“CLOSER MORTAL. YOU ARE HERE, FINALLY, TO FEED THE ACHING GOD…”
The days of adventure are passed for Auric Manteo. Retired to the countryside with his scars and riches, he no longer delves into forbidden ruins seeking dark wisdom and treasure. That is, until old nightmares begin plaguing his sleep, heralding an urgent summons back to that old life.
To save his only daughter, Auric must return to the place of his greatest trauma: the haunted Barrowlands. With only a few inexperienced companions and an old soldier, he must confront the dangers of the ancient and wicked Djao civilization. Auric has survived fell beasts, insidious traps, and deadly hazards before. But can he contend with the malice of a bloodthirsty living god?
First book in the Iconoclasts trilogy, Aching God is the debut novel of RPG adventure designer Mike Shel.
"I SHALL BAPTIZE YOU, SIR, AND MY BAPTISM WILL BURN YOUR FLESH AND FOLLY AWAY."
A year has passed since Auric Manteo descended into the haunted depths of a Djao ruin to return a lethal artifact, only to face down a bloodthirsty, imprisoned god. Now his daughter Agnes comes to bring him back to the capital with promises of hidden secrets finally revealed.
But the city decays, poisonous disorder is rife, and whispered prophecy foretells of cataclysm and doom. Summoned by their no-longer human queen, Auric and Agnes are commanded to carry out an impossible task, one that can be accomplished only with the mysterious blade Szaa’da’shaela, gifted to Auric on a lunatic's whim.
Can Auric and his daughter survive a journey fraught with blood, menace, and madness? And can they pay the price demanded by a being every bit as evil as the Aching God?
“AT LONG LAST, EVEN GODS WILL KNOW REGRET…”
Agnes Manteo now bears her father’s sentient Djao sword, along with a terrible revelation—the gods are charlatans, ancient sorcerers who draw their strength from the suffering of humanity. She and her Syraeic companions have but one duty: to track down those pretenders and end their reign of cruelty and lies, no matter the cost. To that end, the magical blade—mighty, single-minded Szaa’da’shaela—won’t allow any wavering of their commitment.
But the empire is in turmoil with the sudden passing of its undying queen. Noble houses clash and threaten civil war, murderous barbarians mass on the frontier in preparation for a bloody invasion, and all feel the aching void left by the clergy, whose temples were devastated by a great fire. Can the kingdom survive should Agnes succeed in tearing away its very foundations?
And if she fails? What might sorcerers with nearly godlike powers do to exact their revenge?
Idols Fall is the thrilling conclusion to the compelling Iconoclasts trilogy.
A collection of short stories by fifteen indie fantasy authors. The digital version is free.
Includes Barrowlands, a tale by Mike Shel that takes place in the world of Iconoclasts, before the events of Aching God.