Authors: Salvador Mercer
Her curiosity overcoming her, she placed her hand on the chest and slowly unlatched it, using both hands to open it. There inside were ruins of the ancients around the inner box, along with a gold rod, encrusted with gems worth a king’s ransom, but it was the crowning gem that made her shudder in fear. On top, was a small skull, the skull of what looked like a baby dragon. The red rubies in its mouth and eyes glowed an unnatural color, and the entire artifact gave off an aura of evil that was palpable.
Quickly, she closed the chest and then the door and replaced the heavy rug over the trapdoor handle. Sighing and taking a deep breath, she left the room and looked back before shutting the door with only one thing coming to her mind, and she spoke the words out loud, not the most noble of things for a duchess to say, but they were appropriate for the occasion.
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Salvador Mercer loves to read. Having read the works from Tolkien, McCaffrey, Donaldson, Asimov, Burroughs, Crichton, and many others, the desire to write took over the once sane man and now he finds himself immersed in telling tall tales and intricate fables from this world, and across the stars to many others.
His stories are inspired by past author greats, but written and moved forward by Mercer who sincerely hopes that the stories delight and entertain the reader. He invites you to enter the worlds and realms of his books, and hopes you share with him your experiences there.
Salvador Mercer is fluent in English, Russian and Spanish, having served in the US Army, 750th Military Intelligence Brigade as a Russian Voice Intercept Operator, works in the field of Public Transit, loves languages, history, reading, boating, traveling, and science. He lives in Ohio with his three boys, a baby (elf), toddler (hobbit), teenager (orc), and wife, Masha.
Claire Agon is the second planet orbiting Tau Ceti, located just less than twelve light years from our own planet Earth. It circles its star in the habitable zone, just over two-thirds of one AU, or astronomical unit, which is the distance of Earth from the sun. This places it in orbit about the same distance around Tau Ceti as Venus is to Sol. It has an atmosphere similar to Earth’s, but it is different in composition, because the inhabitants of Claire Agon are silicon-based life forms, not carbon-based as on our planet.
Claire Agon has two companion moons about half the size of Earth’s moon, but circling the planet much closer, four times closer, in fact. The two moons are tidally locked to Claire Agon, each showing the same face to the planet. The two moons in the common tongue are called Tira and Sara, in that order. Tira rises first, followed a few hours later by Sara. Both moons are named for Claire Agon’s daughters in Agonian mythos. Lunar eclipses are not uncommon due to the close orbits of the two moons to the planet, and a full lunar cycle occurs approximately every nine days. Both moons are much like small Agonian worlds, and their blue, green, and white cloud-tipped atmospheres can clearly be seen from the surface of Agon.
Claire Agon, or simply Agon in the common tongue, isn’t the only planet circling Tau Ceti. Recently on Earth, astronomers have detected up to five planets circling the class G star, which is similar in type to our own Sol, but it masses only four-fifths that of our own sun. The astronomers are almost correct insomuch as the system actually has six planets. One planet, however, they could not have imagined; it circles Tau Ceti in an elliptical and eccentric orbit, tilted at thirty degrees above the solar plane. That planet is the size of our own Neptune, but instead of being a gaseous planet, it is a rocky planet, with a huge mass relative to Earth and an atmosphere and magnetosphere in a class unto itself. Agonians call this planet “Dor Akun,” or “Death World,” though the term “Father of Death” is also used, depending on the culture.
Dor Akun orbits Tau Ceti once every two hundred years, and when it approaches perihelion, or its closest approach to the star, it actually comes
the orbit of Claire Agon. In addition to this, Claire Agon is also pulled by the gravitational force of Dor Akun, to the point that it, too, reaches perihelion and does so at the same time as its bigger mate, Dor Akun. During this time Dor Akun is a mere million miles from Claire Agon, and it reaches perihelion exactly on the solar plane where Agon orbits Tau Ceti, thus eclipsing Agon as it transits from perihelion and begins its slow, arduous journey up and back to its aphelion, to begin the cycle all over again.
The eclipse lasts an entire Agonian month, and its tidal forces pull mercilessly on the smaller Agon, flexing its crust and creating huge tides and displacements of waters both great and small. Agon is cast into a cold, dark, month-long isolation, suffering immense damage to life there.
Fortunately for those who live on Agon, the event occurs only once every two hundred orbits of Agon and once every orbit of Dor Akun. Where the two planets actually cross orbits, the larger planet, Dor Akun, is inclined by several million miles, and so the paths of the two planets never cross.
Some Earth-based scientists, if they could witness the odd but regular orbits of Agon and Akun, might conclude that the event will eventually decay the Agonian orbit to the point where it either degrades into Tau Ceti, in a spectacular but deadly spectacle of death, or, more likely, on one pass, it will be captured by Dor Akun and her orbit will take her into the deeper regions of Tau Ceti space, where it is cold and dark and eventually even silicon-based life would freeze to death.
