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Authors: Richard S. Tuttle

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Heirs of the Enemy

BOOK: Heirs of the Enemy
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Heirs of the Enemy

Book 5 of Demonstone Chronicles

by

Richard S. Tuttle

 

Copyright © 2007 by Richard S. Tuttle.

All rights reserved.

All characters and events in this book are fictitious.

Any resemblance to persons living or dead is strictly coincidental.

Our story so far…

In
Knights of Alcea
the kingdom was awakened from its peaceful slumber when the Alceans discovered a growing rebellion, a rebellion unlike any other. Mysterious priests swore allegiance to Balmak, a previously unknown god, and were spreading seeds of discontent throughout Alcea. As the danger grew, the Knights of Alcea were drawn back into the king's service, and they soon discovered that the rebellion was tied to other ominous events. Elves attacking human villages, and humans attacking dwarves were events unheard of since the forming of Alcea, and together with the rebellion, they seemed designed to bring Alcea to the brink of disaster. Yet, the picture was still not clear enough for Alexander Tork. While all of the problems put together might bring chaos to Alcea, he knew that there had to be more to the sinister plot. Eventually it was discovered that a massive army from an unknown land across the waters was waiting for Alcea to be weakened before attacking.

The Knights of Alcea destroyed the Temples of Balmak and ensured that no division would exist between the races of the kingdom, but they knew that their actions were not enough to ensure that the attack by foreign forces would be stopped. King Arik set out to reorganize and bolster the forces of Alcea to meet the coming invasion, but that was not enough for Alexander Tork. During the course of battles against the mysterious priests, Alex stole a Zaran ship, the Remora. He pressed the king for permission to go to the unknown land and determine the weakness of the enemy. King Arik, believing that Alex would go regardless of permission, finally gave his blessing, but he limited the party to only five Knights of Alcea.

In
Final Voyage of the Remora
, Alex enlisted the aid of three Alcean Rangers and three elves of Glendor to join with the five Knights of Alcea. He hired a captain and crew and set out across the ocean with only a rough chart to guide them into the unknown. The journey was troublesome from the beginning. Two Zaran spies had managed to get themselves included in the crew, and the enemy was waiting for their arrival. Driven by strange dreams, Alex unwittingly outmaneuvered the Zarans and landed in the Endless Swamp. The landing turned out to be fortuitous as the Knights of Alcea made many important contacts including Haditha, the water witch, Sidney Mercado, the merchant, and Morro, the elven thief. Prince Rigal also made contact with the Dielderal elves and discovered that the Federation holds them as slaves. To ensure the Federation's control over the Dielderal, all elven children are taken out of the Elfwoods and kept in reeducation centers in the major cities of the Federation.

Volume two of the Demonstone Chronicles ended with the destruction of the Zaran invasion fleet. It also ended the chances for our heroes to return home to Alcea. Captain Gomery, Haditha, and two sailors were not rescued along with the others. While Captain Gomery and Haditha made it to safety, Loman and Tyroma were never found. The rest of the heroes, knowing that each day of delay would buy Alcea more time to prepare for war, vowed to continue to wage covert actions against the Zarans, but they were confined to the lost city of Aranak, which is deep under the sands of the desert.

In
Council of War
, the Alceans in Zara split up. Garth and Kalina are joined by Tedi, Natia, and Morro as they journey to the major cities of the Federation to learn more about their enemy. Karl Gree leads the rest of the Alceans in an attempt to reach the safety of Tyronia, but his plans are foiled by the Federation as they block Sebastian Pass and send thousands of troops to hunt the Alceans. With nowhere else to turn, Karl leads the group into the Forest of Death, and they are eventually captured by the Zaroccans as spies.

Garth and his party earn the appreciation of the Rhodans by saving three of their women from the Federation army, but those actions demand a retreat to the safety of Tyronia. As the nation of Tyronia falls to the Federation, Garth leads his people to the horse countries on unicorns, but not before substituting Clint for a traitorous Tyronian general. While Clint is sent to Despair as a representative of Tyronia, Garth finds himself involved in a struggle to free Karl's group and establish a Council of War to fight the Federation in Zara. To gain the support of the horse countries, Garth must find twenty thousand fighters to stand against the Federation. In a frenzied tour of the continent, Garth unites the elves, dwarves, and humans of various countries into a strange alliance to battle the Federation. Only time will tell if the alliance stands, and if it will prove to be enough to affect the outcome of the destructive war coming to two continents.

In
Demonkin
, Book Four of the Demonstone Chronicles, the Alceans covertly attack four cities of the Federation, freeing the elven children from the education centers built to hold the elves captive. King Elengal leads the Dielderal through the dwarven tunnel to the sanctuary on the Island of Despair, while making it appear that they have fled to sea in ships.

Meanwhile, the demons create a new breed of demonkin, the Claws of Alutar. These four powerful creatures are designed to extract revenge from the Alceans for the plight of the Great Demon. Their singular goal is to eliminate the Heroes of the Mage, starting with the Warrior King.

Clint, posing as General Forshire, builds his small Federation army and discovers the true nature of Camp Destiny, a massive valley holding the portals to be used in the coming attack on Alcea.

The Mage, traveling as Fakir Aziz, continues to gather powerful mages to his side. The destination of the group remains a secret, and the mysterious purpose of such immense power is never spoken of.

