TNDS: Tales from the world of the Noble Dead Saga

  • About the “Tales”
  • Tales Timeline
  • Collections

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T · N · D · S:
Tales from the world of the Noble Dead Saga

No knowledge of the Noble Dead Saga or related works is necessary to read and enjoy these stories. They are written for fantasy enthusiasts in general and not just our established readership. Readers new to this world can step into it through any of these short works.

Tales are organized into “collections” where all stories therein share a theme and/or premise. When one or more link together, subsequent stories will mention “sequel to…” on their covers to guide you. Even so, each is self-contained enough to be your first adventure into this world.

—Barb & J.C.

Tales Timeline

For curious readers of the Noble Dead Saga, the following table provides a [very] rough guide to the time frame of events in “Tales” as compare to the saga’s events to date. Finite timing of events is not possible here, so keep that in mind.

PRE-SAGA “Home­ward” “Tales of Mis­belief” “Bones of the Earth” “Sage­craft”
[Pre-Saga] HW1: The Game Piece      
  HW2: The Feral Path      
SERIES 1 “Home­ward” “Tales of Mis­belief” “Bones of the Earth” “Sage­craft”
Dhampir        
  HW3: The Sapphire      
  HW4: The Keepers      
Dhampir        
Sister of the Dead        
Traitor to the Blood        
      BE1: Karras the Kitten  
Rebel Fay The Reluctant Guardian   BE2: Karras the Cat  
  Captives      
  Claws      
  The Sleeping Curse      
Child of a Dead God Silent Bells The Forgotten Lord    
    The Forgotten Mistress
The Forgotten Mistress
   
SERIES 2 “Home­ward” “Tales of Mis­belief” “Bones of the Earth” “Sage­craft”
In Shade and Shadow        
Through Stone and Sea        
Of Truth and Beasts        
SERIES 3 “Home­ward” “Tales of Mis­belief” “Bones of the Earth” “Sage­craft”
Through Stone and Sea        
The Dog in the Dark        
A Wind in the Night        
        Puppy Love

“Homeward” Collection:

The Game Piece

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[Book Cover]

Barb Hendee

$2.99 USD

Short story, 14k+ words
ISBN-13: 9780985561604
ISBN-10: 0985561602
ASIN: B007XK17WA
BNID: 2940014558389
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

In his youth, Loni never felt that he fit in anywhere, even among his family or his people — the Lhoin’na or the elves of the central continent. As he dwells on tales told to him by a doting grandmother, he begins to believe he might have been born in the wrong time.

One scant tale of a past age hints that the legendary Sorhkafâré led some of Loni’s people to the east at the end of the great mythical war. Loni dreams of those forgotten Departed ones, wondering if their descendants still exist. The answer may be more and less than he hoped in his quest to find where he belongs.

“Homeward” Collection:

The Feral Path

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KoboBooks.com [EPUB] &nsp;

[Book Cover]

Barb Hendee

$2.99 USD

Short Story, ~12k Words
ISBN-13: 9780985561628
ISBN-10: 0985561629
ASIN: B0088CP3CW
BNID: 2940014740081
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Rashed, one of the Noble Dead and a vampire, has killed his maker and master, Lord Corische. Fleeing his master’s keep in Stravina, he takes with him Teesha, Ratboy, and his brother, Parko. At first, all four relish freedom in their separate ways, but they soon learn that freedom has its dangers for their kind.

Without a master, Parko quickly loses himself to the Feral Path, that seductive sensuality of being unrestrained in the hunt and the kill. Ratboy feels this call as well but is caught between this desire and his need for companionship and safety. Teesha, reeling much more than she expected at being “homeless,” wants only a new place in the world of their own making.

Rashed is tangled in all of this by his sense of responsibility for his companions. Most of all, he’s determined that Teesha never feel lost again. He’ll do anything to create a home for heranything.

Ratboy continues to struggle against his longing to be free of self-restraint, to hunt and kill at will. Sometimes he succeeds against his baser instincts, and sometimes he doesn’t. Then one night, when he loses the battle, his actions threaten everything that Rashed has managed to achieve… including Teesha’s safety.

