Read Dragon Choir Online

Authors: Benjamin Descovich

Tags: #romance, #fantasy, #magic, #gods, #ships, #war, #dragon, #pirates, #monsters, #swords and scorcery

Dragon Choir

BOOK: Dragon Choir
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Dragon
Choir

Benjamin Descovich

Published by

Benjamin Descovich

Smashwords Edition

ISBN 978-1-310-99781-5

Copyright 2014 Benjamin Descovich

License notes:

Reproduction of this publication is prohibited without written
consent from the Author.

I appreciate that you are taking the time to enjoy my work and
would love it if you left a review where you made your purchase.
Tell your friends and family about it too. Every voice strengthens
the choir.

Thank you for your support.

 

Benjamin Descovich is the founder of
ethicalwriter.com
and works
everyday writing the seeds to grow a better future. He is a
passionate environmentalist, social justice advocate and holds a
degree in Political Science. Born in Australia and well travelled
through Europe and Asia, he has been spoilt with inspiration for
his fiction. While the dramatic landscapes, political intrigue and
epic battles will captivate your imagination; the dragons and magic
take your breath away.

 

 

I’m
very grateful to

 

Amy
Mildwaters,

Paul
Descovich,

& Robert
Brown.

 

Alpha Readers
Extraordinaire.

 

To fathers
lost

 

& fathers
found.

 

 

For
Kristin

 

Your faith is
all I need.

 

 

When the days stretch and
the land bakes, dragons will again scour the sky. A city of bones
and a city of gold plot against each other while the rebellion
gathers strength. A young man is caught in a tempest of
intrigue that will forge a new era of freedom, or forever scar the
land. He must discover the secret of the Dragon Choir to save his
father and end the stranglehold of an unforgiven nation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

Delivery

 

Had the young man known of what would come, any
premonition of the tempest he courted, he would have restrained
such curiosity.

He knew it was
wrong, but after the footman went upstairs, Elrin crept out of the
antechamber and into the drawing room beside the Guildmaster’s
study. Ancient artefacts and peculiar devices crowded shelves and
hung in glass cabinets along every wall. Elrin loved this room. It
had the musty scent of knowledge; a sense of condensed thought.
Shamanic totems of bone and feathers hung beside unusual metal
machines, their springs and cogwheels still and silent. Yellowing
maps and detailed charts mixed with rich oil paintings.

Each time he
entered the room he was reminded of how little he understood of the
world; how much he wanted to learn. The messages he couriered for
Herder Kleith to the Guildmaster were another mystery. There were
more of them every moon, strung up and sealed with unmarked black
wax, different to the others Kleith had him deliver around the
city. Without an official guild seal, the contents couldn’t be of
much consequence. What mattered was that he got paid, though the
missive was already absorbing the sweat from his hands. With
sensible haste, the young man dabbed the damp spots with his
handkerchief and tucked it into his vest pocket, careful not to
break the black seal. There’d be no chance of a silver tab if the
message was damaged. An ink smudge would have his shine down to
half a copper and that wouldn’t buy a broken loaf.

Sweat beaded
on his face, the stagnant air bestowed no mercy after the long run
up the hill from the Hall of the Dead. The Guildmaster neglected
making any improvements to the residence; an extra window here and
there wouldn’t have gone astray, the place was all bottled up.

The
Guildmaster’s rigid tones complained through the closed double
doors of the study. Some poor sod was getting an earful, which was
fine by Elrin, it would give him more time to nose around in the
drawing room. The Guildmaster had a mind for lengthy lectures and
Elrin wasn’t going to interrupt.

He inspected
the trophies of knowledge, pondering their various uses, moving to
each case and cabinet, peeking through the glass displays, taking
care not to touch them. Each step gentle, testing the timber for
creaks before he applied his weight.

After a
circuit of the room he came to his favourite piece, an elegant
dagger. Unlike the rest of the artefacts, this weapon was not
jailed in glass, pinned to a stand or framed on a wall. It rested
on a low table near the door to the Guildmaster’s office, as if it
too was waiting, forgotten.

