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Novel Segments

I have written several books, hundreds of articles for various publications and a few manuals which I call 'The Living Manual Series', lots of lifestyle information pamphlets, 52 at the last count and various odes and poems . More about them later on. In blogging so far I have refered to various aspects of my own history and experiences and here I plan to give you the relative excerpts from the books. I'm not quite sure how it will all turn out, I fear at the moment a pot pourri of confusion. A Year In Leicestershire is the story of myself as a young, single man living in a village in Leicestershire and A Year in Shropshire a similar aspect, different village and as a divorced man some twenty years on.

The Temporal Stone is the first of a planned trilogy and I shall load that on a little at a time, its sequel The Fire Stone , currently being edited, and the final part of the trilogy, The Third Stone will all follow. I have a plan but not sure if it will work or for that matter, how! For the time being scroll down and I will endeavour to direct you to where they are page wise. The 'Stone' trilogy are a wizards and warlocks style story concerning stones endowed with various powers and the forces of good and evil who seek them.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 October 2009 )

The Jade Stone Of Settle

The Temporal Stone


Glossary Of Characters

Part I




Wildon (Wizard of the woods and animals)



Tokas (Apprentice of Taminel)

Bodang (The Storm Bringer)

Vainamonien (The Singer Of Songs)

Grumweld (Grand Master Of The Settle Order)

Ganlin (A former Head of the Settle Order)

Morag (A wizard of great knowledge trapped in time)

Other Characters

Rocha (Sorceress who treads the line between good and evil)

Preacher (Soldier of the Great spirit-servant to the order)

Tasmat of Soren

Aldon (Apprentice of Angorr)

Wode-Bratch (Evil servant of the Dark Lord)

Solan Bolad (Sorcerer and father of Wode-Bratch)


Duffal Morgan (Innkeeper and associate of Dolmanien)

Daisy Morgan (Sister of Duffle)

Deerlin – King Of The Elves

Pieroth the Great (Dwarf warlord - Son of Galwain the Great)

Othal Hempelreed (Leader Of The Giants)

Felon Calder (The Tier Of Knots and a sorcerer )

The Temporal Stone


PROLOGUE Thursday October 15th 1987

The clock ticked its way past four minutes before midnight. Paul Lawrence sat calmly beside the roaring fire that burnt in the inglenook. The old man paced the room seemingly impatient. Each time he approached the window he would stare out and observe the night sky that twinkled high above. Each seemed oblivious of the other.

Only seconds before midnight struck, Paul Lawrence rose and extinguished the electric lights. They heard the clockwork mechanism begin its motion to chime.

Paul Lawrence glanced at his watch and the old man searched the night sky. Midnight chimed.

'Now?' asked Paul Lawrence. The old man stared at the sky and held his hand up in a gesture of 'not yet'. Seconds later he implored, 'Now - Now.'

Paul Lawrence reached for the ends of the rope and pulled them further apart. The centre knot gave and the rope extended its length slightly. The old man observed the action and then turned and made his way outside. Paul Lawrence followed. They looked to the southern horizon and waited anxiously.

The wind began to blow from the south west; at first just a gentle breeze, then into gusts and seconds later a gale blew at near hurricane force. The old man shielded his eyes with his arm against the rising torrent of the wind. He gestured that they should move back inside. Paul Lawrence nodded and closed the shutters with difficulty. When he had heaved the door shut and bolted it top and bottom he turned to see the old man sitting in the chair with an excited smile on his face.

'OK.?' queried Paul Lawrence. The old man lost to his own thoughts smiled into the fire. Paul Lawrence leaned forward and tapped him gently on the shoulder. The old man looked up 'The gate, the gate, we've opened the time gate.' All hell was about to break loose.

Paul Lawrence prepared himself for the oncoming storm. Just beyond the cottage was the point on which the forces of nature were converging.

The massive powers of the elements descended on the cottage. The old man leaned forward and withdrew a candle from his knapsack. He reached for a taper and lit the end in the fire. Before he lit the candle he turned to Paul Lawrence.

'You have done well, more than was ever expected. I am both proud and pleased.' He lit the candle and continued. 'The task of time set for me so long ago has been completed. I am honoured and my duty is done. Now is the time I have looked forward to for so long.' Red smoke filled the room. Paul Lawrence felt the chill presence of the spirit.

