Copyright 2012 by Bruno Stella
Cover Copyright 2012 by Bruno Stella.
Permission to reproduce and disseminate this work is withheld. All rights reserved. Please do not do this without recompensing the author. This was a lot of hard work, and I have kept the price low enough so that pretty much anybody can afford a copy. If you want free stories, go to my blog at http://brunoccstella.blogspot.com/ where you will find some.
This work is an original work of fiction and similarities between this work and other works and/or characters and living persons are coincidental and not intended.
Map of the Desolate Coast, the Ruindrift & Inlands
Brilliant stars were powdered sugar scattered across an inky sky. No clouds marred their light, and even the twin moons were only slivers of their selves in deference to the frosted heavens reflected in the rolling sea. Far below, the little inn rocked with rowdy laughter as the final round of the competition was reached. The common-room was packed with fishermen, herders and villagers celebrating Winter Harvest with steaming bowls of pungent fish stew. Talmond rolled up a homespun sleeve, exposing a bulging veined bicep. His opponent, Hafnar the village smith, set his jaw grimly. It would be the toughest challenge of the night, and the two armwrestlers squared up at a battered table. Beer was hastily wiped away, and sweaty supporters began to chant their respective champion’s names. Talmond looked over at Shanna, half-obscured by the press of people. Finally he caught her eye, and she grinned, waving a clenched fist. He gave her a wink, and turned to face his opponent. They grasped hands, and the innkeep signalled ‘go’. Muscles ran taut like stretched mooring ropes. The smith’s hand was slammed against the wood, and he gave a cry of pain, standing up, outraged. A cheer coupled with a grumble went up from the crowd. The slam had been a hard one.