Hi everyone 🙂 As promised, here is the edited version of chapter one, Lost At Sea, from my upcoming novel, Atolovus.
Her face pales as she looks away toward the white double doors in the opposite wall from them. “Last I knew somewhere below on the field, Vaulkner. Your brothers left suddenly this morning with a group of dwarfs from Battlement Mesa, the last forty nine knights from Cavansil, and of course, Preypacer and Magellan.” Her trembling voice grows faintly distant as she continues. “Something about expecting a new wave of attacks by our remote, underground cousins.”
Draconis and Vaulkner lock eyes with each other, and then in unison, they turn back toward Akiri.
“Tell me they were not foolish enough to leave Master-Wizer Tau elsewhere!”
“No, Vaulkner, of course not!” She answers with a hint of offense. “While Terrel appears beset with displeasure over the man, Master-Wizer remains the most competent of all the slaves we rescued from the last dark mage we defeated. I would say Terrel rather loves him as a son. Of course, we shall rot before such admission should ever be pried from his heart.” Vaulkner and Draconis chuckle.
“And Hanisen?” Vaulkner asks.
“Oh, he and Master-Wizer are like brothers. Hanisen takes Master-Wizer everywhere with him now, and why wouldn’t he? It’s not as if they don’t have their share of enemies—not to mention competing guilds. Besides, we only use Master-Wizer for the most important tasks now, and his finest student, Mageslayer, is exceeding all expectations.”
“Yes,” Draconis nods, “In fact, just three days ago, I . . .” The double doors at the opposite end of the room burst open amid sudden shouts of alarm.
Vaulkner leaps to his feet encased in scraped and dented silver-white full-plate armor. He spins around using the back of the chair as a tower shield while he swings a great ax around in his right hand placing it before him.
Queen Akiri slides to her right, nocking two arrows, and simultaneously brings them to bear on the quivering invader as her eyes widen.
Towering over the other two, Draconis floats left, pointing his staff in the invader’s direction as seven guards, each standing around the room against the walls in gold scale armor, leap forward, cutting off the rear half of the room as they line up across the chamber. The guard’s pikes lower into a tight crescent of shiny points. Their four brothers–in-arms near the door pin their intruder’s head to the floor as their pike’s points press against the back of his neck.
Instead of an assassin or some darker enemy, they all stare down at a farm boy who could not have lived more than fourteen full turns of dragonkind. He is wrapped in a blood-spattered chain mail shirt with loose and torn rings while a rusty helmet with several dents and fissures nearly swallows his head. Still holding a bloody short sword in his right hand, he drops his eyes to the floor wide-eyed and terrified.
“Forgive me, My Lord,” the boy begs in a muffled and shaky voice, “I’ve been sent to inform you that your brothers are in grave