Reviews for Briana: Knight

One thing I have noticed with Amazon is that your reviews are not pooled together, one could be on Amazon UK, another on Amazon Canada. The only one that is shown on the whole service is the old US of A’s Amazon. So I decided after my last marvellous free promotion I will pool my reviews into one blog.

On the 29th I will have my third part out, Ciro: Founder and also I will be part of a book launch as a guest author. The launch is for Brhi Stokes,  and her book is Caligation (here is a quick review I did on it, Review of Chapter One of Caligation)

You can pre-order her book, now from iTunes or Amazon.
Number3.png

There is my book, number 3 (it has dropped to 4 now) and that is another thing. Each Amazon site is separated from the others on how they rank. On this one, I am, ranked as third while on UK Amazon I am like rank 78. Not that I am complaining, it is just you don’t get a clear idea how you are going and where you should direct your marketing.

So these reviews will be coming from multiple sites.

Let us start with Goodreads!

D. Scarlet rated it 5/5: it was amazing
I enjoyed the second book in the Fablelands Series even more than the first as my understanding of the arcs became clearer. Also, I really enjoyed Briana’s brutal brand of honour! You go, girl!!!

KStar rated it 5/5 it was amazing
The second in the series makes me ask more questions, I am looking forward to reading more of this series

Kathryn B. rated it 5/5 it was amazing
I enjoyed Briana: Knight (Fablelands#2). A bit darker than ‘Kayla’ – The dialogue and interplay between the characters drew me into the story. Waiting for the next one!


Kevin C rated it 5/5 it was amazing

Sage rated it 4/5 really liked it
Love the serial format, how the characters work off each other and the core story concept. Quick read, enjoyable, and looking forward to the next one.
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet

By Steven S. on 16 July 2017

Thoroughly enjoyed this short and thrilling mini journey, some dark and fantastic moments with great descriptive storytelling. The story pulls you in immediately with the intrigue about the perilous situation at hand.

Amazon US:

on July 15, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the second book in the Fablelands Series even more than the first as my understanding of the arcs became clearer. Also, I really enjoyed Briana’s brutal brand of honour! You go, girl!!!


on July 6, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the second book in Samuel Colbran’s Arcs short story serial. I enjoyed the characters and the Arcs world he hints at in his first book, Kayla: Genius. In Briana: Knight, the world is explained further, and Briana is introduced with her strong Arc of valour, courage, nobility and strength. Don’t think that makes her hold back though: this teen is ruthless! I’m looking forward to the rest of the series, especially Sam: Trickster.

on July 17, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Love the serial format, how the characters work off each other and the core story concept. Quick read, enjoyable, and looking forward to the next one. Powerful character, Briana is the epitome of inner strength when she doesn’t always think she is. Really well-balanced novella.
And Finally Amazon Australia:


Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

There is much happening in this short story. A contest of wills and intrigue. This book is well written, would read more.

5.0 out of 5 stars loved it 🙂

5.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed Briana: Knight 

So I averaged 4.83 stars for all my reviews so far. A success!

Book cover was done by Julia of Shooting Star Shooter

First page of Kayla: Genius.

With my three five star reviews, I wanted to give my followers a little treat. The first page or so of Kayla: Genius

ByDebby Dale on July 2, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a great short story. The descriptions weren’t too complex but at the same time they weren’t the usual – I guess unique and intriguing is the best way to explain what I mean. There is a lot of mystery in the pages… At first there was just an unfamiliar captive, but I quickly got sucked into the story and found myself reading faster and faster as I became more invested in their outcome and eagerly sought out what happened next!

on July 6, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Great story. Loved the description of Kayla’s powers and the way the tension built, and the use of second person perspective. Looking forward to reading more about Kayla and the other arcs.

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

It has been a long time since I have read a story written in second person, and I will be honest and say that I was initially put off by this. However, it did not take long for the author to have me imaging that I was the main character, fully engaged in the story and anticipating what was to come. An enjoyable short story.

5.0 out of 5 stars Kayla. – very good read.

I found I was reading this book faster and faster. Great short story – held me right to the end. Could this be a prelim to a novel?

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome little read

Great Short Story, well written and easy to read has you engaged with the character and her fate, the story is mysterious and leaves you wanting to know more.

Goodreads reviewer rated it 5 stars – it was amazing

5/5: Kayla: Genius is one of the most intriguing reads, an excellent combination of simple and complex nuances where one can’t stop reading, I loved it.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in this Genre

5/5:  Loved this! it was intriguing and I am very much look forward to the rest of this series.

For the Amazon links head here.

Kayla: Genius, AU Link, CA Link, USLink, UK Link

 

21,092

The black nylon straps feel tight around your petite body. The bonds are tight around your throat, forehead and chest. You are glad that they position the straps just underneath your breasts. It is pointless to struggle. Tight enough for immobility, but not enough to cut off your circulation.

For twenty-one thousand and ninety-four seconds, you have studied the room. The use of counting ensures a calm disposition, allowing the maximum cognition to assess your situation. The walls are soundproof, with no windows, and a poured concrete floor. Not even a two-way mirror like you would see in bad 80’s cop shows. Just a plain laminate table, with an office chair on the opposite side that screams institution, lit by a single overhead light. Mounted on the table are two globes with a wire trailing off like electric entrails. Gnawing on the rubberized mouth plug, you consider the relative freedom of your middle fingers, and the smooth button under each one.

As you analyse the surroundings for the twentieth time, you consider the quantum flow of the room is fixed to four points. The door, the light and the two upper corners adjacent to the door. Hidden cameras are a certainty, it will be considerably harder to conceive of a plan while being watched.

Something about this room makes you curious of their understanding of the FableLands. You feel disconnected from the parallel world of Fablelands where myth and legend run amok. Your Arc Leonardo doesn’t feel fully connected to you. Why can’t you tap into the other place? Was it the Government or one of the Corporations that have been pursuing your group?

For six hours since you regained self-awareness, these thoughts have been percolating in your mind. The full mantle of Leo is unavailable. There is a faint access to some of the Arc, but it feels tenuous at best. Just remember you are the Arc of this Age, embrace that belief.

The infiltration was flawless as it was your brother’s plan. Yet a mistake was made. Someone must have been watching you and your friends planning this task, but who? Unless there is a traitor within your group or your family. Either option seems to be silly.

With a grinding noise, the apparently reinforced door opens. The sound gives it away. Whoever has taken you, they have created a lot of safeguards. They must have a fledgeling understanding of yours and your friends’ powers.

A man in a grey pinstripe suit walks in before the heavy door cycles closed with a resounding boom. From his body language, you can see that there is a self-discipline of all things. Yet a single drop of sweat beading down his cheek does not escape your notice, and this betrays his inner emotional state. Apprehension.

He is a cleanly shaven Caucasian man with an expensive haircut and a scent of rich cologne. As he sits in front of you, in his right hand is a bulging file, which he places on the table in front of him.

“Hope you are comfortable, the restraints have to stay on. For your own protection.”

Finally Published!

Last Saturday will go down in history as when Samuel Colbran was published, holidays will be created, songs will be sung and the people will celebrate in the streets about the success of this amazing man.,,,
Or I just published my first book.

I always thought it would have been my Journal of an Adventurer series be the first published but like all would be thoughts, it is not the case. After my pulling Lake Merrin ten days out before the print, there were still things that were planned and needed to happen. One was Supanova.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Supanova was the best experience from one of the worst mistakes I could ever make. The weekend was fun, but there was a resounding depression that clouded my judgement on these days. I was supposed to be published. Seeing how crap the day was financial to many authors, I dodged a bullet, but I did learn a lot on how to be successful. So win, win.

After ‘Nova, I was depressed, nothing could be said what I should be doing. My book, Lake Merrin just was sitting there, and not much else. Nearly was thinking of quitting being an author. Then something happened!

A fellow author was joining a panel for a local seminar, Writers Block. I thought why the heck not! So I went along, the main chat is how to be traditionally published, which I really don’t care about. No person will ever, ever tell me that my vision needs to change for the marketplace! Suggest, yes, but this is my creative baby, and I will fight tooth and nail to make it live!

Back to the the Block, great speakers learned a great deal. Then Nick Earls hopped up and started to talk. He has a PhD in literary and his thesis was Novellas. He has produced some top notch work, and I thought to myself, that can be done. A short story, those are some ideas I can work with.

Then I talked to Nick, and he opened a Pandora’s box of creativity! I told him about this idea that has been bubbling around in my head. The YA book. Then he said something to me that change my path, why not publish each one separately and then at the end bring them together as a bundle. Oh, my trucking truck! What a brilliant idea!

So I did, sat down, wrote Kayla: Genius in a couple of days, edited it, commissioned an artist, Julia, to do the cover and two weeks later published it on Kindle!

So I am published and will be releasing each of the six parts over the next few months.

Best idea ever!

As an added bonus here is the first paragraph of each book so far.

Kayla: Genius, AU Link, CA Link, US Link, UK Link

The black nylon straps feel tight around your petite body. The bonds are tight around your throat, forehead and chest. You are glad that they position the straps just underneath your breasts. It is pointless to struggle. Tight enough for immobility, but not enough to cut off your circulation.

Briana: Knight, Amazon’s link AU|CA|US|UK

My vessel Briana struggled fiercely against the chains that bound her hands and feet, feeling the metal digging into her skin. She wonders what went wrong? The plan was flawless, so, there must be another hand involved. If she just held our shining sword, she could free herself.

Ciro: Founder

Where do they think I am going? There is no need for restraints. Such a waste of energy. I can see that it is a standard interrogation room without the two-way mirror. If I were designing it, there would be at least two cameras in the corners.

Enjoy!

The new wonderful, marvellous Chapter Three!

Surviving that encounter was close. Though it will not be my last. Just another in a long line of being stabbed, beaten up, or straight up nearly murdered. I need a better day job. Still, I committed another act to protect my life, how will the Trinity see me when I leave this plane. Will I be one with It or will grabbed by Amordous of Abysuss. I might find out soon.

Enough thinking of that sort of thing.This was the day. I became an Adventurer …

One good thing about Lake Merrin, it is not hard to find your way around. Looking down at the dead and unconscious two. “You know Ratty; you do bleed a lot.” Spying a water barrel. “You should have just ignored me, and you still would be kicking.”

Once washed off I look at the Brute. Pull my knife out; the hand is shaking. I haven’t committed blatant murder since the army. I did hate being a scout, taking out sentries who were not aware of you was not fun.

Sheathing my knife. “You are lucky today, not starting a day off with a honourless murder.”

Turning, feeling a wetness on my cheek. Must have splashed me. Let me think, if I hop this fence, I could make it onto Market. And just a stone throw away is the Hall. Looking back at my two fallen foes, I give them a salute. Stupid but brave.

The hustle and bustle of early Market Street. The smells of baked goods, the fishmongers yelling out their wares and no Malik or Dock Boys. This is not their territory, it is for the Wilted Flower Gang, and they are more about the subtle approach to thievery. Pickpocketing and the like.

There is a team now, love seeing them in action. Four walk up and bump. They walk away with a poor sods wallet. Been on the end of that a couple of times, until I made them realise why I should not be messed with. Ratty and Brute-boy found out the hard way.

What a beautiful day. Living through that death trap, appreciating life, and now off to the Hall!

Is that a pie shop I spy, and it sells beer too? My lucky day. Lukewarm beer, questionable meat pie, and if I can join a Charter today as well, it will be the most perfect day ever!

Arriving at the Hall on the corner of Market and Coin. This place always gives me goosebumps. The feeling of history seeping into you. This is where the great heroes who made their names here, and the money to be had. Just being here makes me think I could be one of them.

Ancient banners, relics thought lost to time and chilled ale. There is always a sight to see. Some random people are beating on each other in the duelling pit. I like the look of the armoured one. Is that, no, couldn’t be, Order of the Shield?

What is a member of the Order of the Shield doing in here? I’ve only ever seen them on the battlefield. Once a prat, always a prat! Always ordering us around like we were nothing. I wonder why he is here? When you join, it is for life. Is he a Shield? The armour is a dead give away. But still, by the way, he is moving with that fellow with the hammer, I can see he has trained in their ways.

Half-breeds and other scum like me never had that level of training. We were wall-fodder, as long as we could swing a sword and not die, our commanders like Shield-Boy didn’t care. But being a halfie, gave me more opportunities than others. I now know

Nevertheless, I would still put some slips on him, no matter how much they are up themselves. Their skill with a sword is always top-notch. Now a travelling Halfling Bard has come in to share his talent—gotta love free music.

Best day of the week is the sixth one. Buy two cups of ale for the price of one. Such a bargain. It might even be cheaper once you are registered. So looking forward to that sixth day now! I do love me some beer or an excellent ale, as long as it is cheap or free.

In a wink of an eye, the fight is over, or was I thinking too long about beer? I’m too late to put any money down on the match. If I did, I would have won. Oh well, off to talk to the administrator.

Big hammer fellow is getting dragged past me by a tough-looking guy and—hold the presses! —It’s Lana from the Travellers. Wow, only heard stories about them. Are there any other members of that Charter here? Can’t wait to see all of them.

Oh my Trinity, there is a bloody line-up. Let’s play the waiting game. I played this game a lot in the army. We wait here; then we wait over there.

As long as you looked busy, the Captain didn’t care. But had to look busy when the Sarge was walking around. If you were wasting time, she would find something for you to do. She busted me slacking off all the time! The number of latrine holes she made me dig; marching drills for hours on end, that wasn’t fun; and I never saw her have a drop of grog ever—not even once!

Even if she was weird, I did learn a lot from her. Wouldn’t be here today if she didn’t save me from the wrong end of a sword. From that day, I always have one silent toast in her honour.

After a stroll down memory lane, I can only think of sixth day two for one. Wonder what that beautiful girl that I occasionally have relations with is doing?

I’m just standing here; there is no one in front. Thank you, tired brain, for making the queue go away.

I walk over, and the administrator looks at me and says in a raspy voice, coughing up phlegm, “Come on, lad, been watching you stand there doing nothing for five minutes now. What do you want?”

That was shocking. Five minutes? I shrugged. Oh well, no queue.

“Come on; I haven’t got all day to watch you daydream. If you don’t tell me what you want, I’m going to have to ask you to leave!”

I shake my head and apologise, “Sorry, was jumped by some goons earlier today. Must be a little frazzled still, or it could be the pie.”

I can see Royce is becoming a little annoyed.

“Sorry. You don’t care. Um, I’m here to sign up!”

He looks me up and down. “Do you wish to start a new Charter or do you want to apply for an opening in an existing Charter, if one is available?”

“Just wanting to pay Hall’s dues and put my name down for any open spots.”

I stood there just grinning.

“What’s so funny, boy? You look like some grinning idiot. Take this paperwork and fill it out. The annual fee is four gold slips.”

Every time I come into the Hall and ask about Charters, Royce gives me the same speech and then forgets me. Bloody senile human.

“This does not guarantee you a spot in a party, just allows you to apply for jobs and covers the administration of your documents …”

Wow, this guy can prattle on. I can’t stand listening to people who think they are smarter than me. Or annoying people. Like this guy, just talking about stuff that really doesn’t matter.

