The Alarna Affair – Chapter Twelve – What Was Found on the Warrior’s Grave

Jon heard Kara’s voice echo down the passageway as dust settled around them.  A rock had fallen and rolled not far from Tam’s feet.  Jon shivered and looked at the others. “She’s alive.”  Djaren smiled.  “That’s good.” Ellea was still frowning.  The remaining robed men stood around them, looking with dismay at the fallen rubble, and their comrades under it. (more…)

The Alarna Affair – Chapter Eleven – Into the Tomb

Kara sat in the dirtiest, darkest tavern in the village of Alarna, surrounded by unhappy thieves. “This is not good,” Negal said, laying a nearly empty purse down on the table they shared.  “These strangers are not good men.” “Good men do not hire people to do their thieving,” old gap-toothed Himar said, pushing a cup of weak tea toward Kara.  “Drink, little one.  When you are bigger you can have something stronger.”  Himar was having something stronger. “They took the stone, but what of us?  They promised us payment, and we have received nothing.”  Negal slammed an empty cup on the table. “You were promised,” a terrible hissing voice said, from behind them, “a due reward when your work was done.” Kara tried to duck under the table, but a robed man’s hand clamped down on her collar, hauling her up out of her chair.  The dark-robed men stood at all the exits, keeping Negal’s band of thieves trapped within.  The tall rotting man advanced on Negal, part of his face visible in the dim light, partially desiccated, but oozing. “Your work for me is not done,” he said.  “You have assembled the specialists I asked for, have you not?  We will need them.  I wish to open a door.” (more…)