I’m very, very pleased to be working with the guys at Seventh Star Press for another blog tour from author Stephen Zimmer, this time around we’re talking about his Spirit of Fire book, the 3rd in his Epic Fantasy series “Fires in Eden”. I don’t want to give anything away about this new book since I haven’t finished it yet, but I will say that this series has won me over to the point that both of the non-digital copies of his first and second book reside on my “reserved for favorites” section of my book shelf. Right along with my George RR Martin, Tolkien, and PV Brett books. Today though, we have a guest post from one of the characters in his series, Dragol, a Trogen warrior bad-ass that rides a flying creature called a Harrak.
Walking alone is sometimes good for a Trogen warrior. There are times you need to go on a path by yourself to see something more clearly. The path I am on now was forced upon me. I do not regret that. It may be one that leads me to a deeper wisdom.
I came west with the warriors of the Trogen clans to fight in a war for the Unifier. My own clan is the Thunder Wolf Clan. Like all of the other clans, we chose to fight. We have been promised help from the Unifier against the Elves who plague our lands.
The Unifier is the one figure with the power to aid us. There is no being more powerful that I know of. There were none who could argue against the emissaries from Avalos when they came to speak to the clan chieftains.
The Elven war on the Trogens has never ceased. This is no weakness on the part of the Trogen clans. We cannot build a wall like the humans, or a put a ship into the waters of the sea on our northern coast. It is not that we are incapable. We never have had enough time, for it takes much time to build ships and walls.
We have tried, and each time the Elves came in force and destroyed what we had started to build. It was useless to even attempt these things. The Elven kind existed much longer than Trogens have. The Elves were far advanced in their ways when the first of our kind came to dwell in our lands.
The Elves had fleets and walls long before we were even settled. They had a strong force of sky steeds they used to raid us from the time the first clans were formed. They could strike at us in strength anywhere in our lands.
When they discovered an abundance of ore in one area near our coast to the north and east, iron, gold, and more, they seized land Trogens dwelled upon and they took a great many as slaves. The sons and daughters of those slaves live in toil and persecution today, behind a great fortification the Elves built to secure the land they took from us.
Sometimes we have found a way to defend ourselves better.
We were able to tame and raise Harraks, and train them to serve as our flying mounts. Our weapons like longblades and scythens were well-suited to fighting in the skies, and something had to be done about the Elven advantage with their sky steeds. They were using them to go deep into our lands.
The Harraks were trained in a mountain hideaway. A hero of our kind long ago, Marragesh, took them into battle against the Elves on their own flying steeds. This did not bring us the strength we need to drive the Elves from our lands, but it did help us to fight back and make them pay more in blood for their raids into our lands.
Now, we fight in a war that I am not certain is one that Trogens should be fighting in. A feeling of conflict has risen in me about this war.
I am likely the only survivor of a force of sky warriors that hurried to fight a much larger force of Midragardans on sky steeds. In the heat of their battle fury they abandoned my authority, when I could see the threat before them. I was left by myself.
I can face dying, but I do not wish to throw my life away so easily. I took refuge in the forests with my steed. It was not long before we were attacked, not by enemy warriors, but by the things that stalk those woods. My steed was slain and now I am traveling through these woods, not knowing what lies ahead.
I am in enemy lands, and I do not expect mercy if one of their war bands comes across me. I do not know if I could hold my longblade back if I came across a lone Elven warrior wandering through my lands.
I have had only the company of a strange man, if that is what he is, as I have traveled these woods. He has powers, of that I am certain as I have seen them with my own eyes. He has great wisdom, and speaking with him has given me much to think about.
I cannot deny what I feel in my heart. There is something wrong with this war. It is a coward’s war, dropping stones from high in the air onto defenseless villages. The best fighting is blade to blade, and eye to eye. War can never be taken lightly when fought in such a way.
This flying far over villages and raining stones upon them is for lesser beings, not Trogen warriors. I can feel the unease in many of my fellow warriors. I know that they do not feel good about this war. Some have given voice to it, but I can tell by the looks in their eyes.
If we were attacking an Elven village, we would seek to use our longblades, scythens, spears and other weapons against Elven warriors, not their young or elderly.
I wish I could speak with Framorg about what I have been coming to think, but I do not know when, or how, I can get back to where they are encamped at the edge of Saxany.
Framorg, of the Mountain Bear Clan, is the supreme war chieftain of the Trogen Clans. All clans accepted his leadership in war when the agreement was made with the Unifier. Framorg can decide to abandon this war. I just do not know if I could convince him to.
I know Goras would understand what I have come to realize, and if Goras can, then others can as well.
I have to find my way back. I must get out of the enemy lands, but every rustle of a leaf or crack of a twig could be an enemy war party that I will not be able to avoid.
If it comes to a fight, even one that brings an end to my life, I only know I will meet it with my longblade in hand. That is all a Trogen can hope for, to face death with fire in my eyes and a battle cry pouring from my heart.