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War is an everyday fact of
life for peasants in the Kingdom of Paruth. Ghosts of soldiers remember battles
nobody won. Skeletons of abandoned houses mourn the echoes of families long
gone. Smiles are few and far between on the faces of peasants. And none of
their wise sayings make any sense.
Constant, dreary rain dampens
Pelya’s spirits as she rides Honey through these forlorn lands. Her mission for
the Cloudswept bank fell to a dead end in the dungeons under Riell Castle.
Recovered papers may hold clues to the fate of the Rojuun named Rruum Tarrrii,
but they’re written in an ancient language and only readable with the use of an
The influence of the Black
Scale Guild is far greater than she ever imagined. Their leader,
Tyeromaythan-Devourer of Gods, knows who Pelya is and wants her captured. The
plots that banished her from Dralin and the Blue Wyverns are directly linked to
the guild, as is her current mission.
Of greater worry to Pelya are
her new friends Verna, Calren and an energetic wyvern by the name of Nervy. In
the past, she has led friends to sorrow and death. Now, with a price on her
head and her inclination to take on ever more dangerous missions, Pelya has
every reason to believe she will bring these idealistic new adventurers to
their deaths too.
Adventure is everything
Calren had hoped and more. He had more treasure than he had ever dreamed of.
They had plans to visit places he had only dreamed of. He traveled with the two
most beautiful women in the world. However, neither show any interest in him.
And no one had ever communicated how terrible killing someone felt.
Verna has begun to regret her
excursion into human lands. Humans are cruel and violent. How they tolerate
never-ending war is incomprehensible. If not for Calren and Pelya, she might despair
of hope. Now she just needs to convince them to end all war and bring peace to
the world. That shouldn’t be too hard.
Nervy wasn’t thrilled with
his name. He adored Verna and her friends though. Traveling with them was far
more interesting than flying around the forest and running away from dragons.
Clues lead the group to the
lands of Lord Boagberll and his Huntmaster where the peasants have suffered
worse than any other part of Paruth. They will find answers to the Black Scale
Guild, the Cloudswept Bank and the Rojuun. They’ll discover even more
questions. And maybe in the end, they’ll figure out how to do something about
The Wyvern Series is a
swords-and-sorcery series following the journeys of Pelya Jornin. After leaving
Dralin, she travels the world searching out injustices and her purpose in life.
Along the way, she makes many friends and even more enemies.
I recently forced my son to watch Logan with me. Pretty sure that makes me a horrible father.
This is a horrible movie. The good guys are miserable and really not worth rooting for. The basic premise of the movie is that this world sucks and it's going down from here, so let's just slash everyone. We should set a fabulously bad example for the only children left like us while we're at it.
The actors in this movie are far too good to give such a horrible script to. If I was Wolverine, I would have slashed the script and stabbed the producers through the chin like he does to the bad guys no one really cares about. If I was professor Xavier, I would have mentally convinced everyone not to waste their money.
My expression while suffering through the movie
I have no idea what the critics and fans who said this was good were thinking. Maybe the little girl in the movie threatened to shove them in a locker after school and stab them through the door if they said anything bad. Hard to tell.
I've been a comic book fan since before I could read. I enjoy most of the movies related to comics and I'm not even too worried about whether or not they stick to canon as long as they're entertaining. This was not entertaining. I realized I've become immune to seeing fake blades and blood all over the place and it's become more of a yawn than it is impressive. There's no shock value left to the gore. They just do it to hide the fact that there's no real plot or decent dialogue.
I suppose I could go on, but I've already wasted my money. I have no desire to waste further words.
After banishment from Dralin
and expulsion from the Blue Wyverns, Pelya Jornin is now an agent of the
Cloudswept Bank charged with recovering valuables. The job allows her to travel
the world while keeping her skills sharp. Past failures have led to a vow to
travel alone so as not to endanger lives of those she cares about.
When the bank offers her an
assignment to rescue one of the mysterious Rojuun, she jumps at the chance to
learn more about them. Rumors of Rojuun attempts to enslave the human race have
worried her since her first meeting with them in Dralin and more so since her
failed mission in the mountains south of Swelth.
The mission takes her deep
into the war-torn country of Paruth where women aren’t allowed to wear swords
and magic is forbidden. Signs of the Black Scale Guild appear, bringing further
intrigue along with grave danger.
Calren has avoided mandatory
conscription into his lord’s army for as long as possible, but time is up.
Rather than join the endless and futile war, he packs his things and abandons
the farm for a life of adventure. But Paruth isn’t the sort of kingdom where
deserters are tolerated.
Verna, a Druid wilder than
the forest she grew up in, needs to escape heartbreak. She skips down the road
to learn more about humans and discover why they try so hard to kill each
Pelya seeks answers to events
in her past that sent her life spinning. She fears what those answers may
bring. More than anything, she worries about the fate of those who would
attempt to be her friends. Will her actions get people killed yet again?
The Wyvern Series is a
swords-and-sorcery series following the journeys of Pelya Jornin. After leaving
Dralin, she travels the world searching out injustices and her purpose in life.
Along the way, she makes many friends and even more enemies.
As my writing has improved over the years, I've gone back over some of my earlier works to improve them. In "Dralin", I removed the story of how Pelya's parents met because reviews showed me that readers gained a false impression of what the story would be. Many didn't get past that to the true story.
However, when I removed that part and adjusted everything to account for its absence, the new beginning point felt weak. While writing a battle scene in one of my later books, I came up with this idea for a new chapter 1 for Dralin that would be a better introduction to my writing for new readers.
It also introduces Kally Nevala, a character that appears later in the book. It shows off some of Bobbell's skills and how his training benefited Pelya later in life. The other characters brought in are Grinkin, Florsy, and Clutz. Those three make an appearance in the second book, "Ebudae". I thought it would be nice to show more of them to the reader.
The book will be updated in the next couple of weeks, but for now, enjoy!
Frath avoided a puddle of corrupted magic as he peered
around the corner. Violet illumination
from Ryallon’s two moons peeked through rainclouds to aid the feeble light of
streetlamps. Tilted wizard towers
flanking the shadowy street faded into mist tarnished by mystical undertakings
of the occupants. Moisture trickling
down the wall Frath had his gloved hand against also carried the taint of
The only person on the street was a hooded man carrying a
bound boy over his shoulder. He scanned
the street in both directions.
Frath pulled back to avoid detection. He held up a hand in warning.
Lieutenant Kally Nevala gulped audibly. She clenched the hilt of her sheathed sword with
a white-knuckled grip. The daughter of a
nobleman, she was too inexperienced to be on a mission in the Tower District.
Frath put a finger to his lips.
Kally nodded, her short, curly blonde hair bobbing around
her pretty face. Anticipation beat out fear
in her hazel eyes.
Behind her in the alley were four of Frath’s best friends
and the only ones who would take the risk of endangering their careers to
rescue Kally’s brother. In fact, they
relished breaking the rules. The entire
group wore the brown tunic of the Dralin City Guard over polished chainmail and
Bobbell was short and thin-faced with blonde hair and a
trimmed goatee. He and Frath had grown
up in the cruel orphanages of Dralin. He
was also a better thief and pickpocket than most people they arrested.
Grinkin, Florsy and Clutz had become quick friends with
Frath when he joined the Guard. They
always fought dirty and used words that made hardened sergeants blush. Florsy was the tallest of the group and
skinny, although his ropey muscles held surprising strength. He winked.
Clutz, the quiet one of the group, trimmed his fingernails
with a throwing knife. People
immediately underestimated him because of his name. He was a master of traveling over the tightly
packed rooftops of Dralin.
Grinkin was stout and bald with a white mustache. His unusually high-pitched voice didn’t match
anything else about him. A grin of
excitement lit his face and he spun his sword in readiness.
The sound of knocking echoed through the street.
Frath looked around the corner again.
The hooded man stood at the doorway where Kally’s brother
was supposed to be imprisoned. The door
opened. With a last glance at the
street, the man entered.
Frath drummed fingers on the hilt of his sheathed sword
while turning back to look at Lieutenant Nevala. “You’re sure your brother’s in there?”
“Yes.” Kally stood
straight. “I’ll tell you my informant
works for the Guard’s secret service, but that’s it. She risked her life to find out this much.”
“Just because you joined the secret service doesn’t mean you can trust
everyone else in it.”
“I trust them less.”
Florsy nudged Grinkin with his elbow.