“And after you are done with that there—”

He suddenly stops and looks at me. “Did you hear anything I just said, boy?”

“Of course I did! All this paperwork isn’t going to do itself. Here are the four slips, and may I borrow a quill and well to finish this?”

As he passes the writing kit over, I spy an empty table. Time to fill out this unnecessary paperwork. Looking at the forms, there are some interesting questions. Place of birth, okay. Name, I can do that. Skills and ability, well, that will be a short list. I can swing a sword, take orders, march, and scout—can’t forget that one.

Being a half-breed, they just give you the ‘fun’ jobs. Okay, I can see in the dark—so? Bloody typical, racist lowlifes! I can ride a horse too. Well, my horse. I loved that horse. The only one that would come near me. Can’t remember its name now. Another typical fantastic trait of my half-breed background.

A bit of sand to help it dry and done! Back to Royce. Such a bothersome administrator.

“With all your lollygagging, I thought this would take you longer.” He smiles and looks down at the form. “Let’s have a look at this … An army boy, haven’t seen that much.” He chuckles to himself. “This all seems in order. Here is your receipt. So, do you want your name in the pool for open Charter?”

“So, no Charters are looking for anyone? Willing to do any sort of job, even if they don’t want a new signing member. Ready to be signed on for a job or two.”

Royce says, “I have a group upstairs looking for a few members. I can put your name down, but …” He pauses to point to a strong Folk and then to an armoured knight from the pit before. “Those men seem to be more experienced than you. You are—no offence—a bit on the medium side.”

Wow, try being told that you are pretty much useless—well, average. Mela, Jara, Jenell! When I served, I might not have been the cream of the crop, but I still wasn’t one of those ‘special’ cases, who didn’t know their left from their right. They were good for one thing: following orders, as long as you took the time to explain it to them thoroughly.

“Come on. Okay, I’m not like that knight in shining armour or that savage, but don’t dismiss me. There must be people looking for someone, even just a body to fill a sentry spot.”

“Come back in a few days, see if any other parties are coming through these parts.”

Such a waste of time. I turn to leave, but Royce is still talking. “Well, there is one job on the Board. I don’t think they will mind too much for a solo to petition for this job!”

He coughs a little, and I think, Wow, do all older men have a phlegm factory in the back of their throat?

“As I was saying, the town Watch patrol is looking for bodies to fill the rank for an upcoming tour of the Duke. Three days’ work, good pay, and they aren’t too worried about experience.”

Well, it is a job from the Hall. Beggars can’t be choosers, or is it lazy people like money, hmm?

“This would help me get out of a jam. Put my name down!” I exclaim. “So, what are the chances of me getting this job?”

Royce looks up. “I send over the parties that wish to do the job. I put you as ‘Lone Solo’. Not much of a name, but it will do.” He’s doing that old man chuckle; more phlegm and coughing than laughter. “They seem a bit rushed with this, so your chances are good.”

“You put me down as a party named Lone Solo? Okay, it is pretty stupid, but if it gets me some slips, then I’m fine with it.”

The revised Chapter Two

One person or persons if you count Jimmy, is Malik, that thankless mother-son. During over that three months, he made my life a living Abyssus. I’m glad he isn’t around anymore.The Dock Boys who I feared became a source of a joke. I wonder if they are still around?

“Look what we have here, boys.”

Malik, that son of a motherless goat! Even with his steel grey hair and stubbled face, he is still a young-looking man.

“Where you be going, me boyo? Don’t you owe me boys some money, and interest to boot? Jimmy, how many slips does this fine gentleman owe us?”

Jimmy is Malik’s second, and as black-hearted as his rotting teeth. I’m not sure what sewage pipe he spawned from, but he smells like he looks.

Jimmy starts to speak, and I am nearly knocked out by his putrid breath. “Boss-man, this white-bred owes you three gold slips, eight silver, and five copper, plus forty percent,” he says, smiling at Malik.

Damn, damn, damn! That’s everything I have on me. Most of it was going to pay for my registration in the Hall today.

“Come on, boyo, cough up now or … well, I don’t need to tell you what will happen.”

Surrounded by these grinning fools, my stomach rebels at the rancid smell of their tightly packed bodies. Need room to think. Wish I was a more quick-witted person. Just need some more breathing room. Where, where?

Looking around, the crowd parts, and a Watch patrol walking towards me. Oh, what luck! The Trinity smiles upon me today!

Starting to move toward the patrol slowly. “Malik, I understand that you might have felt that I have been giving you the slip on paying my dues, but as you can see I am a poor man and do not wish for any trouble—”

With that, I do what army men call a ‘tactical retreat’, which in layman’s terms is running away.

The closer I am to the patrol, the quicker Malik isn’t a problem. Now they come into sight. Now I understand why I notice them. It was Zlata Madyson! Such a corrupt bitch! That woman’s stare can make a bull stop charging. She would pin me down, allow these lads to kick me within an inch of my life, then throw me in jail and call me a public nuisance.

Being a half-breed like Zlata, I can understand what it feels like to be hated by your non-Elven parent. My father was a merc who knocked up my mother during those magical two weeks of fertility with Elves—and voila, me.