Elrin knelt
down to admire it; it was beyond him how such exquisite
craftsmanship would be left out to gather dust. In sympathy he
gathered it up, reverently nursing the antique blade. Its handle
welcomed his grip; the balance was perfect. He caressed the foreign
symbols etched across the curved blade.

The
Guildmaster’s voice pressed though the walls, stealing Elrin’s
attention away from the dagger. The ageing sorcerer was losing his
temper; nothing unusual. The other voice yelled something coarse
and unintelligible. This promised gossip; and gossip was valuable.
One of the tavern lasses would pay well to hear who was brave, or
daft enough to yell at the Guildmaster. Elrin pressed his ear to
the door.


No! You listen to m—” the Guildmaster yelled, but was cut
off. It was unclear what the other was saying. The guest’s voice
was audible yet somehow, indistinct, as if the wood from the thick
door would not let it pass. Elrin repositioned his ear over the
keyhole.


... increase production. The Council’s veiled threats will
not persuade me otherwise.” The Guildmaster, paced past the
door.

Elrin pulled
back from the keyhole thinking he was caught, but the door remained
closed and the argument continued inside. He considered returning
to the seat in the waiting room. If he was found snooping with the
Guildmaster in this temper, he risked losing his job—and worse.
Mother would be disappointed once more, then she’d cry again. He
hated it when she cried.

While turning
to leave the drawing room and wait, as he should have to begin
with, a single word struck through the door and grabbed Elrin’s
attention.

Arbajkha
.

What had
Father to do with the argument? Maybe he wasn’t dead. Had he
returned after so long? Could it be true? Mother would be happy
like before. He’d make everything bright again.

Elrin went
back to the keyhole and listened. His heart beat in his ears and he
clasped at the dagger’s grip, straining to hear. Something shifted.
Elrin’s ear heard only stones rubbing and the trampling of sodden
earth, but his mind fathomed the meaning; somehow comprehended a
language. It was disconcerting. His sense of space twisted, leaving
him dizzy. It was as though he were being tugged through the door
and down, deep into the darkness of the dirt.

The voice
morphed into understanding; slick with confidence. “It will be no
more difficult than it was for Arbajkha. That worked out, and he
was a surprise.”

The
Guildmaster’s voice cracked in anger. “No, it’s not the same and
you know it. This is too ambitious; it’s not what we agreed on. The
forces you toy with can’t be trusted. They wield power akin to the
gods.”


I assure you, I have everything in hand. The risk is all
mine.”


As is the debt.”


What other choice do you have?”


How soon? I will have to recalibrate the net and increase the
dampeners. Do you realise how many complications you’ve introduced?
Have you even considered the draw this will need for the
transition?”


Worry about the transition later, just ready the
net.”

Elrin didn’t
know what they spoke of, or if it mattered, he had just one
question seared in his mind like a brand.

Where is my
father?

Stones
collided and soil churned, “Who speaks?”

A ripple of
energy washed past him and swept back, probing like a hungry
eel.

Elrin pushed
away from the door and stumbled backwards. His arm reached for
support and found a display case. His momentum was too great and
the case tipped over. Elrin fell on his back and the glass case
shattered beside him. Fragments scattered across the polished
floor.

The door burst
open, slamming against the wall, revealing the Guildmaster with a
look of supreme irritation across his angular face. Golden robes
hung on his thin limbs like linen drying on a line. A moment of
calculation pulsed across his tight, even features.

Elrin hurried
to his feet, glass biting his knees. He hid his hands behind his
back, hoping the Guildmaster hadn’t noticed the dagger. He had to
run, but there was no window from the drawing room for a quick
escape. If he could make it back out the front door and hit the
streets fast enough, the old Guildmaster wouldn’t catch him.

The
Guildmaster’s lips curled in a strange guttural incantation and he
pulled an embalmed frog from a belt pouch, crushing it in his fist.
Magical essence seethed around his robed arm, surged up his neck
and erupted from his mouth towards Elrin. The energy encased Elrin
in a constricting embrace, folding over him and through him until
he was seized in place; paralysed. He had to concentrate just to
breathe.

BOOK: Dragon Choir
10.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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