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Thornkeep


THORNKEEP


Chris Turner


Copyright 2012 Chris Turner

Cover Design: Chris Turner

Published by Innersky Books on Smashwords


Discover other titles by Chris Turner at Smashwords.com


This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in these stories are either fictitious or are used fictitiously.


Risgan the Relic-Retriever flees north after unwittingly getting caught by the Pontific in an uncompromising situation with his consort and trophy queen, Farella. Risgan is a treasure-hunter by nature, a well-built gambler, an enterprising rogue. He wears leather breeches, jerkin and high black boots and carries with him a curious gibbeth club-femur and two magic items—a dazzling gem blessed with granting of powers of youth or aging, also, a wish bone, traded for an ancient ring at the Zanzuria market, purported to confer boons by wish alone . . .


As Risgan poled himself silently downriver, he kept far from shore. He was surprised by the cool jolt of liquid that invaded his boots and hopping sidewise, he discovered a substantial leak in his craft, owing to the smuggler Replex’s poor maintenance of its underbelly. With urgent attention, he pitched the craft sideways, pulling, labouring to guide the sinking gondola shoreward. For naught. It was sometime before morn and Risgan was baring his teeth with chagrin. The moonlit water shimmered back at him in coloured ripples; the Badan was well known for the miniature thrukules which inhabited it, ruthless parasites in their infiltration of men’s guts, either through bathing or drinking. Risgan vowed not to suffer such a malaise. He poled with a vengeance. Yet the more desperate his efforts, the slower his doomed conveyance seemed to crawl, and in the end, he was forced to abandon it.

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