Monday, July 22, 2013

What is Empires Falling

Empires Falling is a dark fantasy epic that will be told over three full length novels and twelve short stories. This central character of this saga will be introduced in five short stories to be published in the ebook format. The first novel of three will follow there after. The title of the first novel in the series is What Lurks In The Wilderness.

This blog will cover many things not covered by the books or short stories. It will give you a history of the main characters and offer excerpts from the books and short stories.

Let us begin with the most important character. This is the time of Empires and of course of emperors. As the saga begins the Emperor is Gallus Cato.

Gallus Cato is a man who won the throne through force of arms. As the highest ranking general of the former Emperor's legions he seized power from a sickly ruler almost fifteen years before the telling of this story begins. He assumed the throne at the age of thirty two and quickly consolidated absolute power over an empire in turmoil by marrying his sister off to a cruel hearted rival. Cato practices a policy of never allowing his armies to become weak by constantly sending them off to invade and claim new territories. Being the same kind of emperor that he was as a general he shares the wealth of conquest with his officers. The emperor does not have a wife or an heir. Six years into his rule he married for political advantage a woman who would die while giving birth to a child who also died shortly there after. Since then he has relations with servant women around the palace and enjoys the spoils of battle during the times he can get away to lead his arms. War is the only place that has ever felt like home to him.

Closest to the Emperor is his younger sister Julia Cato, formerly Julia Cato Praxus. She is twelve years younger than her brother. She was once a great beauty in her youth, but marriage to a man that brutalized her in every way possible left her bitter, cold hearted and unable to bare children. Despite being the one who sentenced her to a marriage that turned out to be a living hell, Julia loves her brother and is his most fierce protector. She knows that she can never rule the empire, but wants to be the Hand.

There are two other members of the Cato family. Cousins, one serves in the legions and the other as the governor of a small frontier trading outpost. They will be introduced in book one of the series.

       EXCERPT from the short story Hunting The Hand: (available now at iTunes and Amazon)

The death cry was so short and sharp that only the few birds that took flight
and Tresaha took notices of it. She stumbled with Varia leaning on her as they ran, but she regained her pace and kept going. If Varia had heard it then their race would have been done. Her father meant everything to the girl. Protecting Varia was now the only thing that mattered. She could not fail Halen in this regard. The sound of running water was near. The smell of it was in the air and a direct line through the woods would have been the best way to go, but Varia was not going to be able to handle that run so they stuck to what looked like a deer trail.

They were east of the imperial palace which meant that the river would be taking anything that fell into it toward the palace and the guard stations that watched the water way. She had seen that river from bridges and balconies, and it was wide and rapid. Tresaha had gone bone bare swimming with Varia last summer and the girl was such a good swimmer than she had not only swum circles around Tresaha but had disappeared beneath the water for the better part of two minutes before resurfacing with a giggle. Tresaha doubted if there would be any laughing today.

The woods had suddenly gone quiet. The sound of life had been all around them when they entered these woods, but the only sound that Tresaha could hear now was the sound of their own run. Twigs and branches being broken as they moved and then in the distance there was something else. A tree branch broke and then sets of racing feet coming their way. Halen had not been enough. The emperor's hand was the target, but there could be no witnesses left to what happened to him. Common assassins could have been sent, but men talked. When black magic was involved only the one who conjured it could tell. Those creatures were going to tear them apart if the river was not enough to save them. Tresaha had been told countless stories about evil spirits and most of them involved the fact that they could not enter holy places and could not cross running water.

Forever, it was breathing, stumbling and pulling along someone who was proving to be stronger than Tresaha thought possible. Varia was from many generations of wealth and privilege and there should not have been any wells of strength and determination to dip into, but Varia was finding strength from some source and forcing herself to go on. When something maybe a hundred yards behind them howled so hard that it rattled leaves from the trees overhead Varia did not hesitate or even seem to take notice at all.

Ahead was the sound of running water.

Behind was the sound of creatures leaping and flowing along a path a quickly as if they were composed of nothing more substantial than air.

A broken series of branches and there it was a river racing along faster than Tresaha remembered it. Under other circumstances she would have been afraid to ride that river if she had been dead center of a long oared boat. The clearing was smooth and down hill toward the river. They broke free into the open and Tresaha reached for the dagger than she wore in a sheath along her right thigh. Her slingshot would have been a better weapon, but there was no way she could pull it along with a ball then load and fire without being taken out by the second or third animal that was chasing them. That was if her sling would have had any affect on the animal. The guards that came with Varia had swords and it seemed that these creatures had gone through them.



Tearing up chunks of earth as the chase became desperate from creatures that did not fatigue or lose the smell of their prey. Someone watching from a distance would have seen the two girls running stride for stride along side each other with a matching of each others movements that seemed rehearsed over many years together rather than born minutes before from desperation. The two huge black beasts that at a distance certainly looked like dogs, but moved with a perfectly repeating motion that would have put to mind the movements of a man-made machine. They seemed to be driven by moving parts rather than muscle and pounding organs.

It seemed as if the girls would be caught and ripped to pieces about five paces from the river, but the dogs slowed down as if afraid to get too close to the water and that gave the two girls just enough time to dive toward the river. With one of the dogs snapping at Varia and tearing away a long strip from her gown.

The relief of going airborne toward the following water was short lived when the coldest substance that Tresaha had ever felt in her life swallowed her whole, twisted her around and spat her back to the surface. The ice cold current took her and flailing around with both hands she grasped something that felt like cloth beneath the surface of the water and yanking hard Varia surfaced with an ear piercing screaming. The cloth had turned out to be a fist full of Varia's hair. Tresaha exchanged her fist full of hair for a fist full of shoulder cloth. They could not lose each other in this churning water. She let the water spin her as Varia tugged at her collar. The spin was enough to see the shore line and the two dogs were trotting along the bank after them. The speed of the water was enough to put some distance between them and as long as they did not come out on that side of the river maybe their escape would be successful. Then again Tresaha was treading water as hard as she could, but every few yards the water rose up over their heads and they were beneath the surface of the ice cold river. Making matters worst they were getting heavier. Water was weighing down their clothes. It was going to sink Varia like a stone if they could not get rid of some of the girl’s garments, but at the moment all she could do was hang onto Varia and try to time the waves.

Available at iTunes And Amazon

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