Friday, January 30, 2015

Thunderlord snippet - The Summons

Please remember that this is a work in progress and drafts have a habit of changing drastically from inception to finished book.

From Thunderlord Chapter 2

The strip of carpet was so worn that it did not cushion the thumping sound of Valdir’s boot heels. He marched along, gaze fixed in front of him and expression somber. Kyria had to jog a few paces to keep up with him. At this rate, they’d arrive at the presence chamber without time for her to ask a single question. “Val! Slow down, will you? What’s going on?”

He did not look at her, although he moderated his pace. “You’ll find out soon enough. It’s not for me to say.”

Kyria, near the end of her temper, came to a halt. If he wouldn’t talk to her, she’d stay right here until he did. “Now you’re frightening me. What do these men of Scathfell want with me? And why can’t you tell me? Is it bad news?” Although what that news might be and why it must be delivered to her and none of the other women of the family, she had no idea.

Valdir turned to face her. They’d never been close for their ages were too dissimilar, but now he seemed almost sympathetic. “No, it’s not bad news. At least, I don’t think so. But the outcome is not yet determined. You must trust me – or if not me, then our father – that much good may come to you – to us – from this. Please, they are waiting.”

His words, although kindly spoken, did nothing to dissipate Kyria’s unease. Thinking that the problem, whatever it was, was best faced quickly, she hurried after her brother so rapidly that they soon arrived at the presence chamber. She hadn’t been in that room more than a handful of times in her life, for the chamber was dim and chilly, even in high summer. Valdir opened the door and indicated she should proceed him. Candelabra of their most expensive beeswax candles pushed back the gloom. Her father sat in his usual high-backed chair. A strange man, also seated, faced him. Kyria had only a moment to study him and the two others who stood at attention behind him. Even at a glance, she noticed the armor under their travel cloaks. Their hands rested on the hilts of their sheathed swords.

Wear no sword at kinsman’s board, she recalled the old proverb. But these men were not kin.

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