(Yes, mid-September as one of our contributors has had some unexpectedly bad luck in his personal life, so please be patient with us!)
That being said, keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming anthology and be sure to snag it on kindle as soon as it becomes available! It will include such authors as Jeremy Laszlo, Ben Martin, William Kenney, Ross Kitson and yours truly! And there are some new guys being introduced to the world of 'author-hood' in this anthology, so please welcome them as well! I am personally excited beyond words as to what this may mean for our little group and we are all psyched to have you, the reader, introduced to all of us in one book!
We hope you will enjoy it! So, without further ado, here is the intro to my story.
The Legend of Ashenclaw
It was an especially hot summer this year. That fact was well known by all.
Triniach leaned upon his staff and peered skyward, seemingly searching for something. The always-aloof wizard rubbed his chin thoughtfully, penetrating the thickening and white beard that grew upon it. His bright robe was made of the finest silken fabrics offered by a Veldennian seamstress and consisted of brilliant blues and purples. The woolen garments beneath however, were soaked with sweat and threatening to spill forth any moment, but Triniach did not seem to notice or care.
The calendar year was 414 according to the Wothlondian timekeepers and the heat had never been worse. Where was it coming from, thought the mage, dabbing his brow with a piece of cloth, though it did no good as more beads took their place immediately.
“It seems the summers are broadening,” he spoke aloud, calling over his shoulder to his companions.
“It is getting to be more than I can stand,” spoke Jon Veinslay, a paladin in service to The Watcher. The symbol of the god of the sky, a stylized eye, was proudly emblazoned upon his plated armor and shield, colored in pale silver with accents of deep blue and white.
“No wonder,” quipped the sorcerer behind him, Azbiel, who sat upon a flat rock that jutted slightly from the hill upon which they stood at the base of the Chaos Crests in the region of Hartsdale. “It's all that damned armor you’re wearin’.”
Jon simply raised an eyebrow at his adopted brother, who smiled sarcastically and genuinely through the heat and together they shared a laugh.
“I trust the cold feel of steel in my hands over magic any day, brother,” Jon rebutted. “At least I can rely on that which I can touch with my very own hands and this armor will protect me more so than that robe you wear.”
“Against swords and tangible weapons most assuredly, brother. But, I could roast you alive in that very armor in which you place so much trust. Does this look real enough to touch?” Azbiel said, gesturing and holding an outstretched hand face up as a flame burst forth from his palm, burning just as the campfire they set last eve. For a moment, the fire mounted in the mages hand until it was a sphere shaped ball of fire hovering just above his hand. It spun like a ball of yarn and was growing in size until it was the size of a ripe melon.
“Go ahead and touch it,” Azbiel said. “It’s as real as the steel you carry at your side, alright. It will melt your skin and turn that very shell you wear to slag.”
“Enough, boys,” called a very gruff but very female voice from behind them. Twarda, a dwarven warrior with arms the size of an ogre’s, made her way over to them. She lumbered slowly in her plated hauberk and her arms hung with a light chainmail over them, barely containing the muscles below. Her shield reflected the symbol of an anvil, the crest of the family Stoneshell from the Mountains of Crescent Ridge in the northeast.
“The both of ye’ can argue ‘til yer both dead fer all I care,” she added, taking a tall drink from her waterskin, no doubt full of ale. “We got more important things ta’ be talkin’ on.”
“Yeah, like where in the blazes is this fraggin’ heat comin’ from,” called a high-pitched, yet male voice, like that of an adolescent boy. Breaching the crest of the hill and plopping to the ground was the halfling, Figit Tallshadow. His long dark hair was tied back in a ponytail to keep the heat from his neck and his leather sleeveless jerkin was open, revealing his pale, hairless and very skinny chest. A pair of daggers was belted to his hips; one on either side, but the companions understood that the rogue carried many more hidden on his person. He was a worthy adversary despite his outward appearance, which they all knew he often played to his advantage.
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See you in Wothlondia! Cheers!
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