The Rose of Vales

Welcome to a sample of a novel trilogy


For the first time, Archard’s home kingdom was to be host to the annual conference of the Great Sea League and while Archard himself had never been very patriotic (despite his place within the kingdom’s military) he had been charged with a related matter of great import in conjunction with the upcoming meeting of the minds. Having finished the necessary work, he rushed through the halls separating the common room and Lanfaye’s office, the end result of his toil in tow carefully tucked within a tidy, cloth-wrapped package: three explosive ordinances, and detailed blueprints of their construction. Read the rest of this entry »


Sure enough, Devereaux G.T.K. came to Unit Twenty-Seven’s common room to find it unlocked and its door standing open.  He immediately smelled the Mascon coffee inside.  He walked in, expecting to see Genesta at her desk working away over her mug.  She was not at her desk however.  But with the smell of coffee wafting, it wasn’t too hard to guess where she was.  He continued on to his office and opened it up.

Indeed in the common kitchen, he could hear the gentle tap of a foot.  Devereaux set down his bag and pulled out the case files for the day before walking back out and across to the common kitchen.  Genesta walked up to the door just as he entered.  He came in from the right and she almost bumped into him.

She made a little gasp.  He looked down at her. Read the rest of this entry »


Severin was in the bathtub when she heard Genesta enter their quarters.  Her ginger hair was down around her shoulders in heavy-laden watery curls; scrubbed clean with her face up to the nose in the water, knees drawn up in thought.  Genesta walked over and leaned on the door frame.

“Hey,” she said.

Severin snapped out of her thoughts to look up at her.  “Welcome back.”

“You look wiped, again.”  Genesta was a keen observer.  “Why is it that I’m doing field work and come in all spry, and you’re sitting on your duff and come in looking eighty?”

“Dust.” Read the rest of this entry »


“Gentlemen,” Lanfaye said as the door closed.  “Thank you for coming.  Please, take a seat.”

Both Wynnd and d’Arka sat, Lanfaye seating himself as well.

“You visited the scene of the crime today?” he asked, turning his attention to d’Arka.

“Yes, sir,” d’Arka replied, once again all business.  “I got the old fellow’s story entirely documented.”

“Good.  He didn’t want to come down to identify the culprit?” Read the rest of this entry »


The leaves rustled in the afternoon breeze as a song bird trilled somewhere higher up in the branches.  Wynnd sat propped up against the trunk on a high branch, hair moving like wild grass with the leaves.  His eyes were closed as if he were napping.

Or so it would appear to the casual passerby.

A faint glow from his forehead subsided and his eyes slowly opened.  He shifted his halberd from where it lay in his lap and swung down off the branch to land on the ground below.  He slung the polearm on his back again and tapped the e-com off mute.

“Wynnd here.  All paths are clear.  Severin?”

“Yes?” came her soft voice.

“You can tell Lanfaye I’ll be in shortly.”

“All right.”

He tapped his e-com back to mute and stuck his thumbs in his belt as he started off down the path toward the capital city of Vales. Read the rest of this entry »


Devereaux was in the middle of his own investigation when he heard the e-com turn on and Simons’ voice come through.

“Genesta, I got our suspect and am heading back now.  How’s your background check coming?”

Another e-com popped on.  “Finished, sir, and the warrant is being written as we speak.”

“Good work.  I’ll be in soon.”

“Yes, sir.” Her e-com clicked off.  Still glass — even her voice.

He heard Simons’s e-com click off too.  Were they working together on something?  What was this girl up to in his unit?  He’d worry about it later.  For now he focused on the task at hand.  He turned back to the woman at the doorstep.

“Please continue,” he told her. Read the rest of this entry »


Guanfal d’Arka T.K. walked down the street in that unique manner of overly-muscular strut that was his and his alone.  He hummed along to his own little tune, cocky smile on his face, hair masterfully sculpted.  He’d spent a good hour on it that morning before he went out to greet his adoring public.

The crowds parted for this shining paragon of the male specimen as he passed, faces filled with awe and wonder.  If there ever was a poster child for the Tower Knights, it was Guanfal d’Arka T.K. son of the legendary d’Arka family of one of the inner circle of the elite nobility.  He had a second cousin twice removed that was a relation of the king.  He was a shining paragon of the elite.

People parted for him due to his status as much as his size.  He left awe and giggles in his wake.  He flashed a masterful grin at a gaggle of girls on a street corner and they melted.

“Carry on, citizens!” he said to them.  “D’Arka is here to protect and serve.” Read the rest of this entry »


Simons was walking out of the Moat when he heard a familiar, young voice call after him.  “Simons, sir!”

He stopped and looked back.  Genesta trotted up to him.

“Can I help you with something, Miss Genesta?” he asked.  What was she after now?

“I took a look at the assignment boards this morning sir,” she said, standing near him.  “And there’s nothing left that isn’t already taken by someone else.  I’d rather not step on toes or duplicate effort.  I thought therefore I’d ask to come help on one of yours.”

Was she trying to steal his thunder now?  If she was, he’d be ready for her.  It would be simple to catch her in the act and, in the moment, he could easily deal with her.  No matter how well she may have impressed Devereaux, he had seniority.  His word still carried far more weight.  So he would watch her and bide his time. Read the rest of this entry »


Rousse wove his way through the central reception area of the Moat. Once again, his thick arms were full of ledgers.  At least today he was able to see over the top, but he did have to stop once or twice for the few people that were in a hurry.

The price of freedom was eternal vigilance and it was his fellow Tower Knights that footed the bill.  Which reminded him; there was one purchase of that new set of coffee cups for the unit that he still needed to add to the ledger before he forgot.

He wandered through the maze of administration and set down his ledgers on his desk.  He always kept his desk in pristine condition with everything he could need within arm’s reach.  He sorted the ledgers out into a few stacks according to what he had planned for them.  Balancing here, double-checking there, additions next to that, and some old records to compare.

Satisfied, he pulled back his chair and sat, scooting it into a comfortable position.  He rolled his shoulders to keep his undershirt and surcoat loose so he could move his arms freely and reached forward to flip back the small flap at the back of his desk.  The compartment housed all his writing instruments, the abacus, and anything else he might need in a timely fashion.

All was as he left it and as it should be.  He rubbed his hands together, delighted, and pulled down the first ledger. Read the rest of this entry »


Devereaux came to the common room of Unit Twenty-Seven — rather, his common room — to find it unlocked already at six o’clock sharp.  He was surprised as usually his crew was not that punctual unless they were working on a case that went all hours and then rarely did anyone leave.   He looked around to see who was responsible for this odd break of habit.

Miss Genesta T.K. was at her desk, prompt and early, hair slightly damp from a probable shower.  She looked up, seeing him enter.

“I didn’t think anyone would be up only five hours after the witching hour,” he said, striding in.  He was master of his domain here.  And he knew it. Read the rest of this entry »


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