“Could be a trick.”
Frath blew hair out of his eyes. “A guy just went in there with another boy
over his shoulder. I think we’re in the
Kally put a hand to her mouth to hide the involuntary gasp
that came out.
“If the wizard got another boy, then Kally’s brother is
probably mpphh . . .”
Clutz put his hand over Florsy’s mouth to prevent him from
finishing the sentence.
Tears welled in Kally’s eyes.
Frath put a hand on her shoulder. “Listen, it’s true that your brother’s likely
dead, but we’re going to go in to at least save his body.”
Tears rolled down Kally’s cheeks.
Grinkin smacked Frath’s arm.
“Sorry. That came out
wrong.” Frath ran fingers through his
unruly black hair. “Everything will be
fine. We can do this.”
“That’s better. What’s the plan
here? You said you would have one by the
time we reached the tower. We’re here.”
“Yeah. I’ve got it.”
They leaned in to listen.
“Bobbell will pick the lock.
We’ll work our way upstairs to the wizard’s workroom. Those are always at the top.”
Clutz frowned. “Some
wizards have their workrooms in the basement.”
“Yeah.” His eyes
“Well . . . we’ll try the top first. If it’s not there, then we’ll go to the
“Better than he usually comes up with.”
Frath tried to smack his shoulder, but the rogue was too
“Can we even succeed?”
Concern was thick in Kally’s voice.
“Of course.” Frath
nodded. “There will be wards and other
traps. If we get past those, there’ll be
bodyguards. If we get past those, every
wizard has supernatural guardians, so we’ll have to face those. We may have to face apprentices if he has any. The wizard will be the worst. Our uniforms protect us from some magic, but
the spells he casts will shred those . . .”
He scratched his chin. “Where was
I going? . . .”
Florsy pointed at Frath and asked Bobbell, “Is he always
“Yeah, his pep talks make you think stabbing yourself might be the
easier way to go.”
“Sheela would agree with you,” Frath admitted.
“When are you and Sheela getting married?” Clutz asked. “I know you have a child coming soon.”
“I’ll marry her as soon as I can afford a place outside the
barracks.” A rare smile came to Frath’s
lips at the thought of his betrothed.
A rat with eyes tainted green from magical pollution tried
to join the group. Clutz kicked it
away. “You two have a baby due
soon. You shouldn’t be risking yourself
on something as foolish as this, Frath.”
“We’re going to rescue him.”
Frath stepped out into the street before anyone else could speak. He hoped the others would follow.
Kally was immediately next to him. They reached the steps to the tower in
Bobbell slipped ahead to check the door. He moved his hands and whispered in a
mystical language. A breeze affecting
only him rustled his hair. He made a
Colorful runes hovering over the face of the door came into
Bobbell swirled his arms and continued his incantation. The runes fizzled and then popped out of
“Are we allowed to do that kind of magic?” Kally whispered.
Florsy nudged her arm with an elbow. “Sure.
Just like we’re supposed to be breaking into a wizard’s tower in the
middle of the night.”
Frath took a deep breath.
“You’ll need to forget about rules tonight, Kally.”
Kally set her jaw and readied herself. “Yes.
Bobbell took a pouch out of a secret pocket and knelt near
the lock. “I’m glad you’re all making so
much noise. It helps test my focus.”
Florsy nudged him.
Bobbell glared at him while taking picks out of the
pouch. He inserted three of them in the
Grinkin looked over Bobbell’s shoulder. “How long will it take you?”
The lock clicked.
Bobbell grinned at him and put the picks away.
Clutz gave a low whistle.
Bobbell tried the door.
It opened a crack before chains stopped it. He did a quick inspection. “Three?
That’s a bit much.” He pulled out
a roll of twine. “This is going to take
“Put that away.”
Frath pulled him back. He spotted
where each chain was. “Get ready for a
fight.” He gripped the railing for
leverage. Taking aim, he kicked the door
where the lowest chain was. The snap of
the chain and the splintering of wood shattered the silence of the quiet
Bobbell winked at Kally.
“This is how most of his plans evolve.
Between his height and his strength, he usually ends up bashing anything
that gets in his way.”
Clouds floated back in front of the moons. Drizzle pattered the street and freshened the
The next kick shattered the middle chain and weakened the
top. Frath rammed the door with his
shoulder, finishing the last chain off.
