Heebies jeebies, lots of freebies!

Good news, reader,

Between my scribblings and preparations of new projects, I’ve been in talks with Amazon for a bit, and they’ve agreed to price match most of my books. Lemme give you the divvy of the currently free things:

The Bug Pamphlet – Free!

Solution – Free!

Nocturna League 1 – Free!

Paper – Free!

Hopefully with Ketairne following close behind, but we’ll see.

I also have two kdp select free promotions coming up:

Kingdom through the Swamp – Free on OCT 4 – OCT 8

Nocturna League 2 – Free on OCT 9 – OCT 13

Mark your calendars and get excited!


Project statuses:

Nocturna League 3 – Drafting, 1/4th through

Kingdom Slayer – Editing, 1/9th through (this’ll take awhile)

Walking the Scar – Ongoing, expect a new chapter in the next few days

Secret Short Story – Drafting, 1/10th through

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teaser chapter – The Mist Hour – Ch. 1

Enjoy!

You can get the whole shebang Here!

Chapter 1: The Mist Rises

The sun has set, and while many of Lady Nocturna’s crew are resting soundly, midshipman Dunklestein, jobber Colette, and the captain… The Captain, finish a game of wits and luck.

With a scaled, greyish-blue hand, Dunklestein lays his cards. “Pair of fives, pair of twos. I’ll see you barnacles beat that,” he says with a wide, sharp grin.

Colette gently scans over to Dunk’s hand, and then over to the Captain. She clears her throat and lays down her own. “Three of a kind,” she says with a smirk, displaying her trio of kings.

“No!” Dunk leans over and spitefully looks at her cards. “I can’t believe it! Not again!”

“Don’t you wish you were good at poker?” Colette asks as she reaches for the chips.

The Captain, lurched over and unmoving, scoffs. “Not quite yet, my little crepe. I have the winning hand this night,” The Captain says as he lays down his cards. “Look upon defeat, shipmen! A joker, a one, a two, a three, and the instruction card. The priceless flush!”

The other two groan in defeat and shell over the entirety of the pile, eighty percent of the game’s chips, over to The Captain. As Dunklestein speaks up, a spited Colette begins looking under the table.

“You’re way too good at this game, Cap,” Dunks says with a growl, “You always win with that flush- I’ve been playing cards since I was just a little kip, but I’ve never seen anyone but you win with that hand.”

“Well, my dear Dunklestein, that is simply because I am the best in the world at cards, and stopped losing once I-”

Still peeking under the table, Colette lets loose a gleed laugh. She peeks up with a long, sly smirk. “Once you started cheating!” She says with a victorious tone of powerful accusation.

The Captain readjusts his large, round glasses and leans back a bit. “Why, dearest Colette, whatever could you mean?”

She squints a hazel eye at The Captain. “Finally, I figured it out. You made up that hand and have been inserting those two into your hand at the end of the game!”

The bandages around The Captain’s mouth arch up a bit; he’s smiling. “Oh? Could you have some sort of proof?”

With a snap of the leg she scrapes two cards from below The Captain’s chair, and strikes up two cards, a seven and a five. “These yours?” she asks, winning a shocked, stricken expression from Dunks.

“C-captain! I trusted you!” Dunks the half-shark says, covering his eyes in the painful realization that The Captain’s a cheat.

The Captain leans back a bit more. “Yes- they are, and I switched them out when it was most convenient to me.”

“How does it feel, then,” Colette asks, “knowing that you didn’t deserve to win?!”

The Captain’s smile widens a tad. “Rather, my muffin, would you mind telling me since when was poker a game in which cheating was not part of the rules, and instead of accusing me of doing wrong, why are you not instead asking why you both did not cheat as well?”

Colette’s expression is dumbfounded. “Because it’s wrong!”

“What it is, is a higher level of playing. If you were more resourceful you would realize that poker, much like life, is many games in one. The one that all can see and understand, and the one that is played under the table.”

Colette squints and points her nose up. “Except by playing the game you’ve agreed not to cheat!”

The Captain turns his head down. “Really? What made you think that? Sounds like a dangerous rule to me if you’re hoping to win. You must be willing to put aside anything for your goal.”

“So you’re saying that a good Captain’s a cheater?”

The Captain flips a chip about his fingers lazily. “If that’s what it takes. Certainly, morals are useful for a safe society, but people of command must bear the burden of being able to make the decisions others cannot.”

“Captain?” Colette says.

“Yes?” Captain says.

