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For ten thousand years and ten thousand times that, the Morschen of Anaria have dwelt in a perpetual state of warring peace with each other, wielding their elemental magic and training massive armies that all too often find their way to a battlefield.
Ten nations, who stand or fall by the sword, each with its own ancient and proud beginning, come together every year for a time of common council. For years beyond count, they have fought wars and made peace among each other, only to repeat the process a decade or a century later. But an enemy, long thought defeated in the great war that was fought at the dawn of time, has awakened once more, and his eye is fixed on the world he failed to take.
Will the one real leader that the Morschen have be able to see the meaning of a nightmare in time? Will his fellows be able to push past their disputes to name a ruler who can truly unite them? Will loyalties that have held for a thousand years stay strong under a new threat? Will a world ruled by magic and sword see a hero rise? Or will everything that they have worked for come crashing down around them?

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The Broken Rudder was nicer inside than appearances suggested, having not only clean tables, but a clean floor as well. That being said, it smelled the same as the Mermaid’s Rock: heavy with tobacco and rum, thick with smoke, though not quite as much, and saltier, which she attributed to being closer to the docks and the ocean. Most people in the Broken Rudder had the look of seasoned seamen of rank, as if mostly officers frequented it. Most of the patrons wore heavy clothing. Oilskins for rain and seawater hung on a number of pegs near the door, and as often as not, the men had bare feet, though the rest wore tall boots. A group of women, clearly mercenaries, likely ship captains of one pirate fleet or another, with long swords or heavier cutlasses crossed on their backs, caught her eye for a moment. One woman with two longswords seemed especially interested in Edya, and Edya returned the woman’s scrutiny. They were all watching her intently, knowing from instinct that she would be a dangerous enemy if it came to a fight. Several people, men mostly, looked more respectable, merchants possibly, or ship captains. Quite a few were heavily armed with cutlasses and knives hanging from leather belts wrapped around their torsos. Once again, the owner was a woman with an accent she could not identify.

Stephen Trolly is a self-published fantasy author from Ottawa Canada. Stephen has been writing short stories and longer fantasy works since he was a camp counsellor at the age of thirteen. His Anarian Chronicles series currently has two books: Rising Vengeance, and its sequel, The Devil’s Dominion, both available on Amazon.

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