Fourteen-year-old college student, Carter Blake, aspires to become a Nobel Prize winning physicist until the night the villain from his favorite tabletop role-playing game shows up in person and turns his life upside down. Drawn into the setting of BattleHammer, he begins a journey of self-discovery and learns his destiny is much different than he expected.
Carter faces many challenges in the realm of BattleHammer. First, he’s blinded while watching an angel fight an eldritch abomination. Then his new friend, a warrior princess, is abducted, so he sets out with a half-dragon warrior and a half-elf mage to rescue the princess. After regaining his sight, Carter discovers he has the ability to peer a few seconds into the future.
Some claim he is a Walker of Worlds, a man with immense powers. Is he? More important, can he end a war caused by his own avatar from BattleHammer?
Targeted Age Group:: All
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I wanted to write a Dungeons and Dragons novel for Wizard’s of the Coast. They said, “No.” I decided to write for me, instead. So, my book is inspired by D&D, but isn’t it.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
To be honest, I don’t really remember how I came up with them. All I remember was the premise – which is the same as the old D&D cartoon but modified: A kid who plays a table top role playing game ends up pulled into the world of said game. As he journeys though the Realm, he learns he’s more than someone on an adventure.
I came to in a small dim lit cell and sat up, clutching my skull because a hundred little men with sledgehammers tried to escape from my head. Soon, I pushed the pain away and looked around the place. The early morning sunlight reflected from the walls. The entire place, with the exception of the bars at the front, was carved from solid granite. I stood up from the ground and walked over to the bars which took four steps. I gripped the barricade and peered out. A narrow corridor was bored out of the same granite as my cell. About fifteen point twenty-four meters from my cell, to the left, was a lot more sunlight. I could not quite make out a sand field and what appeared to be stands rising above. To the right, more cells headed back along the hallway.
Based on the position of the sun, I put the time at about mid-morning and the temperature at about twenty-six degrees centigrade. Keep in mind, this was in the shade; I had a feeling the heat would be hellish out on the sand. I caught sight of sinuous movement approaching my cell. Soon, the light revealed what had come for me.
The creature appeared to be a stunning, beautiful, statuesque and nude woman with flawless milky skin and raven hair. Her tempting form had an otherworldly side. Large bat wings unfurled from her shoulders as she walked and a slender black tail curled and uncurled around her legs as she moved. Her red eyes glowed with some sinister desire. She wielded a gleaming, acid green longsword and had a red longbow strapped across her back. I detected the odor of spoiled vanilla. Before she even spoke, I knew this was a L’Arc demon, one of Lucien’s tempter spawn.
“Greetings, Carter Blake,” she purred. “Are you ready to be a gladiator?”
I studied the demon, choosing to remain silent. After a few seconds, she shrugged her shoulders. She unlocked the door to my cell and gestured for me to exit. I paused, debating whether to make a grab for her weapon, or just go with the flow. She watched with a growing, evil smile. The demon shook her head and reached a long, slender finger out and tapped something around my neck with an ebony claw. I reached up and touched a metal collar around my neck. My eyes must have widened in surprise because the demon gave a harsh cawing laugh.
“Shock collar.” She grinned. “Displease Master Belial, or try to escape, and you get a shock. Of course, any of the Master’s officers can give you a shock at will. Like this.”
A lightning bolt raced around my neck and down my body. My muscles felt like they were being shredded, and the nerves jumped and jangled as my body spasmed in agony. I wasn’t even aware I had dropped to the ground until I opened my eyes after the shocks had vanished and discovered I stared at the ceiling. I vowed to do as commanded until I could figure out a way to escape. I already knew I didn’t want a repeat performance of the shock collar.
“Get up, worm,” the L’Arc ordered.
I got to my feet as swift as I could; my trembling muscles didn’t want to cooperate, but I forced them to obey me. I stood for a second with my head hanging, and then lifted it. A sudden caw of laughter caused me to flinch. I hated both of us for that: myself for flinching, and the demon for putting the fear of the shock collar in me.