“That is a total load of b-”

The room turns and tilts violently, throwing the three from the chair, and leaving Colette and Dunks in an unfortunate pile with the chairs and cards. Hanging on one of the room’s turbulence handles is The Captain, holding the heavy table from crashing into the two as well. The ship’s alarm sounds and sailors roused from their sleep dash out to check the damages. The mist is the thickest The Captain’s seen in years, and there’s a distinctly arcane feeling in the air.

The Captain sighs as the ship rights itself. “How very unpleasant. I wonder what that could have been,” he says as he steps out onto deck. Colette and Dunks join him shortly after.

“Sir!” An anglerfish seasort says, firing off a jaunty salute to The Captain.

“Engineer Luisoix. Damage report.”

“There’s fighting in the helm! We were redirected into a rock!” He says, his bobbing head light shining brightly.

The Captain turns around to the helm. “Dunklestein, Colette- let’s go.”

The three step up a flight of stairs to the helm room and the Captain reaches for the knob. At the touch, a shockingly-fast, grey figure bursts through the reinforced glass, and rushes down the stairs. The Captain is hot on the figure with Dunks right behind them. Colette takes a moment to feel for the new revolver at her side. The figure leaps into the blankets of rolling mist, and leaps out from the opposite direction, catching The Captain off guard and delivering a devastating kick to his back. The Captain turns to grasp the figure, but in the same instant the figure leaps off him, and again to the opposite side. At a speed Dunks can barely see, let alone react to, The Captain and the mist-walking figure exchange vicious, lightning strikes between one another, but The Captain’s hits are too slow, and the figure’s are too weak. They trade consistently as other sailors join the brawl, but each one that comes forward receives a quick, mist-driven boot to the face from the figure.

As the two fire off scathing, powerful punches and kicks, the blond jobber takes aim. She draws a deep breath, rests one hand over her wrist, and pulls back the hammer. Watching The Captain struggle against the mist-walker, she can hear his voice: “Remember, little bun, when you draw the gun, it is not taking out a weapon, so much as it is a statement to your crew that the one you point it at shall be hit. It is an authoritative declaration of your position as captain, and a reassurance of the crew’s security. It is a simple rule: if you miss, you are not really the captain of the situation at hand, and thus not the true captain of your crew. Do not leave it up to fate.” His words ringing in her head, she pulls the trigger, and marks the Captain in his shoulder, missing her mark by only a half second. A strange, black-powder like substance leaks from The Captain’s wound, small, bead-like orbs of fantastical soot.

The Captain, giving no reservation to the pain, continues fighting, and Colette gets over her failure. The Captain isn’t reacting to her screw up, so neither will she. She takes aim, the crew watching, and even the elusive chef creaking open the kitchen door to take a look. With another click, she fires again and hits the misty assailant in the forearm. The figure smashed into the floor, realizes that its been shot, and then swipes the nearest person that looks like they would be easy to pick up. Amidst the chaos, young jobber and best friend of Colette, Grancis Vereyrty, is the one grabbed. Her frying pan falls to the side as the figure takes her up and leaps off the ship into the dark and the mist.

“Colette!” she screams in the shrouding fog, her voice fading quickly to silence.

“Gran! You dumbass!” Colette screams off the port bow, staring blindly into the mist. With a deep breath, she places the gun back in her holster, exhales, and goes up to The Captain, standing straight as he usually does. “We gotta get her back!”

Dunks gets to his feet, rubbing his head. “Damn, that dude was fast!”

The Captain nods. “Indeed, though we cannot very well pursue with the Nocturna, her hull having been breached, we’ll have to send a small party across as the others work on repairs.”

Colette sighs. “But, Captain! The Nocturna’s fine with a few holes, its not like its sinkable!”

“Only because we have maintained her so well. You don’t really believe that tall tale that the ship’s alive, do you?” The Captain raises a brow under his bandages as a couple of crew mates sweep up the black powder and return it to him.

Another sigh. “You honestly believe I’d think otherwise? Come on, do you really think just three folks could take that thing? We need the cannons!”

“We certainly do not need the cannons, dear bagel with cream. If you have any doubts, you can join me on the away trip. You missed one shot, but you hit with the other, marked improvement considering the speed of your target.”

Colette looks to the mists of the port bow as they fade into a clear, starry night. She shrugs. “Thanks, but I didn’t slow it down much.”

The Captain draws back. “I gave you a compliment. I suggest you receive it properly, miss Ketiere.”

Colette Ketiere takes a deep breath, and nods in submission. “Wow, thanks Captain. I’ve gotten better but shot you.”

“You shouldn’t let that discourage you. Now enough of your warbling and let’s get our third and be on our way. Jim-”

Jim, his malefic tattoo sticking out and shifting on his arm, struts happily over. “Alright! Reporting for dut-”

“Sir! You cannot be serious!” Colette quickly cuts Jim off.

