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Andrew's Mission - A Portallas short story

Contents

Dedication

Copyright

Title Page

Preamble

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

About the Author

Extras

For Sandy. May we both survive the teenage years that are about to hit us.

Copyright © 2017 Christopher D. Morgan

All rights reserved.

portallas.com

This is a work of fiction. No actual person or event is depicted.

No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereafter invented, without the express permission of the author except for use of brief quotations in book reviews.

This short story has been written using British English spelling and conventions.

5,980 words.

www.DragonRealmPress.com

ANDREW’S MISSION

A Portallas short story

by

Christopher D. Morgan

Andrew’s Mission is a Portallas short story that tells some of the backstory about one of the main characters from the Portallas series of books. Andrew is a young Woodsman in training now living in the village of Morelle, which resides in the western part of Forestium. We first meet Andrew in Forestium: The Mirror Never Lies, which is book one in the Portallas series.

In Forestium, Andrew joins his best friend, Joshua, who decides to go on an epic journey to help find the truth about his long-lost father. In Andrew’s Mission, we discover how close the relationship is between Andrew and Joshua, as Andrew attempts to help save his best friend’s life by going in search of something that could very well kill him.

CHAPTER ONE

Close to Death

Joshua shook his head rapidly from side-to-side, sweat dripping from his face. His eyes were still shut and his breathing laboured. The fever that gripped him came on faster than anyone expected and he was now fighting for his very life.

Delirious from the illness, he muttered incoherently as he writhed in his bed. His mother sat beside him. Helpless to do anything, she wiped his brow with a cloth from a bowl of water.

Unaware of his surroundings, Joshua pushed his mother’s helping hand to one side with his flailing arm. His uncontrollable hands sent the bowl flying across the room. The two other Tenders in the room took a quick step backwards but it was too late. They were both soaked.

“Hang in there, Joshua. Help is on the way.”

Joshua’s Mother stood up and peered helplessly into the eyes of the other two women standing close by. Nothing was said in that moment, but they all knew. They, like her, were both powerless to do anything.

She broke down into tears as they tried their best to comfort her. The two Tenders patted her on the back and did what they could to calm her. It was all they had to offer to help ease the anguish she was feeling.

“Don’t worry, Merinder,” one of the Tenders said to Joshua’s distraught mother. “The Healer will be here soon. She’ll…she’ll know what to do.”

Joshua’s mother turned to her son again. Tears streamed down her eyes as he lay there, the life slowly ebbing away from him.

***

Andrew opened his eyes and stretched with a long and satisfying yawn. Dawn light had already broken and the soothing nighttime hum of Dengle bugs was subsiding. Leaping into action, he collected his quiver and a few arrows for today’s practice session and made his usual exit out through the window.

Andrew felt invigorated. The ritual trials were just a few months away and he was keen to get in some more practice. As with every other morning for the past few months, he made his way across the village to collect his best friend. They had been practicing for the trials for some time now. Both were making good progress in honing their hunting and shooting skills. If all went well, they would complete the trials this year and take their rightful place as village Woodsmen together.

Andrew traversed his familiar route onto the lower section of Joshua’s roof to get close to the window. With his usual deftness, he swung through the opening and landed right into the lap of one of the Tenders sitting on Joshua’s bed.

“Oh! Um…hello. I wasn’t expecting…” Andrew fumbled his words as he scrambled off the bed and to his feet.

Joshua’s mother and several others were stood around the bed. Andrew looked down to see his best friend writhing in agony.

“W…what’s going on? Joshua?”

“Come with me, Andrew.”

The village Healer spoke in a calm and sombre tone. She led Andrew out into the kitchen and sat him down on a stool at the table. She was a gentle woman. Warm, kind, always with a friendly touch and a pleasing smile. She wore a distinctive white apron around her waist. It was decorated with various herbs and colourful plants. Her hair was always worn in a tight bun on the top of her head and decorated with yellow flowers.

“Andrew I need to ask you some questions. It’s very imp…”

“What’s going on?” Andrew asked, cutting the Healer off mid-sentence. He shook his head slightly and lowered his brow.

“Have you been experiencing any headaches?”

“Headaches? No, why?”

“Any rash or pain in your joints?”

“No, nothing like that. Why? What’s wrong with Joshua? Is he…”

“Listen to me, Andrew. This is very important. What was the last thing you ate? Were you with Joshua last night?”

“Um, well, I had a couple of Shrooms for breakfast…”

“Last night, Andrew! Did you eat what Joshua ate last night?”

“Um…” Andrew turned his head slightly to the side and pondered for a moment.

“Think, Andrew! It’s important that I know. You could be in grave danger.”

Andrew scratched his head and narrowed his eyes. He stared into nothingness and thought hard.

“Actually, now you mention it,” he said slowly remembering, “we did pick some Shrooms together yesterday afternoon on the outskirts. I’d completely forgotten about that.”

“Did they look like these?”

The Healer held out her hand. In her palm were a couple of small Shrooms. Each of them had red stalks and a pale blue cap.

“That’s them!” he exclaimed with wide eyes, pointing his finger at them. “We found them not far from Lake Morelle. We were going to bring them back to show them to you as a matter of fact. What are they? I’ve never seen them before.”

The Healer sat back on her stool and sighed. She then leaned forward and took Andrew’s hand.

“Listen to me very carefully, Andrew. Did you eat any of these Shrooms?”

Andrew looked the Healer in the eye and shook his head.

“No. Joshua kept them in his keeper bag. Why? Are they poisonous or something? He’ll be OK, won’t he? I mean, you can heal him…right? You can make some medicine for him, can’t you?”

The Healer looked down at the Shrooms still in her hand.

“These are Anamita Shrooms. They are very rare and very deadly. There is one thing that could help but I cannot make it.”

“What do you mean? Why not?” Andrew snapped. He stood up, nearly knocking the stool over as he pushed it behind him. He started pacing back and forth.

The Healer didn’t move. She followed him with her stare. “It’s a very exacting potion that I need to make, Andrew, and it won’t work unless I have all the correct ingredients. It has to be made fresh so I don’t have any in my stores.”

“Well, can’t you…just make it then?” He fixed his gaze on the Healer as he continued to move back and forth.

“There’s one thing that I need to complete the mixture for it to work. I have already sent some Tradesmen off to find some in Temerelle but that is more than two days from here.”

Andrew stopped pacing. “Well, what do you need? Maybe I can find it myself.”

Joshua’s Mother came into the kitchen. She was clutching her hands to her chest. Her eyes were puffy and tears were still rolling down her face. Andrew turned to her and then back to the Healer.

“Just…tell me what you need. I’ll leave right now and find it for you.”

The Healer put the poisonous Shrooms onto the table and turned to Andrew.

“There is a spider. It’s called a Wood-widow. Its venom is very potent, so you must be careful. But if its venom is mixed with the ingredients I already have, it may work as an antidote and,” she said, as Joshua’s mother held her hands to her mouth. “I may be able to save Joshua. You must bring me the spider alive.”

“What does it look like?”

“It is bright red with black, hairy legs. About the size of your palm. It is a very illusive spider that lives high up on the branches of a Bangle tree.”

Andrew thought for a moment. Then, his eyes widened.

“There’s a Bangle tree at Lake Morelle. Maybe I can find this Wood-widow spider there?”

“Go. And hurry! Joshua is already very weak and I don’t know how much time he has left.”

Andrew turned to look at Joshua’s Mother. She was staring at him with beseeching eyes.

“Don’t worry. I’ll find one and bring it back. Joshua will be as good as new in no time. Don’t you worry.”

With that, Andrew turned and ran out the front door.

CHAPTER TWO

Andrew’s Mission

Andrew headed into the forest ran as fast as he could until he could run no more. By the time he reached the outskirts of Morelle, he was panting heavily and clutching at a stitch in his side. Stopping only long enough to catch his breath, he picked up the pace again and continued jogging.

The trail he followed was a familiar one. Twice a week, he and Joshua would visit Lake Morelle together for target practice.

After about an hour, the densely packed Ashfer trees began to thin out. Progressively more daylight streamed in as the treetop canopy revealed ever larger patches of violet sky.

