Available for reading:
volume I & II
A Fantasy Web-Novel
Below is the first chapter of Volume I. Please note (if you're not familiar with web-novels) chapters in this format are usually shorter (anywhere from 700 to 1200 words). This varies, of course, but that seems to be the numbers that are done quite often at present.
If you like what you read click on the "Tapas" link above. You can read the full novel for free. Please subscribe and then you'll be able to give a "like" by clicking on the heart at the bottom of an episode or even leave a comment or two (please be kind.)
At first, he thought he had fouled himself. People did that when they died; he had seen it many times. Was he dead? No, no he was sitting in a pool of blood. He wasn't surprised it was his blood. He could taste it as it flowed to the corner of his mouth from the slice across his hairline. More dripped off his forelock down his face to join red puddles from his other wounds. He blinked the blood away to see the bodies around him and out in the street.
For some reason, his sword was in his left hand. The tiny etched silver and gold birds with entwined vines along its fuller were stained with more blood. Why was it in his left hand when he usually fought with his right? Oh, yes, that arm was broken; he tried to set and bind it with sticks two days ago.
"Am I dead?" he asked himself. He was sure he wasn't but... everything was disconnected, muffled, far away. He could feel his heart beating much too quickly, counter to his breath which was too soft and shallow. He closed his eyes trying to sense what was around him but was too weak to reach far. He thought for a moment he felt something or someone, a soft slide of silk in the night, but it was gone immediately.
He heard a carriage approach. Maybe he should try to get its attention? It was hard to move, he couldn't lift his good arm. Maybe they'd stop. No, they wouldn't. No one in their right mind would stop when they saw this carnage. He felt something pushing out from the carriage, probing. His push back was weak. He let his remaining breath dribble out in a long sigh as he slid down the wall supporting him. The light from the street-lanterns danced in the night breeze. Here was as good a place to die as any.
A shadow fell across him, then the face of an old man with a quizzical expression filled his blurring vision.
"Am I dead," he asked.
"Not yet." The old man answered.
A little bird that is etched on Morn's sword and tattooed on his hand, a tattoo that he carries through all his lives. The bird, when in a flock, can strip a cow carcass in a half hour.
Art by Jeffrey Wang on instagram :
The etching of the birds and vines that line the fuller in gold and silver down Morn's Sword.
Artwork by Jeffrey Wang.
A Fantasy Web-Novel
Below is an excerpt of Volume II from later in the book.
Bright Morn is now part of the Godlynthe household, has adopted a son and is actively searching for his history.
If you like what you read click on the "Tapas" link above. New Chapters will be uploaded daily until March 3. Please subscribe and then you'll be able to give a "like" by clicking on the heart at the bottom of an episode or even leave a comment or two (please be kind.)
Rof rolled Morn over on his back. Morn did not move, his eyes black but staring and unblinking. Dasch scrambled to his side.
Tulac and Shoen pulled him up to sitting and pounded him on the back. Some water came up but he remained lifeless. They let him back down to roll him on his side but before they could Dasch forced his mouth open and with puffed cheeks blew air into Morn's mouth as hard as he could. At the same time Rof thumped him hard on the back.
The response was immediate as he coughed up water. Dasch had pulled back to take another breath to blow into his father's mouth and missed having him spew river water into him.
Morn writhed on the ground trying to get his breath. He rolled over and managed to get to his knees. He could feel the memory grasping at him and he fought it as hard as he could. "Hit me!" He demanded.
Rof thumped him on the back again.
"No… no… memory coming… slap me, hit me…"
Shoen drew back and slapped him hard across the face so that his lip split.
Shoen couldn't do it. Tulac backhanded him, knocking him over. He crouched on his knees, curled into a ball on the grass, spitting blood.
"Papa?" Dasch touched his shoulder.
Still on his knees Morn rose up and grabbed Dasch. He couldn't see, everything was blinding white shot through with silver. His ears rang, his head felt like lit would explode. He shook, and shook, and for a moment every sensation, every sound, every everything stopped. "Not now," he mumbled, "not now."
"PAPA!" Dasch screamed.
The scream ripped through his chest and grabbed his heart. The shaking lessened. He could hear. His head stopped hurting and he could see. He could see his beautiful, crying son in front of him. He hugged Dasch tightly. "I'm alright. I'm alright."
He held his arm out for support. His hand grasping for anyone near. Rof lifted him onto his feet.
"Sorrifa." He said. He tried to move. He had to get to her. She couldn't drown, she couldn't. He couldn't lose her. He took a step but before he could fall Tulac and Shoen grabbed him and half walked, half dragged him back toward the camp.
"Sorrifa," he said again.
"Bai went after her, Papa," Dasch said behind him. "He'll bring her back. He will."
Rof stopped Dasch for a moment. "You go with your father, tell Derrie to get him warm and dry and put a good shot of something strong into him. I'll go after Bai and the rest of the men."
Dasch nodded and ran after his father.
Morn willed his legs to work as he tried to stand; they did not listen to him. His head was pounding, his lungs felt like he had inhaled the river. A memory kept prodding at him. Not only could he feel its raw energy but chunks of it filled his eyesight and he had to shake it off. Would this be the memory that he stayed in? Would this be the one that would see him locked in one of the wagon's until they got back to the manor and he was confined in the safe room Old God had for him? He could not take that chance. He had to control this. He had to. For Sorrifa.
He sat shaking, near convulsing in front of the campfire. He felt the men strip him of his wet clothing and dress him in something dry. Derrie held a cup of strong liquor to his lips. He tried to push it away but through the roaring in his ears he heard Dasch say "It's alright Papa. There's nothing in it." Dasch never let go of his arm and he concentrated every bit of willpower on the boy's touch.
For two hours he stayed like that. He kept trying to stand but could not. Dasch was too small so he grabbed at one of the guards and tried to claw his way up to standing with the man's help but his legs would not support him. He roared in frustration and the pain in his head bent him double.
He could feel Dasch stroke his head. "Papa." The voice was so far away. "Papa, it's alright. Let the memory happen. Stop fighting it. You're hurting yourself."
"Sorrifa." He choked out. "Not until they find Sorrifa."
"Who said I'm lost?"
It took all the strength he had to lift his head toward the sound. At the edge of the wagons a dripping wet Sorrifa limped into the campfire light. Bai and his men were behind her and at the very back, Rof carrying an unconscious young woman.
Morn tried to stand, fell, then crawled toward Sorrifa.