Crimson Skies – New Short Story

“Isn’t it beautiful?” the young boy enquired with a hint of awe as he gazed at the crimson sky whilst sitting himself beside the old veteran scout. “Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight,” he continued.

“Oh it’s beautiful alright, but it’s sure no delight. That there is the glow of a great fire. A fire in the direction we needed to be headed.”

The boy stood, “Fire?”

“A mighty one too, to make the heavens so red. My guess would be the city burns just as brightly.”

“Then we must go back! If our path is blocked by fire, we must go back.”

“Look around you boy! There’s a vast world out there waiting for us to discover it. So the sky burns red now, in the morning it may be different. One things for certain though, we’re never going back. Never!”

Copyright: authorchrisbrown


First real battle of Book #2

It wasn’t until the great axe became unsheathed and was being passed from left to right hand that the maniacal laughter replaced the talking to himself. Still the dwarf’s gaze remained fixed on the journey already behind them and an element of concern crept into Coefly’s mind as he tried to see what it was the dwarf had become obsessed with, but could see nothing.

“Hey Rohlen,” he shouted trying to get the mage’s attention. “Any idea what’s sparked the dwarf into life?”
He gave the pair a half hearted glance not expecting to see anything other than Tumbor being Tumbor, however he soon gave the situation his full attention having recognised one of the dwarf’s pre rituals before battle. Even Jax, over hearing Corfly’s original comments, shifted into a concerned state and began scanning the horizon behind them.

“What tracks us Tumbor?”

“Half breeds,” The dwarf spits heavily in disgust upon the floor beside him. “Not human, and not hound. Abominations of dark evil magic and they run hard to catch us.”

“Since Breakwater?”

“Hard to say, but if so, they left not long after us which would suggest someone’s sold their soul in providing such information!”

Jax placed a hand on Tumbor’s shoulder forcing him to momentarily stop passing his axe from hand to hand which resulted in a fixed glare from the dwarf,

“You as well as anyone my friend, should recall all too well the manipulative and persuasive nature of dark magic!”

“It is a memory that will follow me to my tomb friend and one in which I vowed would never be repeated to anyone associated with me for fear of death. Death that will surly come to those that unknowingly now race towards it!”

“Tumbor I understand the thirst in you, the bloodlust that builds in wanting to see these creatures whimpering at the mercy of your blade, but please remember we are on a mission for information. If you could curb your temper enough to allow us one to talk to.”

“You claim to understand, yet you ask me under the intensity and revelry of battle to hold my blade against a foe that would show no such constraint. May I suggest you choose your informant quickly Jax DuPont, and you pull them from the mayhem before my blade silences them, you or both.”

It was with that statement, as cold and as yet clear as it could have been, Tumbor with axe in hand leapt from the back of the wagon, landing in a squatted crouch ready to explode off to meet those advancing upon him. That which followed never failed in raising the hairs upon the back of the neck of those that heard it, and never failed in whipping the dwarf into a maniacal frenzy, Tumbor’s battle cry!

Those that the dwarf has been following from afar, had now become close enough to be seen by the others in the group. Sleek black muscular bodies, running upon all four much like a hound, and yet appearing to be more human in form, save for the elongated muzzle that dripped heavily with saliva, and occasionally flashed a sight of the razor sharp teeth that dominated the mouth. Their naked upper torsos were adorned with patches of course black hair, very reminiscent of fur found on hunting hounds.

Coefly reaching for his short bow, took aim with an arrow notched shaking in his hand. Nerves were getting the better of him. Easily understandable given the man-hound was over twice his size, with a jaw that looked like it could snap him in half with one bite. The arrow struck the front shoulder, biting deep and causing the creature stumble in its stride, though it regained quickly eyeing the halfling with evil intent.
Rolen predictably called upon the power of his dragons, causing them to pulsate and convulse around his out stretched arms. Slowly they shifted in intensity from a sunflower yellow through to a deep crimson as they awaited the mage’s command to let fly. Jax prepared the others by warning them to hold tight!

As expected, the ethereal creatures sprung up high into the air from the mage’s arms, seemingly dancing and entwining with each other, almost impatiently awaiting their creator’s command, who in turn had been awaiting the dwarf to announce his arrival upon the conflict. It came with an earth shaking and blood curdling impact, the sound of bone shattering heard above all else. Leading with his shoulder, Tumbor hit the creature head on with the force of a dwarven siege engine, sending jaw bone, blood and saliva spraying outward from the impact. The creature itself found itself in a whelping heap several feet away from the impact, a merciless dwarf stood over its prone broken body with a large blade ready to deal a swift demise. A demise that did not come.

Behind the dwarf, two ethereal entities came spiralling earthward, slamming into the beast that Coefly had first wounded, sending a spray of molten lava and fire all over the beast. Its agonised cries of pain were almost too much to bear, as it tried to stand, charred chucks of flesh falling effortlessly from its frame. Too weak to continue, it slumped in a heap panting heavily trying to get air into its parched lungs. If time was merciful, it would bring an end to this poor creature’s suffering.

Tumbor always had a sixth sense it battle, knowing where he was, his companions and every impending blade or talon. He immediately left his quarry, instead turning his attentions to another than had been prowling since the initial impact, stopping its charge on the wagon, instead turning its attention to the dwarf. The two were now almost face to face, only a small rocky preface between them, the hound looking down on the dwarf with spit and bile falling upon his face and beard. Reaching up, he grabbed the beast by the throat and manoeuvred its head away from his own, he also found leverage to bring himself more eye to eye.

“So many questions I have, yet so many answers you’ll never give me.” said the dwarf in as menacing a tone he could muster. The creature squirmed, possible fear flashing across his eyes as Tumbor gripped a little tighter around it’s windpipe. Linn had been watching as everything unfolded. Jax had taken down of the creatures alone and was now busy cleaning the blood and bile from his blade. So quietly efficient as he, his contributions had gone unnoticed by all. Coefly and Rohlen were sat discussing the theatrical nature of magic and how spectacular the two dragons were in both effect and visually. Whilst Coefly was indeed a full grown halfling of several decades, his enthusiasm resembled that of a small child.

Tumbor on the other hand was the epitome of war and death. With one quarry grounded and well within striking distance, he held another by the throat seemingly being toyed with, and it was this one Linn wanted to get answers from. Carefully she descended the wagon from the spot she had remained the entire encounter, though by her own admission she had no fighting experience or skills to offer the others and so she had remained hidden as best she could.

“Come to take a look at what we’re fighting against have you?” said Tumbor presenting the beast to the cautious yet still advancing Linn, though as she appeared to get a little too close the creature attempted a lunge, only failing due to the dwarf’s tight grip.

“I cannot read his mind!” declared Linn staring intently at the beast.

“He’s not one for talking either,” grimaced Tumbor, “So he’ll no longer be needing this.” He ragged the creature violently in the air, still holding on tightly to its windpipe, before slamming it into the ground. Placing a boot upon its chest, he continued to pull until the windpipe tore through its neck and chest, blood and bile showering Linn and Tumbor in the process.

“Try the other one,” suggested Tumbor wiping his beard. “Maybe recent events may have loosened his tongue a little.”

Still in a state of abhorrent shock at the gruesome violence shown by the dwarf, seemingly with little or no remorse, she shuffled her feet over to the Tumbor’s first quarry. It lay breathing heavily, its face a bloodied pulp of mashed cartilage and broken bone. It tried to move as she drew near, but whelped in pain suggesting broken ribs or internal injuries and so remained instead, prone on the floor.

“Well, is it telling you anything?” shouted Tumbor continuing to clean himself as Jax joined them.

“I too would be intrigued as to whether their minds are susceptible to your reading them,” added Jax.

“Sadly all this one is parting with, is how he hopes to live long enough to see his kin folk rip the dwarven maniac apart and feast upon this organs!”

Tumbor laughed lightly and nodded a couple of times. Yet with one fluid movement his axe blade fell across the neck of the beast, separating what was left of his head from his torso. “No!” he added. “Though it is good to know that you can hear their thoughts, even disillusioned ones!”

Copyright: authorchrisbrown


A little more to my Fantasy Novel

“Well met fellow traveller!” boomed and elderly, friendly voice from the approaching caravan. “Such wonderful weather to be pounding up and down the highways.” He looked upwards wiping the rain from his face as he did so.

