The Forest of Allund
To protect himself and his friends, Alexio must wage war.
It will be a war without pity, mercy, and against the laws of Gods and Men.
Book One in the Forest of Allund Trilogy Available on Kindle.
Forest of Allund is a place filled with equal parts myth, mystery, and fear.
Young Mage Alexio Sopholus has returned home after ten years away at the Mage Academy. Although short and slight of build due to childhood sickness, he has found academic acclaim through his studies. Upon arrival in his home of Korpolis, he reacquaints himself with his old human friends and his former home. His only desire is to take up the position of forest caretaker left to him by his deceased master. The Forest of Allund is a place filled with equal parts myth, mystery, and fear. There he meets a wandering Amazon, but most importantly, his large and intelligent animal friends reside there. They all help him guard the forest from outside intruders. Soon the nature of the forces that govern and protect this place are made evident to him as he find new sources of knowledge and power.
Although he only seeks peace and quiet, he is soon thrust into a war with a new barbarian tribe, the Zilar. They seek total domination of all the lands and are not above using slavery, genocide, and brutal repression to get their way. Alexio is forced to fight them directly using all the powers at his command. Initially successful in his efforts he finds his victories have only made him the object of intrigue by his leaders who fear his power and his popularity. His efforts at protecting the land are met with suspicion, fear and betrayal by his own leaders.
Seeing the destruction, deceit, and betrayal around him, Alexio is forced to conclude that all his most cherished beliefs, principles, ethics and morality are all but useless against the foes arrayed against him. To protect himself and his friends he must wage war. It will be a war without pity, mercy, and against the laws of Gods and Men. It may also make him an outcast in his own land.
Cover Art by Keith Draws: www.keithdraws.wordpress.com
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The Barbarians Attack
An Excerpt from The Forest of Allund
“Philie,” I yelled out.
As I got close to the door she walked out looking annoyed, “What?” she called out. “We have to flee,” I told her. “Dysiasty has been sacked by the barbarians. Everyone is dead, even those trying to flee on the road. A party of the barbarians will be here in a moment. Maybe a dozen, maybe fifty — I don’t know, but we have to go.” She stood motionless for a moment. I reached over, grabbed her huge shoulders, and shook them as hard as I could. “Now, Philie!” I yelled and went into my cave. I ran up the path into the cave and threw the scrolls into the hidden compartment in a heap. I slammed the hidden doors shut, grabbed the Speaking Stone and put it in my robe pocket. I fled down the path and to the hut. Philie walked out with a sword, two knives, her bow, and quiver.
“Something is here,” I heard in the distance.
I ran past the mill getting tired quickly. I heard several horses neigh. I ran into the opening next to the hut just in time to see six riders trot past the orchard.
“They are here,” the lead horseman shouted.
They were wearing different clothing than the barbarians normally wore. Most of the desert tribes wore skins from their flocks or anything else they could scrounge. These riders were in a uniform: yellow tunic and long yellow breeches, each carrying sword and lance with a shield on their backs. They funneled into the opening. There had to be two dozen at least and they kept coming. I pulled energy out of the surrounding realms, formed a wind ball, and called out, “Aeras.” Normally a ball of air would come out that would at best blow a big gust of wind in the face of someone or trip a person as I did to the thief. This time, a huge ball of wind flew from my hand, hit the lead rider, lifted him and his horse off the ground and flung both to the earth. I have never been able to cast wind that powerful. I stood there agape for a moment. In that time, the thrown rider had gotten to his feet holding his left side and grimacing in pain. I snapped out of it and used the magik to amplify my voice. Maybe I could bluff them into fleeing.
“LEAVE HERE,” my voice thundered like Megas Zeus himself. The house shook, Philie put her hand over her ears, and several horses reared up, some throwing their riders. I went on making gestures as if I was a god, and in that moment, I felt like one. “THIS FOREST IS PROTECTED BY DIVINE POWERS. LEAVE HERE NOW OR BE DESTROYED.” That got their attention. All the riders froze in place. Some started to back up when the leader, now standing half bent over, called out. “It is a trick, kill him. Kill Him…” The leader’s voice ended abruptly because he had suddenly grown a two podia long shaft of wood out of his chest. Philie had hit him with an arrow. The leader collapsed to the ground once more, only this time he did not move. That broke the spell of indecision. “NO!” several called out. “Kill them, kill them all,” many yelled out. “Kill them like we killed the others.” With that, they started forward again.
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About the Author
Wilbur Arron is the pseudonym of a retired professional engineer and project manager. After over 40 years of technical work, he has taken up writing as a second career. He has published many short stories in several web sites of fiction and fan fiction. The Forest of Allund is his first novel.