by Paul E. HorsemanThe night before his Coming-of-Age, Ghyll and his two friends escaped their castle on a clandestine hunt that would forever change their lives. They returned just in time to see their island castle destroyed by strange warriors from a dragonboat and flocks of burning birds.
Ghyll’s birthday turned into a nightmare as they fled into the night. This begins an epic journey to find out who is trying to kill them... and most importantly, why? Fortunately, they can count on colorful new friends to assist, including a sometimes overly enthusiastic fire mage, an inexperienced paladin and a female beastmaster who is a ferocious mountain lion. In a world filled with jealous priests, corrupt magistrates, bored aristocrats and power-hungry magicians, they try to survive dark wizards, murderous golems, and fire bird attacks. It soon becomes apparent that not one but several assassins are after them. Who are these members of an obscure, long-forgotten organization? And whose cold hand reaches across the boundaries of space and time to threaten weakened Rhidauna?
While the time is running the friends undertake a quest that takes them to a large part of Rhidauna. Following them, the reader is carried along on an exciting journey through a colorful world, whose people, culture and atmosphere are described with great attention to detail without the story losing momentum.
Experience the quest! Grab your best travel clothes, strongest backpack and sharpest sword ... or failing that, take an easy chair, a drink and this exciting book.
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To keep it short, I stayed in business, slowly climbing the ladder, until in 1995 I changed direction. That year I joined a large educational institution, at a school specialized in Dutch language and integration courses for foreigners. That meant immigrants, refugees and international businessmen, an interesting mix. It was great work, on the one side teaching crash courses Dutch to high-powered people (we got a lot of very well-educated refugees) and on the other teaching reading and writing to people who had never ever held a pen before, let alone a computer. To see them growing was a reward in itself. Unhappily, due to changed legislation the language school closed in mid-2012. In the meantime, I had started my first book (Rhidauna) in 2009 and it got published by Zilverspoor Publishers just before I got laid off. As my age, five years from retirement, made it nigh on impossible to find something else, I started building a career as an independent author. SF and Fantasy have fascinated me since my high school days, but apart from some juvenile trash, I never seriously tried to write anything. But after several false starts and associated discouraged intervals, a spark began to grow and mid-2010, the first two parts of Shadow of the Revenaunt were more or less written. My style is probably a bit old-fashioned, Fantasy as a heroic tale with sympathetic heroes/heroines and black villains, in which good always triumphs in the end. I don’t use my characters as cannon fodder; they get hurt, but their dying is rare. One of the other elements in my writing I think important is, that both male and female characters have their own lives and goals. Most of them exist primarily for themselves, not as a prop or a love interest for other MC’s. The only character who did die, was actually a prop and I had him killed just to take that away from my lead MC.
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CHAPTER 4 – HASPEN
(Point of View: Chief Main Character: Ghyll)
“He’s following,” whispered Olle.
“Now!” Ghyll turned around. He saw how the man in the brown robe had stretched his arms out to them. “Look out,” he cried, startled. “He’s a mage!”
The man’s fingers moved in some incantation. With a muffled cry, Olle dropped his weapon and stared at his hands. Ghyll grabbed the little envelope of nachtalene from his pocket. Praying that the merchant was an honest man, he ran to the man in the brown robe and threw the powder full in his face. The wind caught a small part of the nachtalene. Ghyll felt it tickle in his nostrils and turned his head away. The man broke off his spell, sneezed twice, and began to scream. As if possessed, he rubbed his knuckles into his eyes. Shrieking, he sank to his knees in the smelly refuse and clawed with his hands at his face.
“The stuff works!” Ghyll snatched Olle’s sword from the ground. He banged the attacker on the side of the head with the weapon’s pommel and the man slumped down in the dirt.
“Nicely done,” growled Olle, while his foster brother went through the man’s clothes.
“He isn’t carrying anything but this letter,” said Ghyll at last. “The beggar. Now, let’s go!”
Olle stared at his hands. “I can’t feel them,” he said with a trace of fear in his voice. He looked at the unconscious attacker. “What do we do with him?”
“Let him lie,” cried Ghyll, “He is a mage. We must be away before he wakes up.” Olle followed him with some reluctance out of the alley towards tavern De Koperen Pot.