Oathbreakers’ Guild

“The time has arrived for your final trial.” Dalcoran sat across from her, every detail of his grooming, attire, and manner precise, his features ageless despite his infirmity. “It’s an act which binds you to the guild, solidifies your power, and acknowledges the great burden you will bear as an influencer. Your oath to the heiress is absolute; you are sworn to do her bidding even when it rails against your personal wishes. It is the responsibility of the guild to see you prepared.”

“I understand.” Catling set her teacup on the low table between them. Nothing he said thus far shocked her, and yet, a chill coiled up her spine.

“What we ask of you, we ask of all initiates. We only ask it once in training, though your oaths may dictate future sacrifices in practice.”

“You may tell me, Dalcoran-Elan.” Catling threaded her fingers in her lap.

“You are to kill an innocent.” He met her eyes. “Not someone dying, sick, or aged. You must steal the future of someone at the height of life. The heiress may require it of you, and your binding oath will demand your obedience.”

She stared at him, an all-consuming emotion burning in her chest. Not horror but fury. “The heiress would never order the random execution of an innocent without purpose—as an exercise. Dalcoran-Elan, I refuse.”

“You cannot refuse, Catling.”

“I can refuse because that is exactly what I am doing.”

He sat in rigid silence and sipped his tea while hers grew cold on the table.

“I’m an aspirant,” she said, “and it’s within your rights to coerce me into compliance. Yet, I suspect the whole point of this trial is to test my willingness to stalk and kill with complete self-control.”

“I shall report your decision to the heiress,” he said, ignoring her statement.

“You may do so.” She rose to her feet and brushed the creases from her jacket. “You may also tell her that I will act as her assassin if the need arises, but I will refuse to murder without purpose.”

The knowing smile on Dalcoran’s face made her feel as though she were a child refusing to grow up. “You will learn in time, Catling, if your fiery principles are forged of steel or glass.”

**

A snippet from Oathbreakers’ Guild – Book II of The Rose Shield
Live Today.

Book I   

PS. Tornado Boy is touching down for the weekend. I may be delayed in responding to comments, but I will catch up. ❤

116 thoughts on “Oathbreakers’ Guild

  1. Kyle Malone says:

    Hello! Just found and followed your blog. I really enjoyed this piece; there’s a nice flow to it and I loved the irony of the characters discussing something as serious as murder over two cups of tea. The last line was brilliant: You will learn in time, Catling, if your fiery principles are forged of steel or glass.

    In my own writing I love to leave scenes on notes like this. It would really spur me to keep reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I actually didn’t read this (I haven’t read book 1 yet) but I always love your writing so I know it’s fantastic.
    Congrats on the second book being released! Very exciting! I have some catching up to do! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Steph McCoy says:

    Sounds like quite the quandary but I’m not sure if it’s Catling, Dalcoran, or even the heiress. I hope Catling is able to maintain her stance.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. reocochran says:

    I like when young people refuse to follow directions which go against their beliefs or values, Diana!! This Catling is fierce but has a humane spirit and knows right from wrong!

    Side note: I have three munchkins here and wondering why I posted so much this week! xo way behind. . .
    Sadly, my grown kids had a friend (Tim, think good thoughts) commit suicide so calling hours and travel involved.
    My responsibility includes going to see “Boss Baby” with Skyler who is allowed home alone, with the three M’s later this afternoon. We made pancakes, painted and I made two lanyards. . . Upcoming post to schedule.
    * ❤ My first books from your collection are on their way! 🙂
    I didn't pay extra for immediate delivery
    but can hardly wait to have them on Friday!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry to hear about the suicide, Robin. Those lonely deaths are so hard on family and friends. It’s wonderful of you to take all the munchkins so that your kids can go to the funeral. I have one munchkin this weekend and I’m exhausted. I’m also behind on blogging! Take care of yourself. Happy reading, my friend, and thank you for all the kindness! ❤

      Like

  5. Steven Baird says:

    Wow! Chilling but compelling, Diana. So well written!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What an enticing excerpt! I’ve got to read the first book so I can get to this one 😀 Caitling’s defiance–love it! I hope she can resist the order. Man, I’ve got to get moving on my reading 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Julie. I’m actually going to indulge in a bit of a writing slowdown for the summer to read and relax. I think I’ve missed the last five summers holed up inside at the computer. Ha ha. So glad you enjoyed the snippet! Happy Writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That is one strong woman, Diana. I have confidence in her. Good snippet. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a gripping excerpt, Diana! I love a strong girl protagonist. You are truly fabulous 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  9. dgkaye says:

    You go girl! Congrats on the 2nd book release in this riveting series! And don’t get blown over by Tornado boy, lol. Enjoy! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Widdershins says:

    I do like an assassin with principles! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ankandas says:

    Wonderful..I m sure it will be a great book..looking forward to own it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Cloud Walker says:

    Bought your book! Can’t wait to go hide somewhere to read it! 💐 congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. A.S. Akkalon says:

    Chilling! I can’t wait to read the book!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. A.P. says:

    My aging computer with a defunct battery bailed out on me while I was posting my comment here about an hour ago before I could take measures to remedy the situation. Let me see if I can give you the gist.

