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7sceptresv2

Look at how awesome this cover looks! If you enjoy this as much as I do, go over to Card Castles in the Sky and tell Daydreams just how awesome she is. And you should, because she is completely awesome.

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The Seven Sceptres

Well, I said last night that there’d be a new book coming out and I was right! In fact, it’s out sooner than I expected. The Seven Sceptres is an anthology featuring short stories written by the tremendously talented Matticus, Arden, and Ethan. If you enjoy fantasy novels, I’m willing to bet you’ll like our book.

Please, give it a try.

Click here for a link to order the paperback edition.

Click here for a link to pre-order the Kindle edition, which will be available on the 20th.

Thanks to all of you for your continued support.

A New Book Coming

As Matticus mentioned in a post of his, we (along with Arden and Ethan) have a new book coming out. It is a collection of seven fantasy stories all set in the same world. For some of my longtime readers, the first story may look familiar. After all, I first published it on this blog about five years ago. It was called Sceptre of Chaos. 

Now, the version of the story in the book is different than what appeared on this here blog. It’s been edited (which I didn’t do before posting the chapters) and I’ve added things. While the core remains the same, there’s more to it.

I’ve since taken down the original. After all, I don’t want to give away everything from the first story. I’m not going to be completely stingy, though. Below, you’ll find the first two chapters of Sceptre of Chaos as they originally appeared here. If you like it, and want to continue reading, please pick up a copy of the book once it’s been released. I’ll be posting the links to purchase the book when it’s available.

Enjoy!


 

The cold hands of death closed around his throat and began to squeeze. Every instinct in his body was telling him to fight, but his head was telling him how useless it would be. There was no way he would ever break the grip. Besides, his attacker would be expecting him to fight, and he knew from experience that doing what his attacker expects is not usually a good thing. So, in defiance, he sat back, waiting. 

Just as spots were beginning to form in his vision, the hands released him. Air rushed back into his lungs as he drew deep, gasping breaths. It was many moments before he gained his composure. When he finally did, he looked into the eyes of his attacker and saw that the anger that caused the outburst was still there. He prepared himself for another attack, but it never came. 

Instead, his attacker asked, “How long have you been my High Priest?” 

“Nine years, my Queen,” Fragiel answered. 

“Fool,” she shouted, the voice echoing in his head. With a thought, she lifted him off the ground and threw him into the wall behind him. “Any mortal woman can be made queen. I am a GODDESS! You shall address me as such.” 

Fragiel briefly considered reminding his goddess that, the last time they spoke, it was her that requested that he call her ‘Queen’, but he discarded it after he regained the senses that had been knocked loose when he hit the wall. “Yes, my Goddess,” was all that he replied. 

“What was the first command I gave you nine years ago, when I made you my High Priest?” 

“That even though the sceptre of Accura, your sceptre, cannot be handled by any except for those blessed by you, I should still guard it with my life.” 

“And where is the sceptre now?” 

“On the stand I had made for it, over…” 

Fragiel found himself pointing to an empty stand. The sceptre was gone! He couldn’t believe it. How had he not noticed it was missing before now? 

“Tell me the name of the priest that has betrayed you, my Goddess,” he exclaimed. “I will gladly make him pay for what he did to you!” 

“I have looked into the souls of all those who have sworn their loyalty to me. None of them is responsible for this,” Accura said, her voice trailing off at the end, lost in thought. Suddenly, she snapped out of it, furiously. “Besides, I will not be doing your work for you! You were the one who lost the sceptre. You will be the one who finds it. Is that understood?” 

“Yes, my Goddess.” 

“One last thing before I go, my High Priest. Until you recover that which you have lost, I will no longer be granting any of your prayers.” 

“How will I be able to find the sceptre without your blessings?” 

“Figure it out yourself,” her voice screeched so loudly in his head that he inadvertently covered his ears and closed his eyes. 

When he opened his eyes back up, he stood alone. Looking down at the floor, he wondered how in the world he was going to do what he was asked. 

********** 

Fragiel looked out the window at the capital city of Qyooniba. The view from his bedroom window at the temple had not changed much in the nine years he had lived there. That angered him. It angered him almost as much as having to live in this city in the first place. He would not have tolerated living here for this long except that his goddess had told him to do it. Not because she wanted him to be there, but because she needed him to be there. 

In the time right before he moved there, the city of Qyooniba was in trouble. Its citizens were on the verge of rioting in the streets. The followers of each of the seven deities fought over which church should be ruling the city. In the end, the gods themselves stepped in and prevented the people from tearing their homes down. 

The Seven enacted a compromise that decreed that each deity would have a temple within the city. Each of the temples would have a High Priest. A council, comprised of the seven High Priests, would then rule over the city, with all decisions being made by a majority vote. All of the gods agreed to this compromise, except for one: Accura, goddess of chaos. She argued that by imposing rules on her, and her followers, that the other gods were taking away her power and denying her faithful their free will. Eventually, she was forced to give up the fight, as she had no hope to win against all six of the others. 

Though there were many of Accura’s followers that had been serving her longer, Fragiel had only been her priest for two years, the goddess chose him to be her High Priest. She told him it was because his father had been a soldier and brought him up in a strict military manner, making him used to a scheduled life. Fragiel always suspected that there was more to it, but he knew his goddess would never tell him. 

A knock on the door interrupted his reverie. Parshal, one of the temple acolytes, opened the door and walked in. Normally, Fragiel would have chastised the man for entering without permission. Since he was anxiously awaiting the news Parshal was supposed to have gathered, he decided that he would wait. 

“I’ve finished my interrogation of my fellow acolytes and the temple staff, High Priest Fragiel,” Parshal announced. 

Fragiel waited for the man to continue, but he didn’t. “What did you find out,” he snapped. 

“Nobody saw anything out of the ordinary except for the two cooks. They reported that they saw two strange dwarves exiting out through the kitchen. The dwarves, according to the cooks, wore the symbol of The House of Hond.” 

Fragiel shook his head. The House of Hond was a dwarven clan notorious for being mercenaries. Two years ago, he had been part of the council vote to banish them from the city. Since the mercenary band was good at creating havoc, he voted for them to be allowed to remain, but he had been the only one. 

Turning back to Parshal, he asked, “You were part of the city guard before you joined the temple, correct?” 

“Yes, High Priest.” 

“What do you make of this situation?” 

“Either The House of Hond is not as good as their reputation says they are, or someone is trying to frame them for the theft. Either way, it is our only lead, and it should be followed.” 

Fragiel had been thinking the same thing. He was also thinking that Parshal would probably be useful to him on the road. After ordering his acolyte to pack for the road, he pulled him aside. “Go to Main Street Inn. Ask the bartender there to send me his finest Mishaken wine as soon as possible. We’ll leave when it arrives.” 

“Are you sure it’s wise to wait on a bottle of wine, High Priest?” 

“It could be the difference between life and death. Now, go to the inn and get back here immediately to pack. We’ll need to be ready.” 

An hour later, Parshal returned from his tasks. In that time, two new explanations for why the House of Hond had let themselves be known had popped into Fragiel’s head. Both of them were a lot more frightening than either The House of Hond being lazy or them being framed. It could also be that The House of Hond had information that made them believe that Fragiel, and his church, were no threat to them, or that The House of Hond let themselves be seen to draw Fragiel into a trap. Either way it was not good for him. 

This line of thinking had him in a foul mood. His mood was not improved by Parshal, who was walking the grounds with his High Priest. Parshal, to Fragiel’s dismay, tried to fill the silences with small talk, but would also question Fragiel’s insistence that they wait for the package from the inn. 

“Are you sure we have to wait for this wine,” Parshal asked once again. 

The High Priest had finally had enough. “By our goddess, I swear if you ask me that one more time, acolyte, I will decapitate you and ask Accura to smite your headless corpse.” 

Suddenly, Fragiel felt cold steel against his neck. He immediately froze. “That’s not very nice, priest. You should learn to play better with others.” 

 

VS. Worst Film Adaptation of a Book

Visit the Kingdom and submit your choice!

The Matticus Kingdom

Greetings, fellow travelers of the Kingdom. It is I, Revis Edgewater, First Knight of this land and Master of the Versus arena. During the last few bouts in the arena, I’ve asked for your help. I’m here today to do the same.

Normally, when we do these, we put fictional characters up against each other. That’s not what we’re doing today. Instead, we’re putting movies up against each other. Specifically, we’re putting movies based on books/novels against each other.

We want to know which is the worst.

Here’s where we need your help. We need you to comment on what you think the worst movie based on a novel (written word, not graphic) is and give us at least a sentence or two on why you think your choice is the correct choice. The reasons behind your choice can be anything from the movie straying too far from the source…

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Posted in VS.

Sell It

My “help” left work today after only two hours. His excuse was that he hurt his ankle sometime before he came in.

Now, I don’t have a problem with coworkers missing time, or calling in. Whatever. Things happen. People get sick. That’s part of life.

Hell, I wouldn’t have a problem with it if he left just because he didn’t feel like being here. That’s his business. I won’t miss him. He annoys the shit out of me anyway.

The problem I am having is with his excuse. He said his ankle hurt too bad to continue working…

Yet, for the entire two hours he was here, he didn’t limp. He didn’t grimace while walking. He didn’t show any signs of discomfort at all. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I’m hurting too badly to continue working, I’m going to have some outward sign that something is wrong with me.

I’m not going to come out and say he was faking, but, if I had to bet, I’d put my money on it. And, like I said, I don’t care if he was faking or not. He can go home early for whatever excuse he wants.

But…..

If you’re going to fake an injury or illness, put a little effort into it. Limp. Make a pained expression every once in a while. Don’t just say you’re hurt and walk out like nothing’s wrong. Sell it a little, dammit!

Bleed for Me

I was randomly going through my music the other night and I came across this song. I had totally forgotten all about it. After listening to it, I was very disappointed in myself. It is too awesome of a song for me to have forgotten it.

I wonder how many other songs have fallen through the cracks on me…