The Lost - excerpt

Sunday, December 30, 2007

This is unedited, so excuse the typos, and whole copywrite thing applies.

The Duke’s carriage drew closer and Callum’s gut knotted in sensations he was familiar with just before battle. A preparedness to die. And to kill.

His men kept to road’s edge to let the Duke’s retinue pass, but as the carriage came abreast of Callum the vehicle stopped and the heavy silk curtains in the windows parted.

A pale luminous face shone from the dim interior, large beaked nose, fleshy lips, winged eyebrows, and eyes the color of honey, but with none of the warmth. Cold eyes they were, appraising and missing nothing.

“Liege ap Slayeur, is it?”

“Your Eminence,” Callum dipped his head in deference.

“So you are finally returned from your latest trip for the Alphamega? Where was it this time, our Dragolian friends to the east?” A wisp of smoke drifted out of the interior. The Duke was particularly fond of the opiates supplied by the dragon race.

A muscle ticked in Callum’s cheek. “No, Eminence. We have not been to the east.” As the Arch Duke must well know, given his spies and resources. “We traveled to the Orum continent.”

“Oh, the Alphamega has interests there?”

“Only just beginning. They are rich in resources, and would welcome the trade for the knowledge that we possess.”

“Hmm,” he said with obvious boredom, his reptilian gaze wondering.

Callum dropped his hand casually to the hilt of his sword, disguising the movement as he adjusted his seat. Tension stropped him. What was the sentence for harming a Arch Duke? That is if he could cause him harm. The Duke was amongst the most powerful sorcerers, and certainly the most trained and knowledgeable, in the realm.

“Your heathen looks as if he hails from those lands. Did he served as guide? I suppose it was he who brought the fanciful tales of untold riches. Really, they are little more than animals out there. I’m surprise the Alphamega put much credence in his words. “

“Sarlen is my medic and most revered amongst his tribe for his skills. A far cry from being a heathen.”

“And yet he abandoned so venerated a position to become your servant, hmmm?” The question drifted out with another trail of smoke.

“He chooses to travel with me and my men. And I am glad to make use of his help.”

“Hmm.” Heavily hooded eyes slid to the silent figure beside Sarlen. “Your party is well fitted, Liege ap Slayeur. I see you travel with a medic and a Sikatrix. Where did you meet this gel on your travels?”

“We met on the road to Reynes”

The Duke nodded absently as he drew deep on his pipe. A cloud of fragrant sickly sweet smoke followed. “Though the Alphamega pays dearly for the services of Marq’d men, I haven’t seen a Sikatrix in these parts in,” the bilious gaze took on a crafty quality. “why in almost ten years. It seems they find the presence of The Lost abhorrent.

“Is this so Sikatrix?” he asked with sudden sharpness.

Callum didn’t have to turn around to know Yancy had started. The whinny of her horse told the tale. “She is vowed to silence,” he said, truthfully.

“I’ve never known the servants of Sikaah to have such a vow.”

“It precedes her pledge to the goddess.”


“A vow from sunrise to sunset.”

Ahhh.” Buenbrazo eyebrows lifted in feigned understanding.

“Besides, Sikatrix need no words to do their job.”

“True.” The Duke’s gaze settled on Yancy again. “Then I look forward to meeting your Sikatrix one late evening… when she is more talkative. She must have fascinating stories to tell." The golden eyes narrowed. "Sufficiently prompted.” He rapped on the roof of the carriage and eased back into the shadowy interior. “We will meet again, ap Slayeur,” he said as the vehicle drew away.

“Forward,” Callum ordered. He did not look to see how Yancy was faring, nor give into the urge to drag her into his arms. They weren’t out of danger yet. Buenbrazo would be watching.
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raine said...

Ohhh, I LIKE your villain, lol.
Reptilian, indeed!

You have such a talent for worldbuilding, lady.

vanessa jaye said...

He's creepy isn't he? I'm going to have fun with him. Thanks for posting hon. It's always odd/ackward when you post an excerpt an it's cricket city. lol. (Though I did get some nice feedback emailed directly to me.)

I am determined to finish this baby this year! erm... you might find a 'Can I ask a Big Favour?' email in your inbox at some fine day.....

raine said...

I'll enjoy your writing any time, babe. ;-)

I think a lot of people are reluctant to comment on excerpts, especially without knowing the context.
But I remember some of The Lost.
Kick-ass story so far!

vanessa jaye said...

I'll enjoy your writing any time, babe.

Raine you're such a great victim-- erm cp. ;)

Yeah it's out of context, and it's not a dramatic moment, and I was way too lazy to link to the previous excerpts.... *g* But thanks hon. :-D

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