The Pealsong Refounding fantasy trilogy by Michael Warden. Gideon's Dawn, The Waymaker, The Word Within.

Inherited Lands


0 comments | Posted: Novel-Entry-The-Word-Within, by Michael D. Warden

Careful not to move the leg, he strained his neck to get a better view of his surroundings. There was no portal near him, save one. It was a portal no Wordhavener had yet explored, opening to a deep green and black location that was hard to make out. He had no idea where it went. But in his current condition, it would have to do. Once through the portal, he could transport to Chara sounden, a place he knew well, and hike to Songwill from there. But for now he just needed to get away from Wordhaven, to a place where he could heal himself. (1)

Gingerly, he shifted his weight to his better leg and began to muscle his body upright. But just then a group of guardians came around the long curve of the wall, a line of twenty or so, sifting through the rubble in search of survivors. Brasen dropped back down, and with one eye on the soldiers, began to shuffle his body across the debris-ridden floor. The portal was a good thirty feet away, but at least it was on the same side of the hall as Brasen, and the path was mostly free of obstructions. The guardians were not moving fast, focused as they were mostly on the ground in front of them, so in his current state Brasen reasoned that stealth would be a better ally than any attempt at speed. (2)

He shuffled nearly twenty feet before they saw him. (3)

Red spheres erupted to sickening life around the guardians. Words flew. Brasen’s own shield flashed blue a split second before the first guardian spoke. The Word, whatever it was meant to do, exploded against Brasen’s sphere with such force it knocked his body backward, dragging the severed end of the spear against the ground in the process. Brasen screamed in agony at the pull of it, and a great gush of blood erupted from his leg. So an artery was cut, then, he thought, surprised at the calmness of the voice in his mind. (4)

Another Word, and another. Each one slamming him backward a foot or two closer to the portal he was trying to reach. He couldn’t help but laugh. The stupid guardians were actually helping him get away. Just a few more Worded blasts against his shield and he could pull himself through. (5)

The guardians obliged. One foot. Two. It was only about five more now. The blood was much worse now, too, the red ribbon of it trailing behind him like a river. He felt light headed, and a buzzing began to fill his ears. He knew his time was very short. Another few minutes and the loss of blood would render him unconscious. (6)

Sluggishly, he dragged his body one foot closer to his goal. But at that moment, to his surprise, the guardian attack stopped. He looked to where they stood, now at the place where his blood trail began, and he saw a man approach from behind them. He was small, and thin, and bald, but by his walk and manner projected a wirey kind of strength and vigor. His black-orbed eyes were fixed on Brasen, not with any particular hatred that Brasen could see, but more a kind of cold curiosity, like a man who just found a rat in the pantry and was reasoning how he was going to kill it. (7)

Without breaking stride, he lifted his hand toward Brasen and spoke. Brasen’s sphere cracked like an egg and shattered into a million blue sparks. The sounds of the guardians’ mocking laughter suddenly rushed into Brasen’s ears. He felt woozy, sleepy. He must have looked drunk to them now. (8)

“He’s nearly dead already, Lord,” one of the guardians laughed. (9)

But the man did not respond. Instead, he pointed at Brasen’s leg and spoke with a soulless calm that sent chills down Brasen’s spine. (10)

“Demoi learon dras.” (11)

The remnant spear in Brasen’s leg jerked up seven feet into the air, pulling Brasen with it. He screamed, the agony pulling him back to consciousness. (12)

“Where did they go?” the lord asked. (13)

Brasen said nothing, but kept moaning as if delirious. (14)

The lord blinked. “Demoi learon aklex.” (15)

His wounded leg shook violently about, as if a dragon where shaking him in its mouth. Blood gushed from the wound even more, and Brasen screamed again. He felt his vision fade. The buzzing drowned out nearly everything now. (16)

“I don’t think this one’s going to tell us anything, Lord,” quipped the guardian standing nearby. “He’s about gone.” (17)

The lord raised an eyebrow, as if considering the guardian’s words. Then he took a step toward Brasen and leaned in toward his bloody floating form. (18)

“Can you hear me?” he said, louder than he’d spoken up to now. (19)

There was no response. The lord nodded to one of the guardians, and the man walked over and punched Brasen in the gut. The warrior grunted, and his eyes flew open wide. (20)

“Can you hear me?” the lord asked a second time. (21)

Brasen’s head darted about if trying to find the source of the voice. When he did, he looked to the ground once more, and with his last fading strength, he cried out at the top of his lungs. (22)

“Adon’sera sambe haloquin en meson adversum! Adon haloquin sus mediera alem rapha!” (23)

The tip of the spear that Brasen had severed from his leg flew like an arrow from the ground nearby and impaled the Sa’lei lord in his left eye. Then Brasen’s body, nearly dead, flew away through the portal before any of them could react. (24)

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Inherited Lands
Gideon's Dawn Waymaker

"...a work of extreme depth and breadth of vision."
-Christian Fiction Review


Michael D. Warden has been working professionally as a writer and editor since 1989. After several years as Managing Editor for a large publishing house in Colorado, he stepped into the adventure of writing full time. In addition to his fantasy trilogy The Pearlsong Refounding, he has written several non-fiction books, and contributed to more than 150 other books and magazines.

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