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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Author Spotlight: Daniel Peyton


The wizard wars ended over a thousand years ago, and nearly all the ancient wizards were destroyed. The evil betrayer, the one who started the war to begin with, remains. For a thousand years he has worked his will in secret. His goal is to find the last Dragonwand so he can regain his powers as the dark dragon. Close to the king of Gallenor and master of the court, the betrayer has the nation bowing to his machinations. 
Sixteen year old Markus is looking for a wizard who will give him a letter of recommendation for the college of wizardry. Unaware of the Dragonwand or the betrayer, he stumbles upon Tolen the Wise. Little does Markus realize that this man is an ancient, like the betrayer. Instead of giving him a letter, Tolen sends Markus on a journey to stop the darkness by finding the Dragonwand before the betrayer can. 
Markus and the friends he meets along the way are the only ones that stand between the betrayer and the fruition of his millennium of preparation. Will Markus get to the wand first? Where are all the other wizards? Can the betrayer truly be stopped?


Markus hurt and he was sinking fast. He looked up to see the light above him and he started to swim to the surface. It was a burdensome challenge with what felt like a broken arm.
What was that?! Something just shot into the water, then another. Arrows! Someone was shooting at him!
Cresting the water and gasping in a harsh breath, Markus saw that two dogkinds were pointing arrows at him from the shore. The Dog people of the Blue Forests were expert marksmen and would not miss unless that is what they intended.
“GET OUT OF OUR WATERS, IMP!” a strong female voice yelled at him.
Markus continued to breathe hard and struggled to keep himself afloat. Moving was even harder, since he only had one good arm. “I..I can’t! I need help!” He garbled out as loud as he could while the water began to consume him, the pain in his arm too great to hold him up.
The light brown furred canine woman looked at the man next to her, “He may not be an imp. Rescue him before he drowns.” She commanded and the male dogkind dropped his bow and jumped into the water.
After a swift swim and quick rescue, Markus was laid on the shore by his hero. He coughed while doing his best not to show the pain he was in. “Thank you, whoever you are.”
Then he heard the stretching sound of an arrow being readied. He looked up to see the point of it directed at his face. The brown furred dog woman flashed her fangs, “What sort of being are you?”
“Human,” he quickly stated while holding his arms up in defense.
She glared at him and then released the arrow. It struck the ground right next to his head. In fact he felt the shaft of the arrow brushing up against his ear.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!?” He tried to scoot away from her, but his broken arm prevented the escape. “OW, OW, OW!”
She lowered her bow and leaned over to look at him, “If you were impkind, you would have transformed back and flown away.”
His eyes bugged, “Imp! You thought I was an imp?!”
The male dogkind held out his hand to help Markus up, “We have been tracking a rogue imp through these trees for a week now. It has played many devious tricks on us to attempt to lull us into a false sense of security.”
“I can assure you that I am no imp. I am human and in a lot of pain.” He got to his feet and held his broken arm.
The male dogkind looked at Markus's arm and then nodded toward the trees, “Come with us, our healer can mend that easily.”
“Thanks. Where do you live?”
“These forests are our home.”
“So, what is your name? I am Markus of the Valley.”
The male dogkind answered, “I am Treb, that is my wife Kiin.” Treb noticed that Markus was getting a good look at his wife’s back side, in particular her tail. “Have you not seen my kind before?”
Markus looked up, embarrassed at having stared at this man’s wife. “No, in fact I have not. I know of your people, you’re dogkind.”
Kiin shot Markus a glare, “That is the human name for us. We are the Rakki.” She was proud of this title and made sure he knew it.
“Rakki it is then.” A glow of green light caught the corner of his eye and he looked just in time to see it coming. “WATCH OUT!”
Treb grabbed Markus and pushed him out of the way just as the bolt of energy blasted the ground near them. Both dogs grabbed their bows and nocked arrows in them to fire. Flying around was a small demon with bat wings. It was an imp, a mischievous pest that had no feelings for what it destroyed.
Kiin launched arrow after arrow at the little monster, only to miss. She was good, but it was faster than her and could evade her with ease. Cackling, the imp lobbed more energy balls. With a well-placed shot, it threw Kiin across the ground and partly into the water. She was out cold, but still breathing. Then it turned its sights on Markus.
Without hesitation Markus held out his hand and said, “WAND!” It appeared on command. He log rolled to the side to dodge a green energy blast and then he yelled, “ELDR!” The wand produced an impressive ball of fire that destroyed the next incoming energy attack and continued on to blast the imp out of the air. When the little creature hit the ground Treb sent one last arrow at it, piercing it through. Within seconds the imp exploded in a flash of green.
Markus sat for a second, shocked by his own power. He had never created a spell that well and that powerful before.
“KIIN!” Treb ran over to his wife and found her on the ground, out cold.
Markus got up and quickly joined him. “Is she okay?”
Treb looked her over, sniffing her with his nose. “I don’t know. She is still breathing and does not look hurt, but she won’t wake. Damned imp spells.”
“What can we do?”
Treb looked at Markus and then at his wand, “You’re a wizard, can’t you do something?”
Markus shook his head and stepped back, “No, I…I am not a real wizard. I am not even an apprentice.”
“Come, we have to return to the village. The healers can help.” Treb gently picked up his wife and carried her in his arms. Markus took up Kiin’s bow and carried that as he followed right behind them.