Scattered Stones – The Prologue

Scattered Stones

The Castle Keepers: Book 2

Released May 6, 2016

Prologue

The ancient dwarf could find no mate to match her. The Elderkin say she searched all of Ath-o’Lea without finding him. A fierce storm struck, and she took refuge behind a rugged stone. For three days and nights, the storm raged on, ripping trees from the ground and hurling large branches into the air. The ancient dwarf kept dry, warm and safe in the crevice of the stone.

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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.”

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Lord Dirck Landis

Lord Dirck Landis

Human, lord of Aruam Castle, first appeared in chapter 05 of Shadows in the Stone

The door slammed and Lord Dirck Landis jumped from his chair to see who had entered. Two of his senior guards dragged a prisoner into the room and tossed him against the wall.

“My Lord,” Corporal Franklin motioned towards the tattered elf sprawled on the floor. “He is suspected of using magic within the town walls.”

“It was ignite powder!” the young man shouted. “Harmless!”

“Witnesses claim otherwise,” said the guard.

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Kellyn Mulryan

Kellyn Mulryan

Dwarf, sword fighter, prisoner at Blackvale Castle, born Glen Tosh, first appeared in Scattered Stones.

“Stop!” shouted the guard. “You can’t go in there!”

Kellyn ignored the quackpod and kept running. As she drew water from the well in the courtyard, she had seen Merk cross the open balcony and enter his study. He had been absent from Blackvale Castle for several days, and this was the first opportunity to inform him of the tragedy that had occurred to his favourite prisoner.

She reached the door, flung it open and raced inside. Merk stood admiring a painting on the far wall. He glanced in her direction but remained silent.

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Emerson Wheatcroft

Emerson Wheatcroft

Human, cartographer, born Maskil, lives Wandsworth, first appeared in the short story “Destiny Governed their Lives”.

Emerson Wheatcroft neatly scrolled the word Goshen near the circle representing the village on the map. He blew gently on the hide to quicken the drying time. It had taken him a fortnight to reach the labelling phase; the customer required it to be practical yet pleasant to the eye.

He rested in his chair and admired his artisanship. At this point—with the mountains, rivers and settlements dotting the landscape—he felt satisfied. The labelling was a mere detail, an important one, but one many people achieved successfully.

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Lord Merk Lindrum

Lord Merk Lindrum

Human, Lord of Blackvale Castle, sorcerer, first appeared in chapter 27 of Shadows in the Stone

The brush touched the canvas lightly, dabbing grey shadows on the undersides of fluffy clouds floating outside the window. Satisfied, Merk Lindrum turned his attention to the cat lounging on the sill. It also required more shadowing.

He glanced around the easel and scrutinized his pet; its white fur shined as it lay stretched in the sun, sleeping. A few strokes on canvas and it would be perfect. His fan brush gently stroked the watercolours together to create tiny hairs that stabbed into the shadow.

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Lord Laird Mulryan

Lord Laird Mulryan

Dwarf, lord of Aruam Castle, first appeared in chapter 05 of Shadows in the Stone

The sun shined in the window, and Lord Laird Mulryan leant on the sill looking over the grounds of Aruam Castle and Maskil. The morning has been pleasant; he had enjoyed the day’s first ration surrounded by those he loved most. The small gestures, smiles and friendly chatter left him feeling as if he were the luckiest man in Ath-o’Lea.

He sighed, already missing their company and longing to return, but two days were all he could muster to be away from his post. Significant matters needed tending; he had to put the order in for new recruits to bolster the lower ranks. The combined numbers of foot soldiers and castle guards was to be maintained at one thousand fighting men and from his calculations, they were severely deficient.

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