Beginning is the second book in the Laurian Pentology series from author Danny Birt and picks up with Ending an Ending left off. From the book: ============= Don't shoot, or you'll regret it. With that strange admonishment, a beautiful woman strode into view, shoulders straight and hands clasped behind her back. Her long curly hair shone red with the light of the fire, though her eyes reflected none of that light. She looked short enough to be a tall dwarf, but her curvaceous figure belied her as almost certainly human. She was clothed with a black silky body suit and a dark green cloak that offset her red hair. Both Paedre's dogs whined, but softly, as though confused as to what to do. There was no hint of confusion in Scruting's voice. Keep your bolts at ready, he commanded. Now, is that any way to greet your savior? The woman gave a closed-lipped smile. You can't tell me you just killed five vampires on your own, Sydron objected. The woman unclasped her hands and brought them into plain view from behind her back. They were dripping with blood. Several people exclaimed loudly at the sight, but Scruting shushed them. Why did you kill them? To help you out, she answered. And because they were arrogant. There's only enough room for one egomaniac on my continent. Why help us? Scruting asked implacably. But that's what Seren do for each other, she said, stepping forward. You can't be Seren, Lalt growled. Who but a Seren could kill five vampires on her own? demanded Sydron. The elf answered sharply: An older vampire!