A Sunday Night Teaser…

Bloodlust: The Blades of Khazak Khrim is on track for release this friday (July 17th). I will approving the last of the edits and the cover in the next day or so.

Here is a teaser from the book, part of a large battle. Gavin often seems less effective than some of the more physical fighters like Sadira or elementalists like Vintia or Blue Hornet. However, while Cogimancy is less flashy than an acrobatic warrior diva with a monstrous sword or a blazing fireball, it is capable of some creative destruction…

To endure and act is the essence of heroism, thought Gavin as the lines clashed. The Blood were pushing toward the Kirifan Phalanx while the Hundath and the Excruciators threw themselves at the Legions. Gavin stood tall among the soldiers, a living bulwark in their lines.

A muscular Hundath with a bloodied sword roared an oath and raised his heavy blade, bringing it crashing down toward Gavin’s head. The Chosen raised his lion-headed shield, knocking the blow to the side and thrusting his spear into the Hundath’s chest. He growled and pushed forward on the spear, trying to grapple with Gavin. His flailing quickly came to naught as the barbs robbed him of his insides and Gavin cast him back into the ranks.

Gavin surveyed the field. All around him the Vvath were grinding into the Allies with terrible ferocity. They were not making much headway, save where the doughty Excruciators or the Makarim intervened, but the Hundath were spending their lives to keep the Legions off of The Blood.

Meanwhile The Blood were pushing into the Kirifan Phalanx. Gavin knew that the spears of the Hoplites were not enough against the thick armour of the Vvath’s best warriors. With little room to manoeuvre the Kirifans had to rely on Jika’Ri, the Gifted, and their Elites simply to keep from crumbling. Gavin could see that the Legions would need to push back the rest of the Vvath and hit The Blood on the flank before their phalanx broke. But the Legionnaires were exhausted from constant fighting, while the Hundath seemed as ready to lay down their lives as ever.

Gavin needed to find a way to push the Legions through the wall of flesh and steel.

The Chosen spotted a Makarim nearby. Its handlers were mostly dead, victims of a cannon ball or a spell by the looks of the Howdah. A single desperate Excruciator clung to the remains of the platform, goading the beast as best he could. Channelling power Gavin wove a spell and reached out to the Makarim, seeking its mind. The wards on the creatures armour, stunningly similar to Krassian protections, had been damaged and were little match for the sheer power of a Chosen. He sensed the beast was panicked and angry, simply following the actions that its cruel conditioning dictated.

Although distance and the sheer power required by the spell were taxing, Gavin took control of the beast’s impulses. The Makarim slowed, confused. The Chosen prodded it to turn. Black banners instead of red. The standards of the Hundath and not the Legions. It was an easy substitution. The he unleashed the beast which stormed back into the Hundath, great horns sending bodies flying and in thundered back toward its own lines.

A crossbow bolt glanced off Gavin’s helm. He turned, casting another spell that sent the offending Excruciator toppling, clutching his head as blood dripped from his ears and nose. Then Gavin let the Daeri flow around him, while he cast about for another Makarim to turn against the Vvath.

A Makarim are kind of like a carnivorous Triceratops, armoured and trained to fight the enemies of the Vvath. Turning one of these creatures against its masters shows off Gavin’s skills.

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