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SotS Snippet 1 [was The new Norfressa book]

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SotS Snippet 1 [was The new Norfressa book]
Post by runsforcelery   » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:14 am

runsforcelery
First Space Lord

Posts: 2425
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:39 am
Location: South Carolina

Guys —

I thought I'd share this with you. It's the prologue from the first volume of the "fantasy magnum opus" which will finally bring the war between Norfressa and Kontovar to a close. I am currently about 85,000 words into it and I expect to finish it before Honorcon at the end of the month. Please note that this is still my working draft, which means — especially since I've been turning out a pretty heavy word count every day — that there are undoubtedly typos and editing glitches in it somewhere. I'll be going through to exterminate those before I complete the final draft for submission.

Enjoy (I hope)! :D

__________________________________________________

PROLOGUE: Lost Hope

Wencit of Rūm’s face flickered in the eerie glow of the crystal’s heart, and his eyes flamed with their own light as he watched the ghastly carnage. It had raged for hours, but the end was near . . . and drawing nearer. The Gryphon Guard stood at bay atop a hill, cut off from its final frail hope of retreat. Its men had fought and died for year after year to protect the ports from which so many thousands upon thousands of refugees had fled to distant Norfressa. Now there was no one in all of Kontovar to aid them, and Wencit’s fist clenched as his viewpoint hovered above their desperate ring of steel. The Guard fought with the valor of brave men who knew they could not win, yet had they faced only mortal foes, they might still have hope to cut a path to the friendly sea.

But sorcery streaked the sky, its unearthly glow glittering on the red and gold badges of the House of Ottovar. The protective wards wrought by the Council grew steadily weaker as the dark art gnawed their foundations. They would break soon.

A flank company of the Guard collapsed, the flood of attackers pausing only to hew the fallen before they climbed the slope over the bodies of imperial veterans. Red blades waved at the violet sky, the reflected streamers of arcane wrath gory in their wetness, and the Emperor summoned his last reserve. He charged at the head of a scant, threadbare company — little more than three cobbled-together platoons — to meet the threat, his personal banner leading the men whose fidelity had never wavered, who had never once failed to follow wherever that banner led. Wencit’s eyes burned with unshed tears as they fastened on Toren’s gryphon-crowned helm and bloody skill, watching the last Emperor of Kontovar win the last victory of his empire’s long life . . . a life measured now in minutes. The reserve slashed the breakthrough apart in crimson steel, and the remnants of the company sealed the hole in the steadily shrinking line.

Air hissed in Wencit’s nostrils as the misshapen blackness he’d awaited suddenly appeared. It radiated black lightning, cored with the corrosive green taint of corruption as it scaled the hill, and the barriers of the white wizards trembled at the defiled sorcery which shrouded it. Even the Gryphon Guard quailed before its menace.

Nails drew blood from Wencit’s palms as he fought the hunger to match his own might against the Empire’s foe. The Lord of Carnadosa was a wild wizard, his might unfathomable, yet Wencit had been schooled far longer in the hard lore of wizardry. In his heart, he believed he could outmatch his foe . . . yet he dared not test that belief. He dared not! Too much was at stake for him to tamper here, even though his restraint spelled ruin and death for untold multitudes.

He groaned and thrust himself away from the crystal. He knew what the end must be, and it was more than he could bear to see.

He turned away as the stone’s tiny Emperor turned to face the blackness. A full battalion of the Guard fell, life riven away by the deadly kiss of twisted magic. The blackness passed over them and stooped upon the Emperor as Wencit opened the door, and Toren’s glowing sword vanished in the darkness. The stubborn line about his banner bent at last, yielding the ground soaked by its blood inch by savagely fought inch as its ring contracted toward the spot where arch-wizard and Emperor fought to the death.

Wencit opened the council chamber door and met the eyes of his fellows. In his unwatched crystal, the last Guardsman took his stand, his back to the tormented cloud which had engulfed his liege. His left hand held the staff of the Emperor’s banner, and the gryphon banner stirred sullenly on an angry wind, red silk sodden with a darker red, as the massive, wounded hradani — last captain of the Gryphon Guard of Ottovar – lashed out at his enemies. He reaped a gory harvest, but he was one and they were many. He fell before their hewing blades and the bodies of the Guard formed a ragged circle about the power-spewing blackness atop the hill. Violet lightnings flashed from the duel raging at its heart, and the arch-wizard’s own troops died in scores, screaming at their touch.

