I’ve just published a fresh collection of my sword and sorcery stories called Track of the Snow Leopard on Amazon, and just in time for the UK Kindle Storytellers’ Contest. It’s a long shot, but let’s see! Please check it out on Amazon!
Track of the Snow Leopard contains five Orhan Timur stories, and introduces a new character, Gabal Serpentheart, in the Lions of Malakkaria. Here’s an excerpt from the latter:
With his remaining eye watering in pain, Gabal watched the wheeling clouds of crows and vultures that marked the battlefield. Lions were roaring in the distance as they claimed the choicest carrion for themselves, keeping the birds and lesser scavengers at bay even as the sun sank and the barbarian general felt his life energies draining away.
Shortly after nightfall two gaunt hairy shapes joined Sardur. They were man-like but oddly stooped, with elongated arms and faces terminating in cynoid muzzles. They stank of death and musty tombs, and their language was the yipping of hyenas. And Gabal realized Sardur’s servants were ghouls, but he was too weak to do anything or care.
On the sorcerer’s direction one ghoul lifted Gabal onto its back, handling him like an underweight sack of grain despite the black warrior’s size. The other was given other orders and disappeared, only to come back as the moon rose full and sinisterly serene over the ravaged landscape, carrying a great viper squirming in its claws.
The ghoul servants laid Gabal atop a cromlech on a hill. There they picked apart the fastenings of his armor with clawed fingers and drew it off with the expertise of centuries scavenging on battlefields. Sardur raised the serpent to the rising moon, incanting a charm that made Gabal’s skin crawl even without understanding a word. Suddenly the old sorcerer brought the viper’s jaws to Gabal’s throat, and the warrior jerked as the fangs sunk in, spurting venom.
Then Sardur produced a small knife, wickedly incurved like an eagle’s claw, and eviscerated the snake with it. Casting the still living serpent aside, he poised the dripping heart and liver over Gabal’s lips. “Drink the blood, then eat the heart. I give you the strength and vitality of the serpent. I fill your heart with the poison of power, the power to live and conquer and take your just vengeance! Eat, warrior!” Gabal opened his mouth to accept the dripping gore, then crunched down on the entrails as Sardur slowly fed them to him while chanting in some unknown and disturbing tongue.
And then the pain began.