Pero, come back. The wolves are coming. They are going to kill you.
Pero was euphoric. His pulse was strong. He didn’t flinch, not an inch. “Wolves? … I hear no wolves. I hear women. Several women. They are singing to me. Don’t you hear them singing? I must go to them.
Tomas could only hear the wolves howling. They were faint and still far away but inching closer…
Pero’s smile grew larger… “I hear them, Tomas. Angels are leading me to God. That is why I came out here. I must seek Him. It is my quest.”
Are you fucking deaf? I know wolves when I hear them! Those motherfuckers are going to tear you apart!”
You are an audacious lad, Tomas… I have been most impressed by your resolve and courage, even your arrogance. The boldness of your ancestors runs strong through you. Fabbro blood. I pray you are wiser than they and use that gift to make the world a better place for everyone. I have a different calling. I must heed it. Wish your parents well for me. I will not return...”
Tomas didn’t know what else to say. He was dumbfounded and Pero had gone mad… The only man to ever enter Ithaca calmly walked away from it… disappearing in the recesses of the forest.
Blue Grotto – Chapter 15

Tomas Fabbro is the brooding fifteen-year old boy we meet in the first book, Betrayal.

Tomas is the son of Turstin and Druda Fabbro. They are royalty who have been exiled from Parthenope.

Turstin has two older brothers, Avenel and Gherardus. Together the three assassinated their parents, Tancred and Meliore. Turstin didn’t want to be part of the plot but had no choice if he wanted to survive in the great city.

After the assassination, Avenel, bereft with grief, took Meliore’s body and left, never to be seen again. Gherardus took command of Parthenope. Turstin chose the names of those who would be blamed and worked to help Gherardus cover up the crime.

The years passed but Turstin didn’t have his brother’s confidence and eventually Gherardus had him arrested. Unwilling to shed anymore Fabbro blood, Gherardus, with the aid of the giant magician Sinibaldus, devised a unique prison out in the forests beyond Eagles Pass.

You dumb bastard!” Tomas barked at Pero, a few flecks of spit splaying out of his mouth… “This isn’t a trap! Look around you for Christ’s sake… An old man… an old woman… two young boys… We are captives here. You walked into a goddamn prison!
Betrayal – Chapter 41

Pero de Alava, chased off Eagles Pass by wolves and bears, ended up finding this strange sanctuary in the middle of nowhere. They were protected from the possessed animals by the magic infused in giant torches that surrounded their little homestead.

It is magic,” Turstin remarked, his nose wrinkling at his own words. “Black magic. Sinibaldus has a crystal, a crystal the size of my fist…He uses the power of that crystal to tamper with all that is unholy and otherworldly. He controls the spirits of the animals in the forest with it. I don’t know how he does it… This is something, at one time, I would have never considered possible… but it has become real for me, for us… We are prisoners and cannot leave, not ever. If we make any attempt to escape, those enchanted beasts will know it. We will be hunted down and mauled to death.
Betrayal – Chapter 42

The exiled Fabbros explained the whole situation to Pero, giving him insight into Gherardus Fabbro who still held power in Parthenope and sent Pero on his quest to Eagles Pass.

Tomas is growing frustrated with his situation. He has longed to escape the prison. Pero finding a way to enter has him thinking he might actually be able to escape one day. And then he led Pero out to the semaphores, to one of thousands of giant white banners with a blue eye surrounding the prison. During the night, they must stay within the light of the torches. During the day they can venture out to the banners. That is the limit of their incarceration. Out here they can forage and fish.

And it is as this banner Pero says he hears sirens or angels calling him, and leaves. He walks out into the forest without his armor and sword. He just leaves.

Tomas shivered. The cold breeze was gone but the howling of the wolves had not gone away. They were still out there, drawing nearer. Frightened… the teen wheeled around and ran for home, dashing through the trees until he met up with his father…
Where is Pero?” Turstin asked, panting, his wide eyes scanning the forest…
He left us, father. He just fucking left us. He walked off towards the wolves saying they were angels. He’s fucking mad.”
Angels?… He said angels were calling him?“…
He said they were women, women singing.”
I didn’t hear anyone, father. I just heard those damned wolves.”
Turstin Fabbro was tired. It had been years since he ran… He patted his son on the shoulder and turned for home. “He is in the Lord’s hands now.”
Blue Grotto – Chapter 15

Before the wolves began howling, Pero had stepped out beyond the boundary and Tomas, tempted, did so also. For the first time in his life, Tomas went beyond his prison walls.

Tomas had to look back once more. He remembered how good it felt standing outside the marker, how the air tasted better, cleaner, richer…
Where did he find the faith to do that?”
Feeling ashamed… Tomas put his head down and followed his father’s footsteps home believing he had missed his one glorious opportunity to escape. ‘Now I’ll never be free of this place.’
Blue Grotto – Chapter 15

Allen M Werner is the author of the epic fantasy series The Crystal Crux

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