My ‘Field of Dreams’

Stack_of_booksA reader requested a ‘reading order’ for the Tales of Aldura (i.e. what order they should be read). There really isn’t one since all of the Tales published so far are written as ‘stand-alone’ stories. 

To aid the reader I’ve listed them below in time-line (historical) order. A more detailed list which includes descriptions and links is available here.

World of Aldura: Land of Alarel

  1. Friends is set in the northeastern part of the Kingdom of Alliandrae and is the earliest in the time-line.
  2. Phaedra is set both in the northwestern portion of the Kingdom of Alliandrae and in the land of the Njae called the Eld Forest (or Eldwood). This story begins before Sword of Isyndral starts, and ends before Sword of Isyndral does.
  3. Sword of Isyndral is set in the northwestern portion of the Kingdom of Alliandrae. It begins during Phaedra and ends shortly after Phaedra. [coming in April 2015]
  4. Jezrei’s Justice is set in Azraelis, the capital city of the Kingdom of Galdona.
  5. Choices is set in the Kingdom of Galdona. It begins about three years after Phaedra and shortly after Jezrei’s Justice.
  6. Battle of Stryker’s Pass is set in the Kingdom of Galdona and begins within a moon-turn of Jezrei’s Justice.
  7. Kaserie’s Choice is set in the Kingdom of Galdona approximately eight years after Jezrei’s Justice.
  8. On Treason’s Trail is set in the Kingdom of Alliandrae and begins about fifteen years after the Battle of Stryker Pass.
  9. Stormhawk’s Warning is set  in the Kingdom of Kier and occurs immediately following On Treason’s Trail.
  10. Duty’s Call occurs many, many years after Stormhawk’s Warning. It is set in the Kingdom of Klatinan. [All of the Duty stories have the same MC.] [coming soon]
  11. Duty and Justice is set in the Kingdom of Klatinan and occurs immediately following Duty’s Call. [coming soon]
  12. Duty’s Price is also set in the Kingdom of Klatinan and occurs within a moon-turn of Duty and Justice. [coming soon]
  13. Duty with Honor is set in the Kingdoms of Vladesh and Ryland and begins approximately a year and a half after Duty’s Price. [coming soon]

World of Aldura: Land of Ipsen

  1. Alliandre is the only story, at this point, which is set in the Land of Ipsen on the World of Aldura.

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January’s Spotlight

Phaedra

The call of duty can be a rough path to follow, and some paths are more difficult than others.  Phaedra, a Njae Loremaster, must tread one of the more difficult ones. Along the way she confronts her fate as predicted by a Seeress, acquires the assistance of a dragon, and risks her husband, her child, and her life in order to save the peoples of the Twin Goddess.

[You can see a list of all the Tales of Aldura here]

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Trivia Tidbits: At the time of this story, Clovis Gavin Telmar (Battle of Stryker’s Pass) is nine years old, while Kaserie Rheann Faelyn (Kaserie’s Choice) is seven.

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Snippet – Tales of Aldura: On Treason’s Trail

On Treason’s Trail

OTT_AlduraDogs howled and cats screeched in the distance. Gusting wind sent roofing thatch whirling through the air. Glason crouched next to his nephew in the shadows of a recessed doorway, cloak tucked close against the chill. Moisture-laden air dampened his clothes and heralded an approaching storm. The street lay silent beneath the light of the moon.

Glason gripped his nephew’s shoulder, and with his other hand pointed toward a group of men. “There, Flynn. Those are the Chorkan hire-swords Markan said helped kill Bennie.” Five men swaggered down the street. Wind flapping their cloaks, revealed swords prominent on their hips.

Flynn touched Pon, the small black dog at his side. A flick of his wrist sent the animal streaking across the cobblestones. Pon’s arrival would signal their hidden kinsmen it was time to circle behind the approaching men.

A door crashed open. The Chorkan paused midstride and pivoted, hands gripping their weapons. A thin man stumbled from the wooden walkway accompanied by a shouted, “Out ya go, Barnabas. Iffin ya wanted a warm place ta sleep, ya shouldn’t ha’ spent all yer coin on ale. Ya knows ya hafta pay to sleep by me fire.”

Barnabas careened into Hatchet Street. He staggered and wobbled, struggling to regain his balance. He failed. The hire-swords loosened their grip on their swords and laughed at his blunders. A last bumbling step threw him against one of the men. A retaliatory shove sent Barnabas sprawling in the gutter. The hire-sword, encouraged by the laughter of his friends, kicked at the prone man’s ribs and stomped on his outstretched hand. Mocking chuckles met the drunk’s cries for mercy. The kicks continued until Barnabas stopped moving and made no sound.

“They’re awfully brave to beat up a drunk.” Flynn snarled.

“A lesson will be taught, but not until our people are in position,” Glason warned. “We can’t afford for any to escape. There’s more than one life in the balance. We have to learn what the traitors are planning, so we need whatever information they have.”

Pon emerged from the darkness on the opposite side of the street, a signal that the other Wolf Clansmen were in place. The five Chorkan relived the beating dealt to Barnabas.