The Captain hums. “About bringing him along? Of course I am.”

“But last time he almost killed us, twice!

The Captain is silent a moment. “Did he really come with us on that expedition for that witching book?”

“Yes!”

Another pause from The Captain as he presses the rest of the black something back into his shoulder. “Ahh yes, I suppose he did. I truly was not expecting him to tie us up like that. Mr. Masthaven.”

Jim Masthaven winces. “C-come on, sir! That wasn’t me! It was the other me!”

“Which can emerge at any time. I think you actually would be better off waiting on the ship.”

“Sir!”

“Unconscious in the brig.” With a snap of The Captain’s fingers a group of sailors run up and beat the ever-sailing crap out of Jim. The Captain watches the out-cold Jim get carried off with a smirk as Colette looks on in shock.

“C-Captain what the hell!”

“I would remind you not to use such foul language, after all that deck hand’s had it coming.”

“Captain, Jim’s your son!

There’s another silence. “No that’s ridiculous… I think,” The Captain says, taking a flask out from his coat pocket and downing a gulp. Colette just stares at him dumbfoundedly as he goes on: “Now then, the other person… I think Boris would be the most sensible choice.”

Colette spreads her hands out in confusion and emotion as if expecting a lightning strike to take her. “What?! The cook? Boris the cook? The creepy dude that Gran has to suffer with and test all his weird dishes?!”

The Captain, hands behind his back in uniform professionalism, nods. “Absolutely. He’s the one for this operation,” he says. The Captain turns to the creaked open kitchen door. “Mr. Boris, your apprentice chef has been captured. You will accompany us on the expedition to retrieve her.”

As Boris, a giant lobster seasort with an apron and a chef’s hat, bursts from his lair, Colette waves her hands in spite and confusion. “Why?! Please don’t take him with us! He’s… he’s-”

“I AM OF THE SAVING!” Boris exclaims, both human-sized claws clapping with righteous indignation.

The Captain nods. “Boris, while territorial and eccentric, is a valued member of our crew. Besides, he has her scent memorized, he’ll be perfect at tracking her down.”

“He thought she was food the first time they met. He was asking you if you had a cut chart of her.”

The Captain shrugs. “A simple mistake. Besides, that’s usually what I mean when I tell him to ‘take care’ of someone.”

Colette, again with a dumbfounded look on her face, is quickly hugged by Boris, who also hugs The Captain. “I AM OF THE READY! MUCH SAVING OF THE ASSISTANT, YES?”

The Captain nods. “That’s right, Boris. Enough praddle-tallying. Let’s be on our way.”

The Captain, chef Boris, previously known as “Tyrant-Butcher of the Waves” Boris, and a huffy Miss Ketiere step into the four-man shore-boat. Boris is the size of three people, so The Captain and Colette have to hang on the rim of the boat as they start up the motor and head off for the only body of land in view, in the same direction that the figure spirited away Grancis.

Nocturna League – The Mist Hour – Coming soon! Like, next few days!

1 (1)

Ladies and Gentlemen, sailors and landlubbers alike- Hello!

Great news for you today, the second adventure in the Nocturna League series will soon be available for you to enjoy!

You have yourself two options to get your hands on this new 20,000 word plus tale of deception and lobsters.

A: Purchase it off amazon.com for the paltry price of 2.99.

Or

B: Subscribe to the Kell Inkston updates and mailing list, and grab it for FREE! That’s right, 100% for you. Once you sign up, I’ll send it right over to you in the format of your choice, just let me know, and the treasures of the sea shall be yours!

Expect it to be out in the coming days with an official official announcement. See you then and happy sailing!

Chapter three and four of Kingdom Slayer – Rough draft

Hi,

Sorry I’ve been gone for a couple of days, I’ve been busy doing mysterious whatnot and writing the new Nocturna League. Enjoy some chapters from Kingdom Slayer.
CHAPTER THREE: THE FRIENDS OF MY FRIENDS ARE NOT MY FRIENDS
Chaos travels through time and space to the spot of one of his captured towers. Thankfully after he was betrayed and his tower stolen, no one figured out that all of his bases are actually connected by dimensional pathways that only a master wizard could access. He personally chalks Overlord Hate for that blunder, considering the knights gave him the tower to lord over like a child on a playground. In the distance in the wide canyon area, Chaos spots his old tower, rebuilt and widely thought to be one of his only refuges- how wrong they were. With a single, mana-blessed word, Chaos blasts off with an explosion propelling him up through the clouds and perfectly onto the high balcony of the tower’s one hundredth floor. In the last second, he casts another single-word spell that divides his weight to that of a common human, saving the tower from being razed by his neigh impenetrable weight and mass- Towers usually do not last when hit by objects weighing more than two tons, after all.
From his great throne, Hate spots Chaos float down onto the balcony with the grace of a butterfly ballerina made of paper and leaves.
“Chaos! Bout damn time you came!” Hate, a hulking, fully-armored fire elemental, says as he lifts up from his throne, shoos away his servants, secretly signals to ready the elite guard just in case, and then approaches to embrace his good “friend.”
Chaos smiles as usual. “Oh? Was twenty seconds really that long for you?” He says, approaching Hate in turn. Hate gives Chaos the most awkward, most fabricated “bro hug” witnessed by mankind, one Chaos would not dare exchange in turn.
“Y-yeah, buddy! Maaan it is great to see you after all these years! How long’s it been?”
Chaos squints a glowing eye; a display of his pleasure at something. “About five years on the dot. I remember that day well when you stab-”
“Well yeah! You, me! Fighting those stupid knights! I really did fight my best you know!” Hate says with a horrified grin, cutting Chaos off.
Chaos grins, certain of Hate’s horror. “Oh yes, I’m certain you fought quite hard. You must recall my memory isn’t quite what it’s been as of late. For some reason I was under the impression that you stabbed me in the back right before I killed Order. But seeing how we’re both here, you with one of my old towers, I’m certain it couldn’t be that way.”
Hate’s expression is wide, friendly, but completely frozen. “Eh… Yeah, buddy. That memory loss has really been throwing you a loop, huh?”
Chaos strokes his blacker-than pitch chin as he looks to Hate’s wall of impressive trophies, the vast majority of which Chaos had collected himself. An unusually sober expression washes over Chaos’ grin. “I… I do think so. I am concerned that all this waiting has been meddling with my thoughts.”
Hate pats Chaos on the back, guiding him to the balcony. “Well worry no more, bud. There’s a whole party waiting for us! It’s been five years since you… you know, went into hiding. You gotta catch up with everyone! Come on, a bunch of cool overlords’ll be there too, I’m sure!”
Chaos nods. “You do not need to persuade me to go to a party I am to bring you to, dear Hate. Let us depart,” Chaos says as he tears a rift through space and time, and gestures for Hate to go in first. Hate smiles, peeks through the portal to ensure Chaos isn’t leading him to some Hell Dimension, and steps through cautiously. Chaos smiles, looks back to the throne that used to be his, and steps inside behind his traitorous friend. Behind the two, a group of three follow through the portal before it closes.
CHAPTER FOUR: WAGING STICKS TO DESTROY A LIVING CASTLE
An extra-dimensional portal opens in a calm forest. From it steps the realm’s current High Overlord, Hate, and a minor overlord that everyone fears, Chaos.
Hate looks around with a furrowed, volcanic brow. “Eh, Chaos, buddy? We’re going to Frau, right? That’s where Order’s home is?”
Chaos smiles as three figures hurtle from the portal behind him. “Sorry, I forgot where it was, but I do remember the way using this road- should only take us a few hours. We won’t miss the party. It is tomorrow, after all.” Chaos looks behind him as Hate takes a deep, nervous breath.
“Oh! I had no idea! I guess we might as well hit the road, then.”
Chaos nods, and looks to the three figures behind him- A large, broadsword toting man, a masked female equipped with an expensive book of magic, and one of his very own ex-minions, identified by his blacker-than-pitch body, glowing eyes and mouth, absolute lack of clothes, and a pair of unique antennae- much like himself, just smaller and way weaker. While everyone of them are nervous, the minion is practically trembling in horror. The three salute. “Sir! Reporting for duty!” The three say in unified, nervous tones, much like Hate’s.
Hate grins, sighs with relief, and gestures toward the three figures. “So, Chaos, I thought I’d bring along some company.”
“For protection?” Chaos asks, squinting an eye.
“Y-yeah! You can never be too safe!”
“What do you need guarding from, Hate? You have your best friend here, remember?” Chaos says, grinning fiendishly.
The three guards exchange awkward, on-edge glances as Hate answers with the best smile he can put on. “Like I said, you never can be too safe! I don’t mean to say you’re weak, but you know, after five years of you being cooped up or whatever,”
