Niki Nyan’s Book Blog is a new book blog site. There, you can read reviews and excerpts of great books, or perhaps, not so great books.
Niki specializes in indie books, mostly from Smashwords, and so far, her book reviews have varied somewhat from genre to genre, though she prefers speculative fiction–scifi and fantasy–she’ll read anything that tickles her fancy.
Her love of reading, and her love of reading real books, books written by people who enjoy reading and writing over companies who have published books for a broad audience in order to earn a buck, has led her not only to Smashwords, but Goodreads, too.
She has been kind enough to review some of my books, not from my suggest or submission, and in turn, I showed her how to make money via Smashwords and book review blogs.
Playing off Dire Straits’ Money for Nothing, but seriously, folks….
I’ve been repeating myself ad nauseam; you can read books to earn some sweet cash if you do a little extra work. If you’re a book blogger, vlogger, or voice over talent, though, it’s no extra work at all.
Let me begin by sending you to this up and coming site called Tall Tale TV where Chris Herron reads excerpts and even whole short stories to YouTube. In this video, he reads a short excerpt from my Voodoo novella, Otherside.
By accumulating views, likes, and subscribers, Chris earns money through Google AdSense; he links his YouTube account and monetizes through Google AdSense, but that’s not all.
Smashwords, an indie publication platform for e-books, provides you with a special referral link. You can see it in this screen shot; by sending people to this special link, Chris earns a percentage of the book’s sale.
Obviously there’s no percentage of sale earned from free e-books, but there are numerous priced e-book on Smashwords amidst the countless, free, short stories. Besides, free e-books performed to his YouTube channel, Tall Tale TV, are still monetized via Google AdSense, so he still makes money from free stories.
Now, I’ve explained over and over again in numerous articles how you all can make money by reading books, books downloaded from Smashwords; all you have to do is discuss those books and add your special, referral link, and if you choose to simply download a free sample of a book, you don’t even have to purchase the book, so everything’s free.
Here’s the link to an article I wrote for Journal, which explains absolutely everything required to earn free money from reading books. It’s exactly what Chris does with Tall Tale TV!
I’m providing more information now, because more and more people are following my advice, and you should, too. There’s no reason you can’t start earning 1, 2, 3, 10 dollars a day for very little work, and at no cost, and just for reading books.
By spending 5, 10, 30 minutes a week, you can add numerous YouTube performances, book reviews, and discussions to a vlog, blog, or review site, add your specialized, referral link, and earn real money, not Bitcoin, Satoshis, or some, other, BS, faux currency.
This is not a joke. There’s a serious potential to earn real money, and quite a bit of it if you follow the advice from my Journal article. Just think about it; $10 a day is $300 a month, and if you’re serious about discussing books, you can easily earn much more, especially with the nearly inexhaustible supply of e-books available from Smashwords.
No, you cannot sell books from Barnes and Noble, not to my knowledge. Yes, you can sell books from Amazon if you wish to download third-party software, and go through Click Bank, and earn something like 4% off a title. 4% isn’t nothing, but Click Bank is a convoluted pain in the ass, where as my instructions for utilizing Smashwords is immediate and pain free. Furthermore, the minimum earned through Smashwords is usually 11% from a sale, and in the case of my titles, the minimum I pay out is 25%, but often times, I give out more; I’m giving out 30% of my profits for the month of April.
Here’s the deal; millions of people read everyday. Millions of people discuss the books they read. Discussing books, either through conversation or posting reviews to a book blog or vlog, creates buzz for that book, for that author, for that publisher, and it’s because of reader testimony that others buy books, so why shouldn’t you earn money for marketing?
Yes. You are marketing books. You are selling books every time you discuss your latest read. Many of you already belong to reader groups, either on Goodreads, or Google+, FaceBook, or LinkedIn. You read and talk. You review and discuss. You entice new readers to purchase books, so you might as well nab a simple URL from Smashwords, add it to your vlog, blog, or review site, and provide people a simple way to buy the book, and thus earn money directly from the sale. This also secures more likes and subscribers for YouTube. You need likes and subscribers in order to get the most out of monetizing YouTube content!
This is certainly affiliate marketing, but this is simplified affiliate marketing. There’s no cost to you. You are not selling a class or program. You do not have to e-mail people or track down leads. There is nothing to buy, not really, and you don’t have to try to sell anything; you just be yourself and talk about the books you read. The books sell themselves through your discussion to anyone who happens by your vlog, blog, review site, or YouTube channel.
While it’s true that people who are familiar with affiliate marketing can earn exceedingly well, even people who have no notion of affiliate marketing can earn a lot of money through my method. Certainly, people passionate about reading and discussing books will excel, but even people who don’t particularly enjoy reading can still earn decent cash by utilizing my method—it’s all explained in the article, and I’ll add the link again at the bottom of this post.
What I really want to get across is that anyone can earn money today by optimizing their time and internet usage. This is an internet age, an indie age, where anyone with just a bit of daring and creativity can earn a great deal of income through some very simple acts, passive income. This is income that accrues without you having to do any overt work—post once and let the post generate your income.
Do you know that there are people out there, on YouTube, flipping water bottles and earning hundreds of dollars because people look at those videos? People are flipping freaking water bottles for a living. Isn’t that nuts? You can make a living reading. That’s not so nuts!
Naturally, the more posts—reviews, discussions, readings—you provide, the more exposure you’ll obtain, and thus increase your earnings over time. Understand that I’m not trying to sell you on a get rich quick scheme, far from it, this will take some time for you to begin earning a steady stream of income, and at the outset, you will probably only earn a few dollars, but if you have the passion, the connections, the fan base, you can blow up overnight, and easily earn upwards of $1,000 per month, but even $50 a month is nice, right?
On top of all this, if you’re an aspiring voice actor, you can build a really neat portfolio by reading excerpts from a variety of books, and earn cash every time a book sells. Then, when you break into the voiceover world, you’ll already have mad experience and financial success. If you’re an aspiring actor, you can partner with friends and perform skits from the books. If you’re just a reader, you can simply blog, vlog, or review on your website, and add the URL in order to profit from sales. If you’re an internet marketer, an affiliate marketer, this is the simplest kind of selling you will ever do, and while the payoff from a single e-book priced at $5.99 won’t net you the earnings from selling a dishwasher through Amazon’s third-party software mess, you can certainly sell more books per day than dishwashers.
This kind of affiliate marketing is perfect for college students, part-time workers, stay at home parents, retirees, and young people who simply can’t find the kind of employment they enjoy. (Ahem, 4:20 enthusiasts) This is also perfect for readers. It’s also perfect for aspiring writers because you can learn how to sell books. Plus, you’ll expand your fan base by showing readers what kind of books you enjoy. Then, when you publish your own book, your fans will already know where to buy!
I cannot stress this enough: I am providing everyone in the world a way to earn free money. Do yourself a favor. Change your life. Read this article from Journal. Sell books. Read for a living. You can succeed outside the strict bonds of a “job”.
Hello, college students. Summer is just around the corner. Well, maybe around the next few corners, but you should definitely consider the following information now because I want you to be earning easy money by the time Summer is actually upon us.
It’s no secret that tuition costs have been rising steadily, and it’s become practically impossible to go to college full time without working at least part time, but that means giving up valuable study time, or at the very least, it means giving up your spare time, and that means you can’t enjoy your favorite hobbies, but what if there was a way to earn money without having to go to work?
What if there was a way to combine your hobbies with earning money?
Just about everyone today reads. Whether for pleasure or information, most people read, and sometimes people who read also blog, vlog, and discuss what they read on book review sites, but if you’re going to school full time, and you’re working part time, or maybe even working full time, too, you can’t possibly sit down and read, rate, review, and discuss the books you enjoy, right?
Recently, I’ve been showing everyone in the world just how easy it is to earn three, four, five hundred dollars a month by simply reading and discussing books. You can learn the most basic way to earn money by reading from checking out this article.
In it, I lay out a very simple way to earn money reading, but I’ll go over everything again in this post.
For starters, I want to let you all know that for the month of April, 2017, I’ll be giving everyone a 30% cut of my profits, which is far beyond anything you’ll earn anywhere else, for selling my books, but allow me to backtrack real quick.
Affiliate marketing is the process through which you, the person not directly affiliated with a product, sell that product and instead of being paid by a company, you earn a direct cut of the sale.
Reading is, well, you know, reading books….
Here’s the deal-
Instead of going out to work for 10, 15, 20 hours a week and earning peanuts, or even though you’re working 10, 15, 20 hours a week and earning peanuts, you can blog about books, and when people learn about how great these books are, they buy them from your blog, vlog, or review site, and you earn a part of the sale, 30% of the sale for the month of April! Maybe more for June, July, and August, stay tuned for that.
The important thing is that once you establish a blog, vlog, or book review website, people will keep coming by your site to check your content, and then they can buy books directly from your site, and you earn a direct cut of the sales without having to do any extra work. In other words, you post once about a specific book, and then you don’t ever have to talk about that book ever again, but as long as people buy that book from you, you constantly earn a cut of the profit.
Now, imagine if you didn’t even have to buy the book or pay for web hosting.
You can start today by visiting WordPress or Blogger and making a free website. This works great on YouTube, too, because you can physically talk about the book you read.
Next, you make a Smashwords account, which is free, and you link your Paypal account to your Smashwords account, all still free, and on Smashwords, you can peruse all kinds of books.
There are free books and there are priced books, and in the post I mentioned above, I also explain how to earn an income from the free books, but for now, I just want to deal with the priced books.
Every priced book has a referral link at the bottom of the buy page. You can see the referral URL at the bottom of the buy page for this book in the picture below.
That URL is automatically specialized for you based on your Smashwords account, so there’s no third party software, not pay per click, nothing. You just copy that URL, place it on your blog, book review site, or YouTube channel, and when people buy that book because of your review, you earn a cut of the sale, and in the case of my books, you will earn 30% of the sale for the month of April—I normally give out 25%.
Since my books are generally priced at $4.99, 30% of the sale nets you over a dollar per sale. That means that if you sell just 10 books a day, you earn more than $300.00 per month, and all for just reading and then discussing a book on your blog, vlog, or review site.
Hold on to your hats, though, ‘cause it gets even better.
You don’t really even need to read the book. You don’t really even need to purchase the book. You don’t really need to do much of anything. As previously mentioned, everything is laid out in the article from above, but I’ll delineate again.
You make your book blog, vlog, or review site for free. You make your Smashwords account for free, and link your free Paypal account to your Smashwords account. Then, you check out some books, which are priced for sale, and generally, you can download a free sample to peruse the book, and see if you like it or not, but that doesn’t really matter because most books will have a picture of the cover, a neat blurb, and some reviews, which is all you need. That means you can just copy and paste everything to your blog, or review website—you can simply read blurbs and reviews out loud as well as an excerpt from free samples for a vlog or YouTube book channel—and after five minutes of work, you post your specific referral URL on your blog, vlog, or book review website, and people can purchase the book right from you instead of the author’s page.
