A Nirendia Journey: Clayton Achates

Clayton Achates, son of Irma and Earl Achates, lives in the town of Perketh in the Kingdom of Surdel, where he trains to become the town’s next blacksmith under the careful tutelage of Master Nathan. Clayton marries a young, beautiful raven-haired girl named Riley and spends most of his days with his best friend Ashton Jeraldson and Master Nathan at the forge.

Except for each morning, when Clayton and Ashton pick morning glories for a daily bouquet to be delivered to Riley before forge work begins. Their routes always follow the main thoroughfares of Perketh, until one day, a fast-moving lord’s carriage cuts short Clayton’s life, right in front of Ashton. Clayton’s funeral is well attended. The entire town shows up, but only Ashton stays late into the night, wailing over his fallen friend.

This should be the end of Clayton’s life, but Ashton is not the normal young man he seems. Unbeknownst to the townspeople (and even himself), Clayton’s best friend has a regal lineage, going back to the gods of Nirendia. In his whispers and cries above Clayton’s grave, Ashton Jeraldson accidentally utters phrases in the Words of Creation. These are no ordinary words, and Clayton is pulled from the terrible afterlife of the Void and back into Nirendia, where his wounds from the carriage take months to heal.

Clayton comes back to a world in chaos. A bandit army pillages Perketh and other nearby towns on their way to Mallory Keep, where the lord who killed Clayton sleeps in opulence. Perketh and Dona fall and thousands of murdered people cry out to the man who speaks the Words of Creation. And after Ashton answers their calls from the Void, Clayton joins many terrifying wraiths hell bent on vengeance and justice, until their target, the bandit army, is destroyed.

But the bandit army is the least of the concerns of the southern peoples. Demon Lord Orcus hastens to the surface, searching for Ashton Jeraldson–a mortal who speaks like a god but acts like a demon lord rival, raising the dead and competing with Orcus for the title of the Lord of the Undead. Clayton joins a new self-governing people within the Kingdom of Surdel that style themselves the Reborn. Not mindless like Orcus’ minions but quick to heal and free to think.

Clayton leads the Reborn as a general in Ashton’s Army, a force equipped by expert blacksmiths and autonomous in the southern region. They are harder to kill than humans, elves, and orcs, and they’re fiercely loyal to Ashton. Together, they confront Orcus and the invading army of a hostile nation from across the Small Sea, giving Ashton time to find the heroes and weapons that Nirendia needs. Clayton is a fierce friend, a competent blacksmith, and a regenerating, plate-wearing berserker. And for Ashton Jeraldson, there is no more trustworthy and useful friend to have on a planet invaded by demons.

Explore the world of Clayton Achates in the Orcusinian Box Set (Books 1-4 of the Age of Magic)

About Rex Jameson
Rex Jameson is the author of the three novels in the Primal Patterns series and half a dozen short stories. An avid history buff and an unabashed nerd with an appetite for science fiction and fantasy, he loves to create complex speculative fiction with layered characters. He earned a PhD in Computer Science at Vanderbilt University and researches distributed artificial intelligence in robotics. Rex and his wife Jenny live in Las Vegas where they enjoy hosting family and friends.

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