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Ralph F. Halse

Ralph Halse has spent twenty-nine years in law enforcement—municipal, state and federal, where he developed ideas of environmental reform that eventually influenced this novel. A member of the Australian Society of Authors and Queensland Writers Centre he resides on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast with his wife, Cathy.

Email : halserf@bigpond.net.au

Artefact War

Written By: Ralph F. Halse
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Shortly after the Great Disaster, the Viro priesthood began to preach that our Earth Mother holds intrinsic values...

Greythorn had observed many stealthy killers in years gone by, but the apparition, draped completely in mottled grey and black, with a hood that extended from its shoulders to cover its face, sent shivers down his spine, for as the hood billowed slightly, he glimpsed the face within. Dark green, larger than normal, elliptical eyes set wide apart on a pale skinned face above a thin, sharp nose, along with a pointed, cleft chin below a small mouth with thin lips, and no eyebrows, stared at him.

The figures emerging from the bush were uniformly tall, taller than most humans, and lithely built. Even though they surrounded the three companions and were within a stone's throw, they moved with such stealth that Greythorn had still not detected a single footstep. The stark white hair that fell to the warrior's shoulders, within the hood, brought back disturbing rumours of a race long since believed extinct to Greythorn's mind. He could see pointed ears flicking back and forth, examining every sound before the hunter placed a foot cautiously forward. It seemed that the Elwarri were not a legend after all and it looked as if they were going to be killed by them. The figure before Greythorn, lifted one hand off its bowstring to make several intricate finger gestures. In response, the bulk of the band melted back into the forest, and still Greythorn had not heard a twig snap to betray any movement.

Shortly after the Great Disaster, the Viro priesthood began to preach that our Earth Mother holds intrinsic values that cannot be compared to human desires, that machines brought the Earth Mother to the brink of mass extinction and that religious belief alone is insufficient to bring about the blanket changes needed to restore the Earth Mother to Her natural state. As the centuries passed, a frustrated priesthood hierarchy accepted that humans are fallible and that political and social change would be slow. So a sect of fundamentalist Viros set about practising a policy of peaceful interference in Brizarian life with the aim to join state and the temples under one supreme ruler. But somewhere along the way and over the centuries, all good intentions had given way to avarice, ego and a policy of retribution against their foremost enemies, the Scavengers.
Price: $6.99
Scavenger Lord

Written By: Ralph F. Halse
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

It is in a world of corrupt, blood-spattered priests that one brave monk decides to make a stand. Rhyka a twenty-t...

Unnaturally smooth walls rose fifty metres to where sunlight filtered in through a stained, but once clear, perma-glaz dome. The chamber appeared to be some three hundred metres in circumference with several openings to the outside. To his left, a broad staircase swept up to a gallery. He checked carefully for signs of Priest or Activist. Finding none, Rhyka started across the floor for the gallery. About halfway across, a harsh booming noise froze him in his tracks.

From the corner of his eye, Rhyka spied a gigantic predator rushing out a tunnel mouth, wings spread, arcing downward, thrusting with long tearing claws. His jaw dropped. Its wingspan must be forty metres from wing tip to wing tip. Cruel cat-yellow eyes, the size of a cartwheel, fastened him with a malevolent stare. Filled with unimaginable terror, he stood rooted to the spot. With a sinking stomach, Rhyka realised that his sword would be no more than a thorn to this brute. The beast must be some sort of Priestly watchdog.

The creature’s head was a metre and a half-long, supporting a bright blue crest. Its neck continuously twisted this way and that. Shades of light brown flecked the upper and under wings. From claw to blue topknot, Rhyka put the creature anywhere from fourteen to sixteen metres in height. Its beak was bone yellow as long as a small canoe and mottled brown beneath the jaw. Loose blue flesh hung about the eye pockets. Narrowly avoiding a snapping beak, Rhyka heaved himself to the right. His shoulder went numb when he hit the hard rock floor. Ears ringing, he got up and staggered through an opening to the outside, away from the beast. Weak and confused, Rhyka was vaguely aware that the creature was pursuing him.

Rapid movement caught his eye. It was the beast. He had to move faster. Startled, he started to slip and slide on the cloud-wet rock. Blind panic set in when before him, floating in and out of fog clouds on silent wings were hundreds of the creatures. He fought to maintain his balance and slow his momentum. Still sliding, he looked down the Spire to a flat outcrop directly below. It was a drop of five metres. Under normal circumstances this would prove an obstacle, but with a bung shoulder and fractured ribs, impossible. A fiery pain lanced through his foot like a sword through flesh as he twisted his ankle. His back arched involuntarily, causing him to over balance. He felt himself free falling through space. Time passed in microseconds. Horrified, he looked back to watch the creature pursuing him. It had launched into the soft-wet clouds.

A wake of air buffeted him further into space. As he fell, he turned over just as an incoming beast skidded to halt on the ledge below him. With a bone-jarring thud, he landed directly between the monster’s shoulder blades. The beast let out a squawk as it lumbered up the ramp with a sorely winded Rhyka clinging to its lightly furred back. Hissing loudly, a snakelike neck permitted that enormous beak to snap at him. As he pulled away, blinding pain surged through him. The monk’s world devolved into a nightmare of pain, rock walls, rippling fur-covered muscles and cries of animal rage, accompanied by dizzy body spins as the creature tried to dislodge him. Rhyka fought to maintain control of his senses and, though giddy and disorientated, he sensed the creature pause.

