Okay. Here we go. I’ve got a draft of a blurb for Oath of God:
They call themselves Immortals.
They have supplanted the old, faded gods of Adran, murdered the ancients of Ebenell and have sought to insinuate themselves into every facet of the Jaradran culture.
Kama watched her world burn on the orders of a vengeful god.
They made one mistake.
Valdis sold his soul for a gram of Spice Tobacco and a long life.
Now his skill and sword are owned by an Immortal.
She wants him to kill a legend.
Valdis just wants an end to his misery.
Across the vast emptiness is the last spelled dragon.
Eros knows secrets the Immortals will kill to keep.
Will it be enough to restrain a god?
And here’s an excerpt from Chapter Two:
A scatter of stones and an erupting boulder shattered off to one side. Kama swerved to avoid the debris. She smirked. This one had spirit alongside his cache of charmed bombs.
The reek of sulphur and lingering after-effects of magic followed her for a time, until the Emptiness swallowed the scents and dried them out like it did flesh and bone, and hope.
The weight of a body smashed into her back, sending her tumbling. Grit pressed into her palms as she rolled to her feet and pushed her attacker away as he tried to take her down.
Smashing a kick to his abdomen, Kama left the man gasping and ran ahead. It wasn’t the time or the place for direct conflict. If he managed to keep up, she’d be mildly impressed.
Ducking underneath the tumbled portion of a statue, once part of a long line of stone soldiers that had guarded the walkway leading into the city, Kama sped past the broken ruin.
Using one of her own magical gifts, Kama pulled on reality and shortened the ribbon of the old road as if she were reeling in a cord of string. It was draining, but she fuelled the loss by drawing on her own reserves. She would pay for it later, but for now, she didn’t care.
The stranger was still tethered to her mind by a delicate skein of magical skill. Kama tugged him along like a puppy on leash. He wouldn’t know that. Her touch was feather light.
Within the haze of shifting dust and colliding sands, the partially wrecked East Gate leading into the desolated city of Ebenell reared into view. A colossus of weathered timbers.
Pushing her speed, Kama ran along the paved streets and through the stately quarters of the nobility. Desolated terraces of once opulent houses and grand temples, all tumbled to dust and scattered rubble laying waste across the dead earth, sucked dry by the foul curse of a vengeful god. The ornamental lakes had dried up, leaving behind their jutting trio of rocks, symbolising the mythic worlds of Immortals. Kama scowled. They should have stayed there.
Kama leapt from rock to weathered rock. In the past these would have been part of elegant gardens and meditation grounds, but now, like the abandoned houses, all was ruined.
Sliding down a gravel strewn incline, once verdant and green, but now lifeless, Kama stumbled beneath a stone gateway with a tiled roof. The main thoroughfare running through the city. Buildings lining either side of the paved walkway sagged on rotting frames, support posts weathered. The wood dull grey, dusted with pale sand, scoured by decades of neglect.
Kama tugged on the tether in her mind, linking her to the stranger who had tracked her from the mountains. She pulled a face. He was still there. Lagging. Breathless. His heart racing, but he moved steadily. Had her in his sights. Kama drew in her breath and continued.
There was no need to look back at her pursuer. His rasping breath was a guide to his position. Sounded as if he were about to keel over, but she knew that was childish thinking. Kama gritted her teeth. He hadn’t slowed or failed to find her since making her at the market.
Would he catch her? Well? Kama surged faster, pushing herself all the harder. The shadow of her pursuer stretched along the walls on either side of her as he raced to catch up.
He was game. Kama grinned as she dodged eroded debris from a broken cistern and massive shards of granite strewn across the weed choked paving of the central road leading to the heart of the city and its rabbit-warren system of interwoven streets, alleys and houses.
Kama passed the ruins of Amatera’s Sun Temple. Remains of gold-leaf and red paint were bright splashes of colour against the scorched walls of the war ravaged treasure houses.
Kama burst into an open space. A swirl of dust exploded, rising up to block her path. She went to dodge the storm, but the twisting funnel stayed with her and refused to budge.
Kama blew out a breath and glared. ‘This is all so stupid…I have no time for games!’
Sand and grit coalesced into the more solid form of Hadwan, now clothed in a simple tunic and trousers. His piercing blues eyes glittered hard and cold. ‘Who said I was playing?’
Glancing over her shoulder, Kama bit back a curse as her pursuer emerged from the gateway. His face was flushed, but he loped with practised ease across the intervening space.
Turning back to Hadwan, she gave him a dark look she hoped he was smart enough to read and take notice of.
Hadwan crossed his arms over his barrel chest and adjusted his stance. ‘You must learn when to run and when to fight.’
Kama snarled, twisted on her heel, meeting her pursuer’s blade with one of her own. Metal clashed in a typical meeting of steel on steel.
Kama’s curved tachi skimmed her attacker’s bulkier weapon in a downward motion, but only sliced across his wrist. He leapt back. Narrowed his eyes, reassessing his opponent.
Apparently, he was a quick learner. He came back. Motions quick, reflexive, deadly. He pushed her back a step. And another. Kama’s booted feet sliding in the loose packed dirt.
Pulling away, she gritted her teeth as a dark well of blood oozed between her thumb and forefinger. It was just a taste, but Kama moved to create more space. Even warier now.
The man’s bland expression creased into a tight grin. He pressed Kama into a corner, up against a crumbling wall. Sweat fell into her eyes, blurring her vision to a watery smudge. Her opponent’s sword flashed silver as it swept down to deliver her ending. She was dead.
The swordsman screamed. At least she assumed. It certainly wasn’t her voice.
Kama blinked. The man’s eyes wept blood and his face darkened as tendrils of pale smoke wafted up from his shoulders. His leather jerkin blackened and his shrivelled fingers released his weapon. The smouldering metal struck the ground and melted a patch of sand.
He’d been set alight. Kama swallowed. She wanted to look away, but her gaze was transfixed like it had been when her mother died. And just like that day she could do nothing.
Flesh melted. The man’s vocal chords could no longer sustain any sound. The silence reverberated with the memory of the man’s screams like the aftermath of an horrific echo and the mind-tether she had created snapped, leaving nothing but emptiness where the man’s consciousness had been. Kama’s tears ran freely. She had not known him, and yet the feeling of his death was like reliving her mother’s murder, but more intense and physically painful.
A man-shaped lump of charcoal dropped to the ground and collapsed, smoking lazily in the humid air. His crumbled body parts glowed like dull embers as the heat died away.
Just to show I am actually writing this story and not procrastinating, well no all the time! 🙂
As always comments welcome…