Teaser Tuesday

A teaser from my newest Domains novel, Bloodlust: The Sum of Hate.

“We know you did the right thing, Centurion Hephus,” said Legionnaire Bron. “Without you, the whole Legion would be buried in the mud at Fort Nerus now. That bastard Skavetz put words in our mouths to make you look bad. We stand with you, brother. I will set the record straight in my written statements.”

“Thank you, Legionnaire,” said Hephus, looking tired. “I am glad to hear that.”

“Avey, Ninth!” said Vintia loudly as their little cadre approached. Hephus and the others snapped to attention.

Hephus smiled as he saw them. “Vintia, Aelius, Teven, what about your other duties?”

Vintia laughed. “The Twins are well taken care of Hephus. They are currently being spoiled by my sister and some of our neighbours. You on the other hand look like you taken an extra tour of duty in the swamps of east Niyiki.”

“She’s right,” said Teven. “Now that this travesty is over, let us leave this place and seek out friendlier surroundings. I know a lovely little place just down the hill from the parade square that serves the best Sea of Sands spiced snake.”

Hephus actually smiled. “You know, that actually sounds like a truly exceptional idea, Legate. I love Sea of Sands cuisine.”

“I know,” said Teven. “And don’t worry about the grandstanding of Assemblyman Skavetz, Hephus. Legion Command has your back. They may even know of an amendment that will allow you to keep your rank, since it was acclaimed by the men in time of battle.”

“Teven, I don’t think–”

Hephus’s words were drowned out as they opened a door and a tide of noise washed over them. Vintia, who had expected this isolated exit to be clear of obstruction, was so shocked that she reached for her sword, even though it was not there. Outside the door, dozens of Iron Faction artificers waited, surrounded by a large, rowdy crowd of Nullifiers who were trying to push past them. Publius, the leader of the Iron Faction stood facing the door, dressed as if he had come straight from his workbench. The Nullifiers surged and roared as they caught sight of Hephus.

“THERE HE IS!”

“YOU KILLED OUR BOYS!”

“GIFTED SCUM, GIFTED SCUM!”

Drunk on the hateful rhetoric of the day, they shoved and spat and shouted. Then Vintia was glad of the phalanx of sturdy Iron Faction members in front of them, holding the most rabid members of the Nullifiers at bay. Any sign of joy died on Hephus’s face, as the members of the Ninth closed about him.

Publius stepped forward, offering his hand to Hephus.

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A Teaser for Tuesday… er Wednesday.

This week’s teaser is from my newest book, Bloodlust: The Sum of Hate (Domains of the Chosen #7). I had trouble with the title for #7 for various, but I already know that I want to name #8: Bloodlust: Iron Faction. Here is the scene where they are introduced.

Vintia backed away, looking toward Teven. “Is that true?”

“They see it that way. The people leading the inquiry are asking pointed questions of members of the Legion. While some of us are capable of avoiding rhetorical traps, most Legionnaires are fighters, not talkers, and some of them get led into saying things that can be turned against Hephus. It is one of the reasons I am forbidden from talking to my own men while they wait to testify.”

The idea of Hephus being subjected to such treatment spurred Vintia forward once again. Just as she was considering shouldering into the line of artificers, a big, bearded man stepped forth.

“Greetings. I am Publius, leader of the Iron Faction.”

Vintia stood, her mouth working.

“Iron Faction?” asked Teven.

“We believe that it is time for artificers to have proper representation,” said Publius. “So, we formed our own faction.”

“I suppose that makes sense,” said Teven. “Now–”

“Iron Faction, gather and listen!” rumbled Publius, interrupting Teven. Immediately the raucous gathering of artificers shuffled into a semblance of silence and watchfulness as Publius’s fiery voice washed over them. “For too long have the Chosen and the High Assembly conspired to limit our power. You all know it; you have felt that oppressive hand, and you have seen that we are denied our own Chosen. Now these people persecute one of ours who has become a hero to the people, Centurion Hephus Krassius, just to make sure that we remain under heel. His Ungifted brethren have abandoned him to the tender mercies of Assemblyman Skavetz and the Arena Post. Well, I say enough is enough.”

Publius paused and was met with shouts of support.

