Taking the Black Part 2 – St John Wraith

“Maud and Jakob will see to your needs, and I’ll come home whenever I have down time” Wraith said with a gentle smile on his face. Ely looked a bit cross. “I don’t mind ye going John, I just want to be beside ye as we have in the past.” A subtle frown drawing her face down. Wraith gave her a hug and kissed her forehead, “I know ye do love, and if we weren’t bout ready to have a baby, ye know I would want ye right there with me, but ye need rest, and to look after our child when he’s born.” He rested his hands softly on her shoulders. She smiled softly looking up at him, “You better come back and see me, or I’ll take our child in one hand, and my mace in the other, and come looking for...

The Unwilling Voice

The old man lay curled in a fetal position on the bed. He quietly thanked the gods of the mountain that there had been such a nice lady working the tavern. The nice lady gave him a warm bed and a bowl of hot stew, and the simple act of kindness had cleared the shadows in his head – at least for a little while. He tried to turn his head to the window to see if morning had come, but his ruined muscles prevented the motion, so he resigned himself to waiting for the sunshine to come through the window and reflect off the tiny mirror his devastated body had been forced to stare at all night. He hadn’t slept for nearly a week – She came to him when he slept – and the Sandman had almost completed tugging him down into darkness when the door to his little room...

The Shattered Empire

The charred body of the petty highwayman made a gurgling sound as the last breath escaped it. General Debinani Rahl sighed a bit and wiped the crumbled remains of the sulfurous ash from his gloves. He leaned against a lone tree, withered and lifeless, in a lone green amongst the tightly packed houses of the lone clearing in the shattered woods. Dark, unnatural clouds raced across a sky that shone crimson with the sun’s setting. Everything here was dead except the grass, which flourished like nowhere else in the shattered remains of his homeland. He removed his glove and crouched down to run his fingers through the dark, rich soil – the kind of soil farmers dream of having in their fields. He looked from the dirt in his palm to the corpse and back again....

Black Doubts – Elyriel Winters

Frustrated, Elyriel threw the lump of cloth and tangled thread back into her sewing basket. The wadded ball was supposed to be a ladies’ frilled vest. But Elly glared at yet another failed attempt as she rubbed the ache from her sore fingers. It had been what? Almost ten years since she’d sewn more than a few patches onto her cloak and leggings? She was slowly remembering the things her father had taught her as a child, but hands trained to grip a mace and batter down foes were awkward with a slim needle. At best, she could turn out a few simpler pieces, but with summer setting in, the gold was in new wardrobes for Trinsic’s ladies. Her latest attempt looked more like a mouse’s nest than embroidered linen. Deciding she could use a break,...

Taking the Black – St. John Wraith

Wraith sat still on the mount as the gentle rains poured down around him. His eyes fixed quietly on the Ettin before him. The Left head of the ettin hung still and motionless, a red sliver of blood cascading across its neck. Its right head looking to the left with a curious despair. The beast looked back to Wraith with blind vengeance in its eyes. The sickening breath from its roar blurred Wraiths eyes for a moment as the beast charged again. Its tree trunk like legs slowed and unsteadied by the muddy field, Wraith side stepped his mount easily, and brought his Battle-axe around his head and into the creatures back, burying it deep. The orcs and their ettin comrades had been massing ever closer. The new camps that had been found in the woods outside a few cities...