Drayden Torvannes has made a career out of uncovering secrets of the past. When he receives a peculiar summons to one of the more elite houses in the city of Vindra, he is prepared to take on a new research assignment for a modest fee and more experience to his career. He is not prepared for the proposition offered to him by Elarien Fannael, a compelling young man whose past has been left to him in fragments that begin with a ring, a family heirloom carrying memories and truth. Elarien is willing to pay a prince's fortune for answers. All Drayden has to do is uncover them, but can he against the disapproval and secrecy of the Fannael family, and against obstacles and adversaries that continue to grow as his research brings him to the nearby and haunted town of Raventide?
Enshrouded in the mystery of a famous and grisly murder, the town promises not only answers, but danger for Drayden as he sinks further into a well of conspiracy, betrayal, and madness. Not only his livelihood, but his life become a running goal that he must chase through the elevated tiers of Vindran society, into its cavernous underbelly, and through the mystery of the town in its shadow as he races against time to uncover the most dangerous secret of his career.
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
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. Pursuit of the geomancer uncovers secrets
connected to the persisting influence of the late Scholar General, and to the
School of the Seven Mystics itself.
While the Phoenix continues to rise through Xu
Liang, the dragons of the mortal plane begin to awaken. And as the southern kingdoms unite and rise
against Xu Liang and his barbarian allies, the people of Ji continue to look to
their ‘Silent Emperor’, some believing that he is favored by the gods, even
above the Empress herself.
With Ying threatening to turn away from the
Mandate and Du promising to join the southern rebellion, it seems that the
heart of the Empire stands alone, unaware that the efforts of the Barbarian
Generals will help determine the outcome of this battle between kingdoms.
With the Celestial
Swords and their bearers united, Xu Liang heads for his homeland. Having lost his spiritual connection with the
Empress, he is unprepared for the severity of Chaos’ grip on the land and its
people. Fear is spreading throughout Sheng
Fan. War is in the air. There is dissension in the ranks of the
Empire and Xu Liang’s favor with the Empress seems to be in question, his once
influential position now tenuous. The
coming together of the Blades seems for naught while enemies from within
threaten to tear apart his allegiance with the outsiders he dared to bring into
Sheng Fan by spreading dangerous rumors.
It seems that Xu Liang can do little more than watch as the Dragon
continues to rise, every hour clawing its way deeper into the heart of the
Empire, which slowly rends itself apart with the governors of the Five Kingdoms
taking up arms against each other, as well as against the Song Dynasty. Those allied by the Swords must put Chaos to
rest—be it an actual dragon, or war itself—but first they must find peace
within themselves and amongst each other.