Corrupted warriors. Fallen angels. Demonic gods.
The survival of the Three Species in Theia, the last known inhabitable planet in the
universe, are many. But among their found family the Band of the Greywolf will find a way
to save the day. They have to for everyone to survive.
Fionn: getting a 2nd chance as a warrior and mentor.
Alex: trying to survive his inner demons.
Gaby: finding who she wants to be.
Sam: realizing who she can become.
For in a world where magic and science collide and intermingle, anything is possible.
From the first book: The Withered King
“First, I will deal with the big guy there. Then I will clean up the mess of the smaller
“Let the guards deal with it,” Harland said.
“They don’t stand a chance against that. I do,” Fionn smiled. A part of him was glad to
finally have a fight of this level, he missed the adrenaline.
“You will reveal your secret.”
“What secret?” Gaby asked, confused.
“You will see soon.” Fionn winked at Gaby and walked away from her and Harland.
Fionn walked slowly towards the creature. His left hand crossed in front of him and
reached the pommel of his sheathed sword. The wind howled like a dragonwolf and a
green glow started to come from the sword. Fionn unsheathed his blade and the wind
picked up. The fangsword’s silvery blade was covered by the green glow, the engravings
on it shining with words from an ancient tongue. Fionn’s irises went from regular green to
an intense, almost surreal shade of bright green with golden specks. He smiled, feeling his
muscles and bones welcome the surge of energy dormant for so long. He reached inside
him, to the source, his Gift. It felt familiar even after so many years of not summoning it,
like an old friend that had always been there. Its warmth energized him. He continued
walking until the creature took notice of him.
“The engravings, the form of the blade. I remember reading about it. It’s the Black
Fang! One of the Tempest Blades...” Gaby’s eyes opened wide in sudden realization. “Wait
a minute. That means…” Gaby said to Harland, as they both took cover behind the
columns of the arcade.
“Yes, you are right.”
“He is the legendary Greywolf! How? He must be…”
“Over one hundred and thirty-three years old? I had the same reaction when I found
out. Apparently, the Gift slows aging.”
The sky was raging in fury, lightning slashing across the dark skies, the wind blowing
away the mist. The square was being emptied, the townspeople trying to get as far away
as possible from the giant creature, whose red eyes were locked on the man standing in
front of him in defiance. Any other mortal would cower before the behemoth, but this one
was smiling. The creature started a conversation, its deep, booming voice echoing all over
“Why don’t you run like the other mortals?”
“Not really my thing.”
“I will crush you.”
“You can try.”
The creature roared with anger, stomping its way across the plaza. Fionn didn’t waste
time and jumped into the fray, slashing it with Black Fang. The creature replied in kind,
raising its massive right claw and trying to shred Fionn like paper. He parried the attack
with the sword, but the strength behind it almost broke his arm. He got ready to parry the
second one, biting his lips to tolerate the pain, when an attack by Gaby on the creature’s
back interrupted the exchange between them.
Gaby’s twin blades were out of their sheaths and each shone with a clear, bright light,
one glowing blue and the other red.
“Are those Tempest Blades too?” Fionn asked with an incredulous stare.
“Yes,” Gaby replied with her crooked smile. “Their names are Heartguard and
“How did you…”
“You are not the only one with secrets, Greywolf,” Gaby said. “But that will have to
wait, there is work to do.”
Both Fionn and Gaby jumped, attacked, dodged and parried the blows coming from
the creature. But after every attack that the creature suffered at the hands of Fionn and
Gaby, it regenerated immediately. It was growing angrier by the moment, picking up trash
cans and throwing them, breaking walls and destroying the windows of the shops and
pubs. The creature kept throwing things at them, forcing them to take cover behind a
semi-crumbled wall. Behind the cover, they saw the men-spiders returning, attacking the
scared patrons who were trying to get away from the creature.
“Those civilians need help. Would it be too much to ask you to help them?”
“As much as I would hate to leave you with all the fun, you are right. They need me
more than you do.” Gaby winked at Fionn. “Be careful.”
“I’m always careful.”
Fionn could only smile at her with admiration in his eyes. Gaby ran towards the
running people, not losing a second in attacking the men-spiders. Her blades were streaks
of red and blue light in the dark. Parts of the spider-like creatures started to fly off. She
was efficient, Fionn thought, too efficient even for a Sister of Mercy. There were so many
things he wanted to ask her. But that would have to wait. A girl, running away from the
conflict, broke a heel and fell in front of the path of destruction of the larger creature. Its
collection of sharpened teeth was in full sight in a mockery of a smile. Seeing that, Fionn
ran towards the girl, covering her with his body as the claw descended upon her.
“Oh shit,” Fionn managed to say before the creature hit him fully in the back with all
its strength, sending him flying away with the girl in his arms. He managed to twist his
body mid-air to absorb the blunt force of the imminent impact when they hit the ground.
His jacket and the skin of his back were torn to shreds and he was bleeding profusely. His
head was spinning. Fionn looked at the girl who was scared and crying, but safe. He shook
his head to clear it and smiled at her.
“I will distract him while you escape. Can you run?”
The girl only replied with a nod and Fionn let her go. She ran away into the streets. It
was then that Fionn noticed a faint cut on his right cheek, a cut that started to heal amidst
tiny green sparkles of energy.
This is gonna hurt tomorrow.
About the Author
Ricardo Victoria is one of the co-founders of Inklings Press, a small publisher of thematic
anthologies. He has written episodes for The Wicked Library podcast, and has been
nominated to a Sidewise Awards and two New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. Victoria has written and published over a dozen short stories. The Root of Hope is the 4th and final book
on his science fantasy series Tempest Blades, due out in August 2024. He has also co-authored two academic books, one in Spanish on Emotional Design, and one in English (Green New Worlds), to be released in March 2024, about explaining sustainability through the use of science fiction and fantasy.
Victoria holds a Ph.D. in Design –with an emphasis on sustainability- from
Loughborough University. He has a love of fiction, board games, comic books, and action
figures, especially Ninja Turtles. He lives in Toluca, Mexico with his wife and pet dogs and
works as a full-time lecturer and researcher at the local university.
For academic books and information, he can be found on the internet as Ricardo Victoria-Uribe and/or Ricardo Victoria Uribe.