Flynn’s teeth flashed white in a predatory smile. “I think it’s time they learned some consideration for others.”

“Take them alive. We need answers dead men can’t provide.”

Flynn fastened his cloak back, clearing his sword. “That will be their choice.”

A figure stepped from the shadows opposite, and Flynn followed suit. Glason chafed at having to remain hidden. But there were unseen eyes on the streets of the slums, and since he was still garbed as Pidge, a denizen of the lower city, they might recognize him. Pidge could not be involved in tonight’s business. Until Glason repaid his honor-debt for Bennie’s death, he needed the disguise being Pidge provided.

The five, noted the movement and hands flashed to sword hilts with practiced ease.

One growled warning when two additional Wolf Clansmen appeared at their rear. Five swords rasped against scabbards, drawn blades glinted in the moonlight. Legs bent, cloaks rippling in the breeze, the Chorkan readied for attack.

Arms folded across his chest, Flynn nodded toward where Barnabas lay in the gutter. “Why did you beat my friend?”

Their leader pointed his sword at Flynn. “He ain’t got no friends, so move outta our way.”

Flynn and the other Clansmen freed pendants, engraved with the form of a running wolf, from beneath their tunics.

“Barnabas does have friends. We”—Flynn waved to include Oren beside him and the two behind—“are of the Guardian Clans, sworn to protect all Kalieri.” The pendants flared with blue-light, confirming Flynn’s words. “We are not pleased with the way our friend was treated. Go back and help him.”

The hire-swords fanned out. “Move from our way Kalieri dogs, or we’ll move you.”

Flynn lowered hand to sword hilt. “Barnabas’ stumbling into you was an accident. Your attack on him was not. We insist you help mend the harm you caused. And then we’ve some questions about the death of a friend of ours named Bennie.”

The kinsmen drew their swords.

Flynn gave one last warning, “Yield and no one will be hurt.”

At a signal from their leader, the hire-swords attacked. Three rushed forward. Two faced the rear.

The clang of swords echoed. Blades screeched. Men shouted. The Wolf Clansmen ducked, sidestepped, and swayed. Flashing steel filled the street. A form collapsed in a scream of pain. Kin or Chorkan? Glason couldn’t tell. Clouds scuttled across the moon. When they passed, six forms, four with glowing amulets, remained standing. His kinsmen still dodged and swerved in a dance as graceful as it was deadly.

Flynn shouted, “Yield and live!” The two hire-swords kept fighting. Flynn’s weapon darted beneath the stroke of one. The body slid off the blade as the last Chorkan dropped with a sword through his heart.

Glason breathed easy. All of his kin were standing. He would not have to face an angry brother and Clan Chief.

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Ariadne Snippet #1

Scroll_Quill_BlueDirt clods thudded against the wooden coffin. Pain shuddered through Ariadne as if the gravediggers’ threw their burden at her. She bit her lip, refusing to bare her grief in front of strangers, especially the Healer. That one’s sympathy was Green_dragon_Free_Yellowbacknothing more than a sham. Even now his eyes bored into her like a vulture waiting to peck.

Ariadne shifted her gaze away, searching the surrounding trees without success for a glimpse of Tristin or Flitter, her flerdragon. Sight of either of them would make her feel less alone.

Throat tight, vision blurry, Ari fought back tears. She thought she had shed them all the previous evening, but watching the men seal her mother away in a box beneath the earth tore open the grief anew.

Lise who always healed any who needed it, Kalieri or animal, would never again smell the flowers, walk in the rain, or sing while she mended a tree, fixed an injured wing or paw. Never again fearlessly tend those with the Chorkan Green_dragon_Freesent plague, or deliver new life into the world. No one else’s injury or illness had survived Lise’s healing touch, but she hadn’t been able to cure herself.

Whatever had afflicted her mother had also proved beyond the Elder’s and Ariadne’s skills, and those of the visiting Healer, although she did wonder how hard he had tried. That one had seemed much more intent on prying and asking questions about her life, then tending her mother’s illness. But … done was done and Lise had died. A sideways glance from lowered eyes proved the man continued to stare at her.

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Friends_AlduraFRIENDS – AVAILABLE NOW!!!

Jaelyn, a city born and raised Healer, is assigned to a post in the ‘back of beyond’. With her twentieth natal-day approaching, Jaelyn is feeling lonely because Fenwood Valley is a close-knit community and they don’t readily welcome strangers, especially not a young inexperienced female Healer. On her trudge home after helping deliver a baby, Jaelyn discovers unexpected friends when she is kidnapped.

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Cover Reveal – Tales of Aldura: Friends

Friends_AlduraThis began from a story prompt many years ago. The prompt was “someone important goes missing”. The splat-draft of the story out-distanced the eligible word count limit so it couldn’t be entered in the prompt competition. Instead the rough-draft slept in a file on my computer for years (10-15 while I took a break from writing).

I had a lot of fun writing this story and although it is light-hearted and fun, the events do (surprisingly) impact the land of Alarel in important ways.

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