Author Paul Yoder
Here you’ll find a library of my finished projects, both in print and as ebooks.
Lands of Wanderlust Series
Into The Press Of War
Even the thoughtless dead hesitated to rush the two glowing figures ready to welcome them. Shuffling to the side to surround the duo, moans and scathing hisses issued from the horde of one hundred arisen at various states of decay.
The robed leader behind the horde stretched out its hand, materializing in a wisp of black and purple smoke, a staff, twisted, grey, and grooved with a knot at its head. Bringing it down forcibly to the stone court floor, the hollow sound marked the signal for the troop to make their advance.
Bede was already channeling power through the talisman, transforming it into a floating sphere above her, collapsing to her knees as the glowing, white orb became complete.
Bede held up a trembling finger and pointed towards the advancing horde, directing the orb to begin floating to the closest enemies, flaring brightly as it came closer to the decayed warriors, peeling flesh and bone from their frame. Those closest to it were being completely disassembled by the ball of holy light, falling to pieces on the ground—swords, armor, and body parts collapsing in piles in the wake of the orb of pearlescent light.
Nomad charged the line to their left, knocking a spear out of his way as he came in on the front line, spinning around, slashing the upper torso of the unarmored, standing corpse that had been clumsily holding the spear. The cut split the arisen’s chest almost in half, falling back on its arisen comrades.
Reversing his spin, Nomad hastily swept his sword around again, slashing through and knocking back three enemies pressing fast in from his right, attempting to take advantage of his open side.
Circling his sword over his head, keeping his momentum, he brought the end of his blade down across the arms of a lightly armored skeleton to his left who was raising its sword to strike him. His dimly illuminated sword broke through bones like they were twigs, leaving the skeleton with nothing but stumps to defend itself with.
He was about to follow through and kick the disarmed skeleton when another one came in from his other side, slicing a falchion down towards Nomad.
Quickly repositioning his blade over his shoulder to catch the sword blade that had almost struck along his back, Nomad thrusted upwards, the skeleton’s blade flinging skyward with the force, Nomad spinning around to face his enemy, slashing the arisen cleanly across the spine, severing its two halves—its torso and sword landing simultaneously well behind him.
Two arrows flew in, one skipping off the stone floor beside him, giving him just enough warning to dodge the second one, purely due to luck, the dimness of the night not helping at all with seeing the projectile’s path.
Another arrow came in at him, this time embedding into his thick leather pauldron, sinking into his flesh enough to cause pain, but not enough to disable the use of his arm.
Looking at the direction the shaft had come from, he spotted the three archers at the back of the ranks, notching their bows for a second volley.
A longsword slammed him from the side, luckily across his steel side plate along his hip. The blade slid off without doing any real damage but turned his attention forcibly back to the fight directly in front of him.
Bringing his sword up and sweeping it back down across the shoulder of the rotted corpse that assaulted him, Nomad sunk his blade deep into the chest cavity of the walking body.
His blade stuck in his newest victim, and the nearest arisen that surrounded him all went in, hoping to overwhelm Nomad with a rush of sheer numbers.
Gripping his sword hilt, he powered the blade through the rest of the corpse’s torso, it bursting forth through the other side. Entrails spilled out of the hollow half of the fallen enemy, his blade creating a stark, contrasting glow amidst the gore as it pulsed now brighter than ever.
Nomad noticed his blade had glowed brightly when he focused his energy on the last draw, and the cut, a massive eight inches of bone and flesh from a dead press, had been relatively easy for him to accomplish.
Eleven armed warriors rushed in at him. He held his sword out to his side, awaiting his attackers to get within striking distance, focusing his energy into his blade.
Rising his brilliantly glowing blade up beside him, crouching in a defensive stance, he swept the first attacker’s longsword over and across before cutting back in, dropping the attacker’s arm and sword. Deftly stepping past the disarmed foe, he snatched the falling longsword with his other hand as he passed, slashing into the unprepared corpse behind him, stepping out of the circle of death and into a more sparsely occupied section of the regiment.
Down slashing with both blades, Nomad blurred in and out of the confused inner ranks, dropping any that came under attack from his glowing curved sword, the longsword easily parrying clumsy attacks made at him.
Dropping two more, leaping across the pile of fallen bones landed him outside of the left flank of the regiment, giving him space and time to breathe.
In a wide stance, curved sword threatening any who dared to come in at him, he held his longsword back and to the side, warding off another flanking formation, nostrils flaring, slanted pursed lips hissing air violently in and out.
Looking over the battlefield, he could see Bede was still on her knees, attempting to stand. A wide swath of arisen, twenty or thirty lay fallen close to Bede, with more disintegrating that dared to advance towards Bede, her glowing sphere burning down any that wandered too close.
A sharp pain dug into his arm, causing him to drop his longsword, two more arrows bouncing off harmlessly along his breastplate.
The soldiers who had been waiting just out of attacking distance piled in, rushing him, and this time, he had to retreat, the press of dozens of flailing weapons quickly threatening to overtake him…
Shadow of the Arisen Overview
49 Chapters of epic fantasy fiction
371 Pages of “just one more chapter” satisfaction
Shadow of the Arisen is the first book in the Lords of the Deep Hells high adventure series that begins to lay the groundworks for a very deep and rich fantasy universe.
The characters Reza, Nomad, and the gang, leave readers wanting to hear and see more of their journey upon the deadly desert landscape which they travel through in this first book.
Though magic is rare, it is potent (and often times explosive) setting the scene for a heavy medieval theme of cloaks and daggers, war and intrigue, death and loss.
If you are a fantasy fiction fan, you owe it to yourself to pick this book up and give it a read. With two more books soon to come in this series, you’ll be jumping in at just the right time to experience a fresh take on the high fantasy genre.