Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Back In The Groove

   Well, the Christmas decorations are all put away and the house looks boring again. New Years resolutions were made and already forgotten so it's time to return to the day to day grind of life. For me, that means once again finding time to write in between all the other responsibilities I have.
   The creation of anything new has been on hold the last couple of weeks as I prepared my first book for release on Amazon. I've also been working with a friend to get a cover formatted correctly for a print version of the book which should happen soon. I wrote up three critiques for stories submitted by my critique group and just finished a beta read of a full length novel.
   Since the first book in the series is done, I've been taking notes on where I want the second book to go and developing a basic plot line. I also have to keep in mind the time line involved since this series covers several generations.
   My main focus the next couple of months will be to finish the first book in my epic fantasy trilogy. I believe I've got the main timeline issues figured out and can resume the story. It's one of those stories where four groups of people have to come together at the same place and at the same time by the end of the book.
   I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and is looking forward to the new year. I know I am.
   Sharing another short scene from my fan/fic.
   Thanks for reading.

   Lord Talmanes, second in command of Mat’s personal army, the Band of the Red Hand, stood spellbound on top of the rise looking down at the city less that a league away. Caemlyn, the greatest city in the world, second only to Tar Valon some said, was in flames. The clouds in the night sky reflected the red glow of the fires below and alarm horns could be heard blaring from the gates. A closer inspection of the city revealed that the Trollocs had not made it out of the gates into the New City and the Palace itself was still secure. Since the Queen had taken the majority of her army to her meeting with the Dragon, he knew there were not enough men left in the city to defend against the Trollocs. Verin Sedai’s warning said the Trollocs would be coming out of an abandoned Waygate located in the basement of a shop in the Old City. If only Mat had opened the letter from Verin earlier, they might have avoided this.
   As he saw things, they had two concerns right now. First thing would be to get troops inside the Old City to secure that Waygate and protect the defenseless citizens there. The second problem was to keep enough men outside the gates to prevent any Trollocs from escaping out into the countryside. If they made it outside of the city, they would separate into smaller groups, called Fists, each led by a Myrddraal and be impossible to stop. Fortunately, the Capital was surrounded by mercenaries and small armies pledged to some of the minor Lords of Andor who had come to support Elayne in her bid for the Crown. If any one of them refused his call to arms, they would rue the day they were born!
   He walked quickly down the slope toward the center of camp, (commanders did not run), as horns sounded the call to arms. The sentries saw the flames and even though they did not know the cause, they knew to sound the alarm. Officers and Bannermen came running up to him from all directions. He raised a hand to forestall any questions and received instant silence and attention.
   “Tens of thousands of Trollocs are entering Caemlyn through a Waygate in the Old City. I don’t think I need to tell you what will happen if we let the Trollocs escape the city and they break up into smaller groups. Until we can establish some kind of communications with the Palace, our major objective will be to stop the Trollocs at the gates.”
   Lord Talmanes paused to look each one of his officers in the eye, and was pleased to see no fear, only determination.
   “Bendaron,” he continued. “Tell off ten of your fastest scouts, five to the east and five to the west, to ride to every band of mercenaries and minor Lordling they can find. Have them concentrate their troops at the East and Tar Valon gates. The Band will cover the Far Madding and the two western gates. If anyone balks at taking orders from me, remind them who commands the Band of the Red Hand and that Lord Mat and the Queen will be very upset should they fail.”
   After sending a banner of Horse and a banner of mounted crossbow to each of the western gates under the command of Lord Estean, Talmanes turned to his infantry Captain. “Daerid, pull all the wagons together into a defensive formation and leave five squads for protection, then meet me in front of the Far Madding gate with the rest of the troops. Make sure Lord Mat’s horse is saddled and brought with us.”
   Captain Daerid Ondin, a commoner but one of the first to join the Band, gave Talmanes a sober look. “Let us hope that Lord Mat returns swiftly from wherever it is he went. I think we will need every bit of his luck to survive this one.”

   As the two men hurried off with thoughts of the impending battle on their minds, a small boy ghosted through the trees on his way to the city. Completely forgotten by Talmanes and the rest of the Band, Olver led his horse Swift, a gift from Lord Mat, through the darkness and out of the camp. With a long knife gripped in one small hand and a determined look on a face that would never be called pretty, he knew he was the only one who could warn Lord Mat in time.

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