“Well met,” replied Rohlen pulling the blanket a little closer. “I wish we were coupled to horses like yourselves,” he added admiring the two brown muscular looking steads.

The old man chuckled, he admiring the oxen on the opposing caravan. “The speed is great when we’re moving, but we’ve spent more time digging ourselves out of the mud for it to be an advantage.”

Rohlen nodded in thought. “Well I suppose that’s one thing they have going for them. They just keep going, even if it is slowly.”

The old man cocks his head in interest. “Are you in a hurry my friend?”

“Only to be out of this infernal rain, and get our passengers to their destination.”

“Well the rain has been a curse on this land for too long,” he replied philosophically. “Where would your destination be? If you are not offended by my asking.” His tone changed with the asking of the question.

Rohlen smiled unfazed. “As the saying goes. All roads lead eventually to Breakwater.”

“That’s an awfully long way! Where have you travelled from?” The old man asked leaning forward, listening intently.

“The ill fated city of Tasgard. If you’re headed there, then you’ll find not much left. Oh, perhaps some armoured horsemen who passed us a moon ago, but I fear they may have met their demise at the hands of some goblin wolf riders.” Rohlen paused, suddenly aware that he had parted more information than he would have done normally.

The wizard glanced a simple jeweled ring upon his off hand third finger. A dull hue glowed from it telling Rohlen all he needed to know. The old man sensed he had been found out too.

“Speak Truth?” asked Rohlen a heavy degree of seriousness to his tone as he waved his hand slowly through the air.

Now sitting back, the old man scrabbled over his words, “These are, erm, dangerous times, being on the road more so.”

“Oh I agree. Perhaps I should cast a spell of my own.”

The old man’s face suddenly flashed with intense horror as he raised both hands outstretched seeking forgiveness.

“You could let me introduce his neck to my axe,” said Tumbor returning to leaning out the window, whilst voices behind him demanded to know what was going on.

Copyright: authorchrisbrown


When thought wander

Fraevon and Rohlen sat hunched atop the caravan, the morning rain having a decidedly colder bite to it than of late. The oxen trudged onward at their usual steady lumbersome pace.

“The icy fingers of Winter’s touch grip a little tighter,” mused Fraevon, pulling the blanket around him a little tighter.

“Aye. I’ve forgotten what it was like to have the warmth of the sun caress my cheeks,” replied Rohlen. “The sooner we find an inn or tavern the better.”

“You’ll not find the sun in there my friend!”

“No, but I’ll find something that will make me forget about the rain.”

“Do you think…..” Fraevon quickly rethought his question, instead reverting to silence.

“Do I think what?”

“Nothing. I was merely speculating.”

“Speculating? You mean, ‘Do you think I think Jax will have buried my sister so he may rejoin us soon?'” Rohlen paused and looked out towards the distant horizon. “I sense she is not yet at rest, and yet I have faith that he will do right by her. Do right by us.”

“Of course he will. He loved her.”

Rohlen snapped a stare back at the elf, his expression one that was full of distaste for the comment offered.

“Love! What did they know of love!”

Copyright: authorchrisbrown


Rely on a Friend

As Jax approached the gate, he spotted a friendly familiar sight sat seemingly daydreaming away his time on guard. His was practically flying past as full gallop before the giant of a man realised.

“Hey Jax. What’s the rush?”

“Need to slow those following,” he shouted back turning to acknowledge Tiny Tim’s recognition of him. “Help a friend out!”

Jax continued to watch behind as the giant brought a halt to the party of horsemen that were now remonstrating profusely about being stopped in their tracks. The female witch hunter dismounted and focused her gaze upon Jax as he rode off towards the horizon, who in turn offered a doff of his hat as he put serious distance between them.

Copyright: authorchrisbrown


The Hunter becomes Hunted

It was a cruel twist of fate, that with one of the Blucester busy gates within sight, Jax’s normally sure footed and composed horse reared, threatening to throw its rider unceremoniously to the ground.

A rotund heavy set man had barreled into the street from the nearby tavern, and found himself directly in front of racing hooves, arms waving protesting his innocence.

“Wooh!” called out Jax as he tried to bring the mount under control.

