BOOK DETAILS

Outcast (The Blue Dragon's Geas Book 1)

Outcast (The Blue Dragon's Geas Book 1)

by Cheryl Matthynssens

ASIN: B00H15P0FW

Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Science Fiction & Fantasy/Fantasy, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

$2.99

Alador wants nothing more then to fit into the world that rejects him due to his mixed heritage. He does not fit into the world of his mother and he can't seem to bring to life the power of his father. And then of course, there is a girl.

Renamaum, a great blue dragon, wants to restore the pact between man and dragon that time and greed have erased. He petitions the council to find one who will fight for the future of both dragon and mortal.

Both come crashing together when Alador is caught in a geas so strong that neither could abandon it, even in death.

Sample Chapter

The next few days passed uneventfully. Trelmar had given him a wide berth once he had been released from the healer’s hut. An old comfortable routine re-established itself. Alador and his friends worked their bows in the morning, they did their village tasks till the learning bell and then took the small ones out. These trips included picking berries, learning to swim and other simple skills. Evenings were spent with family tasks, or on occasion, Alador would go hunting with Tentret or fishing with Gregor. The hunting and fishing had been outstanding since the snows had fallen off.

While many of the villagers still watched and whispered as he passed, he was becoming accustomed to this new kind of attention. The awkward moments were when one actually took a moment to ask after his day. He would shuffle, murmur and disappear as quickly as he could without being rude. For years, he had complained that he was an outsider. Now, with more acceptance, he realized just how much more peaceful life had been left on his own. At the same time, this new attention still was a form of being on the outside. It was just now people cared if he also disliked them.

This routine continued till the traders’ caravan came to town. It was a rare event for the caravan to visit. There was always a cry of excitement when the dust on the road was noticed. The caravan would roll in, armed guards surrounding it as it moved. It was always a day of celebration, feasting, music, and of course bartering. The caravan worked a route of Daezun settlements.

Each village excelled at differing crafts and then passed their wares on in the caravan. Added to this, were items from Lerdenia, which the villages found hard to acquire on their own.

By the time all the wagons filtered in, the center of the village was full of wagons turned into stalls of goods. At the very center, rough boards were set up for tables and benches and a prang was set to roasting on a large spit. The middlins took turns keeping the wild beast turning and brushing it with the sweet sauce that brought out the meat’s rich flavor.

Prang, though available year around, embodied the image of winter. Their white and brown coats made it easy for them to blend in in amongst the dead foliage of the cold winter months. An adult prang could weigh up to two hundred and fifty stones and so were not butchered by individual families, but the village as a whole to prevent losing any to spoiling. The upswept and back curving horns were used in many medicines by the healers for headaches and eyesight.

When not trading, the women were busy cooking and soon the boards would fill up with foods of all varieties. The traders always brought the drink to the table as their contribution. This way, they could spend their time in trade and did not have to worry about a meal when they were done. While on occasion medure slips changed hands, most of the trading was exchanges of goods. Of course, traders always made better in the bargains, but it was just the way of it.

The strange rectangle pieces of metal were the currency between Lerdenia and Daezun. Medure was a hard metal that was difficult to find and harder to work. It glistened with flecks of blue. Most villagers didn’t want to keep it about as it drew thieves and greed. Some would not trade if they could not barter fair goods straight across.

Dorien had suggested that they wait till the day was mostly done before heading over to the trader that bought bloodstones. This would not be a trade of goods because the bloodstone trader worked with the Lerdenian Empire, and he only had slips to give in trade. As Alador worked his way through the stalls, a crowd began to appear behind him. By the time he made it to the stall, he had his personal retinue of as many villagers as could fit into the small spaces and still see him.

He waited patiently as one of the other miners traded in an egg sized stone. It brought fifty medure. A nice price for any miner. A single medure could get a great deal in trade goods. When the man had completed his trade, Alador stepped up. The crowd about him became quiet.

“Ah, I do not have to ask. This is the young man with the hulking stone I keep hearing about." The man’s smooth way of speaking was only outdone by the silken robes he wore.

Alador had traded before so was used to the odd appearance of the stone trader but even so, he found himself at a loss for words so nodded. He set the stone upon the weight board. He heard the intake of the man’s breath and looked up as the man stared at it.

“It is clear?" The trader tapped it curiously.

“I know, I hope it does not lower the value over much." Alador looked up at the taller man with concern. He shifted fearfully. What if the trader did not want it? He looked from the stone to the trader with evident anxiety.

The trader had been watching Alador closely. He licked his dry lips and then spoke. “Well, I do think I will be lowering the weight price a bit. I have never seen one that had the appearance of a window pane, red though it is." The trader stroked the smooth stone curiously.

“What do you offer then, sir?" Alador’s hands were clenched tight. His brother, Dorien had worked his way to Alador’s side and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder. He surely could get at least four hundred for it.

“Well, it is substantial to be sure. And its weight measure is the largest I have seen." The man pursed his lips and tapped his chin in thought. “I will offer you five hundred medure.”

The crowd gasped about him, and the price was whispered back all over to those that could not hear. Alador was ecstatic. That was one hundred more than he had been hoping to receive.

Before Alador could speak, his brother scooped up the stone. “I think we will just make a trip to the border Alador. I mean, why should you stand here and let this thief rob you? Seriously, five hundred is an insult.” Alador looked up at Dorien as if he had lost his mind. He was more than happy with five hundred and was about to tell his brother so when the trader raised a hand.

“Wait! Wait now. Perhaps I have been a little hasty in my offering."

Alador’s eyes riveted to the trader’s in disbelief. His mouth hung open with the weight of

his shock. He had never considered that traders would undervalue the bloodstones. He had always just accepted what the men offered in the past. He had felt so grateful to have slips that he had focused on the things they would purchase.

“Well then, my friend, you had best be giving a fairer accounting to my brother, or we will have no business to attend." Dorien answered him imperiously. Alador looked over to his brother and was surprised to see a bit of anger in them. In addition, Dorien’s usual jovial manner was gone as he drew himself up. The large size of the blacksmith made Alador look small beside him.

“One thousand medure and that is fair for you would have to take time from your shop to go to the border for a better offer." The trader fired back. The trader looked between the two brothers and bit his lip as he waited for Dorien’s counter.

Dorien did not answer right away. “Five thousand and I might consider it an apology for an attempt at thievery." Dorien’s tone brooked no argument. Dorien was tense at his brother’s side. His eyes were watching the trader closely as if watching for something.

The man paused, his face flushed a dark color and the murmur of the crowd took a slightly bitter turn as word spread that the trader had undervalued the stone with intent. “Two thousand is all I can offer and still make my own slips when it reaches the border." He finally spit out. The trader was clearly concerned now.

Traders that were known to cheat were often cast out and could not make a good living due to distrust. Not only that, but word spread quickly from village to village. Alador wondered if the trader would be forced to be generous the rest of the day.

Dorien turned to leave as if he did not believe the man. Alador panicked for fear his brother had just lost him his slips, and he would have to wait an entire season before he could sell the stone. Not only that, but he had never heard of anyone with two thousand slips. “I think we will just find a mage who is need of a strong stone.”

“All right two thousand two hundred, but you are making it very hard to keep my own small ones fed." The trader countered wringing his hands.

Dorien turned back around and dropped the stone down with a dull thud upon the weight board. “Done!" Dorien held a satisfied grin as Alador stared on in amazement.

****************************************************************************

His brother turned him toward the door and pushed him forward. Alador did not need any more prompting to set out and to find Mesiande amongst the trading stalls. Alador had never had as much fun as he had that night. It had not taken long to find Mesiande and Gregor. In fact, given the ease it was more likely they had found him.

The first stop had been at the stall for arrows, fletching and bows. He bought each of them new strings and searched through the feathers for the best fletching. His friends were stunned at the price and attempted to protest, but Alador would have none of it. If he could not have fun this one night, what was the point of even having slips?

They bought sweetmeats and looked at many stalls before the bell sounded. Slowly around them, the wagons closed up. It was rather interesting to watch. It seemed almost as in unison that the traders would finish the last sale and a process of packing up began. The people of the village slowly migrated to the feast. One by one, the stalls became just wagons once more.

The feast was crowded, but food was to be had at every board. Each family had picked a board and filled it with their own offerings to the meal. Large platters of the prang had been carved up and laid out upon the tables. Roasted fruit and nuts sprinkled amongst the meat. The smell of food filled the air and the sound of laughter and music was a cascade of sound tumbling down around them. The weather had held for them, and a warm breeze still filled the air as the sun settled behind the hills. People mingled and shared their offerings with friends and even those they did not particularly like.

The dancing began as soon as the boards were cleared from the feast. The fire from where the prang had roasted had been built up to light the circle. Middlins and adults danced about in circles and pairs with no apparent rhyme nor reason to the step. Children dashed about the dancers or attempted to imitate their elders, creating a vision that truly was the village. The Elders played flutes, drums or shakers. That was Alador’s second favorite part, the pulsing beat of those drums seemed to snake deep into one’s soul and the feet could not help but keep time.

The favorite part, however, was watching Mesiande dance. In honor of the festivities, she had taken down her usual braids and her hair hung in waves that the long standing braids had dressed into her hair. Despite its brown color, a trait of the Daezun people, it glimmered in the fire light with streaks of golden fire. Her eyes were closed as her feet kept rhythm to the drums. Her hands were high over her head, and her fingers snapped to the same beat. She had donned a skirt rather than her usual miner’s garb.

To Alador, she was a picture of perfection. Her body, despite the days mining, seemed perfectly formed. She didn’t have the over muscled appearance of many of the mining women. Only the palms of her hands gave an indication that she spent so many hours digging amongst stones.

He smiled when she looked up to see him watching her. She waved him to her. He joined her, and the two of them stomped and spun to the pulsing music. The beat began to build in the song as the two of them moved about one another. He could feel the calluses of those small hands whenever she placed her hands into his to dance about in circles. As the music came to a sudden stop, she collapsed against him laughing. She felt so right in his arms as he held her up.

As the evening progressed, he and Gregor both danced with her in turn. Sometimes the three danced together. Alador was leaner and a head taller than the other two. But tonight, he did not feel out of place. Tonight, the village was home. As he watched Mesiande prance around in circles with Gregor, he smiled. Tonight, he would not have wished to be anywhere else.

Continues...

Excerpted from "Outcast (The Blue Dragon's Geas Book 1)" by Cheryl Matthynssens. Copyright © 2013 by Cheryl Matthynssens. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Cheryl Matthynssens

Cheryl Matthynssens

Cheryl Matthynssens was born in Upland, California, holds a teaching degree and is a licensed addictions counselor. This has allowed her to interview hundreds of personalities over her career. She loves that everyone is unique and this appreciation and interest has informed and inspired her writing.

View full Profile of Cheryl Matthynssens

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