When people buy the books, you automatically earn that dollar—sometimes it’s more if the referral percentage or the book price are higher—and you don’t have to do anything else!
This is real money we’re talking about, too, not Satoshis, or Bitcoin, or some other strange non-currency. This is free money for about 5 minutes worth of work.
Now here’s the thing; anybody can do this, but people who enjoy reading and discussing books, or people who enjoy affiliate marketing, will perform exceedingly well, and that’s great, but even if you don’t know what you’re doing, and have no expectations, you can still earn some pretty good money through half-assing the process.
Consider that by taking 5 minutes out of every week, you can throw up a new book cover, blurb, and review—and maybe even a short excerpt—onto your blog, vlog, or book review site. If you start today (March of 2017) then by the time Summer is here, you can have 10, 11, 12 books up, and if you’re selling just one of each of the books per day, you’re earning 10, 11, 12 dollars per day, every day. If you want to add more books, you can add more books, and if you really want to make this your part time—or even full time—occupation, you can easily make one or two thousand dollars a month by adding two or three books per week, and then attacking social media, book discussion groups, and just telling everyone on campus to check out your site!
Now, again, I’m really just giving you an outline with this post because I know many college students out there are struggling to work, pay bills, pay for tuition, books, and whatever else, and on top of the costs, there just isn’t much time left to do anything, but I suggest you also take another five minutes to read the article, which provides a more thorough explanation of how all this works.
The reason I’m reaching out to you college students specifically is because you all already have an in depth connection with numerous people, people on campus, and I know that many of you are readers, which means you can either work together to sell, and earn some real decent cash by having different people discuss different genres of books, or you can simply work alone, unhindered by the set—and usually annoying—hours of a traditional employer.
You get to be in charge of everything from your schedule to which books you wish to discuss and sell to how you go about generating buzz for your new book review site.
You may certainly want to keep your part time job, or cut back to part time hours, while you get this book reading, affiliate marketing, self employed, wage earning act rolling, but I promise you that with just a little bit of effort, and no cost whatsoever, you can earn some easy money in no time, at least enough to help with rising tuition costs.
Look at this cover, blurb, and review.
Blurb- With the death of Kulshedra, Dragon of Truth, it has been revealed that Scar, the mercenary, is in fact Sarkany, the Dragon Slayer, a creature fashioned for the sole purpose of purging the Dragons from the world of Tiamhaal, yet such a thing is not so simple. Kings and queens yet war amongst one another. They, too, lie, connive, and coerce, and so, Scar and his friends must find a way to persuade those few, benevolent rulers to band together. In the midst of peace talks and dead Dragons, those still in the worship of the beasts grow more powerful. Some of them even doubly praise their oppressor in an effort to wield more magic. Now, united with his friends, Scar sets his gaze upon a hopeful horizon, but is strength in numbers sufficient to keep the Dragons from completing their machinations?
Review- Best book ever written ever. Dragon Slayer picks up right after Gods and Dragons. If you havent read Gods and Dragons just take my word for it. It’s awesome. Go read it. Now, I’m going to talk about Dragon Slayer, so if you don’t want me to spoil Gods and Dragons stop reading this review.
Scar, who now knows he is Sarkany, the Dragon Slayer, has just killed the dragon Kulshedra, so Artimis flies him back to Usaj where he fights and kills Zoltek. Since Scar is on a quest for Eternus, the Dragon of Time, to gather the souls of the dragons, he has to kill the kings of every country in orrder to take their dragon gems. Well, after he kills Zoltek, he kills Zmaj, and of course the Zmajans lose their powers, but as it turns out, when the dragons die, and poeple lose their powers, the other living dragons get stronger, and their worshipers do too, so now the paladins of Inhogupta the Perseverants help Scar to try and bring the world to order, but there’s all kind of chaos because Scar is a good guy and he wants the kings and queens to hand over the gems without bloodshed, but some of them are bad, and they’re conspiring with each other. There’s so much more intrigue and espionage in this story than I ever expected, and it is a bit difficult to keep up with the states of the nations, but in the end, it’s like background information that really brings the world to life without requiring you to memorize whatever is going on. The short version is that Scar is on his mission to gather all the souls of each dragon, but since the dragons get stronger as the others die, it’s harder for him to kill them, but then he learns how to use their powers. It’s so freakin amazing. How is this story not on the tip of everyone’s tongue? I don’t know. This guy is like the best writer ever and everyone’s off reading Harry Potter.
I just hope the next Dragon of Time comes out soon. In the meantime, I’ll be reading whatever else Dennis releases.
All you have to do is paste these to your book blog or review site, or as I mentioned, you can simply read the information out loud on your YouTube channel. You can even read excerpts from the book, and then monetize your YouTube channel and link your Google AdSense account to earn aggregate income. There will be no copyright infringement because reviewers are allowed to quote excerpts for reviews and discussions.
It isn’t hard. There’s no cost. It takes between 5 and 30 minutes per book—depending on how much work you want to do, and then the sales just keep coming in without you ever having to discuss that one book ever again.
This is an indie world you’re entering. This is an internet based world, and you should use the internet to make your life easier. There are free financial opportunities on the internet if you can find them, and I’m showing you one of the simplest and safest ones. As a wage earning writer, I have gone through everything you’re going through now, so I want to make everything simple for you, which, of course, generates more buzz for my books.
Remember: no cost, no third party software, no pay per click BS, and you earn real money by just sharing my—or anyone’s—books from Smashwords. Make sure you read the original article—if you haven’t read it from above—because it will explain absolutely everything you need to do to start earning money today.
Then, when you’ve got it going, and people are buying books from your site while you’re in class, studying, or hanging with friends, you can bail on that part time job, or at least cut back to part time from your full time job, or maybe, you’re so good that you can earn a living off this neat little hack….
Thank you, college students, for reading How College Students Can Earn Money. Reading makes the whole world a better place. You do not have to graduate under the burden of thousands of dollars of debt. You can start earning passive income today at no cost to you.
If you enjoyed reading How College Students Can Earn Money, please check out some of my other posts.
Oh, and if you’re in a business or econ program, show this post to your friends! This is also great for those of you enrolled in a literary arts, drama, or production program—lot’s of stuff to read or even perform on YouTube!
How would you like to keep doing exactly what you’re doing, not a change a damn thing, and earn more money? Did I get your attention?
You’re brilliant, patient, and have a sonorous voice. You use it to convey emotions. It’s your art that elicits our passion, dreams, and aspirations, and rightfully so, you use your talent to earn a living. This is why I want to call your attention and preface the following information by saying that books are turned into movies, television shows, motion comic books, and video games, all of which need voice actors.
Many of you have YouTube accounts, and you showcase your wonderful talent. Every time you read something, a script, a novel, a short story, a review, anything, you post the video to YouTube, and your channel draws numerous visitors and subscribers.
By utilizing Google AdSense and other third party advertisers, you generate income, and that’s great. Sometimes, you sell your services to companies like Audible, and you perform readings of books, but what if there was an additional way to augment your income, which required absolutely no more work, no more effort, than what you’re already putting into your occupation?
What if on top of augmenting your income, you were also able to create more and more videos to showcase your stunning talent? You also want to get more likes and subscribers to your YouTube channel, right?
This book and performance was the winner of a book reading, but what if you had a chance to read this book, any book, out loud and upload it to your YouTube account. Your performance certainly sells that book to interested readers, right? You certainly deserve compensation for your efforts, don’t you? With more videos, you’ll surely get more likes and subscribers to your YouTube channel, and that means more exposure, more income.
What if you were paid every time that a book sold a copy? What if every time that a book sold, you earned a dollar? A dollar isn’t much, but if you add that dollar to the income you already earn from ads, it’s a great bonus, especially if you sold multiple books regularly. Ten books a day is suddenly ten dollars a day, that’s an additional $300 a month…not to mention that the additional likes and subscribers means more revenue from Google AdSense.
Here’s what I’m doing, and here’s where I want you to participate and earn more money by reading books, performing, selling books, and getting more likes and subscribers to your YouTube channel.
Smashwords books have affiliate referral links on their buy pages. Down at the bottom of the Smashwords page for They Lurk Among Us, Lokians 2, the second book of the Lokians scifi series, you can plainly see a URL, and you can also see that you can earn 25% of the sale. Not all Smashwords authors provide such a high referral income, but I do, and sometimes, I offer more than 25%, but never less, so if you perform a reading of They Lurk Among Us, Lokians 2, and people see your performance, and they buy They Lurk Among Us, Lokians 2 through your referral link, you earn a dollar from the sale, and you earn more money than just utilizing Google AdSense.
Now, imagine performing a reading of hundreds of books, books you don’t even have to purchase because you can download free samples of the books, and choose your preferred section to perform. For absolutely no cost, you can download a free sample of any of my books, perform a reading, and place your referral URL in that YouTube video, and then when people buy that book because of your performance, you earn more money.
Easy income, right? Free income from downloading free samples of great books!
There’s no hassle, no cost, and you’re just doing what you already love doing, speaking!
You do need to make a Smashwords account, but the account is free, and then your special referral URL automatically appears at the bottom of every book’s buy page, and all you do is place that URL in the video description or in the video itself.
In order to receive your compensation, you just link your Paypal account to your Smashwords account; it’s all free, it’s all easy, it requires no additional work or money, and there are thousands of free stories you can also download and read—all genres; scifi, fantasy, romance, horror.
How much fun would it be to just read stories for a living?
Many of them are free, but if you perform a reading of those titles, and upload your performance to your YouTube channel, you can earn easy money through the ad revenue. Then, to augment your earnings, you can download the free portions of my priced books, and perform those readings, too. Just add the referral URL to your video, and when people buy the book through your link, you get paid.
Sounds easy? Sounds too good to be true? Sounds like affiliate marketing? It is easy easy. It is not too good to be true. It is affiliate marketing—affiliate marketing simplified.
No third party software, no pay per click, no extra work or effort, absolutely no cost to you, but you get all the benefits; you get a free story or sample, you get to stretch your vocal muscles, you get to showcase your talents, you get to add videos for more ad revenue, and likes, and subscribers, and you get to enjoy fantasy, scifi, horror, romance, whatever, and you get free money whenever anyone purchases a book through your link.
You can do this for any book you want, but remember that most Smashwords authors won’t be giving you 25% or more of their sales, but even the customary 11% is nice.
Think about it. If you’re already a YouTube hit, everyone will come to view your readings. If you’re not a YouTube hit…yet, you can certainly become one by adding numerous performances—just imagine having hundreds of videos on your YouTube account all from various genres; scifi, fantasy, horror, romance, whatever you want, and so you can showcase your range, and all the while, you earn tons of cash and exposure.
You already love voice acting. You are an actor, a voice actor, and if you so choose, you can showcase your acting talents by staging actual performances with a group of friends—group readings, whatever you want. There are no limits to what you can accomplish with this wonderful opportunity, and we all benefit.
Maybe, you’re not a voice actor. Maybe, you’re just a reader, a lover of the written word, and you enjoy reviewing your favorite books on your book review vlog. You can still earn an income through both Google AdSense and Smashwords referral URLs—affiliate marketing simplified. Like I said, we all benefit.
