Excerpt from FATE OF FIRE:
No sun wakes Corban this morning. He shivers to stay off the bitter chill. Dark clouds spread themselves across the sky. It will be a wet, cold day. Not the best day to arrange traveling supplies for seven people, but then again, the rain may persuade the town's less savory characters to seek shelter inside by the fire.
Corban almost wishes that for himself. As he sits up and examines the campsite, he finds all of his companions have deserted the cold, open outdoors, save one. The overly cloaked man that Ralis had named Charland fiddles with something on the other side of the dead fire.
“Good morning,” Corban speaks to the cloaked man. He nods in greeting and keeps tinkering with his project. “Where is everyone?”
“In the town. I stayed to watch over you,” the strangely accented voice replies.
Corban feels a chill, and not just from the damp. Ralis trusted his life to this rogue... But, still, he has woken up sound, without a knife slit across his neck.
“Why didn’t they wake me for my watch?”
“They said that you needed your rest,” Charland answers.
Given no indication from the sky, Corban tests his muscles. By their stiffness he can tell he has overslept, but for how long he's not sure. The wind picks up, ushering in dark gray clouds. Corban sighs, adorning his own cloak.
As he lifts his pack to his shoulder, Corban senses a change in its weight. Something has been lifted from its contents. Trained for such minute observations, being a useful skill as a thief, Corban has gauged what is missing by the time the strap rests on his shoulder. About a third of his coin, hidden in a pocket deep inside, apparently wasn't hidden well enough. He's not surprised some of his silver is missing, he slept in the presence of thieves after all. He is surprised one of them lifted it under Ralis' nose. Unless...
Corban turns to his companion. Charland collects his things, not a glimpse revealed of his features beneath the heavy hood. Even his hands are gloved. What is he hiding?
Caution urges Corban to withdraw, but he stays his feet. Ralis must have a reason to trust him. Before he can decide how to confront this stranger, a torrent of rain and wind is unleashed from above. Corban hides his pack beneath his cloak, a better place for it when entering Dernsith anyway.
“Ralis and Ditone said they would buy your supplies.” Charland startles Corban, coming up beside him without even a slosh on the wet ground.
Corban releases his tension with a deep breath. “With my coin.” It is more of a statement than a question. Charland nods with a short movement, showing a flash of yellow beneath his cloak.
“I would recommend a visit to the weapon's shop. Something more substantial than a knife may do you better with what you plan on doing.”
Pondering this companion of Ralis, Corban starts towards the city. Charland walks beside him, but Corban hasn't yet decided if he should be comforted by his presence.
FATE OF FIRE is book two of The Flight Moon Series, by D. M. Raver
New epic fantasy novels in 2016