A Vampire Does Not Make For Easy Prey …
Wizards have their magic, warriors their brawn, but a vampire lacks for nothing; he is the true ruler of the night and the last foe any sane man would choose to face. My name is Lucian, and I have no fear. Not the fabled magic used by wizards, nor the swords of lesser men; my strength is timeless, drawn from darkness. I am vampire, with no master save my own unending hunger. I long for blood, your blood, and neither blade nor magic spell can keep me long from my prize.
In Drisdak, the magic of the wizards is strong, but a true vampire will hunt them all the same … Unease and foreboding have always been associated with the local wizards guild; peasants have an innate distrust of magic and those who use it. But now, a mysterious fire at the guild has left two men dead and a third missing. And one of those men was the guild master, one of the most powerful wizards in the city, and his successor wants to know what happened to him. Enter Coragan of Esperia, the renowned bounty hunter and his comrades: Borak the warrior, and Galladrin the rogue. If anyone can unravel this mess they can. But are even they prepared to challenge the horrible evil lurking at the heart of the mystery? An ancient, pitiless vampire named Lucian val Drasmyr. See if Coragan and the wizards can defeat the terrible vampire, Drasmyr, scroll up and buy Drasmyr now!
I change shape and take to the air. It is a clear, cold night, with no clouds to hinder my vision. Below me, the dark canopy of the forest bears an even darker scar; the trail of the old river and its sister road to town and Arcalian.
Despite my near limitless power, I am cautious about openly wandering in a human city on a clear night. I have had run-ins with them before and I have no wish to draw undue notice. I soar in a long gliding circle to free my mind for concentration.
It takes but a moment.
Then the storm begins to build, drawing in clouds from the distant sea. They roil and churn in the darkening night, reaching forth with long writhing tendrils as if to grasp the town with a shadowy hand. A chilling gust of wind sweeps through the forest trees and the mists boil forth from the valley floor. All told, I spend an hour circling the town while the storm gathers its strength. Then, as the first lightnings begin to flash and the rains begin to fall, I descend on shadowy wings into the heart of Drisdak, the city on the Sea of Sorrows.
The mages guild is easy to find; its rancid stench of magic can be smelled from blocks away. It’s a tall building, made of stone, looking more like a miniature keep than a guild house. Five circular towers loom up from a central stone edifice. I have no doubt that Arcalian can be found in the highest tower in the room of the guild master, undoubtedly basking in the luxuries my services provided.
Drisdak. City of adventure. City of shadows. Enter a world where the darkness holds threats from both the living and the dead, and any man who stands his ground may not live to see the dawn. Korina Bolaris is a young and talented sorceress who has captured a powerful vampire and is coming into her own, working her terrible magic in secret, and gathering minions to serve her and her demon god, Lubrochius. Hers is a silent evil, gaining strength amidst the shadows, preparing to strike when the time is right. Can anyone stop her? Once again, the wizards of Drisdak are in need of help and call on Coragan of Esperia, the bounty hunter, and his two companions: Galladrin the Rogue, and Borak the Warrior. It begins with a simple missing person investigation, but the more the men learn, the less clear things become, and soon they find themselves drawn into the sinister machinations of a sorceress who wields magic with unprecedented ease and will stop at nothing to achieve her goals. Into this mix, comes the young man, Gaelan Durragonn, the only survivor of a village razed by goblins. Gaelan is seeking a new life. He takes on a job as a simple guardsman, but soon his own yearning drives him into greater things: he finds himself a mercenary at Coragan’s side, confronting a dark and sinister evil that is spreading like the plague. Find out if they can outwit the sorceress Korina Bolaris, her magic, and her terrible vampire ally—Buy "The Children of Lubrochius" Now.
Several hours later, Gaelan stood at attention in the Fire Hawk Sparring Arena in the Western Guard Barracks of the city of Drisdak. Prinson and Retlin, the two other young guild guardsmen from his earlier assignment were with him. Each of them still wore his chain mail armor and the now sweaty undercoat, but had relinquished his steel sword at the entrance to the arena. Anduri stood in front of them with several wooden practice swords lying at his feet. Behind them, about thirty city guards busily worked on a calisthenic routine.
Gaelan watched Anduri unclasp the real sword at his side, place it on the floor behind him, and then bend to pick up one of the wooden ones.
