I am about 105 pages into the edit of MOON LORD; here's a sample for anyone who hasn't read it...
Mordraed was left alone, before the high seat of the Stone Lord. Suddenly the room went quiet and still. A dog whined; the fire-pit made a harsh crackling, spitting noise. Wind skittered over the roofline like the feet of malevolent spirits. Ardhu’s face was solemn; his hand gripped the haft of Rhomgom until the knuckles were visibly white. “You, boy…” he said. His voice was low, almost a growl. “Come to me. Kneel before your lord.”
Mordraed took a step in his direction. His face was blank, a hard slate; his eyes were shuttered. Arrogance and icy rage oozed from him, despite his frozen demeanour; it was in his stance, in the tautness of his back and shoulders, the upward tilt of his chin. He did not kneel, but continued to stand, staring down at this man who was both uncle and father.
Ardhu’s breath hissed between his teeth; the rage of the Dragon, the Terrible Head. With a sudden rapid motion, he flung Rhomgom to An’kelet and lunged forward, grabbing Mordraed by the hair and twisting his head back before he had a chance to react. His right hand moved like lightning, and he yanked forth his dagger Carnwennan, Little White Hilt, with its worn antler pommel on which he had carved a mark for every man he had slain in his eighteen years as Stone Lord of Khor Ghor. He pressed the honed blade to Mordraed’s throat, drawing a bead of blood.
Everyone in the Great Hall of Kham-el-Ard gasped in horror, and Morigau cried out, her voice as harsh as a raven’s caw and full of uncustomary fear.
“Why do you defy me?” Ardhu said, his tone even but with a hint of menace.
“My brothers did not have to kneel!” Mordraed gasped, starting to struggle but mindful of the sharpened bronze at his throat.
“They are children, or scarcely more so. You are not. You are of age to serve a master and serve him well or perish for your folly. Now…KNEEL.”
Ardhu gave Mordraed’s long black hair a vicious twist, forcing him down upon his knees in the rushes. There were dog faeces near his hand, a chewed bone, a pile of spittle. He writhed, burning with indignation, wishing he could reach his bow and make an end of this miscreant who tormented and shamed him in front of the people of Kham-el-Ard.
“Mordraed!” He heard Morigau’s voice, desperate, strained, and saw the hem of her tattered skirt swirl before his face. “Do as your uncle says! Don’t be stupid, boy!” He thought she was going to hurl herself between him and Ardhu...but instead she kicked him, the blow landing on his still unhealed cheek.
Pain and the surprise of Morigau’s assault shocked him into stillness. Ardhu Pendraec slowly released his hair, allowing him to rise unsteadily to his knees and then clamber to his feet. “You know where we stand then, boy,” Ardhu said quietly. “You have the measure of me, and I of you. But it need not be this way. If you turn from your path of anger and serve me well…there is no telling how high you might rise within my war-band. I would not reject you out of hand because of who your mother is.”
Mordraed stared at him; his hot anger dwindled to embers but a deep bitter resentment remained in the pit of his belly. //Yet you have rejected me as your son…your eldest son… You would not dare acknowledge me for fear of your own life! You will pay for that cowardice, for the lust that made me what I am…By the gods and the spirits, you will pay, ‘FATHER’…