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Download and Read Free Online Fimbulwinter (Daniel Black Book 1) E. William good books, online books, books online, book reviews epub, read books. Just go to www_amazon_com/dp/B00KZ41LHM, or go to the main page and search books for "Fimbulwinter, by E. William Brown". An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works.

Author's Note: If you like this story and don't want to wait on periodic updates, the complete novel is now available as a Kindle ebook from Amazon. William Brown". It started out well enough. My team had been working round the clock on our current software project, and on Monday we finally delivered the first release candidate to QA. Granted it was just a project management app for the company's oilfield operations, but it was still a good feeling to know we were closing in on the finish line. Like a lot of software projects the original estimates had been wildly overoptimistic, and what was originally supposed to be a ten-month project was now in its fifteenth month.

But I couldn't go home, because the restraining order was served before I even got out of the building. I certainly was.

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I always thought you needed some sort of finding of imminent danger to get one of those things. But no, apparently my being arrested on a domestic disturbance call was enough to get the judge to rubber-stamp the application. Good thing I'd had my wallet on me when I was arrested, or I'd have really been in trouble. I managed to find a lawyer and get an appointment for the following day, since things were obviously going to get messy at this point.

But the news wasn't getting any better. He told me Amanda would almost certainly get the house, which I'd almost finished paying for, along with half our assets and two or three years of spousal support. Oh, and add in another twenty or thirty grand for legal expenses. Good thing we didn't have kids. I was halfway back to the motel from that meeting when some drunk asshole in a pickup truck blew through a red light and broadsided me.

So Friday night found me lying in a hospital bed with a broken arm, three broken ribs, a concussion and more bruises than a professional boxer after a tough match.

They were probably going to let me go in the morning, but my car was totaled and so was my phone. I was desperately trying to think of someone whose phone number I could remember, and who might not actually believe the stories Amanda was apparently spreading about what a violent douchebag I was, when things suddenly got even more surreal.

Fimbulwinter Chapter 1, a fantasy fiction | FictionPress

I suppose I'll have to throw in some instant healing if we can make a deal. Will you bargain with me, Daniel Black? The voice was female, cool and controlled with an undercurrent of sarcastic black humor. I looked up, and felt my jaw drop. You know how the actresses they cast to play badass babes in action movies never quite pull it off? How no matter how hard they try, most of them tend to look like pretty girls playing at being tough?

She was a sleek, statuesque woman of Mediterranean complexion and unearthly beauty, with dark hair and eyes like pools of living shadow. She carried herself with the casual confidence of someone who knows they're the most dangerous thing in the building, an impression that was further enhanced by the fact that her outfit seemed to consist entirely of black leather and knives.

I would've wondered how she got them past hospital security if not for the fact that she was slightly translucent, about a foot tall, and floating in the air above my bed.

For a split second I wondered if I was losing it. But no, people crazy enough to have detailed hallucinations aren't normally lucid enough to wonder about their own sanity. Besides, assuming things are real is generally a lot safer than assuming they aren't.

She huffed. I need someone to rescue the silly girl so she can grow up and make some converts, and my divinations tell me you're the best option I can reach in time. Will you bargain with me? I need a yes or no on that one, please. Rules of magic.

That's why I'm looking here. There's a quirk of the relationship between worlds that will allow me to grant you sorcerous powers during the journey if you agree, without any great cost to myself.

So that's my first offer to you. Healing for your injuries, and as much magical power as you can seize for yourself, in return for protecting my worshipper Cerise for as long as she remains my only worshipper. This was so unreal. But as far as I could tell it was actually happening.

I tried to think. What do you ask for when a mysterious woman offers to pay you for a mission to a fantasy world? But don't be too quick to judge me by my reputation.

The victors write the histories, and what do you think the people of Afghanistan or Ukraine will say about America in a hundred years? I'm a nightmare to my enemies, but my own people have no cause to fear me. But a million speculations, so at least there's something to work with. A 'sorcery' is an instinctive command of any one thing that you can conceptualize as an element. When I drag you through the interspace the energies there will fill you and be channeled by your thoughts, giving you whatever sorcery you focus on.

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Depending on how quick your wits are you should have time to grab three or four elements at a much higher level than human sorcerers normally get.

Cerise and her coven-mate are under attack, and we're running out of time.

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It's the end of the Aesir, not the world. Flee the northlands and find a hiding place in the south, retreat to the faerie realms, leave the world, hell you could join Loki's army for all I care. A world in chaos is full of opportunity for a man with power. But if you need another carrot, we can shorten the term of your agreement. Protect Cerise for a year and a day, and we will bargain again if she still needs your help.