I benefit because you’re giving me exposure. You benefit because you earn a cut of my profits, you earn more through more ads, and voice actors can certainly land more jobs from the added exposure. To top it off, fans of reading benefit from learning of new material.
You can also see that more and more people are searching for simplified affiliate marketing—more people are finding ways to earn money by doing what they love, free from the shackles of laborious jobs.
You definitely want to jump on this before the competition gets heavy, and I promise you, in about six months, a year, everyone will be reading books on YouTube, selling books on YouTube, reviewing books on YouTube.
Look at all the book review vlogs! It won’t be long before all the book review vloggers learn they can earn an actual living by doing what they’re already doing—selling books to consumers by reviewing them in vlog format. I also know people are taking advantage of streaming, so stream some readings, and provide the referral URL on your website, blog, or social media accounts!
Yup, this isn’t just a call to professional, voice actors; this is a call to anyone with a voice, anyone who enjoys reading, anyone who enjoys reviewing, speaking, acting.
Start earning more money today by reading books, streaming, making videos, and making vlogs. It’s your performance, your art, your interest, your passion that sells books, so earn more by doing what you already love, and at no cost, no additional effort.
Book review vloggers, when you review A Song of Ice and Fire, does Bantam pay you? Does George Martin? No, but people, your fans, certainly by those books because of your praise. Does J.K. Rowling pay you whenever you read or praise Harry Potter on your review site or review vlog? No, but I will; every time you review a book, and it sells, it sells because of your hard work, and you deserve a cut of the profit.
Start earning more money today. Streaming, blogs, vlogs—the internet is designed for you to take advantage of what you love doing; you can earn more doing what you love and without having to beg people to donate to your crowdfund campaign, or YouTube channel, or website, or whatever.
Now is the time to break away from the mainstream crap. This is the indie age, an age where anyone can earn money by providing the world a service, and your service is one of the best. Show the world what you can do, what you enjoy, get exposure, and start earning more money.
You’re on twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, Google+, wherever; every time you turn around, someone’s got their greasy palm out, asking for handouts. “Donate, please; I’m on IndieGoGo, I’m on Patreon, I’m on Gofundme, come support me at Twitch TV, come support me here, there, everywhere.”
Aren’t you sick of it? Every time you turn around, someone wants you to give them money for doing what they enjoy doing, and then what, they give you a little trinket, maybe, maybe, if you donate enough.
Well, if you’re not sick of it, I am. People draw pictures—they’re at Patreon, wanting you to give them money, to support their lifestyle. Tell ‘em to go get a job and draw their little pictures on the side until they can support themselves.
People want to dress up as cartoon characters, and they stick their ugly mitts out, asking for you to give them money, so they can play dress up for a living. If they want to play dress up for a living, they need to work a real job and earn their own cash until they can support themselves from their side hustle.
You even have people who write books, writers like me, on Patreon, Gofundme, and IndieGoGo; they’re asking you for 5,000, 10,000, 30,000 dollars so they can write and publish a book! You want to give them your money?! Are you out of your mind?
Let them work a day job like Bon Jovi did before he made it big in the music industry. People can work, and they can write, or play video games, or dress up in their spare time until their passion pays off. Don’t go donate to their cause.
Did Macklemore or Kanye ask for handouts? Did Dan Brown? Did Harrison Ford?! Did David Schwimmer ask anyone for money when he was an unemployed, struggling actor? No! These people worked real jobs while they developed their passion into a paying profession.
Here’s what you need to do. You need to find someone who will pay you to help them get their service, art, product or whatever out to the public.
Peep this; I want you to make money off me, not the other way around. I’ve been writing since 2011, and I worked a day job when I first began. Then, as my books sold, as I wrote more and more books, and more books sold, and more people learned about me and enjoyed my work, I was able to cut back to working part time. Now, I’m successful, and all without sticking my grubby fists out, begging for someone to support me while I type a few thousand words at a computer for an hour or two a day.
Understand, my books sell, and since you already read, and you already discuss what you read, you sell books!
Yes! That’s how it works! If you have a book blog, a review site, anything where you discuss the books you’ve read and loved then you sell books. It’s your praise, your discussion, your sharing of thoughts and emotions that generates buzz, and that means that you are selling books for the authors, the editors, the publishers, but is anyone paying you?
No! They got their damned, slimy fingers out, asking for you to give your money, but you work, don’t you?! I’ll bet you do, but you still make the time to read, and write about what you read, and discuss with your fan base, who cherish your thoughts, and they go out, and they buy the books you praise, and you aren’t asking for anyone to support what you enjoy doing, right?
Not to mention that those crowdfunders—with their creepie-crawlie little fingers—then go out and sell a product or service to the consumers, thus they earn money twice; once from your donation, and they earn again when they sell their book, picture, music, whatever!
You sell books, so why aren’t you earning any money? Where’s your cut? Why are you giving your money away?
I got your cut! Your cut is here!
Smashwords has a referral link for anyone who wants to sell Smashwords books. You can make a free Smashwords account, supposing you don’t already have one, and you can link up your PayPal account. That way, when you add the referral URL to your site along with your review and dissemination of that title, and people buy the book through your site, you earn a cut of the sale.
You just paste the link to your site. It’s that freakin’ simple! People click on it, and when they buy the book, it counts as your sale! No third party software like most affiliate marketing schemes. No pay per click like most affiliate marketing schemes.
Now, here’s the thing; normally, Smashwords books give you an 11% cut of the profit, so you basically earn something like $0.08 out of each dollar because the writer gets their cut, Smashwords gets a cut, and then there are some billing fees, but here’s the thing; the real thing, the real deal; I am increasing the profit from the referral link to 25%.
This means that you can earn more by selling my books. What’s that? Yes, you earn. No, I don’t want you to support me. I want to support you. You can sell my books, or Hell, you can sell anyone’s books, but not everyone will give you 25% of the profit, and not everyone can write like I do.
If you’re one of my loyal fans, you know I’m better than the Bee’s Knees; I’m the Gazelle’s Bells. If you’re not one of my fans…yet, feel free to download any of my free titles. You can’t sell those, but after you give the free titles a read, you’ll see how good I am, and you’ll believe that my books sell themselves.
Just check out this cover, title, blurb, and review.
Gods, Dragons, a mercenary with a blade and no memory of his past…. The world of Tiamhaal is alight in war. Men ruled by kings slay their opposition in the name of their God, but there are others who claim the Gods are little more than scorned Dragons of ages past. Scar has come to find the truth, but is the truth an absolute certainty, or is it just the skewed memory of a forgotten kingdom?
Scar is a complete mystery to everyone, including himself. He has no past that he can recall. He only knows that he woke up being attacked by a roving band of Dracs, hopelessly outnumbered, yet somehow managed to hack through all of them. His fighting prowess is amazing, and he has the ability to heal in moments anything but mortal wounds.
He finds himself a mercenary in the employ of Zoltek, leader of the Usaj, who has promised to request his god Zmaj reveal Scar’s past, and restore his memory. Double-crossed by Zoltek and left for dead, Scar finds himself catapulted into an epic struggle for truth between Dragons posing as gods and the gods they are replacing.
Wielding his gargantuan two-handed sword with its odd diamond-shaped holes, he carves a path through everyone blocking him from uncovering the truth about his past, his future, and the gods and dragons the people serve.
Gods and Dragons is an obviously large epic fantasy series launch, on the scale of The Wheel of Time. The world building is amazing, and there are more people groups, religions, magical ‘blessings’ and countries than you could possibly remember. The action in places is gripping, and the characters, especially Scar and Labolas, are well-defined and real. Scar reminds me of Conan, but with more brain. His hack-and-slay mentality however, has him rushing into any confrontation, confident in his ability to mow down the opposition faster than Link can cut the grass.
This book sells for $4.99, so if you sell even one copy of this book, you’ll earn about $1.00. Is that a lot? No, but isn’t earning a dollar better than donating five dollars, so that someone can sit in front of their computer and type for an hour or two a day? Isn’t this better than most of the convoluted affiliate marketing schemes?
Plus, I have seven titles for sale at the moment with one more coming out by the end of 2017, and probably another two more titles before 2019.
If you sell just a few copies a day, everyday, by practically doing nothing, and whatever you are doing is what you already love doing—reading and reviewing—you can earn 5, 10, 20 dollars a day, easy—from just my books, and like I said, you can put anyone’s books up on your book blog or review site. This is passive income.
Think about it. You can keep donating to everyone who thinks they’re a writer, or musician, or cosplayer, or whatever, and you can go broke, while you work, and they play, or you can earn money by just putting up some links to some books on your book blog or review site. As I said, this is passive income.
Is it really that tough to figure out which benefits you? Passive income benefits you!
Listen, crowdfunding has a definite role in the indie entertainment industry. Film producers and game developers do need crowdfunding. When James Rolfe of AVGN crowdfunded his AVGN movie, he not only threw in all of his money, he crowdfunded in order to pay for permits, to hire actors, editors, and to rent equipment and shoot sites.
That’s when people need crowdfunding, to organize an entire production. Rolfe used the crowd funds to employ people. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there is something wrong with lazy people asking for handouts in order to do something, which can easily be done in spare time after coming home from an honest day’s work.
Now, look at this book. This just came out in February of 2017.
This is actually a re-release of a title that was originally published through a small press, but I didn’t like how much they were charging for it, and when it was first released, it had a terrible cover, and quite a few formatting errors, but now it’s updated, and all set to go.
Did I get on Patreon, GofundMe, or IndieGoGo and ask for people to give me money to buy the new cover art or hire an editor? No, I paid for it out of pocket because my profits come from selling a quality product to consumers.
I know you can easily sell this book for $4.99 and earn a dollar, I know because I sell books all the time. You can sell books, too, and all from doing what? Pasting a link to your book blog or reviewer site, and then just hanging back, and letting your fans come to your site, and buy the books straight from you. It’s what you’re already doing. If you aren’t already running your own book blog or review site, you can start now; you have the incentive.
It’s so easy; I should know; I sell a ton of books, my books, and you can sell them, too, and then when people stick their greasy mitts out, lookin’ for a handout, you tell ‘em if they want money for their side hustle, they can go sell Dennis’s books.
Thanks, everyone, you guys are the best. Don’t give your money to people who laze around their homes all day doing nothing. You don’t need to be supporting healthy, young, lazy people. You don’t even need to be buying my books. Just sell ‘em. Let the others work for a living until their product, service, or art can support itself, and you worry about your income.
I want everyone to succeed from doing what they love just as much as you do, but I want to pay you to succeed; I don’t want you to support me. There’s a right and a wrong way to crowdfund. There’s a right and a wrong way to get involved with affiliate marketing. I’m just trying to simplify the process, and make sure that everyone can earn some money rather than having everyone who works for money give me their share.
I know you can get on board with that. Right? Sure you can. Start earning something for your hard work and passion today, and stop supporting lay-abouts, who call themselves artists. This is the conservative movement; look out for your pockets, your income, and stop trying to get everyone to support everyone else. If you work hard, and take care of yourself, you don’t need a handout; no, you can earn money by doing what you love.
