Heya folks!  Work on Wyrmweaver Book Two continues.  This volume introduces several new characters, including one who is sure to be a favorite.

The MageLords of the nation of Medinara are famous for their magical prowess as well as their enormous egos. No one even knows their true names, as they traditionally take on more impressive monikers to help separate them from the common rabble.  They might have actually won the Throne War, had they just learned to get along. But that’s another story. 🙂

Today’s little draft excerpt is from Chapter One.  Enjoy!

The cloaked figure started to step forward then stopped as a line of red-orange runes suddenly hissed and crackled to life within the shadows. The runes intensified in brightness, revealing the faint form of a six met-long serrated blade, which appeared to float in the darkness momentarily before swinging suddenly down into the light, its tip stopping mere millimets from striking the stone floor in front of the cloaked figure’s feet. The blade swayed slightly with its tip just barely grazing the floor.  Orange sparks danced from the tip across the marble-like stone.

Magelord Archelos, High Conjurer of the Medinaran Council of Magi looked at his  reflection on the mirror surface of the sword which now blocked his path, his features dimly lit by the pulsing, fiery runes.

Despite being nearly ninety cycles old, his chiseled features and olive toned skin barely looked beyond forty—in part, a benefit of his heritage, of course, but there were advantages to mastering the channeling arts beyond simple power.

Besides, a normal human lifespan was far too short a time to achieve the ambitions of a MageLord. Archelos had many ambitions indeed. And while time was no longer among his most pressing issues, it did not mean that he liked to waste it.

With an impatient sigh, he glanced questioningly up at the massive netherdragon brandishing the weapon that now stood between himself and achieving another step in those many ambitions.

“General Vaxorsis,” he smiled.

Heavily scarred and clearly quite old, Vaxorsis was the very image of evil that the average Elandian citizen considered a netherdragon to be. His distinctive obsidian and gold armor, inlaid with a complex array of silvery runes, was draped with a macabre array of bones, weapons, bits of armor and mechanical scraps—trophies collected in campaigns spanning perhaps dozens of worlds.

The portable menagerie rattled and jangled in concert with the grinding of metal armor plates as the hulking creature lifted his weapon and stepped forward from the shadows to interpose himself between Archelos and the portal. His long sinewy neck, writhing like some great snake, twisted around to keep the creature’s skull-like face focused directly at the mage, and though his black eyes had begun to show a milky sheen, Archelos had little doubt that the dragon could sense him precisely with his astoundingly acute Vimsense.

The dragon bent forward and practically nudged the mage with his massive snout.  The bladders along either side of his neck quivered ominously and wisps of his icy breath escaped his nostrils.

What do you want, human?” The booming blast of frigid, fetid breath nearly forced Archelos back but he managed to hold his ground. He coughed lightly and readjusted his cloak, then glanced toward the portal as Skelementek, another of the Shadowdragon’s ancient generals, limped from the shadows and turned to observe the encounter.

Archelos glared back up at the dragon before him.

“I’ve come to speak with your master,” he stated, “Stand aside.”

The dragon huffed loudly, this time actually forcing Archelos to retreat a short step.  Bristling with annoyance, the dragon towered back to his full height. He glared down at Archelos and tightened his grip on his sword. As if in response, the runes on the blade flared as patterns of light seemed to dance amongst the symbols.

Watch your tongue!  You are no MageLord here.  You will show respect, or I will crush you where you stand.”

Archelos sighed. “As you’ve made clear many times,” he said, “So either crush me or stand aside. I have important news that your Emperor will want to hear.”

THAT… REMAINS TO BE SEEN.  The thunderous, sibilant voice echoed through the chamber, shaking the floor as if the citadel itself were speaking.

Vaxorsis and Skelementek both turned and looked to the portal. Its glassy surface had now changed to a roiling, dark vapor. Within the miasma, a shadowy, undulating form, appearing vaguely like a massive netherdragon’s head, churned and morphed as though having difficulty maintaining its shape. The only constant were its glowing white eyes.

The two generals bowed slightly and backed slowly away, leaving Archelos alone with the greatest terror his world had ever faced.

He straightened his cloak, stood tall and composed, and strode forward.

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