him as the Kan Savasci. He’s one of the most feared men alive. Chaos
and war have followed him like an angry shadow.
Savasci is nowhere to be found.
tasked to uncover the whereabouts of the Kan Savasci at any cost. In
order to find the man, one must unmask the depths of his reclusive
“beautiful,” and “reminiscent of Rothfuss’ work.”
A SAMPLE FROM: “TEARS OF A HEART” by Chase Blackwood
It was on a warm Sumor day that he found himself on one of the many roads leading to the great city on the shores of the River Lif.
Irrigation streams carved channels through the valley, sectioning off parcels of land for farming. Aeden had never seen farming on such a scale. The thoroughfares were made of crushed stone and were plied upon by thousands of groups. Travelers, troupers, farmers, merchants, and the nobility all made their way over the vast network of roads.
The route he took led to the heart of Bodig. By the third day he could make out the great Red City. Massive walls of maroon-hued sunstone enshrouded the city. The early morning light graced the sunstone and cast it in luminescence, giving it the appearance of a giant gemstone.
To his left, the River Lif carved a wide, slow-moving channel. Its waters shimmered in the morning light, feeding the great vine of the central kingdom.
There was almost too much for Aeden to process. He had grown accustomed to the quiet of the forest. The sights and sounds sparked lucid fragments of crumbling memory. A brief flash of him sitting about a campfire settled in his mind.
He was back in his village, sitting next to Devon after a long day of training. Their bellies were full and stories of faraway lands were told to amuse and to educate. He would purposefully position himself to watch the firelight play with Dannon’s delicate features. That night was the story of the Great Empire to the West. How one man set about uniting three massive kingdoms.
Aeden blinked back tears and attempted to clear his throat of the constant lump of sadness that now resided there. He glanced down; surprised to see he was clutching the lock of Dannon’s hair. He tucked it back into his pocket and followed the movements of the boats plying the River Lif in an effort to distract himself.
Brightly colored sails flapped in the subtle wind. Flags demarcating noble houses of trade snapped and fluttered. Dark-skinned men appeared as insects in the distance moving about the wooden decks. Aeden couldn’t help but wonder what Devon would think of it all.
Thoughts consumed Aeden, swallowing the hours as the sun rose into the afternoon sky. He had followed a trouper’s caravan to the walls of the Red City. A series of piers stretched out to his left. Boats of various make and shape were docked. Men were busy casting lines, offloading cargo, or shouting orders. Smaller skiffs lay anchored, awaiting their turn, sails folded and tucked away.
Soldiers stood alert along the road leading to the huge gates. They had the solid look of pillars, sweating under the Sumor sun. The symbol of an oak tree with a single sword underneath emblazoned their red chest armor. Aeden quickly wrapped his bodark bow, quiver, and Templas sword within the folds of the great shroud cat’s skin that he carried upon his back.
He huddled ever closer to the multi-colored wagon in front of him, its wheels creaking over the gravel and stone. Aeden was temporarily cast in shade as they squeezed through the massive archway of one of the main entrances to the city. Huge metal gates stood open, the black bars stood in stark contrast to the differing shades of red brick that comprised the walls. The bricks themselves were partially transparent, as if they struggled to retain the color within. A shove from behind snapped him out of his fascination and forced him into the city. He was surprised at how many people were making their way into Bodig. It reminded him of the mass elk migrations he had seen back home.
Once within the city walls he left the relative safety of the lumbering trouper caravan. The smells of spices, humanity, and rotting foods flooded his senses. A dizzying array of colorful stalls lined the great artery leading deeper into the capital. People shoved, shouted, and bargained as they clogged the streets. Small alleyways twisted off the main road like branches of some great tree. Smaller shops lined the alleys cast in shade by red canvas strung overhead. Bins of spice stretched into the twisting depths of each alley he saw. He never knew there were so many spices in all of Verold.
Foreign words were uttered all about him. People pushed past him as he watched a small group of children beg for food. All the while the swelling tide of humanity pushed him ever deeper into the heart of the Red City. Hopefully toward a place of greater quiet, he thought.
Aeden passed another wall and another open gate. He paused, briefly running a hand along the strangely translucent, red stone. This second section was nearly as busy as the first. People continued to push their way through the crowds like rain upon an open mountain.
Almost immediately the stench of feces, blood, and death hit him like a fist to the stomach. A cacophony of squeaks, squeals, barks, and hollers trumped the haggling shouts of the populace. Live animals of every shape and size imaginable were chained, caged, or otherwise enclosed and for sale. The ground was a slippery mixture of dung, urine, and water, all running in thin runnels over faded stone.
Flies buzzed about in angry clusters. They droned around incessantly. They were attracted by the ever-present metallic tinge of blood. Small rivulets of red ran from the stands where animals were killed. Impatient customers watched in agitated boredom, swatting at flies as butchers worked their craft. The scene was fascinating, gruesome, and mundane.
The hours stretched by slowly under the sultry embrace of the day. The heat made his clothes stick to his body. His skin was red from the sun and his mouth was dry and thirsty. In that span of time he heard the shouting and haggling of slavers peddling their slaves. Men walked past his cage, looking inquiringly upon the fresh crew and the four monks. On occasion words were exchanged between one of the slavers and the perspective buyer.
It wasn’t until the sun was a couple of hours from setting that Reem returned. The green-robed fat man procured a key and the crew members of the Seventh Sage were called forward. The monks were told to remain behind.
Aeden moved to the far side of the cage and attempted to watch the sale of the crewmembers. They were led to the block one at a time.
“Salvare still watches over us,” Aeden heard Odilo whisper.
He turned to see Odilo comforting Adel. Neri sat in a corner staring at a spot on the ground.
“He’s forsaken us to this hell,” Adel responded. “Salvare wouldn’t allow men such actions.”
“He’s allowed far worse. Empires have been built on the backs of the less fortunate. It is the faith that He reserves judgment for that final breath that allows one to accept such atrocities,” Odilo replied gently.
Aeden stared at Odilo for a moment. The fundamental idea of the Holy Order of Salvare flashed before his eyes, and its one glaring weakness now echoed loudly in his mind, faith. It was a word often used, but what strength did the word hold when imperial soldiers were allowed to slaughter innocents in Nailsea? What did faith do to stop the pirates from capturing the Seventh Sage? What would faith have done to stop the draccus fiend from destroying his home, his family, and his friends?
The answer was nothing. He required something more tangible, more powerful than faith.
“Seventh hell isn’t punishment enough for them,” Adel responded, anger evident in his eyes.
Good, Aeden thought, use your anger to remain strong, to retain a sense of self and purpose. He watched Odilo and Adel for only a moment longer before turning his attention to the auctioning block.
“Hada sani kre gecelum!” The green robed man shouted, gesturing for them to get out.
The four monks shuffled out of the cage at the direction of the fat guard. They were led past empty cages where slaves had been held and then sold. As they moved toward the auctioning block Aeden’s stomach tightened. He was about to be sold as a piece of property. Would he be bought by someone fair? What type of work would they demand of him? Fear reared its ugly head and fanned the flames of anxiety.
his friends and his soul…
him as the Kan Savasci. He’s one of the most feared men alive. Chaos
and war have followed him like an angry shadow. The one problem, as
the world faces the wrath of forgotten gods, Kan Savasci is nowhere
to be found.
of the arkein, has been tasked to uncover the whereabouts of the Kan
Savasci at any cost. In order to find the man, one must unmask the
depths of his reclusive history.
been a carefully guarded secret, shrouded in mystery. Within its
shadowy depths the greatest of the old gods had carved a world unto
himself. A place unrivaled in its beauty, obscurity, and
last arkeinists, Aeden must overcome his greatest obstacle, or die
interesting about his life that captures your attention.
an insect zapping light. He’s studied martial arts since childhood in
an effort to overcome fear. He’s lived in a half dozen countries in
an effort to “find himself,” traveled to over 60 countries
in an effort to “find humanity,” lived in nine states just
for the hell of it, oh… and the military has had something to do
with that too. Chase has enjoyed combating terrorism, working as a
federal agent, and also really likes puppies.
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