High above, a small flock of Raetheons circled overhead. They shrieked. The piercing sound echoed around him. Andrew suddenly became acutely aware of his surroundings, like a switch had turned on in his mind. His senses came alive.

A breeze picked up and the trees rustled all around him. Chirvels leapt between the branches. The small, furry creatures scurried along branches and up and down the vines dangling from canopy, their long, bushy tails providing them with excellent balance. Clinging to anything they touched, they defied gravity as they moved effortlessly in every orientation.

Quite exhausted, he was now walking but still at a brisk pace. Still some way to go before he reached Lake Morelle, Andrew suddenly heard something that made him stop dead in his tracks.

He knew that sound. It was the unmistakable low growl of a Wood-boar. It sent shivers down his spine. Andrew felt his shoulders tighten. He looked quickly side to side, trying to find the fierce beast.

At close range, a fully grown Wood-boar could easily outmanoeuvre even an experienced Woodsman. Nearly twice as big as an adult, and with claws as sharp as its fangs, the ferocious animal is a fearsome predator in these forests. On his own, Andrew would be no match for it.

The trees rustled some more. Wind whistled through the canopy. Andrew’s senses were now so heightened, the forest itself was suddenly alive with a cacophony of sounds from all around. It was disorientating and Andrew couldn’t determine the direction the growl came from or how far away it was. Andrew’s face turned pallid. Beads of sweat forming on his forehead joined together and fells down his face leaving watery trails. He did his best to control his breathing and kept as quiet as he could.

Suddenly there was a snap, like a twig breaking. Andrew spun around. His eyes darted from tree to tree but it was in vain. Try as he might, he couldn’t spot the beast. A pair of Chirvels dislodged a few leaves above him. The leaves tumbled, spinning slowly to the ground before disappearing into the leaf litter.

Andrew began walking again. Slowly at first, his eyes shifted left and right as he kept looking to see where the beast might be hiding in the underbrush.

His pace quickened. Fear propelled him to move quickly. He kept looking over his shoulder. His trot became a run. Faster and faster he continued to accelerate. Soon he was running as fast as he could. No longer looking back, Andrew sprinted through the underbrush, leaping over fallen logs and ducking beneath dangling vines. His anxiety triggered a rush of adrenaline that pumped energy into his legs.

Was that the noise of his own feet or of something chasing him? There was no time to check. There was a break in the trees ahead. If only he could reach it. With his energy reserves almost spent, Andrew closed in and leapt for the gap. On the other side, he found himself confronted with the clearing at Lake Morelle.

Andrew ran into the clearing and right up to the water’s edge. He quickly reached for his bow, then pulled an arrow from his quiver. He turned, bent down onto one knee, loaded the arrow and pulled the bowstring back to his cheek. Panting heavily, he knelt there, holding his aim directly at the gap in the trees through which he had just emerged, poised to release his weapon.

Seconds past—perhaps a minute or two. With sweat pouring down his face and breathing heavily, Andrew waited…and waited. Nothing emerged. After a while, Andrew slowly released the tension on his bow. His arms were shaking. There was a pain in his fingers. Holding them up to his face, he saw where the bowstring had almost bitten into his skin. He took several deep breaths. Shaking his hand and fingers, he put his bow back over his shoulder and stood up.

His anxiety returning to normal levels, Andrew snapped himself back into the moment. He took in the familiar surroundings. Lake Morelle was situated within a large clearing. In the middle of the lake was small island. Other than a few bushes, the only thing on the island was a huge, Bangle tree. Stretching high up into the sky, it dwarfed the forest treetop canopy that enclosed the clearing from all directions.

Jutting out on either side of the tree were long, near perfectly horizontal branches. There were about half a dozen on each side all spaced evenly up the length of the tree. Dangling from each branch were various, colourful Finkle fly nests. Each was a teardrop shaped bunch of matted twigs, leaves and other forest materials. These made for excellent target practice, which is what made Lake Morelle such a favourite hangout for Andrew and Joshua.

