Day Of The Fastle
by Richard Dalglish
A man with no memory has only one clue to his identity: a four-sided insignia engraved on his sword and ring. He has barely begun his quest to learn who he is when he’s confronted by a knight named Sir Borus Renovar, who demands his name and asks if he’s signed something called a “fastle pledge,” the work of someone known as the “Ordseer.” The man invents the name “Stone Falconer” and denies signing any pledge. That’s the wrong answer, and Stone and Sir Borus duel to a draw. Sir Borus leaves, threatening to return with more men.
Now a fugitive, Stone meets a woman named Brook and soon learns that she, too, has no memory. Even more astonishing, she possesses a dagger and ring with the identical four-sided insignia. They ally themselves and soon meet Bennald, a man who can communicate with animals. Like Stone and Brook, Bennald has no memory, and he has a shepherd’s staff and a ring that bear the familiar four-sided emblem. Stone and Brook head for civilization, but Bennald stays behind to live in the forest.
In Drumkin, a young man named Kaemon Krowe recognizes Brook’s ring. Kaemon, who escaped with two companions from nearby Redmond Province, says the Ordseer is using fastle pledges to turn Redmonders into thralls. He also tells them the meaning of the four-sided insignia. Stone and Brook admit that they have no memories and don’t know why their rings and weapons bear the insignia.
As Sir Borus and his Black Cloaks search for Stone, an army of thralls is on the march. Unbeknown to Stone and Brook, Bennald is in danger. When Kaemon and his companions leave Drumkin for a secret encampment of free Redmonders, Stone and Brook are left to deal with the threats.
An epic battle raises troubling questions about the Ordseer’s plans, and the appearance of a mysterious woman named Aliya complicates Stone’s already perilous life. Soon, cities are descending into chaos as people take sides over fastle pledges and fight one another in the streets. Amid the turmoil of war and civil unrest, Stone discovers an ability that just might let him learn his true identity.
Miles away, Kaemon encounters Thig Grennell, the king’s wistlord, and they decide to find Stone, Brook, and Bennald. But the Ordseer is searching for them as well, and soon the three fugitives are in a place from which they might never escape. Meanwhile, Aliya is pursuing her own agenda, and a new villain, a dark enigma named Hake, shows up to complicate matters. To save themselves and defeat the Ordseer, Stone and his companions must learn to use powers they don’t yet know they possess.
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Fantasy/SF Dark Fantasy
Richard Dalglish is a novelist and freelance editor and writer living in Yardley, Pennsylvania. He edits all the fiction for a small e-book publisher and has also written stories for two of the publisher’s series, a space opera and a young adult fantasy series. Richard is the former managing editor of Jewelers’ Circular Keystone (JCK), a business magazine that covers the U.S. fine-jewelry industry. He also served as managing editor for JCK’s sister publications, including JCK Luxury, JCK Style, Trends, New York Diamonds, Diamond World Review, High-Volume Jeweler, Vista Joyera, Facets, and the trade show publication The JCK Show Daily.
Richard’s nonfiction articles have appeared in JCK, Lancaster County Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine, and the trade fair publication Baselworld Selections: Stones and Pearls. He has a degree in English from Franklin and Marshall College, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.