The Legend of Aezubah:
The Crimson General

by Slawomir Rapala

Biographical sketch
Readers’ Appreciation

Slawomir Rapala is a fantasy and sword and sorcery author who lives in Cambridge, Ontario. Most of his fiction is featured in the Bewildering Stories magazine, but his poems have also been published in two Canadian anthologies, and he has co-authored articles appearing in academic journals on topics relating to immigration and disability.

Aside from writing, Slawomir loves traveling and when time permits, he and his wife enjoy plotting out another adventure. Until quite recently, they moved around a lot, having lived in Florida, Australia, and Poland for extended periods of time. Together they have traveled Australia and Tasmania, visited New Zealand, stopped by Hong Kong, and enjoyed the spectacular sights of the Grand Canyon, in Arizona.


To Slawomir Rapala’s works at Bewildering Stories



The Legend of Aezubah: The Crimson General is Slawomir’s first novel, but he is already busy working on sequels, which will begin appearing in Bewildering Stories.

Readers’ Appreciation

The soldiers of science fiction’s Golden Age pass their arms to a new and yet older generation, that of Aezubah, the Crimson General. Aezubah has the stamina and skill of Gordon R. Dickson’s Dorsai and, like them, he is admired and followed by many. But he agonizes under modern dilemmas of conflict, and only you, the reader, can truly be his friend.

— Don Webb,
Managing Editor
Bewildering Stories

Slawomir Rapala takes us into a fantastic and yet familiar world in the epic story of a hero: Aezubah, the Crimson General. The gripping plot, panoramic scenes, and vivid characters will remain with the reader long after the last page. This adventure will lead you through laughter and tears into the tragic ambiguities of the human condition.

— Bill Bowler,
Coordinating Editor
Bewildering Stories


From The Legend of Aezubah: the Crimson General, by Slawomir Rapala:

Aezubah danced lithely clear of the beast’s powerful limbs and snapping snout. The warrior’s sword sang with deadly precision a glorious song of triumph each time it plowed into the body of his opponent. Each wound cut deeper than the one before, ever closer to the vital organs of the beast’s artificially crafted body, each thrust unleashing gouts of blood and tearing painful screams from the monster’s inhuman throat...

He slowly approached Aezubah until his broad chest almost touched his. “You are cursed,” he repeated. “Men hate you while they live and men hate you in death, too. You must leave.”

Aezubah shrugged and pushed the chief away in anger. Turning toward the open steppes, he started north, where he hoped to find his steed and belongings.

The chief’s haunting words reached him once more when he was already some distance away from the village: “You are cursed, white man. Men hate you even from beyond the grave. You are not welcome here.”

A cold-blooded fencer, the General waited for the giant’s falling blade and then parried it with ease, though his arm nearly stiffened from the awesome power that carried the blow. The skillful block threw the giant off his stride and sent him head first into the thicket, but he managed to stop before falling to the ground. He wheeled around with a snarl and swung the sword again, forcing Aezubah to retreat beyond its reach...

Aezubah studied the vast field before him, his eyes resting on the twisted corpses, the torn banners that littered the field, the forest of broken spear-shafts and the naked blades still clutched by unfeeling hands, now glimmering in the rising sun. Wind howled over the empty space. From time to time the General’s hawk-like gaze paused when it came across a familiar face and lingered longer on its pained features. Then his eyes ventured forth, skimming over the four-legged scavengers that lurked between the bodies...

Then the demon turned to walk away and as he did, his wings swept up another cloud of dust. Aezubah’s eyes narrowed as he watched the disappearing foe. He threw the torch away and dug his sword into the floor of the cave to free his hands. Then with one swift motion he reached for the quiver hanging low on his back and drew an arrow. In the next moment he took aim with his short antler bow...

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