Warriors of the Iron Blade
JP Tate’s reinvention of the Epic Fantasy saga as a political allegory.
An Exile’s Tread on Forbidden Soil: Warriors of the Iron Blade - Volume 1
This tale is set in a world of ethnic allegiance and incessant conflict; a dark age where the strong oppress the weak in the struggle for life and dignity. Amid the dangers of battle, sorcery, and slavery only the undaunted will endure and thrive. It is a world without pity where each man and woman must stand or fall by their own abilities, armed with no other weapons than the iron blade, the stratagems of guile, or the scented whisperings of necromancy.
Ealdræd, a spearman of the Pæga clan of Aenglia, is a tough veteran adventurer exiled from his homeland. Although more than forty years of age, he survives when others of his generation have long since perished. Seeking a mercenary’s pay in the resurgent clash of arms along the Wehnbrian Marches, he rides south. As he travels through his world he is confronted by many different cultures. On his journey he will meet a number of fascinating characters, including a notorious female spy from the Duchy of Bhel, her sexually submissive lady-in-waiting, and a magnificently volatile girl from the distant Menghis Steppes whose fate is closely entwined with his own.
‘Warriors of the Iron Blade’ inhabits a bloody era of worldly appetites and spiritual obscenities when a mercenary soldier skilled in the arts of war was respected for his martial virtues, and the wanton indulgence of lusty passions brought with it no mewling guilt or shame. To each age its own beliefs and values. This is an age of violence, hunger, degradation, and courage.
1. Written in Salt. 2. The Aberstowe Brethren. 3. Witchery in Wehnbria. 4. Mercenary Justice. 5. Daughter of the Steppes. 6. A Tower in Piccoli. 7. The Matriarchs of Gathkar. 8. A Scattering Upon the Sea. 9. The Canbrai Accursed. 10. An Exile’s Tread on Forbidden Soil.
No Brotherhood but that of Our Fathers:
Warriors of the Iron Blade - Volume 2
The second volume of this series begins twenty years after the end of the first volume. Hereweorc, the son of Ealdræd of the Pæga, emerges as one of the leaders of the Pæga ethnic resistance. Informed and inspired by the campfire tales told by his soldier-for-hire father, the young man is a serious threat to the ideological ruling caste. But to Clænnis, the girl who is Hereweorc’s apprentice in the study of beadu-cræft (the craft of skill and strength in war), he is a strict taskmaster and the object of her erotic desire.
At the same time the story of Ealdræd's wife, the formidable Menghis warrior woman Eiji of the Kajhin, continues as she departs from Aenglia with three companions. Eiji has resolved to return to the distant steppes of her homeland. The many dangers on the long road ahead of her will make the journey more than perilous; some would say that her goal is impossible to achieve. Eiji will have to fight her way across two continents in the quest to reach her native soil, facing hazards both natural and supernatural.
As their two stories unfold, Hereweorc and his comrades in the resistance must find a way to free the Pæga clan from the political oppression they suffer, and Eiji must find a way to survive as she travels across the known world.
Chapters: 1. “For the World is Both Large and Small”. 2. No Serfdom in Aenglia. 3. No Brotherhood but that of Our Fathers. 4. The Bones of Kardes Iblis. 5. To Hold the Banner Aloft. 6. The Prayers of Bleddyn Ifan. 7. The Sons of the Desert are but Dust. 8. No Kings in Aenglia. 9. A Handful of Grass.
A War for Generations Yet Unborn: Warriors of the Iron Blade - Volume 3
The third volume of this series begins when the war of liberation fought by the Pæga resistance is coming to its end and now they must consolidate their military victories. The army is heading east to face the forces of the Wódnis clan who are mustering for a reconquest of Pæga territory. Yet Clænnis Ellenweorc must leave her martial duties as a Captain of the Infantry to ride west alone in pursuit of her deadly adversary, the enchantress Mildryth of Rede.
But events are underway that will change everything for the Aenglians. The continent of the Geulten and Ehngle nations is threatened by the imperialist incursions of hostile marauders espousing a violent religious ideology. In the Geulten language they are known as the Adorateurs de Sang, the “Blood Worshippers”. The Ehngle call them the Blód Gield which means the “Blood Brotherhood”. Their arrival will affect the life of Hereweorc the Anwealda forever.
The weak aristocracies who rule the nations of the continent are falling prey to the barbarous power of the invaders, attempting to save themselves by paying tribute and making fatal concessions. But the Aenglians are a proud people who will not surrender. Can the disputatious clans of Aenglia overcome their age-old hostility toward one another and find a way to unite to defend themselves against this imminent threat to their nation?
Chapters: 1. From Out of an Empty Sea. 2. The Stratagems of Maev de Lederwyrhta. 3. My Sword Shall Not Sleep. 4. The Politics of the Spear. 5. Blood is the Vessel of the Soul. 6. Of Clans and Nations. 7. A Kajhin among the Pæga. 8. A Man of Legend. 9. The Cutthroat of the Commons. 10. A War for Generations Yet Unborn.