Thickets of Bramock bushes encircled the water’s edge right around the lake. Each of the waist-high shrubs contained several dozen long, thin reeds with pointed ends. The hard berries in the centre of each bush reddened when ripe. Bramock thickets were a good source of arrows and slingshot projectiles. All these made Lake Morelle an excellent place for target practice. But now was not the time for such trivialities.

Today, Andrew was on a mission. His thoughts turned to his best friend and what the Healer had told him. Joshua was fighting for his very life.

Andrew and Joshua had been inseparable from a young age. Joshua had saved Andrew’s life on more than one occasion but this time it was Andrew’s turn to be the hero. If Joshua died, Andrew knew it would be because he failed in his mission. There was no way he was going to let that happen.

Although he had been here many times, neither Andrew nor Joshua had ever actually been to the island in the centre of the lake. The fierce Snapper-Jacks that lived in the water have been known to take Raetheons and Chirvels that got too close to the water’s edge. Although small, there were plenty of these bloodthirsty fish in the lake and they could strip a carcass bare within minutes. Andrew didn’t even know how deep the water was. Neither, for that matter, did he know what other dangers might have lived in the water. He looked closely at the Bangle tree but it was just too far away to spot anything as small as a spider. There was only one option. He had to cross the water to reach the tree.

CHAPTER THREE

The Wood-widow

With the thought of Joshua close to death still urging him on, Andrew stepped into the water and began slowly making his way out to the island. The farther he waded, the deeper the water became. By the time he reached the halfway point, he was holding his keeper bag and weapon belt above his head with the water right up to his chest. He found it difficult to maintain his footing in the soft, squishy mud.

Suddenly, there was a low growl. It sent shivers down Andrew’s spine. He turned around quickly, water still lapping at his chest. There, through the gap in the trees wandered a fully grown Wood-boar. It was easily the largest Andrew had ever seen before, it’s shoulders about the same height as an adult.

The beast sniffed at the ground, following the path Andrew had taken right up to the water’s edge. The rabid animal looked up and fixed eyes on Andrew. It growled again, showing its huge fangs. The ferocious animal paced back and forth by the edge of the lake, clearly reluctant to step into the water.

Andrew turned and waded as fast as he could towards the island, forcing himself through the mud. Just then, there was a disturbance in the water just around to the left of the island. Small ripples at first but they quickly grew in size and began heading towards Andrew’s position. Several Snapper-Jacks leapt out of the water in the middle of the disturbance as the shoal of hungry fish sped towards him. Andrew struggled with every step to lift his feet out of the soft mud. With the disturbance in the water getting closer and closer, the water around his chest eventually lowered and he finally clambered onto the mud bank of the island just in time. He sat and watched as several Snapper-Jacks leapt from the water close to the bank with the growling Wood-boar now directly across the other side by the water’s edge.

The Wood-boar was still pacing and growling, but right now Andrew had a more pressing need. He had to find a Wood-widow spider and hoped desperately there might be one living on the Bangle tree. There was little time to lose so he’d have to worry about the Wood-boar later.

For now, at least, the island provided him with enough immediate safety. At least, it would do if the Wood-boar didn’t swim across. Andrew didn’t even know if Wood-boars could swim. If it could, there didn’t seem to be very many options.

Andrew was a good climber so he could at least try to climb out of the way to the Wood-boar should it become necessary.

Andrew walked up to the huge Bangle tree. He ran his hand over the bark, looking for cracks or an opening: anything that might conceal a palm-sized spider. He felt all over the tree and right around its enormous circumference. Nothing. There was no sign of any spider.

Andrew took a step back and looked up with his hands on his hips. Don’t tell me I’m going to have to search the entire tree, he thought to himself with a deep sigh. That’ll take ages.

The Wood-boar growled again, a reminder to Andrew it was still there and still hungry. It continued to pace back and forth but hadn’t stepped into the water. Although that was a comforting thought, Andrew knew he’d have to leave the island eventually. He’d have to figure out how to evade the Wood-boar sooner or later but right now he really needed to press on and look for the Wood-widow spider. 

With another deep sigh, Andrew walked around the tree again looking for a vine thick enough to take his weight. If he was to stand a chance of getting up to the where the branches were, he’d have to find a vine thick enough to take his weight.