'Do not drop your guard against the Dark Lord, he will be there, always just one step behind you.' The old man closed his eyes as he finished. Paul Lawrence was about to speak when a flicker of the eyelids signalled the start of a further sentence. 'Give Milon my best, tell him I will wait beyond the clouds.' Paul Lawrence nodded. In seconds the old man had faded and gone.

Outside the storm raged on. The very foundations shook. Paul Lawrence wondered how long it would be. He felt beneath his shirt for the canvas bag. Taking it out he turned the bag inside out and the small green stone fell into his hand. It emitted a low green glow. He would miss the old man. His mind raced and he thought of those to come and those to whom he would deliver the green stone safely. He pursed his lips and stared at the empty chair. He would miss the old man, Dolmanien.

Outside, nature's forces were at work on the cottage. Paul Lawrence felt the building attempting to move. He placed the green stone back in the bag that hung around his neck. Two knots were left to be pulled, the last would close the time gate, but he had no idea, however, for the use of the other.

Spirit charged the air. The turbulence of the air outside the cottage forced air currents through every crevice of the dwelling and red smoke from the candle soon dispersed. The storm roared on through the darkness. As dawn broke on the eastern horizon Paul Lawrence braved the elements and stepped outside. He was shocked to see the devastation. The once tidy and neat landscape was a total shambles as if someone had removed the ground like removing a table cloth from a laid table.

Electricity no longer reached the cottage. In the kitchen he turned on the battery-powered transistor radio to hear Brian Redhead announce the damage that had been wreaked across the land. The inexplicable strength of wind that had come from the south-west over the Atlantic Ocean and ravaged the countryside.

Paul Lawrence could not believe that from such a small knot such awesome power could be released.

As the storm subsided Paul Lawrence ventured further outside and searched the area at the rear of the cottage for a sign of the time gate but could see nothing different. He sensed the power that was not of this world. He hoped it would not be long. . .

Another Place – Another Time

High above the valley riding the thermals which rose with the craggy peaks toward a clear sky, an eagle, merely a black silhouette, scoured the ground for an early morning meal. The snow which had lain thick and solid for most of the winter was now only in patches and marked the places where the savage winds had piled it deeply against unmoving hedges, fences and walls, and where the sun, moving ever higher, as the early spring day passed, had not yet warmed.

Dolmanien bent heavily on his staff, feeling the spring atmosphere recharging his senses, and thought how lovely life was. It was one of his few failings, he was aware as were the Overlords of his Circle, that he was not totally prepared to move on when his time came. Life was always going to be too short, or not long enough (whichever way it was considered), to enjoy all the wonderful things nature cascaded onto a generally unappreciating world.

Dolmanien surveyed the valley with the eye of a critical master meeting a new class for the first time. A touch of suspicion, pinch of scorn, and a final acceptance that no matter whatever was seated in front of him, there was nothing else but to begin to teach.

So was the task of Dolmanien. He had to teach, but that was to come later, now his fate would be decided from the coming seasons in the valley. The next fifteen seasons to be precise.

'What a lovely day to start,' thought Dalmanien as he tramped off towards the smoky settlement on the floor of the valley. (Dolmanien thought every day was lovely).

Angorr, hands and wrists now crippled with arthritis, despite all the healing the Order had collectively given, peered over the shoulder of his most enthusiastic student, Aldon, who quickly, but carefully and neatly, was entering more records into the journals of the Order. At 147 years old, Angorr was the Order's administrator. He relished every working day, (and night come to that). When at first his fingers had begun to knot, some sixty years previously, he had asked for special permission to find a scribe assistant. The unusual request was dismissed at first by the Order's elders but when he explained that unless a suitable person could be found, he would have to relinquish his administrative position, the elders quickly agreed.

Aldon was his seventh assistant since then, and was his favourite of the three that now worked studiously in front of him, collating information, balancing the columns of figures, and cataloguing. Pieces of parchment, letters, books, and more journals littered the shelves, corners, and floors of the rooms. Angorr hummed to himself as he carefully checked an entry which was to complete another journal.

After placing his seal onto the still-molten wax, this he did on every journal completed by his administration, he moved, shuffling across to the window, and smiled. The sun had risen over the mountains, and its rays reached down through the sky to warm the floor of the room. Spring was here, winter was no good to old sorcerers. He wondered if Dolmanien had reached the valley.

Milon searched the flickers of the flames, for a tiny piece more of information or intuition. 'Damn the council', his own apprentice would have gone instead of that kind, but soft Dolmanien. At least he would have been in touch, and would know exactly the happenings of the previous few days. Angorr, in his opinion had too much the ears of the elders' council. He'd try the sand tray again to see if it would release any of its secrets. It didn't. Milon stomped about his cave frustrated, his dogs keeping well out of their master's way. None of them wished to feel the boot of their master.

