Posted by: Phil Anderson | February 15, 2015

Dangerous Romance

In honor of Valentine’s Day I’m posting an excerpt from my work-in-process, Conquest of Theran. The main character in the scene is Phred, a well-educated minstrel. He has a “crush” on a beautiful peasant girl named Sirah, and his friend Arned is helping rescue her from Overlord Dith and his son, Wesser. Enjoy!

Staying low, they made their way to a nearby copse of trees where they would be safe from Dith’s lookouts. Phred, knowing he would not be able to rest anyway, volunteered to keep watch while Arned took a quick nap.

As he looked out across the field toward the fortress, Phred thought about everything that had happened over the past several days. He had never been one to get involved. He loved to travel and see new and interesting things, but until now he had always settled with velleity.

Now, thanks to Arned and Sirah, he was right in the middle of a rebellion. And like a character in one of the songs he sang, he was about to risk his life to stop a villain and rescue an angelically alluring girl.

Whenever his resolve began to falter, Phred thought of Sirah, huddled in a damp, dark prison cell. Or worse, fighting off Wesser’s unwelcome advances. Someone had to rescue her, and Phred wanted to be that someone. He knew that as a minstrel he was unworthy of her regard, but as her hero…

The sun was shining brightly, and the sky was blue with a few puffy, white clouds. Birds chirped in the treetops above him and the gentle breeze was perfect for a warm summer afternoon.

Phred began to daydream about Sirah’s response to his rescue. She would be adverted to him as more than a friend. He imagined their felicity together until he was rudely jolted from his revery by three armed men who burst through the trees.

“Here he is, like syeffen said. And there is another, also.” Despite his discomfiture, Phred descried a northern accent, but didn’t have time to think about what it could indicate.

“Arned, wake up!” he shouted, but his friend was already getting to his feet and reaching for a fallen tree branch with which to defend himself. He swung it around his head, taking on two of the intruders.

Phred was left to face the third alone. The big man grinned at him, then lunged. But Phred was quick, and he dodged to one side, tripping his attacker and sending him to the ground.

As the man started to get up, Arned shouted from the midst of his own battle. “Run, Phred! There’s nothing you can do here. Get help! I’ll hold them off as long as I can.”

Phred hesitated for a moment, but Arned was right. He was unarmed, and could only evade injury for so long. If he stayed to fight, he would inevitably be captured. The only rational thing he could do was go for help.

He took off running through the trees.


Thanks for reading. Comments and feed back are welcome!


  1. I love it! Phred seems like a really relatable character. I love your style of writing. I can’t wait to read more!

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