'Alerted by Elaina's yelp of surprise, Remus swung around in time to see a huge bear-like creature charge at them, growling deafeningly. The creature was huge, fur light brown streaked with a dull blue. Around its face were three plates of natural chitin, one on its forehead, and two on its cheeks, flexing around its massive jaw. Remus swung his hand-axe just in time to deflect a savage bite, smashing against the monster's large teeth. The Feybeast had gotten close enough that Remus could smell the fetid breath of its salivating jaw and see its yellowing fangs. Elaina slammed the end of her quarterstaff on the monster's back.
The monster charged at Remus and lunged with a thick paw, with the lanky man barely leaping out of the way.. He chopped his hand axe into the beast's thick neck, just behind the forehead plate. It was a devastating blow, but the hardy animal continued its rampage. Elaina focused her powers, condensing and cooling the moisture in the air. Flakes of ice and whirling fog began to form, hovering above her outstretched right arm. A shard of pure, magickally hardened ice formed, hovering above her hand. She willed it forward with tremendous momentum, impaling the side of the creature's belly and fragmenting'.
'The dwarves were a blur, torchlight briefly illuminating bestial snarls on their faces as they rushed the humans from of the darkness of the forest. The creatures would rush, impossibly fast, towards the men and women, only to be deflected or parried by a weapon. They would scurry forward into the foliage on the other side of the road, with a few jumping back to cover or seemingly disappearing into the darkness. Tense moments later, they would launch another strike, the beleaguered humans beset on both sides by sporadic terror. One man lay dead, caked in blood'.
'There was balance, harsh and violent like the noxious air in a swamp. But balance, nonetheless. Then somewhere in the fickle mists of creation came humanity, clawing and afraid, grasping and ambitious. Enveloped in a dangerous world, these creatures lived as scavengers; afraid of the greater things of the world. They were beset by disease, lack of claws or fangs, and the lack of habitat to call their own. Lefeyhdie had not provided any particular prey or plant for them to eat. These fleshy, naked beings were doomed to die of attrition. Curiously, these beings never stopped Doing, or Thinking. Breeding to strengthen their numbers. Sharpening rocks, shaping wood, gathering leaves and sticks for clothing and shelter. Eventually they had settlements of great number, crude but effective tools of war. Ancient forces began to pay attention to the growing incursion, plaguing them, slaying stragglers at night. But still the humans held on to the edge of the precipice, knuckles white with effort'.
'Bah, he still saw the same stupidity. The image of the hanged man in the farming community of Yondern flashed through his mind. Now there was a war brewing between the Steelwielders and some foreign religion. More mindless loss over beliefs and mythology. But.. he could not deny the noble features in his companions. Although Perfidian was too blithe and Elaina too didactic, they had risked their life to do what was right. He did owe them his life. He could not deny the nobility he saw in many different people, bits and pieces of nobility that shined through under pressure. The guards who risked their lives to protect the villagers, Markham who flew at the dangerous dwarf, swords flashing; even an Eruthian merchant who stopped in his journey to share tales with complete strangers'.
2) Extract from 'The Shard of Palrinah, Book 2 of The Remus Rothwyn Chronicles':
2) Extract from 'The Shard of Palrinah, Book 2 of The Remus Rothwyn Chronicles':
The Fey retaliated with a devastating spell, the second elf weaving her arms rhythmically, and a sharp crack sounded as a white-blue streak of lightning soared from her arms, striking at the cover the Paragonites hid behind, blackening it, and exploding chunks off it, sending shrapnel frothing in a close radius. The lightning arc, weakened but not dissipated, slammed into a human warrior behind cover and conducted through the air and ground, injuring flesh and bone as the monks braced their bodies as well as they could.
Figuring the elf would be at least temporarily fatigued by lobbing such a powerful spell, Elaina yelled ‘Now!’ and stood, beginning her own spell'.
'In The Aerie Of The Long-Dead Eagle, Lies The Nest Of Gold.
Atop The Shrouded Plateau, Rests The Warrior Of Old.
Between The Two Lies A Gully Deep, Locked Away In The Icy Reaches.
Within Lies Treasure Of Virtue Untold, Waiting For A Worthy Hand.
