Prologue: The Shattering of Ways


Blood poured from the man’s wounds onto the cold ground beneath him. He knew he was dying, and beyond help now. He choked and gasped as bitter fluids clogged his throat but he fought to hold still and die with dignity. In his last moments, and in front of all these witnesses, he wasn’t going to go out thrashing around like a fish out of water. Burn that!

He refused to have regrets, even though he had never gotten what he wanted out of life. He had done the best he could and died for what he’d believed in! His would be the last laugh anyway.

He could still feel the inhuman eyes that watched and blazed with hate. The dying man tried to chuckle but all that came out was a weak gurgling cough. The fools had no idea what they’d unleashed! They couldn’t see how the world had changed and turned against them.

As the man’s vision grew dark, scenes from his past began to play out before him. His last breath rattled through his teeth and he couldn’t help but think back to how it had all began…

He remembered a great grey drake looming over the rubble of doomed Coroulis amidst the falling snow. The terrible monster flicked its tail out and smashed an attacking guard. Frozen chunks of meat were thrown into the air as the man shattered. The crimson broken pieces fell to the ground and rolled through the snow. The roar of the beast echoed through the city and his home was forever lost…

He remembered choosing to live his life out in the Deep Green. The forests of the North contained seemingly endless terrors and monsters but also humbling beauty. There, he’d taken up arms for pride and empty vengeance but then continued fighting just because it was all he’d known. His friends had fallen one by one until he was all alone, and then he had even lost her…

He remembered a nervous green face looking up at him. It was dirty and ugly but for some reason it mattered to him. Instinctively, he clung to the memory for a stubborn second before it slipped away with the rest and there was only darkness…


Free Bonus Chapter!

Get access to a 9000 word bonus chapter set in The Iron Teeth and a new world map by joining my mailing list today.

  • ClearMadness
    November 2, 2015

    Oh boy, my first real post. Also a treat for anyone reading this, three chapters and a prologue to start things off!

    I’m going to try and do two posts a week and see how it goes. I will update on Wednesday and Sunday night. I have a fairly large buffer so it shouldn’t be a problem for awhile, if ever. I will have to see.

  • maplekaiser
    November 25, 2015

    Thanks for the chapter!
    I’ll make sure to promote this. 🙂

    • ClearMadness
      November 25, 2015

      You’re very welcome. Thanks for commenting!

  • Deekay
    November 25, 2015

    Thanks for the chap 😉

  • karen
    November 29, 2015

    A friend of your dad asked me to read this. I found it very interesting and well written. I look forward to reading future chapters.

    • ClearMadness
      November 29, 2015

      Thanks for checking it out.

  • dalek955
    December 6, 2015

    Yow. I’ve encountered Path of Exile minibosses like this thing, that have just the right combination of advantages added to what’s already the nastiest monster in the zone. I can totally imagine something like that tearing through a whole medieval city if the humans don’t have monsters of their own to stop it.

    • ClearMadness
      December 6, 2015

      Ya, that drake is a one in a million monster. I’m glad you liked this chapter. I hope you enjoy the rest to, even though they’re kind of different.

  • Martin Mvb
    December 18, 2015

    Happend to find this on royal road and it totalt sucked me in great work

    • ClearMadness
      December 18, 2015


  • 'bart
    December 20, 2015

    Typo thread:

    His uncle gave him questioning look.
    should be “gave him a questioning look”

    Its head was even more of target than its flank.
    should be off not of

    • ClearMadness
      December 20, 2015

      Hey Bart, thanks for catching that.

  • ClearMadness
    February 8, 2016

    So due to some feedback I’ve added a bit to the beginning of the prologue to help put it into context. Old readers may want to check it out.

  • mehmuffin
    May 3, 2016

    I’m new here but before I even start I just wanted to say awesome choice of background pic! I love Bierstatd.

    • ClearMadness
      May 4, 2016

      lol, thanks. I only discovered him when I was searching for something to use here, but now I have a lot of his work on my computer and I’m a fan.

  • David Howard
    June 7, 2016

    Just saw this on r/noveltranslations and thought it looked interesting. It’s certainly at least a good first chapter!

    • ClearMadness
      June 7, 2016

      Thanks. 🙂

  • Riko
    July 27, 2016

    Oh, wow. I just reached the end of “Queen of Swords” and I decided to loop back to freshen my memory…but, wow.

    This definitely seems like something that would inevitably happen, but at the same time I’m devastated. Dearest author, you should be proud of yourself that I’m so attached to your characters. Especially this one.

    • ClearMadness
      July 31, 2016

      Praise me more 🙂

      • nipi
        January 17, 2017

        Let me just give you some candied fruit.

        Thats wierd! Im sure I had some on me.

  • Reader of Good Stuffs
    August 15, 2016

    Just passing by

  • Nick
    August 17, 2016

    Anyone else thinks this is about Saeter’s death?

    • .
      September 2, 2016

      Me too, but if it is so, it will be really saddening.

  • Bullseye
    January 8, 2017

    So, I think its safe to assume this comes after the most recent chapter. No Spoilers, but I just want to say how amazed I am at this fiction, and I’ve never commented before, but I’ve followed since it first popped up on RR. It has since been one of my favorite series, and I hope to keep reading it for years to come 🙂

    keep up all the great work!

  • nipi
    January 17, 2017

    Im waiting for Blacknail to stumble upon that gold vein from one of the side stories.

  • Aston
    April 1, 2019

    Vote Iron Teeth!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.