Zlata is a half-breed I don’t easily recognise. She is broad, tall, and tanned, with a ‘cute’ upturned nose. I wish she wouldn’t take her aggression out on me all the time—we are both half-breeds!

Saying a quick prayer to the Trinity, Pushing through the crowd, I run across Route, turn left, jump a fence, run down an alley, turn right, and cross another street into—damn it—a dead end. Should this be called Dead-End Place?

When will it be my lucky day?

Three Dock Boys have been close on my tail. I am not sure of their names, but I can tell that I had an impact on them. Ha, impact, I kneed one and sucker punched the other.

They run down the side street and corner me. The grinning brute in the middle is first to speak. “It seems you took a wrong turn! I owe you for that cheap shot from before, lucky us that you found such a perfect place.” This gets a laugh out of the other two.

“Come on, dung-head, give us your money, and we’ll let you off with just a beating!”

A beating? “And if I don’t?”

I leave the question hanging. Another of the Dock Boys responds, with a warbling voice to match his pinched rat-like face, “Well, you see, we might just kill you a bit.”

Another laugh.

Help me, Trinity, these thugs are some street jesters.

“So you are saying that if I give you money, I get a beating. If I don’t, you are going to kill me a little bit. I know this is a stupid question, but how do you kill someone a bit?”

The brute with a swelling cheek look at me and draw his knife. Lucky me, Brute-by will just go ahead and show me. Such a fortuitous day!

“Okay, okay, let’s slow this down. I really don’t need to see what being killed a little bit looks like,” I laugh nervously. “I have some of the money. I’m heading off—”

The last one interrupts. He is about as pretty as my morning movement. (Yes, now they have all spoken. I wonder if I win a prize … I hope it’s not a stabbing.) “Well, dung-head, I don’t think Malik would be happy with a part payment. We will have to bring him your ear, nose, and … say, one of your hands as well. How does that sound? That might pay back my issues for the pain you caused.”

Okay, I kicked you in the Hammers but really! With the other two drawing knives, I think to myself; I’m such a dead man! This blind alley is hopefully not my end.

A glint of metal—I sense it more than I see it. Throwing myself out of the way, the brute still manages to stab me! Not feeling the trickle of blood or light of head, I realise it must have been blocked by the Jack of Plate—my fantastic armour!

The brute boasts, “See, boys, he is quaking in his boots! Dung-head, you got lucky that time—”

Seeing an opening, I lunge, smashing the side of his head with a hammer-like strike. He falls to the ground in a stunned heap. Seeing the other two, I growl at them, hoping to scare them off. They counter my growl with more intimidating noises, akin to alley cats fighting over a five-day-old fish. “You fell for another sucker punch?”

Drawing my knife. No time to think. It is time for me to go on the attack. Ratface jumps over his comrade at me! Foolish. Something the Sergeant taught me flashes in my mind: ‘Always have your feet on the ground!’

Moving forward, I take his attack on my forearm and return a straight stab to his gut. That’s right, piggy, squeal! If it weren’t for rat-face, I wouldn’t have wasted an ale!

Standing over the two fallen foes, I point my knife at last. Heart racing but my knife hand is steady. I show no apparent weakness. I ask him, “So, are you going to use that or just stand there pissing yourself? Or are you just waiting for your Hammers to drop again?” I see his raw anger. I don’t care if he accepts the bluff!

Backing off, he says, “Okay, dung-head, you win this one. But next time I won’t go easy on you!” He quickly turns and runs away.

I thought that was easy enough. Then again it was close. So this is what luck feels like. I assess the cut on my forearm. Need to patch this up. It’s not too deep, that’s good. Just a piece of cloth to tie it off.

Looking at the two on the ground, I wonder what they have on their persons. Rubbing my hands together. Spoils of war and all. Two good knives and some slips. Such a lucky day. Enough to pay off Malik and a little more to get a room, so I’m not stabbed while I sleep. Just have to figure out a way to pay Malik without being killed in the process.

At least I’m not too far away from Route Street so that I can get back onto Market but might be easier just skip Route, the last thing I want is to still be in Dock Boy’s territory.

My heart is racing too much for me to go into the idiotic naming of the streets. I mean, really! Market to Route, then Fish, and finally Dock. Oh well.

Need to calm down. What am I going to do with this lot?

Chapter One (New)

With my rewrites, only you can read it because either you are a subscriber or you have brought my book. Feedback would be appreciated and thank you for being patient with me. For my previous version head to this link here.

And here is the new chapter two and three.

Twenty-third of Harvest, 1007 FK

Within two weeks I will be on the front line. Fighting an enemy that has powers beyond our imagination! It reminds me something I read in school about the end of the Massacre of Magic, the invasion of those Beasts and their shambling rotten minions! I would never have thought what we stumbled upon in Greywalker Reach, would change my life forever.  How could the Earl and his soldiers miss this?  Earl Feo has a lot to answer for! The bloody forts are just three days ride away!

Beating a dead horse, or in this case a dead Favinonian rising again. I need to not to worry about this. Still, can’t believe even the assassinations, the rebellion and all those weird- I don’t have much time to write this, and that is stuff that is a waste of time!

I survived Greywalker Reach, not sure if I will survive this war. But people need to know where it all started. That town, where I meet my ‘family’, Lake Merrin.

