Gardens of War & Wasteland

the collector’s lost things: chapter five

– 5 –

The Holanian prince stared. He regarded Rei with wary eyes, hand still tight around the hilt of his sword. Rei opened his mouth to speak again but his words were silenced by the clamour of steel. Kio had discarded the blade in a careless toss, closing the space between them in several quick steps. 

‘Rei-Hai,’ he breathed, arms clamping around the smaller man. His embrace was warm, tight, and Rei took a moment before he could respond, eventually spreading his hands across the prince’s broad back. 

‘I don’t understand,’ Kio said, withdrawing, hands clasping either side of Rei’s face. ‘I thought … I thought you were——’

‘I am well, My Prince.’ Rei’s skin was burning.

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Gardens of War & Wasteland

the collector’s lost things: chapter four

– 4 –

The path out of Cirahk was a blur of yawning market stalls and still-drunk revellers with glazed eyes and sore heads; Rei was as invisible as the morning breeze as he strolled out of the city. Women in stained aprons brushed past, eager to buy the day’s bread and milk at its freshest. Rei’s stomach turned with a hollow growl but its protests were not out of hunger.

Queen Halein was dead. Not sick and dying like her family but actually dead on the floor of her home. Rei-Hai Shaw had put her there, without purpose or reason. An accident. An unfortunate and untimely accident. The Queen had been where she should not have been, seen what she should not have seen. And Rei had only had one solution.

Blind those who see.

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Gardens of War & Wasteland

the collector’s lost things: chapter three

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– 3 –

When Rei last visited Cirahk, the thick stone ramparts of Bararn’s military capital had been intimidating. He’d been ten, maybe eleven, when King Vyton demanded both the Holanian heir Kiokharen and his closest male relative—a younger cousin, Tarken—stay in Cirahk as political hostages while Tallas was in Adria bonding with his bride-to-be; Rei had been sent along as a companion for the prince.

They had entered the fortified city by carriage with the window barred and curtained. Rei hadn’t seen the tall buildings that shadowed the cobblestoned streets, the same buildings that shadowed his movements now. Cirahk was a lively city; taverns were abuzz with soldiers and civilians alike, all drinking and feasting and trying to win favour with the pleasure girls. If it had been like this the last time he was here, he wouldn’t have known; the Holanian guests had been confined to the palace at the behest of Vyton’s second son.

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Gardens of War & Wasteland

the collector’s lost things: chapter two

– 2 –

Portals never got easier. Rei-Hai Shaw stumbled over his feet as he shot out at the base of the Yaian Ranges on the other side of the magic doorway. His insides continued a forward trajectory and his body took its time to catch up; hunched over, he rested his hands on his knees, huffing deep breaths. The icy air of the outside world was equally as shocking.

Laina Daine waltzed passed him, as straight and sure-footed as Jahaanya herself who followed thereafter. The Yaian glanced down at him, crimson eyes following the sharp line of her nose. 

‘Some creatures weather magic better than others,’ she drawled. 

Continue reading “the collector’s lost things: chapter two”
Gardens of War & Wasteland

the collector’s lost things: chapter one

– 1 –

‘There was another one last night.’

Rei-Hai Shaw stirred extra honey into his lumpy porridge as Lylen and Elles leant in to hear the morning’s gossip. Norvar set down his breakfast tray and slipped into a chair before continuing his story.

‘Thirty-seventh floor,’ the dark Qhoraakese man continued, cracking open his bread roll. ‘Right into a snow drift. Heard they had to dig him out of a fifteen foot hole.’

‘Third jumper this month,’ Elles mused. She tucked her straw-yellow hair behind her ears before poking at her breakfast with a spoon. ‘Must have got a weak batch.’

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Gardens of War & Wasteland

welcome to whyt’hallen 04: character interview – rei-hai shaw

With last month’s release of the Gardens of War & Wasteland novella, The Collector’s Lost Things, this edition of WELCOME TO WHYT’HALLEN features a Q&A with the prequel’s central character, Rei-Hai Shaw.

Unfortunately, Rei isn’t the most forthcoming when answering questions about himself so this could be interesting … Well, let’s see how we go! But first, a mood board:

THE COLLECTOR: After leaving the Holanian capital of Adria without so much as a goodbye to the royal siblings, Rei-Hai Shaw made a name for himself as one of the most successful Collectors the Tower had ever seen. Images via
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Gardens of War & Wasteland

release information: the collector’s lost things

COMING SOON: A new Gardens of War & Wasteland story available right here for free

Rei-Hai Shaw was a collector, and he was very good.

Since joining the mysterious brethren of the Tower at the age of thirteen, Rei has risen the ranks to become the youngest recruit ever to receive a band.

Favoured by the masters and distrusted by his peers, Rei plans to make the most of his lonely existence. But when he is chosen to take a second trial and claim another band, he soon doubts the price of success when the latest mission strikes a little too close to home.

Sent back to the world of his childhood, Rei is painfully reminded of everything he left behind—and what he can’t bear to lose again.

The Collector’s Lost Things takes place before the events of Gardens of War & Wasteland: The Ruptured Sky, and will be available for free from March 2020.

A sneak peek will be available to subscribers on January 31st. Sign up now to have the first chapter delivered ahead of time, straight to your inbox!

Flash Fiction Friday

#flashfictionfriday 16

It shouldn’t have been hard to miss, but Jeremy still managed.

The garish rug stretched across the department store floor, covering the power cord for the string of lights coiled around the Christmas Tree.

“Didn’t you see the sign?” The shop attendant asked, pointing to the A4 cartridge paper stuck to the wall, emblazoned with the words WATCH YOUR STEP in bold Ariel font.

Jeremy gathered himself up off the floor. He eyed the girl in the festive elf dress behind the counter as he dusted imaginary dirt from his ugly sweater.

“I’ve always been pretty good at falling over things most people don’t,” Jeremy said.

“Strange thing to be proud of,” the elf girl said with a shrug. Her name tag read ‘Bianca’.

“We all have our talents.”

Gardens of War & Wasteland, Other

welcome to whyt’hallen 03: archive – the sickness

Before the mortal Second Born crossed the Azure Expanse and came to settle in Whyt’Hallen, they had an established civilisation of their own back on the continent of Mey.

For a thousand years the native Meytarans thrived, raising kingdoms and cities and culture. Their growth seemed limitless … until the Sickness came.

Continue reading “welcome to whyt’hallen 03: archive – the sickness”
Flash Fiction Friday

#flashfictionfriday 15

Blood splashed on the white sheet I’d thrown over my head in a last minute costume. A few drops, nothing major, but I’d still need to find a way to bleach it out before putting it back on the bed at Grandma’s.

My little sister stared at me, mouth agape in comical disbelief. She was fourteen now, and I half-expected her to be ‘too cool’ to go trick-or-treating this year, but the annual outing was something we enjoyed religiously with our parents and apparently she wasn’t ready to give that up yet.

I blinked, unmoving, as I regarded the middle-aged man clutching his bloodied nose. My sister’s boyfriend promptly dropped her hand to go check on his father.

‘Jesus, Merlinda!‘ My sister shrieked. Guess I ruined her date.

‘He was touching my arse!’ I shouted back.

‘I was brushing dirt off your costume!’ The man whimpered in defence.

I looked over my shoulder. Several dried autumn leaves clung to the sheet over my bum where I’d sat in the garden waiting for my sister to finish collecting her treats from a friend’s house.

‘Sorry,’ I mumbled. The shrug was half-hearted—I’d been groped by far too many Casper the Pervy Ghosts at uni Halloween parties to feel truly apologetic.