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The Hands of Aldulan - Kingdom of the Necromancer
Book One
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-394-8
Genre: Fantasy/SF/Suspense/Thriller
eBook Length: 288 Pages
Published: October 2006

From inside the flap

Nearly one-thousand years after his death, the dire mistakes of the great wizard Aldulan have borne their hideous fruit. Demons from the depths of the world of Arioc have clawed their way to the surface, vowing to invade the land of Termeydiun.

Suggradath, King of Demons, with a voracious appetite for human suffering, musters an army of hellspawned soldiers to smite mortal-kind from the face of the planet once and for all.

Ariocís only hope, a motley band of wizards, warriors, thieves, and plainsmen like the ranger Gadras, stand between mortal-kind and the onslaught of the demon horde.

Will they band together quickly enough to correct Aldulanís mistakes, or will the world of Arioc be lost forever?

Reviews and Awards

Kingdom of the Necromancer
Eric A. Radulski
Double Dragon Publishing, Inc
ISBN: 1-55404-394-8
Fiction, Fantasy
Reviewed by Dr. Tami Brady

The wizard Aldulan had lived for many ages before and after the coming of the mortals. In fact, it was his fascination with the short lifespan of these beings that caused the wizard to create clocks. Unfortunately with the mortals came a threat of darkness. It was this dread that caused Aldulan to create his greatest invention, the Clock of Aldulan. This was unlike any other invention. Held within this clock were all Aldulanís magic, all his knowledge, and all his hope for mankind. Its use caused the Undoing, a fresh start for the world.

A thousand years later, Aldulanís great hope for mankind has died. The Undoing did not get rid of evil. The immortal beings once bound in Malifess now press their borders. Their sole intent is the destruction of all of Arioc. Whatís more, pieces of the Clock of Aldulan which had been taken apart and spread throughout the world, are now finding their way into the hands of the enemy. Who knows what kind of chaos this could cause. The worldís only hope lies with a group of Holders, people whose ancestors were given the duty of safely keeping a piece of the Clock of Aldulan.

Kingdom of the Necromancer is book one of The Hands of Aldulan series. I believe the series has a good deal of potential. The storyline is classic. The characters are interesting with much potential in their interactions. An extremely cool fight scene with a gordrake at the start of the book foreshadows even better scenes to come once the Holders actually reach the tower at Tur-Loghan.

The Hands of Aldulan - Kingdom of the Necromancer (Excerpt)


Aldulan was both wise and ancient. He had known the world when it was peaceful and had wandered the world of Arioc for many long years before the night held any danger in its darkness.

Not one crevice was unknown to him, and not one coast was left unexplored. He had been everywhere, and his wanderings had lasted the span of many mortal lifetimes, all of which were spent alone and at peace.

Out of these peaceful moments, Aldulan gathered his vast wisdom.

By the time the mortal races came to know him, Aldulan, still ever curious but not quite as young, wore a long white beard that reached down to his toes. Thick gray hair fell in a flood of tight braids down his back, and he wore white and blue cloaks that glimmered like night reflected off of newly fallen snow.

Despite his impressive height, his hearty laugh, and his boundless wealth of knowledge, his eyes were his most impressive attribute. "You look into those eyes," some said, "and itís like gazing up into the heavens."

"Aye," said others. "Itís like looking into the eyes of an ancient child. He has seen so much, but he still looks at all of the wonders of the world like heís never seen them before. Itís an innocent wisdom that he has. It isn?t jaded. Itís pure, bright, and it shines like a blanket of icy stars in his eyes."

Aldulan had built himself a workshop by then. The long years of his life had fostered in him an interest in the creation of various devices, both great and small. In the beginning, long before the mortals came, he looked to his own sustenance, creating tools for farming and agriculture. As he grew into his young adulthood, still many years before the mortals arrived, he looked to the creation of his own home and hearth. As the years ticked on, however, he found that what he enjoyed creating most were clocks. The wizard found time fascinating, especially after the birth of the mortal races with their relatively short life spans. This fascination led him to create timepieces of all kinds, sizes, and shapes, and in the making of them and through the studying of their workings, it could be said that Aldulan became the very first horologist, although the inhabitants of the world of Arioc did not call him that.

"Heís a sorcerer," some said, "and a powerful one at that! Heís unparalleled in his craft, and his imagination is boundless. His eyes are as keen as his thoughts are deep, and his hands are the tools of the gods on this earth."

"An artisan," others called him, "as good in humor as he is brilliant in his work. This world is blessed to have him in it."

And that it was.

During that time now long forgotten, many curious travelers found their way down the twisting brick path that led to Aldulanís ornate front gate. Once inside of his enormous home, which was crafted from the finest marble, silver, and gold, they found that Aldulan was a gracious host filled with cheer and tales. He was an excellent and respectable wizard, and the table he set was as exotic as it was delectable.

Upon returning from their visit to the wizardís mansion, travelers would regale eager listeners with tales from their trip. "His mansion shines," they?d say. "I?ve never seen its like, nor will I again. His walls shimmer with gold and silver, and his floors are made of fine draidin marble. But beyond that - beyond all of the actual material goods that make up the place - the most amazing thing that the wizard has done is to let nature inside. Itís almost like heís flung open the gates of his home to let the light and the green of the world indoors. Everywhere you look, there is a sprig, a root, a flower, or a stone as wild and at peace inside of his mansion as it would be anywhere else in the world. It ebbs with the friendliness of Arioc, and its beauty is sublime."

