Today’s excerpt is from the upcoming release LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE: THE COMPASS KEY. Coming to Amazon Kindle in August!
The screams and hisses are a symphony to Delvin’s ears as he cautiously walks through the fog. He is thankful for the cover that Nyx created, but he can hear that the other warriors are having trouble. Most of the fighting sounds like people are stumbling into each other by accident. Arrows sail overhead to hit the far side of the fog where the warriors have been told to avoid. Delvin stops wandering and stands ready for anything, his shield in front of his chest and his longsword held loosely at his side.
“Come on. I’m not going to play hide and seek like everyone else,” Delvin whispers, hoping to draw some attention to himself.
A dying scream erupts from his left as one of his fellow warriors is killed. Delvin is about to rush in that direction when the sound of heavy footfalls in the mud draws his attention. A black-scaled giltris comes into view a few inches ahead, its sword pointed forward in a blind charge. The giltris barely has time to notice Delvin before he blocks the sword with his shield and stabs it in the chest. Its lean body topples to the side and its black tongue lolls out of its toothy mouth.
“I’m really going to have to discuss large battle tactics with Nyx,” Delvin says with a small chuckle. “Maybe she simply doesn’t know about precision casting. I’ve met a few casters who couldn’t cast anything smaller than a massive fireball. In fact, I’ve had to kill a few in battles and it really isn’t as hard as you think. Those big spells take so long to cast that it’s easy to rush them. Is anybody listening?”
A grin crosses his face as more giltris are attracted to his rambling. More screams come from his left, but all of the giltris are approaching from either the front or his right. He sees the tip of a spear before the owner looms into view. Jumping back, he hears the spear scrape against the breastplate. Two more giltris rush out of the fog with axes held high, only to crash into their spear-wielding friend. Delvin beheads one of the axe-fighters and slams the edge of his shield into the neck of the other. Gurgling for air, the giltris falls backwards, leaving its stomach open for an easy slash. Delvin looks down at the final giltris only to find that it is already lying dead with a snapped neck.
“That’s disappointing,” he mutters before another scream cuts through the air. “I’m getting really sick of that.”
Sparks sputter from a nearby fire pit, briefly illuminating the silhouette of a very large giltris. Delvin charges in the silhouette’s direction and holds his shield in front of him. He adjusts the shield in the hopes of hitting the giltris in the stomach. He slams into the scaly hide of the towering lizardman as the fog is whipped away by a strong wind. Delvin lands on the remains of two warriors, but the giltris only stumbles sideways for a few steps.
“Foolish meat,” the giltris growls. A membranous fin rises from its head as it licks its lips in anticipation.
“You must be the Tribe Baron,” Delvin says with a nervous laugh. He rolls away from the giltris’s trident and struggles to his feet. “Damn breastplate makes it hard to move like that. You wouldn’t be willing to give me some time to adjust, would you?”
“Chatty meat,” the giltris snarls, charging with the axe in its other hand held above its head. It swings down and strikes Delvin’s shield, sending the warrior to his knees.
Delvin stabs the giltris in the thigh and pushes the axe away. Rising to his feet, the warrior slams the hilt of his longsword into the giltris’s elongated mouth. The towering creature stumbles back, flailing its weapons to keep Delvin away. He waits for the trident to swing wide before darting in to slash the giltris in the side. It leans away at the last moment, so his longsword barely cuts the outer layer of scales. Delvin notices the axe swinging for his head and can only jump to make sure it strikes his breastplate. The impact cracks the tempered metal and sends him flying into the mud.
“You general,” the giltris hisses, crouching and cautiously circling Delvin. “Others die too fast. You strong and worthy of honor.”
“You’re a great warrior too,” Delvin says, getting to his feet and bowing to the giltris. “I really don’t want to kill you. Do you think you and your tribe could stand down?”
“No. We fight to end once battle start,” the giltris declares. It aims its trident for Delvin’s throat and sneers. “Unlike humans, we love battle.”
“Obviously, you haven’t met some of my old friends.”