To Bring Its Thunder Upon The World,
And Rally The Hopes Of Man'.
'Perfidian was truly content as he walked the main road alongside Remus and Elaina, more content than he had been for a long time. He glanced at his compatriots, who were typically deep in thought. Smirking, he concentrated on the sounds of his boots impacting on the road, the time-worn travelers’ method of dealing with the monotony of travel.
When Remus and Elaina had shown up at the Yondern Church, Perfidian had been handling clerical work in his room, the door open as it usually was. The bard liked having fresh air in his room while he worked. Feeling the presence of visitors at his doorway, he expected to see a fellow Brother or Sister of the Church, here to consult with him on some trivial matter. Instead it was an aloof brown-haired man with an axe and an arquebus, and a tall, graceful woman with flaxen-blue hair and a staff and bow hitched on her back.
Although he had tried not to show it too openly, he had felt incredibly relieved and warm upon seeing his friends, and knowing that they would accompany him on this journey. Perfidian mused that though friendship gave you an insight into the foibles and flaws of your chosen friends, and despite the complications and arguments that ensued from that; during times of tumult it was almost necessary to have at your side people who you knew and with whom you had a shared history'.
3) Extracts from 'Maldives Malady: A Tropical Adventure':
'He plunged into the foliage, and was swept into a humid, wet world of towering trees, animal chirps and thick ferns. After a few steps, he turned, and could barely make out the village. He walked a few more steps. He could see nothing now except for the thick trees and long ferns and grasses that surrounded him. He was enveloped into the confined space between trees, surrounded by the jungle heat and staccato chirps. He turned in the direction of the village, but could only see thick, dense trees. Hoping his sense of direction had not been muddled, he turned back around to the direction of the alleged ocean, and kept walking.
Now the calls he heard sounded more and more strange. How far had he walked by now? The jungle, or rain forest, whatever it was, did not relent, and he kept on weaving into narrow gaps between the sturdy ferns and towering trees, pressing onwards. This continued for a seemingly oppressive amount of time, and he began to doubt his decision. To come to this place. To take a chance with his life, which was going in the right direction. Why couldn’t he be happy with the normal and mundane, he cursed, scolding his own stubbornness'.
'His cell-phone rang. Dominic fumbled for it on the nightstand next to the couch, the dim lights not helping his endeavour. He had piercing, generic, banal fluorescent lights on his face all the time at work and at University, it was so bad it made him loathe even natural sunlight. Lucky this apartment’s living room light had a dimmer. He flipped open his phone and said hello. ‘Hey Dom, how you doin’?’ a voice boomed. It was Ben. They proceeded to talk about the upcoming exams, which were deceptively close as it was week 10 at the moment. Yes, they would be alright. Yes, they would meet up afterwards. No, he hadn’t studied more than Ben had. As he clapped the phone closed after the genial conversation reached its natural nadir, he had forgotten most of what had been said'.
4) Extracts from 'Betrayal: Opheria Tales 1':
'Rain. The thunder of footsteps. He looked down to see metal arms, deadly maul nestled in them. His feet moved, but he did not move them. Looking around, he saw figures identical to him, rows and rows of golems charging forward. Ahead, the opposing army; but made of flesh. Humans, a small number of Elves and Dwarves. Fierce battle cries on their lips.
His own compatriots were quiet, unfeeling, limbs moving efficiently. The armies clashed. Steel and blood sparked and flew. His own arms swung a maul into someone’s face, crushing his skull. No! He did not… could not control it. Blood splattered on his metal body as he stared at the man’s dead, accusing eyes'.
'That brought Tomis back to reality. Five hundred gold! A small fortune! This wench must really need help. But that kind of reward always involved danger. The mercenary glanced at his rusty sword. ‘What kind of… trouble are you in…er…’
‘Lyrissa. Just call me Lyrissa’.
The name sang from her lips.
‘Lyrissa. Tell us more about what you need’.
She nodded and a dark shadow cast a pall over her delicate features, her eyes reflecting sorrow. ‘My fiancé, Burrick, was murdered recently’. She paused a moment, but did not come close to crying. She had obviously gotten over her tears, and was looking for something else. ‘I want you gentlemen to investigate his death, and find out who did it, and why’.