“This inquiry is a grave injustice, but it is only the tip of the Kraken. For centuries, our talents have served the Chosen and the free citizens of Krass, and yet we are denied entry into either group. Our magic has built the steam waggons that carry goods across The Domains. Our hands have fashioned the pipes and conduits that provide newer, better power and water to The Empire. Our minds have created countless inventions from link crystals, to clockwork soldiers, to the great steam-powered Ironclads that keep this city safe!”

A Teaser for Tuesday

Welcome friends. This week’s teaser is from Bloodlust: The Sum of Hate, book seven of The Domains of The Chosen series.

Stormscream shouted and fell to the sand. Bloodfrost, sensing a chance to close in for the kill, descended upon him. Stormscream was not as wounded as he appeared though, and he stabbed her as she attacked. His right-hand blade pierced her side, and hot blood ran down the handle. It did not stop her though, and Bloodfrost leaned into her own attack, forcing Stormscream to parry with his other weapon. Heedless of the wound in her side, she pushed on her blade with both hands, trusting to superior position, driven by the strength of her rage. The tip of her weapon pushed into the flesh of Stromscream’s shoulder. Her opponent, knowing his fate if he did not escape, channelled a lightning spell that covered his hand in crackling electricity and he let go of the sword embedded in Bloodfrost’s side. Then, as her blade inched deeper into his flesh, grating past his remaining weapon, he grabbed hold of his opponent’s leg.

Electricity burned through Bloodfrost, filling her with searing pain much worse than that from the blade impaling her. Bloodfrost staggered and let loose a piercing war-shriek before gritting her teeth and bearing down on the greatsword.

“It will take more than that!” she growled, her voice like that of a beast.

Blood welled around the tip as she drove it deeper and Stormscream grunted in pain.

“How about this, bitch!” he snarled, reaching up between her legs and grabbing her groin. Electricity pulsed through his hand and into Bloodfrost’s groin, burning the flesh. The crowd gasped as the Gladiatrix howled and fell back, pulling her blade out of Stormscream and sinking to her knees in the sand, panting at the vicious pain.

Even on the fighting grounds there are lines you are not supposed to cross. Here we see a definite heel character engage in the lowest of low blows. I take great joy in writing such moments of over-the-top villainy at times 🙂

 

A Teaser for Tuesday

Barring unforeseen events my next Domains of the Chosen book, Bloodlust: The Sum of Hate will release next week. Here is a taste:

<>

The body was pinned to a tree with javelins through each shoulder and one in the belly. It was easy to read pain in the features of the dead man, although softened by death and decay.

“This is bad,” said Elder Hissu.

“This is my father’s work,” said Riritaka. “He wants to cause panic.”

“Who is this man?” asked Gavin.

“He is known to me,” said Elder Hissu, sadly. “He is a trader among your people, beloved by both the Legionnaires and those who seek peace among the tribes.”

“The scouts tell me he was put here four days ago,” said Strategos Mora. “This was done while we were attending the sodding peace talks.”

“Yes, that sounds like Gotka,” said Riritaka. “He will come for us soon.”

“How far away from the fort are we?” asked Gavin.

“If we marched clear through the night we could get there in less than twenty hours,” said Strategos Mora. “We cannot outpace The Pale in the jungle though, Chosen. Only the best of the scouts could manage that feat, and even then, it would be risky.”

“Can we evade them?” asked Gavin.

“No,” said Strategos Mora. “We believe they watch us, even now.”

“It is possible,” said Chosen Brighthoof. “But surely not in numbers large enough to be a threat.”

“The watchers will be directing two groups,” said Riritaka. “One will be between us and the fort, the other will be trailing us.”

“Should we move to the coast then?” asked Gavin, trying to formulate a plan.

“They would expect that, would they not?” responded elder Hissu, turning to Riritaka.

“Yes,” said Riritaka. “The paths to the coast will be heavily trapped.”

“Strategos Mora, how far away are your men?” asked Gavin.

<> (The edits on this next part have not been approved, so this is raw.)

The Duellum Dominantium was one of the few times that both groups enter the fighting grounds at the same time.