Milon had senior standing in the Order, not the most powerful, or knowledgeable, but his patience and tenacity had enabled him to move through the various ranks and stages of the Order to his present position. He knew that he had reached as far as he was able to go. Preferring the old ways, his stubborn attitude towards change, although not causing him to make enemies, had not enamoured him with some of the others in the Order. Milon was treated with great respect by everyone. His knowledge of animals and birds, and his understanding of the balance of things were renowned, not only within the Order, but to the far extremities of known existence. He had travelled as far as that on more than one occasion, returning with animals not previously known, or catalogued, studying them for a year or so, and then, if it was safe to do so releasing them to freedom.

He liked all animals, but he loved his dogs. A special understanding, never questioned, only noticed, existed between him and all dogs he had ever come across.

After building a dog's confidence and trust, Milon was able to develop his best characteristics, and his pack of canine animals were famous. Travellers from far and wide came to admire and maybe learn some of his ways. Occasionally a young dog of unusual breed was delivered to him, a present from a grateful friend who travelled the lands.

Milon crossed various breeds to develop a magnificent dog, of good size, strong, intelligent and brave. The breed he had called Margent. They were highly sought-after, and would have fetched much gold, had he sold them. However, Milon had never sold a dog, or any other animal, in all his life. Every pup that he did not require for breeding purposes was placed in a home which he considered suitable for the dog and the new master. In the summer he had placed two with a shepherd who grazed his flock on the slopes of the mountains to the East. A poor man the shepherd did not know whether to bow, kneel, or lie face down, as Milon walked into the circle around the firelight, late one evening. Milon, never one for ceremony, had lifted the man back to his feet, and told him to build the fire. He then explained in great detail how the shepherd was to train the animals, care for them, and keep them happy.

The shepherd had said only a few words in acknowledgement when Milon rose to leave, as dawn threatened to explode on the horizon.

'How can I ever repay you sire?' asked the shepherd.

'I shall one day maybe require a service of you and that shall be payment enough.' Placing his hand on the shepherd's shoulders, Milon said 'I know you will take good care of them my friend.'

It was some minutes later that Calen the shepherd realised that Milon's parting words were a shaded threat.

Other dogs had been placed equally carefully. The holy men some called monks, had been chosen, and far to the South, a young orphan girl, Arnelia, was lucky to acquire one at the tender age of eleven. Various leaders of the mountain people were also given the sought-after offspring.

Milon planted his seeds prudently.

Preacher's woman entered the cabin carrying another large pail of fresh goat's milk. The bundle in Preacher's arms moved restlessly, sniffing the air. 'That's all for today,' said Aden, as she carefully poured the milk into a goat-skin container. Aden watched as Preacher pricked the skin so that two or three drops of the warm milky liquid dropped from it . The bundle on his legs struggled to reach the skin, and Preacher began to feed the cub, who still had not perfected the art of suckling from a makeshift breast.

Two days previously Preacher had found the starving cub along with her already dead sister at the top of a pit. At the bottom of the pit impaled on wooden spikes, was their mother.

Preacher cursed the trappers who had dug the pit. The mother bear was still alive, and in great pain. Nothing could be done for her, and he had quickly put her out of her suffering.

Milon would be pleased if the cub could be kept alive. Some months earlier Milon had arrived at the cottage one autumn evening without being asked. Preacher realised that Milon wanted a baby she-bear, and once Milon had suggested that perhaps an animal of some sort was needed, Preacher often came across one in unusual circumstances.

Carrying the bear home, Preacher was pleased that he would be able to repay Milon with some small favour.

The old wizard had given him the magnificent dogs, and at the time had refused anything in return. Preacher had regularly sent gifts of duck, pheasant, and other game, all of which were gratefully accepted, but were never payment enough in Preacher's mind. Now, if he could keep the bear alive and return it to full health, he knew that Milon and he would be even. The bond that now tied them as mutual friends, and their respect for each other, would always be there. It was, thought Preacher smugly, nice to be able to ask a wizard an occasional favour.

The she-cub now sat, struggled, suckled - suckled, struggled, sat on Preacher's lap.

A crow leaned forward on the carcass and plucked the eye of the dead sheep. Tossing its head back and swallowing the eye whole, the bird cackled.

