The Necromancer’s Daughter: Joreh

Joreh Graeger

Joreh is the last of my trio of main characters. You’ve met Barus and Aster. Joreh is my reluctant protagonist. The poor guy is riddled with ambivalence. I make all my characters suffer, but Joreh is the least sure of his convictions, and he more than the other characters will be forced to make the difficult choices between justice, faith, and love.

Below is a little snippet from his first POV chapter. I hope you enjoy it.

***

Lanterns lit the watchtowers, and guards held up the gleaming gold haloes in the rising squall. The bonfire in the square hissed and thrashed like a demon in iron chains, and Joreh longed to stand before it and forget the girl. The caravan had departed, and the square lay empty as residents sheltered in their homes. The woodsmen headed for the tavern.

He glanced at Aster, impatient for instructions. She waited in the blowing snow for him or whatever would befall her next. Three stiff-backed soldiers approached from the barracks. At the same time, the inn’s door swung open and several brothers of the Red Order descended the steps, his father in the lead.

She stepped back, but surrounded by men from the outpost, she lacked anywhere to run. Joreh grabbed her arm. She shook in his grip, and any strength or confidence he’d witnessed during their short trek vanished. What little color rosied her cheeks drained from her face, and her eyes sought his, white-rimmed with panic. His father terrified her. How did she even know him?

“Well done, Joreh. I’d assumed we’d lost her. How fitting that you’re the one to deliver her to the Blessed One’s justice.” His father clapped him on the back and gestured to a soldier. “Secure her in a cage.”

Her gaze flitted to the dangling cages, and Joreh grimaced, wishing they could get this over with, quietly and honorably, without the displays of intimidation. If they locked her in a cage, she’d freeze to death before morning. He drew a knife from his wide sash and cut the bindings on her wrists, eager to follow the woodsmen into the tavern. “It’s too cold in the cages. Lock her up inside or chain her in the stable.”

She rubbed blood into her strangled hands and edged nearer to him as if he held the key to her salvation. He possessed no such thing. Nor did he want it.

His father looked down his nose at her. “She doesn’t require coddling. She’s dead. And if there’s any question, come morning, we’ll hang her.”

“She hasn’t been tried.” Joreh scraped a hand over his scowl. “You can’t execute her without the goddess’s judgment.”

His father raised an eyebrow. “Oh, my son, watch me. The Blessed One requires no trial for this one. She’s far from innocent. Her very existence is a testament to evil.” He grabbed the collar of her cloak and yanked her toward the fire. She cried out, writhing like a wild thing as she fumbled with the clasp.

Joreh staggered after them. Would his father throw her into the flames? That he even asked himself such a question dismayed him.

The cloak’s brooch popped. Aster dropped to the mud, and the vicar tossed the garment into the fire. He beckoned to the soldiers. “Take her to the cage.”

Joreh gritted his teeth as his father eyed him, daring him to utter a challenge. Two soldiers lowered a wooden cage. A blade prodded her to the cell, and she stumbled inside. She gripped the wooden bars as the rope drew taut through its pulley and lifted her prison, swaying and creaking, into the air. Snow fell through the bars unimpeded. Joreh stamped his frozen feet as the woman curled into the cage’s corner, too far from the fire to feel its warmth. Wrapped in his cloak, he trailed his father into the inn.

Thanks for dropping by and reading!

118 thoughts on “The Necromancer’s Daughter: Joreh

  1. You have a real gift for coming up with names. Those seem so perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jennie says:

    Terrific, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dgkaye says:

    Poor Joreh I feel his ambivalence. I’d love to see him stand up to his dad in this story, and no doubt you will show his growth through story. Nice suspense to keep us guessing. Fantastic writing as always! ❤

    Like

  4. You’ve wet (whet?) my imagination and my longing to grab your book in my hands. CAN’T WAIT!! (And really, shouldn’t it be ‘whet’?) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, whet – to sharpen. Ha ha. And I’m so glad you’re looking forward to the read. That makes me very happy, Pam. All smiles. It will be soon! Thanks for stopping by and for the great comment. Have a lovely evening and slide through Friday into the weekend. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Okay, Joreh needs to do something quickly.
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lady Tessa says:

    I’ve always loved your descriptive writing – you do have a marvelous way with adjectives and adverbs 😊. Another excellent excerpt. Joreh is the type of character that fascinates and intrigues me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a rich world you’ve created, Diana. Thanks for this snippet. I can’t wait to read the entire thing. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! Dad’s kind of a harsh guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. HI Diana, a most compelling piece. Humans do the most dreadful things to each other in the name of religious convictions. It makes me shudder.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. petespringerauthor says:

    Joreh sounds like an interesting character. It’s easy to root for the characters with strong convictions and principles, yet I think we get invested in those who don’t because we’re hoping they find their way and make the right choices.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Great insight, Pete. There’s a lot of internal conflict for those characters and potential for growth. Almost all of Joreh’s strong convictions will be tested and he’s going to have to make choices that go against what he knew to be true. Poor guy. Lol. Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. I love your comments. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I see what you meant about things getting really bad for Aster. And I can imagine all kinds of tough choices for Joreh. Lots of conflict, both external and internal.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Steven Baird says:

    A terrific read, Diana, I’m really looking forward to the full story. Happy birthday to your mom!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Toni Pike says:

    Hi Diana, Have a lovely time with your Mum. That is a great extract – I love reluctant protagonists. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Toni. I like reluctant protagonists too. We don’t give them a choice about messing up their lives. 🙂 I had a lovely morning with my mom, and I’m almost caught up! Have a wonderful end to your week. Happy Writing.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Teri Polen says:

    Hating the father, but really wanting to learn more about Joreh. Happy birthday to your mom, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. acflory says:

    Oh now you’ve done it. 😉 Great scene, Diana. I want to slap that awful man! The father, not the son. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A very compelling excerpt, the type that makes the reader yell at the bad guy. I’m talking about you, Jorah’s father! I hope your mother had a good birthday.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. V.M.Sang says:

    I can’t wait for this one, Diana. I’m falling in love with the characters already.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a sweet thing to say, Viv. Thank you. This is the last of my snippets until the launch… don’t want to give too much away. Lol. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Have a lovely end to your week, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Super excerpt, Diana. Joreh seems so out of his element. More than a reluctance. Maybe an aversion. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. noelleg44Noe says:

    Good snippet for this character. Don’t forget to remind me when I need to shout out the book, on extra loud!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll check to make sure I sent you the info, Noelle. And if I didn’t, I will! Still a while away. I meant to post this next week but… here it is! Lol. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 Have an awesome afternoon. ❤

      Like

  20. Resa says:

    This sounds amazing Diana!
    🤩✨🌟
    I got your email, and I am using your review. I came here to get your blog’s url! x

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Jaya Avendel says:

    I think ‘reluctant’ describes Joreh very well! It shines through in his voice and actions excellently. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I can feel Joreh’s dilemma, Diana! Great excerpt. Happy birthday to your mom. Does it mean you’re home to celebrate your mom’s birthday! Enjoy your day with your parents. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  23. It’s a gripping excerpt, Diana! Happy birthday to your mom.:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  24. GP says:

    A gift for Mom…

    Liked by 1 person

  25. henhouselady says:

    Happy birthday to your mom. I enjoyed reading this pasage.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Prior... says:

    When the broach popped – you had me !!
    And happy bday to your mother
    ☀️💛

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Happy birthday to your mom! It’s a full blood moon tonight, I hope that brings good things for her this year.
    The scene with the fire in chains captured my imagination and gives a visceral sense of the terror Aster must feel. Poor Joreh, he will have to go against his tribe, and his father, to do what’s right.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Jacquie. It was the wrong day to post by mistake! But all worked out well. Thanks for the birthday wish for my mom. And…You guessed it right. Poor Joreh. It’s hard to go against one’s faith. And I’m glad you liked the fire bit. Pretty scary for everyone. 🙂 Have a lovely afternoon, my friend. Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    Great excerpt, you have me hooked. Happy 88th

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Very nice and well done dear Diana. Your work is awesome

    Liked by 1 person

  30. balroop2013 says:

    Your characters stand out despite outstanding prose Diana. Have a wonderful day with your mom. Wishing her good health and happy birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for reading and for the very kind comment, Balroop. You left me with a smile. All is well. I had a lovely morning with my mom, and I’ll be on the blog for the rest of the day. Plus the sun is shining! Hugs.

      Like

  31. Great snippet choice and image for Joreh’s introduction. I know he’s going to struggle before all is said and done. You’ve hooked me, and I can’t wait to find out. Happy Birthday to your mom. Enjoy your day, Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. I felt the cold of winter as I read the excerpt. Poor Joreh. I have a feeling he’s going to be faced with some hard choices. On another subject…best to your parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Laurie. Yeah, poor Joreh is going to have to rethink everything he’s taken for granted as the truth. And thanks for the note about my parents. It wasn’t the best day to post. Lol. But I’ll be back. Hope your summer is going great. See you soon.

      Like

  33. Great tension in this excerpt, Diana. Well done. Prayers for you and your parents! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jill. We’re hanging in there. Today’s my mom’s 88th birthday… not a day I meant to post on the blog!! Lol. Sigh. Just have to laugh and go with the flow. Thanks for the visit and kind comment, my friend. Hugs to you and yours too! ❤

      Like

  34. Steve Tanham says:

    Love the development of tension, Diana. And the life-sapping cold in the background round is so insidious – especially when you think she’s escaped it… but hasn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Steve, for the visit and comment. Most of this book takes place in the winter, a beautiful season to write about and a challenge for the characters. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

  35. I like how you show Joreh’s amibivalence, his father’s power, and his own conscience and reasoning … struggling. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Excellent. “Joreh scraped a hand over his scowl.”–this is the type of writing I love in your books. Unexpected use of words. Take care of your family. We’ll all talk later!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Wonderful share. Don’t worry re replying, you have enough doing. Just lovely to read your work. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Well done Diana. Again, you and your characters have hooked me when I don’t really want to be adding to my TBR pile. 😋

    Liked by 1 person

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