Harland Buck: Freesword #1
Writer: Scott Weldon
After the fall of the Roman Empire, kingdoms rose and fell into obscurity. Waves of armies and their retinues – some nomadic and some seeking better prospects – settled into the niches left by the Romans. One of these, the Kingdom of the Rock, near Clydebank immediately west of modern day Glasgow, though once extensive and powerful is barely remembered today even by locals, and allusions to its existence can only be gleaned by careful consideration of contemporary records.
The writer of “Harlan Buck, Freesword”, Scott Weldon, creates for his readership the entirely believable world of the Kingdom of Alo’vyn and its colonies in Emeraein, both lands with vaguely Celtic names but in unspecified places which could easily have existed but been lost in the mists of time and the shifting of civilisations. The protagonist, Harland Buck, is a “freesword” – an independent mercenary. Buck’s face is scarred and he is a fearsome melee fighter. His dour exterior hides empathy: in circumstance where he could save himself from the elements, Buck is by his actions quietly determined to save the life of a bleeding and badly injured young soldier, a Realmguard who has taken to the king’s service in exchange for land to farm.