CLASH OF STEEL: BOOK 3 -- DEMON
New Sword-and Sorcery Anthology from Carnifex Press
"The Beast of Lyoness" (included among the fourteen tales of sword-and sorcery in the above anthology) is my fourth Crusader tale. Patrick Novarro is the only character that I've written about more than once. "The Covenant" appeared in Parchment Symbols and was later reprinted by Flashing Swords. "In the Garden on the Far Shore of the Styx" appeared in Pirate Writings and was later included in The Best of Pirate Writings II. "Sanctuary Defiled at Ananyas" appeared in Fantastic: Stories of the Imagination.
The plot of the first tale was simple enough. Novarro is a warrior who has destroyed several of Hell's disciples. He has become known as the Crusader in the lands and kingdoms he rides through. Despite the pleadings of angels, he goes to a cursed valley to barter a deal with Satan. Novarro's bride, the loving and loved Lenore, is dead and Novarro wants her to live again. He is willing to sacrifice his own soul to achieve this. What he discovers however, from a very angry Satan, is that a covenant had already been reached. Lenore had once stood before him and sacrificed her soul for Novarro's life and the stipulation that he would never be harmed by Satan or Satan's minions. That was the first tale.
But I wondered what became of Novarro and Lenore. Did he rescue her? Were they ever together again? Was Satan able to circumvent his oath not to harm Novarro? So I wrote another story. In "Garden" Novarro accepts a challenge to rescue an innocent child from Hell who truly believes she belongs there. Then I wrote another. In "Sanctuary" Novarro is asked by an archangel and a demon to rescue a man from execution that neither Heaven nor Hell wants killed. How does Lenore play into these two tales? Novarro sees Lenore chained to Satan's side in "Garden" and in "Sanctuary" his reward for success will be an hour with Lenore in the flesh.
In "Beast", Novarro agrees to save a village from a man-created creature because Lenore would be ashamed of him if he didn't help.
These are fun tales to write as I mix Biblical lore and several different mythologies. I need to do more with them.
Clash of Steel: Book 3 -- Demon is available at: