The Epic of Ronyn

There’s no higher calling than suffering for art.

From The Tales of Llurien

The Epic of Ronyn

Wanting to impress a woman, the minstrel Ronyn tells the story of how he became the King of All Bards, facing horrors the likes of which few had ever seen. In his tale, neither malevolent creatures nor like-minded adventurers would stand between him and a prize that would make him a musician beyond compare. On hearing his epic quest, kings had welcomed him, lads had become men, and virgin lasses had blossomed into women. It’s no wonder he must tell this new admirer about himself, but will she be as impressed with Ronyn as he is with himself?

Release Date: December 8 2016, by Llurien Books, an imprint of Evermore Press. Status: Out of Print.


One must be careful not to pursue life so fully that it leads instead to one’s death. That such misadventure might befall the minstrel Ronyn had never occurred to him. His confidence lay not in the naiveté of youth, but in a passion so strong that it routinely swept up those around him into a heady mix of enchantment, intoxication, and rapture. He considered this appropriate, for he was a master storyteller, living by his tales, his wits, and most importantly, his songs. The latter consumed him now, not because he purred in his rich baritone to an audience hanging on every silken tone, but because the very sort of misfortune he had never considered had now befallen him, the cost being his music.

In a palace’s grand hall, he stalked before a gilded throne, a mane of golden hair tumbling down his broad back. A brocaded, tailored tunic bulged from the powerful arms and chest underneath, his trousers equally straining to cover his might. That he might split the marble floor with his echoing boot steps seemed plausible, so heavy fell his tread, the weight of sorrow crashing them down. And yet in the masculine lines of his face lay a grim determination that added fuel to the blaze in his brown eyes.

Richly dressed servants gave him a wide berth as they scurried along, bejeweled candelabras, glass figurines, and other treasures in their clutches. They bustled about the palace, knocking over crate and barrel, upending chest and chalice, and scattering people and animals without apology. In the chaos, a white robed woman made her way unnoticed from the gates to the throne room, her scowl revealing confusion about the hasty preparations. It seemed that Ronyn intended to leave this place forever, taking every last prize with him.

Off to one side stood a ginger-winged morkais, feathered wings neatly folded behind her back, thin eyebrows arched in an expression of muffled amusement. Her slanted green eyes noted the new arrival with a grin, slightly pointed teeth looking unusually fearsome for such a benevolent race. Not much taller than a man’s waist, this morkais didn’t wear the typical sash with scroll cases tied to its end, as these messengers often did. This suggested her business had concluded and Ronyn had yet to dismiss her. The quiet rustling of her feathers betrayed some impatience.

Addressing Ronyn, the woman asked, “Are you the lord of this palace?”

He stopped, a fierce gaze sweeping over her. “Who are you? How did you get in here?” Then he seemed to notice the commotion that had likely prevented anyone from stopping her. Eyes fell upon hers, where he saw a spark of admiration and sultriness that made him want to crush her ruby lips to his. He drew himself up more fully, if that were possible.

“I am Ronyn of Illiandor, late of Nybor, adoptive son to our god Lierein the Lulling One, and heir-apparent to his kingdom on this earthly realm, for his mighty gifts flow most strongly through my veins, such that I shall surely attain Sorrairyn upon my demise. I am the King of Bards!”

“Surely a man such as you will become a demigod,” she murmured. “Your title is magnificent. How did you come to earn it?”

“Ha!” His eyes flashed, for she’d struck upon the very subject of his torment, from which nothing could restore him. At the thought, he gazed sidelong at her. Perhaps a rousing story would rouse his heart, and that of this vixen, so clearly smitten with him already. In her embrace afterward there might be comfort still. “I’ve a grand and epic tale to tell if you would hear it!”


He raised his head regally and spoke so commandingly that all within earshot stopped what they were doing to listen…

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