After pulling on a few vines, Andrew found one he thought he could trust and began his ascent. Slowly at first, he took great care not to misstep and kept a keen eye out for any telltale signs of spiders.

After a few minutes of searching and climbing, Andrew neared the first horizontal branch. He had climbed about five times his own height before reaching the safety of that first branch. Heaving himself onto the outstretched limb, he sat with his legs dangled over the edge.

Andrew looked down to the ground. A fall from this height could easily kill him. Certainly, he’d break some bones in the process.

Across the other side of the lake, the Wood-boar maintained eye-contact with Andrew. It sniffed at the water’s edge. Andrew’s heart skipped a beat when the beast put one foot into the water. It crept forward, all the while growling with saliva dripping from its huge fangs. Before long, it was right into the water, its snout sticking up so it could breathe.

Andrew could scarcely believe his eyes as the fearsome beast paddled right across the lake and leapt onto the island. It shook the water from its fur and ran up to the base of the tree. Now growling even more, the beast stood up on its huge hind legs and clawed at the base of the tree. Andrew was now completely trapped with no way of escaping from the tree, much less the island.

With his anxiety beginning to grip him, Andrew looked around, hoping to find some way out of the situation. As he did, something caught his attention. Out towards the edge of the tree limb he saw something strange. He squinted at it. Something was glistening but he couldn’t quite make it out. He flung one leg across the branch to straddle it. Then, very slowly, he leant forward and began crawling out onto the limb.

The Wood-boar began pacing back and forth immediately below Andrew. Its growls intensified. A fall now would mean almost certain death. If the hard landing didn’t kill him, the Wood-boar certainly would.

Hugging the tree branch with both arms, he continued to pull himself along its length. As he progressed along the length of the branch, it narrowed and slowly bent under his weight. He looked ahead, and there it was.

The glistening was a spider web. It was strung between the fork of two small branches. Something was crawling slowly around the edge of the web. Andrew pulled himself still further along the branch. It thinned as he went and sagged still further.

Andrew was very close to the spider web but wasn’t sure the branch would continue to support him for much longer. It began creaking as it sagged still further.

He reached the fork and pulled himself just a little farther. The branch was sagging so much now that he had to hold on to prevent himself from slipping forward and flying off the end altogether.

Very slowly, he put one hand down to his side and reached for his keeper bag. The tree limb was by now so thin, he needed both hands to keep himself from falling off the branch to the hungry Wood-boar below. Just reaching for his keeper bag was itself a delicate balancing act.

He managed to just grab the bag and pulled it forward. Opening the flap to the bag, he rested it onto the fork in the branches so that it was just touching the spider web. As it disturbed the web, a huge, red spider with black, hairy legs scurried to its centre. Its bright red abdomen sent shivers down Andrew’s spine. It matched the description the Healer gave Andrew of the Wood-widow spider.

This was it. This is what he came for and this is what would save his best friend’s life. If only he could capture it and somehow bring it back to Morelle so the Healer could complete her potion and make Joshua better again.

The Wood-boar below was becoming more agitated. Andrew tried to put that out of his mind. Right now, he had to focus on the task at hand and capturing the Wood-window but without himself getting bitten in the process.

He reached for a small twig extending from one of the forked branches. Bending it repeatedly back and forth, Andrew broke the twig off and used it to gently nudge the spider towards the open keeper bag.

Suddenly, there was a loud crack. It came from just behind him on the branch he was lying on. Andrew kept his concentration and continued to nudge the spider, which crept slowly towards the opening.

After a few seconds, it scurried into the keeper bag and Andrew folded the flap closed. He’d done it. He’d capture the spider that would save is best friend’s life.

There was another loud crack. The branch suddenly dropped a bit further. It was beginning to break under the strain of Andrew’s weight. The Wood-boar leapt onto its hind legs and began roaring. Andrew could see it foaming at the mouth.

Slowly, he began pushing himself backwards. The tree limb continued to creak but Andrew remained focused. Bit by bit, he pushed himself backwards. The tree limb thickened steadily as he continued his progress. After what seemed like ages, Andrew made it all the way back to where the main branch met the trunk. With sweat now dripping down his face, he pushed himself into a seated position and finally took a deep breath. He was safe. At least, he was safe from falling from the tree.

