Excerpt from the Octagon Key

Here is an excerpt from The Octagon Key:

Imar handed Dalla a shield and motioned her to go first. While they were waiting for Andrew to depart up the hill, Imar put on his mail shirt, but this time he put on a dark brown sleeveless tabard over it with an emblem of a hawk outlined by an octagon embroidered in tan. Next came his helm, followed by his short sword, and then he placed his claymore across his back. He fastened metal grieves to his boots and stood tall in his battle finery. Imar looked good and felt good. The weight of his accruements put him in his battle glory and his adrenaline soared. Dalla led the horses down to the ferry while Imar strode to the side between the inn and her. The weight of his shield felt good on his arm and he drew his sword which felt good in his hand. Dalla sensed his mood and began to move the horses faster, well aware of his rising bloodlust, so common to northern warriors. The ferryman was aboard his vessel untying the lines.

Imar stopped and turned toward the inn.

Dalla said, “Oh no, please don’t.”

Imar shouted at the top of his lungs, “Sigurd! I have your answer! You can kiss my arse and taste my steel!”

The guard on the porch leapt to his feet as did the one at the back of the inn. They were confused, but to their credit, they didn’t just charge to their deaths when they joined each other at the front of the inn. They locked shields and slowly approached this formidable warrior with the wolfish grin on his face and the fire in his eyes. Sounds were coming from the inn and Dalla was tugging on the horses with all her might, loading them onto the barge.

The ferryman helped her. “Is he out of his bloody mind?” he asked as he tugged fiercely on the reins. “I thought the man had some sense about him.”

Dalla kept her mouth shut, but her sarcastic thoughts rolled on. A sword in hand and blood flowing from brain to crotch, a man will do the most foolish things.

Imar charged with his shield out front and his sword held high. The men braced themselves against the impact, but Imar’s momentum could not be stopped. As he broke between them he sliced low to the right under the man’s shield, his blade finding flesh below the chain mail skirt—it cut into the man’s knee. A scream rent the air as he turned and caught a sword from the left on his shield. He faked a low thrust then spun an arc and came over his opponents shield and sunk the point into the man’s neck. Imar roared with battle lust.


I hope you enjoyed the appetizer.