Expecting to be plucked to the ground, sawed in half and munched into pulp, he instead, found himself confined to a rocky alcove twenty metres across and twenty metres high. Coned light and a moaning wind entered via circular holes high up in the wall. The brute that had taken his fall was stationary. A huge head pivoted to observe the tiny human, who must have been no more annoying than tick. A yellow eye blinked twice, a clear membrane followed by a long grey eyelid shuttered down, then up again. A bone-coloured beak speared at him.

Rhyka’s heart hammered. He opened his mouth to scream.

It is in a world of corrupt, blood-spattered priests that one brave monk decides to make a stand. Rhyka a twenty-three year old warrior monk dedicated to the Order of Lud has a bounty on his head, set by corrupt priests who want to resurrect the dark power of the ancients for the second time in his short life. Rhyka is the sole survivor of bloody massacre. Narrowly surviving a battle with a rogue priest and his warrior Activist, Rhyka is confronted by a six metre tall creature designed by the ancients. He must defeat this beast and enter the capitol city of Brizaria carrying dangerous artefacts, the possession of which could see him executed without trial. Upon entering Brizaria he must to convince the Lord High Scavenger, Jaggan-Kai that a faction of corrupt priests and their Activists foot soldiers are preparing to employ artefacts containing the dark power of the ancients to bring down the Scavenger Empire.
Price: $7.99
The Essence of Being Human

Written By: Ralph F. Halse
Published By: Devine Destinies

Ever met a stranger who feel perfectly comfortable with, or walked into room and knew it intimately, even though y...

“Are you an angel?”

“In a manner of speaking and despite my lack of wings you humans expect to see, I am.”

“Am I about to face my Maker to atone for my sins?” Annie said.

“Goodness, gracious me, no,” she clucked her tongue derisively, “I must say, it slips my mind how high an opinion humans hold of themselves until I perform this role again. Your, um, Maker, dear, has many things to do.  A personal, one-on-one chat over a nice cup of camomile tea to discuss in depth where you went wrong in life and so on with the all human departed would be far too time consuming a task for any being to accomplish.”

“Well, am I here to choose another family for rebirth then?”

Ever met a stranger who feel perfectly comfortable with, or walked into room and knew it intimately, even though you have never been there before? There is an explanation, just as Annie Meechum can attest to.
Price: $1.59
The Loregiver

Written By: Ralph F. Halse
Published By: Devine Destinies
Heat Level:

Tony regarded His Lordship with as much fear as a fly caught in a silken web must feel when a spider is about to devour it for lunch. Somewhere, deep in the old man’s eyes, a golden vampire flicker of power was beginning to emerge. In his entire life, Tony had never seen anything as intimidating or as deadly.

Even as Christine resumed her seat, Tony could feel the pressure mounting against him in the study. For someone who had, for the past year, felt invincible, Tony felt decidedly vulnerable and exposed to a danger from which he might not return. Every eye in the study focussed on him, and not in a good way. With no uncertainty, Tony knew he was on trial for his life. For the first time since conversion, Tony regretted becoming a vampire like never before and wondered whether he would survive to see the next moonrise.

His Lordship simply stared grimly at Tony while aiming his pointer at the spot on the carpet just vacated by Christine.

Sighing, Tony rose to face his accusers. Most disturbing for Tony was that the werewolf never budged an inch. It simply lay there flicking its tail in anticipation, watching him with feral yellow eyes.

At twenty-three years of age, Tony could be best described as well-built. Standing more than six-feet-four inches tall, he was a magnificent example of a male vampire and before conversion, a human. His hair was ash blond, thin and cut to fall across his right, black-painted eye. He had black eye shadow artfully painted and applied to both his grey eyes. Whereas, on the others, this look was interesting, on Tony it magnified his natural, good looks, which he exploited with women at every opportunity.

Tony wore no piercings—he scorned them. He often bragged to his clan that a vampire needed only his incisors. Hours in the gymnasium resulted in muscles that rippled beneath his black skin-tight shirt. His stomach muscles flowed like beckoning beach waves to every female within view. Unless it suited him, these, too, he scorned as part of his vampire game with the humans.

Biceps, thicker than most men’s thighs, bulged with veins and corded muscle, encased in tight, black jeans. Legs as sturdy as tree trunks propelled Tony with a pent up energy that could explode into a leap beyond forty yards or put him through a standard door, shattering it like it were paper-thin. Tony was a vampire to be feared, even by his own kind, and he was highly intelligent. Even so, he was puny compared to the werewolf.

Going vampire, as Tony described the conversion, had probably saved his life. Despite a strict gym routine, Tony had to breakout, and when he did, his hunger for women, hard drugs, alcohol, fast food and reckless behaviour knew no bounds. As soon as the change took hold, Tony ceased his intake of illicit substances. Vampires didn’t need them anyway.

Tony’s muscle strength magnified, as did his capacity to think. Apparently, though, his recall had suffered when his human self had over indulged. Or had it?

Tony stood silent in an imaginary dock. Folding his hands behind his back, he looked expectantly up his judge.

His Lordship held his pointer loosely in his right hand. He consulted the volume beneath his fingertips, then stated in a voice resembling dry, winter leaves, tumbling along dark path, “You’ve heard the damning evidence provided by the other accused, Mr Delmonti. Would you say it is accurate?”

Tony nodded. He was too scared to voice a reply because that damn werewolf was licking its lips and purring like a cat as it watched him intently.

“Very well, Mr Delmonti. Describe to this court, in your own words, how your conversion took place.” His Lordship uttered a caution. “And, Mr Delmonti,” “Under no circumstances, skip or gloss over the events leading up to that moment.”

If it were at all possible for a vampire to blanch, Tony did. His whiter than pale features got even paler still and his body tensed as if preparing to receive a blow.

Price: $5.99