Tale of Doom
A downloadable Novel
After many delays, this is the final version of Tale of Doom. It is a fantasy novel set in a world where the gods cower in fear, a monster stalks the land, a barmaid sets out on the adventure of a lifetime, an ageless assassin comes to terms with with his own death and a tyrant struggles to keep hold of his kingdom as everything around him crumbles.
The novel was initially split up into two volumes, one published in January 2015, and the other one perpetually delayed because of reasons. Now it's all here in one single piece. Tale of Doom has roughly 140.000 words, around the same size as The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. It's not as good as that one, but I just wanted to give you an approximation.
Tale of Doom is available in PDF and ebook (.epub and .mobi) format. Note, there are some issues with the .mobi file if read from a non-kindle app/device. It works normally inside the Kindle app itself on Android.
Because the book is now in its complete version, I have increased the price to 4$. Anyone that got it while it was 2$ or less has access to the full version.
I'm also currently debating if I should keep it under the M.C. Shepard name, or use my actual name for it. So, expect to see both for a while. And yes, the cover still sucks, but I haven't gotten around to making a good one.
Below you'll find a excerpt from the first chapter of the book.
Noise, like insects screaming everywhere. A sharp throbbing in my ears as they circle all around in a spiral, coming closer and closer, louder and louder. They wake me up just as a ray of sunshine pierces through the clouds and warms my face. Up until this point I've felt numb all over, understandable, since I am lying on a patch of snow, soft, freshly fallen and very cold. I get up, noticing an itching sensation in my left eye. Scratching it makes it fade, but it doesn't really go away. Looking around, I seem to be in some sort of meadow with snow and dirt. There's a path behind me, leading up to a mound, and everywhere else there's a dark forest with short, dead trees, tightly packed together. They all look sort of the same, and I think I can hear sounds coming from inside. Not the insects this time. I can't make out any of them, they're distorted and just hearing them is making me ill. The trees twist before my eyes as I walk closer, but the thought of another step freezes me in place. I would instead want to go away from here, run. But why? Fear? Doubtful, not after, not... I look around again and panic. Where am I? How did I get here? Do I at least know who I am? Thorm, yes, I'm Thorm. I remember looking for someone, but everything else is unclear. Flashes that don't make sense, noise I can't understand, then nothing. This place isn't very appealing, maybe I'll find answers somewhere else, far from these fell woods.
I walk to the top of the mound. The land stretches as far as I can see, but it's somehow utterly featureless, blurring off into the distance. Maybe my eyes are getting too old. I scratch the one that still itches and move on. There's less snow down here. Melting into the ground, it leaves behind muddy soil. Though, when walking over it, I could almost swear there's stone underneath. It seems as if it's actually dirt on a paved road. Like the one leading to the tavern. What tavern? There's a sharp sting in my head when I try to remember. Maybe it's not important. At this point I just wish the insects would stop following me. The mud dries up, turning into dry earth, cracked, baking under the bright hot sun. The clouds are gone. Should have picked up some of that snow, the heat is almost unbearable. I turn around to see how far I've gone, but it doesn't make sense. The forest shouldn't be that close, there should be mud, there should be snow, there should be a mound. Had I got turned around? Walked in circles? Perhaps, it's hard to tell in this place, wherever it may be. I must have walked the world twice over, at least, and some places beyond it too, but seen nothing like this before. A few blades of grass rise up from the cracks, small and frail, but a most welcome sight. They grow longer after a while, thicker, swaying in cool wind. I find myself surrounded by tall grass. Everywhere, just grass, but not behind me. I don't want to look behind me. Wherever I may be, it's a peaceful place, calming. For some reason, I breathe a sigh of relief, and for a few moments I lie down. I hadn't noticed up until now, but I feel tired and I would like take a nap on a soft bed of grass, if it were not for the insects. Their sounds is like an irritating ringing clawing through the ears and into my brain. I do my best to ignore it, but I can't. I get up and now, in the distance, there's something new.
Red. A spot of red in the corner of my right eye. Approaching it, I can see that it's a small garden of roses, being tended to by a woman. I remember her. She's not supposed to be here, she couldn't. I call out her name, but before I can utter a sound, a gust of wind blows dust into my eyes, blinding me for a spell. When it dies down, she is gone, so is the garden. This more than anything serves to fuel my suspicion that I'm not in a real place. And the ringing, it's not insects, I don't remember seeing any insect in this place. It's in my head and growing louder with each step I take. Perhaps going farther would give me answers, so I walk and walk for untold lengths, yet no answers come, just more ringing. The sun is fading, and with it the grass withers. It used to be pleasant here, but now even the cool wind has an ominous sound to it, blowing through the dry blades of grass, making a sound that scrapes my nerves and makes my eye itch even worse. Then the blue sky turns to blood and the ground turns into a desolate wasteland. It doesn't even feel like earth anymore, the ground is dry and hard, almost as if it were stone and from time to time small twisters form in the wind, scattering dust in all directions. Then I see it. On the horizon. A single black shape approaching. I know it. The vision that first visited me decades ago, the inevitable I had hoped to never meet again. The creature they would call Death.
It looked just as it did then, a tall figure with a black cloak, clutching the staff it leaned on when walking. Chains were attached to its almost skeletal wrists, they were not bound to each other, but to the staff. Each step it took seemed to last an eternity. I had no wish to hasten its approach, yet running would be pointless. Where would I go? If this is Death's domain, then it’s far too late for such things. I dare only to take a look back and maybe see the field so full of life through which I had almost slept in. But there's only the dead forest, a few steps away. Hanging over me as if it had chased me all this way. Before me, the figure stops and remains silent, motionless. I stare into the blackness of its face, a place so dark that it makes me shiver, and still it does nothing. Why does it hesitate?
In order to download this Novel you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $4 USD. You will get access to the following files: