Hi, everyone! Today, I share another excerpt from The Bow of Destiny. Some of this was added in much later stages of the book. It’s all about Athson’s nagging, inconvenient secrets…
Athson whirled and glared at the old man. “We’ve done well.” He turned away.
A wheezy chuckle erupted behind him before Athson took two steps. “You should ignore neither warnings, dreams, nor visions – nor gifts.”
Athson froze mid-step. Moments passed like a day as he turned. Shock filled him anew when he saw no sign of the trapper on the porch.
He leapt back up the steps, landing with a clatter on the boards. He yanked open the door and took a hurried look inside the post. Lukaus and Gweld shot him startled expressions but Athson didn’t see the trapper. As Athson slammed the door, Lukaus said, “Back so soon?”
Three quick steps along the porch and Athson jumped the rail at the corner of the building. He glanced under the porch and circled the post, searching both the forest and the ground for sign of the trapper. Nothing. The trapper’s absence and his words set Athson’s heart racing. That comment hit too close to what had happened. And what no one else knew but him. Was the trapper nearby when he first discarded the inheritance? Athson rubbed his hands together but the scrapes had healed days earlier.
Athson’s jaw flexed. Something – or someone – had followed him from Eagle’s Aerie. Lukaus indicated no one had passed through for a long time. The comments from the missing trapper and the post-keep left Athson dizzy. “Can’t tell what’s real yet. I’m still making things up, no matter…” But they were real, he knew it.
The room and cot weren’t so inviting anymore.
Athson shrugged his pack to a comfortable position on his shoulders and made for the trail at his fastest walk. His best course now lay south for the road and away from Withlings, odd trappers, and mouthy station-keeps. The more distance travelled, the easier to avoid entanglements with Corgren, Withlings, eagles, dreams, Spark, and whatever haunted his steps – both imagined or not. He waved a cloud of gnats out of his face.
Gweld leaned over the porch rail. “Hey, Athson. What about the room?”
Athson whirled. “Let’s just go.” He waved Sarneth’s order.
Gweld shrugged, hollered apology through the door and then leapt the rail. Athson grumbled his disappointment under his breath at missing sleep on a cot. Hiding his secrets was more important than comfort. He swatted the insects out of his eyes and quick-stepped away from Afratta as Gweld trotted to his side.
That’s all for today! Later this week, I’ll share more about how I wrote The Bow of Destiny and how I’m doing on the next one.
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P. H. Solomon lives in the greater Birmingham, AL area where he strongly dislikes yard work and sanding the deck rail. However, he performs these duties to maintain a nice home for his loved ones as well as the family’s German Shepherds. In his spare time, P. H. rides herd as a Computer Whisperer on large computers called servers (harmonica not required). Additionally, he enjoys reading, running, most sports and fantasy football. Having a degree in Anthropology, he also has a wide array of more “serious” interests in addition to working regularly to hone his writing. The Bow of Destiny is his first novel-length title with more soon to come.
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An interesting look into the military of Westeros.
Note on terminology: by “professional” here I mean “people whose job is fighting”. It does not mean that it is necessarily their only job or that they are under arms 365/y, but rather, that they are trained and organized military force. Example of part-time professionals would be US Army Reserve or US National Guard for modern-day forces, or else Byzantine themata. “Professionals” as “troops whose only job is fighting” is what I consider to be specifically “standing troops” or “full-time professionals” – such as US Army regulars today or Byzantine tagmata during 8th to 11th centuries. Thus it should not be assumed that there is binary setup of “full-time professional” vs “peasants with pitchforks”. These are merely extremes of organization, but significant variation is possible between those two end states, with differing advantages and disadvantages.
Looking at real life, it is almost certain that most of Westerosi soldiers…
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