Chaos’s squint deepens as he furrows his brow. “I am… Not quite sure what I have been doing- but I am certain I did get out at least once… I must have.”
Hate scoffs. “Yeah, well I should introduce you,” Hate says, gesturing the large man forward.
He’s clad in a blue and white tunic, overlaying a thick, obviously enchanted mail- almost as bright as a torch. “This fine gentleman here is from Whihelmish, so you know he’s good- a real fighting people, that lot. He’s a hero that actually slew a greater drake singlehandedly, and he’s only thirty five! I introduce Balkade The Brave!” Hate exclaims with an animated presentation. There is an awkward pause, everyone realizing the futility of bragging about these guard’s accomplishments in front of Chaos, who has achieved goals of such power and depravity that his feats will only stop being repeated on the day that it is impossible to repeat things. Chaos does not consider himself humble, but he certainly considers himself humble in sight of his millions of accolades. It’s humorous to him that this thirty five year old upstart considers slaying a minuscule insect like a greater drake. The Old Dark King Chaos scoffs himself, remembering the magnitude of his battle with “Algan the Country Eater”, a royal divine dragon the size of a mountain range.
“Nice to meet you, Chaos,” Balkade says skewing his wave to look like a salute – he’s not sure whos side he should act like he’s on: his employer’s, or the monstrosity that can kill all of them in a blink.
Chaos waves back. “A pleasure to meet you, Balkade the Brave,” he says with a courteous smile.
The next one comes up, the masked woman with the great tome at her waist. Chaos, looking inside the mask, sees the spark of youthful intelligence and a sharpness of wit; a commitment to perfection. “This, my dear friend,” Hate begins, “Is none other than the famed Alinace Ergos, the S class prodigy apprentice straight out of Keruz in Kanvane.”
The young lady bows. “A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Chaos.”
Chaos bows in turn. “And to you, Miss Ergos. I’ve heard placing into S class is reserved for only the top point one percent of students. Is that true?”
She nods. “It is quite selective. Life has been naught but stud-”
“As I was saying,” Hate interrupts. “She’s top of her class, was promoted to Senior at her freshman year and was offered a position to work for me as my court magician! She can cast from dozens of schools, and could kill any mere beast in a flash.”
Chaos squints an eye again. While casting at her young age is indeed impressive, she likely is but a speck of comprehension in comparison to his neigh limitless learnings. He’ll test her progress. “I’m glad to hear you’ve made such a name for yourself, Miss Ergos. I must ask though, what exactly is mana?”
She smirks snidely under her mask, something Chaos notices with his great, all-seeing eyes, and she scoffs lightly, as if it were a trick question. As per her learning, she straightens her body to recite what she was taught. “Well, obviously, sir, it was Arch-Mage Gantesse himself in Studies on the Unknown Natures who said ‘what is within us is an expression of our will to become greater than the world around us.’ Mana is a manifestation of the singular human will to supersede his surroundings and ascend to divinity.”
With an answer like that, it’s clear to Chaos that she failed the test- she’s but a fledgling among pretenders. Chaos smiles, and strokes his chin thoughtfully. “I suppose that you are certain this is what it must be?”
She looks about amusedly and nods. “Well, of course. Otherwise would suggest that Ganesse was wrong.”
“I see. I expected such an answer from your learnings,” Chaos says matter of factly like a professor to a student, masking his insult to her lack of introspection as a compliment.
“Th-thank you sir,” she responds.
Hate sighs. “You two done?”
Chaos nods. “I believe we are.” He rears back to a professional posture.
Hate smiles and presents the third and final of his minions. Ironically enough, it was one of the deserters of Chaos’ own overlordship. “And this one is… Oh, that’s right, you two have met before! Introduce yourself, minion.”
The ex-minion of Chaos, though easily the strongest of the three guards, is also the most hesitant to produce himself forward. “I-… I’m…”
Chaos leans forward with a large grin on his face- suddenly the atmosphere rockets up in terror. “Well? Just who are you?” Chaos is only centimeters from the minion’s face, and Balkade wearily grasps the hilt of his broadsword.
“I… I’m sorr-”
“He’s just another one of your minions that abandoned you after you were bested by the knights, remember?” Hate says with a smile, trying to get a rise.
The Black Knight Chaos nods with eyes focused on the minion’s solid, powerful body- paper in comparison to his strength. “I remember,” he says. “I also think I remember someone else having helped them. Somehow… I think it was someone I trusted quit-”
Hate laughs to drown out Chaos’ musings. “Right! On the way now that introductions are done! Let’s go!” Hate says, cutting the conversation and forming the line of travel as he sets down the road toward Frau. Balkade marches right behind him, Alinace in the middle, and the ex-minion at the back. Chaos decides to take up the rear, looming right behind the traitorous minion. It’s an unpleasant walk for all but Chaos, who is busy thinking about the past. He took them all out far enough from Frau so that he can get his revenge at any moment- he has time to muse and enjoy the thought of killing Hate with overwhelming cruelty.