Short story 1: Perfect wood

The light breeze were moving the branches in the trees and the sound of waving leaves was making Feorn feel young again and very much alive. He was strolling casually down a familiar path. He knew these parts well, he had been hunting here on countless occasions. This was were he had felled his first boar by himself, and he had also spent many days here, waiting in the thickets for the hour of twilight when his prey came out of their holes and hiding places. This time, however, he was not hunting for game, but for material for two wooden bows. He approached all straight tree trunks that looked promising in a distance and carefully examined their potential. Mainly, he looked for yew or oak, since he had always preferred bows made of those kinds of wood. They were flexible and easy to handle, yet strong enough to make a powerful bow. Feorn made all of his own bows and arrows. He didn’t trust those made by people outside the village, and nobody in the village could match his skills.

Feorn was excited. He was going to make bows for two children in the village, a boy of thirteen and a boy of nine. These boys had always been interested in archery and hunting, and he wanted to reward their curiosity and interest by giving them some proper bows with which they could actually hit targets from a distance. He would give them some basic training and instruct them how to practice their aim. He was convinced that if they were dedicated enough, they would become good archers or hunters some day. Of course he knew that it would take a long time to become a marksman, he had spent many years before his archery and hunting skills were good enough for him to survive by his trade.

The sun was setting and it was gradually getting colder. But just before the sun disappeared below the horizon, it sent out a few last beams of light towards him. They shot out like they were directed to avoid most the trees and hit some places in particular, and he could see a single yew that now bathed in golden light. He approached it and found that this was just the tree he had been looking for. It was a fairly young tree compared to the others around here, and its trunk was straight. He produced his axe and chopped it down in a few minutes. Then he removed branches and leaves, put it on his shoulder and headed home.

It was already dark as he reached the outskirts of the village. People was inside their houses and nobody noticed him, but he was used to that. The life of a hunter was a life of solitude. And he was content. He wasn’t very sociable and he felt mostly at home under the trees accompanied by the sounds of birds and beasts.  Still, he was longing for his home right now. Age had caught up with him and the comfort of his bed was too tempting to ignore. But tomorrow, he would start working on the bows.

At first light, Feorn broke his fast and made ready to start working. He collected his tools and the bow staff. The staff was large enough for both of the bows he planned on making, and he began by cutting it into two pieces. He took one of them in his hand and said:
“I will give you to the oldest one, I think. I wonder what you will hit in his hands.”

Short stories of Ardalaar

I have decided to write some short stories from the universe of Ardalaar and publish some of them here. This may give interesting insights, side views and sometimes funny perspectives on Ardalaar and on the main story in Emergence. Some of the short stories may touch upon the main story, and some may not.

Please stay tuned to read my short stories, and feel free to comment.

Emergence: The Prologue

Here is the preliminary prologue from the book:

The River Talmi has three sources, although the smaller rivers from the two lesser lakes down to the Field of Talim have other names before they join the Talmi. Lake Golon lies north of Furdiar, on the outskirts of the empty plains in that region. The river flowing from lake Golon is called Golonia. There are few rapids and falls there, it is mostly running slowly eastwards through the brown desolate lands north of the great desert. 

The Silvar is the lake deep in the Gwarnakh mountains. The river falls rapidly south from the mountains, clear and cold as ice and white with foam. The Dwarves call it the Sûkh-ar-Nizam, which means “one that battles with nature”. The name refers to the river being so wild that it looks like it is battling its way out of the mountains. But after a while, the Silvar slows down and makes a wide turn towards the east. And even further away from the mountains, the Silvar and Golonia join in a larger river, called the Surni. The Surni is full of fish, and most of the few people residing here make a living by fishing in the river and selling their catch in Barsas, further south. The best place for fishing, though, is right south of where the Surni joins Talmi. Fish from all the three rivers gather there, and the place is called Fisherman’s Dream. 

The greatest of the three sources of the Talmi is the Lake Lorin, on the western border of Lorenia. From there, the Talmi flows southwards, east of the Ilkêth Mountains. And it continues in that direction until it meets the Surni and the two rivers continue as one. It flows steadily south and east as a huge snake. There are no falls or real rapids after Fisherman’s Dream. 

After plowing through the Nilkîth, the “Threemountains”, in a deep ravine, the Talmi passes the city of Barsas some miles to the east. Barsas is one of the major cities in Talimar, the southernmost and most populous of the three human kingdoms in Ardalaar. The river continues in a giant turn south and east before it flows straight through the city of Bargens. And finally, after a turn north and then back east it divides into three and flows into the Bay of Tal. The northernmost of the branches of the estuary misses Tanzegrim, the capital of Talimar, by less than a mile. 

Talimar is a strong and proud country, and so are many of her inhabitants. Most people live in the capital or one of the other the major cities. The inland rural areas in Talimar are scarcely populated, the density of people is generally higher close to the coast. But scattered about, there are villages and some estates and castles. One of these villages, lying north of Bargens, on the road to Barsas, was called Alfar. It was a small village with no more than a hundred people living there. They were generally poor and lived off the land. This village is the starting point for our story. 

Please note that the prologue may change before release.

Part one of Emergence ready in first draft

I am glad to say that the first draft of Part One of the book is now ready. I am looking forward to follow the stories into the next part, and to continue working with part one, getting feedback from my friends, rewriting and polishing. Hopefully, it will flow smoothly once it’s done.

I am not going to spoil anything from the tale right here and now, but maybe I will give some glimpses into the story later on.

Part one will probably end up being about 40k words.

The first book: Emergence

I have started writing my first fantasy novel; Emergence. Hopefully, this is the first of several books from the universe of Ardalaar.

Without revealing too much, the book is about a boy named Bregon and his journey towards growing up and discovering his fate in the world. He experiences much and eventually finds a new home in the North. But that is not all…

I hope you will read the book when it comes out, it will be made available primarily as an eBook. (Hopefully, there will be some printed copies as well.)  Being my first book, I cannot promise that this will be a book of brilliant excellence. But I can promise an honest attempt to tell this story (which is growing inside me), and I think that it may be enjoyable and hopefully exciting to those who like fantasy, like myself.

Stay tuned for more!