Authors: Brian Beam
Book Two of Korin’s Journal
Forgotten King: Book Two of Korin’s Journal
Amazon Kindle Edition
Copyright © 2013
by Brian Beam
Written by Brian Beam
Proofreading by JJ Proofing
Cover by Janette Ramos
Map by Jonathan Jolley
This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events in this book are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
This ebook is licensed for your own personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Amazon.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
All rights reserved.
Because you are the light of my life,
every child deserves their own story.
I would like to thank
y parents for instilling a love of reading in me from an incredibly early age.
y brother, Alan, for sparking my interest in fantasy early on.
wife, Miranda, and my son, Jonas, for continuing to be my muse each and every minute of each and every day.
S.W. Sondheimer and S.
Arthur Martin for their wonderful input on The Forgotten King. (Be sure to check out their books—Shaman and the Hollenguard series respectively—if you’re looking for a great reads from talented authors).
Jackie at JJ
) for her invaluable services in proofreading The Forgotten King.
Also, R.E. Sheahan (author of the wonderful Storm of Arranon sci-fi series) for bringing JJ Proofing to my attention in the first place.
for an incredible job taking my idea for the cover and turning it into something beyond my wildest expectations.
Indies Unlimited for the support and resources they provide for indie authors, as well as the wonderful people and books I have been introduced to through their site
Anyone who has read The Dragon Gem or is reading this right now for making the hard work that went into this worth it.
Other Books by Brian Beam
The Dragon Gem
The Forgotten King
Table of Contents
Recaps and Broken Kneecaps
Some people just don’t know when to quit.
Take Count Galius Firmon for example. Remember him?
If you need a refresher, Galius was the ex-beggar turned count of the city of Byweather. He was the one who hired me through my Contract to retrieve a gem that had been stolen from him—a gem that turned out to be a dragon egg. Yeah, a Chralex-blooded dragon egg.
With Max, my magic talking wizard cat—or more presently, squirrel—I set out to find the gem. Along the way, I met a maladroit wizard named Sal’, whom I promptly and uncharacteristically fell in love with. I also befriended a talkative Kolarin named Til’, who was the reason that my obligation to Galius turned from an easy job to
. . . well, if you can’t remember, you should probably read the earlier parts of my journal. In short, it involved evil wizards, dragons, minions of the god of death called eldrhims, and my past slowly becoming clearer to me.
After outsmarting Galius, I was able to return the dragon egg to its mother, Bhaliel, the late ex-queen of dragons, in exchange for not becoming a dragon snack. With my Activated Contract fulfilled, I was then ready to travel to the eastern kingdom of Gualain, where Raijom—a supposedly evil wizard who’d been trying to kill me since my birth because of some prophecy that I knew next to nothing about—was purportedly stirring up a war for reasons I didn’t yet understand.
Til’, on the other hand, had been tasked by Bhaliel to take her newly hatched dragon child, Xalis, to the Snowy Waste. The dragons there would have the ability release Xalis from the hibernation that Bhaliel had been put him into.
Oh yeah, and we were all a little worried about the dragons escaping their thousand-year, wizard-enforced banishment to the Snowy Waste through the hole that Bhaliel had ripped in the wizards’ barrier while searching for her stolen egg.
As if all of that wasn’t enough to worry about, Max and Sal’ were abducted by wizards sent by Sal’s father, Nehril Fellway, the Grand Wizard of Amirand.
He was probably a bit upset about Sal’s little excursion to hunt down a dragon in an attempt to earn her Rank as a wizard. Max had tried to stop the wizards but was captured, likely to be used as a research subject at the Wizard Academy in the kingdom of Tahron. Meanwhile, Til’ and I had been put into a magic-induced slumber by those same wizards for an entire day, preventing us from doing a thing to stop them.
Those bastard wizards not only took my best friend and the woman I loved, but also our horses, my Contract, the Vesteir-sigiled shortsword my adoptive uncle had given me, the hibernating dragon child, and all of our money and supplies.
Fun for Korin. That’s me.
Actually, I’d just recently discovered my birth name to be Ingran Zachary Lemweir. I still stuck with Korinalis—or Korin—Karell, though. That was the name given to me by Mathual and Harriet Karell, the adoptive parents who’d raised me.
Speaking of my newly gleaned birth name, I’d also learned that Max had once been a human wizard named Jonasir Spensolin. He’d apparently known the birth parents I’d spent over three years of my life searching for. Of course, as with everything else having to do with his or my past, he’d kept that knowledge secret for as long as I’d known him.