Do we have an agreement? I looked around at the hospital room, and thought about what I had to look forward to in the life I was living now. Then I thought about a world full of people in danger, and two witches I didn't know who were probably about to be eaten by orcs or something. She let out a sigh of relief. Thank you, Daniel. Do your work well, and I may have other offers for you in the future. Now, let's get this show on the road before it's too late.

Just focus on the elements you want, one at a time. No one has ever done this for someone from a world like yours, and I'm counting on you to make good use of it. But you're dropping right into battle, so don't forget to take something you can fight with! I opened my mouth to ask for more details on that, but the room dissolved around me before I could speak.

Then I was tumbling through a roaring technicolor maelstrom, and a shock like lightning jolted through me. You have to give the power an outlet, or it'll tear you apart. Fear is a great motivator. I gathered my wits and tried to concentrate. An element. I needed an element. An easy one to start with. Cold, solid stone and warm, fertile earth.

The essence of endurance, but it could be shaped in so many ways. Understanding blossomed from nowhere, along with a power unlike anything I'd felt before. It was instinctive, as easy as breathing, and it grew rapidly as I concentrated. Crystallizing around the concept of 'Earth' as I understood it, manifesting new applications as they flickered through my subconscious.

But a mighty earth mage with no other abilities would be a tad limited, and I didn't know how long I had to do this. I couldn't even think about anything else for more than a split second without risking diverting the process to some other element that might prove useless. Fortunately I've played more than my share of fantasy role-playing games, so I wasn't starting from scratch figuring this out.

If this was the character creation screen of a new computer game, what would I look for? Because I wasn't about to get stuck in a fantasy world without some kind of magical healing, and that was the best way I could see to conceptualize it as an element. I was afraid for a moment that it wouldn't work, but whatever force was behind this process was happy to reduce the dizzying complexity of living organisms to an elemental representation just as it had the quantum-mechanical complexity of solid matter a moment ago.

Viewed as an element flesh could be created or shaped just like stone, but it was transformations I was really after. Dying to healthy, poisoned to purified, diseased to The fact that I know a bit about biology seemed to help the process along, forming a scaffolding on which magic-born abilities and senses could anchor themselves.

There was no time to be methodical about it, so I frantically wracked my brain for every type of physical affliction, enhancement or transformation I'd ever heard of.

A lot of the crazy stuff didn't stick, but I could feel all sorts of odd bits and pieces accreting here and there.

A wonderfully flexible concept, if you think of it as a way of controlling kinetic energy. Force fields and force blades. Telekinesis fields. Levitation and flight. A solid basis for battle magic, with endless utility applications. Just for a moment, because I've read enough Norse mythology to know that Ragnarok is supposed to be preceded by Fimbulwinter, and I'd feel really stupid if I ended up freezing to death.

Enough to ignite flammables and conjure balls of fire, maybe a few other minor tricks. Good enough. My last element was mana. The stuff magic is made of. A fundamental force of nature, obviously unknown to modern physics, but there must be some relationship to the Standard Model there or I wouldn't be able to exist in the same universe as Hecate.

Understanding blossomed as I focused on the concept. The nature of magic, its relationship to the other fundamental forces, how spells work, why they wear off, how to embed them permanently into objects. More insights and abilities coalesced faster than I could pay attention to them, just like with the other elements.

I don't think Avilla can hold off the goblins much longer, let alone the troll. I picked myself up and looked around, to find that I was apparently in a cellar. There was a stone altar covered with candles and mystic bric-a-brac next to me, and an elaborate pentagram inscribed in the floor around me.

But a good third of the room was taken up by a pile of boxes, a row of shelves covered with jars, and a forest of strange objects hanging from the ceiling that I realized after a moment were mostly strings of vegetables.

I was being addressed by a slender teenage girl with a long mane of coal-black hair, and a face that could easily have graced the cover of a fashion magazine.

She wore a simple wool dress that was stained liberally with blood, and held a long silver knife in her left hand. Well, I'd think about that later. I looked down and confirmed that, yes, apparently my hospital gown hadn't made the trip. On the good side, at least my injuries seem to be gone as well. Even the cast and bandages had disappeared. Cerise nodded impatiently. She's been upstairs trying to distract them while I did the summoning ritual.

There was an amazing commotion going on overhead. I could hear high-pitched voices screaming and shouting, heavy thumps and the sound of breaking wood, a bewildering array of footsteps running around the wooden floor above us, and a roar from something big and angry. I rushed up the narrow wooden stairs, fumbling for my magic. Fortunately using it was as easy as I'd hoped, taking no more effort than moving an arm I hadn't had before.

