Sacred Band Character of the Week: Randal


Randal, the Tysian Hazard-class mage, first appeared in the Sacred Band of Stepsons universe when Tempus took his warriors north to Tyse (Beyond Sanctuary, 1985). Randal joined the Band in Tyse, becoming the first and only warrior-mage ever to serve with Tempus’s Sacred Band of Stepsons. Under orders from the Band’s commander, he served as the rightman of Stealth, called Nikodemos. As such, he fought in the Wizard Wars and in the coup at the Festival of Man. After the Wizard Wars, Randal was among a small contingent of Stepsons who returned to Sanctuary. Once there, he took a post as Sanctuary’s First Hazard (in Thieves’ World universe anthology volumes, 7 -11). After the Stepsons withdrew from Sanctuary for a second time, Randal rejoined the Band at their base of operations in Lemuria. When Tempus brought the Sacred Band of Thebes to Sanctuary for training (The Sacred Band, 2010), he summoned Randal. There Randal was reunited with one of his former apprentices, Merricat, and fought in the Battle of Meridian. Randal can become any kind of animal, but he is allergic to animal fur and this weakness hampered his early career. From Askelon of Meridian, he acquired a charmed handkerchief that for a time kept his allergies in check and a blade called a ‘kris’ that parts fire and issues hornets from its tip. He briefly possessed the Nisibsi globe of power that was his portion of the spoils from the assault on Wizardwall. Randal has a platonic love for Niko. He is not as robust as the shock troopers in the Band and they call him “Witchy-ears.” Randal came up through the Mageguild apprentice system, rising from “Junior Hazard” to “First Hazard.” He taught at Mageguild schools in Tyse, Ranke, and in Sanctuary, where the young adept, Merricat, apprenticed to him. Randal’s mental skills, bravery, and fierce loyalty more than make up for any lack of physical prowess in the eyes of the Stepsons.

Also known as:

  • Witchy-ears,
  • Junior Hazard,
  • First Hazard,
  • Third Hazard,
  • Sacred Bander,
  • Stepson,
  • Mageling,
  • Hazard,
  • Randal, Hazard-class mage,
  • Fifth Hazard

Notable Quotes:

“The universe forgives those who give until their hearts are aching and their spirits weak, and finds a way to renew all strength and cure all ills, in this world or the next, if a soul can just have faith.” -Randal, from The Sacred Band, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris, (c) 2010 Perseid Publishing

“Some nights, valor and cold purpose aren’t enough.”- Randal, from The Sacred Band, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris,  (c) 2010 Perseid Publishing.

“These warriors of the Sacred Band were inscrutable; they loved their war and death and picking through the bones of time to sort out right from wrong, good from bad, holy from profane, honor from dishonor.” -Randal, from Beyond the Veil,  by Janet Morris, (c) 1985

“Some nights, one wants to tell beloveds everything that’s been waiting to be said. Some nights, a man needs flesh and blood and warm breath and a loving heart.” -Randal, from The Sacred Band, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris, (c) 2010 Perseid Publishing.

“One man can make another’s life so much better.” -Randal, from The Sacred Band, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris, (c) 2010 Perseid Publishing.

“Live and die, shoulder to shoulder, back to back. For the honor of serving by your partner’s side. For the glory of dying by your partner’s side. Honor and glory meant everything to these men. And whatever else Randal might be, he was a man.”- Randal, from The Sacred Band, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris, (c) 2010 Perseid Publishing.

Check out more information about Randal, and all the Sacred Band characters at the freebase page HERE.

Featured Sacred Band Character of the Week: Niko

Niko (Stealth, called Nikodemos) is a military character in the Thieves’ World shared fictional universe and the Sacred Band of Stepsons universe. Niko is a Bandaran-trained warrior-monk and an adept of the mystery of Maat, of balance and equilibrium, justice and truth. Niko is a Sacred Band fighter from humble beginnings, a ‘son of the armies.’ Niko begins his military career as an eromenos, then loses his ‘left-side leader’ and becomes an erastes, or left-side leader, in his next pairing with the Stepson Janni. After losing Janni to a witch, Niko is stalked by that same witch, Roxane, throughout the Wizard Wars. He leaves the Sacred Band during the Wizard Wars but returns to it. After that campaign, the storm god takes Niko to the City at the Edge of Time, where he formally becomes an adherent of Enlil, the Storm God, and marries the princess Tabet.

Notable Quotes:

“When the balance is restored, people get hurt.” -Niko, The Sacred Band, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris, (c) 2009 Perseid Publishing

“What we hold sacred is honor, justice, and glory. You need not swear allegiance to our storm god, to serve with us. Fighters are among us from many lands, with many gods and many beliefs. Believe as you will. What is between a man and his god is theirs alone to say.” -Niko, The Sacred Band,  by Janet Morris & Chris Morris, (c) 2009 Perseid Publishing

“I have my mind, my body, my soul — my maat. I’m not trading any of it away for special favors. You’ve taught me that nothing can be had without cost.” -Niko, The Sacred Band, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris, (c) 2009 Perseid Publishing

“Restore balance. Deliver justice. That’s the mission. Show me you understand.”  -Niko, The Sacred Band, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris, (c) 2009 Perseid Publishing

“Look around you. It’s an honor to fight beside you. Today we choose to fight. For the freedom to fight on other days. So we remember what’s worth fighting for.”  -Niko, The Sacred Band, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris, (c) 2009 Perseid Publishing

Men live, and then they die. It is the quality of the process of living which matters, that and that alone.  -Niko, Tempus with His Right-Side Companion Niko, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris, (c) 2011 Perseid Publishing

“It’s all the same — no good without evil, no balance…no maat. If we lose one, we lose the other. It’s just life, that’s all.” -Niko, The Fish, The Fighters, and the Song-Girl, by  Janet Morris & Chris Morris, (c) 2012 Perseid Publishing

Check out more information about Niko and all the characters in the Sacred Band at the Sacred Band of Stepsons Freebase Site here.


Painting: “Automedon and the horses of Achilles” copyright(c) Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Image used with permission of license to Janet Morris.

A Man and His God now on The Book Rack!

The Book Rack is spotlighting A Man and His God:


Read how the Sacred Band of Stepsons gets its name and meet Abarsis, Slaughter Priest.  An iconic story from Thieves World(R), in an Author’s Cut edition totally revised and updated by Janet Morris.

Five Stars for “Wake of the Riddler” by Janet Morris

Wake of the Riddler by Janet Morris, part of the “Author’s Cut” editions of Sacred Band Tales. Available for Kindle as a stand-alone short novel, or as part of the Sacred Band Tales anthology, “the Fish the Fighters and the Song-girl” copyright (c) 2010 by Janet Morris and Chris Morris, Perseid Publishing, 2012

Herewith, Todd Brown’s wonderful blog review of “Wake of the Riddler,” available as part of “the Fish the Fighters and the Song-girl” anthology of Sacred Band Tales, and now as a stand-alone Kindle short novel.

Todd says it all:

Accept a complimentary copy of “A Man and His God” Kindle book


Available a stand-alone Kindle book or as part of the first volume of Sacred Band Tales, “Tempus with his right-side companion Niko” in print or e-book editions for Nook and Kindle.

Accept a complimentary copy of “A Man and His God” Kindle book

“A Man and His God,” available as a standalone e-book for Kindle only, will be free for twenty-four hours, July 27, 2012, beginning 12 AM Pacific time. Simply go to the link on Kindle and download your copy:

This Sacred Band Tale is also available in print as a part of “Tempus with his right-side companion Niko,” a Perseid Publishing book by Janet Morris, on Amazon (and as a Kindle ebook)  and Barnes & Noble (and as a Nook e-book)  and from fine booksellers everywhere as a trade paperback.

the Fish the Fighters and the Song-girl on B&N

It’s July 17th, 2012, and B&N has put our newest Sacred Band Tales volume, “the Fish the Fighters and the Song-girl,Image” copyright (c) 2010 by Janet Morris and Chris Morris, in its summer sale category.  Readers can get the trade paperback of this $24.95 book at 28% off, which is about $7.00 discount.

Here’s the link:

And here’s a short except from “the Fish the Fighters and the Song-girl”:

After the battle for the land of dreams, the losers straggled by threes and fours and sixes toward an ochre-walled city.  They were dazed and hurt and lost in a strange country, with no way home.  Some once were warriors from Macedon and Mygdonia and Megara and farther realms.  Some were deserters who’d thrown away their shields and run.  Some, abandoned, wandered off when the war was done.  Some were conscripts, helots and slaves who’d dressed the soldiers and milled their grain and served their pleasure.  Some were dreamers from Meridian, waking from nightmares ages long; some were dead and resurrected to fight the dream lord’s foredoomed war.  All were hungry, desperate and confused.

“What poor citadel is this?” said one big fighter to another man as their group of six limped and stumbled from a hayfield onto a road leading to the city gates.  “It’s not anywhere I know.”

“Who cares?” said a third fighter, a woman just as big and just as tall and just as armored.

“We will make our way here,” said a smaller, stout woman who used a broken javelin as a walking stick.  “Trust in me.  All cities are alike.  But hurry.  We want to be in before dark.”

Behind her, a girl in a maiden’s short skirt sang quietly of a hero and love and glory.

Then the last man said, “Cavalry.”  He dropped to his knees and put his ear to the road.  “Lots of them.  Coming fast from the north.  Hide.”

So they scrambled back into the ditch and threw themselves flat in the field to wait while the victors thundered by in proud ranks of four on their tall horses.  All that time, the girl softly sang her ancient song, until the stout woman stopped her mouth with a horny hand.

New Sacred Band of Stepsons video site

Now you can find the Sacred Band on Qwiki.  This is a beautiful site with many wonderful images and text from “The Sacred Band of Stepsons” page on Wikipedia.

Enjoy.  We did.