I posted one excerpt before on Changeling’s Monthly release party early in June so I will pick another snip this time.
A reminder, these are two novellas which basically form a whole story together and were previously published as Runes of Revelation and Runes of Redemption. They have been reedited and some new material added. You can find the book here: http://www.changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=2486
And here is that excerpt which comes fairly early in the first section. We begin in the elf Aron’s point of view
I hope Clay can reach his people. If they encounter Trogues unprepared, it’ll likely go badly for them. I think tonight I must meet all of Clay’s group. There’s not going to be time to slide gently into their unit. We must become a cohesive whole at once.
Thinking of the coming merger brought a merger of a totally different sort to the forefront of his mind. He’d felt the tingle of energies when he’d touched Clay. The act had been unthinking, certainly not meant to stir any untimely urges or force any issues. In time he had total faith they’d bond.
He’d had no doubt about that from the moment he met the human’s stern gray gaze the first morning in San Antonio. Now though, he knew Clay was nowhere close to ready to accept his mixed heritage, much less a life-bond with one who had brought such disturbing tidings to him. Aron could and would be patient. He sensed there was no other way.
With a quick gesture, he indicated to the three in his small party that it was time to move on. Again he took the lead as they formed a loose wedge behind him, each spread out so no two of them trod the same path. They all walked lightly, leaving little trace on the dry ground and casting their enhanced senses in widening patterns to all sides as they traveled. If any more Trogues or other alien beings wandered within several leagues, they would know.
However, they did not find any such indication and eventually made their way back to the campsite. None of the Elves seemed tired or stressed by their days’ hiking. Each small party came back to the camp within a short time and dropped into familiar places in the center of it, all looking to Aron for future plans and assignments.
“I’m going over to the other camp soon,” he said, deliberately speaking aloud instead of telepathically. “Given the sightings some of you made today, it seems we don’t have the luxury of letting our allies get used to us gradually. If all goes well, I’ll summon you to join us after I have spoken with them. For now rest and plan—try to remember all that you have ever heard of Trogues to share with the rest, for who knows what tiny crumb of knowledge may prove crucial.”
Haldane gave a slight nod. “Aye, friend. We’ll be in the midst of this fight before even we are ready, to say nothing of those we’ve come to support. Be eloquent and win their acceptance!”
Aron rose and strode across the low ridge that separated the two camps. He paused for a moment outside the circle of light cast by their fire. Even from a distance he could see most of their faces were etched with weariness and worry.
Apparently, Clay had informed them of the approach of the Trogues, for although they spoke quietly among themselves as a few cleaned up the remnants of their evening meal, the soft hum held a note of anxiety. Clay himself sat slightly to one side, his shoulders hunched and a frown tightening his face.
Aron sensed the burden of leadership sat heavily on the man’s shoulders. Clay now knew something of the enemy they would soon face. He had to realize some of his people might be hurt or even killed in the conflicts. That was a possibility he could not take lightly. Aron needed no outward signs to sense how much the man cared for the people in his command. Aron felt a like responsibility for his band, but he also knew full-blooded Elves to be cunning, strong and difficult to kill. They had armor and skills no human, however gifted, possessed.
Now he had to convince the humans to accept him and his warriors into their midst without fear or mistrust. The task posed a challenge, but one he felt he could meet. He hoped Clay might have prepared them some, but he could not count on it.
Lady All-Mother, be with me and guide my speech. With that quick, silent prayer, he headed down to the POU camp. Appearing without warning would not be wise now. He must come to them in the most human guise he could muster. He made just enough noise as he approached to seem totally natural. Several turned, some drawing side arms, but no one made an overt threat.
“Who are you?” Several voices challenged him before he reached their loose circle.
Clay stood. “It’s all right,” he said. “This is Aron. He’s a friend.”
Alex Macalister’s calm voice seconded that assessment. “We need him on our side, him and his band. Listen to what he has to say.”