TITLE: The Sword and the Skull
GENRE: Adult Epic Fantasy
Ryn pulled the silver hand vase from the desk drawer and flooded the apartment with the spicy sweetness of mulled cider and strawberries.
The vase was the sort of accessory young women would use to carry nosegays at a wedding. But no cleric would have suffered the presence of this particular item in their chapel if they had known of its origins in a sorcerer’s summoning chamber.
Held fast in the vase was the Durassi sand lily Ryn had cut the night before. The heavy bloom was as broad as his outstretched hand—hundreds of delicate petals arranged in lazy arcs, shaded purple, violet, and indigo.
Getting the thing to grow away from its native soil was damned near impossible. He had cursed and fussed for two years to coax this single flower from among a half dozen plants. Thanks to the wraukuic enchantment upon the vase, it would never wilt or fade.
A sudden inhalation sounded at his shoulder, giving him a start.
“Smells heavenly, dear one,” Josalind said. Her milky gaze was fixed upon the flower as if she could still see.
“You scamp—I said to wait,” Ryn said.
“Did you, now?”
Josalind snatched the vase from his hand with an accuracy that never failed to surprise him and waved it beneath her nose as if sampling the bouquet of a fine wine. She loved to be among flowers. A dozen species crowded the rooftop garden above, tended by her gentle hand through touch and smell alone.