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Interviews With Tordug Part 1: The Bow of Destiny

The following post is a fictitious news report based on events from The Bow of Destiny, Book One of The Bow of Hart Saga:

The Auguron Wind-Times
Brazen Troll-Attack Near Marston’s Station

Date-line: Marston’s Station, Auguron Forest
By Rowigan Skaulter, Roving Reporter

This evening was disturbed by turmoil around Marston’s Station which roused this reporter from sleep. Reports are coming in this evening of a troll attack when travelers approached this very way-station. Events are unclear at the moment, but trolls becoming so bold as to attack as far as the station are ominous.

While rumors of other attacks much further east have not yet been confirmed with the rangers guarding the roads, this reporter has been able to substantiate these local claims of fighting.

When I descended to the common room, I found the entire number of overnight visitors roused amid a storm of confusion. I saw one young woman brought in by a giant, an unusual sight in these parts, to be sure. The woman seemed wounded as her arm was covered in blood.

What follows is my interview with a dwarf who seemed to have been part of a scuffle, judging by the blood-spatter on his clothing.

Rowigan: “Sir, you look like you’ve been in a fight. Can you tell us your name?”

Dwarf: “Uh, Tordug.”

Rowigan: “Mr. Tordug, do you-”

Tordug: “Just Tordug.”

Rowigan: “Do you mean, Tordug the Just?”

Tordug: “No, Tordug.”

Rowigan: “Oh, I’m so sorry, it’s so loud in the tavern now. The men seem to be celebrating about something. Tell us what happened, Tordug.”

Tordug: “Well, some travelers arrived, shouting about trolls attacking on the road, just east of here. They said the brutes shot arrows at them. Then they said they were missing two of their party. So a bunch of us grabbed our weapons and ran off along the road to help.”

Rowigan: “I see, so there were trolls? What did you find?”

Tordug: “We got there just in time. There was a young woman astride a horse and a young ranger fighting alone against a pack of trolls. The moon rose back east and shined on the woman so she glowed like silver.”

Rowigan: “I heard mention of this woman and saw a human female brought in by a giant. Is that the same person? Was she wounded?”

Tordug: “Well, we fought off the trolls and found she was wounded but the ranger had only a few minor scrapes.”

Rowigan: “So there were trolls who were driven off into the night and one wounded in the fighting. Is that correct, Tordug?”

Tordug: “Yes, we drove them away. But the Withling healed the woman, her name’s Limbreth, I think. But she lost blood so she passed out anyway. Had an arrow-wound.”

Rowigan: “Withling? There’s a Withling in Auguron? Now that’s news, indeed! Can you point her out? I’d like to interview her.”

Tordug: “Uh, I don’t see her around just now. But she was there, I’m certain.”

Rowigan: “So the young woman is this Silver Lady, these men are talking of in all this celebration?”

Tordug: “Yes, it is. My friend and I will be composing a dwarven verse about her bravery on the road. She rode back wounded for the ranger.”

Rowigan: “That’s is a deed worth a song. And this giant, do you know his part in the tale tonight.”

Tordug: “He was with the Withling and the others that got attacked.”

Rowigan: “What? The Withling was attacked too? And this giant was with them? You’re sure of the details?”

Tordug: “Yes, I saw them when they arrived.”

Rowigan: “Well, Tordug, it was fortunate for this Limbreth, and the ranger, that you and your friends responded so quickly. Thank you for sharing your account tonight. Auguron owes you a debt of gratitude for your quick and decisive response to the danger.”

Tordug: “That’s what we dwarves do with trolls.”

And there you have the full account of the attack as this reporter has discovered directly from someone who fought in the altercation not far from Marston’s Station this evening. I’ll work to obtain an interview with this Withling and the blessing of such a rare appearance in Auguron Forest. We’ll have more to report from all across Auguron regarding the rumored, and troubling, incursions further east as we travel west toward Auguron City. Look for more reports in the coming days. Troll attacks can only mean trouble for our elven forestlands. This is Rowigan Skaulter sending by pigeon.

Look for more of these fun reports about the series. If you are interested in The Bow of Destiny, An Arrow Against the Wind or the newly released final edition, The White Arrow, please click the appropriate link for the book-page. Following are direct links to find The Bow of Destiny at Amazon (available in Kindle Unlimited):

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Quotes from The White Arrow #1

“No, I have to go find my mother. You can’t stop me from that. I let all the rest of them die. I can’t let her die too.” He reached for his sword, but it wasn’t at his side. He sat up and twisted his head in several directions, his breath heaving. “Where is it? Did you steal it?” He gripped the trapper by his coat. “I need that sword.” Athson to the trapper

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An Arrow Against the Wind Commentary: Athson’s Choices

Introduction

The Bow of Destiny begins a long journey for Athson and his companions which leads him to a gut-wrenching ending in that book. An Arrow Against the Wind begins immediately after those twists but with a twist of its own. In that light, Athson’s perspective shifts with realization that what he thought was real wasn’t and he begins to question his decade-long predicament.