Peering out of the darkness Rocha grumbled at the interruption of her thoughts as she paced the dirt floor. Whatever was happening in the Settle Lands was most disturbing to her energies. She had studied the flares until they left the dying embers of the fire on the three previous nights, but although the glimpses of the present were clear, they made no sense, but still she was disturbed. A sprinkling of sulphur over the burning logs sometimes helped the image become clearer and made sense if she looked deeply into the smoky blue but this time it was to no avail.

If all else failed tonight she would have to enlist the help of Wode-Bratch and his helpers, but then she would lose control and maybe that would defeat the purpose.

Rocha sat down and cast the runes across the table top. There it was again, a child, travel, peace, and the white spirit rising from the river. 'But it can't,' she thought. 'He fastened it away so tight it would never be released again,' But if it was released where would it leave her? Indeed where would it leave Wode-Bratch and the others? Again the cold shadow passed over her. Another weakening of her powers, not much, but over the previous seasons what had been an occasional shiver, was now an ominous shudder. She knew the wizards were up to no good, or, as she smiled to herself mockingly, 'Good.'

If nothing became clearer by the following dawn, she would cross the hills to see Wode-Bratch. She sat back and sighed. She hated dealing with men, all men. Wode-Bratch, although he walked the ways she did, was just as untrustworthy as those interfering wizards down below. How she despised them all.

Wode-Bratch wiped his greasy fingers up and down the front of his bearskin tunic, burped, farted, and reached for a large goblet of wine, which he gulped down in two swallows. He surveyed the miserable beings chained together in front of him. Two young dwarves, a small boy, three young women, two men - one a mountain man, easily recognised by his massive build and long hair, and the other dressed in the clothes of a merchant.

Funklewort rubbed his hands together as his tongue licked backwards and forwards over his bottom lip, 'A sure sign that he needs money quickly, and that this particular lot of captives could be bought very cheap,' thought Wode-Bratch as he roughly stuffed his hand down the wide front of one of the women's shifts, feeling the frightened flesh beneath. Wode-Bratch fingered the triangular scar on his face which ended where the lobe of the right ear had been burned away.

'How much did you have in mind for this miserable lot?' he scowled.

Funklewort moved forward, still his hands wrestling each other.

'A snip at fifty pieces of gold.'


'But they are in excellent condition. I kept all my men off the women,' and as an afterthought, 'and the boys.'


'But they are a fine collection, I would have purchasers queuing in Amderdan.'

'Melissa!' snapped Wode-Bratch.

A buxom women came forward and knelt at Wode-Bratch's side. He reached for the collar of Funklewort and raised him until he was level with his face. The stench of Wode-Bratch's breath made even Funklewort wince.


'But Wode-Br--',

'Fifteen, otherwise Melissa will go outside and wash your hands and feet,' said Wode-Bratch. 'The rest of you will stay in here.'

'Fifteen Sire,' said Funklewort visibly drained. Wode-Bratch smiled and slowly put Funklewort down.

As the captives looked on Funklewort was paid.

'Remember,' said Wode-Bratch, 'I have first choice this side of the mountains,' as Funklewort went to leave. 'If I hear you're dealing elsewhere,' Wode-Bratch drew his fingers across his throat slowly. Funklewort shivered, nodded, and left.

Wode-Bratch smiled, the dwarves would be claimed and sent to the mines, where they seemed to thrive, probably a throw-back to the days when they built magnificent palaces and labyrinths in the mountains. The boy would serve at his table until he grew and after seeing how he developed physically, and his attitude, Wode-Bratch would decide his fate. Wode-Bratch looked long and hard at the boy, was it already too late? He looked into the boy's eyes, he couldn't decide, was it submission or defiance he glimpsed? Another few seasons and he might become dangerous.

The two men would be locked away. He would make a decision tomorrow. Mountain men were always dangerous, he thought, feeling the scar on his face. The merchant might be of some use, if he wasn't he could always be fed to the dogs.

Wode-Bratch walked around his new purchases, 'Take them,' he said, indicating the male captives. 'Leave them,' the females.

He walked around the three women again. One half child, half woman, another sobbed and shook uncontrollably.

'Nice breast,' thought Wode-Bratch, the other looked him in the eyes. If hate could kill Wode-Bratch would have dropped on the spot. The ferocity of the woman shocked him momentarily, captives were usually submissive at an early stage. He reached for a knife which he kept in the top of his boot and held it to the throat of the woman - not drawing blood, but causing an indentation in the skin. She didn't move; he smiled. He cut the straps over each of her shoulders, and watched the garment fall to her waist, leaving her upper body naked. Still no reaction other than the stare. He pulled her to him and moved his face a hair's breadth from hers, 'I'm going to teach you to -.