Now we are heading to the war to end all wars. I regret so many things: Friends dying, losing the love of my life, and most of all, meeting that monster Zlata! After Greywalker, I now know where she came from. Holy Saints of the Trinity save us.

Well, the best thing to do is start when it all began, just two years ago, when I came to Lake Merrin. Back then I was a nobody, and all I cared about was money, women, and grog. Or was it grog, more grog and lots of grog, and paying for women? I was a wastrel. A scoundrel who only cared about himself and the next drink!

How do things change? My story is one of change, as Favinonia changed, and the adventuring Hall in Lake Merrin. That’s where it all started. 

Should I start when I come to the town or three months later when I got off my arse to sign up? Arse-off, by Jenell’s Book I was lazy! What, was I doing? Oh yeah, having that quiet drink in that dingy inn, the Anvil and Musket on the docks of Lake Merrin; I can’t believe how it changed my life…

What a beautiful day on Lake Merrin, that morning breeze off the Lake. Still, don’t understand why the Lake is named Lake Merrin as well. That makes as much sense as the street names.

Was the town named after the Lake or was the Lake named after the city. Who cares     Time for my liquid breakfast!

Why did I choose this place, black mould, greasy windows and cockroaches as big as my fist? But it is two silver slips a week, can’t complain about the Anvil and Musket. What is a Musket?

Coming down those rotten steps, I smell Bruce before I could see him. I love his aftershave, a mixture of sweat, vomit and ale. The reason I need to drink my worries away.

“Greeting, good barkeep. Can I have your finest ale? Hold the roaches or rat droppings.”

Laughing at myself, I am really on today!

He looks up at me, “It’s you. Rent’s due!”

Please to see you too Bruce. “I know, I know. Um, can I make it up later today?”

“Do I have to get Malik to talk to you again?”

That son of a motherless goat! “No, Bruce you do not. Here.” Two more notes are gone, I need a job. “My ale?’

I can see something running around on the bottom of my mug, Bruce looks at it and just shakes it out. Jara’s Hammer that is so wrong.

“Can I have a cleaner glass, Bruce? It looked like two roaches were making babies in the bottom of it.”

“Bloody stuck up white-back!” Love being a half-breed, have so many nicknames. He grabs another glass. “Five copper!”

Holding my glass of pure heavenly gold, and shoving his other hand in my face.What? So if I had that other one, it would have cost me one copper note? Handing over a fiver. “One thing Bruce, what is a musket?”

He smiles, last night’s food still stuck in his teeth. He pulls a weird weapon from beneath the counter. I assume it is a weapon, metal tube, connected to a club. Points the tube at me.“Want to find out what it does too, or you are going to piss off?”

No idea why you point a tube at me, the club is scarier, with his oversize arms, my head would be crack after one blow.“Nope, I’m good!”

Puts it back under the bar as I walk away. Not sure what it does, don’t want to find out. Where to enjoy this weak piss ale? Ah, my friendly neighbourhood drunk, Stinky Pete. Don’t know his real name as he seems to be asleep most of the time. But is a great listener.

“Hey, Pete.” Sitting down in this booth, I can smell he has pissed himself again. Mela’s sacrifice he is in a bad way this morn. “Don’t need a hug today, we are the best of friends aren’t we?”

Pete’s reply is quite fragrant if it isn’t out one end it is always the other. “So Pete, what should I do today?”

He coughs and pukes a little more. “Yeah, I know. I spent five years in the army to gain my citizenship, everything I did I just want to forget. Now I am a free citizen and free to live my life. Can do whatever I want       Pete, my friend, what am I going to do?”

He does take his time to answer, mouth flutters as he lets out a huge breath. “Well, my funds are not going to last me long, with pissing off Bruce all the time or dealing with Malik and the Dock boys.”

By his snoring, I know Pete understands.”It is the same thing every day, find a labouring job earn money to then be taken away the Dock Boys. Bloody Malik and his second, Jimmy always finds out when I have money.”

This conversation needs a drink. Ah, my amber brew! “Oh, cause you know Pete, they demanded my money to pay back the last loan with interest. Then Malik in his element turns around and lends me money so I can survive. Not much I can do.”

I can see Pete is pondering my last statement. “You are right, Pete! Unless you are a knight, in the military, or a registered Adventurer, the law isn’t always around to protect you. They are the only ones allowed to carry arms or wear armour. And then I don’t have to put up with their nonsense.”

Pete lifts his leg and lets out a terrible fart; I drown my nose in the sweet elixir of my ale. As he finishes and should be proud, my ale has finished. “Pete you have out did yourself as well, shouting me a drink.” Grabbing his pouch off his belt, there is one silver slip inside, enough for two drinks. “I’ll grab you one as well, Pete, don’t you worry!”

Glad that to be moving back to the bar, allowing it to air. Don’t call him Stinky Pete for anything. “Bruce, couple more ales!”

“Sure.” I think it was sure; there were a ‘s and e’ in his grunt.

I will be looking forward to one day being a proper place, maybe with a beautiful woman cooking me dinner.

“Thanks, Bruce, keep the change!”

Not like there is any but better to pretend he isn’t ripping me off. Pete is still sleeping, dropping his glass in front of him, I take a long draw of my ale. The best thing for the morning, a good lukewarm brew!

As I drop my drink, I spy my lady ‘friend’ coming down the stairs. She looks at me and waves. What is her name again? Cin or Bel? Damn it.  “Hey, there handsome.” Grabbing Pete’s ale and having a long swig. “I woke up, and you weren’t there.”

Cin or Bel? She is staring at me. “Sorry, Love, I wanted to come down and have some breakfast.” Shaking my half empty cup. “Have I told you lately how beautiful you are?”

Well, it is a stretch, with her acne and scabby skin but she is cheap and warm. I think she is blushing, but I can’t tell. “You are embarrassing me.”

“It is part of my charm.” As she walks off to her ‘pimp’ Bruce, I smack her on her arse. Turning back to Pete. “Sorry about that Pete, I get you another drink later. So what were we talking about?”

Pete lets out a loud snore. “Oh yes, thanks, Pete. Watch is out of the question, and I am never going back to the army. So I could head west to the City States, join a mercenary band like my ‘dad’ was a part of. But again that is too army and those encounters I had with rogue groups    

I can see Pete is uncomfortable about this, me too. “So Merc band is out, City Watch is out, Army is out, so Pete what is left?” he shrugs, I think. “That means there is only one option, join the knighthood!”

Standing up branding my cup like a sword. I laugh Pete ‘laughs’. “Yeah, could you imagine that, me being part of the Duke’s Shields? Bloody Jara, they have stuck up prigs.”

The creaky front door swings open, Bruce needs to oil that. And for Jara’s Hammer, it is a Dock Boy. It the rat-face one, not sure what his name is but he is always in that huge group that corners me. If we were one on one “Ah, it seems that is time for me to go, Pete.” Ratty sneers at me and forcefully flings the door open and runs out. “You are right Pete; the only answer is becoming an Adventurer. I guess I’m off to the Hall.”

Jara, Mela, Jenell, what horrible timing. Thought I would be not seeing them all week, they have been thick as thieves with that rogue charter, Fellowship of the Sword. I hate that group, Ex-Duke’s Shield Helmut and his thugs, love killing people for fun and money. I don’t want to be on either list.

Running up those rotten stairs into my room, so I’m glad that there is a back door, won’t be caught by the Boys. What do I need, my peace-bound sword, my armour vest; my Jack, some knives and done. Where is my slip pouch of savings? Ah yeah in my dirty underwear, glad I have the foresight to hide money.

Now I need to avoid the dock boys if I can make it onto Route, avoiding Fish and Dock as that is their territory. There are three back streets, to get to Route Street. Avoiding the morning crowds or would it to be better to blend in?

Glad I was trained to be a scout in the army. Is there anyone in this next alley, great there is a Dock Boy. What to do? Bold is best in this. “Hey, what are you doing here? Doesn’t Malik have you lot on the docks every morning?”

He turns to me and bunches his shoulder, bunch anymore, and he’ll rip his shirt. “Oi, you stay right here.”

He starts sauntering toward me. Drawing my dagger behind my back and hold it in my fist. He grabs me, and I smash him across the face, and he drops to his knee. I step around him and run.

So only rat-face and Brute-boy have seen me, only one more lane and I’m blending into that morning crowd.

And I run into a smell that is worse than my morning movement after a night of drinking. “You .”

Yes me, and here is a knee to your ‘Jara’s Hammers’.

There it is, carts, fish, market goods, fishmongers, a crowd best place to blend. Hearing a call out as I leave the alley. “There he is, Malik!”

The crowd parts, and that son of a thankless mother, Malik! Thank you so much, faceless mob.

 

Terminology or is it a Glossary?

With my upcoming print and ebook, Lake Merrin n the verge of coming out I thought it was time to ‘spoil’ a couple of things for the book. First off is the Terminology of Favinonia. People have asked me what is the ‘FK’ mean or who is this Jara, Mela or Jenell? Simple these are common words that need no explanation, like ‘Hey, that is a dog!’ or ‘Could you throw a shrimp on the barbie!’ or even ‘G’day mate, how are you goin’?’
So without further ado, here is my Terminology/glossary!

Terminology

Abyssus: This is the dark underworld of Favinonia, where all evil is born. The White Aspect of the Trinity warns of a time the devils and demons of the Abyssus will rise again and take this world. It is also a common swear word used by the crass.

 

Adventurer: A person specially registered to work within Favinonia’s borders. It carries many responsibilities, including: permission to carry weapons; the ability to take jobs from the Hall; and compulsory enlistment in times of crisis.

 

Amsul: The name of the world Favinonia resides in.

 

Beast Races: Description of beast-like humanoids from Havanti. They are ruled by dragon-like Balauron.

 

Blue: Aspect of law and knowledge. This aspect controls the courts and oversees the libraries. People of an academic background follow this aspect of the Trinity. Saint Jenell—the word-smith; incorruptible; fact-finder—represents the Blue Aspect.

 

Charter: A group of Adventurers with a mission statement and guidelines for their group. An official record is kept at the Hall that outlines each Charter’s mission statement, history, and reputation.

