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SotS Snippet #6

Fans of Bahzell and Tomenack come on in! Let's talk about David's fantasy series and our favorite hradani!
SotS Snippet #6
Post by runsforcelery   » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:34 am

First Space Lord

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

This one's late because I've been having internet problems. :roll:

He found his way to the Iron Axe’s kitchens with the ease of long familiarity, and his boots clumped down the passage, but none of the kitchen staff noticed. They were too intent on the confrontation between Leeana and the redhaired man. Wencit felt the tension as he entered the kitchen, but no sign of it colored his voice or expression.

“Good evening to you, Leeana Flame Hair,” he called pleasantly. “The mountain behind the bar told me I’d find you here.”

“Wencit!” Leeana twitched in surprise, but there was relief in her voice. Only two pairs of eyes did not turn to the wizard: the redhaired man’s, which stared sickly at the tabletop, and the rumbling direcat’s, which watched the redhaired man unblinkingly.

Wencit glanced quizzically from the taut garrotte to the redhaired man’s ashen face. His expression softened as the man’s trembling fingers traced his cruel scars, then the old man extended a hand to Gwynna.

“And good evening to you, young Gwynna,” he said gently. The girl scampered over to hug him tightly, her face alight with welcome, but the light faded as she looked back at the man whose scars had startled her.

“I’m more pleased than usual to see you,” Leeana said frankly. She allowed the garrotte to slacken, raised her eyebrows at the wizard, and twitched her head sideways at the man seated before her fire.


“Indeed,” she replied firmly. “Bahzell offered this man hospitality, but now he can’t — or won’t – even tell me his name.”

“Strange, but not surprising,” Wencit said cryptically.

“Oh, thank you ever so much!” Leeana said, then snorted. “Have you ever in your entire life given someone a straight answer?” She demanded, yet her voice was more cheerful, as if she drew reassurance from his presence.

“Wizards always give straight answers — those of us who claim to be honest, that is. But our affairs are usually so tangled the straightest answers appear most crooked.” He lifted Gwynna’s chin with a gentle forefinger and smiled into her eyes. “Tell me, young Gwynna. Could you fetch another bowl of stew for my friend? And perhaps one for me, as well? And —” his smile widened gently “— not drop them?”

“I never drop bowls!” Gwynna said indignantly.

“Ah?” Wencit’s eyebrows crinkled as his gaze rested on the broken crockery on the flagstone floor. “Did it fly, then, young Gwynna?”

“Well,” she twinkled up at him, “hardly ever.”

“Very good. My supper will doubtless arrive intact, which is a great relief to my mind.”

He pushed her gently towards the stewpot and shifted his gaze once more to the redhaired man.

“Wencit, do you know him?” Leeana asked quietly.

“Yes and no.” His raised hand forestalled her indignant retort. “I know a great deal about him, Leeana, but he doesn’t know me.”

“Is he all right?” Her anxious eyes edged meaningfully to Gwynna.

“You, of all people, should know it’s seldom ‘all right’ to be of interest to a wizard, Leeana Hanathafressa,” Wencit said gently. “But I think no harm will come to Gwynna from him.”

Leeana peered into the multi-colored depths of his strange eyes. Something deep and hidden looked back from their whirling depths, and she nodded. He’d answered her as fully as he would. He wasn’t telling everything — he never did — but she trusted him. Especially where Gwynna was concerned. There was some link between the wizard and her daughter, one Leeana had never understood but whose strength she could not doubt. Her hands moved precisely, rewrapping the garrotte around her head, and Wencit sighed inwardly at her affirmation of confidence.

“Let me sit and eat with him,” he said softly. “I have to speak with him, and this is the best time. Besides —” he smiled teasingly “— it will convince you of his harmlessness.”

“Japester!” She stabbed his ribs with a stiff index finger and he whuffed. Then she tossed a word at the direcat, and the great beast retreated slowly into his original place. He lay down neatly, chin on massive forepaws, but his eyes remained on the redhaired man.

“I’ll see you’re not disturbed,” she said softly, “but you won’t leave this house until you tell me more than you have!”

“All that I can,” he promised, touching her forehead gently. She gripped his forearm tight.

“Ha! You mean all you want me to know!”

“It’s the same thing, my dear,” he said, smiling faintly.

“Here!” Gwynna dashed up, a full bowl in either hand.

“Am I supposed to stand in the corner and eat with one hand?” Wencit demanded. “The table, you little wretch!”

Gwynna laughed and ran to set the bowls in place. The redhaired man scarcely noticed her, though she stared at him with frank curiosity, certain it was safe to do so now that Wencit had come.

Leeana gathered up her daughter and moved into the scullery, setting the girl to washing trenchers and glasses. She bustled the kitchen staff back to its tasks and took her own turn at the great sinks, but her eyes returned ever and again to the redhaired man and the old wizard by the fire, and a puzzled frown creased her brow.

* * * * * * * * * *

“Give you good evening, young sir.”

The redhaired man looked up at the soft voice and saw an old man with a face creased by laughter, tears, and weather. Hair white as snow but thick and healthy was held back by a tooled leather headband, and bushy eyebrows moved expressively above strange eyes — glowing eyes that seemed all colors yet called no color their own. The old man’s body looked younger than his face, and he had the scarred, powerful hands and wrists of a swordsman. He stood as tall as the redhaired man himself, and under his wet poncho he wore the sheathed weapons of a warrior. His appearance was shabby, yet an indefinable sense of power clung to his deep voice and ancient frame.

“I beg your pardon,” the redhaired man made himself mutter. “I’m afraid I feel . . . unwell.”

“Hardly surprising.” The old man sat opposite him and spooned up stew, regarding him through the aromatic steam. “It’s . . . unpleasant to realize one has no past.”

"Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as Piglet came back from the dead.
Re: SotS Snippet #6
Post by Bahzellstudent   » Wed Jan 07, 2015 3:36 pm

Lieutenant Commander

Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:13 pm
Location: Derbyshire, United Kingdom

wonderful - thanks RFC; and all the better because I am the first to post in response!
Re: SotS Snippet #6
Post by Spacekiwi   » Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:33 pm


Posts: 2634
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:08 am
Location: New Zealand


Thanks David. :) Hope your problems fix up soon.

its not paranoia if its justified... :D
Re: SotS Snippet #6
Post by DrakBibliophile   » Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:01 pm


Posts: 2292
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:54 pm
Location: East Central Illinois

Thank You!!! :D :D :D :D
Paul Howard (Alias Drak Bibliophile)
Sometimes The Dragon Wins! [Polite Dragon Smile]
Re: SotS Snippet #6
Post by Rod   » Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:49 pm

Lieutenant Commander

Posts: 132
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:49 am

Thank you!

This is going to be a really great Book year...
Re: SotS Snippet #6
Post by dan92677   » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:47 am


Posts: 218
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:33 pm
Location: Southern California

Thank you, David!

Having two books running at once is just wonder fullllll !!!!!

Now I'm curious about the two unseen, so far at least, coursers
Last edited by dan92677 on Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Re: SotS Snippet #6
Post by fallsfromtrees   » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:39 am

Vice Admiral

Posts: 1953
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:51 am
Location: Mesa, Arizona

So, a special link between Wencit and Gwynna - does this mean that she is going to be a wizard as well? Or is there something else?

The only problem with quotes on the internet is that you can't authenticate them -- Abraham Lincoln
Re: SotS Snippet #6
Post by Peter2   » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:55 am

Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 353
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:54 am

fallsfromtrees wrote:So, a special link between Wencit and Gwynna - does this mean that she is going to be a wizard as well? Or is there something else?

From what I've learnt of Wencit – and of RFC! – almost certainly something else!

And, RFC, can I wish you and yours a Happy New Year? I hope 2015 treats you all well. :)
Re: SotS Snippet #6
Post by Tigertina   » Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:27 pm


Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:03 pm
Location: Norway

Thank you, and happy New Year :D
Re: SotS Snippet #6
Post by RHWoodman   » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:44 pm

Captain (Junior Grade)

Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 10:06 am
Location: Columbus, Ohio USA

Thanks, RFC.

“Hardly surprising.” The old man sat opposite him and spooned up stew, regarding him through the aromatic steam. “It’s . . . unpleasant to realize one has no past.”

What an interesting, mysterious statement! :)

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