“Sorry I am. Move I must. So sorry!”

Every attempt to move found him faced with flailing hooves. Left then right, then back left again in pathetic apologetic fashion. The time lost trying not to trample to death the barrel sized man had allowed a small group of guardsmen the opportunity to seal off any viable escape.

“Kindly dismount your stead when your ready,” requested an officer who clearly stood out amongst them.

“I’m sorry I can’t do that,” replied a resilient Jax, still fighting his rearing horse. “I’m just not sure you’d understand the urgency for my need to leave.”

“Come down and we can discuss it!” The officer looked back up the road as the sound of other horsemen could be heard rapidly approaching.

“As respectful an offer, I must decline and make haste from those less agreeable than yourself.” Jax skillfully positioned his horse and urged it push on through the guards directly opposing his progress to the gates.

“Stop him!” bellowed the command, but all too late as Jax and his stead leapt at two unsuspecting guards and galloped onward with increased urgency.

Moments later, a group of heavily clad horsemen led by an unmistakable witch hunter followed hard in Jax’s tracks. “Pathetic!” hissed a female voice as she passed the hapless guards.

Copyright: authorchrisbrown


Leave her?

“Soon my love.” whispered Jax cradling the bed roll. “Soon you will be at rest with your brothers and sisters. I promise you shall be at peace with the world amongst your peers.”

“That is a promise you cannot give traveller.” The was a pause whilst a breath was caught. “Only a cleric can decide such a fate.” Those words cut Jax deeper than any blade, and they belonged to a man almost twice his senior. Dressed in a simple robe, his long grey hair and gaunt features could just be seen under his risen hood.

“Let me see her,” he wheezed, as if the action of walking was too much for his aged body.

Jax opened the bed roll. One quick glance and the elderly cleric tutted before walking away. “You waste my time traveller.”

“I bring her here, as a devoted cleric to your god.”

“And yet she’s marked by chaos!” The cleric stopped and coughed heavily. “Look, we are not without compassion,” he continued between breathes. “Leave her here and she will be disposed of appropriately.”

” “Disposed of?” You make her sound like nothing more than rubbish!” Jax began rolling her gently back in his bed roll.

“Leave her here traveller!”

Copyright: authorchrisbrown


Saying Goodbye – contains Spoiler

It’s been a while, but back at it:

Jax tethered his horse outside the rather plain, yet exceptionally clean, Temple of Lyra. Where as all the other buildings within Blucester portrayed their age, with crumbling stonework, or patched up woodwork, the temple looked better now than the day it was built. Whilst it would never win any awards for its aesthetic design, it was certainly loved and cared for devotedly by those that found salvation there.

A muted yellow glow eminated from behind the two solid oak doors that were set open. A hint of juniper hung in the air, most likely from the incense burning within. Jax slowly walked to the back of his horse so as to lift the rolled up blanket into his arms. His heart was heavy, and though he’d been fearing this moment, he knew he owed it to his fleeting love, Yulien, a disciples burial.

“What burdens you traveller?” enquired a middle age man, seemingly standing sentry between the two doors.

As Jax approached the man’s gaze became fixed upon the rolled blanket, his furrowed brow deepening with curiosity the longer his question went unanswered.

“I ask you again traveller, what carry you to the doors of our temple?” Shifting his left leg, his stance became more defensive whist his hand hovered over the hilt of previously unseen mace. Still Jax advanced, until he met with the outstretched hand holding the cold steel of the guards weapon but inches from his face. “Stop and declare your purpose!”

Lifting his head, sorrow and heartache portrayed unashamedly within his eyes, Jax stared intently at the guard. “She warrants a disciples burial.”

“That is a matter for the clerics to decide,” stated the guard lowering his mace. “I will see if any are available to offer you audience. Please, wait here.”


Punishment NSFW +18

Laid over my knee

Naked once soft white skin

Now red with handprint scars

Punishment for brattish behaviour

Tears cascading from pain felt eyes

Playing my emotions?

Large hands easing the pain

Firm powerful strokes across each cheek

A gentle writhing to guide my hand

Urging to be felt in places pleasuring

My hand falls heavy again

The imprint left in white

Upon her once again reddening skin.

Copyright: authorchrisbrown