Dan fought hard to win the throne. He’ll need to fight even harder to keep it.
When two armies descend upon the Wildervast, Dan must gather a barbarian horde to defend his lands, his people, and his wives. Meanwhile, an artifact of great power rekindles an ancient conflict within his own fortress. Then, as war rages within and without, the wicked, all-powerful succubus queen threatens to replace Dan’s crown with a slave collar.
With staggering challenges, fiery new wives, and everything on the line, Dan the Warlord is the epic conclusion of the Gold, Girls, and Glory series.
Warning: Dan the Warlord is an over-the-top adventure novel intended for readers 18 and older. It includes explicit sex, graphic violence, a harem of gorgeous ass-kicking girls, an extremely evil artifact, horny monster girls, a horde of foul-mouthed barbarians, and a succubus queen bent on making Dan her pet. Read at your own risk.
Release date: December 25, 2018
Publisher: Independently published
Print pages: 328
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Dan the Warlord
A Royal Pain in the Ass
Tatiana was a blur of motion, dodging Dan’s thrust, spinning to one side, and launching a lightning-quick, two-strike attack with the quarterstaff. The beautiful black panther girl was the fastest opponent Dan had faced since sparring Holly’s brother, Briar, back in the grove.
But timing beats speed.
Dan blocked the first strike with his wooden sword. Simultaneously, he drove forward, anticipating her second strike, and jammed the she-panther’s attack with his lead shoulder.
A second later, Tatiana was on her back, pinned to the mat beneath him.
Tatiana’s golden eyes flared, and her upper lip peeled back, baring bright white—and very sharp—teeth. “Get off me, you brute, or I’ll bite you!”
“Kinky,” Dan said, enjoying her frustration almost as much as the feel of her lithe body squirming against him.
“Release me this second, you filthy animal!”
Dan laughed, lifted off her, and helped the flustered cat-girl to her feet.
“What’s the matter, princess?” Dan said. “Not used to losing?”
“Stop calling me that,” she said, stomping the mat with exasperation. “And for your information, no, I am not accustomed to losing. My father was a champion of the fighting pits, and I, as a handmaiden to Princess Kah’Dreel, studied under—”
“The greatest martial arts masters in the world,” Dan interrupted. “How come I keep whipping your ass then?”
“You’re too big,” Tatiana growled.
“That’s what she said,” Nadia quipped from the sidelines.
Dan’s gorgeous, smart-ass wife trained with Tatiana every chance she had. Most of Nadia’s time, however, was spent exploring the fortress, evaluating treasure, and taking care of her urchins, who spent their own days lurking and mingling, eavesdropping for Mother Wolf, who in turn kept Dan informed.
Things were good in the fortress. Busy but happy.
Jorbin Ateel had done an excellent job of getting everyone settled alongside the numerous red elves Big Bob Bannon had employed to staff the castle and his two dozen remaining half-orc mercenaries, who had been perfectly loyal henchmen to Dan since one of them deserted—and instantly burst into flames, having violated the succubus queen’s justice as set out in the magically sanctioned duel between Dan and Bannon.
All systems were up and running, and everyone had a suitable job. Many of those who’d traveled in Dan’s caravan had traded in their swords and bows for ladles, brooms, or teaching slates, but Dan was happy to know that his cooks, maids, and teachers could easily pick up those swords and bows again if needed.
Dan had learned from Bannon’s mistake. Winning the throne was one thing. If you wanted to hold it, you needed people you could rely on.
“I’m next,” Parus said, stepping onto the mat and slicing the air with his wooden sword. The red elf sparred like he fought, with fearless abandon and surprising ferocity.
Not that any of that really helped him against Dan.
Leveling up kicked ass. As an eighth-level barbarian, Dan spotted attacks and openings with an ease he had never dreamed possible. Within the tangled forest of any combat moment, his brain and body now cooperated seamlessly and with remarkable speed. Seeing was thinking was doing.
When Dan had the time, he sparred all comers. He beat them easily, but each opponent tested him in different ways—especially when he faced two or three at a time.
Sparring kept him sharp, and it was fun as Hades.
Not that he had much time to spar.
Ruling was, it turned out, a royal pain in the ass. So he lived for these moments.
Since Dan took power, Parus had been overseeing the initiation of several thousand new recruits, namely his red elf cousins, whom Dan had inherited from Bannon. There hadn’t been time yet to relocate the elves, let alone to arm or train them. Parus’s days were consumed by planning, assigning roles, overseeing communication, and what to Dan seemed an unimaginable mountain of administrative bullshit.
The red elf bore up cheerily enough beneath his work, but Dan knew that Parus lived for these sparring sessions as much as he did.
“All right,” Dan said, beckoning to his red elf general. “Bring it, you fiery bastard!”
Before they could begin, however, a soft voice called from the doorway.
“Pardon the interruption, husband,” Chloe said, her French accent as thick as ever. She smiled sweetly, batted her long lashes, and lifted the hem of her frilly black skirt as she curtseyed. She looked like a small, very attractive human—except her swishing tail of feathers.
Whether or not the monster girl was hiding other non-human features beneath that sexy black-and-white maid uniform, Dan couldn’t say. He’d been so busy that Chloe and Bannon’s other two widows, Clarissa the serpent girl and Petronia the gargoyle, remained Dan’s wives in title only.
For now, he thought, taking in her fishnet stockings, shapely body, and heart shaped face. “What is it, Chloe? Another emissary?”
Over recent days, he had received a steady stream of emissaries from groups both within and beyond his territory, which he had renamed not Flame Valley or Teel Elan—either of those choices would have caused extreme division between his elven wives—but Freedom Valley.
“No husband, not an emissary,” Chloe said, and bit her lip in a severely cute way. “Your wife requests your presence on the throne room balcony. Au revoir.” And with another curtsey, she departed, her feathery tail swishing behind her.
One of my wives, Dan thought. Which one?
This was the question he pondered as he picked up his real sword, set his bronze crown back on his head, and left the others to train among themselves. He had spent too much time sparring already. He needed to visit the forge and check on Agatha, who was working night and day to rebuild the Fists of Fury.
But first, he would go to the balcony and see what his mystery wife wanted.
It wouldn’t be Holly. His grey elf wife was obsessed with their new home. She split her time praying before the great, dead delving tree; haunting the dusty library of her ancestors; and tending to the baby purple worms, which she had moved into the bowels of the castle, terrifying pretty much everyone. Holly was so obsessed with these pursuits that every day and every night, he had to remind her to eat and sleep—for her health and for the health of their unborn son.
Nor would Ula beckon him now. These days, Ula glowed like the magical blade of her new axe. She had helped her husband to take a powerful fortress and now served as his top general, which meant that she was busy reviewing the armory, studying the castle’s defenses, and gathering information about the valley’s scope, topography, tribes, and neighbors. What more could a hobgoblin warrior woman want?
Thelia also glowed with satisfaction. Shortly after Dan’s coronation, she had experienced another scary-ass fire prophetess moment, speaking to the massed valley elves from a pillar of flames, declaring herself the True Matriarch and Dan the Warlord of the Wildervast. Since then, she had been working her sweet little red ass off leading the red elves, mastering her burgeoning fire magic, and studying the powerful magical item she had gained from Bannon’s treasure.
The ring of spell holding had belonged to an ancient red elf wizard. It held four spells, two of which Thelia had already identified. One of those, levitation, Dan had experienced back in Campus Quest, when Zeke had lifted him into the Tower of Terror. The other, animate corpses, sounded even creepier than the giant spiders Dan had faced atop the tower, and indeed Holly worried about her sister-wife dabbling with necromancy.
Holly also worried about the ring’s two remaining spells, which Thelia had not yet identified. Holly’s concerns were natural enough, given the long-simmering tensions between the two wives and their people, who had a long history of conflict, culminating thousands of years ago in this very castle, then known as Teel Elan, when Mooret and his red elves usurped the fortress, founding Flame Valley and driving the grey elves to the brink of extinction.
Thelia’s ring was one of the items that Wulfgar had mentioned, Dan realized, one of the things Dan couldn’t use. They hadn’t found the scrolls yet. Nor had they found the artifact that Wulfgar had mentioned, and part of Dan hoped that they never did.
In Willis’s campaign, artifacts were incredibly powerful, incredibly weird, and incredibly dangerous.
What artifact was hidden within the castle?
The question plagued him throughout his days. But right now, he mainly wondered which wife was waiting for him on the balcony.
It seemed unlikely that one of Bannon’s widows would summon Dan now. Petronia called to him from her pedestal every night, but during daytime, the gargoyle remained a frozen statue. Clarissa was too unobtrusive to interrupt him.
That left one wife and his official guess for who was beckoning him.
The otherworldly sylph remained her moody, unpredictable, insatiable self. Here for a moment, then gone, then back again. Happy, curious, melancholy, changeable as the winds themselves. Of all his wives, the capricious wind nymph cared the least about his responsibilities.
Yes, it would be Zamora calling him to the balcony, wanting what she always wanted.
Sex and seed. Dan’s life essence.
She would beg him to make love out in the open air, where they both could feel the power of the wind.
Sure enough, when he strode across the high-vaulted throne room and out onto the broad balcony overlooking Freedom Valley, Zamora awaited him, hovering several inches above the stone floor, her ethereal blue hair wavering overhead like a gas flame.
“No,” he said. “Not now.”
Zamora tilted her pretty head with seeming confusion. “What do you mean, Master?”
“Sex,” Dan said. “I’m too busy to have sex with you right now. Wait until tonight.”
Every night since winning the throne, he had enjoyed a knock-down-drag-out orgy with his lovely wives. But daytime was for working. He had fought hard to earn his bronze crown, and he wasn’t going to piss everything away by partying 24/7.
Zamora tossed back her head, releasing a whirlwind of laughter. “Oh Master, you don’t know me as well as you’d like to think. The wind blows in many directions, and I do manage to think of things other than your life essence.”
She disappeared, going invisible again.
A second later, a breeze coiled up and down Dan, caressing his body like a cat made out of wind. “But now that you mention it,” Zamora’s voice breathed in his ear, “your seed does sound delicious.”
“Stop fooling around,” Dan said. “Why did you call me up here?”
Zamora reappeared a few feet away, a playful grin on her face. Windy days always made her extra-mischievous. “Griffons are flying this way from the south,” she reported. “Twenty griffons, ridden by grey elves. Holly’s family approaches!”
Help me, Holly prayed. Help me to help you.
She knelt between the enormous roots of Est eel Est, the great delving tree, which towered gray and leafless within the gloom of the central keep.
Prayers to the dead. Prayers for the dead.
Here in this ancient place, which had been the very heart of grey-elf power in bygone millennia, Holly waited, listening for a whisper from her long-lost relatives, hoping to feel a magical connection to the world around her as she had in the woods and meadows outside.
But she heard no whispers and felt no connection.
She was merely a speck of vitality in this vast, lifeless chamber. A tiny point of existence surrounded by death.
But I am not alone, she thought, putting a hand to her stomach. The past may be dead, but I carry the future.
And yet, to pave the way for her child, she needed to do all that she could to call upon the past, anything she could to resurrect the tree of trees.
Please help me.
The ground vibrated.
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