Tome of Tales: An Anthology by River Daniel et al

Tome of Tales: An Anthology by River Daniel et alTome of Tales: An Anthology is a collection of short stories written by River Daniel, R.Malak, H.M.R Leeper, Arete B. Rogers, Matty Hughes, Billy Brinkley, Pam Hage, Robert Richmond and Maxwell Long. It is a charitable and collaborative effort by authors around the world, Tome of Tales is a collection of short stories taking place in a diverse universe of fantasy. All proceeds and royalties will be sent directly to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) also known as Doctors without Borders.

A sample of the book, taken from the first story is shown here:

The Flight of the Newar

By River Daniel

The night, silent and unmoving, was illuminated by glistening white pillars filled from root to stem with a bright magical light. The sky above was a blanket of darkness, leaving the town empty and devoid of all life. It was a perfect spot for romantic strolls and business that required the cover of darkness for its transactions. Without a cloud in sight the moon set out casting its ethereal glow upon the world below, leaving the rough and grey-bricked roads paved in silver.

There was one street in particular that was set apart from the rest; away from the hustle and bustle of the marketplace on one side and the groans, shrieks and clattering metal of the factories on the other. It sat in between them like a gatekeeper between two different worlds. During the day the street was filled with noise and general industry, but during the darkness of night it provided a sense of peace and security that few could find in such an industrious town. The position of the street made it a welcome spot for those who could not afford much.

It was inside one of these inns, with only candlelight through a window announcing its existence, that small black gloves ran a whetstone along a shining blade with a simple black leather handle. The blade’s metal reflected the candlelight across the walls, making the room lighter and airier than it otherwise should be.

The stone slid along the sword before finishing with a slow clink when it hit the blade’s end. After hours of the silent, repetitive work, the black-clothed figure’s smooth and sweeping routine was interrupted by a knocking on the door. Three quick taps echoed quietly around the small, sparse room as the figure failed to look up from the whetstone.

“Enter,” the figure said in a gentle, lilting voice as she continued to sharpen her sword, taking no notice of the large form that had just entered the room. She lifted her head up, content she didn’t need to remain in the shadow of the room now that her companion had returned. Mousy brown hair tumbled down to her shoulders, covering her dainty ears and settling around her neck, leaving her plump mouth and large brown eyes exposed.

“Your voice is getting better, Lillith,” the voice boomed. Lillith shot him a toothed, hungry smile. She’d been practising her part for months now. It was about time she improved.

The hulking beast that entered just barely passed for a man, towering over the girl by at least two feet. His smile resembled an animal, as though sizing up the prey it was preparing to snatch up and devour. He’d clearly never mastered the art of smiling.

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