creativity

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:

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Surviving Magical Attacks without Being a Mage

Note to Archer’s Aim readers: what follows is a short treatise from Wishton Ackford from my Reformed Mage book where he reveals a little about his interactions with magic as someone who possesses no magical abilities.

As someone with a predominant background in writing, investigations often prove challenging for one such as I. Too frequently, I find myself in dangers for which I never prepared as a younger man. It’s true the streets and taverns of Cal Rindon can hold their own threats at times, but these are not as unpredictable as they are with my newest chosen profession.

Being out of work taught me much about taking care of myself since I lived in places where crime and threat went hand-in-hand. But that environment was relatively short-lived compared to the rest of my life and the several years of investigatory work with my partner Mandlefred Mandeheim. Cutthroats can be avoided in any number of ways, even fought off if necessary, but a destructive spell is not so easy to avoid. Likewise avoiding some of the other nefarious characters with whom we interact challenged me in the beginning of the business partnership.

Manny taught me new skills of avoiding contact and escaping conflict. Unfortunately, many of these skills were learned on the job in dangerous conditions. One might think one deserves hazard pay from these frequent encounters, so we do charge clients for risk and danger involved.

My first learning curve was how to stay out of the way when magic comes along. But this is not so easy in some circumstances. Magical traps with curses of all kinds can often be set off and may have lethal effects. Manny is a top-notch mage with skill at disarming these many traps but care must still be taken. Of course, I came into possession of a fleer gun with which I can provide myself a modicum of self-defense when conflict arises. This is too often the case during our investigations and can occur at a moments notice. I’ve learned to keep my hand in my pocket and ready with the fleer gun based on circumstances but those are not always predictable.

My training has been besed on Manny’s spy-craft which he learned from his many years performing that job with the Imperial espionage service nicknamed the “sniffers”. Manny taught me how to create quick disguises to throw off pursuit as well as recognizing individuals who may be following me or laying traps for us. But when I first began I knew little of investigation and the other skills necessary which I have described. Experience has taught me much and I’m all the wiser for it as well as more circumspect with my actions. Unexpected magic attacks from the shadows is now a common occurrence for me, but I’ve found the work rewarding and steady.

Danger is ever present one investigates criminal troubles and there are few indicators of the surprises which lurk seemingly at every corner. Even common criminals can catch you unaware. With Manny along on the cases and the training he’s provided me, as well as learning from experience about magic, I’m far better prepared than when I began to meet all the challenges which all too often arise in this business. The real eye-opener has been how much magical crime goes on in Cal Rindon and, I suppose, and other locales. The other non-magic users in the world are seemingly oblivious to the many dangers around them. But then, the Imperial government has taken many steps to quell much of the criminal activity which can be done with magic.

Thanks for reading today and I hope you enjoyed a little deeper foray into Wish’s world and his adventures with Manny in their investigations. Your reactions and thoughts are welcome and please feel free to share the post as you like. I hope to release the first book of the series later in the year if work progresses well in the next month or so.

Fantasy Friday! The Origin of The Bow of Hart

The Bow of Hart is a main element of The Bow of Hart Saga and book two, An Arrow Against the Wind. But, what is this bow and why is it so important?

The Bow of Hart is mentioned in The Bow of Destiny as a family relic inherited by Athson. Without spoiling all the details in any of the books, the quest is centered around finding the bow. The bow is prophesied as a weapon to be used against Magdronu the dragon yet it has never been seen, nor is Athson even certain it exists.

Here’s the full extent of the prophesy regarding the Bow of Hart:

The false one begets betrayers, but he shall not have his way.
The Hidden Dragon may usurp kingdoms with deceits, but his ways shall not last, and he will not ascend.
A bow shall be made in defense.
To break the binding curses.
His prey shall be snatched from his fangs.
The bow shall be hidden from Hart.
The eagle will guide the heir.
The bow shall be found at need.
And the arrow shall Eloch prepare.

Athson is aware of the prophesy and has some information about it as revealed in The Bow of Destiny. Yet, he mainly only knows about the bow from a mysterious will he received under dubious circumstances – at least to his addled understanding:

To whom the eagle and the Withling give this bundle of my will, greetings and long life.
     Having seen into the future, I have prepared the way for you as I have been commanded. You, who read this parchment, are my heir, and thus may bear my signet and lordly insignia as your own.
     The bowstring belongs to a Bow, specially made of my care. None but you, not even I, its maker, is able draw it, let alone string it. Seek out the Bow. The Withlings look after the one to whom I gave it. You are destined to do the deed. Beware of the servants of evil; they have hounded me for the sake and possession of the bow since their doom is tied to it. Follow Eloch’s prophecy as you can and be of good courage.
May Eloch go with you,
Thayer of Hart

Thus the question remains, who is Thayer and what part did he play in the Bow of Hart as its original owner. I hope to share more about this in the coming months with some additional prequel stories so I don’t want to give anything away other than to confirm that Thayer had a hand in the making of the bow. It was by his efforts that the prophesied bow was created and, when he was threatened, he found a way to make sure it stayed out of Magdronu’s clutches. So, after many generations, the bow became Athson’s to own and the burden for him to take up – wanted or not.

But conflict around his family’s history and that between Hart and Rok swirl and twist like an arrow in flight out of the past and into Athson’s present. The Bow of Hart is the one thing upon which An Arrow Against the Wind turns as Magdronu seeks to gain possession of the bow. However, he cannot simply take the bow because he never owned it. The power surrounding it prevents him from taking what is not his own. But, Athson can give it away and it is around this point that all of the dragon’s efforts are centered, Athson being the target. Magdronu will stop at nothing and Athson may not be able to keep the dragon from the relic.

To find out more about the Bow of Hart and the prophesy, have a look at the series online beginning with any of the pages for the books in the series: The Bow of Destiny, An Arrow Against the Wind or The White Arrow.

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