Sword & Sorcery

Interviews With Tordug Part 3: The White Arrow

The following post is a fictitious news report based on events from The White Arrow, Book Three of The Bow of Hart Saga:

The Grendon Bugle/Free-Press
“The clear call of truth with the rising sun.”

Date-line: Auguron City
By Maroch Karkholm, roving reporter on assignment with the Grendonese mission to Auguron on behalf of Princess Limbreth.

Maroch Karkholm here, reporting on events as they unfold in Auguron City. This reporter has been on assignment with the royal emissary sent to find the missing Princess Limbreth. After many days of waiting and filing interest stories about the culture of Auguron and its citizenry, word arrived that an army of trolls marched west toward the city. After several weeks, the main force of Auguron’s eastern garrison arrived by fleet of river-boats.

Among this contingent of rangers were a Withling, a giant, two particular rangers, two dwarves and none other than Princess Limbreth. While this reporter has been unable to interview the princess, I have been able to sit down with one of the dwarves who traveled in her company these last months. What follows are the surprising details:

Maroch: I understand you’ve traveled with Princess Limbreth these last months. Can you tell us more your involvement and who you are?

Dwarf: I’m Tordug of Chokkra and I have been honored to travel and fight in the company of Princess Limbreth of Grendon, Ax-maid of the death-grip, the Silver Lady and Protector of Travelers.

Maroch: Excuse me, Tordug. Did you say you were from Chokkra?

Tordug: Yes, I did say that.

Maroch: Then you were named for the infamous former ruler of that fallen dwarven-realm? Or perhaps, you bare the same name?

Tordug: I am none other than the very same former ruler.

Maroch: My apologies for not recognizing you, sir. I have many questions if you have time to speak with me further. I do not wish to intrude.”

Tordug: I have some time before I must go meet with Captain Sarneth about the defense of the city.

Maroch: Then you must also have knowledge of the troll invasion in which we Grendonese intend to avoid being entangled?

Tordug: I do know much of the events and plans for the defense as a consultant to the captain. However, I’m not at liberty to speak of these details at this time so tread carefully with your questions.

Maroch: I see. And, pardon me for asking, but Captain Sarneth has no qualms about receiving your assistance considering your past history with the fall of your own realm?

Tordug: My past is exactly that, my past. However, who better to consult than someone who has known the tactics of the enemy from the past? I have no authority among these elves but they have accepted my offer of service and knowledge.

Maroch: When did you find out that the trolls were invading?

Tordug: Hmmm, I suppose that’s no secret. We encountered them while traveling through the Troll Heaths. We discovered their movements just after a snowstorm and the wandering star appeared in the eastern night sky. It was just after, well, other events. We hurried to inform the elven garrison so that the contingent might not be overwhelmed by the horde and yet warn travelers on the trade road.

Maroch: You say you and your party were in the Troll Heaths and discovered the invasion. That region is reputed to be rather dangerous. Were you aware that a member of your party was a member of the Grendonese royal family?

Tordug: Yes, but I found out only after we were well into our quest. As far as any of us knew, the princess was someone who chose the company of Withling Hastra.

Maroch: Ah, yes, some on Grendon have insinuated that the Withling abducted or bewitched the princess and-

Tordug: I can assure you that is not the case. Princess Limbreth accompanied Withling Hastra of her own choice. If you wish to know the reasons, you may ask her.

Maroch: I see. Well, there is rumor there was nearly an altercation with the Grendonese emissary, Count Dareth of Tinnewell, just after she arrived with the elven garrison. Do you confirm or deny such events?

Tordug: (He laughed, very hard and long). There was indeed a heated discussion between this Dareth and the princess in the street. They almost came to blows. I fear he would have soon found himself in danger from Princess Limbreth had not Captain Sarneth intervened.

Maroch: Wait, you say between the princess and the count? You do realize they are betrothed, don’t you?

Tordug: (He laughed long and hard again before he answered). If they are, it’s a rather one-sided affair, more on his hapless part, I should think. But what of it?

Maroch: You were there and Count Dareth was sent by King Hamgas to retrieve Princess Limbreth. Why didn’t you hand the princess over at that time?

Tordug: (Again, he laughed very hard before he answered). Princess Limbreth goes where she wants and with whomever she wants. And with I doubt it will ever be with this Count Dareth unless the one she does want doesn’t live through the coming attack.

Maroch: Wait, are you saying that the princes loves another man? Who is he?

Tordug: Oh, enough of these questions of idle gossip. If you want to know more, ask her yourself. All I will say is that she’s entitled to choose whomever she wishes. She is highly honored among my people as an Ax-maid of the death-grip and someone who has proven her bravery many times over in recent months. Good day to you.

This reporter has been unable to gather any other information about all these events or what happened on the adventure of Princess Limbreth’s. None of her companions, including Withling Hastra, have made themselves available even after formal messages were sent to them. However, it is clear that there is another man in her life of whom no one knows, mostly likely someone she met on her travels. That Princess Limbreth has won renown among the dwarves is of great surprise and will certainly please His Majesty. For now, all else remains a mystery to this reporter who leaves this very hour with the Grendonese contingent ahead of the invasion. One can only hope that the princess will see the wisdom of leaving with the well-trained cavalry sent to guard her return to Grendon.

From the endangered city of Auguron, this is Marock Karkholm, roving reporter and still on the trail of the mysteries surrounding Princess Limbreth.

Look for more of these fun reports about the series. If you are interested in The Bow of DestinyAn Arrow Against the Wind or the newly released, final edition, The White Arrow, please click the appropriate link for the book-page. Following is the link to find out more about The White Arrow where it can be downloaded for free via Kindle Unlimited:

Amazon

About the Author:

Why No Dwarfs on The Bow of Hart Saga Covers?

There are some characters missing from covers for books in The Bow of Hart Saga. Find out why in this post.

The covers of the books from The Bow of Hart Saga have always received a lot of compliments and all the credit for them is due to my cover artist. However, there are characters that never appear on these covers and for some very good reasons.

Of the group on the quest for the Bow of Hart, Hastra, Makwi and Tordug never appear on a covere. Athson always takes center stage as he should being the main character. But other characters make appearances. Spark and Gweld are main movers in the series so they are present. Limbreth is on the cover of An Arrow Against the Wind along with Ralda. But there are no dwarves and no Hastra.

The Covers

The Bow of Destiny features Athson, Gweld, and Spark on the cover. These are main players in the cast and they start out together in the book as the number of characters grows. When I got a full cover for print, I wanted to include trolls on the back but adding more figures costs money. I had to go without those additions as nice as they would have been. 

BOD Final MD

An Arrow Against the Wind featured Athson, Limbreth, Gweld, Spark, and Ralda against a mountain scene. All were necessary for various reasons. Ralda was included instead of Makwi or Tordug because the giant is taller and further away. There would have been nothing to see of the dwarves, let alone Hastra. Cost also became a factor with this cover too, though I would have liked to use them on the back along with the Bane.

AAATW SM

The White Arrow is Athson and Spark in the foreground with Magdronu in the sky in the background. Athson is center stage for this cover. I suppose I could have used a different scene but cost with the number of figures comes into play. Again, I would have like to use another figure on the back but there was no money for that.

Book Cover III b

 

The Cost Factor

One reason that is apparent in all of the covers for fewer characters being pictured is cost. I’m self-published and that leaves me on a budget. Original artwork for fantasy does cost and I’m pleased to acquire what I can. If you’ve seen my cover for The Order of the Dark Rose, it has some incredible detail when viewed closely. Original artwork is gold and costs a lot as a result.

Other Factors

The other reasons are more form and fit for the cover. Would dwarves be perfect for the cover of An Arrow Against the Wind? Certainly. But there’s only so much space and too many faces. That’s where the back cover for print comes into play and circles back to the primary factor.

It’s easy to want it all and hard to get it all on a cover. If I could afford additional artwork, I’d get it. If I could write another story about the dwarves and get them on the cover I would. I’d add Hastra onto the cover of What is Needed. I’d also add a cover with Corgren and his brother on the cover of Trading Knives. Again, these types of stories are intended to be free so spending money on these kinds of covers is hard to do when there are so many other costs involved. Decisions, decisions. I’d like to put the existing stories into a single edition with artwork for each and add the story for the dwarves as a special (this one wouldn’t be produced by Podium so no audio for it).

I want to add more artwork for the series but there are other books to publish along with the cost of covers. I have to weigh it all against the bigger picture and keep writing the books I have planned. Perhaps when I get back to the sequel series for The Bow of Hart Saga, I’ll afford putting some of these characters on the covers. Until then, I’ll have to settle for what I have. Regardless, I love the covers I have and what they represent for the series.


About the Author:

IMG_4154-EditMulti retailer Bestselling Author, Fantasia Reviews Book of the Year Author 2017 & 2018

U. S. author, P. H. Solomon grew up with a love of books including fantasy. Always interested in odd details, history and the world around him, P. H. has found an outlet in writing where he mixes a wide range of interests from the regular world, history and anthropology into his fantasy books.

His epic fantasy series, The Bow of Hart Saga, brought a fresh viewpoint to the genre where magic, myth and mysticism mingle. Described by readers as a “mixture of the classic fantasy past with new ideas.”

Amazon Series Pic LgTrading Knives (0.1)

What is Needed (0.2)

The Bow of Destiny #1

An Arrow Against the Wind #2

The White Arrow #3

The latest series, The Cursed Mage Case Files is a mash-up of classic Sherlock Holmes, The Dresden Files and Harry Potter into a unique fantasy world where magic is both an arcane practice and a technological power to be harnessed. Join Mandlefred Mandeheim and Wishton Ackford as they team up to investigate magical mysteries.

The Order of the Dark Rose #1

The Unseen Hand #2 (upcoming)

The Nine Jewel Heist #3 (upcoming)

More books:

Curses Dark and Foul

The Black Bag

See the entire book catalog at P. H. Solomon’s Amazon Author Page.

Find more about P. H. Solomon as well as articles and research notes, plus a free stories, at https://www.PHSolomon.com

The White Arrow Arrives in Hardcover

It’s been a busy few months in more ways than one. Now The White Arrow arrives on Amazon in hardcover.

TWA HCThe week-long celebration begins for The White Arrow now available in hardcover. Part of the festivities includes the e-book on Kindle Countdown at 99 cents!

This novel is the concluding title of The Bow of Hart Saga. Some readers may remember the original kernel of the series began some thirty years ago. Oddly enough, this book was written from beginning to end in about three weeks (and it’s the highest rated one of the series). Writing Arrow was a whirlwind effort that surprised me. When me editor returned it, she told it had nothing major to address. That news freaked me out for about two weeks since it’s not supposed to happen off a first draft.

I got over the right and published the book after completing the final touches. It’s done very well since then so I’m glad it’s out in so many formats along with the rest of the series.

With all that being said, here’s a excerpt from the book:


Athson scrabbled at loose stone. His head ached and spun, even lying down. Not the head injury again. But sweat drenched his brow, and Spark lay nearby at a fire that danced. Athson groaned and thrust a blanket from his body. He burned and shivered at the same time. How did that happen? He got to his hands and knees on hard rock, and his head spun anew. Darkness surrounded the fire, but his groan echoed. A cave? He held his head. What had happened? There was the Funnel and his scramble through the storm afterward.

The trapper. Athson lifted his head. Where was he?

“Spark, what’s going on?” The mountain hound stirred and sighed, his gaze toward the mouth of the cave.

AthsonAthson squinted. Snow blanketed the heaths outside the cave. There was his mule and the tack for it. He needed to find his mother. Mother? That was right, they had her captive in Rok. His father…

He choked back a sob at the memory. He’d finally found him, and now he was dead, killed by Corgren while trying to save Athson. And there was Limbreth, gone over the side of the Funnel.

Athson watched Spark a moment. “Did you get her?”

Spark wagged his tail.

Athson looked away. The mountain hound had done more than he had. Shame rose with sour bile in his stomach. How could he have failed her? The wrong choice. Corgren had goaded him into that worthless shot into the wind. The Bow of Hart lay nearby, and he spat at it. Could he have even made the shot to save Limbreth with it? No telling after that poor choice.

But now he needed to find his mother. He’d leave the bow, but he could still bargain with the useless artifact. He cast around, half-blind in his fever, for all his things. He dragged them over near the mule before he collapsed. Athson rolled over and found Spark lying next to him. Maybe he’d fainted. He closed his eyes as weariness dragged at his arms.

Athson scrambled away from the kobold in the dark amid the howls of trolls hunting the night. Too late he remembered the edge of the Funnel and fell. He slid along a steep slope.

