John Kuharik’s fantasy series set in Buckthorn Burrough with Grigg, Doth, and Ladwick first appeared in The Digest Enthusiast book two in June 2015. A year later, the second story, “Wounded Wizard,” appeared in TDE4. John began work on another tale, but it grew in size and scope to become a novel. Last I heard, it’s in the works now.
Shown here is one of the original sketches by Michael Neno, who created the artwork for “Wounded Wizard.” The story opens as follows:
“When the Gnolls came over the lower walls and spilled into the streets of Buckthorn Burrough, its residents were ready for them.
“Men alongside women, these descendants of border ranchers joined their local militiamen to fight with swords and garden tools against the charging beasts. But commanders of the regular army within the castle walls, doubting their ability, unleashed a mortar attack upon friend and foe alike. The population and buildings were devastated. When the fires cooled, the Gnolls were defeated, but a once thriving community was now a ragged assortment of wounded veterans, resentful homeless, and gangs of hungry orphans.”
Born in Binghamton, NY, John M. Kuharik is a 1971 Rider College graduate, an Army veteran, and a career public health retiree. He loves alternate universes, and time travel, and spends ridiculous amounts of time playing fantasy MMORPG’s. His stories, “Brainboy,” “Don’t See How It Won’t Get Worse,” and “Suddenly Tired,” appeared in The Prairie Light Review.