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.

Sacred Band Character of the Week: Straton


This week’s featured character from The Sacred Band tales is Straton.

Straton is a character in the Sacred Band of Stepsons fictional universe who has been with the Stepsons since their formation. Straton is considered by many of the professionals in Tempus’s forces to be the deadliest warrior among them. Straton has fought in every engagement undertaken by the Stepsons with the exception of the period during which he served in Sanctuary as Tempus’s interim commander, and again when he fought at the Battle of Shaga while the Sacred Band Stepsons was between missions. Straton and Critias became a Sacred Band pair during the Wizard Wars and maintain a very close bond despite Straton’s infatuation with Ischade, the necromant. Perhaps feeling responsible for Straton being bolt-shot twice in the same shoulder, Ischade gave Straton his ghost horse, a mount who cannot die and cannot be harmed by mortal weapons.

Also known as: Strat.

War name: Ace.

Rank and Titles:

Notable quotes:

“The gods gave us horses so we wouldn’t have to fight on foot.” -Straton, from The Fish, the Fighters, and the Song- girl, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris.

“It makes me irritable when people come around asking for trouble and I don’t have any ready for them. Now I’ll have to go find them and deliver some.” -Straton, from The Sacred Band, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris.

“Something awful is always going to happen, Arton. It’s Sanctuary. You’re a Stepson. Awful is a big part of your job.” -Straton, from The Sacred Band, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris.

By Enlil’s third and fuzziest ball….” -Straton  from The Sacred Band, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris.

“I see all sorts of things when I’m clearing my pipes.” -Straton from The Sacred Band, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris.

By Enlil’s prong, give the boy a chance.”– Straton, from The Sacred Band, by Janet Morris & Chris Morris

Check out more facts and details about Straton, and all the characters at the Sacred Band Freebase website HERE.

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.

A Man and His God now published as a Kindle stand-alone

“A Man and His God” has always been not only canonical, but a pivotal story for us.  The entire Sacred Band of Stepsons series flowed from this story.  And now you can get this short fantasy novel by itself on Kindle.  Meet the Slaughter Priest.  Find out how and why the Sacred Band of Stepsons got their name.  Be there for what is arguably the first male/male kiss in fantasy between two very warlike men.  Available on Amazon for Kindle by itself, or as part of the first Sacred Band Tales anthology, “Tempus with his right-side companion Niko.”

Cover, “A Man and His God,” Janet Morris, Perseid Publishing, 2012

We’ve long wanted to use this cover, and now we have the right setting for it.  Enjoy. — jem

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.

Beyond Sanctuary, the Author’s Cut, reissued to fine reviews.

Beyond Sanctuary, the very first Sacred Band of Stepsons novel, just received a fine new review on AMAZON and GOODREADS.

Available in trade paperback, Kindle, and Nook editions.ImageNook editions

Here’s a link to the Amazon page: