Order of the Four Sons, an epic fantasy adventure series
Enter the world of the Order.
The Order of the Four Sons is a sprawling, fast-paced, epic adventure that encompasses multiple worlds and an ensemble cast of characters. Two ancient organizations, the Order of the Four Sons of Horus and Starry Wisdom, have been battling for centuries for possession of a powerful artifact known as the Staff of Solomon.
The series’ heroes are introduced: Colonel JD Garnett, novice mage Kate West, Detective Ryan Murphy, scholar Doug Grigori, and field techs Bill Welsh and Cecil Morgan. The team is dispatched to investigate the disappearance of one of their own in a small town. There, they uncover a lot more than they bargained for – a segment of the Staff of Solomon, and the evil forces that are converging to claim it.
Book I is permanently free through Smashwords and other e-book retailers.
Carcosa follows the team – JD, Murphy, Doug and Kate – as they pursue Countess Elizabeth Bathory across the face of a sinister desert planet filled with untold dangers. O4S Director Clayton Grabowski and the Oracle find themselves mired in the political intrigues of the Order’s leadership, while back on Earth, Bill forges an uneasy alliance with a government agent. As they race to recover the Staff of Solomon, they uncover truths they had never expected about their enemies – and themselves.
Where Flap the Tatters of the King sees the surviving members of the Order – Kate, JD, Murphy, Bill, Clayton and Alyssa – reunited in a world known as Corbenic. With the Corbenese king held hostage by Starry Wisdom, the land has been plunged into endless winter. At all costs, the Order must liberate Corbenic and restore the king. As the team sets out, they find themselves once again braving the elements, on their way to Corbenic’s capital city. There, they will be plunged into a dark and seductive world, a world of alchemists and geomancers, nobles and courtesans. Unrest has spread throughout the empire, stirring talk of rebellion. And beneath all the gilt and glamor, evil sleeps.
Going Forth By Day – the fourth and final book of the series is due tentatively in 2015. Be sure to check out the authors’ blogs for news and sneak peeks.
Excerpt from Carcosa (O4S: Book II)
What immediately greeted her was darkness, and beyond that, a hollow dripping sound.
For a moment, she thought perhaps she was back in the cantina, in the cellar where Doug had slept. Wherever she was, it was most certainly cool, damp, subterranean.
She was stretched out on some sort of rough, woven mat. She tried to sit up. Couldn’t.
Someone spoke, low and quickly, in a language that was completely alien to her.
She turned her head and found a pair of faintly luminescent, multi-colored eyes shining in the dark just inches from her nose. She recoiled and cried out weakly. Her elbow struck stone, which made her yelp again in pain.
A light appeared. The eyes’ owner was making soothing gestures and repeating the same sound, “Id . . . id, id, id, id, id . . .”
Kate realized she was lying on a very narrow stone shelf, dug out of the wall. The light was coming from some flaky, spongy-looking stuff he had set on the shelf by her feet. She flattened herself against the curve for a moment, breathing hard, and stared at the creature.
It was standing next to the shelf, leaning toward her as if in earnest. It – he – was not wearing any type of clothing. His body was utterly smooth and hairless, giving him a peculiar, childish quality. Also making him appear child-like was his short stature. Kate guessed he couldn’t be more than 5’ tall, and very thin. His skin was paper-white, every vein shockingly visible like ink on an overhead projector transparency. The blue-and-white contrast gave him a slight alabaster-type glow.
Most disturbing of all though were his kaleidoscopic eyes: wide, heavily-lidded, framed by fine, white lashes like silverfish antennae. Right now, those eyes were peering at her anxiously, clearly distressed by her distress.
She relaxed a little, allowed her body to creep forward a bit out of the corner.
The creature also relaxed, but held himself very still, waiting for her to make the next move.
“Well, you’re . . .” she reappraised him, “Neat.”
He spoke again, quick and lyrical. He pointed to her throat.
She felt around her neck. Her fingers found the amulet bag. The leather was still intact, but she could feel no energy emanating from the spell she’d woven into it before.
“Mm,” she said to her companion, “That is a problem, isn’t it?”
He gestured excitedly, evidently pleased that he had successfully communicated something to her, and spoke again. Gibber, gibber. Meep, meep.
“All right, all right, all right,” Kate said, holding up her hand. “I don’t understand you and you don’t understand me. Just let me get my bag, I’ll do another spell. . .” Her voice trailed off as she realized that she had left the bag at the campsite when she took off after—
“My friends!” she burst out. “Where are my friends?” She tried to stand up, but wound up collapsing back on the pallet, wondering also what had happened to her wand.
The creature put out his hands frantically so they hovered over her chest, gesturing that she was to stay down. His voice rose to match hers, and – it didn’t seem possible – but the speed of his language actually trebled. He pointed vaguely in a direction somewhere behind him, which she took to mean Murphy and JD were somewhere nearby. Then he began repeating himself about something—she recognized the sounds from ones he’d made earlier anyway.
He bent over and picked something off the ground. It was a clear, uncut crystal, like quartz, jagged on one side, glassy on the other.
He pressed it on her, gesturing over and over again to her amulet bag.
She took the stone, cool against her hot skin, peered at it, then back at him. The crystal thrummed slightly in her hand, imbued with energy. She slipped it into the amulet bag.
“Testing, one, two, three, testing,” she said dryly.
“I do not understand,” he said, cocking his head.
“Join the club.” He tilted his head even further to the left. “Never mind,” she said and held out her hand. “I’m Kate.”
He took a reflexive step backward. “I am called Kudin. Forgive me for not touching you. It is not our way.”
“Oh.” She let her hand drop back to her side.
“How do you feel?” Kudin asked.
“Weak,” she replied. “I have got to stop waking up like this.”
If he understood that comment, he did not respond to it.
“Where’s my wand?”
“Your tools are safe, though not near.”
“What about my bag?”
“All of your belongings, even your moving dwelling. But we cannot have them in Canungra. Please understand, we do not consume flesh. We do not inflict death.”
Kate nodded respectfully.
“Water?” He offered her a small, earthen bowl, holding it out with both hands.
“Is that a yes?” He cocked his head to the left again, slightly.
He handed her the bowl, careful not to brush her fingers. She drank and handed the bowl back to him. “Where are my friends?”
Coyote Kishpaugh has been writing prose and poetry most of his life, and alternately entertains and terrifies his children by telling them stories late at night. While he has written books before, this is his first foray into co-authorship. He lives in Kansas City, KS and is currently pursuing a degree in psychology.
Lauren Scharhag is the author of Under Julia, The Ice Dragon, The Winter Prince and West Side Girl & Other Poems. Her work has appeared most in The SNReview, The Daily Novel, Infectus, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry. She is the recipient of the Gerard Manley Hopkins Award for poetry and a fellowship from Rockhurst University for fiction. She lives in Kansas City, MO with her husband and three cats.