(Cards for Kate, Kiefan and Anders are here.)
Sample of the saints' magic from Disciple, Part III
(Saint Aleksandr has been talking about shape-shifting, and now needs to take his leave.)
We stepped out into the gatehouse yard, under a pleasantly warm sun. “It’s easiest to become something of similar size. A large cougar. A small bear. A truly enormous dog, at times.” He pulled off his cote as he spoke and handed it to Anders. The saint was a big, barrel-chested man as most Russe were, and his dark hair was sprinkled with grey. “I’ve managed a horse, now and then — something of a pony, though. A wild boar, now that’s a good form. Quick, powerful. But this is my favorite, I must confess.”
Saint Aleks dropped his braies too, but my eyes were on his arms as he spread them; I had glimpsed this once before and didn’t want to miss a moment. Fat white quills rose through his skin as his fingers lengthened, and when the quills stabbed out two hands’-widths they unfurled into brown-and-cream barred feathers. Row by row, they broadened, shivered into lapped layers, and a sparkling green haze of kir wisped between each.
In the rukh’s face, there was still a trace of him, despite the hooked black beak and the staring, golden eyes. He rose on his hind legs — and legs they were, like a cat’s hindquarters, complete with near-human hands bigger than my own and retractable black talons — and stepped off his puddled clothing. He crouched again, and was still a good five feet tall. Saint Aleks winked.
With a cat’s powerful leap, the rukh launched over our heads and threw out wings that blocked the sun. I glimpsed a barred tail as my eyes winced shut against the sudden wind, and felt the thrust of kir that helped hoist the massive raptor into the air. A few pumps of his wings and he cleared the castle wall, coasted a moment and soared on an updraft to circle northward.
Credit to the artist
I want to point everyone toward the artist's page at deviantART, because she did such a great job and I love her work: S. Gina Shellie. I have one more character portrait that she did for me! That one will have to wait for Disciple, Part IV, though. ;)
More goodies to come...
Look over in the sidebar and you'll see the brand new Disciple, Part III sample page! The war has arrived, so it's a chunk of action from the early part of the siege. There will be samples of the romantic side of the story coming too.
Sadly, the cover art for Part III isn't ready yet. Watch this space, though. I've been getting updates from the artist and it's getting there.
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