“Homeward” Collection:

The Sapphire

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[Book Cover]

Barb Hendee

$2.99 USD

Short story, 12k+ words
ISBN-13: 9780985561635
ISBN-10: 0985561637
ASIN: B008GTTD9G
BNID: 2940014740081
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

After fleeing from the small port town of Miiskaand the threat of a vampire hunter’s bladeRatboy finds himself alone in the king’s city of Bela, having left his two companions, Rashed and Teesha behind. Lost and lonely at first, he soon realizes that he has a chance to reinvent himself, to take on a new name and a new identity. Then… he sees a young woman with bright blue eyes, and he falls in love for the first time.

Unfortunately, he can’t quite see that she’s a gold-digging prostitute. But love is blind. He’s determined to make her his own, make her immortal, give her anything she wants, and make her happy. However, keeping her happy soon proves a daunting task, one that will require desperate measures and all his cunning.

“Homeward” Collection:

The Keepers

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[Book Cover]

Barb Hendee

$2.99 USD

Short story, 12k+ words
ISBN-13: 9780985561642
ISBN-10: 0985561645
ASIN: B008UDGK8U
BNID: 2940014827027
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Young Jan is stunned when his father, Cadell, the “zupan” and leader of the region’s villages, is offered the vassal lordship of the local keep. His father is about as far from nobility as anyone could be. For some reason, the nobles of the house of Äntes, the rulers of Jan’s province, have been unable to keep a vassal there for twenty yearsas those appointed have fled the place in the nightand the Äntes may have grown desperate enough to throw the position at Jan’s father.

The last place Jan wants to live is a decrepit, dark little fortress above a village of superstitious peasants. But when his father accepts the position, Jan finds himself swept off to the abandoned keep above the village of Chemestúk. The situation there is darker and more serious than he, his mother, or his father bargained for.

The local peasants won’t go near the keep; something terrible happened up there twenty years ago. Soon enough, Jan and his mother begin to learn why no vassal has ever remained in that place for more than a moon. And the darkness upon the keep is greater than mere superstition.

“Homeward” Collection:

The Reluctant Guardian

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[Book Cover]

Barb Hendee

$2.99 USD

Short story, 12k+ words
ISBN-13: 9780985561659
ISBN-10: 0985561653
ASIN: B0095Y50L6
BNID: 2940015128253
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

After Bieja flees her home in the village of Chemestúk, burned to the ground in a civil war, she soon realizes she has only one place left to go. Her niece, Magiere, owns a little tavern in the port town of Miiskawhich is unfortunately a long journey away on the west coast. Bieja has never traveled more than a few leagues from her hut in all of her life.

Undaunted all the same, she sets off through her war-torn homeland with what she could scavenge from the blackened remains of her village. All too soon, she finds herself on unfamiliar paths and facing the risk of both deserters and conscripted soldiers who are as desperate as she is. She has always been independent, but she might not survive this journey alone… until happenstance trips her up with a most unusual guardian.

The problem is, this guardian might be as dangerous as anything else Bieja will have to face.

“Homeward” Collection:

Captives

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[Book Cover]

Sequel to The Keepers

Barb Hendee

$2.99 USD

Short story, 12k+ words
ISBN-13: 9780985561680
ISBN-10: 0985561688
ASIN: B00C8W215K
BNID: 2940016516387
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Jan, son of Nadia and Cadell, is conscripted along with every able male in Chemestúk by one faction in a rising civil war. Soon after, another faction burns the village to the ground, leaving Jan’s parents and other survivors to seek refuge in an aging keep.

Inside the worn and crumbling stronghold, young and long-ago orphaned Julianna hides away with the survivors and Jan’s parents. Left to wonder if he or any others of their men will survive to return home, all she can do is help those around her.

When armed deserters come to raid the keep, Julianna is lost in how to best help Nadia and Cadell, the village elders, keep everyone alive. Soon, she faces choices and actions she never would have even considered in better days.

