A Taste of “Mirklin Wood” #4

The kingdom of Celdrya stands poised upon the edge of disaster as human factions, Celtic goddesses and black mages fight over the empty throne. These are some small tibits of what you might find in the book Mirklin Wood, scheduled to publish in March.

 

Front Cover RedRain fell in sheets from a sullen sky, filling the streets of Galornyn with fetid streams of mud that oozed toward the harbor in thick brown ropes like excrement loosed from a cesspit. The unnatural downpour had kept the city enthralled for three days now. Folk spoke of Hanaloran witchcraft while the merchants of the Southern Isles stood off the jetty awaiting a favorable wind for home.

In the markets, there was news that three academics from the collegiate had died as if strangled by unseen hands the night before the storm broke. The streets and taverns hummed with fear as every man, woman and child saw plague and sorcery round every corner.

Gregyn stood in the shadows of the dim interior of the temple of Bel, watching Naryna’s parents mourn their daughter, the whole of his saved wages arranged about her in guilty lavishness. He’d been unable to persuade the priests to provide this time of mercy for Naryn’s parents, but the priests of Bel in Galornyn liked coin as much as other men, though they pretended not to.

The failure of persuasion gnawed at him. A symptom of Talidd’s murderous spell, no doubt. Gregyn had not eaten for three days and his hands shook when he didn’t will them not to. His head ached and every muscle of his body throbbed as if he’d labored for days in a mine.

His gift proved as exhausted as his body. It would be some time before he could work magic again, though he could still feel its power on the edge of his awareness. He’d been fortunate. Others had not been. Naryna had died in his stead as other familiars had died in the place of their journeymen. The magic they’d unleased had poisoned the heavens with its potency.

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A Taste of “Mirklin Wood” #1

Front Cover RedThe paths were filled with daemons of all sizes and shapes, terrible faces contorted in rage
as one after the other they pressed toward Donyl and Pedyr, swinging their bronze weapons to meet their iron. Calm and rational in this irrational situation, Donyl dealt death as no novice at arms had a right, slicing and parrying, arms burning with fatigue. He understood that they were going to die – that had been a given when they saw the hordes upon the paths — but the man at his back deserved better. Here was a Believer, a follower of the One, who trusted his god to save his soul, but did not expect him to save his life. Oath-sworn to see Donyl to his destination or die in the attempt, Pedyr fought a last futile battle for naught but honor. The citadel is within sight! Could not the Denygal god find it to save this most deserving man? Donyl’s rational mind thought this as his exhausted arms continued swinging his sword upon daemon after daemon, with no stop in sight. God I do not know, please save Pedyr.

An air-rending roar filled the gorge and the daemon host ducked as if expecting attack from on high. A terrified keening rolled along the paths, echoing off the cliffs, as a dark winged shape glided out of the moon light and swept low. Donyl screamed as the enormous claws reached down and plucked him free of the ledge.