Standing in the middle of a room filled with dusty books and
dustier furniture was a young woman in a robe.
A supernatural casting wind whipped her hair and robes.
“Spell!” Frath jumped
to the side and hit the ground in a roll.
Colorful language came from his friends outside. One of the men yanked the door shut, trapping
Frath in the room.
The woman thrust her arms forward. The casting wind slammed into her back,
skidding her feet forward on the carpet.
Shards of ice shot from her fingertips.
The first shards hit the door.
She followed Frath’s motion, sending the shards in a fan.
Frath jumped up out of his roll and ran to escape them.
Pain shot through his thigh as two pierced his leg, knocking
him off balance and sending him to the floor.
The enchantments in his guard-issued pants prevented the shards from
going far, but it was still agonizing.
The door crashed open.
His friends came through.
Clutz threw a knife.
Her spell finished and danger near, the woman drew a wand.
Clutz’s knife hit her in the chest.
Enchantments in her robe flared, protecting her from harm.
They didn’t protect her from Grinkin coming in high and
Florsy coming in low. Enchantments
flared, but the magical swords provided by the guard cut through them, ending
the woman’s life.
Kally ran to Frath and helped him up. “How bad is it?”
Frath tested his leg.
Looking down, he saw blood seeping through the holes in the pants. “It’s not serious. I’ll be in more pain after explaining how it
happened to Sergeant Gorman.” He grabbed
a cloth off a side table and tore it in half.
Bobbell snatched a small magical orb off a bookshelf. “I can get you a new pair of pants from a
pretty little requisition clerk, no paperwork required.”
Kally’s brow furrowed.
“How will you do that?”
“By dropping mine.”
Bobbell winked and slid the orb into a pocket.
Kally gasped. “That’s
. . .” Her mouth closed. “Did you just steal that orb?”
“Nope. That would be
unethical.” He pointed at the
stairs. “I believe your brother’s that
“Yes but . . .”
Grinkin guided her toward the stairs. “You can file a report in the morning. I’m certain your commanding officer will be
more interested in a filched orb than what we were doing here in the first
“It’s just . . .”
“Do you even know how to use that sword?”
“Good. Charge up the
stairs and stab anything that gets in the way.”
Grinkin gave her a shove up the first few steps.
She looked back at him in shock.
“You’re the ranking officer here. We’re on a mission to rescue your
brother. Lead the way.”
She looked at Frath for confirmation.
Frath finished his makeshift bandaging and drew his
sword. “Right behind you.”
Kally hefted her sword and took a deep breath. She ran up the stairs two at a time.
Grinkin, Florsy and Clutz ran after her.
Frath popped his neck each way and tried to contain the
anger rising in his chest. It was rare
that anyone hurt him and he didn’t like it.
“You still with me, Frath?”
Bobbell stared up at him with worry in his eyes.
“It looks like you’re starting to . . .”
“I’ve got it under control for now.” Red tinted the edges of his vision.
“Does anyone in the guard know about? . . .”
Sounds of fighting came from upstairs.
“Let’s go.” Frath
jogged to the staircase. He took them
three at a time.
When they reached the next level, Kally was in the process
of trying to pull her sword out of a bodyguard.
“Let go!” She had her foot
against the man’s chest and was tugging with all her strength.
The hapless stared in uncomprehending shock at the blade
stuck in his body. His own sword was on
the ground and his arms were at his sides, too weak to fight.
Two other bodyguards
and a wizard lay on the ground near Grinkin’s crew. Florsy looked up at the newcomers. He nudged Clutz. “Didn’t he say he was right behind us?”
Kally’s sword finally came free from the ribs. She fell on her behind, her bloody blade
clattering beside her.
The bodyguard lurched forward and fell on top of her. The air that burst from his mouth was his
“Get off!” Kally
shoved him aside and backpedaled to escape.
“Do you think the wizard knows we’re coming?” Grinkin asked
nobody in particular.
“Nah. We’ve been quite as sleeping mice.” Bobbell jogged to the next flight of stairs
and looked up them. “Something doesn’t
look quite right about these.” He
squatted at the bottom and ran his fingers lightly over the step. “Keep an eye out for danger while I inspect
Clutz drew a knife in each hand and positioned himself
Frath clenched and unclenched his fist around the hilt of
his sword while resisting the urge to jump over the Bobbell and rush up the
Grinkin helped Kally to her feet. “Slide the blade in parallel to the ribs
rather than vertical. It’s less likely
to get stuck that way if your aim is good enough.”