Meanwhile, Jan has only his wit and trickery, his charming appeal to women and his violin, all of which he has leaned upon too often in a lazy life. To his shock, he realizes these limited skills are not enough to save him as he is pressed into a forced march toward the front line of a battle.

Neither Jan nor Julianna had ever given serious thought to their feelings for each other. Now separated, they both realize they’ve lost someone important. How far are they willing to go and what can they live with, to stay alive and find each other again?

“Homeward” Collection:

Claws

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[Book Cover]Would you leave behind all that you know to help the one you love find himself?

Sequel to Captives

Barb Hendee

$2.99 USD

Short story, 19k+ words
ISBN-13: 9780985561697
ISBN-10: 0985561696
ASIN: B00D7P7KIU
BNID: 2940016707815
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Each autumn, Jan awaits his aunt and uncle’s arrival to enjoy a season on the open road with them in earning his keep with his violin. Julianna isn’t looking forward to his absence, and then Jan’s mother asks her to accompany Jan in traveling with their family of the Móndyalítko, the “world’s little children.”

Julianna has never set foot outside her home village, but she is eager if a little wary to see more of the world among this strange traveling people. Jan finds a new joy in showing her that world as his buried feelings for her begin to resurface. But when the family reaches their first stop to perform, a bizarre series of attacks suddenly plagues the townspeople.

Jan’s ever-traveling family of outsiders is instantly suspected. He and Julianna throw themselves into growing danger as they strive in their separate ways to find the true culprit. Julianna soon discovers the source of these horrors might be too close to the suspicions of the townspeople… close enough that it may be too late to save herself or Jan.

“Homeward” Collection:

The Sleeping Curse

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[Book Cover]The cost of a cure can be worse than the curse.

Sequel to Claws

Barb Hendee

$2.99 USD

Short story, 16k+ words
eISBN: 1230000148920
ASIN: B00DTJJSKC
BNID: 2940148310310
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Julianna, along with Jan’s entire Móndyalítko family, arrives at the capitol city of Kéonsk for the grand autumn fair. Having grown up in a small village, she’s never seen anything like this vast array of stalls, wagons, and people gathered for a yearly festival market. Almost immediately, the family launches into a series of well planned shows to entertain visitors from near and farand to earn money.

Julianna joins them in playing the tambourine as Jan plays his violin, and even Jan is surprised by how much she enjoys this. Unfortunately, any joy in this new life is soon cut short for both of them when a curse is set upon one family member by a power-hungry witch.

To break the curse, Jan is told that he must complete a task. Though he intends to do so alone, Julianna has other ideas. As the pair rush headlong into saving a family member, neither realize the remedy may be more dangerous than the curse itself.

“Homeward” Collection:

Silent Bells

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[Book Cover]Can one past act silence hope for their future?

Sequel to The Sleeping Curse

Barb Hendee

$2.99 USD

Short story, 13k words
eISBN: 1230000159559
ASIN: B00EHZK7EI
BNID: 2940148707714
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Jan and Julianna, along with all of Jan’s Móndyalítko family, return to Chemestúk keep to prepare for a joyous daytheir wedding. Julianna could not be happier, for Jan has altered completely; no longer the shallow “breaker of hearts,” he now belongs solely to her. Yet even as flowers are arranged and the wedding feast is prepared, Jan’s past catches up to him.

The night before the wedding, another woman unexpectedly arrives at the keep and brings devastating repercussions that rapidly spin out of control. To Julianna’s shock, she is soon fighting not only for Jan’s life but her certainty that she can trust him with her heart. Is he really the man she believed him to be?

Not only does his life hang in the balance but their future life together as well.

“Bones of the Earth” Collection:

Karras the Kitten

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KoboBooks.com  

[Book Cover]

J.C. Hendee

$2.99 USD

Short Story, 26k+ words
ISBN-10: 0985561610
ISBN-13: 9780985561611
ASIN: B0083CWTKQ
BNID: 2940014438278
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Karras, who humans mistakenly call “Carrow,” is not a typical Rughìr’thai’âch, “Earth-Born,” or dwarf. In fact, in serving his family’s shipping and trading business, he has taken on too many human ways in place of those of his people. No wonder that, in attempting to “barter” for marriage with the fiery and dour Skirra“Sliver”of the fallen family of Yêarclág, he has bungled the deal for years. Dismissed once more by her to salve his heart’s wounds, this time those wounds get salted with the unwanted assistance of a blustery clan-kinFiáh’our, or the great “Hammer-Stag.”

The old honored warrior has his own notion of what Karras needs. To Fiáh’our, honorable barter for love and marriage is akin to one battle after another. And only the way of their people’s warriors can see Karras to victory… over himself, first of all. 

May their people’s eternal ancestors, the Bäynæ, watch over themespecially to keep them from each other’s throats.

“Bones of the Earth” Collection:

Karras the Cat

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[Book Cover]

Sequel to Karras the Kitten

J.C. Hendee

$2.99 USD

Novella, 40k+ words
ISBN-10: 0985561661
ISBN-13: 9780985561666
ASIN: B00A03F12Y
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

The old and honored dwarven thänæ, Fiáh’our, is convinced that he is honorbound to take young Karras as an “apprentice” and force the wayward young clan-kin to learn the ways of their people’s warriors. Poor Fiáh’our has no idea what he is in for.

Karras has no intention of doing anything more than necessary to fulfill his part of an unwilling apprenticeship arranged by his father. Worse, in being from a family of seatraders, a way of life baffling to most rughìrthe “Earth-Born” or dwarvesKarras is pitifully unsuited to the calling of a warrior. As a result, his training rapidly turns into futility. But Fiáh’our is determined to continue.

Karras also suffers from unrequited love, which interferes with his concentration. He has repeatedly asked Skirra, of the fallen family of Yêarclág, to marry him; for reasons inexplicable to him, she has refused him, perhaps for the last time. Fiáh’our has an inkling about why Skirra rejected Karras, but the thänæ believes he can make his new apprentice worthy of her. For that, Fiáh’our has a notion that might even give Karras a little hope of her acceptance. That is, if Karras can survive his first battle.

Out on the northern frontier, where Fiáh’our goes each summer for good service, a threat to the villages there has returned with greater force. The longer Fiáh’our delays in failed training with Karras, the greater his guilt for not defending those in need. Between these two duties, the risk for Fiáh’ourand Karrasmay reach a breaking point that could cost one or both of their lives.

“Tales of Misbelief” Collection:

The Forgotten Lord

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[Book Cover]Sometimes our own beliefs are what imprison us.

Barb Hendee

$2.99 USD

Short story, 15k+ words
ISBN-13: 9780985561673
ISBN-10: 098556167X
ASIN: B00BCP0M64
BNID: 2940016395159
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Lord Stefan Korbori is trapped inside his own manor, kept there by the curse of an undead sorcerer. In endlessly wandering the same rooms and passages for several years, he has begun sinking into madness. Although abandoned or forgotten by other nobles of his class, he still has the love of his young mistress to anchor him against the darkness.

Elena would do anything to help her lord. When three sages from the Bela Annex of the Guild of Sagecraft pass through her village of Pudúrlatsat, she sees a glint of hope. As scholars, they might have knowledge of sorcery — or rather how to counter it. A plan begins to form out of the past and how her lord first became imprisoned by the curse.

Elena sees one chance for Stefan that even he would never allow — that might not work — if he learned of it.

“Tales of Misbelief” Collection:

The Forgotten Mistress

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[Book Cover]Losing your way might be your only way to find your true place in the world.

Barb Hendee

$2.99 USD

Short story, 19k words
eISBN: 1230000184885
ASIN: B00F8OL8Z4
BNID: 2940148404064
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Young Elena has lifted a curse from her widower lord, Stefan Korbori, and is basking in his new happiness and gratitude. She is now mistress to both him and his great manor in all ways but name. Her world seems perfect, until one night he informs her that he will take a new wife… for her money.

Stunned and powerless, Elena has no choice but to accept her change of status. She refuses to become an object of pity and maintains her position as housekeeper. But soon after the new wife arrives, Stefan begins to slip into madness again, echoing the nightmare of his past curse.

Elena suspects the new bride is not what the woman appears to be, as darkness has once again descended upon the manor. It must be fought, but who will believe the warnings of a forgotten mistress?

“Tales of Misbelief” Collection:

The Forgotten Village

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[Book Cover]

Barb Hendee

$2.99 USD

Short story, 20k words
eISBN: 2940149215980
ASIN: B00KV0RQA6
BNID: 2940149215980
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Elena, now married to Cooper the barge master, has left her old life to start a new one. This seemed a wonderful change, but they both soon realize they barely know each. There are rougher waters ahead for them than those the barge will have to navigate.

When they arrive at their second-to-last stop downriver, the village there has mysteriously lost all but one of its young men. Cooper doesn't believe the survivor's wild tale of strange beings beyond a waterfall “veil.” Without any truth, as he sees it, he won't risk trying to help them.

Elena has seen more than a few strange things in her life and forms a plan recover the young men before the village's harvest is lost. Unfortunately, carrying out this wild scheme may risk her new marriage as well as her freedom or her life.

“Sagecraft” Collection:

Puppy Love

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[Book Cover]What would you do for love?

What will it cost those nearest to you?

J.C. Hendee

$2.99 USD

Novella, 50k+ words
ASIN: B00DGZ7HAM
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Kyne Erhtenwal is a gifted but troubled child initiate in the Guild of Sagecraft. Clearly a budding scholar, she has too much awe for her outcast idol, Journeyor Wynn Hygeorht, but even moreso for Wynn’s tall, wolf-like companion, Shade. Kyne believes Shade is a sacred majay-hìone of the “hounds of the Fay” or fairy-hounds.

When one of her guild instructors, Emelia Ginjeriè, makes her promise to stop talking about the majay-hì and Shade, Kyne thinks it is the worst thing that could happen to her. That promise becomes like the cage of a prisoner she stumbles upon one night near the city’s great port.

Unable to say anything to anyone about the prisoner, Kyne looks for help from her two closest friends among the initiatesMarten and Grim. Her promise forces her to lie to them for an ill-conceived plan, which may end with all three of them being thrown out of the guild. And that is the least of the possible dangers.

“Tales” Anthologies:

Homeward

Trade Paperback:
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Amazon.com [AZW/KINDLE]
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eBook:
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[Book Cover]

Barb Hendee

Trade PB $10.99
eBook $5.99 USD

ISBN-10: 0615981305
ISBN-13: 9780615981307
ASIN: B00IZJLLJ2
English Only; purchase outside the USA available at most vendors directly or through their regional subsites.

Homeward contains six connected stories set in the world of the Noble Dead Saga as taken from the “Homeward” collection in T·N·D·S: Tales from the world of the Noble Dead Saga. Follow the adventures and budding romance of Jan, a half-gypsy peasant turned vassal, and Julianna, the strong-willed young woman taken in by Jan’s family.

In “The Keepers,” Jan and his parents arrive at the keep above the village of Chemestúk, where Jan’s father must become the vassal lord of the fiefdom. Determined to prevail, despite the place’s dark reputation, they find the ugly rumors concerning the keep are all too true.

“The Reluctant Guardian” and “Captives” follow the terrors of civil war as Jan, Julianna, and those they love are faced with everything from military conscriptions to roaming gangs of violent deserters.

“Claws,” “The Sleeping Curse,” and “Silent Bells” take Jan and Julianna out on the open road with Jan’ extended family of traveling gypsies. Amid encounters with shape-shifters, magic, curses, and intrigue, their feelings for each other deepen but grow more confusing. Will either one of them ever confess such feelings to the other?