Sunday Teaser

I wanted to write a piece about the clash between verisimilitude and ‘the rule of cool’ in the new X-Com, but I am still playing through and also just finished working on the Seeds of Ruin for the days.

So I will offer a little, unedited teaser from the new book. (Very raw)

Agga was quite taken with his new creation, although the green man was not bound to follow his orders. This worried Hilena, because she could sense the being’s power and neither Valaran diVolcanus, nor the cursed plant that housed his spirit struck her as the basis for trustworthy allies. Of course, neither did the Lich.

She turned away from the green man when he looked at her, toward Agga.

“The men escorting me from the capital, were they some of your creations?”

“Two of them were,” said Agga. “They have self-will and autonomy for the most part. Before you ask: had you strayed they would have killed you, but if I thought you would fail I would not have tasked you with this responsibility Hilena.”

“Aren’t you afraid that when we attacked the Deliberative checkpoint, one of your creations would be captured or killed and examined?”

“Not really,” said Agga. “Most of them are tied to me like a kind of Hearthbound. Through me they are tied to the Oathstone. When killed or captured they shrivel up exactly like a follower of the Dark Heart.”

“Clever.”

“Necessary.”

“Still clever.”

“And yet I am not bound this way,” the Green Man’s voice was deep and vibrant.

Agga dropped one his tools. Hilena took an alarmed step backwards, suddenly fearing that the powerful creature might be able to pull the bars from its cell.

The green man merely looked at them expectantly.

“I did not expect you to talk, either,” said Agga, grinning now. “This is most unusual.”

“I am born of the old magic and the new magic,” said the green man. “I am beyond your reckoning.”

Agga laughed.

“What must I do to gain my freedom?” asked the green man.

“Once I am confident that you will not turn your strength against me and shown that you are worthy of trust, you will be treated accordingly,” said Agga.

“I will not swear any Oaths,” said the green man.

“That will make it difficult,” said Agga.

“Is there a reason?” said Hilena. The mere act of questioning the oath gave her a moment of intense pain, like a dagger in her temple. Yet she had to know. She feared the oath more than anything, and often wondered if she traded slavery to the Deliberative or the fearful life of an unaligned heretic for something much worse.

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