Cover Illustration by Charlie Creber (email@example.com)
Han Quan’s dragon has been put to rest. The Empire beholds a moment of peace, a brief hour of victory, though at great cost. The Imperial City has suffered significant damage from the dragon’s assault, the turmoil between the Five Kingdoms has escalated in the face of a continuing rise of dark forces now attributed as a curse upon the Song Dynasty, and Han Quan himself remains at large. Xun is being pushed back by the massive forces of Ji, but now looks to ally with Tzu, who not only shares Xun’s disenchantment with the Song family, but also holds Xu Liang to blame for its corruption. As the southern kingdoms unite and rise against Xu Liang and his barbarian allies, the kingdom of Ji looks to their ‘Silent Emperor’ for help, believing that he is favored by the gods, even above the Empress herself. Meanwhile, the northern kingdom of Ying begins to turn away from the Mandate as well, threatening to withdraw support from the Song. In spite of the threats posed by the northern and southern kingdoms, Xu Liang turns his attention west, to his home kingdom of Du, where his recognized father, Xu Hong, plots a fierce campaign against Ji. Through strenuous diplomatic efforts, Xu Liang manages to put off such plans, but he gains little in the way of military support while the Empress’s power is rapidly overtaken by the fires of rebellion. It seems that the heart of the Empire stands alone against the rest of Sheng Fan, unaware that the efforts of four individuals from outside the realm will determine the outcome of this battle between kingdoms.
Coming October 2016