“Yeah.” Kally wiped
spatters of the dead man’s blood off her face before retrieving her sword. “That’s a lot harder in reality than on the
Grinkin squeezed her arm.
“No, but . . .” Kally
shook her head. “I’m ready to go.”
Bobbell made a sharp motion with his knife in between the
steps. “That should disable it.” He jammed the knife in again, got to his feet
and slammed his heel into the pommel of the knife, driving it all the way in. “And that should prevent the mechanism from
slipping on accident.” He stood aside
and gestured for them to pass.
Kally took a step forward, but Frath stopped her. “I’ll go first now.”
“But it’s . . .”
Frath couldn’t contain his growl. “It’s best I go first now.”
She backed away, her eyes wide.
“Frath . . .” Bobbell
held up a hand.
“I’m fine.” Frath
loped to the stairs before racing up them and charging into a circular room
filled with odd items of magical construction on tables and shelves. Odors of metal, wood and magical energy
tickled Frath’s heightened senses.
A pair of wicked venom hounds stood guard at the bottom of
the next set of stairs. Fangs jutting
from grotesquely shaped mouths held channels to venom that weakened anyone they
bit. Even their breath was toxic.
A bestial roar shattered the silence of the room, only it
was from Frath’s throat, rather than those of the hounds. His momentum
propelled him to them in an instant.
The hound on the right maneuvered to flank Frath. The one in front hunched down, ready to leap.
Frath swung his sword in a diagonal downward arc as the hound
in front jumped. His blade cut through
the head and shoulders, slicing through bone.
The impact carried the hound’s body up around as Frath spun.
The hound on the side snarled and leapt for Frath’s exposed
Frath’s spin was as a tornado. He brought his sword around with the first
hound stuck to it. In his enraged state,
the hundred-pound body was like a feather to him. He slammed the two hounds together and drove
them into the floor.
His blade finished its journey through the first body and
cut through the second in a mortal wound.
Kally’s voice came from behind him. “By the gods . . .”
Frath yanked his blade out of the dead hounds, sending
chunks of flesh and coarse hair flying.
He turned to the stairs, ready for the next level.
Bobbell rushed past.
“Let me check the stairs.”
Frath waited, chest heaving, not from exertion, but from battle
rage flooding his marrow. It amplified
his strength and speed, but reduced his ability to think clearly. Bobbell knew Frath had the rare condition and
kept it hidden. Most people with the
condition died in battle at an early age or were put to death after they
committed a killing rampage.
Kally touched his arm with tentative fingers.
A growl rumbled in his throat. He needed
She withdrew the fingers.
Bobbell jumped up.
“It’s clear. I think we’re near
the top. Expect to be hit with spells.”
Frath grabbed an orb of unknown effect and sprang up the
stairs. Bobbell’s warning was not lost
on him. Halfway up, threw the orb into
the room above.
Arcs of lightning sprayed the air and thunder shook the beams
above. The lightning hit the orb causing
greenish-blue cracks to appear over its surface. It sailed into the room beyond Frath’s sight.
The briefest moment of silence made Frath halt despite his
A shockwave of blinding light and thunderous sound shook the
tower and made everyone’s heart stop a beat.
Debris fell from the ceiling, pelting their heads.
Frath shook off the debris and ringing in his ears. In a few long steps, he reached the top of
the stairs and scanned for his first target.
A wizard sat on the ground with blood trickling from his
mouth and nose. A dazed expression
clouded his eyes and debris cluttered his beard. A wizard’s staff with a blue crystal lay on
the ground nearby.
The man and boy Frath had seen previously lay unconscious on
the floor against the far end of the room.
With his heightened senses, he noticed they were both breathing.
In cages nearby were two other unconscious boys.
But the thing that caught his attention the most was an eight-foot
golem made of wood with patches of what appeared to be rune-carved human flesh
covering it. Its eyes and mouth glowed
with dark, unnatural light. It banged
its head with a clumsy fist to shake off effects of the explosion. Burn marks charred its chest.