I’ve had about enough of this crowdfunding madness, and I know you have, too. If not, if you’re okay with giving your money away to someone who pockets your cash, 1,000’s of dollars, and then spends 15 bucks to produce a poorly written novel, a single shot of them dressed like Princess Zelda, a water color painting that took 7 minutes to paint then you go ahead, and you give your money away, but if you’re like me, and you’re pissed off that every time you hop on social media, you see numerous people asking for handouts just so they can sit on their butts, and play dress up, or write a book, or sing at their computer’s microphone, do something about it.
Does Bantam pay you to sell books? No. Does Penguin Random House pay you to sell books? No. They certainly charge you to buy books, though.
Does George Martin pay you if you blog about A Song of Ice and Fire? No, but he sure benefits when you talk about A Song of Ice and Fire, and people buy the books because you praised A Song of Ice and Fire on your blog or website.
Does J.K. Rowling pay you if you blog about Harry Potter? No, but she sure benefits when you talk about Harry Potter, and people buy the books because you praised Harry Potter on your blog or website.
What about all the writers out there now who are crowdfunding in order to publish their books. Writers are crowdfunding, accepting money, for something that doesn’t cost much, and then they turn around and sell their product to consumers, so there you are, paying a writer to write, and then they turn around and sell the product, making money again.
What happens if they have money left over from the crowdfunding campaign? Where does it go? Do they pay you? No. Most often, they can’t even be bothered to hire competent editors. They just pocket your money and claim they need to eat, too.
Let me turn you on to a new wave of thinking, a new wave of earning money, a new wave of affiliate marketing.
I have big news for readers. I know you love to read, and I know you’d like to make some money, and indirectly, there is a way for readers to make money by reading. I’m going to introduce you to affiliate marketing, but not the way you’ve seen it before.
You do want to make money, right? You like to read good stories? You can make money selling stories you’ve read. Well, you can make money even without reading stories, but what I want is for my readers to sell my stories because I know you guys have not only read my stories, you’ve loved them and want to share them with everyone, and I want to pay you to do it. It’s easy.
You’ve heard of affiliate marketing, right? Well, here’s the deal; Smashwords allows their writers to set the amount of money affiliate marketers can earn.
Starting on 03/01/2017, I am offering everyone 25% of my sales. All you have to do is make a Smaswhords account, you should already have one anyway, and down at the bottom of my books’ pages is an affiliate link.
All you do is copy and paste that link on your site, or blog, or whatever, and whenever people buy my book through your site, with your link, you earn 25% of the sale. You’ll have to add your Paypal address to your Smashwords account to earn the money, but it’s super simple, and you earn money immediately.
Yeah, I’m taking a cut so that people the world over can earn money by selling my books, and it should be pretty easy because my books practically sell themselves.
Look at this title, cover, and blurb; wouldn’t you buy this book for $5.99?
Scar, the Dragon Slayer, was fashioned to purge the Dragons from Tiamhaal, yet such a thing is not so simple. Kings and queens yet war amongst one another. They, too, lie, connive, and coerce, and so, Scar and his friends must find a way to persuade men to stand together against the machinations of evil forces. Join Scar on an adventure, which will test his mettle as man and warrior.
Well, here’s the deal. If you sell this book, you’ll get to keep over a dollar of the sale.
It’s easy, right?
You should start today. Just keep in mind that extra income won’t be available until March. You can still sell my books for 11% of the profit starting today, which isn’t bad, but from March 2017 and on, I’ll make sure all you guys can earn 25%. You won’t find a better deal anywhere else by any other author.
Here’s the link to each book that actually has a price.
The rest of my books are free, so there can’t be any profit earned.
If you have a Smashwords account then the bottom of each book’s page will present a special referral link that you use to generate sales and earn income directly from selling my books.
If this opportunity sounds too good to pass up then don’t pass it up. Start a Smashwords affiliate marketing site today, and reap the rewards of selling my books. Then, when your Smashwords affiliate marketing site is up and running, leave a comment with your name and a link to your site. I’ll add your site to my Backlinks tab and promote your site on Twitter.
I told you it was easy, didn’t I?
Think about it. You already read. You already know my stories rock. You already know people buy my stories. Why shouldn’t you get a cut? You already tell everybody, your friends, family, coworkers, and your blog or website fans which books you enjoy reading, and then your friends, family, coworkers, and blog and website fans go out and buy those books. Why shouldn’t you get a cut?
I’m telling you; Bantam, Penguin, the writers, the crowdfunding abusers, they’re all making money off of you! Why shouldn’t you start making money?!
You should! That’s why I’m giving you 25% of the sales from March of 2017 on out. You guys are great. Without my fans, I wouldn’t have anything, and I want you to have some extra cash in your pocket. You can certainly sell anyone’s books, but is anyone else giving you 25% from each sale? I don’t think so. The standard affiliate referral from Smashwords is only 11%, and other sites like Amazon make affiliate marketing a pain and a convoluted mess.
Save yourself the headache, and share with the world what you already love: my stories. Earn a cut of the pie while you’re at it.
Apart from the books listed above, three more books will be released this year, so now’s a great time to hop aboard this money train because with each new title I release, more and people are going to be buying my books, and you want to make sure to be among the first to earn a fat cut of my profits. Thank you for being loyal fans.
Gods, Dragons, a mercenary with a blade and no memory of his past…. The world of Tiamhaal is alight in war. Men ruled by kings slay their opposition in the name of their God, but there are others who claim the Gods are little more than scorned Dragons of ages past. Scar has come to find the truth, but is the truth an absolute certainty, or is it just the skewed memory of a forgotten kingdom?
This is, without a doubt, one of the fastest growing fantasy adventure series.
I can’t stress this enough; fans of fantasy adventures have been clamoring for a great series of books about dragons, and this one is it. It won’t be long before it beats out TheLord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and A Song of Ice and Fire. People are already saying it’s as good as The Wheel of Time, which is a lesser known fantasy series, and The Dragon of Time is far from finished.
For now, you can enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of the first book, Gods and Dragons, but it doesn’t end there. You can download free samples of Gods and Dragons directly through Goodreads.
I know indie and self published books still get a bum rap, but many people are yet to realize that Harry Potter was turned down by numerous publishers. The only reason Harry Potter was released through a major publisher is because Rowling’s sister worked for the company and went over the acquisitions editor’s head.
Don’t misunderstand, I’m not taking anything away from Harry Potter; people love the series, and that’s what counts. I also hope the acquisitions editor was fired because they nearly cost that company billions in revenue, but my point is that the only reason The Dragon of Time series is self published is because it has become increasingly difficult for new writers to land a literary agent, and just because an agent turns down a book, doesn’t mean it isn’t good; it just means that person doesn’t think it’ll be marketable, but look at how much I’ve done all on my own. Clearly, The Dragon of Time is marketable; if I had had a whole team of marketers behind me, you’d all be buying these books from your local book store, but don’t fret, not only am I giving away a signed copy of Gods and Dragons, I’m also giving away free e-copies of the sequel, The Dragon of Time Two, Dragon Slayer.
With the death of Kulshedra, Dragon of Truth, it has been revealed that Scar, the mercenary, is in fact Sarkany, the Dragon Slayer, a creature fashioned for the sole purpose of purging the Dragons from the world of Tiamhaal, yet such a thing is not so simple. Kings and queens yet war amongst one another. They, too, lie, connive, and coerce, and so, Scar and his friends must find a way to persuade those few, benevolent rulers to band together. In the midst of peace talks and dead Dragons, those still in the worship of the beasts grow more powerful. Some of them even doubly praise their oppressor in an effort to wield more magic. Now, united with his friends, Scar sets his gaze upon a hopeful horizon, but is strength in numbers sufficient to keep the Dragons from completing their machinations?
I’ll be giving it away free until December 24th of 2016. A link to a free e-book makes for a great gift to friends and family for the holidays when money is tight, and I know money is tight for a lot of people right now, but all you guys and gals out there are my fans, or potential fans, and without you readers, writers are nothing; we’re a fart in the wind, so giving away this amazing book is my way of saying thank you to you all.
Please go and grab your free copy of Dragon Slayer. Be sure to also enter the Goodreads giveaway, and grab a free sample of Gods and Dragons. You will not be disappointed.
Thank you all for your continued interest and support. Stay tuned for the next post, which will be about conjunctions and prepositions.
The giveaway may have ended but the benefits have not!
Don’t just buy books from Smashwords, sell books through Smashwords. Smashwords provides readers, bloggers, reviewers, anyone a chance to earn money from the books they love. By making a Smashwords account to buy and download books, you automatically have the ability to sell books through your blog or website. Read more about it here!
The Dragon of Time Two, Dragon Slayer, is a fantasy adventure series revolving around Scar. He is not man nor immortal being, but something in between, yet he was created only to kill the dragons. Scar, however, has developed his own thoughts, emotions, wants, and intends to live his life to the fullest.
The following excerpt is the entirety of the second chapter. If you missed the first chapter, it’s on the previous post.
Under a clear, night sky, Scar gazed at the rolling dunes and valleys. It was an endless sea of bleak gray pitted against a backdrop of twinkling blackness. The thin chaparral was rife with intermittent buzzing. All manner of insects flew rampantly, searching for moisture. He swatted the gnats from his eyes, pondering his newest obstacle.
“Well…roaming out here will do me no good. I need to get to Alduheim and meet up with Labolas.”
General Dumar had effectively galvanized his people. Since the Zmajans had not taken the loss of their God or blessing lightly, and they had no intention of allowing Scar ease of travel through Usaj, he needed to stay off the roads while treading north.
“Will that be enough,” he questioned, marching between cacti with budding flowers of red. “Beyond Usaj is Satrone, and I am no more welcome there than here….” Scar then wondered about the possibility of moving east into Eltanrof. “That’s still a long haul without a horse.” He started moving aimlessly in the direction he faced. “Maybe, I can steal a horse in the night…of course, I’m not too far from the ocean. I wonder if I can manage to sail around Satrone and into Zetsuru….”
The chilly winds of the desert night nipped at his nose. He felt the cold, but it was not an unpleasant sensation. Taking a deep breath as he came to stop near a squat boulder, he took a seat and removed his helmet to rub a hand over his smooth head.
“Damn, I probably won’t be able to make it into any town around here or the coast before word gets out,” he mumbled. “I should’ve killed Dumar. Then, maybe, these people wouldn’t be after me….”
The story of the pale skinned warrior who killed Kulshedra had already spread throughout the whole of Tiamhaal. The welcoming committee in Meshoptam had proven that, and with the Zmajans now powerless, Scar didn’t feel right cutting them down just to serve his own goal, even if that goal was world peace. As he stood and meandered again through the desert, his immense footprints quickly vanished beneath waves of sand. The Golgor desert blew powerful gusts on a daily basis. Tiny grains of gray peppered the warrior as gales grew potent.
“Of course,” Scar exclaimed.
He decided to maintain his heading, knowing that somewhere amidst the expansive desert there was a road marked by stones. Unlike Satrone, the roads of Usaj weren’t hard packed soil, but the roughly hewn, stone posts guided travelers when desert winds covered tracks every single night. Once I get on the road, I’ll come across someone on horseback or camelback…or something…eventually.
He picked up his pace and jogged along; his goal was to find some riders, simply knock them unconscious, and steal their mount. Usaj’s southern region was mostly arid, but there were many traders moving to and from the capitol; someone was sure to pass by. Recent tribulations left him irritable, though, and he cursed the lands of Usaj.
Scar plodded through the desert for hours. The ability to move for great distances without tiring was indeed a boon. He dashed by tall, thin cacti, short, round ones, and some reddish shrubs with very thick leaves. Before the predawn twilight, fluffy, gray clouds rolled in overhead. The insects stopped buzzing then, and Scar ran in relative silence; the only sound was the soft crushing of sand underfoot. Another hour passed in that manner, and then the eastern sun blasted the cloud cover to bits. Morning light erupted over a huge, sandy hill, and that was enough to reveal a stone post in the distance. Scar heaved a sigh, veered off to his right, and ran straight for the road.
The stones were visible in the daytime. Each, craggy marker was placed about one hundred yards from the next. They wormed all over the desert; over hills, through dunes, around the scant, few, large boulders. Since the winds had died down overnight, Scar clearly saw a row of markers like inanimate, stone soldiers in single file, disappearing into a valley.
Slowing to a walk, he kept a steady pace for hours. The sun worked its way overhead. Warmth prickled the skin. Winters in Usaj were dreadfully cold, not that it affected him much, but the midday warmth was relaxing. He closed his eyes, still walking, and the image of Ylithia flooded his mind; traipsing through meadows in Closicus under the brightness of a clear sky. Her emerald eyes were so full of bittersweet longing. He wanted nothing more than to make her feel safe, loved, happy, but that had been taken from him, and revenge had not brought peace. He stopped abruptly, glared at the endless, gray desert, and spat in the wind.
“Even killing these Dragons won’t bring her back…I wonder if anything can,” he murmured. Emotions invaded him. “Silwen! You made me look at her! That’s how I fell in love, and you knew, didn’t you, that she would die, and that that would make me kill Dragons!” His seething mounted to an inordinate level, and he howled at the sky. “Why couldn’t you leave us in peace?” Scar remained still, his fists clenched, hoping for an answer. “You came to me of your own accord when you needed something, now that I need you, you won’t show! Why?”
No one answered. The hours of plodding in silence had his blood boiling, his mind racing, his emotions bubbling. He stared in a quiet rage over the stretch of land. The winds of the Golgor whipped sheets of sands far off into the distance. Little, gray wisps trailed in the winds over tiny, sandy peaks. He grunted and moved on; the fury had passed as mysteriously as it had arrived, and after fury was only longing, emptiness, and determination.
By the time the sun was setting, he was so far removed from vegetation that there were no insects, only more wind. Then, he saw another row of markers that spanned at an angle in conjunction with the row by which he was traveling. He jogged over to find a sign at the juncture.
Etched in a rectangular tablet, Scar read that the southern row of stones were markers for Meshoptam, which made sense. Continuing north led to the town of Shuul. To the southeast, the markers guided travelers to an oasis town called Parapay, and to the northwest, the markers ran all the way to the only town near a river, a place called Inloth.
“That isn’t too far from the Usaj-Satrone border, and certainly the river Inliil spills out into the sea,” he huffed. “It’ll still take me forever to get there on foot, though…of course, standing around won’t get me anywhere.”
He opted to move northwest, and ran off in the new direction. As the evening progressed, visibility in the Golgor rapidly diminished. Scar grumbled. Another hour into his journey, and it had become impossible to see any of the markers. A haboob whirled the sand all over. The flurry stung his exposed skin, embedded itself in the folds of his leather armor, and though his ears were protected by his leather galea, the sound of the raging winds stifled out everything else.
With no logical alternative, the warrior plunked down on the ground. Sand amassed over his legs within minutes. He hoped the storm was soon to pass, but it did not let up.
Damn it! He cursed his luck. Trying to take little peeks resulted in eyefuls of grit. Grumbling to himself, he sprawled onto his side, and protected his head with folded arms. At least, once a layer of sand envelopes me, I’ll be alright. Such valuable time wasted…. The lull in progress allowed exorbitant time to ponder a plan of action.
After escaping Satrone with Labolas and Artimis, they had traveled by air to Alduheim. The Draco dropped off Labolas, giving him ample time to travel to Ch’Nako. The idea was for Labolas to track down N’Giwah under the guise of a Kulshedran seeking refuge in a neutral country while Artimis flew Scar to Meshoptam. Upon their arrival, the Draco flew back home to refill his dirigible with artred gas and ponder what killing Drac might bring. He had said nothing on the matter, but his overly cheery demeanor had grown somewhat sullen, and Scar knew Artimis was conflicted. That matter was of little concern, though; all he wanted to do at that moment was kill Zoltek and Zmaj. Something, which I’ve accomplished with little effort.
An object struck Scar’s hip. The impact was immediately followed by falling mass and an angry swear. He sat up in blinding darkness, and grabbed his sword.
“Who are you?” the Dragon Slayer yelled over the winds.
“Damn it, man, who are you?” a harsh, male voice replied.
Both men tried to spit sand when a commotion ensued nearby; there were multiple people on the road. “I’m S-a traveler inhibited by this damned storm!” Scar said.
“Scar?” the voice gasped.
“Who are you?” he demanded.
“Are you alright,” someone else asked.
“What have you found,” yet someone else pried.
“It’s me, Scar, Shrikal,” the voice answered. “I found him!”
The Dragon Slayer recognized the name. Shrikal was a former Zmajan, and now, a Paladin of Perseverance. He put his sword away on his back and reached out for the young man, but accidentally touched his butt. Shrikal batted his hand away while the other travelers started crowding around. Their bodies helped to block some of the sand, but so much was falling from directly above, conversation was challenging.
Shrikal felt around in the darkness, and when he grabbed Scar’s shoulder, he leaned in and said, “I can’t believe I literally tripped right over you. We’ve been searching for days. You killed Zmaj, didn’t you?”
“What? Looking for me? Who?”
“We’re the Perseverants,” Shrikal replied.
That certainly explains their traveling in the middle of a storm like this, Scar thought with a smirk.
“Scar,” one of the others called. “Stay calm a moment. We’re going to unpack a tent and try to set it in place, so that we can converse in peace.”
“Fine,” he shouted and tried to spit out more sand. “Hurry it up!”
It took some effort, but meanwhile, Shrikal kept talking. “Is Ylithia with you?”
“Dead?” Shrikal was taken aback. “What happened?”
“I,” Scar started, but was overwhelmed by the storm. “This sand!”
“I’m sorry,” Shrikal interrupted. “Give us a second.”
Scar felt Shrikal’s weight move around. A moment later, some hands took him and helped him to his feet. Then, they led him inside a tent. One of the Perseverants held a small, oil lamp up to the warrior’s face.
“It’s really you,” the old woman said in a gritty tone. She was Scultonian; there was no mistaking the ashy skin, yet her lips weren’t black, or they didn’t look black in the dim lighting. She took off a sand mask, a fringed, cloth covering for the eyes that kept the sand out; her eyes weren’t purple either. He then considered he had made a mistake. “My name is Munah,” she added and pushed long, gray braids from her creased face.
Whipping winds ravaged the canvas tent. A group of five crowded around Scar; all of them removed their masks. For a moment, all he heard was the sand peppering the fabric, but at least Shrikal’s familiar face and tattooed body brought him a sense of comfort.
“She’s Scultonian,” Shrikal said. “I can tell you’re wondering…remember, I told you when we forsake the Dragons, we lose their mark…their blessing.”
Scar tried to gauge the situation. It seemed more than mere happenstance that a group of Perseverants plainly stumbled upon him. Apart from Shrikal and Munah, there was another woman of something that resembled Bakunawan descent; she had flat features, pale skin, and light hair pulled back in a loose ponytail. There were also two men with very dark skin, but they weren’t Tiamatish or Zmajan. Scar didn’t know what they were. All of them were inked with strange patterns or runes and wore customary, beige togas. He looked at Shrikal for a clue.
“I’m sure you think this strange, friend, but Ihnogupta perseveres,” Shrikal breathed. “We needed to find you, and we have.”
“Why are you all looking for me?” Scar snipped in disbelief.
“Because you are the Dragon Slayer, and that makes you indispensable to our cause,” the older, dark man said with a staccato tone.
Both he and the younger man had short hair. It looked auburn in the lamplight, but it may have been any, lighter color. Scar glanced at each of them in turn. They looked related. The oddest thing about the speaker, though, was the way he had elongated the vowels of every word.
“What the Hell is going on, here?” the warrior demanded. “I’m not about to be used by another God.”
“Forgive us,” Shrikal said and sat cross-legged next to the warrior. The paladin glanced at Munah and smiled. Scar then noticed that only Shrikal had sharpened teeth. The others had normal smiles. “I don’t quite know how to begin…I, that is, we were instructed to roam the Golgor for an answer.”
“To what?” Scar interrupted.
“To what has been happening in the world,” the younger, dark man answered also with a staccato tone that appeared to be native to his former tribe.
“Who are you people?” Scar demanded.
“Munah is the Minister of Resolution, an esteemed position among the ranks of the Perseverants,” Shrikal explained. “And that is Mei, a former Bakunawan. Irgesh and Folgar are former Bollans.” Each person nodded when their name was spoken. “When you vanquished Kulshedra, something happened…we thought that the other tribes grew more powerful, but it was difficult to discern. Now that Zmaj is dead, we are certain of it; the death of the Dragons is somehow making the remaining tribes more powerful.”
“How do you know that,” Scar asked.
“We barely escaped a group of Dracos,” Irgesh, the older Bollan, said.
“They chased us from the road and forced us south,” Mei added. “We had been fighting with them for two days when suddenly, their fury grew.”
“And their fires with it,” Shrikal interjected. “They propelled gouts of flames from their very palms, and others threw balls of fire at us!”
Scar shook his head, frowned, and rolled his shoulders before demanding they start from the beginning.
Thanks for reading. I certainly hope your, too, are becoming a fan of the Dragon of Time fantasy adventure series.
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The Dragon of Time Two, Dragon Slayer, picks up right after the events of Gods and Dragons. Scar, has regained his memories. He knows he is Sarkany, the Dragon Slayer, and he travels to Usaj to fight Zoltek.
Dragon Slayer has taken a great deal of effort to write and edit, and it will still be a little while before I’m ready to release it, but you can enjoy the first chapter….