As the years passed, however, the world grew less friendly around its edges, and these changes found themselves reflected in Aldulanís mansion, much to the wizardís chagrin. Birds no longer sang from his rafters, and the trees of his magnificent indoor orchards no longer bore fruit. Instead of light, a growing darkness - an inky shadow - fell over all that the wizard had made.

He noticed that even some of his mystical timepieces had started to show signs of the growing unrest in the world abroad. Some of his clock faces cracked and would not allow themselves to be repaired. No matter how many times he replaced their glass faces, he would find them broken again the very next morning, smiling their crooked, humorless smiles.

Some of his clocks stopped altogether and could not be coaxed back to life. Aldulan wound the clocks, replaced their inner workings, or, in the case of some of his most magical timepieces, he manufactured new hearts for them out of enchanted gemstones from scratch. Still, they remained lifeless.

And then there were the worst of his clocks. Those clocks, to Aldulanís dismay, started to run backwards, silently mocking the wizard in his own home. They seemed to have lives and thoughts of their own and, as far as Aldulan could tell, no longer wanted anything to do with him. "Darkness is coming," they seemed to say. "The time of peace is over, Aldulan. The time of fear is at hand."

Noticing these changes with a growing dread, Aldulan banished his rogue clocks to a musty basement and then retreated to the sanctuary of his workshop to work on what would eventually become his greatest, most mysterious invention. The invention would later be called the Clock of Aldulan by the few that knew of its existence, but it was no ordinary timepiece. Into it, the wizard poured all of his magical power, all of his knowledge, and all of his hope for mortal-kind which, of course, was ironic, for it had been mortal kind that had ushered the shadow into Aldulanís house in the first place.

The brave men of the plains, the sturdy draidins of the mountain passes, the graceful elsynians of the forest realms, and the fierce ganglins of the hills, had all begun to forget the simpler wonders of magic and nature. They had discovered the persuasive draw of gold and blood and power, and those discoveries made them sick with want.

The shadow of greed swept across the land, blotting out the light with a shroud of oily smoke. War erupted between the races as they fought each other for control of the world and all of its intoxicating power. Blood flowed more than wine, sorrow filled hearts more than joy, and death and fear reigned supreme over life and peace.

Aldulan was forgotten to mortal-kind during this dark time, but the wizard had not forgotten the world. Through the turmoil he was relentless, toiling in the dim torchlight of his shop.

The bloodshed lasted years, and as the years went on the atrocities of the war grew in scope. Cities fell into ruin, and ancient peoples were left decimated. Pillars of smoke billowed up into the air, leaving the lands of Arioc blind with fluttering ash.

As the world of Arioc cried beneath a never-ending dusk, and night threatened to enfold the world forever, Aldulan finished his masterpiece at last.

Emerging from his workshop, the ancient wizard beheld the scope of mortal-kindís destructiveness firsthand. He saw the crumbled cities. He saw the charred bodies. He saw the endless seas of floating waste.

He saw all of these things and became sickened by what mortal-kind had become.

In his sorrow, Aldulan wondered if he should use his invention at all. "Perhaps it would be better if I just stood aside and let the mortal races finish what they?ve begun," he thought. "It will only take a little longer. They?re butchering themselves out of existence. Who am I to stop them?"

After several days of uncertainty, Aldulan decided that mortal-kind did deserve another chance. It was his hope that the mortal races might develop differently if they were given back their naivety. Perhaps if they were coaxed into forgetting that they had discovered greed, power, and wealth, their early fascinations with beauty, magic, and art would continue, unsullied by the taint of their ambitions.

"After all," he thought, "a seed can grow in many different ways."

It was with this hope in his heart that the wizard turned back the hands of his simple-looking clock. Immediately, a sound like a chorus of angels filled the heavens as cleansing fires dashed across the lands of the world. Earthquakes shook mountains to their heights, and the seas rose up in great, bounding tidal waves to wash away the world of Ariocís savage battle wounds.

Men retreated to their homes, and angry beasts curled up in their burrows before falling into a deep, immediate sleep.

When they awoke from their long slumber, the mortal races had forgotten the brutal war of the years before. Their homes had been rebuilt to look like they had been before the war, and although some friends and familiar faces never made the journey home, there always seemed to be a reasonable explanation for their absence.

During the years of ?the Sleep?, as Aldulan called it, the wizard finished training his pupils, Aldfrost and Gastion. Aldfrost became the protector of the lore and history of the clock, while Gastion was charged with the dismantling of the clock and with taking its pieces to the far corners of the realm to ensure that it would never be used again, except in a time of greatest necessity.

The keepers of the clockís relics were known as the Holders, and the great, forgotten war was to be remembered as ?The Undoing? to Aldulanís progeny. Written as such in the pages of their secret histories, the knowledge of the clock was protected through the ages, although the clock had never been used since. The pieces of the clock rested safely in the hands of the Holders, although most of the Holders knew nothing of what they possessed - as the knowledge of what it was that they had had been forgotten with the passing of time.

In the years following the Undoing, the balance between good and evil, greed and wonder, once again became more and more tenuous. The mortal races of the world had begun to forsake art and nature for war and industry once again.

All the while, a great darkness had been gaining power in the northeast, in the dark land of Malifess, and its goal was not dominion.

It was destruction.

Nearly 1000 years after the Undoing, all was nearly lost again...††††