A Merchant’s Tale: The Second Tale in the Matter of Manred
Corentin, a young foreign trader of the House Pelan arrives in the uncertain lands of Droma, tasked to deliver a mysterious chest to a far-away sage in a remote corner of the kingdom. Accompanied by his mercenary bodyguard, a young local priest, and their native scout, Corentin sets out on a journey that will change his life forever.
A Merchant’s Tale is the second installment in The Matter of Manred Saga, a new cycle of medieval romances, action adventures, heroic fantasies, mysterious priests, and their dark and forgetful gods, brought to you from the fiction workshop of Michael E. Dellert.
This exciting fantasy novella is now available from Amazon for Print and Kindle. Coming soon for Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, and iBooks.
Set once more in the Land of Droma, this wholly new Tale introduces new characters, new places, and new dangers!
From the Merchant’s Prologue:
“Gladly,” said he. “Many good Aukrian and Narician folk have long desired a wayfarer’s practical guide to Droma, one of the most troublesome of the hedge-kingdoms along the High-King’s road from Difelin to Temenos.
“Eowain son of Findtan, Chief of the Donnghaile, King of the Droma, reigned over those lands. His armies raged across the High-King’s Road, annihilating every holdout in their path.
“His cousin Tnúthgal had raised a legal challenge to the right of King Eowain to succeed his brother to the throne of Droma, and was sharking up an army of lawless, dispossessed resolutes from the hinterlands of the kingdom to decide the matter by force of arms and terror.
“On the fifteenth day of the month of Fearn, Teilmon being the day of the week, under the dark of the moon, the caravan of House Pelan, honest merchants from Aukriath, ventured into the heart of the great Eowain’s war-torn kingdom.”
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See What People Are Saying!
There is no sense of creation behind A Merchant’s Tale; it is a document of pure reality, capturing the subtle beauty of a world that I am only beginning to understand and can’t wait to return to. Even the most casual moments in this second entry in the Matter of Manred resonate with a deep and cryptic history; whatever Michael Dellert is hiding behind this tapestry of shadows, his patience in revealing it sets a mood quite unlike other fantasy tales. — Christopher Schlerf, Lead Writer, Halo 4
Get ready to wish you were part of the Droma tribe. Loved this next installment of the Matters of Manred! Richly detailed, and holds you until the last page. – Jenn M.
I loved the originality of using a merchant’s perspective in the second tale as opposed to the much more personal narrative of Eowain in Hedge King in Winter, idealism and superstition vs. cold pragmatism and profit. Made for a great read! – Jennifer D.
That little girl and her dog are a force to be reckoned with! That’s how I secretly envision my dog and I would be in an impromptu battle. He would be the hound from hell and I would be the faerie child calling him back with one hushed word. Perfectly written, sir. – Astacia C.
This novella is so different than the Hedge King in Winter, but complements it so well with its narrative style. The reader is able to see the heroic and stalwart Hedge King with an outsider’s eye, something I appreciated after suffering through his battles with him. The merchant’s son, while not easy to like himself, tells his story unapologetically with laughable brashness and high-handedness—I loved to hate him! – Stacey C.
Dellert deftly uses an outsider’s narrative to add yet another facet to an already all-encompassing tale, giving the readers a more comprehensive understanding of the world he has created. – Jenn M.
Read the Excerpts!
In the Hall of the Hedge King
He had black, curled hair over a jowly face and wore a magnificent pair of black moustaches, stroking always at one tip or another. Barrel-chested and broad of shoulder he was, and gave a bearish impression of a strong young man in his prime. He wore a tartan robe of green, gold, and white, chased with white-golden thread at the seams into intricate curled patterns of river salmon native to the river over which the manor stood.
My father, master, and leader of our expedition hastened to kneel before him on both knees… Read More!
The Thorp of Gormlyn
The clod hit him square in the face.
Arms wind-milling, he teetered back over the wagon’s side-board. A shout went up from the crowd.
Corvac grabbed Adarc by the shoulder. “To the wagon! Now!”
More clods of dirt arose from the crowd. Men raised sticks. The shouting grew to a fevered pitch.
Rough hands seized me. It was Jôkull. “Now, Master!” He pulled me toward the wagon… Read More!
The Hounds of Annwn
Below the knoll, in a gully formed where the next height began, that mighty bear lay dead, skewered by two spears each as tall as a man.
And hamstrung, disemboweled, and nearly decapitated by a pack of four hounds that were themselves of monstrous size. They were pure-white, every one of them, with red eyes and ears. They stood near as high as a tall child at the shoulder, with broad chests, narrow hips, and brutish jaws… Read More!
Hear the Hounds of Annwn, as narrated by Will Hughes of Will Hughes Voice-Over:
Ready to Get Medieval?
What IS the Matter of Manred?
The Matter of Manred is a cosmology. It’s an ancient land of fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures and errant heroes of noble quality. It is a land of dark magick and warfare. A land of danger and of new hope.
At its center is the Kingdom of Droma. And at the center of Droma is the royal clan of the Donnghaile. The Matter of Manred is a modern-day Cycle in the medieval romantic tradition, linking together in theme, time, place, and plot all of the myriad stories that will be told in it.
Learn more about this exciting new world of dark and forbidding fantasy by checking out Hedge King in Winter: First Tale in the Matter of Manred. In this book, you’ll meet Lord Eówain, the brother who would be king; Tnúthgal, the ruthless and wicked cousin; Rathtyen, the widowed and miserly aunt; and Medyr the Lord-Drymyn, priest and scholar.
Catch up, then get ready for A Merchant’s Tale, now available for Kindle and Print!
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About the Author
Michael E. Dellert is an award-winning writer, editor, publishing consultant, and writing coach with a publishing career spanning 18 years. He currently lives and works as a publishing freelancer in the Greater New York City area. He is the author of the fantasy novellas, Hedge King in Winter and A Merchant’s Tale, and publishes a blog of creative writing and independent publishing advice, MDellertDotCom: Adventures in Indie Publishing.