The Sage

by Christopher Stasheff
Release date: 1996
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: fantasy

THE MAKING OF A HERO

Generations ago, Ohaern had played the hero's part in toppling the fearsome Ulahane from the tyrant's throne. His reward had been to spend an eternity with the goddess Rahani – and the years had spun away in a tapestry of bliss.

Now humankind had again fallen beneath a despot's heel. Ulahane's son Bolenkar, conceived in savagery and raised in brutality, visited horror upon all the sorry earth. Tenderhearted Rahani turned to her champion to save the world again, but the years had sapped Ohaern's mortal strength. His long-sleeping body awoke aged and stiff and weary. He could guide the fight against Bolenkar, for his wealth of craft and wisdom remained intact. But a younger man must strike the killing blow.

Like a swordsmith seeking to craft a sword, Ohaern sought the raw material from which to craft a hero. He chose the outcast bully Culaehra: a scoundrel, despicable and lazy – but one who might be shaped into something better. And the fire in which he would be forged would cleanse the filth from his soul, leaving behind that which was fine and sharp.

Whether he would be sharp enough to topple a godling, only mortal combat would decide...

(updated 2010-09-07)

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