Excerpt from Chapter 10

A Soldier’s Crest by Joseph A. Angotti

Excerpt from Chapter 10:

There was a small forest between Oakrich and the Davish Checkpoint, home of
many wild animals and a tiny piece of scenery when making the trip between
the two locations. Dessa stood with a bow in hand, arrow cocked and ready for the
boar that stood just a few feet from her. She was squatted down, moving cautiously not
to startle the beast. On her back was her bo-staff, her signature weapon. The staff was
dragging in the dirt from her squatting position, but it was not making noise. She
stood, defiantly, the boar not paying her any mind. She let loose an arrow and it missed
the boar completely, hitting the dirt behind it. The boar got frightened and tried to
make its escape.

Dessa followed it fast, this time her bo-staff drawn. If I’m going to kill anything, it
will have to be with this.

Excerpt from Chapter 9

A Soldier’s Crest by Joseph A. Angotti

Excerpt from Chapter 9:

Vallick reached the outskirts of a very large jungle on the tropical Turnca Island.
Behind him, in the distance, was the Lone Lion, Mira Stormwillow’s ship. The
catlike female stood to his right, hands on her hips, squinting, as if it would help her
look through to the other side of the jungle. Sweat brewing on her brow. Vallick was
also hot, though this heat was nothing compared to the Dragon Faux when he was
wearing all of his armor. For now his hair was wet, as Mira had insisted he dip his head
into the water before they journeyed onto the island. His black spiky hair was more of
a mess than anything, and he had fully ripped off the sleeves of his torn leather jerkin
that the Dragonkin made for him. The sleeves were already ruined from Mira’s crew
pulling on him.

Excerpt from Chapter 8

A Soldier’s Crest by Joseph A. Angotti

Excerpt from Chapter 8:

Targen Renke walked slowly through the now desolate Dragon Faux while the
crimson red rock that made up the landscape was still scorching beneath his
feet. He dressed in his armor, minus the helmet, and finally shaved his beard down to
a goatee that only covered his chin to his lower lip. His dark brown hair was short and
messy as if he had just been woken up recently, and on his face was a scowl that would
accompany a sudden waking.

He passed through the area where the ten Dragon Knights stood before the
entirety of the Dragonkin Army. Traveled across the land where they first passed by
Brakus Thunderbone and his horde of melee Dragonkin warriors, where they left
Wyglaf and Dawn to do battle against the beast. He walked over red rock covered in
shards of wood from the arrows of Hora Wyverntear and stepped on dried blood that
had boiled in the spot where Gerard took an arrow in the back while trying to save
Faris. Eventually he reached the area where it felt that he would make his final stand
for the sake of the Dragon Knights as he did battle with Bane Warclaw, the largest of
the Dragonkin, alongside his partner, Merrill Stark.

Excerpt from Chapter 7

A Soldier’s Crest by Joseph A. Angotti

Excerpt from Chapter 7:

Vallick walked out toward the port. The Dragonkin had dressed him in heavy
leather, not nearly as protective as his Dragon Knight armor, but due to the
slash from Griffen, the top part of his armor was no longer useful. Aside from the outfit
the Dragonkin made for him, the only other thing he carried was Crimsonious
around his waist. The area before him was wide and empty, a large field of grass much
similar to that in his blackouts. The Isle of Dragons, as the Dragonkin had dubbed the
island they were staying on, was much larger than Vallick originally guessed. The village
he’d explored for Skye Highborn was northeast of the camp the Dragonkin had
set up and was large in and of itself. The land before Vallick now was twice the size,
with more land visible in the distance. Far off he could see the start of another forest,
and he wondered what else lay beyond. Switching focus to the task at hand, Vallick
continued to make his way toward the port. A hazy figure followed close behind him.

Drake Hatestitch.

Excerpt from Chapter 6

A Soldier’s Crest by Joseph A. Angotti

Excerpt from Chapter 6:

In the city of Oakrich, located in between the Azuldra territories and the Bawal
Empire, Marcus entered a rundown bar. He walked up to the bartender and tapped
twice on the counter. He ordered a drink—Behemoth Ale, his favorite—and made his
way over to a table set up in the corner of the bar. A few minutes had passed before a
man sitting a few tables away got up and joined him.

“I hear you’re a mercenary,” the man said. A smile appeared on his face, but it was
mostly gums. The man was missing almost all of his teeth.

“I’ve killed men for hearing less.” Marcus took a drink of his ale.