Chapter One- Zmaj, the All God
The Dragon Slayer smiled. A pile of bloody corpses were strewn about the deer pelts covering the stone floor of Zoltek’s palace. Since the guards were dead, and Zoltek had yet to show his face, Scar plunked down on the blackened, wood throne; the seat of power within the walls of Urr. He watched the shadows cast by burning braziers dance along the gray stone. An eerie quietude was all that remained of the opposition. Dead men told no tales, but dead Dragons were a different story. A gust of chilly, night air brought forth sparks and crackles from the fires. Scar clicked his tongue.
“Zoltek,” he taunted.
The warrior frowned, crossed his legs, and strained to listen. Only embers chirped when more gusts circulated through the throne room. None of the guards had dared chase the Dragon Slayer into the palace, and inside Urr, Scar hacked to bits anyone who wasn’t fleeing for their life. Zmajans were nothing if not fearsome, but the Dragon Slayer was practically invulnerable, such was the blessing of Eternus, the Dragon of Time.
“Think of your son, Zoltek,” Scar yelled. “I killed the little brat when he tried to backstab me. What was his name? Oh, yes, Urdu.”
The fight inside the palace had lasted less than an hour. After charging in, Scar easily mowed down the dark skinned fighters. Their leather armor was nothing for the brute’s great sword, a blade forged by Eternus for the specific purpose of slaying Dragons. They tried to fight back with their magic weapons- swords and axes that changed into spinning blades; they were self-propelled saws. Some of the Zmajans, ones with crossbows, turned their weapons into machines that fired bolts at an unprecedented rate, yet the projectiles did little damage. Scar’s newest wounds had already healed over.
“Don’t make me hunt you down like a dog, Zoltek. You’re Zmajan. You are brave, and you are angry. You should come find me and accept my challenge rather than cower in some darkened corner!” Scar goaded. “Come prove to me that Zmaj, the All God, holds you worthy.”
A clanking of metal bled through the vaulted ceiling. Scar looked up. There were still people in there somewhere, but he wanted only to gut Zoltek, take his Dragon gem, and show Zmaj his blade. Capturing all of the Dragons’ souls was his quest, the single reason for his creation, and though Scar detested being ordered around, and by a Dragon, no less, he was still upset over the death of his lover, Ylithia. Such was his wrath, an insatiable thirst for blood.
Killing her attackers in Othnatus had not been enough. Cutting down King Gilgamesh, who ordered her death, had not been sufficient, and slaying the Dragon, Kulshedra, had only whet his appetite for Dragon’s blood.
“Zoltek,” Scar called, his constricted tone revealed his intolerance. “It was less than a year ago that you promised me answers. Remember? You hired me to fight for you, to kill Kulshedrans, and in return, you were going to tell me who I was. You were going to ask Zmaj…tell me, have you asked him? Has he told you?”
After having slain Kulshedra, the mercenary’s memories flooded his mind, and so as he sat upon the negus’s throne, taunting him, he knew all too well Zoltek feared the truth. The sound of bare feet coming down stone steps drew Scar from self-reflection. He looked to his right, where a set of stairs led up to private chambers. A thin figure wearing shiny, purple and gold robes descended. Zoltek held a metal staff in his left hand. Its top was a purple gem in the shape of a diamond. Zmaj’s gem, Scar thought. At the base of the stairs, his face shrouded in shadow, the Negus of Usaj glared at the Dragon Slayer.
“I do not fear you, ghost,” Zoltek breathed. His voice was unearthly, something reminiscent of rustling leaves caught in the wind. “You are no one, nothing. Zmaj does not claim you. None of the Gods do.”
“None of the Dragons do,” Scar corrected.
“You are a fool.”
“I owe you for your betrayal,” Scar said and came to his feet.
“I did not betray you. You failed your mission. You killed my son.”
“You lied to me,” Scar growled.
“Never,” Zoltek breathed. “It is not my fault the Gods shun you.”
Zoltek struck the ground with the bottom of his staff. It made a strange sound like that of a bell. Scar smiled.
“Tell me what manner of God speaks only to one man. What manner of God requires a gem for commune?” the Dragon Slayer demanded.
“Why do you even argue?” Zoltek asked. “Did you not come here to fight?”
“I need you to know just how foolish you are before you die.”
Zoltek snorted in derision, “You are the fool. You think you killed a Dragon, and now you come into my country and lay my people to waste. Tell me, ghost, you think yourself a hero?”
“No,” Scar heaved. “I think myself the Dragon Slayer.”
With that, he leapt across the room to strike at Zoltek. The Negus of Usaj stepped forwards and lunged with his staff. An arc of purple lightning exploded from the gem and sent the warrior reeling into corpses.
“All that hatred,” Zoltek breathed. “You aim it in the wrong direction, yet I hold Cabazalus, and with it, I will destroy you.”
Scar quickly recovered and attempted a slightly different tactic. First, he snatched a spear from a dead guard. He chucked it then quickly leapt at Zoltek again. Before the spear connected, a web of purple electricity arced off the staff and disintegrated the weapon. By the time Scar closed the distance, the web expanded and remained a barrier between him and his opponent. Steel and magic clashed as muscles tensed.
“Your Dragon magic won’t last,” Scar growled as he struck the barrier with his blade. “Gilgamesh thought Kulshedra would save him, too, but I made quick work of him.”
“Then, Kulshedra is weak,” Zoltek howled in a booming voice that reverberated throughout the keep. “The God of Truth is nothing compared to my God, Zmaj! The All God will reduce you to ashes!”
The web of lightning curled inwards and then wrapped around the Dragon Slayer. It was a sparking sphere of pure energy that blistered his skin and busted the antlers off his helmet. Growling and thrashing, the brute continued to hack at the magic. Realizing that such an approach was useless, he tried to run, and although the energy was bound to his form, he was able to charge his opponent. When they collided, the lightning shot off in various directions. Chunks of stone were knocked from the palace’s walls. Both men were sent to the ground.
Scar came to his feet first. Zoltek was in a crouching position, his face still hidden by his cowl. The Dragon Slayer watched his wounds heal over and laughed.
“Your people do nothing but kill, Zoltek. Your Dragon demands it and gives nothing in return,” Scar claimed.
“You call this nothing?” Zoltek howled and blasted Scar again with a bolt of energy.
The arc tore through the warrior’s shoulder. He yelled out in pain, but did not give in and charged again. Zoltek stood at the same time Scar’s blade came down. He parried the slash, but it sent the old Zmajan to the ground. His hood slid back, and Scar saw that his face had been ravaged by fire, or perhaps lightning. The negus pulled the cowl back down, and started to work himself to his feet by rolling over onto hands and knees, but Scar came up behind him and kicked him hard in the backside. The blow made the Zmajan kiss the floor.
“Yes, I call it nothing,” Scar said. “You’ve spent your entire life in servitude. You bend to the wish of a Dragon, and not because you have to, and not because you want to help people, but because you wish only to kill everything around you!”
Zoltek scurried away and tried to stand once more, but Scar swept his feet out, and the old man rolled onto his side. “Do you not see,” the negus heaved. “Do you not see that if everyone were united under the banner of one God, there would be no more fighting? Why is it wrong to pursue such a dream? Do the others not wish the same? Who made you judge?”
“You wish to unite no one,” Scar spat. “That is why you keep slaves, pillage, raze, and attack. Had Gilgamesh and Donovan not kept you cornered, you would have done worse to other countries.”
“So, where is your allegiance,” Zoltek barked.
From his back, he aimed Cabazalus at Scar and blasted him with another bolt of lightning. It caught Scar’s sword, and the two marveled at the display. The energy swarmed about the blade like snakes. Little, violet sparks popped off and vanished, leaving thin trails of smoke. Zoltek focused his might and doubled the size of the bolt, but Scar spun and whipped his sword over his head, keeping the lightning from his skin. Once he completed a circle, he stabbed into Zoltek’s belly. The Zmajan cried out in pain, thrashed against the ground, and let go his staff. It rang like a bell again when it struck the stone floor. Wispy crackles of energy sizzled away into nothing.
Scar knelt next to the dying, old man and whispered, “You will not go to Pozoj, and be glad of it. The Dragon uses men’s souls to increase its power. They wish to walk Tiamhaal again and wreak havoc across the land. I have been sent here to stop them.”
“How? Why?” Zoltek coughed.
“Some questions do not have answers,” his tone betrayed grief.
Scar stood upright. He looked down at his foe, who was curling into fetal position. No doubt, his grievous wound was painful. Scar showed mercy and lopped his head off rather than leaving him to suffer. He frowned and shook his head in dismay. At least, that will quench my thirst for vengeance. The rest was just business. He was going to kill the Dragons because if he didn’t, thousands were doomed; killing Kulshedra had been an act of providence, but killing Zmaj was an act of war.
Scar took a knife from his belt, pried the gem out from the top of Cabazalus, and worked it into the second hole in his blade, above the one with Kulshedra’s Dragon gem. Vertigo immediately overtook him. When the spinning subsided, he found himself in Pozoj, the realm of destruction.
Pozoj was a swirling chaos of colors. Misty shapes whipped around the Dragon Slayer. He tried to gain his bearings; the realm of destruction was even more convoluted than the realm of truth. Eyes darting about in an effort to catch a glimpse of anything familiar, Scar saw a blue orb of wavering light. It vanished after he noticed another orb of pulsating, orange light. Then, he saw there were orbs everywhere, dozens of them.
“Zmaj,” he called out. “Show yourself! I have killed your brother, and now, I will kill you, too!”
A chorus of musical voices accosted the warrior’s ears. Whatever language the Dragons spoke was indescribable, yet the Dragon Slayer was fashioned from the Dragon of Time, and so he comprehended the mysterious speech.
“Worthless humans are no match for the immortal. We Dragons are the everlasting breath. Zmaj has created everything!”
“You have created nothing!”
Scar held his sword over his head. Much to his dismay, nothing happened. Well, it worked against Kulshedra, he thought. He resorted to swinging about blindly. Through crippling darkness that took his breath away, and the brightest lights that forced his eyes shut, Scar raged in an impotent fury. Then, a blow from sights unseen knocked him away. Since there was no ground, or walls, or anything physical in the Dragon’s realm, he simply kept moving until the energy of the impact subsided. From his new position, he caught a glimpse of the beast. Zmaj was comprised of several, serpentine creatures. The orbs were pairs of eyes that glimmered, glowed, shone, and wavered.
“You are the false hope of a weak people, whelp. My son was weak, but in death, he has given his siblings strength. Kulshedra, Dragon of Truth, will be avenged here,” the melody of booming thunder claimed.
Scar furrowed his brow, gripped his sword in both hands, and held his gaze on the Dragon. While misty shapes whizzed by his vision, he propelled himself towards Zmaj.
“Kulshedra was not your son, you liar. I know the truth of things.”
One of Zmaj’s heads—a purple creature resembling a lizard’s maw—struck him from behind and sent him sailing into another head, a shiny, blue snake. Scar balled up in the air. Zmaj was ready to swallow him, but he was prepared. Upon reaching the beast’s, moist breath, the Dragon Slayer gripped Zmaj’s nostril, pushed both feet into the opened, bottom jaw, and worked his shoulder underneath the top jaw. Zmaj laughed with another head, as yet another came slithering through darkness from behind. Before the speeding head made contact, and the blue one chomped down, Scar thrust his blade through Zmaj’s pallet.
