Action Fiction Series By Robert H. Butler
For Speranzi Jadara, the paladin archer and Commander of the Black Quiver mercenary company, it was supposed to be a simple job. Escort a merchant on his journey into a neighboring region, ensure his safety, and come home alive. But for the devotee of the gods of mankind and veteran of the war against the Demon God, Damaxa, nothing ever goes as planned. After encountering Skana, a bold brigand made hard bitten by her life as a peasant, and razor sharp by her life disguising herself as a man to hide her identity from her teachers among the raiders, Speranzi Jadara’s whole world turns upside down.
Everything she believes to be true is challenged.
Everything she knows may turn out to be wrong.
And from new knowledge born of shattered faith, a new terror will be born that will change not only their lives, but the whole world around them.
“Wanting to be called good is the excuse people give for their cowardice in pursuing their ambitions. It’s only evil that ever really changes things, and that makes evil the only good in the world.” Such is the conviction of elven assassin, Nua Calen Aiwenor, priestess of the Unliving God, and now, warlord. Setting out from her homeland determined to achieve her dreams in the distant land of Mict’aratz, the former slave is out to either gain the throne of an empire for herself, or a grave.
And in that chaotic land of conflicting wills, there are plenty of people who would help her to either.
Victory brings with it many burdens, who to trust, who not to trust, who will betray, who will refrain from betraying… and why?
Nua strives to win the hearts of those whose bodies she possesses, the fear of those in her way, and the faith of those closest to her, but challenges from beyond from the ever watchful orchestrators of the careful balance of Mict’aratz are not an idle bunch.
Enemies lurk in shadows, and the hunt for a stolen life so trivial that she once did not even have a name, turns everything on its head.
No plan survives contact with the enemy. This truism of war remained true in politics as Nua Calen Aiwenor carries out the duty into which she has been entrapped. Tasked with escorting the consort of the Prince to the heart of the empire of God-Emperor Ax’ayact as a sacrificial tribute, she faces the majesty and savagery of the Tlalmok Empire in all its might. Behind her, Kaiji, Priceless, Diana, Sado, and Lodira all face challenges of their own as alliances are formed, fates are changed, and blood is shed.
By the end, in the land of Mict’aratz, where life is short and brutal and even the strong can be broken, new wills will be forged, powers will crumble, and a new power will begin its rise on the bones of the dead, and the promise of battles to come.
Short of conspiracy, there is nothing so uncertain as war. But Nua Calen Aiwenor, now General of ‘The Breakers’ and ruler of a grand estate, is ready for that gamble.
Her disruptive actions have garnered the attention of forces both malevolent and benign. The Princes of other city-states and the shadowy figures at their command, as well as the eyes of Queen Vexia of Da’nak, ruler of the Sacred City, architect of the balance of power and the living descendant of an ancient God.
Demonic temper clashes with assassin calm amidst a world on fire with threats in all directions, including a hate which Nua believed she left far behind, but which now marches within her most trusted ranks.
Conspiracies and conspirators lurk in the shadows of the past in the city of Pas’en, their tendrils reaching out to all of Central Mict’aratz, and the activity of the House of Aiwenor continues to stir them to life again. The gathering storm continues to build as bonds of love, hatred, iron, and bronze draw the agents of change and stability alike into a conflict that not everyone will survive.
The rising tide of the House of Aiwenor has swept away some, while others on board with it have seen themselves rise to new heights. But the even floods must ebb and fight against the dams built to bar the way forward. Ahead of Nua, the Red City, fallen Komestra, prepares to rise again, its armies reformed, its power renewed, her promise… all but fulfilled.
Her promise though, was not her ambition. To rule one city is good, to rule them all? Better. And so the wars begin, with sides being taken and armies on the march, new strategies are needed, and old allies from home must be introduced to a world they never dreamed of.
The struggle for power has created challenges that even for all her preparations, Nua could not have planned for. There are always unknowns, always enemies, and sometimes? Sometimes even the strongest of people need to turn to for help. To that end, she welcomes Gottfried Jadara, the firstborn son of the Mother of Terror with a delivery of enchanted equipment meant to give her members of the faith an edge over all others.
There are however, levels upon levels, layers upon layers to her motives, as Gottfried represents not only her greatest hope, but also her greatest fear. If her budding Kingdom cannot meet with the empire she once called home as something approaching an equal, their allies in the war to come might one day become their destroyers. To prevent this, she sets out to win more than battles.
She wants to win the son of terror to her cause, to see her land as something that deserves to exist, lest this grandchild of a god speak against it one day. To prevent that, Nua will do anything.
But anything creates a great many…complications.