 

College of Magi: An ancient order of Favinonian magic-users. All types of magic are learned here, except for necromancy, or ‘magic of the dead’. Their primary goal is to revitalise the knowledge of the arcane, which was lost during the Massacre of Magic.

 

Common swear words: In polite society, these words are not used (but from time to time, even the most civil tongue will slip). Common swear words include: slip-sucker, copper-pincher, skinflint, tinker’s dam, Jara’s hammer, and son of a motherless goat. Some people may also invoke the saints (Jara, Mela, Jenell) or the Trinity.

 

Dwarf: Dwarves are the traders and merchants of Favinonia. Family is everything to the Dwarf, as only family can be trusted with commerce. They are open to customers, even friendly, but Dwarves have an underlying culture of profiteering.

 

Elf: Elves are an uncommon race in Favinonia. Their origins are rife with mystery. Most know that they originated from a large jungle in the south. Most are primitive, but have a knack to evolve and adapt to new environments. As they are not true citizens of the kingdom, most find work as scouts, hunters, and farmers in rural regions. However, because of their selective fertility period, many end up as prostitutes; both male and female. At the Height of Truth, their hair turns the purest white, which indicates they are fertile; conception is guaranteed at that time.

 

FK: Foundation of Kingdom; how many years since the foundation of Favinonia.

 

Favinonia: The land of human origin, comprised of seven different states: The Core; Western Duchy; Southern Earldom; Northern Electorate; Eastern March; Northern Colonies; and the Eastern Expanse.

 

Folk: (also known as Lizard-folk) A scaly race from the great swamp of Favinonia’s southern border. They are related to the Elf race, indicated by their similar features, such as their pointed ears and facial characteristics. Their mane of feathers, akin to hair, changes colour depending on their mood. (Beware of a Folk with bright scarlet feathers!)

 

Green: Aspect of agriculture and life/death. Toilers of the ground and healers of the sick. Saint Mela—the plague-ender; life-giver; and first saint—represents the Green Aspect. People who follow this aspect give thanks to the first saint for bringing the Trinity to Favinonia.

 

Gnome: Once this race was connected to the mystical, but now they are enthralled with technology. They have a boundless interest in how elements work together and react to one another; they are also very interested in what makes them explode.

 

Halfling: The Halflings are a nomad race. Some travel in small houses on wheels or barges that can traverse the multiple rivers in Favinonia. If you are drawn to discover what is on the other side of the next hill, you may begin to understand the need that drives all Halflings to keep moving.

 

Half-breed: The forgotten children of Elves and the good folk of Favinonia. These individuals have become one of the fastest-growing races in the land. As they are a constant reminder of the indiscretions of many citizens, they are despised by their parent race. Most half-breeds are wanderers, often seen in the most squalid parts of society. Slurs include: white-back, Truth-spawn, white-bred, and she-bop.

 

Hall: Established around 100 FK to cope with the bounty of the goblinoid races, the Hall has now become the administration headquarters for Charters, Adventurers, and the Job Board.

 

Havanti: The Eastern land; shrouded with mystery, ruled by ten clans, and the home of the Beast Races.

 

Lake Merrin: The largest fresh water lake in Favinonia. Also the name of the main town in the northern province of Western Duchy. The current ruler is Count Darel Isenhart.

 

Massacre of Magic: A period of time in early Favinonian history that caused the indiscriminate slaughter of all magical creatures. The Massacre of Magic spanned over a century.

 

Months: There are 13 months with 28 days. The months are (in order): Founding; Peace; Builder;  Sage; Orange; Iron; Blue; Invention; Green; Harvest; White; Trinity; and Truth.

 

Orange: Aspect of retribution and protection. This aspect oversees the protection of Favinonia’s wellbeing, and ensures swift retribution to those who hurt the innocent. Saint Jara—the hammer; demon-slayer; husband of Saint Mela; and protector of the innocent—represents the Orange Aspect. The law allows the Orange Holy Order to use whatever force necessary to protect Favinonia.

 

Order of the Shield: The Duke’s Guard; named after the relics of the past. Most members also have positions as commanders in the Favinonian Army.
The Trinity: The one true God of Favinonia. Everyone worships one aspect of the Trinity: Blue, Green, or Orange.

 

Western Duchy: (also known as the Iron Dukedom) The land north-west of Favinonia. Its responsibility is to guard the country against the Wild Lands and the Great Wall to the north. Three words to describe the people of Western Duchy: honourable, stalwart, and duty-bound. The current ruler is Duke Trahern Isenhart III.

 

Western City States: An unofficial alliance of city-states to the west of the Wild Lands. Mainly a seafaring race, the Western City States are run by guilds, mercenary companies, and merchant princes. It has little land to grow food. For many years it was the only trade route to the eastern country of Havanti.

 

University of Engineers: The most learned place in Favinonia. The great minds of technology gather here to teach and research new and exciting ways to improve life, without the use of magic. Fields of study include: medicine, biology, pharmacy, chemistry, and physics. The newest innovation from the University of Engineers is steam and electricity.

Chapter One | Chapter Two| Chapter Three | Chapter Four | Chapter Five

To buy your copy head to samuelcolbran.com