December 9, 2012 Leave a comment
Today’s stop on the Feel Real Fantasy blog tour celebrating the completion of the Rys Rising series by Tracy Falbe presents an excerpt from the fourth novel Love Lost.
In this scene Amar is traveling into the mountain realm of the rys with the army he has mustered for Onja.
The pouring rain was warm. Swift muddy rivulets rushed down the dirt lane of the Temulanka village nestled in the foothills. Amar observed the shower from the doorway of the home he had occupied to wait out the storm. Kym, Demdin, Urlen, and Khage sat at a table in the small house’s main room while the man of the house stood by nervously. His wife and children were peeking at their dangerous guests from a back room, wondering if they were going to get their throats cut.
The men at the table were too accustomed to power and privilege to pay much heed to the fear of their hosts. Demdin was confounding Khage with a guessing game involving three cups and a dried bean. Khage banged a fist on the table after another wrong guess. Demdin lifted a cup to reveal the bean’s actual location and Kym and Urlen chuckled.
“All right,” Kym agreed charitably. He knew how the cup game worked but he doubted that he could follow the moves of the deft Podubwa fighting master.
Demdin held the bean up for everyone to see and then put it under a cup with a flourish and started moving the three containers. Steered by his agile hands, the cups glided across the coarse table planks. When they stopped, Demdin regarded Kym expectantly.
“It’s in one of your hands,” Kym said.
Demdin opened his hands to reveal empty palms. Frowning, Kym reluctantly selected a cup. Demdin lifted it to reveal the bean. Genuinely surprised, Kym and Urlen burst out laughing and Khage gaped incredulously.
“How did you know?” Khage asked.
“I didn’t. I thought it was in one of his hands, but then I guessed,” Kym said.
“Why would you think it’s in his hand when he puts it under a cup?” Khage demanded.
“Remind me to never lend you gambling money,” Kym said and got up. His sword and mace clanged against the bench as he moved away.
“Show you,” Demdin offered and shifted the cups back in front of Khage, who studied the moves of the fighting master intently.
Kym joined Amar at the door. A curtain of water streamed down from the eaves.
“The mud will slow the supply wagons,” Kym said.
“They’ll catch up,” Amar said absently.
“Has Onja spoken to you lately?” Kym asked.
“Yes,” Amar said and his hand went to his chest. Deciding not to make Kym badger him, he drew himself out of his innermost thoughts. “Onja awaits the hosts of her faithful. She will appear to us during the blessing ceremony at the mustering place,” he said.
Kym reflected upon his first meeting with Onja and how she had recast his destiny. All things with Onja were a wonder.
“The rain will be done soon,” Amar said. Over the lowlands the sun sliced through the breaking clouds and a full rainbow arched across the Temulanka Domain.
“This is a nice village,” Kym commented as he appreciated its fine view of the lowlands.
“It should prosper now that it’s on the route to Jingten,” Amar said. The village had been only a poor remote place with stony fields until the coming of the Goddess. Its people were still not used to the sudden traffic of armies and tribute caravans.
The rain tapered off, and Amar leaned out and looked up and down the lane. He signaled to the Kezanada in the other doorways that they would get going soon. Despite the delay, they would still reach the mustering place in the village pasturelands well before sunset.
Amar went to the table and picked up his helmet. The tabre hair hung shiny and black from its crest. As he settled it onto his head, the other men picked up their gear and prepared to leave. Khage took one last look through the larder that he had already plundered and happily found a small jar of honey that he had overlooked.
The men filed out of the house, except for Kym. Amar noted the troubled look on his lieutenant’s face and asked, “What bothers you?”
“Lord Amar, are you sure we should both go?” Kym said.
“What do you want to do?” Amar asked back.
“My guts tell me I must go make the Nufal men pay for killing Cybar and Vame,” Kym said.
“Then we both will go,” Amar said, patient with the now familiar discussion.
“But our interests here will go neglected,” Kym worried. He understood the fragility of Onja’s newly imposed peace. The world was squirrelly with possibilities right now.
Amar said. “The Brotherhood can survive our absence for a time. Pender Ruke will work diligently, and we have left enough Kezanada to secure Do Jempur. We will set right any problems when we get back. And all the resources of the kings and Chupabat are with us serving Onja.”
“True,” Kym granted. They had gone over this before.
“Come,” Amar said. “In this war I shall want you close.”
Kym locked eyes with his Overlord and accepted finally that on this campaign his place was with Amar. The distant cities of Nufal awaited punishment.
When they left the house, Amar looked back just as the homeowner sighed with relief. The playfully feline gaze of the dro-shalum made the man jerk back against the wall. Amar smiled. He had been gentle with the people of the west compared to what he wished to do to Onja’s true enemies in the east.
Tracy Falbe invites you to give her characters a chance to feel real to you. The Rys Rising fantasy series is driven by magic, passion, bravery, ambition, conquest, and defeat. Rys Rising: Book I is a free ebook and hopefully your gateway to an epic reading experience.
Start reading Rys Rising for free and enter the prize drawing.