Eaglebreaker by C.L. Murray (The Tale of Eaglefriend #2)
English | 2020 | Fantasy | ePUB | 1.7 MB
When a deadly woman from a clan that tortures eagles into submission captures Morlen’s dear companion, Roftome, he embarks on a quest more terrifying than any he has yet undertaken.
Going alone into the Mountains of the Lost, Morlen treks an uncertain path through hostile forces that embody the grimmest legends. Worst of all are the Pyrnaq—wretched, twisted corruptions of the free eagles they once were—and their overwhelming presence is a constant reminder of the terrible fate that he must spare Roftome at all costs.
Held as a prized acquisition within the clandestine force that eagle kind has dreaded for centuries, Roftome finds himself uniquely positioned to influence his abused brothers and sisters whose minds may still be salvageable. The cost of this rare opportunity, though, quickly proves more severe than he’d anticipated.
Despite the absence of their two strongest allies, King Verald and Lady Valeine lead the Eaglemasters on a massive campaign to wipe the Ferotaur Wildlands clean of their ancient enemies. But as they delve deeper into the overrun wasteland, they hear whispers of a watchful evil that their intrusion might soon unleash.
On a desolate corner of the world and threatened on every side, Morlen realizes that his only hope is to unite with one of the fierce ghouls he fought in his first adventure. And as the days pass into weeks, and months, he grows more afraid whether the end of his long journey will bring him face to face with the friend he lost, or… with something else.
Morlen gripped the winged hilt of his sword, sheathed in a finely crafted silver scabbard that bore a pattern of pinholes which, by the gleam of the weapon within, shone like a constellation in the outline of a leaping lion. He drew the Crystal Blade in a smooth swish and raised it high, hushing the violent host with its luminous edges and point that drove many to shield their eyes.
The immense brute that approached him from the right did not slow in the slightest. Its muscles bulged as it clasped the battle axe in both gnarled hands, reared back, and swung to kill. And as the curved blade cut through the air on course to cleave his chest, Morlen lunged and caught its wooden handle with his left hand, just above where its bearer still grabbed tightly. The ferotaur groaned and seethed, exerting all force that its body could muster into the weapon, but Morlen held it back and would not be moved. Then he slashed the Crystal Blade downward and severed both the beast’s hands at the wrists.
The ferotaur’s guttural wails bounced off the city walls as it lifted two stumplike arms that gushed puddles of blood into the dirt. Staggering in a daze, it looked over at ranks of allies that stood in shock, and was left with only one method of attack.
It drew its stout head back, about to gore deep into Roftome’s neck with both overgrown, sharp horns, but Morlen swung the great axe down right between them and buried it in his foe’s slimy skull. The formidable adversary collapsed under the blow with its own weapon embedded in its head, and Morlen sat at ease atop Roftome. As he peered across the short divide, he flicked the blood off of his sword, and soon the trainees watching from the high walls above began shouting “Eaglefriend! Eaglefriend!” in an enthusiastic chorus echoed loudly by the Eaglemasters.
Giving into rage, the lines of ferotaurs charged, and Roftome shattered the nearest horned skull that came in reach of his beak before knocking back the front rank with a gust from his wings. Then he closed his talons around the heads of two more and flung them sideways, while his momentum spun Morlen to cut through several others with a single blade stroke.
The Eaglemasters unleashed the last of their arrows next, blanketing each pack that tried to take a battering ram to the gate, and dropped their final oil pots to scatter the tight formations with explosions of fire and smoke. Morlen and Roftome flew forward as the city’s aerial defenders joined alongside them, driving the dispersed combatants from the gate to the fields.
“Do you think yourself invincible that you would provoke that many at once?” asked Roftome as he plucked two more foes from the ground and crushed them in his grip, gliding low to toss them like rocks at others.