CHAPTER FOUR

Mission’s End

Andrew sat there and composed himself. He had collected a live specimen of the Wood-widow spider but it would do neither him, nor Joshua, any good unless he could get it back to Morelle and into the hands of the Healer. With the ferocious Wood-boar itching to kill him, however, there was no way he was getting out of the tree, much less back to Morelle.

As the Wood-boar continued to leap frantically at the base of the tree, Andrew contemplated his options. He could risk leaping to the ground in the hopes of making it into the water before the bloodthirsty beast got to him. That’s assuming he survived the fall to begin with. Even then, there’s no telling whether he would make it into the forest before the Wood-boar. And even if he could, there’s no guarantee he would be able to outrun such a large beast.

The only other option was to remain in the tree until the Wood-boar gave up and swam back to the forest. But that could take hours. For all Andrew knew, Joshua could be dead by then. His options weren’t looking good. Either stay and risk his best friend dying or leap now and risk dying himself.

Just at that moment, Andrew heard a swishing sound. It was swiftly followed by a squealing sound coming from the Wood-Boar. Andrew looked down to see an arrow impaled directly into the Wood-boar’s side. It squealed in agony before falling to one side with a thud. Another two arrows sank into the beast’s abdomen in quick succession and it lay there motionless. The animal was dead.

Andrew looked up. On the far side of the water’s edge stood a Woodsman wearing a dark green tunic and a hood over his head. Andrew squinted hard but it was too far to see who it was. It didn’t look like anyone he knew. The Woodsman put his bow over his shoulder, turned and began walking back into the forest.

“HEY! YOU! OVER HERE!”

Andrew shouted as loud as he could, waving one arm frantically, but whoever the mystery man was either couldn’t hear him…or was ignoring him. Within seconds, the man had disappeared into the forest.

Andrew secured his keeper bag and began climbing down the tree. He jumped to the ground and walked up to the now lifeless body of the Wood-boar.

Andrew scratched his head. It didn’t make any sense. A Wood-boar kill would normally be celebrated. Woodsmen from the village of Morelle might capture one maybe twice a year if lucky. It would always be brought back to the village. A full-grown Wood-boar would typically be the centre feature of a feast and involve the entire village. Why kill one and then just walk off and leave it?

The sun was starting to set. With his best friend near death’s door, these questions would have to wait. Holding his weapon belt and keeper bag safely above his head, he waded into the water and crossed back to the other side. Picking up into a trot, he left through the opening in the trees and began running back to Morelle as fast as he could.

***

Joshua’s mother sat in the chair beside her son’s bed. She had been awake for almost an entire day and a half and was exhausted to the point of near collapse. Trying desperately to keep her eyes open, her head tilted forward and she fell asleep.

Joshua continued to writhe in pain. Still delirious and barely conscious, the life was ebbing away from him. He was very close to death.

With the sun casting long shadows, a figure appeared at the window. Joshua’s mother was asleep and Joshua himself was completely unaware of his surroundings. The figure climbed through the window and stood at the foot of the bed. It was a Woodsman. He was wearing a dark green tunic and a hood over his head.

He walked around to the side of the bed, looked at Joshua’s mother and then at Joshua. He leant over Joshua’s body and looked into Joshua’s eyes.

“It’s too soon for you to leave us, Joshua. You are too important to us.” He whispered.

The man held his hand, palm down, just above Joshua’s chest and began moving it back and forth along Joshua’s body. As he did, a green glow began emanating from Joshua’s body. Joshua took a deep intake of breath and then fell still. His breathing was normal and he stopped writhing. The man stopped moving his hand and the green glow subsided. The man straightened up and smiled.

“We will meet again, Joshua. Until then, be well.”

The man walked back to the window through which he came and climbed up into the frame. He then began changing shape. Within seconds he morphed into the form or a Raetheon, which stretched its wings, flew out of the window frame and into the night.

***

Andrew reached the village of Morelle. Hungry and exhausted, he trotted back to Joshua’s hut. Panting heavily, he pushed open the front door and walked in.

There, around the table, he saw the Healer, Joshua’s mother and Joshua all chatting.

“Joshua! You’re…you’re OK?”

The Healer stood up and said, “His fever has broken. Your friend will be fine.”

“Hey, what’s the matter with you?” Joshua said, looking up at Andrew. “You look like you’ve crawled backwards through a Wood-boar hole or something. Are you OK?”

Andrew stood there with his jaw dropped and unable to find the words.

“Hey Mum,” Joshua said, turning to his mother, “do we have any Shrooms? I’m starving. I could eat the hind leg off a Wood-boar.”

The end…or just the beginning.

[If you want to find out what happens next with Andrew and Joshua, check out _]Forestium: The Mirror Never Lies[, which is book one in the Portallas series of novels:_]

Available on Amazon

Christopher D. Morgan is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, blogger, IT Manager, graphics artist, businessman, volunteer and family man living in Melbourne, Australia. He spends much of his spare time volunteering for his local community. He creates visual learning resources for primary school children, which he markets through his company Bounce Learning Kids. He is also involved in local civics and sits on various community & council committees.

Christopher was born in the UK and grew up in England’s South East. At age twenty, he moved to The Netherlands, where in 1988 he married Sandy. Christopher quickly learned Dutch and the couple spent eight years living in the far South of that country before they moved to Florida in 1996. After spending six years in Florida, Christopher and Sandy sold their home and spent the next two years backpacking around the world. Christopher has visited about 40 countries to date and 13 US states.

Whilst circumnavigating the globe, Christopher wrote extensively, churning out travel journals. He and Sandy settled back in the UK at the end of their world tour, where their two children were both born. In 2009, the family uproot again and moved to Melbourne, Australia, where they now live.

You can read all about Christopher & Sandy’s epic travels on his travel showcase website: http://ChrisAndSandyMorgan.com/

Following the successful launch of his writing career, Christopher joined forces with fellow author, JA Culican, to start Dragon Realm Press, a one-stop-shop that provides a full range of services to other authors.

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http://portallas.com/characters/

Roles

Whether it be Woodsman, Tender, Fixer or any of the other roles that play out in Forestium, find out more about them here:

http://portallas.com/roles/

Flora & Fauna

Forestium is a world full of magical creatures but there’s more to them than you might think. Ever wondered what a Wood-boar or a Raetheon sounds like? Head over to the Portallas web-site to explore them all in more detail:

http://portallas.com/flora-fauna/

Magical artefacts

There are three magical orbs hidden within each of the worlds of Portallas. See all the orbs and learn more about them here:

http://portallas.com/magical-artefacts/

Interactive map

Explore the world of Forestium through this interactive map. Find all the magical artefacts, see where all the locations are and where each chapter of the book plays out:

http://portallas.com/forestium-map/

Forestium events timeline

Forestium has a rich and diverse history. Learn all about how this magical world came to be the way it is. Discover when all the characters were born and more about their lives here:

http://portallas.com/forestium-events-timeline/

Character interviews

Have fun with all the characters of Forestium in this quirky series of character interviews:

http://portallas.com/character-interviews/

Quizzes

Check out the quizzes page at portallas.com for a range of fun quizzes:

http://portallas.com/quizzes/


Andrew's Mission - A Portallas short story

Andrew’s Mission is a Portallas novella that tells some of the back story about one of the main characters from the Portallas series of books. Andrew is a young Woodsman in training now living in the village of Morelle, which resides in the western part of Forestium. We first meet Andrew in Forestium: The Mirror Never Lies, which is book one in the Portallas series. In Forestium: The Mirror Never Lies, Andrew joins his best friend, Joshua, who decides to go on an epic journey to help find the truth about his long-lost Father. In Andrew’s Mission, we discover how close the relationship is between Andrew and Joshua, as Andrew attempts to help save his best friend’s life by going in search of something that could very well kill him.

  • ISBN: 9780994525734
  • Author: Christopher Morgan
  • Published: 2017-06-22 02:10:14
  • Words: 6149
Andrew's Mission - A Portallas short story Andrew's Mission - A Portallas short story