I threw a force shield around myself just in time, as I found myself entering the kitchen of a cozy little house that was rapidly being reduced to broken debris. There were ugly little green guys that had to be goblins everywhere, fighting a pitched battle against an army of animated kitchen utensils and furnishings that obviously didn't appreciate their presence. The window over the sink, which I was surprised to see was glass, had been smashed open to admit a steady stream of the creatures.

Their entry was contested by a platoon of gingerbread men armed with knives and forks, but the goblins seemed to be getting the better of their opponents. A huge hole had been smashed through the inner wall of the kitchen, revealing a living room where an animated couch and several armchairs were gamely trying to prevent a hulking mass of green muscle from cornering a buxom young blonde who I assumed must be the other witch.

Another swarm of gingerbread men ran around the troll's shoulders, stabbing and hacking at it to little effect. Oh, and half of the kitchen was on fire. Apparently the troll had gotten angry at the oven at some point, and there'd been a fire lit at the time. The flames had already spread to both the floor and ceiling, so the whole house would probably go soon.

One of the goblins stabbed me with its spear while I was still taking in the scene, so it was a good thing I'd put up that force field. Its weapon just slid off the barrier, although a slight tug at my magic told me there was a limit to how many attacks I could repel like that.

Better make sure they didn't get the chance to find a way past my defenses. I projected an invisible blade of force from one outstretched finger, and flicked it down to cut the goblin in half. The result was every bit as gory as a hardcore slasher movie, and my stomach clenched. I did my best to ignore it as I strode into the room.

Two more goblins met their end in quick succession, before they realized I had an invisible weapon. After that they switched to dodging, although the constant interference from the house's enchanted defenders hampered their movements badly. Several arrows bounced off my shield, and I kicked one goblin into the fire when he got a little too close.

The goblins bounced around the room like little green monkeys, and one of them tried to dart around me to get at her. But I threw up a barrier to halt its progress in midair, and then Cerise flicked something that looked like a writhing blob of shadows at it. It went down screaming and clutching itself.

Avilla stumbled, and an overstuffed chair leaped over her to intercept a blow from the troll's massive club. The impact reduced the chair to kindling, but it gave her a moment to scramble across the room and get behind me. Then I was face to face with the troll.

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The thing was built like a tank, its hunched back brushing the ceiling two feet above my head. Judging from the hole in the side of the house behind it and the general devastation around me I had no doubt it could crack my shield in short order if I gave it the chance. I threw a force blade at it as it raised its club, but the invisible projectile just left a shallow gash across its chest. I dodged left as the club came down, and slashed awkwardly at its arm with another force blade.

It roared, and brought the club around in a lightning-fast blow that sent me careening through an end table and into the wall.

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Wood and brick crumbled around me, and my mana level sank alarmingly. Ok, so it wasn't clumsy. I threw a spray of pointed force bolts at it as I stumbled back to my feet, hoping to keep it at bay while I figured out how to kill it. But the thing just bared its teeth and charged through them to get at me.

I jumped this time, flinging myself against the ceiling with a burst of force magic in the hope that it wouldn't expect such a maneuver. Sure enough the club smashed into the wall instead of me, but then I found my face inches away from a mouth big enough to bite off my whole head in one gulp.

That actually discouraged it. It stumbled back, dropping the club to claw at its face. I hit it with another ball of fire, and dropped to the floor just in time to avoid a blind swing of its clawed fists. That put me at eye level with something that might actually be vulnerable, so I stabbed a blade of force into its oversized privates. This time its roar was more in pain than rage. The hand over its face came down to clutch at the wound, and for a few seconds it actually stood still.

Unfortunately a crowd of goblins chose that moment to jump me all at once, beating wildly at my shield with little swords and axes as they clung to me. I tripped and went down in a heap, and more goblins piled on. Something struck the magic of my shield, clawing at it and trying to pull it apart. It wasn't terribly strong, but it was yet another distraction I didn't have time for. I reached for fire again, surrounding both hands in balls of flame that I waved frantically at my attackers.

Several of them caught fire, which sent them running around the room in a panic. But there were too many of them, and I could feel my shield wavering as the attacking magic ate away at it.

I let go of the shield, knowing it would take a few seconds to dissolve, and focused all my concentrating on forming a ball of whirling saw blades just outside of it. The elaborate force construct took far more effort than a simple blade, and was slower to form. But I was rewarded by a chorus of shrieks and screams, and a shower of blood raining through the gaps in my failing shield. In a matter of seconds the goblins who'd been trying to dogpile me were reduced to shredded meat.

The wooden floor beneath me and a post behind me came apart as well, and the house groaned ominously. Log In.

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