The Impossible

For three days and nights the deluge had been unbearable, forcing Valius and the small detachment of Excubitors he commanded to set up camp on the hillside just beyond Coven's Ford. The men grew foul without the labor of marching to distract them from the storm which pelted their tents and howled in their faces… Continue reading The Impossible

Coronation

The crowd was in a frenzy. The colosseum's towering reaches held a quarter of a million people, and it was over capacity with thousands more pressing in to witness this historic upheaval. They were here beneath the sweltering summer sun to see her: Supreme Commander Scandere. Barely beyond her third decade, she'd had enough blood on… Continue reading Coronation

Mysterious Ways

Shetesh stood just behind the Diviness Hava, the two of them inversions of the many stalactites hanging threateningly above them. The holy river that ran through the cavern below was aflame. The particulates in the smoke cast staticky shadows on the rough golden walls. "What does it mean?" Hava asked her attendant. Shetesh grinned and… Continue reading Mysterious Ways

A Proper Burial

Y'reen gathered his children; his two daughters, Roon and Afaya, and his youngest, Cratio, not yet himself a man. "I want a proper burial," he told them. "Like our ancestors." Afaya bit her lower lip and turned to her sister. She followed Roon like illness follows the elderly, still to this day. "Of course," said… Continue reading A Proper Burial

Seven Summers From the Forge

Child sat on a low sandstone wall outside the city gates with Rewel—of his many, many mothers, she was his favorite because of her loud and frequent laughter full of snorts and screeches. But she had no laughter now. Together they waved as the caravan rolled past, and they watched it disappear over the hills… Continue reading Seven Summers From the Forge

The Oracle Sisters

The Oracle Sisters sat quietly before the slate hearth in their keep, Auber lost in her ever-expanding patchwork quilt while her twin, Illian, idly counted her own salty tears as she stared out the window. Vioria had passed only the day before yesterday. The Oracle Sisters were triplets no more. Without speech or sign or… Continue reading The Oracle Sisters

One Way or Another

There was only a modest breeze in the salty air, the Arrow of St. Karesh swaying gently in its moorings as Vennari stood alone on its deck, sullenly watching the night knit the sea to the sky until the two were seamless. There would be no moon tonight, nor stars to judge her deeds. Only a… Continue reading One Way or Another

Long Enough

He had a long dagger for a forearm. You don't need to reread that. I'll repeat it so you know there was no mistake. He had a long dagger for a forearm. These were the kind of folks I was dealing with. I couldn't tell at first, because he wore a leather coat with long… Continue reading Long Enough

No Safe Haven

"What was that thing?" Becca asked, her breathlessness preventing the sobs she knew were coming. "Who cares? We need to get out of here, now." Grant pulled at her elbow and before she knew it her legs were flying beneath her as she swatted away brambles and damp leafy branches in the sickly light of… Continue reading No Safe Haven

Phantasma Non Grata

He introduced himself as Dade, but Margaret didn't really believe that was his name. She couldn't put her finger on what it was—he was polite, soft-spoken, and handsome in a boyish way—but she didn't trust him in the least, and now she rather wanted to return to the picnic. She never should have wondered off.… Continue reading Phantasma Non Grata