That head shook with a force that knocked Scar free. He turned, swiped at the oncoming head, kept his spinning momentum going, and slashed at the shiny, blue snake’s throat. As it reeled back, a lifeless heap, the warrior waited for blinding light to pass, and made his move before the darkness thwarted his endeavor; he dashed into the area where all the necks were connected. Like a whirling dervish, he sliced, slashed, and hacked through scaly mass.
“You cannot kill me, I am the Dragon of Destruction, creator of all that there is,” Zmaj claimed.
“I am killing you, Dragon. You are but a lie created in the void,” Scar howled. “Eternus, the Dragon of Time, has beckoned your end, and I am the instrument of your death.”
With the fall of each head, Scar noticed the scenery stabilized; there was less darkness, fewer flashes of light. The new consistency made dodging swipes an easy feat. Scar shoulder rolled over orange scales, stabbed into a silvery throat, pulled out, and hacked into a gray, eel-like snout. All that remained was an abundance of lifeless serpents.
“Zmaj,” Scar breathed. “I’m taking your soul back to your creator.”
Colored winds of varying degrees of light and dark zipped around Zmaj’s Dragon gem. It glowed brighter and brighter purple until the entirety of the beast disintegrated.
“What are you?” The Dragon demanded with its dying breath.
“Sarkany, the Dragon Slayer. I am the embodiment of all principles, yet fashioned as a man to deliver peace. I am Eternus, his avatar…the age of Dragons has truly come to its end.”
At the culmination of Zmaj’s death rattle, the colored winds subsided and an unbearable pressure began crushing the warrior. He screamed in agony and passed out only to awaken breathless on a cold, stone floor. Inside Urr, he gave a forceful exhale and worked himself upright. With one, final glance at the throne room, Scar nodded to himself and marched out.
He walked through corridors decorated with paintings of Zmajans felling members of other tribes. The destructive people in the service of the false All God weren’t going to wreak anymore havoc. As with the Kulshedrans, Scar knew the people were going to feel an overwhelming loss; their magic was gone, the swirling marks of the beast had already vanished, and when Scar exited to the courtyard surrounding the palace, he witnessed the people of Meshoptam gazing at their limbs by the fires of torches.
“Zmajans,” Scar called out. They looked at him, imploringly. “I have killed your Dragon Lord. You are now free to live in peace. Let your slaves go. Cast your hatred aside. It was never your burden to bear.”
“What have you done to us?” a man cried.
“We will surely fall to the Dracos now,” a woman claimed.
“Scar,” another growled. The warrior turned to face the man who called his name. General Dumar stood some twenty feet away. He slid the ram’s horn helmet off his bald head, let it drop to the gray, dusty soil, and tightened his grip around the handle of his axe. “You have cost us everything.”
“I have set you free.”
Clouds parted overhead. The bright, full moon shone down onto the men and women of Usaj. The aged general growled and charged the brute. Scar did not move, not even when Dumar sank his blade into the warrior’s flank. The Zmajan bared his teeth. He focused all of his hatred at Scar’s, gray eyes, but his axe did not change into a magnificent, killing machine as it had done in the past.
“I was going to kill you, Dumar,” Scar whispered, “but I think letting you live is a more appropriate punishment. Look on as your people fall to their knees.”
“How dare you, you impudent pup?” Dumar yelled. “To arms, people. To arms! The ghost has killed our God, and now he will kill us all. He is a bloodthirsty devil!”
To Scar’s chagrin, the general’s, insane ravings rallied the Zmajans. Civilians snatched the weapons of the deceased guards and swarmed. He eyed them curiously. I had not planned for this. He shoved Dumar away, thus freeing the axe from his flank, parried the thrust of a spear, and kicked down a lanky Zmajan. I can certainly kill them, but that will make his claims true.
“I am not a beast,” Scar shouted. “Stay your hands. Zoltek and the Dragon have lied to you, twisted your minds and hearts. Be peaceful, and help one another. Soon, all the Dragons will fall, and you will see peace wash across Tiamhaal.”
Dumar raged and repeated that the ghost was a God killer, a dangerous man that had to be killed on the spot. Instead of cutting down the opposition, Scar took off at a full run. He bowled over men, women, and tried to avoid the children. A goat crossed his path on the stone streets of the capitol, and he booted it out of his way. Running blindly from a frothing mob that grew in numbers as Dumar shouted orders, Scar found himself in a predicament. He cared for the citizens, yet they were out for blood.
Grunting for breath and passing dark skinned warriors in drab garments, he darted behind a flat roofed building, dove into an alleyway, and tried to reason out a course of action. He wanted to get out of there before they left him no choice but to defend himself, yet his thoughts were cut short when he heard the unmistakable sound of galloping hooves. Zmajans on horseback were bearing down the darkened alley. Scar gripped the closest horse by the muzzle and wrestled it to the ground, forcing the rider off in the mix.
“Get away from me, you fools,” he yelled and took off again.
Whizzing by more riders with long spears and javelins, the warrior bolted down the streets as chickens cackled and fluttered by. Finally, he set his eyes on Meshoptam’s western entrance. All he had to do was make it through the arched opening in the wall surrounding the city, and he was home free in the freezing desert, but someone shouted orders to stop him, and two guards blocked the exit while another sent a javelin over his head. Scar impaled the left guard, picked him off the ground, and slung him into the other guard before fleeing beyond the gates. Riders gave chase, but the horses didn’t fare well in the dusty dunes of Meshoptam. Certainly, the mounts were quick, but they easily lost their footing, and the soldiers were unable to strike the warrior.
Scar gutted two horses that managed to close the distance, lopped the head off a third, and amputated the foreleg of the fourth. More were enroute, but the Dragon Slayer took off again. Barreling through the chaparral, Scar fled into the night, leaving the people of Usaj to find a new purpose in life.
It is not crazy to say that The Dragon of Time series is quickly turning into the greatest, fantasy, adventure series available today. There is simply nothing else like it on the market.
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An Enchanting Tale is a Skyrim Fanfiction based on Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim. Join our hero, S’maash, as he travels throughout the planes of Tamriel.
In this excerpt, S’maash and his friends meet with Falion, so they can travel to Deadlands.
At the courtyard, before the College of Winterhold, four adventurers met for a most daunting task. A chilly wind blew errant snowflakes about as dark clouds obscured the sun. The statue of Shalidor appeared to stand in approval as it loomed over the small group.
“I’m so glad you made it, brother. Having you by my side fills me with confidence,” S’maash cheered.
“It’s my pleasure to be here. I could never pass up a chance to stride through the planes of Oblivion,” S’maath admitted.
“This will be a most dangerous quest,” Brelyna remarked.
“A profitable one, to boot,” Zolara added, comically.
“I see why you needed a seasoned warrior, brother,” S’maath said in jest.
“Yes,” S’maash chuckled. “Let us make last minute preparations then. To my room.” The four convened in S’maash room, inside the Hall of Countenance. “Do we need any enchantments?”
“No,” Both Zolara and Brelyna announced.
S’maath stood smiling. He still wore the Glass Armor his brother had enchanted during their previous journey.
“I do not require anything, but you do,” S’maath proclaimed.
“How so?” the younger Elf asked with raised brow.
“I have brought you gifts.”
From a large travel trunk, one everyone had eyed previously in wonder, S’maath produced an ancient set of armor. It was eggshell white with hints of beige. The bony equipment was ominous in appearance.
“Bone Mould Armor,” S’maash asked.
“Aye, even the fine Nords of Skyrim have nothing so…terrifying,” S’maath commented.
“Where did you get this,” S’maash asked while running his hands over the individual pieces.
It was their ancestor’s armor. S’maash saw one more piece in the trunk, a beautiful, Elven Greatsword. Its golden hue and feathery filigree was gorgeous.
“You robbed our ancestors’ grave?”
“Not robbed…borrowed. S’mael was the greatest warrior of our bloodline. I have my equipment, and it will one day lay ensconced in my own burial chamber. Should either one of us live long enough to have children, they may one day borrow my armor, and I will be proudly looking down upon them.”
S’maash smiled as he shook his head. “Then, I shall have to enchant this.”
“By all means, take your time,” Brelyna offered.
S’maash took the new equipment to the Arcane Enchanter and set himself to the task. In a fashion similar to his current equipment, he bestowed enchantments upon the Bone Mould Armor fortifying his new sword and spell style of fighting. Of all the pieces, the helmet was perhaps the most terrifying. S’mael’s old helmet was designed to resemble the head of a Dragon, or rather the skull of one. Upon completion of his task, the Enchanter nodded to the group.
“Off to Dartwing Cave,” Zolara said.
Clamor of cheers ensued. The group left Winterhold for their next adventure. After some travel across the paved road, they cut down a beaten trail. From there, it was not long before they saw the entrance of their destination through a blustery snowstorm.
Dartwing Cave’s interior was laden with ice. The short, round, entrance chamber was bedecked with tapestries. The dark cloths portrayed the Necromancer’s symbol, a skull surrounded by hands. An unseen source of lighting made it an easy journey into the cave’s deep. At the center of a large room stood Falion.
“Welcome to my workshop. This is where I perform rituals most minds cannot grasp,” he announced.
Four, stone pillars stood in support of the chamber. Worn shelving lined the walls. On the ground was an evil-looking depiction of the Mage’s symbol, an eye over a pentagram. Oddly, the eye was closed and the pentagram was actually a heptagram, a seven-pointed star.
“There is no time to waste,” Falion said, holding a bottle with glowing red and black liquid. “This is the Blood of Dagon. With this substance, I will hone upon his very essence, Deadlands. Please enter the design on the floor.” Once everyone gathered, Falion drew a Daedric Dagger, a red and black blade with sharp, serrated edges and hooks. “Hold still.”
He passed to each person and made a small cut upon their forearms. A single drop of blood from each dripped onto the design at their feet. He then took the Blood of Dagon and traced the four-pointed star in the design. Starting from the other end, he then traced the three-pointed star.
“Soltak. Malakar. I force this reality bend to my will. Dagon. Alatar. Send these warriors to Deadlands,” Falion announced, dramatically.
A red glow erupted from the star at the group’s feet. “Whoa,” Zolara exclaimed in surprise.
“Remember, now! You cannot return until you break the anchor from Dagon’s plane,” Falion yelled.
A violent sound like burning wind had assaulted the room. “How do we do that?” Brelyna yelled back.
“Just take the Greater Sigil Stone from the War Machine’s interior. It will suffice,” Falion screamed.
A flash of blinding, red light forced the group to shut their eyes. Then, darkness washed over them, silence. After vertigo accosted the group, they opened their eyes; a vast wasteland was revealed; hot winds blew.
“My goodness,” Brelyna whispered.
The group stood upon craggy, gray stone. Cracks and crevices glowed with lava flowing beneath. Around them, more of the lava bubbled, and heat wavered off its surface.
“Where do we go,” S’maath asked.
