I am posting the first page of each short story in the anthology first up is Living Legend by Jonathan McAnulty:
I never back down, I never run, and I never leave them alive,” boasted Tarl Dron, hero of a thousand battles and master of the Stolen Blade. His listeners, a tavern full of soldiers, fishermen, dockhands and assorted riff-raff, roared their approval. The serving girl at his feet giggled demurely and reached forth to refill his cup.
He grinned at her as he lifted the rice wine to his lips and swallowed it down. “Ah, that hits the spot. Many's the time I faced death and wished for a quick swallow of courage. Now then, where was I...? Ah that’s right. The crazed Administrator's skeletal legion was vanquished, and there I was, facing the ghoulish man himself. I was bleeding from a hundred wounds and he was offering to let me live if I but flee. But as I said, I never back down and though I was weary, I had the gods on my side and a stout blade in my hand. I closed in with him to do battle...,” Tarl paused and took measure of his audience. To a man they were leaning forward in anxious anticipation of the tale's climax, though they had heard the story before. Tarl, relishing the moment, could not help but feel pleased. This was what he lived for: a captive audience and free food and drink.
Tarl continued, his voice rising dramatically, “The Administrator of the Ebon Halls was old, a husk of a man, but his frame was held together by dark magics. I struck him once and my sword bounced away. I struck again and it bounced away again. I could not injure him. He waved his hand, a flick, and I sailed away into the air, striking hard the wall of his palace. He waved his hand a second time and I ...
Steve "Qwilion" Russell