“No need to be hostile, mister. I’m only talking to you because I have a job that
you may be interested in.” He looked around suspiciously.

Excerpt from Chapter 5

A Soldier’s Crest by Joseph A. Angotti

Excerpt from Chapter 5:

The blistering heat from the sun was luckily blocked by the trees of the forest as
Vallick made his way in the direction that Skye demanded he travel in order to
reach the village. He played the situation out in his head over and over again, in an
effort to prepare himself for whatever he might find when he reached the village. He
knew they would be relieved to see another human, but he knew they would not be
very pleased with the fact that the Dragonkin were holding some of their people
hostage. Skye had also failed to mention if he was willing to let the prisoners go in an
effort to make peace. Vallick would need to improvise. First he would ask to speak to
the village elder or whoever else was in charge.

When he saw where the forest ended and the village began, he was relieved. The
whole time he traveled through the forest, he worried about foreign species outside of
Khroma finding him and attacking him. Without Crimsonious he felt defenseless, and
for the most part, he was. If the members of the village were hostile toward him as
well, he would stand no chance. He stepped out into the village area, but what he saw
was something he did not expect. Spread out across the village were bodies. The lifeless
shells of the people he was sent to make peace with. Cut and mutilated. Their huts
were burned and destroyed.

Excerpt from Chapter 4

A Soldier’s Crest by Joseph A. Angotti

Excerpt from Chapter 4:

The King’s Hall of the Bawal Empire was covered in black and gold flags, all
with different designs embroidered on them. King Rebel sat on his throne listening
to the problems of his people. A task he dreaded greatly. Some would complain
of lack of food, and some complained of lack of water for their harvest, which was just
another complaint about lack of food. The concerns of the people were similar in all
four kingdoms. Lack of food and water, lack of proper shelter and other random,
miniscule needs of the people that they felt were important. But something new had
quickly become common amongst the concerns of the people of the realm. Demons.

A young man stood before the king. He dropped to both knees. A squire stepped
forward with a large scroll and read from it. “Young Kenneth Masque of the village
Dreadsmirk, my lord,” the squire announced.

Excerpt from Chapter 3

A Soldier’s Crest by Joseph A. Angotti

Excerpt from Chapter 3:

Dark and distorted images flew through Vallick’s head, passing through like an
old-style movie reel. When they stopped, Vallick was in the Grand Dining
Hall of the Bawal Empire sitting amongst his Dragon Knight comrades. They were all
drinking, laughing, and enjoying themselves. Targen stood up, his beard much darker
and thicker than before the war; he held a chalice in his hand filled to the top with ale,
which was spilling out while he held it up in the air. Merrill Stark was next to him with
a big, drunken smile on her face, Targen’s cloth armband tied around her head like a
bandana.

“We slayed those dragon bastards!” he yelled, slurring his words. “Stomped ’em
right into their graves!”

I remember it differently, Vallick thought.

Excerpt from Chapter 2

A Soldier’s Crest by Joseph A. Angotti

Excerpt from Chapter 2:

Ten years prior to the events of the War of Dragon Faux, a group of cultists gathered
to study a phenomenon known as the demon rift. The young kids, mostly in
their teens, studied every book they could get their hands on, found by illegally infiltrating
closed-off crypts and libraries. Eventually they found enough information on the forbidden
words needed to open a portal in their own dimension that would link them to the
underworld. This whole plan was devised from a vision that the leader of this cult, Damien
Orbus, saw one night in his dreams. Using the words from a book known as the Songs from
the Harp of the Damned
, he would open a portal to hell and unleash the demons residing
within upon the world in an effort to gain favor with the devil. He expected the devil to
then, in turn, reward him and his comrades with enough power to rule the earth.

Excerpt from Chapter 1

A Soldier’s Crest by Joseph A. Angotti

Excerpt from Chapter 1:

Only the whisper of tall grass betrayed the passing of the man with searching
eyes. With every thud of his heavy boots against the dry earth, and every brush
of the grass against his armor, the land around him withered away into fallow ground.
He faltered mid-step as serious eyes filled with apprehension and fear. He stopped for
a moment to look behind him, standing on the border between life and death. The
ghostly apparition of a disembodied torso rose from the dust, claws stretched out in an
invitation to the underworld.

Suddenly there was only darkness. He turned around as his eyes cleared, but the
ghost was gone. As he resumed his course, muffled voices reached his ears.

“Here we go again.”