Chapter IV - Wulfgard: Echoes of the Mage-Emperor
The Human Soulstone
Zac awoke with a start, feeling a hand rest on his shoulder. He sat bolt upright with a yelp, his heart pounding, instantly awake – and he saw none other than the drunk cup bearer Roald standing next to his bed, looking alarmed.
“Whoa, I apologize,” Roald said as Zac stared at him with wide, wild eyes. “Didn’t you know you rested so uneasily, ya know?”
“What the hell are you doing in my room?” Zac blurted. “Or – or my house?”
Roald didn’t even seem to hear, almost looking through him. “We need your help, my Lord,” he went on, halfway in a monotone. “The slaves have gotten loose again. I tried to tell your demon Ajira to keep a closer eye on them, but he doesn’t listen to anybody but you. Should I have all the slaves killed publicly as an example?”
He fell silent a moment as Zac’s jaw worked but nothing came out.
Fear crossed Roald
Chapter III - Wulfgard: Echoes of the Mage-Emperor
The Return of the Mage-Emperor
Zacynthos twitched. Very slowly, he began to wake, feeling as if his own consciousness was seeping back into his body.
He sat up, dropping the black stone and clutching at his chest with both hands. It felt strange, hollow at first, almost too full the next, but everything returned to normal in the blink of an eye…
Except his head felt like it was going to explode.
Zac slowly reached up to grip his skull, leaning forward and taking a few more breaths before he let out a low moan. He’d never had a headache like this in his life, not even after letting himself get talked into drinking contests with Roald and Jon. The pain pulsated like his entire brain was throbbing.
The braziers still burned. Blinking a few more times and trying to get his wits back together, Zac looked around, almost unable to believe it hadn’t all been some kind of nightmare. But his gaze soon fell upon the black stone, and he looked at his hand. The cu
Chapter II - Wulfgard: Echoes of the Mage-Emperor
Best Left Buried
Zac slept fairly decently for the few brief hours he had before sunrise. When the first rays of sunlight crept into his room, he groaned and pulled a pillow up over his head, wondering if he could steal a few more hours… But he finally relented and tossed the pillow aside, getting to his feet and stretching his long limbs.
He acted out his usual routine as he always did, and he even wrote a letter to his sister, which he had meant to do last night, but the book lingered in his mind. What could the message mean? Was it important, or would he just get treated like a fool for reporting it, like the last time he’d found something interesting in a book?
Last time, after all, it had turned out to be nothing more than a story, hidden in little notes throughout the tome. He had thought he found some grand discovery, until he realized it was only a bored monk’s moral faerie-tale, a lot like that story about the family of mice. Still, it was a
Chapter I - Wulfgard: Echoes of the Mage-Emperor
Deep in the halls under the great castle of Artorius, one lowly clerk rifled through his projects. By order of King Rikard I, he was to copy all these assorted scrolls and tomes in as timely a manner as possible. Knowledge was to be preserved, and since he could actually read and write – a skill so rare it was almost a commodity in itself – he was the one about to do the preserving. It was a dull job, all things considered, but he didn’t mind it… not too much.
He certainly didn’t mind it to the point that he wanted to try and pass off the job to someone else.
“Jon, this is a bad idea,” the clerk said, looking at his friend.
The man he turned to was one to stand out in the castle: he was very strong and quite handsome, with short and spiked, dark hair, and dark kohl around his light brown eyes. His bare, impressively muscular arms and one of his hands carried a few tattoos, and he had an earring in each ear.
Prologue - Wulfgard: Echoes of the Mage-Emperor
Whispers in the Dark
Voices. Low and hushed, they drifted through the dust and shadows of the underground chamber. Tucked away deep inside the catacombs below the temple of Kronos, there rested an ancient tomb – the tomb of one of the first men to aid in the settlement of Artorius, a descendant of one of the lowly commoners who first dared to don the void iron armor of the Imperial Inquisition at a time when it was needed most. It was a resting place none would dare defile.
Or so they thought.
Two men approached the tomb, one from the north tunnel, the other from the south. Both wore dark hoods and cloaks, as if to protect them from the dust that hung in the air around the vast halls of the dead, or else in the hopes of not disturbing those resting souls around them. When they met, they lifted their heads almost in unison, meeting each other’s gaze.
First one, then the other, slowly reached up to their own faces and, with one finger, traced a hook under the