When the Sword & Laser book club and podcast announced that they were taking submissions for an anthology in early 2013, it inspired me to throw my wizard hat into the ring and submit a short story. While mine wasn’t selected, it got me hooked on writing fiction again. I later organized a blog site for the other orphaned stories at Foil and Phaser, which also included a platform to organize peer-to-peer workshops for sci-fi and fantasy writers. One of the stories to come out of those workshops was a silly fantasy parody about three adventures trying to loot a dragon horde by convincing a milkmaid she is destined by prophecy to slay the beast. I continued the story in another workshop and realized that what I had was the first few chapters of a novel.
The story follows four questers – Cravan, the definitely-not-a-dwarf, axe-wielding warrior; Rieki, the pansexual, elven rogue; Mor, the misanthropic mage; and Tia, the undisciplined disciple of the Spring Goddess. After finding a lost relic of great power, the adventurers begin a journey to unite the Five Hands of Fate and gain ultimate power over their own destinies. At the same time, however, a darker force seeks to gather the ancient power for its own evil purposes. The included excerpt is the short which will eventually become chapter one.
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