Plot Summary

Plot Summary

Tyll is a Sentient, a magically-powered automaton created by five devious mages who hold control of all magic in the oppressed city-state of Elysia. Tyll is the first and only of his kind, designed to infiltrate and sabotage the growing resistance to the mages' rule. But before the mages can program him, Tyll escapes into the city and discovers a sense of self. To ensure his freedom and bring magic back to Elysia, he must take sides with an idealistic group of rebels and destroy his evil creators.



A black-market shopkeeper in the bleakest, most crime-ridden section of Elysia, Alex has seen death and struggle nearly every day of her life. Cynical, smart, and mercenary, she believes in the wisdom of lying low and hiding her tracks.


Of all the revolutionaries in Elysia, none are quite so devoted as the student Sebastian Bellerophon. Young though he may be, his magical power is rivaled only by his sense of justice. A childhood of luxury has made him incredibly idealistic, and now, he yearns for the day when all Elysians will be free of the Mage-Gods' tyranny.


The first and only Sentient ever created, Tyll is meant to be the destruction of the revolutionaries. He possesses the power to read minds and also commands faint powers of suggestion, making it easy to manipulate the humans around him. But when he is faced with the ultimate choice—self-preservation or obedience—will he follow the Mages' programming, or will he turn against his creators?


She is the Mage of Illusion, She of Many Eyes, The Mistress of Shadow. Her domains are treachery, darkness, and fear, and her underhanded ambition knows no bounds. Together, she and Gnosi create a new weapon that will allow them eternal control over Elysia.


The Mage of Knowledge. The youngest of the five mages, he is the master of memory, mind control, and all human discovery. His nervous demeanor hides a capable and devious mind, and he is anxious to curry Apatia's favor.


Soon after Sebastian had descended into slumber, Tyll sat against the wall and purposely dimmed his own senses, letting the room around him fade. Sebastian had taught him how to cast a basic energy spell just a few days ago, but there was no use in consuming energy while his companions were unconscious. Magical energy was life, and not to be wasted.

After an indeterminable amount of time, Tyll was aware of a faint scratching sound nearby. His mind emerged from its self-induced catatonia, and he opened his eyes fully, listening with ears designed to hear every breathed secret, every muted tread. The sounds were incredibly soft, but Tyll had no trouble placing their origin: they were careful footsteps, made by approximately two humans, augmented by an occasional whisper.

Tyll couldn't discern all of the words, but he heard enough to know that these intruders were not friends. They sought something, and they would not stop until they found it.

Tyll rose to his feet. His internal time mechanism told him that it was about an hour before dawn, and the windows of the apartment were dark and marked with rainy rivulets. The plaza to the front door was still, but the twisting alleyways and corridors behind the apartments were not quite so silent. Tyll walked to the back door and took hold of its knob.

For a calculated moment, Tyll waited, and then he swiftly pushed the door open. The portal's wood slammed into something solid, and there was a stunned groan. Tyll banged the door open again, and a heavy weight collapsed to the ground.

Tyll heard Sebastian stirring within the apartment, but he ignored his companion and instead stepped out into the alleyway. An unconscious young man lay sprawled on the rain-wet cobblestone, his face shining with blood.

"Kinisia sel—" hissed a sharp whisper to the door's right, but Tyll's hand shot out and gripped the speaker's throat.

The black-clad figure croaked with pain, and Tyll shoved him against the brick wall, pinning his neck in place with unnaturally strong fingers. Gobbets of blood oozed where Tyll's fingernails dug into the smaller man's flesh.

"You are Apatia's Shadow, are you not?" Tyll asked calmly, staring into the young man's bulging eyes. "Answer me. And be advised that if you utter more magical words, I will kill you immediately."

The young man glared at Tyll, his lips twisting in a sneer.

"I am a Shadow," he spat proudly. His eyes darted over Tyll's face, noticeably avoiding the Sentient's gaze. "And you are A Tyl Lis. The Goddess's creation."

Tyll nodded. "I assume you and your companion have been sent here by Apatia to collect me. And I see that she has even given you a dispel to rob me of my energy. How did you locate me?"

The assassin chuckled darkly. "The Goddess is not called 'She of the Many Eyes' for nothing. She will find you no matter where you go, A Tyl Lis. You are part of her plan. You belong to her."

Tyll tilted his head, attempting to capture the assassin's gaze, but the man shut his eyes tightly.

"Give up, creature. Return to your Goddess and beg her forgiveness. She will complete you."

Tyll considered this statement for a moment, then discarded it as unacceptable. His first priority was to survive, and he had already decided that he could not do so under Apatia's rule. What he was originally intended to be no longer mattered.

"I must disagree," Tyll told the struggling assassin. "I have no intention of returning to Apatia, and in fact, I will do everything I can to see that she gains no more power." He paused, his fingers tightening on the man's throat. "Now, Shadow, are you going to tell me anything else of worth?"

The man merely grunted and scrabbled at Tyll's hand, eyes still closed. Tyll waited for an appropriate length of time, then brought his fingers together, crushing the man's windpipe. The Shadow joined his fallen companion on the bloodied cobblestones.

Calmly, Tyll walked back into the apartment and was met by a sleepy, half-dressed Sebastian.

"Tyll, what in Elysia is going on?" he demanded grumpily, running a hand through his mussed hair. His eyes drifted to Tyll's crimson fingers, and his breath caught in his throat. "Is that...blood?"

"Yes. Two of Apatia's Shadows attempted to enter this apartment, but I stopped them."

Sebastian pushed past him and leaned into the alleyway, then looked back at Tyll, goggling.

"Are they dead?"

"One is dead. The other has suffered a severe head wound." Tyll said, then paused thoughtfully. "Should I kill him?"

Sebastian shook his head, looking more than a little stunned. "No. No. But we can't stay here. They know where we are, and they'll be back. We have to get out of here."

"I agree, Brother Sebastian. But where will we go?"

For a moment, Sebastian looked utterly lost, but then a sense of grim realization dawned over his face.

"Home," he whispered, then darted to Alex's bedside, anxiously mumbling her name.

"Alex, we have to leave," he told her. She pushed him away and rolled over decisively. He attempted to grab her arm, but she pushed him again, this time sending him crashing into the wall.

Sebastian looked to Tyll with eyebrows raised.

"A little help, please?" he snapped, and Tyll walked to Alex's bedside and grasped firm hold of her arm.

"I apologize, Alex," he said, lifting her into a sitting position despite her protesting moan, "but this is very important. The Shadows have found us."

© 2005-2008 Rachael M. Haring