S’maash looked around. It was obvious the only path was the traversable stone before them. A bridge-like structure led to a spire in the distance. S’maash took the lead, walking carefully. Above them, an oppressive sky of red clouds thundered with fiery lightning.
“I had not expected this…perhaps I will wait for you here,” Zolara jested.
His joke was lost on the group as they were mesmerized by the wickedness of Deadlands. They pressed onwards, covering much of the stone ground, which gradually became smaller. Menacing lava beckoned on either side. Carefully, they made it to a narrow section of rock. From ruined arches, there hung large and bulky sacs of skin.
Zolara prodded at one. “I think there is something in here.”
After a second to check it, the Argonian found a Silver Ring and two Septims. There were a few more from several other arches along the span of the bridge.
“Come, we should make haste,” S’maath said.
The Dunmer brothers maintained the lead. As they came ever closer to the spire before, they encountered two Scamps, devilish denizens of Oblivion. Scamps were covered in shades of brown fur and were man-like in appearance, though they possessed goat legs and twisted faces. Their high-pitched grumbles were less than threatening, as were their Fire Balls.
S’maath ran out to them. With one, powerful swing of his Malachite blade, he cut one in half. S’maash charged the other. Seeing its comrade defeated, the Scamp tried to run away, but S’maash impaled it from the rear, lifted it off the ground then smashed it back onto the stone.
“That was a gruesome display,” Brelyna commented.
“Aye, and simple, too,” S’maath added.
“They say Scamp Skin can be used in alchemical studies,” Brelyna added.
Zolara obtained samples. Afterwards, they continued to the spire. It was a very tall tower, forged from Daedric metals. Like all things from Deadlands, it possessed a subtle glow of red, giving an eerie contrast to the darkness of steel.
“It looks as though these towers are connected,” S’maash said, looking around.
“Yes, this one appears to have a bridge to that one over to our right,” Brelyna said.
“But where is this War Machine,” Zolara asked.
“Likely, beyond those immense, barred gates,” S’maath said, pointing to the distance.
It was obvious that the towers and bridges had to be traversed in order to arrive at or around the gates.
“We could jump around the dark, gray mountains blocking our path, or we could constantly heal as we swim through the lava,” Zolara suggested.
“You try that, we will be more sensible,” S’maath retorted.
“Fine…if you want to do it the boring way,” the Argonian resigned.
They entered the first spire through a malevolent-looking door. It seemed as though the steel had been beaten to provide the appearance of a face, but it may have just been the odd lighting of Dagon’s plane. Naturally, the interior was reminiscent of the exterior.
The stone floor surrounded a round fire pit. The guttural grumbling of angry Dremora rang throughout as the demons clad in Daedric Armor—and brandishing War Hammers—came from alcoves in the round spire.
“I smell weakness,” a Dremora muttered.
Bolts from overcharged Walls of Thunder provided by both Brelyna and Zolara were more than ample for the weak Caitiffs. The sound of steel skittering over stone prevailed.
“Enjoy your last breath,” Brelyna said.
The scintillating drone of the spire itself was all that emanated. The group looked around for a clue; above them, an odd balcony was laden with red and black, bony hooks. It spiraled all along the walls towards the tower’s apex.
“Well…it’s up, we must travel,” S’maash ventured a guess.
Since it appeared a straight shot around the balcony protruding from the interior wall, the group needed to find the way to the initial step, which was many feet above them. Searching the area from which the Caitiffs came, they located a door. It led into a tight corridor on a slight incline, and it led to a juncture providing a way only left or right. The group took the right, also at an incline, where they were greeted by a Spider Daedra.
“Ack! Kill it!” Zolara demanded.
Upon seeing the intruders, the spider with voluptuous, lady torso, rubbed her heaving bosom while casting a protection spell. The elf brothers again took charge and made an easy kill.
Zolara studied the creature for a second then removed eggs and webbing. “I’ll bet these will come in handy.”
The group came upon the door the Spider Daedra was guarding and pushed beyond. They found themselves back in the center of the tower, only about a story higher, and on the spiraling balcony. Charging up the circular path—boots pounding—they cut through more Caitiffs. In their defeat, the enemies either slid down the balcony or fell over with a resounding thud.
“Quickly,” S’maash said.
Soon, the long, spiraling balcony led to another, twisted door. Beyond it was another tight corridor to their left. It led at a sloping decline, while a corridor to their right led up an incline. With a shrug, they continued up.
During the rush, S’maash broke through a trip wire. A massive, red, sword blade came crashing down, but the ever-vigilant Zolara noticed the situation unfold in the knick of time. He shoved the Dark Elf hard. The blow forced S’maash over and onto the ground, but safe from the trap.
“Apologies, friend, didn’t want to have to carry pieces of you back to Tamriel,” Zolara chuckled.
S’maash stood and looked at the slowly rising sword; the blade was serrated and deadly. He was glad to have only fallen over. The remainder of the group looked around briefly before continuing into the large room beyond the trap.
Four pillars with thick spikes were positioned in the center of the room. They were less for support and more for intimidation. Grumbling caught the explorers’ attention; a Daedroth had entered from the far end of the room. The scaly, large mouthed, crocodile-like demon stumbled about awkwardly before casting a protection spell and enveloping its body with a soft glow.
Zolara wasted no time, immediately firing erratic bolts of purple lightning- Wall of Storm. Brelyna followed suit with her own Wall of Ice; frozen shards of magicka quickly covered the ground. Once the beast was cold and slow, the Dunmer brothers hacked at it with their greatswords.
S’maash moved off to the Daedroth’s right. He slashed low at the knee joint causing great damage. His brother moved to the demon’s left. In a spinning motion, he brought his own blade across with much speed, thus hacking clean through the Daedroth’s arm. S’maash, as quickly as he initiated the first strike, brought his blade around his left shoulder then above his head, and finally brought the blade down in a smooth strike.
The Daedroth, being so tall, was cut badly from the chest; dark blood poured from the wound. Attempting to counteract, the demon grumbled and reached out with a powerful claw. Because S’maash was already standing low to the ground from his power strike, the Daedroth easily knocked him to the ground. Fortunately, continued blasts of magicka finally overtook the Daedroth. It collapsed dead.
“Ouch,” S’maash said, standing.
S’maath met his eyes with a slightly comical expression. S’maash knew what was coming.
“Yes, come on,” S’maash groaned.
Zolara pilfered some Daedroth Teeth. Then, the group continued into the hall from where the demon had emerged. Beyond the hall, were doors on either side of a large room. The group momentarily split as they checked the doors.
“Where does yours lead?” S’maath called out.
“Outside to the bridge,” Brelyna answered.
“Then we have our path,” S’maash said.
The group convened at Brelyna’s door. Bursting through and into the strange plane of Oblivion, the group ran across the precarious balcony, a long bridge with no rails. The craggy stone did not look strong, but looks were deceiving. From their new position, they gauged their surroundings.
Zolara pointed. “Look, that must be the War Machine.”
What they saw was nearly incomprehensible. The War Machine was a construct of Daedric steel, black with an eerie, red glow. Churning blades spun at the ends of what looked like horizontal pillars. It was unclear how the War Machine moved, but by the looks of it, it was creeping ever so slowly and unleashing a horrific, droning sound.
“Where is it going,” Brelyna asked.
They all traded glances. No one had a clue. With a frown, S’maash thought back to Falion’s words; he said that to return to Tamriel, since the portal shut behind them, they needed to retrieve the Greater Sigil Stone from inside the War Machine. What is the safest way to do this?
The War Machine was far below them, and aside from several, menacing mountains with sharp peaks, they saw only the door to the second spire at the far end of the bridge, but that spire didn’t appear to lead anywhere else. Furthermore, they needed to get to a second, much higher bridge, to reach a gate, which blocked the War Machine.
“What are you doing,” Brelyna asked him.
“I don’t, I don’t know where to go,” S’maash admitted while hot winds whipped about his head.
“The second spire might lead us where we need to be,” Zolara howled.
“It’s as good a plan as any,” S’maath replied.
They continued into the second spire, and much as the first, the interior held a red hue, and also like the first, they cut through a few Daedra before reaching the peak. The room was covered in some material not unlike batwings, though much sturdier. Two Dremora, one in black robes with a Daedric Greatsword, and one in Daedric Armor with a Daedric War Hammer, attacked.
“I will feast on your heart,” one claimed.
“I honor my Lord by destroying you,” the other shouted.
The demons were not overly difficult to fight, but after their defeat, the group found little other than some treasure in Hanging Sacs. “There’s nothing here,” S’maash complained.
“Not quite,” Brelyna rebutted.
On the far wall were large gears, which were built into the spire’s structure, and below them sat a lever. She pulled it, and the gears rolled with deafening clanks.
“What now,” S’maath asked.
“Let’s work our way back down and check the doors,” S’maash suggested.
All the running in the excruciating heat, down the batwings, and through the doors, was tiresome. Over an hour had passed since their arrival, and they had not stopped running or fighting. Finally, they reached a door that led back outside.
“Whoa!” Zolara called out.
He had taken the forefront after opening the door and was beset by fear. Beyond the door was nothing but a short bridge. Before anyone uttered another word, the tower rumbled. Holding onto each other and pushing back inside the tower, S’maath managed to tug the Argonian inside the spire.
“What,” Brelyna started, but the short bridge extended. From the opposing end, another spire across from them also extended its bridge. Once the portions met in the center, the bridge effectively connected the spires. “I suppose this is the way.”
“I think you’re right, Brelyna,” S’maath smiled.
Careful scrutiny of their surroundings revealed they were very high up. From their new perspective, the war machine looked like a creeping, mechanical Dragon, but without a head, wings, or tail.
“Hopefully, from the looks of it, this next spire will allow us to work our way down,” S’maash said.
They pushed through the door into the spire, expecting what the previous two held, yet all they saw was a grating of sorts. It was little more than a round, metal platform with several, large holes.
“There’s a switch over there,” S’maath exclaimed.
“Perhaps, we can take this down,” Brelyna offered.
S’maath looked from her to the switch. He walked over, passing some still bloody skeletons. When he reached for the mechanism Zolara howled a warning.
“What,” the Dark Elf asked.
“Why all the dead bodies,” Zolara asked with a point of his snout to the ground.
“I’m certain, it’s fine,” S’maath said, pulling the switch.
A jolt moved through the group. The lift clanked as it lowered them.
“I…am not so sure about this” S’maash said.
With furrowed brow, he looked over the bones, assuming they had simply died in the spire. After a moment, the reason became clear; the lift was lowering them onto large pikes built into the ground beneath.
“Move, move, move!” S’maath ordered, and shoved them all off.
By hopping off and dropping some ten feet below to the ground, they avoided death, yet the landing was less than gentle. They shook their heads in dismay before bolting through the only door in the spire. Outside, they were surprised to find themselves right, smack behind the War Machine.
Thanks for reading. Once everything is done, and I have the story just the way I like it, I’ll be releasing it to as many fanfiction sites as I can find. On top of that, since it’s also going through Smashwords’s premium catalogue, it’ll also be available through BnN and iBooks.
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