Read Deadly Wands Online

Authors: Brent Reilly

Tags: #adventure, #action, #magic, #young adult, #war, #duels, #harry potter, #battles, #genghis khan, #world war, #wands, #mongols

Deadly Wands

BOOK: Deadly Wands
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Deadly Wands, 2014 edition

by Brent Reilly

 

Completely rewritten for 2014, this
action-packed epic fantasy tells the remarkable adventures of an
orphan boy with incredible powers who grows up in the Dark Ages
during a brutal world war fought with non-magical wands that shoot
fireballs and enable flight, resulting in massive air battles. The
first in a trilogy, this book is free to entice you to buy the
sequels. Mature content makes it unsuitable for little kids. It’s
more Game of Thrones than Harry Potter.

 

DEDICATION: I dedicate this novel to my
wonderful sons, Brian and Lucas.

 

Copyright © 2011 by the author, Brent
Reilly.

Published by Smashwords for Brent Reilly

 

This story is fiction. Any resemblance to
actual people, places, or events is coincidental. All rights are
reserved. Except for book reviews, no more than four paragraphs can
be reproduced without written permission from the author.

 

“A man’s greatest joy is to defeat his
enemies, take their possessions, and enjoy their women.” -- Genghis
Khan

 

CHAPTER 1

 

Worst. Birthday. Ever.

A wand bristling with power in each hand,
Lady Elizabeth finished putting her body armor, battle helmet, and
game face on. A birthday present from her father, her new wands
blew away anything she had ever used, and must have cost a bloody
fortune. Certainly she never would have attempted her plans for the
day without them. Savoring the raw energy flowing up her arms, she
forced herself to put aside all doubt, regret, and mercy. She could
not afford mercy.

Not today.

The beautiful blond placed her old wands in
slots in her boots and used them to propel her a meter into the
air. She flew around the room, careful not to impale herself on the
assortment of weapons hung on the walls. Never had she felt so
powerful. Hovering in the center of the room, she arched her back.
Yelling, she flung her arms wide as angry flames erupted five
meters out of each wand, which made them twice as strong as her old
ones. She felt strangely comforted by the terribleness of her
primal scream.

Her innocence taken away by the kiss of the
most horrible man she knew, she could now barely relate to the
naive girl she was the day before. She had heard that there are
worst fates than death; Liz just never knew that marriage could be
one of them. If she could just smash the guy waiting for her in the
dueling arena, then maybe she could escape her arranged marriage
after all. If not, she preferred a quick death to a long marriage.
Either way, she vowed never to marry. Never!

With a flick of her wand the thick oak doors
flung open. She flew down the hall, letting her fury feed a
newfound aggressiveness. Wearing expensive armor, Prince George
waited for her in the arena.

"Happy birthday, niece. Now that you’re of
age, the queen can finally marry you off to the Mongol
ambassador."

Nothing could have infuriated her more. Eager
to surprise him with her new death sticks, she flew at him at a 45
degree angle, firing a series of fireballs that forced him to
flight. Instead of flying in a straight line -- suicide in battle
-- she alternated between her left and right boot wands to zigzag
unpredictably, like she was climbing stairs made for giants.

A combat veteran, he knew from the sound of
her blasts that she upgraded her sticks -- the louder the wand, the
larger and faster the fireball, which made it harder to deflect or
avoid.

He went for height, using all four wands to
pop straight up. As she shot the path ahead of him, he zagged
diagonally using one hand wand while firing back with the other.
She chased him up, out into the bright sunlight, and they went at
it like two street cats.

Unlike a real dueling arena, no stadium
seating surrounded the high circular walls. Aside from his castle
on a nearby hill, they were all alone as their blasts echoed over
the empty English hillside. Strong winds from a coming storm
roughly pushed them around like leaves as they traded shots.

She projected a steel shield to fly through
the edge of a fireball and gain a positional advantage, shooting
with both wands in a controlled freefall. He dived to avoid the two
fires, then rose in an arc to blast her. Fired from too far away,
the fire expanded too much to burn but, to minimize the heat, she
passed through it as fast as possible, closing her eyes and
mouth.

His fireballs were larger, faster, and
hotter, so she closed the distance to minimize his advantage. One
hundred meters above ground, they used their wands to extend
swords. She spun as she fell towards him, forcing him to project a
metal shield that she whacked with her blade.

The steel weighed literally nothing, so speed
mattered more than strength. It was impossible to avoid glancing
blows struck at lightning speed -- a disadvantage to the fighter
with inferior armor. Unlike sword fights on the ground, each sought
to surge above or below their opponent.

Fighting while flying is inherently
exhausting -- like boxing while running -- so those with greater
endurance could defeat better opponents simply by out-lasting them.
On the ground, the larger fighter has the advantage by delivering
stronger blows and having more mass to absorb hits; in the air, in
contrast, the lighter fighter lasts longer because wands propel
lighter objects more than heavier ones. Hence, given equal wand
strength, the most common strategy of the lighter fighter was to
exhaust his opponent.

A blow knocked the girl back far enough for
him to shoot her. She use one hand wand to propel her down while
extending flame to torch his left boot wand. She liked hearing him
scream so much that she briefly cooked the rest of him. Burning
flesh made him unable to concentrate, sending him into an
uncontrolled fall. Elizabeth flew head-first after him to end this,
once and for all.

He fought through the pain to slow his
descent, but it’s hard to fly with just three wands, so he tumbled
head over heels a few times before he stabilized his fall. Now he
could land safely.

But not dogfight. Elizabeth dove out of the
sun and smacked him with a steel bat, sending him sprawling in the
arena dirt. She blasted craters on either side of him to smother
him in a dust cloud.

