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, and an enterprising rogue. He wears leather breeches, jerkin and high black boots. He 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 downriver, he kept far from shore. He was surprised by the cool jolt of liquid that permeated his boots, and despite his thus-far silent passage, he hopped sidewise to discover a substantial leak in his craft—obviously owing to the smuggler Replex’s poor maintenance of its underbelly. With urgent attention, Risgan pitched the craft sideways, pulling, labouring to guide the sinking gondola shoreward. For naught. It was fast wallowing in the dark before dawn and Risgan was baring his teeth with frustration. The moonlit water shimmered back at him in silver ripples; the Badan was well known for the miniature thrukules which inhabited it, ruthless parasites in their infiltration of men’s guts. Risgan vowed not to suffer such an affliction. He poled with a madness. Yet the more desperate his efforts became, the slower his doomed conveyance seemed to crawl, and in the end, he was forced to abandon it and dogpaddle fiercely for shore.