Jack Somerled

Jack Somerled

Human, explorer, first appeared in chapter 09 of Scattered Stones

“Knavesmire!” The rough voice hacked the name as if it were phlegm.

Jack Somerled’s ears twitched, but his body remained relaxed as his fork poked a potato and lifted it to his mouth. From his corner seat in the tavern, he had a clear view of the scraggly group of mixed-raced men hoarded around a table slinging ale and feasting on plates of meat.

“If he avers to have journeyed there, he’s peddling featherless fletching.” The heavily bearded human chuckled.

“I stated not that he’d journeyed,” said a hauflin, “only that he’d seen it.”

Edging“Many o’men have dreamt of the fabled land, but none set a foot in its dirt.”

The men roared with laughter, and the hauflin concentrated on his ration.

“Have no man seated ventured to the border and gazed towards Edging?” A middle-aged elf raised an eyebrow. “Not even for a peek at distant Knavesmire?”

The group fell silent with low grumbling replacing the once boisterous atmosphere.

“Few men have returned from excursions to Edging and none who ventured into The Crossing,” said a slight, light-haired human.

“All but one man.”

Everyone turned to the aged dwarf and waited for more.

“Clach Rothkin.”

A wad of potato stuck in the back of Jack’s mouth, and he coughed slightly to displace it. That name had not been spoken in his presence for more moons than he could count. Yet it still stirred an ache in his heart. Rothkin had separated him from—

“That claim is unproven, more a myth than Knavesmire,” said the bearded human. “Elders of all races have said Edging drains the spirit of every man, leaving him nothing for The Crossing. The mere thought fills him with dread.”

Yet the opposite direction makes one appreciate Edging, thought Jack, as the deadliest ground has been traversed.


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 between Shadows in the Stone and Scattered Stones. You’ll have already met many of the characters, but some you will meet in Scattered 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.

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