Frath decided it was the thing most likely to give him a
fight worthy of his fury. He bellowed at
The creature stopped hitting itself. It saw Frath and bellowed back.
The ringing in his ears prevented Frath from hearing either
bellow. He attacked.
The golem counterattacked, swinging its fist.
Frath met the fist with a two-handed blow of his sword. The impact shattered the golem’s fist.
The golem continued the swing, hitting Frath’s nose with
Frath’s nose had already been broken more than once and the
fact that it was broken yet again sent him the rest of the way into his battle
rage. Liquid red tinted all his
vision. Rather than making it dim, it
The golem swung its other fist.
Frath met it with a ferocious backswing. He had the sense to duck at the same time to
prevent more damage to his crooked nose.
The blow shattered the golem’s arm and wrenched Frath’s shoulders. He hopped to the side to keep his balance.
The wizard picked up his staff and struggled to his feet.
Kally arrived at that point to hit him with her sword.
Enchantments in his robe turned the blade aside. Runes in the robe and in Kally’s sword
flared. He staggered backward and swung
his staff at her.
Upon impact, it released energy that shot Kally through the
air to slam into the golem’s side.
The golem stumbled while Kally crumpled to the ground.
Two of Clutz’s knives hit the wizard, causing his robe to
flash in protection.
The wizard held his staff at the defensive.
Grinkin charged in to strike the staff with an upswing. A burst of energy knocked the sword back, but
the guardsman was ready for it. He spun
and came back around behind the wizard with a second blow.
Florsy hit the wizard from the front at the same time. Runes in the swords flared. The combinations of attacks took their toll
on the wizard’s robes, weakening it enough that both blades made shallow cuts through
to the skin.
Desperation filled the wizard’s eyes. He backed away, swinging his staff.
Frath renewed his effort against the golem. He slashed at its torso, cutting into flesh
The golem swung its damaged arms as if they were twigs
swaying in a gale.
Frath dodged every swing.
He was faster than anyone his size had a right to be and with his
heightened senses, it was difficult to harm him.
The golem charged forward in an attempt to slam its opponent
to the ground.
Frath sidestepped and ducked behind the charge. He brought his sword around against the
golem’s back, knocking it to the floor.
He jumped on the golem’s back and hacked at it as though he were
chopping kindling for a fire.
Grinkin, Florsy hacked at the wizard while Clutz and Bobbell
darted in with quick stabs.
Kally regained consciousness and abruptly lurched to her
feet before falling sideways and landing awkwardly. She maneuvered to her hands and knees while
trying to make sense of the battle.
The wizard had a dozen cuts through his spent robe. His last desperate swing of the staff missed
Four swords pierced him with mortal wounds. The men withdrew them at the same time,
leaving him to collapse with a gurgling sigh.
The golem kicked and struggled to get up, but was
ineffective without arms.
Frath continued hacking even after it stopped moving.
Grinkin took a step toward him. “Hey Frath, it’s dead.”
Bobbell stopped him.
“It’s best to let him stop on his own.”
Kally crawled toward the cages. “Tiyler.
Tiyler, is that you?” She reached
one of the cages and jerked on the door.
“It’s locked.” She shook the
bars. “It’s locked.”
Bobbell ran over, pulling his picks out at the same
time. “I’ll get it.”
Clutz headed to a desk with an open book and papers
scattered over it. “I’ll try to find a
Florsy removed a bejeweled necklace from the wizard’s
neck. “I’ll start grabbing
valuables. That’ll make it look like
thieves did this.”
Despite her desperation, Kally gasped in shock. “We’re members of the guard. We can’t steal things!”
Grinkin grabbed wands from their rack on a table near the
stairs. “We’ll give most of it to
charity, lass. That way it’s not really
“Most of it? . . .”
Frath continued chopping the golem, though it was hard to
tell it had once had a shape by that point.
Bobbell conquered the lock and opened the cage.
Kally forgot her indignation as she scrambled in to recover
her brother. “Tiyler! Tiyler, wake up. Please wake up.”
The boy moaned and lifted his head.
“Thank the gods.” Kally
clutched him to her chest and rocked.
“Do you think Frath is going to continue until he has
sawdust,” Florsy asked no one in particular.
