by Matthew D. Ryan
We vampires do not make easy prey. Our weaknesses are few, our strengths many. Fear is something we do not know, and death but a distant memory. So tread softly, pray to your god, and gird yourself with silver when the moons arise and night’s dark prince awakens. We fear not the wizard, nor the warrior, neither rogue, nor priest; our strength is timeless, drawn from darkness and we know no master save the hot lust of our unending hunger. We long for blood, your blood and no blade, nor spell, nor clever artifice, can keep us long from our prize. Feel our teeth at your throat, your life ebb from you, and know as darkness comes to claim you that the price of your folly is your everlasting soul.
Excerpt from The Children of Lubrochius
Several hours later, Gaelan stood at attention in the Fire Hawk Sparring Arena in the Western Guard Barracks of the city of Drisdak. Prinson and Retlin, the two other young guild guardsmen from his earlier assignment were with him. Each of them still wore his chain mail armor and the now sweaty undercoat, but had relinquished his steel sword at the entrance to the arena. Anduri stood in front of them with several wooden practice swords lying at his feet. Behind them, about thirty city guards busily worked on a calisthenic routine.
Gaelan watched Anduri unclasp the real sword at his side, place it on the floor behind him, and then bend to pick up one of the wooden ones.
Gaelan stood at attention. I’m ready, he thought. Finally, I’m going to learn to fight … to kill. The thought lodged in his breast, hard and solid like a chicken bone in his throat. He knew what he wanted. He wanted this. But …
Better to die a peaceful man, than live with the stains of murder. His father had taught him that. It was the last line of the Aspallan peace oath. Aspalla of the White Palm, Lord of Healing and Counsel, was one of the most revered gods of the Paradisian Circle. He was the father of the goddess Auraria and the personal counselor of Mardikkar Evilbane, King of the Gods. He was also Gaelan’s patron deity, the deity he’d worshipped his whole life.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Matthew D. Ryan lives in northeastern New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. His writing has been featured at Aphelion.com and YesteryearFiction.com. He is the operator of the web-site matthewdryan.com which features his blog, “A Toast to Dragons,” (http://matthewdryan.com/a-toast-to-dragons-the-blog/) a blog dedicated to fantasy literature, and, to a lesser extent, sci-fi. He is the author of the dark fantasy novels “Drasmyr,” “The Children of Lubrochius,” and “The Sceptre of Morgulan,” as well as a growing number of fantasy short stories including: “Haladryn and the Minotaur,” “The River’s Eye,” and “Escape.”
The Children of Lubrochius:
The Sceptre of Morgulan:
My Mailing List: http://www.matthewdryan.com/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi
My Website: http://matthewdryan.com
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