Authors: Scott Rhine
By Scott Rhine
Copyright 2012 Scott Rhine
Book One of this series is entitled
Doors to Eternity
Thanks to Tammy, my faithful first reader.
To my line-editor Katy Sozaeva, who thought it was worthwhile, despite its length.
To Weston Kincade and DJ Feldmeyer for more edits and proofreading.
And to Bill Vance, one of our fallen.
– a small, fertile kingdom in the southeast known for its wine and the Great Library.
– country to the northwest, known for its swamp-gas lights and intrigue.
– the fallen, mountainous kingdom of the far north, known for its mines and forges.
– country to the east known for its cattle and grain.
– country to the northeast, known for its trees.
– the large country to the southwest, bordered by desert to the west and plague lands to the south.
– a twelve-year-old newly apprenticed to Jotham.
Calligrose the Traveler
– the writer of the six holy books, the messenger of the gods, silent for the last 49 years.
Jotham the Tenor
– historian from the Great Library of Eskelon, half Imperial.
Nigel the Actor
– a wandering rogue who recites plays and trades news for his room and board.
– a wandering gravedigger who knows how to care for the dead.
Tashi the Sheriff
– the head of the military arm of the Temple of the Traveler. Missing large chunks of his memory. Student of Jotham.
– a tramp apprenticed to the gravedigger Owl.
– a southern mercenary who betrays the Kragen family to save his own life and get rich.
– one of Kragen’s knights who owes favors to Tumberlin.
– the half-Imperial concubine of the wizard Kragen, a diver known as the Lady of the Deep.
– Kragen’s chief Imperial bodyguard, made mute.
Navara the Ferret
– chief inquisitor and whip of Kragen.
– Imperial Lord, underworld kingpin, and head wizard at the Temple of the Unseen. Murdered by the Brotherhood of Executioners.
Necrota the younger
– a ki mage, cousin of Vlekmar
– an Imperial wizard apprenticed to Lord Kragen, able to travel out-of-body as a shadow.
– senior ki mage, cousin of Necrota
Anna the Brewer
– Baran the smith’s fiancée, an indentured servant.
– an armorer and merchant, Baran the smith’s father.
– backup swordsman. A comedian who befriended Tashi. Deceased.
– a smith who carries the magical sword, the Defender of the Realm.
– the guildmaster, Nerissa’s husband.
– Baran the smith’s older brother.
– noblewoman, wife and guiding force behind the guildmaster, Tashi’s adopted sister.
– King of Bablios in name, but fonder of wine than ruling.
– the Prefect of Bablios, head intelligence officer, de facto ruler.
– captain of an ill-fated company of the King of Zanzibos’ Scouts, sent to deliver an insulting message to Kragen. Now governor of Barnham.
– an astronomy student turned wizard, friend of the smith.
– a female spy who blames the smith for ruining her cover, member of the Bablios secret police, and newest ambassador to the court of Kiateros. Likes Pinetto.
– a count guarding the lands on the road to the capital of Zanzibos.
– King of Zanzibos, whose family owns the silver mines.
Beryl the Wise
– the priest of Semenos, on Sandarac’s council.
– the General of Semenos’ army, on Sandarac’s council.
Ginza the Keeper
– the sergeant of arms in Sandarac’s council, aided Tashi in reaching the City of the Gods.
– an old priest who starts the heresy that the god Semenos is female.
– the head of the church of Semenos.
Hisbet the Viper
– the head of the Intaglios Intelligence Service, on Sandarac’s council.
– the tall, half-Mandibosian consort of Sandarac.
– a skilled knifeman in the Kiateran vanguard.
– elder sister of Renald, self-proclaimed Queen of Semenos.
– the son of Lugwort, a rogue and carouser, heir to the Obsidian Throne of Kiateros.
– a handmaiden of Zariah, wanted for the crime of poisoning.
Lugwort the Jeweler
– the next official king of Kiateros, in exile.
– Legato’s translator and code expert.
– a silk merchant from Reneau.
– boy King of Semenos, puppet of the High Gardener.
Sandarac the Pretender
– self-proclaimed emperor of the north, an Imperial unable to walk.
– a former slave girl with pale-green eyes, possessed by Zariah.
Serog the Dragoness
– guardian of the Temple of Sleep.
Simon the Architect
– a famous builder near Reneau.
– Simon’s youthful wife.
– the Intagliosian High Priest of the Sacred Flame.
– an Imperial scholar from the Inner Islands, on Sandarac’s council.
– an Imperial Lord sent to a remote post for indiscretions.
Zariah the Seeress
– the high priestess of the Temple of Sleep, a daughter of Serog.
– the last warlord of Myron, a marquis who retired in protest.
– the archfiend Tashi inadvertently released from his servitude.
– the fallen goddess of the plague lands.
– a Dawn creature with the head of a black panther.
– the last Emperor of his dynasty, precipitated the Scattering.
Chapter 1 – The Question that Must Be Answered
After escaping the emperor’s dungeons, Tashi climbed to the City of the Gods, on the peak of the Holy Mountain. The ruins spread across a mile of overgrown plateau littered with bricks of mysterious, black glass. During the day, anyone could leave offerings to the twenty-one immortals from the Dawn race. After sunset, no mortals could survive inside its walls due to a lethal sound known as Nightfall. Using a magic coin to guide him to the e of a precipice where the mountain had been sliced away, Tashi found a staircase that was suspended in midair. Because he reached this place, the gods were required to grant him a request. The sky thundered with their anger, but the tuning-fork artifact he carried protected him against Nightfall.