Tis Tuesday and thus time for a teaser. This week it is from my newest, release Bloodlust: The Seeds of Ruin, which I put out on Sunday.
“All that remained of Valaran diVolcanus after the Grand Championships was a tiny, ugly tree. Try as we might, not even the Chosen could destroy the tree without causing massive damage to the surrounding structure. The matter was set to study and everyone forgot this ‘Dire Root’ except on days that Sadira was in the Arena, when the ugly little thing popped out of the ground and blossomed, gruesome and blood red. Eventually they just raised the sand a couple of feet so people did not have to look at the thing at least.” After hours’ tour guide at the Grand Arena.
Hilena suppressed a shiver as her former partner let loose a rasp of pain, halfway between a moan and a cough. The sound was horrific, like wet-lung, but she dared not look back to where he lay in the covered steam-waggon. It was best to let nature take its course at this juncture; Jerus was gone.
What was happening to him broke her heart, but each rasp hurt her a little less.
Master Kress had examined him after the plant had taken root. The big man had told Jerus he would be fine and given him a sedative.
“It has taken root in his bones,” Kress had said to her after Jerus had fallen into a deep sleep. “Removing it is out of the question. You must deliver the root to Frostbay at all costs. I will be sending my remaining servants to escort you. They will be with you, even if you do not see them.”
Hilena was astute enough to have spotted two of them. One appeared to be pathetic old cripple who, despite his faltering speed, never seemed to fall behind for very long. The other was a familiar looking brute of an ogre. She was also astute enough to know what would happen to her if she tried to help Jerus, to escape her duty, or to get rid of the terrible burden that he had become.