Bobbell had the second cage unlocked in an instant. “If that’s what he needs, let him.” He went in to check on the other boy.
Clutz abandoned his search for the key and went over to the
unconscious man and boy. He leaned over
the man and did a quick inspection before checking the boy and lifting him into
Frath stopped chopping.
The red left his vision. He
twisted his neck each way to pop it.
“Are we finished?” He wiped off
his blade and scanned the room.
Bobbell came out of the cage with the boy over his
shoulder. “Yeah. Let’s get out of here. Kally has her brother and we can take these
other two to the Temple of Turqua.”
“Who is Turqua again?”
Florsy shoved some valuables into a backpack he found. “I can’t keep up with all the temples in this
Kally held carried her brother out of his cage. “The Goddess Turqua can’t bear children, so
she nurtures those without homes. Can
someone sheath my sword for me?”
Grinkin picked it up off the floor and cleaned it off as she
had asked. “I wish more women would ask
me that.” He winked playfully.
Kally smirked. “I’m
sure you do.” She looked around once
more. “Oh, what should we do about the
man who brought that boy in?”
“Took care of it.”
Clutz headed to the stairs.
“You killed him?”
Despair cracked Kally’s voice as she noticed the pool of blood spreading
under the body.
Frath put his arm around her shoulders and guided her out of
the room. “There are countless men in
Dralin who steal children. The city
won’t miss that one.”
Kally choked back tears as she let the men lead her down the
stairs and out of the tower into the night.
Rain fell on their heads as they made their way to the temple, hiding
any that might have escaped.
Frath sat on the bench outside the temple with his arms
resting on his legs and his head hung.
The others were inside seeing to the safety of the boys. If they had parents, the temple would reunite
them. If not, they would try to find
them homes outside of Dralin.
His nose throbbed and the cuts in his leg itched. He had a couple of bruises in random places
he didn’t remember getting. Sergeant
Gorman, who was in charge of Frath’s squad, would grill him when Frath got
back. He could hide the bruises and the
cuts in his leg, but not the broken nose.
Kally was the first to come out with her brother clinging to
her side. In a flash, she was at his
side. “Frath, drink this. Quickly now.”
She clasped his jaw and held a vial to his lips while tipping his head
Frath grabbed her wrist, surprised by the abrupt action, but
didn’t fight her. Cool syrup flowed down
his throat, tickling it with mystical energy. As soon as it hit his stomach, the throbbing
in his nose stopped and all bodily pains left.
“There. Now you don’t
need to worry about getting into trouble.”
Kally tapped the last of the syrup into his mouth and took the vial
away. She took a closer look at his
face. “Your nose is still crooked.”
“You . . .” Frath
stared at her with eyes wide. “Healing
potions cost . . .”
She stoppered the vial and tucked it into a belt pouch. “My father will pay the cost. It’s a small dose made by an acolyte rather
than a full bottle by a priest. There’s
a chance you may grow an extra ear.” She
“They wouldn’t have sold it if it was bad. Even that much is a fortune. If you wanted me healed, a priest, or even an
acolyte could have laid their hands on me for a fraction of the cost. Why . . .”
Kally chewed on her lip, took a breath to answer, and then
paused before saying, “To reduce the chance of discovery of course. Healing drains energy and would have put you
out of commission for days. With a
potion, it’s as though nothing happened.”
“Yeah. I don’t hurt
anymore.” He stretched and tested his
muscles. “I’m a little tired and hungry
“Like I said, it was made by an acolyte, so you’ll still
feel some of the adverse effects.”
The others came out at that point. “The boys are safe.” Bobbell gestured for Frath to get up. “We’re going to be late for roll call, Frath. Let’s go.”
“We need to escort Kally’s brother back to his father’s
estate. Kally’s capable, but Dralin isn’t
safe for a lone woman and boy.”
“You two get back to the barracks.” Grinkin put a protective hand on Kally’s
shoulder. “We’ll ensure they get home
Florsy nudged Clutz in the ribs with an elbow. “Yeah.
The only thing that would make our
sergeant suspicious is if we showed up on time.”
Clutz rubbed his rib and chuckled. “True enough.
Go on Frath.”
“Thanks guys. I
They exchanged farewells.
Frath and Bobbell used a few coins confiscated from the wizard’s tower
to hire a taxi cart back to the barracks.