Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Empires Short Stories Rising

Empires Short Stories Rising

With the third short story being published last week and the release of the first free story coming within the next week the Empires Falling universe is beginning to take shape. You expect an update soon of the family lines that will dominate these stories. Also I am working on a chart of the most powerful magical characters in the Empire’s universe. 


There has not been much in the way of magic or good old fashion sword play in theses short stories?

That changes in the third story of the series. Miri is one of the more powerful characters that practices magic. Below I am going to offer the first two chapter of the 8,000 word third story in the series along with link to where it can be purchased.

Understand that all the short stories so far are stand alone stories. You do not have to read one to understand what is happening in another, but you will need to read a few on them if you wish to know what is going on in the first novel of the trilogy to come. 

The First Port in the Storm
(An Empires Falling Short)
Rodney Cannon

Chapter One.

The province of Panonia still felt like a new posting after almost four years. Maybe it was the fact that the area was so vast and the common tongue was still only one of a dozen spoken by the many tribes that made up the land.
Governor Magnux Cato stood on what was called the balcony of the Governor’s palace. The place was a three story drafty old stone keep that was part of a frontier fort that had crumbled almost a hundred years before this empire claimed it. Beyond the main gates, was the edge of a marketplace that covered almost two full miles. It ended at this side of the river and picked up where it left off on the other side of the river. The last governor had tried to suppress this trading post while he offered imperial protection to it and taxed it. Thanks to a river that flowed from areas unexplored even by imperial forces and paved roads that dated back hundreds of years this little corner of the empire was a nexus for every type of trade imaginable. All that had been needed to turn this post into a gold mine was someone like him.
Emperor Cato had looked at this post as a way to bury his nephew while not lowering the name Cato in the eyes of the public. He got sent off to govern a post in a waste land while his brother got the post of general of a legion that was given the task of taming a lurker infested wilderness across the eastern seas. A place that if glory was to be won would take the better part of ten years to do so. That was unless he had more resources such as gold skimmed from the taxes of a province like this.
Magnux pushed away from the railing and made his way down the stairs to where his personal guard waited. For the palace itself he had ten former legion officers. For most of these walks he had two hand-picked locals who had taken what was called a blood oath to protect his life at the cost of their own in return for the freedom from slavery and citizenship for eight members of their family. They were brothers born less than a year apart. With their heads smoothly shaved and covered in similar tattoos they looked like twins. Their common movements and unspoken language that Revin and Kelts shared reminded Magnux of the closeness he shared with his brother.
The two tall and reed thin men stood just inside the entrance way. They carried metal shafted spears rather than swords and where amazingly skilled with the weapon. It had taken the Empire almost six years to tame this territory because of the natives and how well they used this particular weapon.
“Governor Cato.”Revin said. He usually spoke for the brothers.
“I am listening Revin.”Magnux said.
“Merchant Fostel was offered a bribe in hopes that I would be able to secure an audience with you.”Revin said. It was a refreshing change of pace to have such honesty from a servant. His deal with the man and his brother was that they were allowed to accept all the bribes that did not inconvenience him or risk his safety. The fat merchant paid his taxes, threw a feast as well as the most decadent senators he had known and the most important thing was that he got to the point.
“Permission granted.”Magnux Cato nodded. “How much has he offered?”
“Ten dinar.”Revin said.
“Ask for eighteen and settle for twelve. He can afford it.”Magnux said.
“Anything else before we start.”

Chapter Two.
She knew that the dream was ending and with it would come a return to unrelenting pain and darkness so she held onto the dream and did what she had been taught to do. She attached herself to a shadow and rode it.
This shadow belonged to a fat man in a one man fishing boat that was barely wide enough to contain his girth. He sat in the boat, with huge meaty hands he pulled in his net. A dozen or so fish twitched and struggled inside of the net.
She looked away to the shadow a cloud on the water and hopped onto it. With the shadow skimming the surface of the flowing river came the sensation of floating. A sensation that came to an ending when the cloud touched land and she found herself at the edge of a river bank marketplace. There were old docks being torn down while in the distance newer ones were being constructed. Miri moved from one shadow to another until she was amongst the common people who were busy with buying and selling. Most of the languages that were spoken here were unknown to Miri and the only way to understand those languages would have required going deeper than a shadow. The language used by the merchants that seemed to be the most prosperous was the common tongue of the Western Empire. It was not native to her, but she had been taught it as a child. There was nothing special about their small talk. Talk of money, talk of the weather, talk of wars and rumors of wars. One old woman who sold her gifts as a seer talked of the year of the flaming star. How more than ten years had passed and the seeds that it sowed had found rich soil and had been growing ever since. How the world would burn as the sky did all those years ago. Even now one of those seeds were drifting toward this littler corner of the world.
Gloom and doom was always the most popular future to order, but ever seer knew that the future was always changing. A single person could alter the entire flow of history in the same way that a rock could change the flow of a stream.
Beyond this area of commerce was a grand market that led off from the working docks toward a city of wood and brick. The marketplace was split down the middle by a paved road that went on for as far as the eye could see and at the edge of her vision there was a tall man in fine robes being escorted by two taller men both armed with spears that gleamed in the morning sunlight as if they were made of metal. As she thought to dance a path of cast shadows down along this road a stab of pain shot through her face and she woke. Woke into a world of pain.

You can purchase the complete short story at Amazon by clicking here.   

  At iTunes by clicking here   

  At B&N by  clicking here.

  At Kobo by clicking here.

Thank you for visiting my site and please take a moment to visit the Empires Falling facebook page. If you are one of the first thirty people to like the page I am offering a choice of any of the short stories for free to you. Like the page and I will send to a text copy of story 1, 2 or 3. You get to pick.

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