The Dragon Hunters
Histories of Malweir Book 2
by Christian Warren Freed
Genre: Epic Fantasy
The Mage Wars are a fading memory. The kingdoms of Malweir focus on rebuilding what was lost and moving beyond the vast amounts of death and devastation. For some it is easy, others far worse. Some men are made in battle. Grelic of Thrae is one. A seasoned veteran of numerous campaigns and raids, Grelic is a warrior without a war. He languishes under mugs of ale and poor choices that eventually find him locked in the dungeons of King Rentor. His only chance at redemption is an offer tantamount to suicide: travel north with a misfit band of adventurers and learn the truth of what happened in the village of Gend.
Grelic, suddenly tired of his life, reluctantly agrees and meets the only survivor of the horrible massacre: Fitch Iane. Broken, mentally and physically, Fitch babbles about demons stalking through the mists and a terrible monster prowling the skies, breathing fire and death.
What begins as a simple reconnaissance mission quickly turns into a quest to stop Sidian, the Silver Mage from accomplishing his goals in the Deadlands. The last of the dark mages seeks to recover the four shards of the crystal of Tol Shere and open the gateway to release the dark gods from their eternal prison.
Grelic and his team are sorely outnumbered and ill prepared to deal with the combined threats of a dark mage and one of the great dragons from the west. Not even the might of the Aeldruin, high elf mercenaries, and Dakeb, the last of the mages, promises to be enough to stop evil and restore peace to Thrae.
“You understand what I’m asking of you?” King Rentor asked the grizzled, old sergeant standing before him in dress uniform.
Sergeant Notam gave a sharp nod. “Yes, sire.”
“Whatever you do will be unofficial. I cannot risk open war with my own men before the enemy strikes. You’re certain you can accomplish this?”
Notam was already growing irritated. He hated being questioned, by anyone. Give him a job and it got done to standard. He’d made a career out of breaking young officers and stubborn farm boys pretending to be soldiers. His tenacity and unorthodox training methods were renowned throughout Thrae. He was the thing of troopers’ legends and tall tales. Many a new recruit quailed at the thought of having Sergeant Notam as their instructor.
Rentor leveled his gaze and asked in a very serious tone, “How much can you trust this man?”
“Sire, I’d put your life in his hands without question,” Notam replied. His stark white uniform was belted at the waist and had black buttons. Rows of ribbons and medals protruded from his chest, matched only by the green cord wrapped around his left shoulder. His polished boots reflected the sunlight. And with good reason. It’s his brother, after all.
Satisfied, Rentor sighed. “I have a sinking feeling men like this might be all that stand between life and death. You may go now. I urge caution. The enemy has spies everywhere, even in my throne room.” He emphasized my with disgust.
“Sire, you don’t live long in my profession without being cautious.” Notam saluted briskly and marched away.
King Rentor stood alone for many long minutes. Events were finally starting to unfold. He’d done everything he could think of to prevent total disaster but still had a nagging doubt about the future. He simply was unsure of too many things.
Armies of the Silver Mage
Histories of Malweir Book 1
Malweir was once governed by the order of Mages, bringers of peace and light. Centuries past and the lands prospered. But all was not well. Unknown to most, one mage desired power above all else. He turned his will to the banished Dark Gods and brought war to the free lands. Only a handful of mages survived the betrayal and the Silver Mage was left free to twist the darker races to his bidding. The only thing he needs to complete his plan and rule the world forever are the four shards of the crystal of Tol Shere.
Having spent most of their lives dreaming about leaving their sleepy village and travelling the world, Delin Kerny and Fennic Attleford never thought that one day they would be forced to flee their town in order to save their lives. Everything changes when they discover the fabled Star Silver sword and learn that there are some who want the weapon for themselves. Hunted by a ruthless mercenary, the boys run from Fel Darrins and are forced into the adventure they only dreamed about.