“Aww,” she said in mock sympathy, “Look, the little worm wet itself.”
She burst out with another round of mocking laughter. Rage and humiliation welled up within me. The raw emotions made me forget my few seconds old vow. Forcing as much malice and ice into my voice as I could, I spoke. “I will take your head.”
“Ooh, scary,” the L’Arc mocked.
I found myself on the ground once more, a burning ring around my neck. It took longer this time before my muscles stopped twitching and jumping. At last, I rose once more, my knees shaky, not wanting to hold me upright. This time, I didn’t even glance at her.
I was guided down the short corridor and pushed out onto the sandy field. The glare of the hot sun blinded me for a moment. Like I had expected, the temperature was worse out here than back in my cell; almost thirty-eight degrees centigrade. A wave of sound crashed over me as I stumbled out. About ten minutes later, my eyes adjusted to the brightness. I observed my surroundings and found myself on the floor of a huge coliseum. Straight across from me, a titanic wooden fence flexed like a wooden heart as something pushed on the other side. Moments later, a familiar, and growing to be hated, voice boomed out.
“Welcome, all!” Belial thundered; his new bullfrog-with-laryngitis voice amplified somehow. I must have damaged his larynx so bad magic couldn’t repair it. “We have before us a special treat! A human from another world has joined us in the arena! Watch as he wins your adulation and brings glory to my house, or dies to the sounds of your jeering voices! Either way, Carter Blake, you will entertain us!”
The crowd roared its approval. I decided to piss the half-demon off. Opening and closing my right hand at a rapid clip, in the old mime for someone talking too much, I hollered back to him.
“HEY BELIAL! THIS IS WHAT YOU ARE DOING!” I stopped flapping my hand. “THIS IS WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO!!”
“KILL HIM!!” He screamed.
I cackled like a mad man, and then stopped when I detected the wooden gate sinking into the ground. First, I spotted four large, sharp looking horns. Next, an iridescent jade green exoskeleton appeared. Then, the creature’s eight scarlet eyes and slavering jaws which opened and closed ninety degrees from normal hove into view. The gate finished sinking into the ground and the monster stalked out. The beast’s movements were as sinuous as a tiger’s. The size of a rhino, the monster had six legs which resembled a beetle’s. I swallowed, hard. ‘Holy shit. I’m gonna die. Uh-huh.’ The creature launched into a run right at me. I screamed and almost didn’t leap out of the way of its massive claws in time.
I hunted around for something to use as a weapon feeling frantic, and without thinking, used the roars of the crowd to keep tabs on the monster. Every time the beast charged at me, they cheered like crazy. Every time I dodged, they groaned in disappointment. I turned to find out why the crowd had gotten quiet. To my surprise, the flipping thing was stalking me on the wall! When the creature realized I had spotted it, it pounced. I started to whirl and run, which would have ended in my death, but my foot slid on the sand and I fell on my side. The monster, having figured I would run away again, leaped to intercept me. Instead, because of my slipping, the monster went right over me. Imagine my surprise when I heard some of the crowd cheering because the creature had missed me!
At last, I spotted what I was looking for: the arena floor was surrounded by demons with wicked looking halberds. I began yelling and taunting the monster. As I hoped, the beast yelled in rage and charged me once more. I turned, feet planted firm this time, and ran full out at one of the halberd wielding demons. As I anticipated, he lowered his weapon and stepped away from the wall, trying to get me to impale myself on the halberd. I waited until almost the last second, feeling the monster’s hot breath on my neck as I ran. I dropped to my side as baseball players do when they are sliding into base. I went under the outstretched halberd and between the demon’s legs. He watched me slide, forgetting all about the charging monster. I rolled in a hurry to my left as multiple tonnes of behemoth slammed into the point of the demon wielded halberd. The mass and momentum of the creature caused it to slam right through the demon, bearing him under itself and crashing into the wall. The butt of the spear hit the wall first, skewering the monster like a bug. I bellowed, throwing my arms up in triumph. It never occurred to me not to.