Book Five begins where Book Four left off. Reeling in the embarrassment of the Federation’s loss, Emperor Jaar needs to change the mood of the Federation or risk open rebellion. Declaring a festival to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the founding of the Federation, nobles and generals from all over Zara flock to the Imperial Palace in Despair.

Prologue

Emperor Forkuna strode briskly through the corridors of the Imperial Palace in Despair. Directly behind him were his closest advisor, Lord Kimner, and the emperor’s son, General Jaar. A squad of Imperial soldiers surrounded the three most important men in the Empire of Barouk. When they reached the emperor’s study, six soldiers followed the three men into the room while the rest of the squad took up positions in the corridor outside.

“You look quite pleased with yourself,” Lord Kimner stated as the emperor eased into his chair behind the desk. “Are you sure this is a wise move?”

“Perfectly sure,” smiled the emperor. “Our union with the Kingdom of Spino is only the beginning. This Federation that we have started today will blossom into a government that will encompass the entire continent. It is the only way to ensure our continued existence.”

“Spino cannot be considered an equal to the Empire of Barouk,” argued General Jaar. “I can well understand the need to expand, but not by giving up our sovereignty. If you desire to rule over Spino, you only need to give the word. My armies will conquer them within a few months.”

The emperor sighed heavily as he glanced at his son. He shook his head slowly with disappointment. “You still have not grasped what I am trying to do, Jaar. This gloom that hangs over the land affects all countries, not just the empire. We have the greatest wealth of minerals within our borders, but we must import everything else. As our fields begin to whither and die, where we will get food to eat?”

“That is what you are doing this for?” balked the general. “Just because of the gloom?”

“The gloom hangs heavily over our heads,” commented Lord Kimner, “but surely it will pass. The skies of Sirocca were once like this when the Pyres erupted years ago. It hardly means the end of everything.”

“This gloom was not caused by a volcanic eruption,” retorted the emperor. “As for Sirocca, it has ceased to exist. That entire country is now buried under a desert so vast that it is unimaginable. This is what you two do not understand. The gloom is not going away. Whatever caused it, it is here to stay. The only way for any of us to survive is to band together. Our union with the Kingdom of Spino is merely a first step for the Federation. In the coming months, I will negotiate with all of the countries of Zara. I will bring them all into the Federation.”

“Why?” frowned General Jaar. “I still do not understand. Why do we need to cede power to any of those countries? We can either conquer them or trade with them, but you want to take it further. I do not understand.”

“Aerta currently grows more food than they can eat,” explained the emperor, “but what will happen when their supply of food diminishes? Will they then be eager to sell us food?”

“Aerta will surely horde their food,” answered Lord Kimner.

“If they do,” scowled General Jaar, “I will march our armies into Giza and seize the food.”

“Will you?” countered Emperor Forkuna. “And what if you are met by the combined armies of Ertak, Aerta, and Candanar? Do you really think the Aertans are blind? You start marching our armies northward, and they will make allies with their neighbors long before we arrive. All you will accomplish is losing a large number of our soldiers. I suppose that might allow our food to go further, but it would also leave us rather vulnerable to any nation that coveted our minerals. Stop thinking like a bully in the playing field and start thinking like an emperor. The task of governing this empire will one day fall into your hands.”

“How does this Federation solve our problem?” retorted the general.

“Ertak and Aerta will join the Federation,” explained the emperor. “When they do, they will not be able to horde food for their own use. They will have an obligation to share it among the members of the Federation. Should they refuse, then the other members will surely side with us in the dispute. I am doing what must be done to ensure our continued existence. You must learn to follow my example.”

“There are risks to your plan,” interjected Lord Kimner. “Already there are whispers among the nobles. Surely you must know that many of our people are not happy with the formation of the Federation. They see it as a lessening of our importance.”

“They are small-minded fools,” sighed Emperor Forkuna. “Everyone thinks this gloom will disappear tomorrow, but no one can give me a logical reason for his beliefs. The King of Spino understood the problem well enough. He was as
 
eager to form the Federation as I was, and I think the other kingdoms will also agree when I present it to them. Aerta might have food, but it lacks the minerals that we possess. The Federation will be in their best interests as well as ours.”

“If you can get them to agree,” Lord Kimner replied in a dubious tone.

“That is what a ruler is supposed to do,” stated the emperor. “I will talk to the other rulers and explain the need to join together. I will be successful. Of that I have no doubts.”

Shouting erupted in the corridor outside the study, and the soldiers in the room stiffened and readied their weapons. General Jaar also drew his sword and stepped between his father’s desk and the door to the corridor. The sounds of battle could be heard outside the room and the six soldiers in the study moved towards the door.

“Evidently,” Lord Kimner said softly, “someone has taken exception to your plan to start the Federation.”

Emperor Forkuna rose to his feet and stared at the door. “Barricade the door,” he commanded before turning his gaze to his son. “Put your sword away, Jaar.”

“I will defend you with my life,” retorted the general as the soldiers began moving furniture in front of the door.

“That you will,” the emperor smiled thinly, “but not from this room. I will not allow anyone to catch the two of us together. My soldiers will hold off the enemy while you escape and rally forces loyal to us.”

BOOK: Heirs of the Enemy
11.07Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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