Silvius, followed by the mountainous form of the Gorehound entered from the south, while Sadira and Sapphire Kiss entered from the north. A half-million fans, all on their feet, screaming and cheering, greeted the four Gladiators as their feet touched the white sands.

Sadira, known for her flashy entrances, merely gave a salute to the crowd and then plodded to the centre of the Arena. The audience was taken aback; those who hated Sadira filled the air with jeers and boos, while those who loved her felt a touch of fear at the sight of their vivacious hero looking wan and full of sorrow. Sapphire Kiss walked beside her like an energetic filly following in the wake of an old mare, eager and ready to fight.

Silvius strode across the sand, his hair spilling over his shoulders in magnificent curls, jaw set in a confident smile. Everything about him shone, from his armour and the edge of his Draklaive to his oiled skin. He stood a head taller than Sadira and Sapphire Kiss, and looked leaner and more powerful than he had in many years.

Behind him lumbered the Gorehound, huge and foreboding.

For The Duellum Dominantium, Quintus diKrass, the most famed arena announcer of the day had been brought out of retirement. He named each of the fighters in turn and they all gave a salute. Sadira’s was curt, in marked contrast the impressive flourish given by Silvius.

“It looks as if the flower of Daer has wilted,” intoned Silvius. “Have you come to regret challenging me, kitten?”

Sunday night teaser.

Had great fun at Toronto Comic Con this weekend!

Here is a teaser from my upcoming novel in the Domains of the Chosen series.

Yoka of Jaguar waited on the high bluff with twenty warriors. He could see above the treeline, and knew that one of his fellows was communication with the rest of the clan, using flashes of light from an enchanted stone. Soon it would be dark and the hunt would begin; Yoka would call forth the spirit of the river ripper and kill the outlanders. If he helped kill a Chosen, Gotka would reward him.

“I hear Riritaka is with them,” said one of his fellows.

“She is,” said another. “Gotka wants the traitor alive. She will enjoy the seven sufferings for her trespass.”

“That seems harsh, even for him,” said the first voice. “She acted according to tradition, and nearly bested him.”

“Do not let Gotka hear you say that,” said the second.

Yoka tensed, seeing strange movement in the jungle at the bottom of the bluff. It was unlikely that the outlanders would come here, but not impossible. Perhaps it was just a spider, watching to see if they were unwary, hoping for a meal. The movement was repeated, but nothing appeared. Yoka was about to call on his bound spirit and sound the alarm when a fat canopy spider crawled out of the underbrush along the path. It moved lethargically, but did not appear to be coming up the bluff. Yoka should have ignored it, and would have, but for the warning in the back of his mind.

There was something strange about that spider. He stared at the arachnid as it rested in the sun could not fathom why it bothered him.

He was about to sound the alarm when a figure appeared at his side, jamming a knife through his temple, bringing darkness. Yoka had found his quarry.

Sunday Teaser

Tis late and here is a teaser for my friends, from the first draft of my next Domains book.

With a reputation as a defensive fighter, the crowd did not expect Green Glory to be truly competitive with an offensive virtuoso like King Blade. They cheered as she adopted her risky strategy, trampling her way to the depths of the horde.

Scores of stitched surged into the fighting grounds, trying to overwhelm the Gladiators. They battered Green Glory mercilessly leaving deep gashes in her hide. She shook them off like a seabird drying herself, and kept pushing into them, stomping everyone she overpowered into the sands. Such was her fervour that she threatened to overtake King Blade’s impressive score.

King Blade swung his sword tirelessly. Such was the dance of his blade that none of the stitched got within arm’s reach. The crowd cheered his skill, but he could tell that they were swayed by Green Glory, who put herself in harm’s way in order to seek victory. Thus, the big charger redoubled his effort, paying less mind to his own safety as he cut down stitched after stitched.

Not all of the stitched wore furs and leather, and when Green Glory cut down one of the zombies that was wearing and iron breastplate, she saw her score jump by several points, briefly overtaking King Blade’s. As soon as this registered she started looking for metal-clad stitched and pushed her way toward the closest one. A mace handed stitched smashed her side as she pushed, but she sent it sprawling with a flick of her horn and then brought her axe down onto the armoured figure, cleaving through the helm and spilling its pickled brain.