    I am a poor reader who spaces out frequently over the pages of a novel and can even turn those pages several times before realizing that I have not comprehended a word I’m reading. I’m behind on all the blogs I follow as well as (maddeningly) on the material I need to read for my Writer’s Guild.

    Your writing is sufficiently engaging to capture me from the start and somehow overpower this lifelong bane. I was again riveted. The picture you paint is vivid – I can *see* the two of them – I can *feel* the dynamics between them — and I want to read more.

    Recalls the famous Milgram Experiment, no? The conflict between personal conscience and obedience to authority. Makes me curious how it’s all going to pan out — as I’m sure you intend. Great work – thank you once again.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for the great comment, Andy. I occasionally “space” while reading too. Usually when I’m tired. And you’ve had your creative plate full, that’s for sure. I’m so glad my snippets hold your attention – a wonderful compliment. Have a great weekend and happy composing!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Erik says:

    Having gotten to read ahead a bit of others, I just want to tell others who may read this post and my comment here … you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

    Get this book. Period.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. The gauntlet is thrown. This is going to be a wonderful story.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Frank says:

    It’s an interesting point. Unquestioning service is given because you trust the person giving the orders. What if that trust is undermined somehow? Do you refuse the task given to you, as Count Hasimir Fenring did in Dune, or obey but question (as in Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac), or…?

    As always, I love the details in your writing.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks so much, Frank. Great questions. In an imperfect world there are lots of ordinary people who face the demands of obedience in defiance of morality. Some comply, some take a stand. Either way there are consequences. The “what if” questions that fuel stories. Have a great weekend 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  18. This sounds amazing! You are so disciplined in your writing. I’m still floundering on my third novel.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. balroop2013 says:

    Congrats for the second book in the series Diana. I am impressed by your dialogue writing, which flows like a stream! Have fun with your ‘Tornado Boy’ 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  20. bpsenapati says:

    Great writing, the presentation is excellent, lot I learn from your writing. 💓 💓 💓

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Good luck battling the tornado! Show it who’s boss. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Khaya Ronkainen says:

    Gripping tale and excellent writing, Diana! So many of your books I want to read…*sigh*
    Hope the tornado is not so violent. Take care!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for stopping by, Khaya. We’re excited for Tornado Boy’s visit. Grampy got him a fishing pole, so as long as it isn’t raining, we’ll be outside. Yes, those reading dreams can be a bit overwhelming. I can relate. Have a great weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I can tell already that Catling is a strong character to be reckoned with. Great excerpt!

    Liked by 3 people

  24. Great writing, as expected!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Sounds great, D. I have to catch up, still have the 1st book laying “in wait” !!!

    Liked by 3 people

  26. Very nice. You build in a lot of political intrigue with this one scene. Liked it a lot.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Phil R says:

    No surprises when it comes to your writing quality D :). My daughter started reading The SG on Wednesday evening and was on chapter 7 before I knew it. This is next on her list (presuming she enjoys Cody et al) so she may have started it by now 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much, Phil. I love it that you shared Sorcerer’s Garden with your daughter! I hope she gets a kick out of it. These four new ones need to be read in order, just an FYI. Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great weekend. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Erik says:

      Phil, The Sorcerer’s Garden was the first of Diana’s books I read. And it was fantastic, a truly unique idea development. With Diana’s current series, while the writing is equally excellent and the ideas nothing I’ve ever encountered (which I love), The Rose Shield series is quite different from The Sorcerer’s Garden; whereas The Sorcerer’s Garden “bleeds” between a modern setting and a fantasy realm, and slips the reader back and forth between the two with an almost psychedelic quality at times, The Rose Shield series is high fantasy in every regard.

      One thing I can say for sure is that your daughter will love it and, like me, be mad when it’s over, because she’ll want her world and characters to continue on. And that’s exactly how you want to feel at the end of a good book or series!

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks for the great comment, Erik. They are quite different. That’s a fun part of writing – the exploration and flights of fancy, trying new ideas when the muse strikes. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Phil R says:

        Hi Erik, I’m not a big reader (and after a work related breakdown still struggle with concentration) and have never really been able to get into the fantasy genre much preferring detective based dramas. I read The SG because I really enjoyed reading Diana’s blog stories and the premise intrigued me. (And I needed to read more) My daughter loved all the Lord of the Rings yarns and is a little book worm and I suspected she’d enjoy Diana’s stories. So far that seems to be the case. She’s pestered me to read TLOTR and one day I will… Tolkien will have to wait his turn behind D though 🙂 Thank you and best wishes 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  28. Annika Perry says:

    Oh wow! I’m gripped by this excerpt, Diana! I couldn’t help but cheer for Catling as she stands up to Dalcoran but wonder what will happen with time, will her resolve hold strong? The other day I was reading Gaiman talking about naming characters and how one of his had three names before he found the perfect fit of ‘Shadow’. I couldn’t help but think of the terrific names of your characters and how they inhabit their names. BTW I was wondering about your grandson as we haven’t heard about him for a while – have a brilliant time with Tornado Boy! 😀❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  29. davidprosser says:

    This reads really well Diana.
    xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

    Liked by 4 people

  30. babbitman says:

    Oooh! Can’t wait! Love the picture of Catling too 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

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