The Freemen and the Stone

Status: 1st Draft

The Freemen and the Stone

Status: 1st Draft

The Freemen and the Stone

Book by: R. M. Keegan

Details

Genre: Fantasy

Content Summary


This is the third book in the Crystal Scepter series. It finishes the story of Evaughnlynn and sets up another series of three books involving a young boy. It is very rough, having been written
during a series of illnesses from which I have finally, I think, emerged. Please feel free to tear it apart. R.M.

 

 

Content Summary


This is the third book in the Crystal Scepter series. It finishes the story of Evaughnlynn and sets up another series of three books involving a young boy. It is very rough, having been written
during a series of illnesses from which I have finally, I think, emerged. Please feel free to tear it apart. R.M.

Chapter Content - ver.0

Submitted: July 05, 2020

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.0

Submitted: July 05, 2020

A A A

A A A

You have to login to receive points for reviewing this content.

Chapter Thirty

 

Roselyn awoke with a start.  A terrible sense of foreboding was pressing on her chest.  She looked to her side and Beowyn was there, asleep.  The fear began to drain away and she closed her eyes again.

Mauve said, “You’ve sensed a change in your environment.  I suspect your connection with Evaughnlynn is the cause.”

The foreboding was still there, so she got up slowly not to disturb Beowyn and put on her robe.  She looked back at his face.  He looked like a sleeping child.  An overwhelming tenderness made her eyes water.  She also felt a strong desire to get back in bed and wake him up.

Then, as clear as if her cousin were standing next to her, she heard Evaughnlynn say, “Well, Rose, are you going to come out of your room today?”

Roselyn suppressed a giggle and went out the door, closing it quietly.  In the sitting room she was pulled toward the balcony.  When she opened the glass paned doors she was not surprised that Evaughnlynn stood at the railing looking out to sea.

“An invasion fleet is coming, cousin.  We’re the only ones who can stop it.”

“How?”

Evaughnlynn looked back over her shoulder.  “We no longer need to speak aloud.  The power that dwells among the Freeman has made us stronger.”  Evaughnlynn looked back to the sea.  “We must raise a storm greater than any that’s struck this coast in centuries.”

“Why?”  Roselyn joined her cousin on the balcony.

“The sailors who’d normally sail out to fight the invaders have been drawn off to Bar Dor.  Those left behind are too few to face them, although they’ll try.  If we can raise a big enough storm, we’ll force the invaders to abandon their invasion while keeping the Freeman sailors safe ashore.”

Rose looked at the flat sea and noted the lack of any breeze.  She stepped to the railing an put both hands on it.  “We can raise such a storm?”

Evaughnlynn put her hand on her cousin’s.  “There’s great power in the beliefs of these people.  That power responds to those who embrace it.  It will help us raise the storm.”

Evaughnlynn scanned the horizon.  “But we have to find a place that overlooks as much of the sea as possible if we’re to see the invasion fleet in time to raise the storm.”

Roselyn pointed to the south.  “There’s a lighthouse just beyond that hill and you can see all the way to Jutland from the top.”  She turned to her cousin smiling.  “We went there yesterday for a picnic.”  When Evaughnlynn looked at her, Roselyn went scarlet.

Evaughnlynn laughed.  “I can only see emotions.  I can’t read your mind.”

Both women broke into laughter.

“So, here you are.”  Beowyn stood in the open door, still in his nightgown.  “Hello, Evon.  When did you get here?”

She turned to him.  “I’m not.  It’s the same spell I used last year when we fought the orcs.”

“So you’re still in Bar Dor?”  He walked out on the balcony and hugged Roselyn.

Evaughnlynn looked toward the hill in the distance.  The tenderness between her cousins was overpowering.  “Can you take Rose and I to the lighthouse you visited yesterday?”

“Sure.”  He chuckled.  “We can even make it a picnic like we did yesterday.”

Out of the corner of her eye Evaughnlynn saw Rose go bright red again.  “Not exactly like we did yesterday.”

