The Floodgate

Book 2 of the Counselors & Kings trilogy.

image-right The battle of Akhlaur’s Swamp is over, and its heroes part ways. One becomes a wizard’s apprentice and tries to unravel her mysterious lineage. Another hero returns to the service of his queen, only to find that all is not as it was.

Hidden from them both, the Magehound broods. She cannot forgive those who drove her from power, and she will stop at nothing to be avenged.  Her bitterness ensures that Akhlaur’s Swamp was only the beginning for them all.

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More info:

Actually, it’s not info, so much as anecdote. My son Andrew was a freshman in high school during the time I was writing this book. He was an avid gamer who played, among other things, Warhammer, Magic the Gathering, strategy board games, and D&D. He created D&D campaigns in settings of his own creation, which he ran as DM, and he also ran games for his brother Sean and his friends. Whenever I got a package of gaming books in the mail, Andrew would appear as if by magic, watch while I opened the package, then take the books from my hands and disappear with them. I’d get them back in a couple of days. I should also probably mention that Andrew is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. My point, and I do have one, is that he knew this stuff.

So one day after school, I enlisted his help with some creative research. “I’ve got a huge battle scene going on. Large armies on both sides–foot soldiers, archers, cavalry, war wizards–meeting on a plain. What I need is a massive offensive spell combination, such as might be cast by an extremely powerful necromancer.”  He nodded and walked off. About a half hour later he came back and said, “Water elemental.”  I reminded him the battle took place on a plain, with no source of water within magical reach. “Soldiers,” he said. “People are about 60% water. Cast a mass dehydration spell, use the water from their bodies to make an elemental. Attack with the elemental. When it’s destroyed, the water will turn an expanse of the plain into mud and make the cavalry ineffective. When the foot soldiers charge, raise the desiccated warriors and meet them with undead shock troops.” After a moment of silence, I wiped a tear of pride from one eye and started writing the scene.