Devil Town, Book IV of the Norothian Cycle. Chapter Seven (excerpt)

21 Jun

Hmm…with volume four of the Norothian Cycle: “Devil Town” available in just about a week (6/29/12), I think I’ll post a wee bit of an excerpt, just for giggles. 🙂

Chapter Seven

Around noon on the Twenty-third Day of Fourthmonth, the score of Shugak hobgoblins stationed atop the wall at the northern gate of the city that had once been Larbonne were called away grumbling from a meal of frog stew. Hobgoblins don’t particularly like frog stew, but eating it vastly annoyed the bullywugs with which the hobgoblins were ostensibly allied.

Hobgoblins do not as a rule like being interrupted during any meal, and there was rampant cursing and threatening language as the lookout summoned the platoon to the outer battlements by the gate tower. Muttering faded to mute shock as six humans on five horses thundered out of the distant tree line and approached the gate on a road no human boot nor horse’s shoe had touched in months. Some of the hobs readied crossbows, but most just scratched their heads.

The riders reined in far below at the base of the towering gate doors, new portals of swamp oak wood plated entirely in black iron. The hobgoblins leaned out for the look straight down at a human female with long, golden hair, who cantered her horse back and forth in front of the gate, hammering on the doors with a steel mace. Resounding booms echoed off the old stone walls.

Gaddakka ker!” the platoon leader cupped his hobnailed hands to his mouth and bawled in broken Daulic, the tongue of the local human tribe. “You won’t beat down the door with that stick, pale wench!”

The leader translated his words into hobgoblin so the platoon could join his chortling.

Two of the riders below were supporting a third, slumped in another saddle, while two other humans shared one horse. The blonde female rode back to the cluster of them so she could crane back her head to see the spiked and horned helmets leaning out above them.

“Show us your teats!” one of the hobs yelled to much guttural laughter.

The human male riding with another small female clinging to his back cantered forward and stood in his stirrups. He shouted, surprisingly, in the tribe’s own tongue.

“Shut your yaps, you nattering gobshites! Fetch to us your master, for we do not speak to hut dogs!”

A score of watery eyes widened before narrowing again for the thrice-damned sun. Crossbows were trained on the impudent human, a little swarthy mite without much meat on the bone. The platoon leader growled for the archers to hold, and shouted down.

“I hear a bleating calf begging the butcher! Look and see the crazy human asking for his death. Your sinewy neck will lace my boots ’ere long, pink thing!”

“Rodents!” the man shouted. “Warts on the ass of a mule! Delay me with another word and I’ll have your empty skulls to keep my pocket change! Summon to me now your master! Skulk shuddering to the one who is called…”

The man paused and looked to the small woman sharing his saddle, who said something quietly. He turned back to the top of the wall and spoke the one name that gave the hobgoblins pause.

“Balan! Bring before me the Devil Lord of this place!”


Posted by on June 21, 2012 in M. Edward McNally, The Norothian Cycle


Tags: , , , , , , ,

7 responses to “Devil Town, Book IV of the Norothian Cycle. Chapter Seven (excerpt)

  1. Yvonne Hertzberger

    June 21, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    You’ve definitely found your sense of humour. Crap, now I have two more to read before I can see this again. 🙂

  2. acflory

    June 22, 2012 at 2:49 am

    -giggles- Balan? Oh you clever man, you knew none of us would be able to resist that sartorial demon. He completely vindicates my thesis that villains are inordinately sexy, even when one foot is a hoof!

    I’ve got the notify option on so could you please post a comment when book 4 is actually on the shelves so to speak?


  3. medmcn

    June 22, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Thanks folks, and oh, yes. I’ll definitely be posting here when the book is available, and sticking the linked cover right over there –> with the other ones. 🙂

  4. acflory

    June 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Would it be a spoiler to ask what colour the cover is going to be?

    • medmcn

      June 22, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Not at all, the background is a shade of orange that relates to the color of a certain critter than plays an important role early in the book – a “capricang,” which is a demon that appears something like a cross between an orangutan and a goat. Nasty little varmints. 😉

      • acflory

        June 23, 2012 at 1:21 am

        lmao – I love nasty little varmints 😀

  5. acflory

    June 28, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Hi Ed. I’ve just nominated you for a Dr Horrible blog award along with two other friends who also have books coming out soon. Bit of a plug for Devil Town 😀


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