Title: The Eye And The Arm
Series: Champion of the Gods #2
Author: Andrew Q. Gordon
Length: 99,775 words/296 Pages
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Blurb: Champion of the Gods: Book Two
After defeating Meglar at Belsport, Farrell returns to Haven to recover from his injuries, but Khron, the god of war, has other ideas. He gives Farrell a new mission: free the survivors of the ancient dwarf realm of Trellham from their three-thousand-year banishment. To fulfill Khron’s near impossible task, Farrell will need the help of his distance ancestor, the legendary wizard Kel. But Kel has been dead for a thousand years.
Farrell finds information hinting that Kel is alive, so he moves his search to Dumbarten, Kel’s birthplace. To reach Dumbarten unannounced, Farrell and Miceral disguise themselves as mercenaries on board a merchant vessel. Their journey is disrupted when pirates attack their ship. While attempting to subdue the attack, Farrell is struck down by one of Meglar’s minions.
Unconscious and trapped in his own mind, Farrell’s only chance for survival rests with Miceral and the peregrine king Rothdin entering his thoughts and helping him sort fact from illusion. To reach Farrell, they will need to rely on an untested spell from one of Kel’s spellbooks. If they succeed, Miceral can guide Farrell home safely. If not, Farrell will destroy not only himself, but Miceral, Rothdin, and everyone around him.
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“Did you know there are permanent open Doors throughout Haven?” Farrell asked his partner as they walked down an empty corridor. Miceral carried the food they’d picked up from the kitchen.
“What does that mean?”
“I’ll take that as a no.” Farrell chuckled. “Have you never wondered how it’s possible to walk from either side of the mountain to our room in less than hour?”
Coming to an abrupt halt, Miceral stared blankly at him for a moment. “Amazing. It’s so obvious, but until now, I never made the connection.”
“Few people do. There’s no point of reference underground, so it’s hard to gauge distance.”
Squeezing Farrell’s hand, Miceral began walking again. “What prompted that question?”
“Kerstand asked about it on the way to meet Nerti and Nordric.” Farrell pulled them to a stop and pointed to a spot on the wall. “See here? This is the Door for this section. The energy lines are embedded in the walls. But if you look closely, you’ll notice the rock on this side is not a perfect match to the rock on the other side.”
Miceral looked where Farrell indicated. “By Lenore, there is a difference. It’s plain as day when you know where to look. Why did you build Haven like that? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just build as you go?”
“There were several reasons. First was ease of travel. The eastern and western gates are more than a full day’s walk apart. And that means walking fast, night and day. By employing a Door, there was no need to open a tunnel the entire way.”
Miceral nodded. “Sounds logical.”
“So glad you approve.” Farrell rolled his eyes dramatically, drawing a mock glare. “The other major reason was space. After the survivors from Endor arrived, Erstad and I discussed the possibility that refugees from the other kingdoms would likely need sanctuary at some point. It was impossible to estimate how much space we would need, so we left unused space in between each new enclave in case we needed to expand one or more.”
Farrell watched for a reaction as they passed another portal. Nothing.
“There are also areas that can’t be used without expending a great deal of magic to alter the rock. Other places contained mineral deposits that we wanted to be able to mine. We had to work around all those things when creating new living space.”
“All that makes sense, but why keep the Doors’ existence a secret?”
“We didn’t hide them to keep them secret. They were hidden to prevent injuries.” Farrell noticed Miceral look at their linked hands. “Exactly. The damage to my hands was through strong shielding. Imagine if someone with no shielding touched an energy line.”
“I’d rather not after seeing the raw meat they turned your hands into.”
Somehow they returned to that day Farrell wanted to forget. Despite the urge to withdraw into his thoughts, he pushed ahead. “The hardest part was opening a Door in what is essentially a nondescript stone corridor. It took many frustrating months before Erstad came up with the current system. It’s a bit technical, so I won’t bore you with the details.”
“You can tell me. I like listening to you talk about magic.”
“Why?” He scanned Miceral’s face looking for some hint of sarcasm.
“Because you get so excited when you try to explain something clever.” Miceral’s smile made Farrell blush. “And you’re good, very good, at magic, and you enjoy talking about it.”
“Hopefully there are other things I’m good at you’d rather discuss.”
Raising an eyebrow, Miceral leered at him. “Those things I’d rather do together in private.”
“Lecherous old man.” Farrell moved closer for a kiss. “But I like your thinking.”
Laughing, Miceral brought Farrell’s hand to his lips. “Figured you would.”
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Andrew Q. Gordon wrote his first story back when yellow legal pads, ball point pens were common and a Smith Corona correctable typewriter was considered high tech. Adapting with technology, he now takes his MacBook somewhere quiet when he wants to write.
He currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his partner of eighteen years, their young daughter and dog. In addition to dodging some very self-important D.C. ‘insiders’, Andrew uses his commute to catch up on his reading. When not working or writing, he enjoys soccer, high fantasy, baseball and seeing how much coffee he can drink in a day and not get the shakes.
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/andrewqugordon,
On Twitter: @andrewqgordon,
Or just email him: firstname.lastname@example.org
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