The Blue Gem

As promised from the book sale last week, an excerpt from the follow up to The Dragon Princess.  This novel is called The Blue Gem and takes place roughly thirty years after the end of The Dragon Princess.  This is from the first draft so stuff might change but here's a sneak peek:

The day had started out normal enough.  Druid Nikkon was on a return trip from the Druid Council in Stolar. In recent years, the Elf Druid split his time between Stolar and his native land of Crieo.  At first, Nikkon spent time counseling the Elves on the rebuilding of their great city after the destruction by the Demons. He would then travel to Stolar and provide Stelart with the tutelage needed to advance his Druid studies. It was here in which he spent the majority of his time after the war.  Now, with Stelart's rise to head of the Druids, Nikkon's time was not needed as much in Stolar.  Nikkon still provided council to Stelart and the Druid Belark, but he had spent much time in Crieo on the lookout for new Elves he found worthy of the Druid studies. It was on this most recent trip to Stolar that Nikkon had delivered to Stelart such a person. Nikkon himself had spent the last year with this Elf and finally decided it was time to take her to Stelart. After spending an additional few weeks helping to get her acclimated to her surroundings, Nikkon decided it was time to return home.

Nikkon had set up camp about twenty miles outside of his home in Crieo.  He had been traveling for a few days and could have easily continued his journey through the night. Since he was in no hurry, Nikkon decided to camp for the night. He wanted to enjoy some time under the stars. The servant Maxwell had left a few days prior and would surely have a nice fire burning for Nikkon upon his arrival. Nikkon always felt at his best when alone with his thoughts under the guidance of nature.  The night was especially clear and Nikkon could not count the stars even if he'd tried.

Despite his years, Nikkon awoke with relative ease in the morning. The ground provided a surprising amount of comfort and Nikkon awakened quite refreshed. Nikkon reaches his skinny arms high into the air and let out a long sigh. Wrinkles had distinctly formed on his skin over the years and his hair had turned silver. Nikkon still felt like a young man. Yes, he could feel the weariness in his joints, but to him this was just another mark of an eventful life. He inhaled deeply; the morning air infusing his lungs with new life and his mind with joy.

Nikkon was packing up his few belongings when his Elvin ears perked up. His body immediately froze. Not a muscle moved as he strained to hear all that was near. At first, only the sounds of nature settled in his ear drums. There were birds, singing their songs of the morning. There was the sound of the wind beginning in the distance, indicating an incoming storm. It was at that moment Nikkon heard the sound that piqued his interest. Less than a mile away, Nikkon could hear the pattering of footsteps. By his estimation, the steps belonged to at least three people. Nikkon held his breath and searched his gut. Something was out of place and Nikkon's instinct demanded him to do on thing: run!

Nikkon grabbed his possessions and instantly began to sprint. He had not felt this sense of foreboding since the days of Druid Kayman. The thought of evil rattled him. Nikkon did not look back. His mind tried to calm itself but Nikkon could not block out the overwhelming sense of danger that lurked. He would run for a few miles and stop only to catch a moment of respite. Nikkon would search again for the footsteps only to find they were the same distance away, in not closer. Whoever was following him had surely discovered his camp by now. Knowing this provided them with more incentive to keep pace with Nikkon.

The rains had finally arrived as Nikkon made the final descent of the hill that led to his small home. The rains would provide him with more time to keep the danger away. With his trail disappearing, perhaps his pursuers would give up the chase. Nikkon knew he must work with due haste. He needed to get home and destroy anything in his home that maybe of use to his pursuers. Time was of the essence and Nikkon broke into one final sprint.