Wencit of Rūm, Last Lord of the White Council, locked his glowing gaze with the somber eyes of Council’s members and slowly, slowly raised his hands. Candlelight glimmered on the old scars which seamed his strong fingers, and his fellows rose to join his gesture and his power. Arcane tension crackled as the Council was joined in turn by every wizard on the Isle of Rūm, the tattered survivors of the white wizardry of a continent. Their massed might rose high, focused in a storm of strength fit to drain life itself from those who spawned it. Yet they were the white wizards of Kontovar, the heirs of Ottovar and Gwynytha the Great, loyal beyond death. They knew what price this night’s work would demand of them, but they had lived as wizards; as wizards they would die, spending themselves against the evil they’d allowed to live. Their joint strength was far too little for victory, but it was enough for the single-purpose which remained to them.

Wencit gathered the deadly power in his hands, his fingers quivering with the essence of destruction. He had but one more task before he loosed devastation upon his enemies, and his lips parted to begin the final spell.
Last edited by runsforcelery on Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: The new Norfressa book
Post by John Prigent   » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:27 am

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Thank you!
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Re: The new Norfressa book
Post by Invictus   » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:40 am

Invictus
Commander

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Location: Perth, WA

I don't know about the rest of you, but my entire family is eagerly awaiting this book!

Thanks RFC!
Any thoughts on the title?

"When you talk about damage radius, even atomic weapons pale before that of an unfettered idiot in a position of power." Sam Starfall
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Re: The new Norfressa book
Post by runsforcelery   » Tue Oct 14, 2014 7:45 am

runsforcelery
First Space Lord

Posts: 2425
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:39 am
Location: South Carolina

Invictus wrote:I don't know about the rest of you, but my entire family is eagerly awaiting this book!

Thanks RFC!
Any thoughts on the title?



The Sword of the South


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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Re: The new Norfressa book
Post by akira.taylor   » Tue Oct 14, 2014 2:28 pm

akira.taylor
Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:28 pm

runsforcelery wrote:
Invictus wrote:I don't know about the rest of you, but my entire family is eagerly awaiting this book!

Thanks RFC!
Any thoughts on the title?



The Sword of the South


And when can we get it? (I want to read it!)
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Re: The new Norfressa book
Post by BobG   » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:47 pm

BobG
Captain (Junior Grade)

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Location: Westford, MA

runsforcelery wrote:
The Sword of the South

akira.taylor replied:
And when can we get it? (I want to read it!)


Hey, let him finish writing it first! :D

-- Bob G

(Yeah, I want to read it too)
SF & Fantasy: The only things better than Chocolate.
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Re: The new Norfressa book
Post by Lunan   » Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:43 am

Lunan
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Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:06 am

FANTASTIC!
i rather enjoy that snippet as it fills in detail on some back story. and the title it shows us very interesting possibilities

runsforcelery wrote:
Invictus wrote:I don't know about the rest of you, but my entire family is eagerly awaiting this book!

Thanks RFC!
Any thoughts on the title?



The Sword of the South
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Re: The new Norfressa book
Post by Charles83   » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:10 pm

Charles83
Rear Admiral

Posts: 1226
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:40 pm

I know that RFC must be working hard, but any ideas about when the publication of this book will be done, 2015? 2016?

Also any idea how many books it will be, (1 book, 5 books, 9357 books)

Thank you for everything RFC and if you can answer I would deeply appreciate it, if you can't its not a problem at all.
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Re: The new Norfressa book
Post by GlynnStewart   » Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:50 pm

GlynnStewart
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Remember, based on Honor, if he says six, prepare for twenty :twisted:

Charles83 wrote:I know that RFC must be working hard, but any ideas about when the publication of this book will be done, 2015? 2016?

Also any idea how many books it will be, (1 book, 5 books, 9357 books)

Thank you for everything RFC and if you can answer I would deeply appreciate it, if you can't its not a problem at all.
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Re: The new Norfressa book
Post by runsforcelery   » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:38 pm

runsforcelery
First Space Lord

Posts: 2425
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:39 am
Location: South Carolina

GlynnStewart wrote:Remember, based on Honor, if he says six, prepare for twenty :twisted:

Charles83 wrote:I know that RFC must be working hard, but any ideas about when the publication of this book will be done, 2015? 2016?

Also any idea how many books it will be, (1 book, 5 books, 9357 books)

Thank you for everything RFC and if you can answer I would deeply appreciate it, if you can't its not a problem at all.



I'm planning on five, and unlike the situation with Honor, I have fairly firmly assigned various parts of the story arc to specific volumes for this one. In the case of the Honorverse, I had the endpoints of the storyline in mind that only a very rough estimate of the number of books it would take to accomplish the story. So the situation is a bit different in this case.

None of which means that it couldn't possibly slip out of control and run to more volumes. I just don't think that's going to happen this time around. But what do I know? :? :lol:


"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
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