George frantically beat the flames burning
the clothes under his body armor. Dueling without armor plates is
suicidal, but that didn't make taking it off fast, easy, or simple.
With the smell of roasted flesh making her nauseous, she used a
wand to lift and dump his burning body into a bathtub-size
container of water that every arena kept for just this purpose. The
burning stopped with an audible sizzle sound that made her spine
tingle. Her teacher's relief proved short-lived as he attacked her
verbally.

"Are you trying to kill me?"

An ironic accusation since he often
criticized her for lacking the killer instinct. He’d taunt her with
lines like, “you shoot like a girl.” Not anymore, she told
herself.

Burning up herself, she took a minute to take
her helmet and body armor off while he did the same to inspect his
burns.

"Uncle George, that monster actually kissed
me this morning. On the lips!"

"The ambassador? Mother probably suggested
it. We just got word Genghis Khan finally approved the treaty, on
the condition that you produce a heir to the English throne. I
imagine Ambassador Tamerlane is eager to start. Remember how
furious he was when the queen moved the legal age to 18 to gain
leverage over the Mongols? That’s the highest in the world. You
should be happy she didn’t marry you two years ago when she changed
the minimum age.”

Queen Margaret had three sons: Richard, John,
and George. Lady Elizabeth was the only legitimate child of the
oldest son, Prince Richard, the Royal Heir. The Queen desperately
needed the leverage that an alliance with the Mongol Empire would
bring to complete the conquest of Ireland, her lifelong dream. And
to protect England from the Empire itself. No small
consideration.

The discovery of wands in China in the 12th
century completely transformed human civilization. That is, armed
with wands, Genghis Khan's Mongol horde completely transformed
human civilization. Handcrafted from sacred trees thousands of
years old, the more powerful wands made flight possible, allowing
the Mongol Air Force to pound defenseless ground troops armed with
swords, spears, and arrows. Genghis Khan conquered China and Korea
in his first century, India and Persia the second century, and most
of Europe the third. Only volunteers from the Americas prevented
the Mongol conquest of Europe.

As it was, the Mongols controlled all of
Europe except the Scandinavian kingdoms, the islands of England,
Ireland, and Iceland, the westernmost quarter of France, and the
sliver of Spain that locals called Portugal. A million Mongols
enslaved millions of Africans to mine precious minerals. Aside from
the Americas, only Asian islands like Japan, Taiwan, and its
neighbors remained outside of the Empire.

Genghis Khan literally controlled half the
world, and waged war for the rest.

General Tamerlane, in particular, repulsed
Lady Elizabeth for his history of building pyramids out of skulls.
Delhi alone contributed 100,000 heads to one giant pile. Historians
claimed Tamerlane killed seventeen million people. Being a two
hundred year old condescending jerk did not add to his personal
charm. Just the thought of him touching her made Liz sick. Her
first thought was to blast her own head off. Her second was to
flee.

Her decision would change everything.

"I’ll not give the English crown to Genghis
Khan," Liz vowed fiercely. "The treaty will give the Mongols
military bases in England to launch a second front on France. For
me to marry a Mongol means the destruction of Free Europe!”

Prince George dropped his chest plate, took
off what remained of his shirt, and got out of the dumping pool.
Water pooling at his feet, he inspected his wands for water damage,
cursing softly.

“Genghis Khan has another division ready to
assault Paris. Why do you think I'm recruiting another English
battalion? We're even risking our lives without pay.”

A squad consists of ten fliers, a company one
hundred, a battalion one thousand, a division ten thousand, and an
armada at least one hundred thousand.

“If Paris falls, France falls. Then England
has a hostile air force at its doorstep. If you make this treaty
impossible, then mother will have to deploy her quads from Ireland
to our coastline to deter the Mongols. And if you anger them
enough, then even that won’t stop them.”

But the girl had made up her mind. “If we let
them conquer France, then England is lost anyways. I hope to have a
child before they kill me. I'll pray for a warrior so powerful that
he’ll scare even Genghis Khan."

George laughed at the thought. The Great
Immortal was the universal boogeyman. That someone could scare him
was laughable.

"The treaty guarantees that mother remains
queen for life, but it does not guarantee that your father will
succeed her. The Mongols will insist that my Mongol-loving brother
John succeed her. He's the force behind this odious treaty. He has
always been jealous that he never became a quad like us."

When wands were discovered, only 10% could
use wands to light fires or move furniture. Only 10% of those were
powerful enough to project steel. Of those, only 10% could use two
hand wands at once, and only 10% of them could also use foot wands
to fly. Since only 1 out of 10,000 people could use four wands at
once (i.e., quads), everyone wanted to mate with them. Three
centuries of self-selective breeding multiplied the quad
population. Arranged marriages gave way to “strategic
reproduction.” While isolated tribes still didn’t have access to
wands, Mongols boasted a quad out of every one hundred -- the
highest per capita in the world.

Genghis Khan himself, the most powerful quad
in human history, able to project a flame 12 meters long, took
strategic reproduction to an extreme by impregnating hundreds of
quad women every year for over three centuries. His offspring
formed the elite troops that enabled the Empire to keep expanding.
Legend said the Great Immortal already produced a million
descendents.

When Prince Richard’s powers bloomed at
puberty, Queen Margaret offered a generous stipend to any English
quad who reproduced with him. The irony of Elizabeth being the
Royal Heir's only legitimate heir is that she had a few hundred
half-siblings -- some old enough to be her father.

But mating with a fellow quad only increased
the odds of producing quad children. It did not guarantee it. The
power so generously given Prince Richard skipped Prince John to
bless the third son, George, who turned out to be gay, and thus
ineligible to wear the crown. Bitter with envy, John treated his
brothers as enemies ever since his quad powers failed to
appear.

BOOK: Deadly Wands
13.37Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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