Ever ashamed of the horrors his kind let loose on the world the last mage, Dakeb, lives his life in shadows. The only thing keeping him alive is his quest to stop the Silver Mage from reassembling the crystal. His chance finally comes through the hearts and wills of Delin and Fennic. Dakeb bestows upon them the crystal shard, entrusting them with the one thing capable of restoring peace to Malweir.
Delin gradually overcame his fear as his eyes grew used to the dark and started to explore. The main room was sparsely decorated, even for a hermit. A rickety old rocking chair sat next to the empty fireplace, and a small round table by the window. The shelf on the wall held a few colored vases and a handful of books. A brilliant silver sword was mounted on the mantle behind it, drawing Fennic’s full attention. Delin grew bolder, knowing that if Wiffe was home he’d have come out by now. He decided to look through the rest of the cottage.
Fennic didn’t move. He knew he should be afraid, but the sword whispered to him, calming his nerves and opening his mind to an infinite number of possibilities. Great tales and high adventure lay within the steel, and Fennic Attleford found himself wondering what it would be like to live that life.
“I finished checking the other room,” Delin announced. He came to stand beside Fennic and looked up at the sword, not seeing what held Fennic’s attention. It was just an old piece of steel.
“All right,” Fennic answered blankly.
“He doesn’t have much, just a plain cot with a half-filled wardrobe. There are lots of herbs and spices and stuff over there where the kitchen area is. The pantry is stocked with jars of food and dried meat.” He paused, noticing Fennic’s empty stare. “Are you listening?”
Fennic wasn't. Instead, he was reaching for the shining sword. It called to him, begged him to take it from the mantle and carry out their destiny together. What deeds they could accomplish! Folks would tell of the unstoppable Fennic and his silver sword for generations.
“You shouldn't mess with that,” Delin warned.
Nonsense. “Who's going to know?”
Fennic opened his mouth to reply when the baying of an old hound dog echoed around the clearing. Old Man Wiffe was coming home. Delin ran to the door in time to see the recluse entering the clearing. They were trapped. He turned and was astonished to see Fennic brandishing the sword like a professional arms man.
“Put that back! We need to get out of here now.”
Fennic marveled at the way the sword cut through the air, whistling with superiority. What a wondrous thing this silver sword was. Delin snatched him by the wrist, breaking the spell. Wild eyes stared back at him.
“Didn't you hear me? Wiffe is back!”
Panic struck Fennic. He hurried to replace the sword, lest he was caught with it in his hands. What would Wiffe think? That he was stealing the sword? Chances were that he would kill both of them. He ran to the window and peered out. There was nothing out there. No dog, no sign of the old man. “I think it's safe. I don't see anyone,” he said.
The door groaned open and the old hound snapped at them. A heavy shadow fell on them.
“Well, well. What have I here?” the deep voice rolled like thunder across the mountains.
Panic gripped them. Delin briefly considered running out the back window but the dog snapping and barking at his feet stopped him immediately. Fennic’s heart skipped. The sword whispered, begged to be used, but Fennic was couldn’t move.
“Would be thieves come to rob an old man? I don't think so,” said the newcomer with unmistakable menace in his tone.
Christian W. Freed was born in Buffalo, N.Y. more years ago than he would like to remember. After spending more than 20 years in the active duty US Army he has turned his talents to writing. Since retiring, he has gone on to publish 17 military fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as his memoirs from his time in Iraq and Afghanistan. His first published book (Hammers in the Wind) has been the #1 free book on Kindle 4 times and he holds a fancy certificate from the L Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest.
Passionate about history, he combines his knowledge of the past with modern military tactics to create an engaging, quasi-realistic world for the readers. He graduated from Campbell University with a degree in history and is pursuing a Masters of Arts degree in Military History from Norwich University. He currently lives outside of Raleigh, N.C. and devotes his time to writing, his family, and their two Bernese Mountain Dogs. If you drive by you might just find him on the porch with a cigar in one hand and a pen in the other.
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