Gaelan stood at attention. I’m ready, he thought. Finally, I’m going to learn to fight … to kill. The thought lodged in his breast, hard and solid like a chicken bone in his throat. He knew what he wanted. He wanted this. But …
Better to die a peaceful man, than live with the stains of murder. His father had taught him that. It was the last line of the Aspallan peace oath. Aspalla of the White Palm, Lord of Healing and Counsel, was one of the most revered gods of the Paradisian Circle. He was the father of the goddess Auraria and the personal counselor of Mardikkar Evilbane, King of the Gods. He was also Gaelan’s patron deity, the deity he’d worshipped his whole life.
Ruined Castles. Powerful Artifacts. And Dark Demonic Cults. Return once again to the world of Athron where vampires walk and goblins abound. Join in the struggle to save a world from the machinations of a dark sorceress who continues to grow in power. Explore ancient ruined castles, battle vampires and demons, strike down cults from on high, and prepare for the coming of Morgulan, the tyrant of the past.
The Coils of an Ancient Evil are Drawing Close; A Cult of Demons is on the Move: Korina Bolaris continues in her efforts to take over the city of Drisdak. Her loyal recruits are growing in number, strengthening the cult she has made. Her ancient pet vampire has finally become her ally, not her foe. And one by one, her enemies are suffering the consequences of her wrath. In one fell swoop, Korina Bolaris has put Guild Master Regecon and Sorceress Ambrisia on the defensive.
Who Can Break This Witch’s Ancient Power And Bring Her And Her Deadly Demon Cult Low?
Coragan of Esperia is in prison, facing execution, unless he can win his way to freedom with clever rhetoric and the bold support of the truth.
Galladrin and his companions still hunt the deadly cult, but can they unravel its evil webs before their friend and leader, Coragan, falls prey?
Borak is ready, but he’ll need more than brawn alone to bring these enemies down.
Gaelan, the companions’ latest recruit, is torn between love and honor: which will lay claim to his soul?
Ambrisia and Regecon find themselves at the head of this group of adventurers. It is up to them to guide them and set them on course for the next step in their quest: recovery of The Sceptre of Morgulan—a weapon of immense power, once wielded by the dark tyrant from the past, Morgulan himself.
And there are others: Gilliad, Agyrra, and Kurgish. All must learn to put aside their differences in this ultimate test of their skills and training. Or their failure will doom the world. Scroll up and buy The Sceptre of Morgulan now!
Coragan sat cross-legged on the floor before them, his feet and hands in chains, a bowl of soup in his lap, a moldy piece of bread in one hand. The second prisoner sat hunched over nearby working on his own moldy bread and bowl of soup. He watched the companions with furtive eyes. “Good to see you, guys,” Coragan said, taking a bite from his bread. He grimaced, but swallowed.
“Coragan,” Galladrin said, “there’ve been some developments.”
“Fill me in,” Coragan said as he took another bite, and continued chewing courageously. “What’s happening in the outside world?”
“Regecon won’t be able to argue at your trial,” Galladrin said. Gaelan watched the words sink in.
Coragan’s chewing slowed, and his shoulders slumped. He lowered his hunk of bread to his lap. “Why?” he asked, sounding dejected and a little nervous.
“Count Tomlinson has ordered that the guild be closed, their license revoked,” Galladrin said. “Regecon will be busy fighting to get the license reinstated. He, too, must make an appearance before the Court of Nobles and argue his case.”
“What will I—” Coragan began.
“Ambrisia will argue on your behalf,” Galladrin said.
Coragan choked in surprise. “But Ambrisia hates me … er … isn’t fond of me.”
“Are you sure that’s not the other way around?” Galladrin asked. “I’d say she at least tolerates you.” All four of them shared a brief chuckle. It was grim, dark humor, but it served to lighten the mood.
“Anyway,” Galladrin continued, “I wanted to ask one more time—”
“About escape?” Coragan asked in a low, quiet voice.
Matthew D. Ryan lives in northeastern New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. His writing has been featured at Aphelion.com and YesteryearFiction.com. He is the operator of the web-site matthewdryan.com which features his blog, “A Toast to Dragons,” (http://matthewdryan.com/a-toast-to-dragons-the-blog/) a blog dedicated to fantasy literature, and, to a lesser extent, sci-fi. He is the author of the dark fantasy novels “Drasmyr,” “The Children of Lubrochius,” and “The Sceptre of Morgulan,” as well as a growing number of fantasy short stories including: “Haladryn and the Minotaur,” “The River’s Eye,” and “Escape.”
Matthew D. Ryan will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.