Limbreth fell too, her cry as sharp as that eagle when he’d met Zelma. He might catch Limbreth. No, she was gone. She fell at a different place.

Athson couldn’t stop himself. He slipped into darkness and landed on a ledge. He bounced with a grunt and almost rolled into the darkened depths where the Deep Run gushed. He found a rough crack on the ledge and held it so he could scramble farther onto it. His breath came in rasping gasps.

Light waved above him. Trolls sought him, and he pushed away from the edge and slithered backward into a small hole of darkness. A little cave. He lay there until light glowed from far away and grew brighter until he saw a dog. Spark! The dog was friendly and nudged him farther into the little cave, where he lay down beside Athson and warmed him.

Later, the dog tugged Athson to his feet, and he walked beside the glowing animal, deeper into the cave.

Athson groaned. Spark had leapt after Limbreth but couldn’t save her. But the mountain hound had saved Athson that night when he fell on a ledge. He got to his feet. Had Limbreth fallen on a ledge? No, he hadn’t seen one below the Altar of the Trolls. He ground his teeth and gripped his pounding head. Sweat drenched his clothing from the fever. When had he caught a fever? It came on him after leaving the Funnel.

He grabbed his pack and leaned against the mule awhile. Just load your things and go find your mother. If he could stand. Athson fumbled with the tack for the mule.

sparkSpark nudged at his legs and whimpered.

“Stop. None of that. I need to go.”

He squinted over the mule’s back at the storm. It was getting dark outside already. He ran his hand through his sweat-soaked hair, coughed, and shuddered before he fell on the hard rock of the cave’s natural floor.

Spark stood on his chest.

“Cut it out, Spark. Let me up. I have to find her.” Athson tried to push the mountain hound away but finally lay still by the mule, which stared at him and flicked its tail. He groaned and covered his face at his sudden tears. Why had he let her fall like that? He was no good. He let his father and Limbreth die. He sobbed until he fell asleep.

Someone gripped Athson and pulled him into a sitting position. His eyes fluttered. He found strength in his limp neck and lifted his head. The indistinct face of the trapper hovered in his blurred vision.

“Not you again.”


Here’s more about The White Arrow: Book 3 of The Bow of Hart Saga

Haunted by his past. Hunted in the present. Tossed like an arrow in the wind.

Book Cover III b

Bound to prophecy, his destiny balanced on an arrow’s tip.

With the Bow of Hart in hand, Athson is hunted by his enemies. His mistakes haunt him as much as his past.

Hastra the Withling reveals Eloch will send an arrow for the bow. Magdronu plots to thwart the prophecy as his trolls attack Auguron City.

But when the arrow arrives, it is from an unexpected source and lands in unforeseen hands. Events twist like an arrow in flight.

Can Athson overcome his past and use the Bow of Hart as intended? The archer and the bow await the coming arrow…

Find The White Arrow at Amazon


About the Author:

IMG_4154-EditMulti retailer Bestselling Author, Fantasia Reviews Book of the Year Author 2017 & 2018

U. S. author, P. H. Solomon grew up with a love of books including fantasy. Always interested in odd details, history and the world around him, P. H. has found an outlet in writing where he mixes a wide range of interests from the regular world, history and anthropology into his fantasy books.

His epic fantasy series, The Bow of Hart Saga, brought a fresh viewpoint to the genre where magic, myth and mysticism mingle. Described by readers as a “mixture of the classic fantasy past with new ideas.”

Trading Knives (0.1)

What is Needed (0.2)

The Bow of Destiny #1

An Arrow Against the Wind #2

The White Arrow #3

The latest series, The Cursed Mage Case Files is a mash-up of classic Sherlock Holmes, The Dresden Files and Harry Potter into a unique fantasy world where magic is both an arcane practice and a technological power to be harnessed. Join Mandlefred Mandeheim and Wishton Ackford as they team up to investigate magical mysteries.

The Order of the Dark Rose #1

The Unseen Hand #2 (upcoming)

The Nine Jewel Heist #3 (upcoming)

More books:

Curses Dark and Foul

The Black Bag

See the entire book catalog at P. H. Solomon’s Amazon Author Page.

Find more about P. H. Solomon as well as articles and research notes, plus a free stories, at https://www.PHSolomon.com