I’d been a mere night’s sleep away from having Max finally reveal his secrets, professing my love to Sal’, and setting off to find Raijom. Of course, that was the night that the wizards had shown up.
My plans quickly changed from putting a stop to Raijom and finding my parents to getting my friends back. I needed to reach them before Max was turned into an unwilling research specimen in the Wizard Academy’s laboratory.
There was only one little problem.
Actually, that depends on your definition of “little” and your capacity for sarcasm.
At that moment, I was being harshly shoved into the rough stone that lined the perimeter of Galius’
s basement. My forehead collided with the wall, painfully snapping back with the sensation of broken skin. My body crumpled to the floor, the side of my head rebounding off the stone tile. There’d been no chance of breaking my fall with my hands tied behind my back to the point of cutting off blood circulation, my fingers long since numb. The front and side of my head were not numb, however, and flared with pain.
The dank air of the basement gave me a chill as I lay there helpless, securely bound and gagged on the floor. I couldn’t smell a thing over the odor of horse and saddle leather on my baggy white shirt and tan pants. My malodorous clothing reminded me that I hadn’t properly bathed in days.
Aside from the bare stone walls, the only features of the room were a simple wooden chair in the room’s center, a tall iron safe in the back corner, and stand lamps in the corners, which gave me plenty of light to realize how much trouble Til’ and I were in.
Speaking of Til’, he’d been shoved down onto the nondescript wooden chair in the center of the room. To his side, a burly brute in a worn brown tabard pressed down on the diminutive Kolarin’s shoulder to keep him from rising. Til’ was also gagged. He wore a white shirt under a brown jerkin with black pants, his clothing dirtied from our involuntary trip back to the coastal city of Byweather in the kingdom of Urdale.
Til’, not one to be forced into anything, struggled against the bonds of his tied hands, kicking at the brute beside him. The brute simply backhanded the poor little guy with his free hand. Til’s head snapped forward, his long raven hair whipping in front of him.
Til’ twisted his hanging head to the curly-haired brute, his large silver eyes burning with anger. With a sharp twist of his head, he forced the filthy gag from his mouth. “You’ll regret that, you two-bit, halfwit, Duncil-blooded, goat farming—
” Til’s insult was cut off by another backhand, this one to his face and splitting his bottom lip. Duncil is the god of bastard children. Silly idea for a god, in my opinion. Silly or not, though, Til’ deserved credit for the use of such a god in his curse.
Taking a cue from the fearless Kolarin, I tongued the similarly dirtied gag from my own mouth. “Leave him alone,” I
rasped, my throat raw from having nothing to drink since being magically knocked out by wizards a day and a half prior. My hunger was a whole other issue.
“You better listen to him,” I continued hoarsely. “I’ve seen him take on worse than you, Lily Pants.” My taunt was answered by a violent kick to my stomach from the grime-faced brute
who’d shoved me into the wall. Yeah, I still had a problem with keeping my big mouth shut.
Blood trickled down my face from the split skin of my forehead as I tilted my head towards the brute. The double vision caused by my fall made me see two of his greasy, crooked-nosed face. His oily hair was only slightly less dirty than his tatty leathers. Dirty or not, his arms were as big around as my legs.
If anything, the other brute—who I’ll continue to refer to as Lily Pants—was even more muscular. His exposed arms were proof of that. I hadn’t been lying to him, though; I’d seen Til’ fight eldrhims and live to tell the tale. What was a simple thug compared to that?
Still, the brutes had the upper hand. If I couldn’t figure out a way to turn the cards in our favor, there was a good chance we wouldn’t leave Galius’s basement alive. I decided to keep my mouth shut and pour all my effort into getting
Til’ and me out of the mess we were in.
Before the cogs of thought could even start tumbling in my hazed mind, two sets of harsh footsteps came slapping down basement’s stone steps, followed by the slamming of the hidden hatch leading to the room above. I lulled my head back to see Galius and the third brute
who’d helped abduct us, a cloudy halo surrounding their bodies as my double vision slowly drew into focus.
Galius, as always, exuded about as much arrogance as Rembren, the god of arrogance—seriously, there’s a god of arrogance. Galius’s blue velvet coat rested over a highly brocaded shirt, its fabric stretched taut over his paunch of a stomach. His receding black hair and pointed goatee were as meticulously manicured as ever, glistening with styling grease.
