Lord Valmour ‘Val’ Elfren
Elf, lord of Aruam Castle, first appeared in chapter 05 of Shadows in the Stone
Spicy aromas filled Lord Valmour Elfren’s senses. His eyes squeezed shut, he imagined the kitchen of his youth spilling forth delectable foods that would carry him through his day. He reached for a long, narrow loaf of bread, twisted around itself and sprinkled with green spices and smelling of garlic.
The hunger sensation intensified, and he squeezed the bread tightly, searching for his siblings, who if they appeared would snatch it from his hands and run. He bit into the warm, fresh bread and savoured the taste. A sound startled him, and he held the bread tighter, squeezing it in his grip for fear it would be stolen.
Lord Val chewed feverishly, swallowed quickly, then took another bite of the bread motionless in his clutches. He held tighter as if the bread fought to escape. His breath quickened as he maintained the loaf at arm’s length. He would not release it. His eyes, still squeezed shut, began to burn. Liquid seeped through his closed lids and slid down his cheeks. His head swooned with effort, and he lost his balance, staggering sideways.
At the last moment, he opened his eyes and caught himself before falling. The sight before him froze him in place. A young elf, much like him in his youth, sprawled dead on the floor at his feet. The kitchen he had envisioned became a room in the Aruam Castle tower. Scattered across the floor were sheets of torn paper and what remained of book. A discarded dagger lay amongst the litter.
Lord Val thought to alert the guards, but a sharp pain caused him to stumble and clutch his side. When he regained his footing, he found blood on his hands. Had this man struck him, and if so, who had killed him and left him here?
Castle Keepers Vignette: Almost five years has passed since Isla was kidnapped and Bronwyn left Maskil in search of her. In many ways, not much has happened; the inhabitants of the Land of Ath-o’Lea have continued their daily routine. But if you look deeper into the individual lives you’ll see much has changed in little ways.
The Castle Keeper vignettes provide a glimpse into the time betweenShadows in the Stone and Scattered Stones. You’ll have already met many of the characters, but some you will meet inScattered Stones.
These vignettes won’t be complete stories, only 300 words of a moment. I consider them exercises in writing and editing. I hope to write two a week and post them on Mondays and Thursdays as we lead up to the release of Scattered Stones, the second fantasy novel of the Castle Keepers series, on May 6, 2016.
The collection of vignettes will be organised on the Castle Keepers Vignettes page. On the first of each month, I will post the schedule of the characters I will write about that month.