The Sword of Bheleu (1982) is the third Fantasy novel in The Lords of the Dus series, following The Seven Altars of Dusarra. The initial volume in this sequence is The Lure of the Basilisk.
In the previous volume, three months later, Garth came back to Skelleth with three companions. They entered in the night and set up the trading goods on the town square. Despite their fear of overmen, the villagers were soon trading for the furs and carved ivory.
The Forgotten King sent Saram to fetch Garth. So Garth walked to the King's Inn and told the Forgotten King that he wanted nothing to do with him. Despite his reluctance, the Forgotten King made an unappealing offer for further services.
Later the Baron's guards opened his front door. Herrenmer set a guard on each side of the door and then noticed the overmen. He went over to ask Garth why he has returned,
The baron agreed to let the overmen trade with his villagers if Garth would swear fealty to him. Garth was very angry, but vowed to present the offer to his City Council after returning to Ordunin. Then he returned to the King's Inn and accepted the task proposed by the Forgotten King.
In this novel, Garth is an overman. He is a humanoid taller and stronger than a man. He is the Prince of Ordunin -- a port city in the far north -- and Lord of the Overmen of the Northern Waste. He is married to three overwomen and has many children.
Kyrith is Garth's senior wife. They have no children.
The Forgotten King is an immortal man from long ago. He lives in the King's Inn within the village of Skelleth.
Saram is a former Lieutenant in the guard of the Baron of Skelleth. He had been discharged from the guard for insubordination.
Frima is a young maiden of Dusarra who had been taken by the followers of Sai -- the goddess of pain and suffering -- and tortured by the priests. Garth had rescues her from the altar and took her with him.
Koros is Garth's warbeast. He is a mixture of the breeds of cat, dog and donkey. The warbeast is as tall as a large human, but weighs much more.
In this story, Kyrith is certain that Garth has been held captive by the Baron. She persuades the City Council of Ordunin to send sixty overman to find Garth. The Baron is in a depressive state when the overmen arrive and will not talk to them. Kyrith decides to lay siege to the town.
Galt comes back to Skelleth as co-leader of the group. He doesn't have much to do, since Kyrith has taken overall command of the group. He is standing guard in the rain when Saram comes out to talk to the overmen.
Garth arrives the following day with Frima and Koros. He also has the Sword of Bheleu, the powerful token of the god of destruction. Since he has lost his other weapons, the Sword is his only means of defense.
Garth already has anger management issues. The Sword keeps him at a low level of anger whenever he is near it. The pommel glows bright red while it is manipulating him.
Garth is extremely angry at the news that the overmen are besieging Skelleth. He sends the first overman that he encounters off to gather the others and take them back to the camp. Then Garth faces his wife and tells her that laying siege to Skelleth is an act of war.
Garth has the Sword with him when he leads the overmen to the town square and demands the presence of the Baron. When the Baron appears, he immediate angers Garth and heads back inside his house. Garth draws the Sword and throws it at the Baron's back.
Garth decides to appoint Saram as acting Baron of Skelleth. Garth leaves management of the town to him. Saram selects subordinates to take charge of the various needs of the town. If they don't work out, Saram dismisses them and selects replacements.
The Sword makes Garth irritable. Galt and Kyrith convince him to let them handle problems within the town. Garth spends most of his time within the King's Inn.
Meanwhile, the new head priest of Aghad decides the Sword is too powerful to attack directly. So he sends his acolyte to the Seer of Weideth with word of the destruction caused by Garth. The seer then informs the Council of the Most High -- the wizard organization -- and they become interested in Garth.
This tale makes Garth a target for both the Aghadites and the wizards. The Council tries long-range death spells, but the Sword counters them. The wizards even try to ambush Garth, but nothing works against the Sword.
Only the Forgotten King can shut down the Sword. The next installment in this sequence is The Book of Silence.
Highly recommended for Watt-Evans fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of divine talismans, political intrigue, and alien thinking. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin