Here's a teaser-snippet from my just-completed novel Fall of Saints. [EDIT] Silly me, I forgot to add a little description.
Fall of Saints is the first volume of the Balanced Sword trilogy. This takes place on the world of Zarathan, which is the sister world of magic mentioned in Digital Knight. It occurs at the same time and in parallel with my other projected epic fantasy trilogy, Spirit Warriors.
THE BALANCED SWORD
Book 1: Fall of Saints
By Ryk E. Spoor
Warm light spilled from the windows of the estate, windows that were set in solid stone, warded with spell and steel; comfort with protection. He gripped the hilt of his sword and swallowed; his mouth was dry, as thought filled with sand. "I… I don't want to do this," he whispered.
His companion's grip on his arm was unsettling… a combination of a reassuring squeeze and a warning, angry twist. "Ye're too late fer that, boy," the rough voice answered, barely audible from beneath the other's helmet, covered now with black cloth to prevent any glint of light from reflecting back to possible watching eyes. "Done other things as we been ordered, you have, not so bad, but enough 'tis so you either knew what might be needed, or you been foolin' yerself. Whichever 'tis, you'd best get over it."
"They're not bad people, sirza." The word meant friend, brother, father, though not related by blood; it was a word he used only to this man, the man he'd most admired and trusted and followed. "Why –"
"Dragons and curses, kid, you know that doesn't matter!" His mentor's voice nearly rose above a whisper. "We don't know the why, ain't got need to know, and askin' could get you what they're about to get."
He'd never more wanted to just shed the armor he wore than he did now, but his sirza was right; it was too late unless he wanted to go back to the temple and tell what waited there that…
Shuddering, he shook his head and turned his face back to the castle. No, far, far too late. "We'll never get in anyway. Doors are shut, the locking wards will –"
"Been assured that's no problem. Just be needin' to break the doors in ourselves. Guards mostly gone." His companion made three quick hand signals; the others fanned out. "They'll be the real problem, boy. Neither soft, both adventurers in their time. But alone, quiet in their upper chamber, guessin' they're takin' advantage with the kids all elsewhere this night." A gentler squeeze to the arm. "Better this way, eh, sirza? Better than what he would do, if we were daft enough to refuse."
That much was true. Their targets thought they were protected, blessed, but he knew how much of that was a lie… and what awaited those who stood against them. Yes, much better to die at my sword, no matter how horrifying they find it, than… than that.
He took a deep, shaking breath, nodded, and then drew himself up.
"Good lad," he heard faintly. The two of them strode to the doorway now, coordinating their steps, concentrating the power they were given, speeding up, strides becoming a jog, a sprint, shoulders lowering…
The twin doors, each ten feet high and five wide, shuddered at the impact; he felt the cloth covering tear, but the time for stealth was over and it was no longer a concern. He was right, the door-wards are down; all that force would've meant nothing otherwise, and likely alarm chimes and lights would now be everywhere – or something worse.
They drew back, focused, the power flickering about them in tarnished bronze light before they struck again.
This time the doors flew open, the eight-inch thick beam that had secured them snapped in two, deep gouges in the rimewood panels where their shoulderguards had bitten halfway through the wood.
Two house guards ran forward, but surprise at what greeted them hampered their response – and outnumbered more than three to one they had no chance, anyway. He and the others moved forward now, swiftly. Thank all the gods that the children are gone. He spared one more glance towards his companion. He planned the assault; I'm sure he waited for just that to happen.
The others fanned out through the house. Sounds of screams, breaking furniture, curses began to echo throughout the mansion as the two of them bounded up the stairs and smashed into the master bedroom doorway.
A blaze of blue-white thunderbolts limned them and he screamed, thrown back in a momentarily uncontrollable convulsion. Those wards are still up!
"Blast them! Threw up a new ward 'soon's they heard the noise! Go, boy, got to get the door down before –"
"I know!" He gathered himself up and they swung hard, sword and axe slamming into spell-reinforced wood and metal. The hastily-spelled ward could not overcome that assault, and though the hilt of his sword tingled he felt the spell break.
Then the doors were yanked open from the inside, two figures facing them; the grim fury on their faces, though, gave way to disbelief and shock.
As one, the two invaders lunged forward.