Velin the Lothorian, also known as the Rifleman or the Revenant, is my modest homage to E. Howard’s most adventurous hero – Conan the Cimmerian. This is my first Sword & Railgun novella, a spiritual successor of the Sword & Planet genre.
I forged this character, drawing boundless inspiration from the adventures of other immortals. Titans like Sandokan, Solomon Kane, Allan Quatermain, and Karl May's peerless rifleman, Old Shatterhand. Old and new became one, yet Velin is a distinctly unique character, his many quests all set within the bounds of the Starshatter universe.
Lothoria is Velin's homewold and what a bleak, soul-crushing place it was!
For many centuries, commoners were used and abused, treated like chattel by their merciless rulers. His family killed in a brutal raid, little Velin endured the fate of a stock slave. Being reduced to nothing more than a mere beast of burden, the youth carried his lot. Feet cracked and back bleeding, the young man crossed deathly sands, and climbed bone-crushing mountains.
Velin's teachers, the Terrans, they had a saying:
“All bad things must come to an abrupt and most painful end!”
Liberation Day arrived on wings of megasteel, carried upon the tips of bayonets and Terran swords. The slave quickly grew out of his torment; Velin was now a learned in the Ways of Peace soldier. His body restored and mind aflame with the Terran Word, he was gifted armaments most holy. Forged from his blood-soaked shackles, a bayonet stuck under the barrel of his brand new railgun rifle.
Inspired by those who shed blood to liberate his people, the young soldier travels off world. Future of his own making, Velin volunteers to help free others. To achieve this goal of his, he must seal the doom of many a degenerate slaver and invader. Crush their vile gobs under his boot, spill their putrid blood, and shoot them dead with his rifle.
A soldier of Lothorian blood and Terran soul.
His name is death to foe and life to friend!