The crowd roared its approval and I basked in its adulation with the hot sun beating down on me. Belial’s screaming voice soon made itself heard over the tumult of the crowd.
“…out here now!” He yelled.
The huge wooden gate, which I hadn’t seen rise again, sank into the ground once more. A pair of L’Arcs charged out wielding long swords. I waited for them, knowing somehow what they would do. One was going to try to stab my chest while the other was going to try to split me in half by sliding between my legs and swinging upwards. Sure enough, one raced ahead of the other and dove towards the ground in a near identical way to what I had done to the demon with the halberd. I cartwheeled to my right, something I had never been able to do before. When I was upright once more, I stuck my thumbs in my ears, wiggled my fingers and gave the L’Arcs a Bronx cheer. That did it. The demons came at me straight on, all sense of theatrics gone. I grinned like a fool and tried to figure out what to do next.
The world slowed in an abrupt fashion. The two demons spread out to flank me. Both thrust their blades at me in a simultaneous fashion. I twisted to my left as I ducked. The one which had been behind me drove its blade into the other one and I picked up the fallen blade. The world reverted to its normal pace just as quick.
The demons fanned out as I had foreseen and thrust their blades at me, also as I had foreseen. I ducked and twisted my body to my left so that I spun away from the L’Arcs. The remaining demon bent and picked up her dead partner’s sword. ‘Hey. That wasn’t supposed to happen!’ The last one began to stalk me as I backed to the wall behind me.
“Something wrong, Carter Blake?” Belial called.
“Everything’s just ducky!” I shouted back without taking my eyes from my opponent.
I began to edge around the arena wall as the L’Arc started moving her swords in intricate patterns. I feinted towards the demon, then lunged backwards. The demon moved for where she thought I would be, swinging the sword in her left hand at my neck and swinging the other at my stomach. She growled at me in frustration, and then began to twirl the blades in a figure eight pattern. Do you have any idea of how hard it was trying to fight a demon that looked like a stunning, beautiful, and nude woman with a tail that she moved like an annoyed cat? Add to that, the demon had a pair of sharp swords she wanted to use to make cutlets out of you. The degree of difficulty was immense, even more since my hormone filled body didn’t want to keep my eyes on the fucking swords! And then things got even harder. No pun intended.
I saw her multiply, swords moving in different patterns all the time. I didn’t know which image of the L’Arc to focus on. I found her movements started making sense. Which was odd enough, but I also was even able to begin anticipating which way the swords would move next. I continued to retreat, my eyes now more interested in following the patterns of the blades, rather than the demon’s… um… assets.
I found myself stopping my retreat. ‘Move you dummy!’ It was like someone else had control over my body. I found myself feinted a kick at the demon’s knee. She crossed the swords in a downward pointing scissors position. My leg pulled back from the feint and whipped forward into the L’Arc’s face. Bone crunched as the heel of my foot broke the demon’s nose. Silvery blood gushed from her nostrils. The demon dropped both her blades as to protect her face.
I dove forward in a somersault and scooped up the swords. From my position on my back, I whistled at the demon. She tilted her head down at me, causing some of her blood to fall on me. I thrust both swords up. The one in my left hand went into the demon’s throat while the one in my right punctured her left eye. The strikes killed the demon where she stood. She began to slump down on me, but I used the swords to push her off to my left. I rose to my feet; the area was silent as the grave. Something had me cross the longswords at their hilts so that each point was near my opposite shoulder. I bowed to every section of the arena. The crowd waited until I was finished, then exploded in wild cheers.
Electricity shot through my body, causing me to drop the swords and hit the ground twitching. I heard the crowd screaming in protest, and then everything went black.
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