Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Contest and Story Behind Keensight

I get asked a lot about Keensight so I decided to post an excerpt about him from The Blackguard. Keensight will be playing an active role in Bloodmines.  He also has a very large secret that he is keeping.  I will give a signed copy to the first fan that figures it out.  There have been clues in both Outcast and The Blackguard.   Please message me privately at or at @balanceguide on Twitter.

Disclaimer: Those that know me personally are not eligible for this contest as a few of you know the secret.  No sharing it either. *Wags fingers at those who have been told*

Renamaum and Keensight sat on the mountain top, looking down into the valley below.  Renamaum had a wing in front of the red dragon to keep him from sweeping off the ledge in rage. Below them, in that dark vale, were eight young dragons. They differed in age and color, but each one had one thing in common: large chains bound them to the ground, winding up over their wings, binding them to their bodies, so that none of them could unfold enough to get a proper thrust off the ground.
“Do you see him anywhere? I know he is down there,” Keensight rumbled in the fear and pain that only a father could feel.
“No. He would have barely hatched, and I do not see any that young, old friend.” Renamaum eyed the entire valley below them carefully. “Perhaps in that cave, but it is too small for either you or me to enter. If we wish to save fledglings from this fate, it will have to be done by a creature much smaller than you or I.” Renamaum eyed the red flight leader with sorrow.
Keensight’s mate had been killed in her nest, and the egg she’d nurtured was missing. The broken swords and the dead who’d owned them had been Lerdenian. There was no doubt that the egg had been brought to this place. It was called a bloodmine for the dragon’s blood that was spilled every turn until they became too large to handle. Then, they were outright killed and left to fester where they lay.
Renamaum closed his nostrils down; even from this far distance, the smell of blood and death wafted on the wind. He felt for his friend, who’d lost mate and fledgling all at the same time. Though most Lerdenians believed them to be nothing more than magical beasts, the truth was that such losses would stay with a dragon his entire lifetime – and dragons had very long lives.
“I will kill them all. Let us fly down and release our brothers. Let us rise up and burn every last one of them. I want every one of them to die,” Keensight snarled in rage. He bellowed his rage into the wind, and the dragons below them answered in a mournful call for help.
“Keensight. I understand your anger, but that is to declare war for all the flights. It is not ours alone to do. Besides, look closer. They have their spears of wood aimed at every dragon.  We or they would be dead before we freed the first. We cannot help them alone.” Renamaum wanted to console the dragon, but he had no idea how to help with such a grievous loss.
“I will demand a war from the council. I will demand they rise up and lay waste to the humans’ spiraling cities and crops. I will see their floating wooden toys sunk into the seas they travel.” Keensight rocked back and forth as if he was about to leap into the air, and Renamaum knew he had little time to talk sense to his friend. “They have declared this war, not us!”
“You could do this – that is true. And more of our kin will fall. There is a better way brother, but one that will take time. We find one who can do this work. One who can go into that cave and pull out our eggs and newly hatched. One who can love without constraint and protect without thought. This is what we find.” Renamaum pleaded against the red dragon’s anger, trying to wedge some bit of logic behind Keensight’s rage. “We must lose these brothers to win a war much greater than our own pain.”
“This is my fledgling you speak of! You want me to sacrifice my fledgling that yours might live? I will not! I will find him, and I will free him if I have to claw my way into that cave.” Keensight pushed Renamaum’s wing out of the way and dove for the valley below.  Renamaum knew Keensight’s fight was hopeless.  He could do nothing now but watch helplessly
Keensight dove for the first of the spear throwers, his fire rained down with deadly accuracy as his sweeping path took out two of the wooden constructs.  He banked up sharply but before he could turn to make another pass, the sound of releasing war machines filled Renamaum’s ears. He keened mournfully as four of the chained dragons were killed before his eyes. Their Lerdenian keepers would rather see their prizes dead than released, their blood draining into the ground.
Keensight must have realized the fate of the other four: he banked sharply and flew off into the distance. His howl of frustration, of rage and loss, filled the air, and miles around, echoing in the wind as other dragons picked up his cry. It bore the heartfelt grief of a leader losing those he could not bear to sacrifice, the angst of a helpless father, and rage at those who’d stolen all that he held dear.
Renamaum watched him go, and a single tear fell from his great eye. “I am so sorry, my friend,” he whispered into the wind. Then he, too, took up the cry as the dragons of the isle sang their sorrowful song for the fallen.

Find other great stories and dragon writers at