Commentary

Within The Bow of Destiny, Athson struggles with grief both old and new as well as his uncertainty from his PTSD-like fits which seem to have resolved in some ways. However, he’s never quite sure of himself and doesn’t always trust his own awareness. He’s equally suspicious and doubtful of the quest. Within all of these difficulties, Athson is stuck in a spiraling struggle with his outlook on the adventure.

But, with the sudden shift of reality, his mood shifts from one of grief to that of a determination to seek answers to his life as well as help those around him. Without sharing any spoilers, Athson needs to find more than the Bow of Hart and isn’t willing to just follow Hastra’s lead in the matter. However, he is seeking to help others and himself though he doesn’t know how to go about it. He just unwilling to follow a course that he doesn’t believe will achieve his goals.

Athson sets out on his own to accomplish his new goals, determined not to remain a grieving victim. Hastra and Gweld slowly turn his attention back to the Bow of Hart as a way of accomplishing his goals. Their reasoning is that the Bow of Hart is the key to the problems that confront Athson who slowly comes around to the idea. However, he still wants to do things his way regardless.

Between the events of The Bow of Destiny and An Arrow Against the Wind, there’s a definite progression for Athson. In the first book, he’s struggling with his own pathos and malady about which he believes himself to be merely a bystander as events happen to him. By the end, he’s willing to take a stand for himself and others, rising out of his inward struggles.

An Arrow Against the Wind shows how Athson begins to grow as he takes action against the forces set against him. His actions are imperfect but he has skills as a ranger that he can use to further his goals. He believes he’s still making good decision, a belief revealed in the opening scene of The Bow of Destiny when he makes a choice while hunting. But as Athson progresses he will be presented with tougher choices and the question remains if he’s truly able to make a difficult decision by parsing out more than what he wants at a moment, but what is best for others as well. His choices lie between his own goals and the needs of others. He wants to help but what is the best way? He’s growing out of the malaise of years and into an active participant in this life because the Bow of Hart and the prophesy surrounding it require him to grow and make tough choices.

Excerpt

Here’s an excerpt where he discusses his options with Limbreth regarding some choices and the Bow of Hart:

Later, they shared time during their watches as they walked a circuit of their camp. Spark trailed them.

“Let’s just leave and go ourselves. They’re slowing us down. They’ll keep me from doing what I have to do.” Athson stared into the silent night, his tone hushed. Time was wasting. Each night the moon phase progressed. His gut clenched. “It’s not their decision.”

“Athson, they mean well and understand your feelings.” She paused, hefting a sword. “But there are the bigger issues of the prophecy. Hastra knew her risks and has for years.”

They paused by the mules, and Athson patted one on its side. “But I can’t abandon my father and mother again.” He turned to Limbreth and grasped her shoulders. “I’ve lived well with the elves while they’ve suffered. I can’t just run off and forget them.”

She leaned forward, her forehead touching his. “I know. It’s not easy. Maybe an answer will present itself.”

His voice rose in challenge, and he stepped back. “Like what? I’m trapped. They are trapped in Corgren’s clutches.”

Limbreth gazed toward their sleeping companions and back to Athson. “Quiet, you’ll wake the others. I don’t know what will happen, and neither do you. But I’ll go through it with you.” She took his hand and came closer. “I’m here now. For you. So are the others.”

Athson shrugged. Was her support just words? She had a suitor waiting for her. Somewhere. “What if the others scout out Corgren? I find the bow while they sneak my father away. Then, then…” Then what? His mother died?

Limbreth lowered her face. “What about your mother?” She sighed. “Tough questions and no answers. Yet.”

Athson paced away and back. “Well, just get some sleep. We push on before the moon.”

A falling star streaked across the sky. Athson remembered a similar sight in his vision at Eagle’s Aerie. The arrow Eloch prepared. He frowned at the sparkling sky. The inheritance lay in his pack. The same words written on the will. He needed an arrow?

“That was beautiful.”

“Yes.” Athson managed. “There’s supposed to be an arrow.”

Still watching the sky, Limbreth frowned. “What arrow?”

“It’s in the prophecy.” He thumbed over his shoulder toward camp. “It’s in that will I got. I don’t know where that is. I remember something. A falling star like a smoking arrow from back at Eagle’s Aerie. But if it’s not with the Bow of Hart I don’t know what to do to find it. But if I did, I’d have something to fight back with. Maybe.”

“Perhaps, but at least we’ll know if it’s there, and maybe we can ask Howart, if he’s there…” She lifted her arms to his shoulders and stepped closer, her eyes still to the sky. “Then we’ll decide. You know we’ll do something based on all that information. There’s an answer, Athson. It’s not hopeless.”

He scowled a moment then realized her tone held encouragement. “Thanks.” He held her a while under the stars as the time slipped past him.

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