His eyes were sunken, and his face was even paler than I’d seen before. Galius probably hadn’t been able to sleep well with the looming threat of losing his money and power. That threat, I’m proud to say, was one of my own doing, instigated by keeping the dragon egg’s luck from the bastard. Galius had been a lowly beggar before obtaining the egg, and without its magic, he was faced with the possibility of going back to that life.
The brute behind him was tall, a head and a half over my moderate height. He was dressed in clean but broken-in leather armor over a shirt of mail. His boots came up to his knees on his leather-clad legs, and a sheathed longsword hung from his hip. His hawkish eyes and stern features gave him a look of silent danger, a look perpetuated by his shaved head. Swirling tribal patterns were tattooed in black on his face, starting at his temples before swooping under his dark eyes and down his cheeks.
His posture was slightly relaxed, though from my training in swordplay and hand-to-hand combat, I sensed that his sword could be drawn and in adept use within the span of a single breath. In other words, if I’d guessed at his name, I’d have said it was Mess With Me And Die A Slow, Horrible Death.
It turned out to be Bill.
Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Galius stopped right in front of my face, looking down at me with a pompous, victorious smile. He probably thought my capture was going to lead to the return of the gem that had brought him his fortune and political position as Count of Byweather. I briefly wondered what he’d do if I told him that his “gem” had hatched into a baby dragon and was on its way to the Wizard Academy in Tahron. I decided that with Lily Pants, Crooked Nose, and Mess
With Me And Die on his side, I should probably keep that tidbit of information to myself.
“Get him to his feet. We wouldn’t want our guests to be uncomfortable,” Galius commanded with feigned concern in his whiny voice. Worse than the broken skin of my forehead was the headache caused by hearing that voice
Crooked Nose jerked me to my feet by the back of my soiled, horse-scented white shirt. He had to keep the fabric bunched in his fist to keep me from collapsing weakly back to the ground. Between the blow to my head and muscular pains from my hours slumped over the rump of a horse, I was in no condition to hold myself on my own feet.
“How magnanimous of you, Count Firmon,” I quipped wryly with a huge grin.
Given the scowl that replaced the smug grin on Galius’s face, either he didn’t know the definition of magnanimous, or he didn’t appreciate my sarcasm. With a small gesture of his right hand, the brute let go of my shirt, and I dropped hard to the floor, landing painfully on my shoulder.
Galius was still using his little trick of letting his fists-for-hire use their free will to hurt me. Because of my previous Activated Contract with Galius, he couldn’t directly hurt me or instruct others to do so. Sadly, that meant I was unable to hurt Galius as well. Stupid Contract.
Galius put his hands to his hips, striking what I’m sure he felt to be an imposing stance. From my vantage on the stone floor, it just looked like he was trying to accentuate his gut. “This
doesn’t have to get ugly, Mr. Karell,” he said nasally with a half-hearted smirk on his exhausted, pale face.
I couldn’t stop myself from giving Galius a lopsided grin. “Your face has ruined any chance of that,” I goaded, blinking away the blood that had run into my eyes. I received a painful kick to the ribs, one powerful enough to flip me onto my back.
With a snort, Galius crouched beside me. “Just tell me where the gem is. My associates tell me it wasn’t on you, and that your little wizard friend was nowhere to be found. I can only assume that she has the gem. Simply tell me where she is, and this can all come to an end.”
“Don’t listen to him,
Korin!” Til’ called out as he strained against the binding ropes. I heard a sickening smack followed by a shrill grunt from Til’. My face began to heat in anger.
“What’s the point in telling you?” I
asked, my voice acid and gravel. “You’re not going to let us go. You don’t plan on letting us live. Just days ago, you planned on killing me just for knowing your secret about circumventing a Contract’s magic.”
“What was that?” a rough, deep voice asked from behind Galius. I looked up to see Mess
With Me And Die glaring sternly at Galius. His tone had been devoid of emotion, but his tattoo-underlined eyes flickered with a hint of concern.
Galius shut his eyes and took a deep breath. “Nothing, Bill. Do not listen to this Loranis-forsaken thief.” Galius nodded to Crooked Nose, earning me another rib-cracking kick to my side.
Through my pain, I found myself chuckling. “Bill, huh? Well, Bill, I guess Galius has roped himself another Holder.” As in an Activated Contract’s Holder. “Did he tell you that I was his last Holder? Just—” I was silenced by a booted foot to the face. I spit out some blood and ran my tongue across my teeth to make sure they were all still there. After assuring myself that they were, I closed my eyes to stop the room from spinning and decided that I was going to keep my big mouth shut.