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Contents Copyright by Bruce Durham unless noted otherwise
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Three riders traveled the ancient stone road linking Antocona to Megidan. Constructed when Meizak was united, it had decayed through centuries of disrepair, a decay that had paralleled Meizak's gradual collapse into warring regions.

 

Used by expansive caravans, wandering pilgrims and eager traders, it now overflowed with fleeing families hauling wagons stacked with personal belongings or carrying earthly possessions on crooked backs.

 

"I don't like this," Dalacroy commented. The mercenary was solidly built under his cloth tunic and leather jerkin. Slate blue eyes peered intently from a square, youthful face. A mop of brown hair swept across his furrowed brow. He pushed it back with a gloved hand.

 

"An assessment of understatement," Lyman replied. The scholar shifted his heavy body, stubby fingers clearing a twisted section of robe wedged between saddle and saddle bag.

 

Moirya remained silent, auburn hair blowing about her shoulders, green eyes sweeping the scene before them. She nudged her mount into the path of a family of peasants.

 

A tired, dust-caked man stopped, placing himself before his wife and four children. He adjusted a heavy pack on his shoulders and waited, sullen eyes averted.

 

"You, what happened?"

 

Dalacroy raised an eyebrow. Moirya's voice held an imperious edge that surprised him.

 

The peasant shifted uneasily and glanced at the refugees streaming past. They gave the party wide berth. “Leave us be. They’ll kill my family.”

 

Dalacroy dropped his hand to his sword hilt and growled, “Answer her. What happened?”

 

The peasant worked his toil-blackened fingers. “Qialtl has fallen.”

 

Moirya gasped. “What?”

 

“To Lord Nezu. Yesterday.” He began to edge around the mounted party. “Please, let us go.”

 

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This is another well known variety of sword and sorcery tale... deft characterization helps it stand out. - Tangent Online
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‘Homecoming’ is the best Dalacroy tale yet. The prose is smoother, the tale tighter, the action more intense and the world more alive. Good stuff. - John C. Hocking, author of Conan & the Emerald Lotus
Homecoming
Excerpt

Click graphic to read the entire story.

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