This, however, isn’t the only thing that occurs during the transit event. On Earth, we are protected from radioactive particles by its magnetosphere. In Agon the sphere is weaker and charged particles rain down from Tau Ceti yearly, but during the transit event the great magnetosphere of Dor Akun acts much like a wing does on a modern-day airplane as it slices through the air; it funnels a steady stream of highly charged particles from the local star around itself and onto the surface of Claire Agon every two centuries. The phenomenon causes mutations in the silicon-based life forms of Claire Agon, and so evolution there takes place at a much more rapid pace than it does on Earth.
Such are the science of Claire Agon and its dance of death and change with its bigger mate, Dor Akun, all around a nondescript class G spectral star located not very far from our own sun. Thus magic is created and dragons are born.
Agon, Short common name for this planet/world
Abrasos, Tavern owner in Ulsthor
Akun, Common name for Dor Akun
Alexi, Fist of Astor
Amora, Kesh Arch Mage, Leader of the Ulathan mountain attacks
Amtor, High Mage of Kesh (aka Ke-Tor in the ranger series)
Angora, Bounty hunter out of Ulsthor
Arabella, Demi god of Astor
Arella, Flower with leaves, known for its healing properties
Argos, Raider based out of Kesh
Arnen, Ancient Order of Druids
Artika, White Dragon
Askia, Wyvern drone, servant to Artika
Balaria, Island realm known for its assassins and thieves
Belost, Balarian raider
Blook Rock, Location in northern Ulatha, red rock landmark
Boris, Store owner in Razor Rock
Charm of Seeking, Kesh magic spell
Claire Agon, The planet/world
Cleo, Pseudonym for Zokar
Critir, Magic Orb used to communicate (Crystal Ball)
Diamedes, Tynirian historian, born in Ulatha
Dor Akun, Sixth and largest planet in 200 year orbit around Tau Ceti
Dour, Akun cleric and trading broker
Earlstyne Forest, Ancient Forest in Ulatha
Eric Bain, Leader of a mercenary company called The Hunt
Fangus, Alpha white wolf male, servant of the white dragon
Felsic Mountains, Mountain chain between Kesh and Ulatha
Forstag, Fighter and member of the mercenary group, The Hunt
Frankel, Owner of the Peak pub and inn located in Moartown
Gabrielle, Owner of an inn and tavern in Razor Rock. Former fighter, daughter to Lucius and ex-wife to Eric aka Gabby
Giles, Thug band leader in Ulsthor
Highstone Pass, Mountain pass located in Ulatha on the road between Utandra and Regis
Ice Crest, Location used by the minions of the white dragon near its lair
James Tolk, Deceased soldier of Moartown
Julie Tolk, Widow of James Tolk
Justiciar Corwin Bain, Ulathan judge
Kelee, Kesh wizard
Kesh, Realm ruled by wizards, east of Ulatha
Kirost, Kesh wizard
Keshtor, Capital of Kesh
Lucius “Lucky” Ewellyn, Cofounder of the mercenary group, The Hunt
Lunde, Jungle, far south in Agon
Magistrate Galen, Magistrate (judge) of Moartown
Mary, Servant at the Peak Pub and Inn
Milo, Ex-wizard apprentice from Kesh, member of the mercenary group, The Hunt
Moartown, Ulathan town located near the base of the Felsic Mountains
Onyx Tower, Seat of government for Kesh, seat of the High Mage
Owen, Ulathan officer of the Justiciar’s troops
Peak Pub and Inn, Establishment in Moartown, informal base of operations for The Hunt
Razor Rock, small trading town in northern Ulatha
Rigal, Capital of northern border realm loyal to Ulatha
Rigis, Duchy north of Ulatha
Roarwell, King of Tyniria
Rosterman, Chief servant at Gabby’s establishment
Safron, Realm, south of Ulatha, known for its tobacco and weed
Sara, Moon of Agon
Savage Lands, Lands on the northern frontiers
Staff of Alore, First magical staff of Agon
Tira, Moon of Agon
Titus, Justiciar’s aide
Trovis Mountains, Mountain range, west of Ulatha
Tyniria, Realm south of Kesh, First King of Agon
Ulan Utandra, Capital of Ulatha
Ulatha, Realm of Duke Uthor Tors
Ulsthor, Westernmost city in Kesh
Uthor Tors, Duke of Ulatha
Velvet Vest, Tavern in Ulsthor
Western Sea, Sea west of the central realms
Zashitor, Ancient name for a Ranger
Zeke, Fighter, member of The Hunt
Zokar, Balarian assassin