She spat. He went to slap her face but she turned away and the blow caught her on the back of her head; she fell to the ground pulling the other females over on top of her.

Wode-Bratch called the guard, 'Lock 'em up.' Pointing to the defiant female, 'Tie her to the stockade,' he said wiping the spittle off his face. 'Spread!' as he sat down. 'Naked,' as lay back, 'face to the wall.'

Outside the wind howled. Melissa pulled her shawl across her shoulders, and put more wood onto the fire. She washed her feet carefully and threw away the dirty water. Leaning forward in front of the fire, head down, and hair falling over her face, she dried her hair. If anyone came in now they would know that she had been outside. Wode-Bratch would kill her if he knew, especially when in the morning he found out the mountain man and the merchant had been released and had gone.

She would have released the women as well, but they would have been recaptured. Only one of the three looked as if she would make it, and she was cruelly tied. The other two sniffed and sobbed and would probably have screamed, alerting the camp. There would have been many questions. Under torture they would have revealed her. As it was she had opened the gates to the cave where the men were held, and holding a finger in front of her mouth had beckoned the mountain man to follow her, given him a knife and pointed the way to the pass which would lead down to the valley. The man had smiled kindly at her, put his hands on her shoulders in thanks, and the two men disappeared away into the darkness.

Mountain men did not make good slaves. If he was going to die, it was better to die free. She threw back her newly dry hair. But he wouldn't die she knew, she felt it deep inside.

Milon had taught her the skill of empathy, how to turn it on and to switch it off. When to use it and when to avoid it. In understanding new beings or creatures it was important to know their feelings, and react accordingly. Another skill he had passed on.

Where was Milon now, she thought. How kind he had been to her, how he had brought love and light and warmth and pleasure back into her life. He had found her ragged and torn, weary and hungry on the side of the mountain. She had been filled with hate. Wode-Bratch and his warriors had raided the farm, killed her father, raped her one after another, and after raping her mother had slaughtered her. Melissa, only thirteen, had crawled away and had hidden behind a fence, while the warriors and their leaders rode back into the mountains. She remembered Wode-Bratch's face, not scarred as it was now but the teeth broken, the beard, the blunt nose, and the wiry eyebrows. And his laugh. She would never forget that laugh. Four days later Milon had found her.

'Hello girl,' he had said simply, his dogs beside him. She had looked up and passed out. Waking, she had found herself cleaned, rested and warm, deliciously warm, and hungry. As if on call Milon walked in.

'Get up girl,' he had said. He wrapped a blanket around her shoulders and sat her at a table laid with food. She ate ravenously. Finishing, she sat back, wondering where she was. Then she remembered - the man and his soldiers, the death of her parents, the burning home, the livestock slaughtered and carried off, and the hate. She remembered hate, but did not feel it. Why didn't she feel it?

Milon had smiled, 'I have healed the anguish and the suffering. You will remember, but you feel no pain. Your body will recover by itself, I have helped only your thoughts and cleansed the mind.' She looked at him as he continued, 'You have the power, but not the knowledge. I shall teach you, you will learn. Eventually you will have revenge. Revenge will taste better cold.

That had been twenty-three years before. He had taught and she had learnt well, and over the following years they had slowly developed a telepathic relationship. He thought and she understood. He was pleased.

He taught divination of the future, to understand the spirit, to appreciate the land and the creatures on it, and he tried to teach forgiveness. She understood, but in her heart, she did not forgive. Milon gently shook his head in acknowledgement and resignation. It had been difficult to heal her mind when he first found her, and although he had corrected the scrambled brain, he had not necessarily put all the bits back in the right manner. Like a broken leg, although reset and healed, it walked with a limp. Until she could forgive she could not love, and if she could not love she would miss a great deal of life.

They would talk by the fire until late into the night. Milon being philosophical and Melissa an eager pupil absorbing every word.

The High Council did not approve of Milon and his teaching the young girl. Milon did not acknowledge their disapproval nor did he treat it with contempt. Some things it was better that the Council did not know, and he continued with his plans.

Melissa combed her nearly dry hair, all was safe. Just a few minutes to relax and then she would pass on the happenings of the day. Milon would be pleased.

* * *