastrophic danger. But he pressed onwards. The boat creaked and groaned as more water dragged it even further downwards. The water was up to his knees now. Vannekar climbed out of the wheelhouse and onto the slippery deck.

The vessel listed to the right and threatened to veer off course. Vannekar scowled and his mark glowed red again. He slowly clenched his fingers into a tight fist and pulled his arm to the left. The boat shuddered, and its wooden planks splintered and screeched, but it still obeyed Vannekar's silent command, and it turned to face west again. The boat gathered speed and hurtled headlong into the wall of stone. Then something strange happened.

The rocks disappeared.

The craggy stones virtually melted into the ocean spray. The crash that should have ripped Vannekar's boat into shards never came. Instead, a wide, forested land mass appeared in the distance—an island. Vannekar's mouth curled into a grin.

His boat could travel no further; it was all but sunk already. The sea would soon claim the prize that had escaped its grasp for hundreds of miles. Vannekar knew he would have to make the last leg of this trip on his own. He cast one final, grateful glance at his vessel, and then dove into the dark ocean.

He felt the bitter chill of the water for only a fleeting second, and then a soothing warmth spread from his silvery tattoo. He took one deep breath, and plunged far beneath the tumultuous surface. His arms and legs pumped hard, driving him through the water. He could hardly see, but it didn't matter. He knew where he was going. He could feel it.

Long minutes passed, and Vannekar stayed submerged. He didn't come up for air even once. Breathing could wait. His mind was focused on only one thing: setting foot on home soil again. Soon, his fingers brushed against sand and stone. He surged upwards, and when he broke the surface, he saw the familiar rocky bluffs and expansive beaches of the Eastern Isle. His arduous journey was over. He was home.