The Power of Words – Catalin’s Gambit
In a shadowy tavern in the slums of Syrentium, one meeting will decide the fate of the city.
Catalin Ruic, a young woman raised in the throat-cutting alleys of the docklands, is about to come face to face with the most dangerous man in the Circle of Kingdoms.
Her plan goes beyond bravery; it is practically suicide.
But the stakes are too high for half measures. Catalin is the last protector of the lives of her people, and perhaps the very soul of Syrentium.
Catalin’s Gambit is one of four short stories in the Fantasy & Sci-Fi anthology, “The Power of Words”, by Richard T. Drake (Author of the Hollow World Series of Epic Fantasy Novels), M.L.S. Weech, Heidi Angell & T.W. Iain. Each story pays tribute to the concept that the words people use hold power.
Catalin’s Gambit explores the idea that words wield real power. With no magical abilities of her own, Catalin is armed only with her courage and wit. But will that be enough to bring down the malevolent alchemist who is killing her people? Can the fate of her city be decided by words alone?
Catalin Ruic first appears in book one of the Hollow World, “Heir of the Hunted”, where she is already one of the most powerful players in the Circle of Kingdoms. Catalin’s Gambit is set twenty years earlier. It explores Catalin’s beginnings on the streets of Syrentium, through one of the events which triggers her rise to power and helps shape her into the formidable Guild Master she will one day become.
Richard T Drake is the author of the Hollow World series of Epic Fantasy novels.
At age seven, in the dungeon-library of his 19th-century boarding school, Richard discovered the classic fantasy gamebook The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, and became so lost within the infamous ‘Maze of Zagor’ that he needed to draw a map to find his way out. His love of epic adventure and fantasy has been growing ever since.
He graduated from gamebooks to tabletop role-playing where, as game master, he would invent worlds, draw maps, and weave adventures for his friends. As heroes fell and legends grew, Richard discovered a love of epic storytelling.
Over the next few years, he set to work crafting an original fantasy universe, envisioning a vast array of planets and galaxies bound together by powerful magic, ancient covenants, and the schemes of primordial gods. Finally, the Hollow World was born.
When he isn’t writing, Richard keeps busy with the other staples of a heroic fantasy lifestyle: dressing up in superhero costumes, playing MMORPGs, and collecting an absurd number of action figures and comic books. He’s also a black belt ninja.