My next article on Diablo will air next week. It is getting close to release time for my new book, Blade Breaker (The Shadow Wolf Sagas #1) and I was busy getting copies out to beta readers.
Those of you who are frequent readers of the site with probably recognize the series, which is the fore-runner of my current serial.
As an aside, I really dislike that the version of WordPress that I am using now (why has it changed?) has taken away the ability for me to smart search my own posts for links… updates are supposed to be good… mmmkay?
Here is the new version of that introduction:
Chapter One: Omen of Wolves
Ragnar Twiceborn, Grimfang!
A wolf without a pack,
prowling shadow’d cobbles,
with ruin at his heel.
With the mournful howl of a wolf, ringing clear and close in my ears, I snapped awake. Heart drumming, my hand twitched toward where my weapons hung. Then I realized where I was, silk sheets and warm bodies, and I stopped. There was no rush of feet, no blade descending in the dark. I listened intently, senses taking in all of the sounds of the old stone house and the streets outside, but I could hear no wolfsong.
Had that clarion cry been just a figment of my dreams and not a warning?
The sounds that now came to my ears were as familiar as my own breath. I heard quiet, throaty laughter and the clink of glass from late nigh revels the Royal Red, a winehouse three houses down. Beyond that, the jingle of metal rings and the thud of booted feet announced a pair of city watch rounding the corner at the end of the street. Beside me, The Twins were deep in sleep’s rhythms, undisturbed.
I sniffed. The heady scents of perfume and my bedmates filled the room. The air coming through the armoured shutters was as clear and crisp as it ever was in Myrrhn, with only a hint of smoke and nightsoil, not yet congested with the morning fog. The most dangerous scent that I caught was that of a sewer viper stalking rats, but it was too faint to be nearby.
There was no noise, nor any scent out of place, and I relaxed; all was as it should be.
The wolf’s call must have been a dream then, yet such sounds usually heralded important events in my life. In Nordan Lands, the sound of wolves at night, calling to each other as they ran down their prey, was as commonplace as birdsong in the morning. Some men read fortunes in those calls, as the old Archaens claimed to read the entrails of birds. I dabbled in this, especially in the small hours when sane men sleep to shield themselves from dark thoughts.
I wondered then if I was being foolish. Perhaps the dream was just an echo or even lacking in meaning, given gravitas by late hour and sombre darkness. Would the Lord of the Black Wolves still have any commerce with a disgraced exile like myself?
As I plumbed my thoughts Eiskra shifted, burrowing under my arm. Her skin was warm and silken smooth, and her scent both familiar and divine.
“Sleep, old wolf,” she whispered before her breathing took on a steady rhythm once more. Her words and touch put me at ease, and sleep one again took hold.
This second introduction is far more wordy, but it helps place Ragnar better, both in the city and in his groggy, half-awake state of mind. It shows just how eager he is for the call to action.