“No, of course not.”  Beowyn was also bright red.

“I’ll leave you now,” Evaughnlynn said.  “I’ll come back after you reach the lighthouse this afternoon.”  She smiled.  “Sorry I had to interrupt your honeymoon, but it’s necessary.”

Beowyn turned and walked back into the apartment.  “I’m going to get dressed.”

Evaughnlynn gripped Rose’s hand, holding her back.  “Rose, we can do it—raise the storm—but there’ll be dark wizards resisting us.  If we can’t stop them, I can simply return to Bar Dor.  You and Beowyn need to be ready to flee.”

“Evon, Beowyn won’t leave these people, and I won’t leave him.”  She gripped her cousin’s hand.  “We’ll just have to raise a really good storm.”

 

  • *** **

Captain Shachar looked closely at his cousin Agam, back from the dead after all these years.  “All right, cousin, why was your death necessary for your job?”  Anger rose up with memories of the past.  “I was there when your name was carved on the wall.  I watched your mother wail in grief.  She and your father left Bar Krouth and never returned.”  His eyes narrowed and he shook his head.  “Of all the fool stunts and irresponsible, stupid, inconsiderate blunders you’ve made, to fake your death as a hero fallen in battle?”  He shook his head again.  “How could you do that to them?”

Agam glanced at Ingal and smiled.  “As you can see, we were close.”  He turned to his cousin.  “All those childhood stunts, as you called them, we part of my training.”  He smiled.  “While you were holding tight to your mother’s apron, I was hanging out of windows, jumping roof to roof and pretending to steal valueless trinkets so that I could do so successfully when it counted.”  Agam straightened out his legs and arched his back.  “I’m getting old.  I’m glad this was my last field assignment.”  He sighed and then looked back at Shachar.  “I’m a spy for our people.  I’ve been all over the world with many names and jobs, usually working with the dark powers, but not always.  We have more enemies than you know.”

He looked over the bow.  “I have a talent, a curse, perhaps.  I can believe my own lies.”  He smiled.  “It was discovered when I was young.  So I grew up learning how to use my talent to protect our people.  I learned how to convince a dark wizard that I too was of the dark.  I studied their ways, and the lies they use to trick people into serving them.”

Agam waived his hand.  “Enough of me.  Fortunately for you, on my last assignment I met Ingal in Ellisland about two years ago.”  He shrugged.  “Anyway, I’d located you but couldn’t do anything to help.  Since he was returning to Jutland, he agreed to help me get you free.”

“Okay, Agam, I understand.  You did what you did for our people.”  Shachar looked at Ingal.  “You came to Jutland from Ellisland to free me?  Then you’re not an old Herul warrior?  Who are you really?”

Ingal looked at Captain Shachar and then leaned back against the gunnel.  “I’ve had a number of names myself.  Most recently, Sir Lares of Hawkland.”  He smiled.  “Originally, I was called Lambert, son of Duke Nominoe, and Chief Sorcerer to my uncle, the King of Jutland.”  He looked up at the sky and then back at the land.  “In about an hour they’re going to know we’re gone.  I’d as soon we were not in sight of the camp when that happens.  Also, the invasion fleet will be here by midday to load troops and the forward scouts should be off the coast in a few hours.  We should sail north for a while and then west.  I’d aim for the southern coast of Hawkland.  From there we can sail south, sheltered by the coastal islands.”

“Why not sail directly for the Freeholds?  We have a good head start.  We can beat them by at least a day.”

“Because a storm won’t be enough to stop them.”

 

*****

 

Evaughnlynn left her room in the inn and went downstairs to the dining room for breakfast.  She was very hungry.  Her mental trip to Bar Chof had used energy she needed to replace.  This afternoon she had to do it again and she wanted to be sure not to wear herself out.

“The bond between Beowyn and Roselyn has grown stronger.  Sorcha said.  “She’ll be able to draw energy from him to aid you.”

“Thank you.”  Evaughnlynn nodded at the waiter who set her breakfast in front of her.  “I’m aware of that.  But I’m also concerned there’ll be an attack here.”

“It’s possible to coordinate two attacks, one by sea and another by land.  It’s not possible for you to be in two places at once.”

Evaughnlynn began to eat.  “I may be able to deal with both attacks if I move back and forth between them.  Besides, surely one attack will be underway before the second starts.”

“You will very quickly exhaust yourself and fail at both.  It takes energy to project yourself somewhere, more than it takes to maintain the image.”

“But I only have to project myself to Bar Chof.  I’m actually here.”

“True.”

Sorcha was silent so long Evaughnlynn nearly finished breakfast.  She set down her spoon.  “Sorcha, you agree then, that I might be able to do it?”

“There may be a way.  When you treated the sick children in Bar Elam with Neima, you used a lot of energy, but were not drained by it, although you were tired.  The power that exits among the Freemen flowed into you after you began to use your energy to help her, and that energy passed through you to her.  Perhaps it will work the other way.  Perhaps the energy will flow into her and then into you if you strive to help the Freemen people.”

Evaughnlynn stood, ignoring the last of her food.  “I’ll have Neima sit with me when I go back to Bar Chof this afternoon to meet Rose.  We’ll see if her God helps me.  But you must monitor her use of power so that she’s not injured by helping me.”

“You plan to raise a storm today.  Why?”

“To see if Rose and I can do it again, and to see if the Freeman’s power helps.”

 

  • *** **

Brother Drogo stood beside Brother Fulradt on a hill overlooking the huge camp of barbarians and foreign mercenaries from every land bordering the inland sea.  He found it hard to take it all in.  Two huge circles, skin tents in one and woven fabric tents in the other.  A herd of horses were gathered to one side so numerous he could not count them.

Brother Fulradt turned to him.  “The plan is unfolding as we expected.  The pig people are rushing their best sailors from the coast to Bar Dor.  There’s no way they’ll be able to successfully launch their ships against our fleet.  We’ll be nearly unopposed in destroying their capital and their vile temple.”  He waved his hand toward the troops in front of them.  “Tomorrow I will lead this rabble into Swineland and force their army to fall back to Bar Dor.  You’ll follow behind with the orcs and our new trebuchets.  Then we’ll bombard the fort into rubble and the whole land will be ours.”

Brother Drogo’s hand went to his new stone of power, which hung from a golden chain around his neck.  “What of the witch?  She’ll be in Bar Dor.  Or do you see her returning to Bar Chou?”  Fear his superior intended him as a sacrifice in the coming battle gripped his heart.  Every sorcerer who had gone against the girl was dead.

A smile creased Brother Fulradt’s face.  “She won’t leave Bar Dor.  She thinks she’s a sorcerer with her elfin stone.”  His smile turned to a snarl.  “But the hidden one will stay with her.  Erispoe’s son has no idea we know who and what he really is.  That will be his undoing.”

“Will we confront him, Brother?”

“We?  No.”  Brother Fulradt smiled.  “I will kill him.  Then the Master will know that I’m his greatest disciple.”  Relief flooded into Brother Drogo.

“Brother Knobu is in the fort.  He’ll deal with the witch.  Your job will be to counter her spells until he does.”  Brother Drogo’s stomach dropped.

“But don’t try to kill her.  That will draw a response from Erispoe’s son.”  Brother Fulradt put his hand on Drogo’s shoulder.  “When she calls down rain, call wind to move it away.  If she calls wind, calm the air.  If she casts fire, cast water.  Whatever she does, counter it.  That should be simple enough for you to do.”


© Copyright 2020 R. M. Keegan. All rights reserved.

Write a Regular Review:

Regular reviews are a general comments about the work read. Provide comments on plot, character development, description, etc.

Write Regular Review

Write an In-line Review:

In-line reviews allow you to provide in-context comments to what you have read. You can comment on grammar, word usage, plot, characters, etc.

Write In-Line Review

Share on Twitter

Connections with R. M. Keegan

R. M. Keegan is a member of: