Prologue · I · II · III · IV · V · VI · VII · VIII · IX · X · XI · XII · XIII · XIV · XV · XVI · XVII · XVIII · XIX


There are three, and only three, kinds of men in the world: cynics, fanatics, and Mandate Schoolmen.
Ontillas, On the Folly of Men

The author has often observed that in the genesis of great events, men generally possess no inkling of what their actions portend. This problem is not, as one might suppose, a result of men’s blindness to the consequences of their actions. Rather it is a result of the mad way the dreadful turns on the trivial when the ends of one man cross the ends of another. The Schoolmen of the Scarlet Spires have an old saying: “When one man chases a hare, he finds a hare. But when many men chase a hare, they find a dragon.” In the prosecution of competing human interests, the result is always unknown, and all too often terrifying.
Drusas Achamian, Compendium of the First Holy War

Midwinter, 4110 Year-of-the-Tusk, Carythusal

Drusas Achamian, a Mandate sorcerer and spy meets with Geshrunni, a captain of the Scarlet Spires’ warrior-slaves, the Javreh in a tavern in the Ainoni city of Carythusal. Geshrunni reveals that he knows Achamian is a sorcerer. Achamian, thinking that he’s about to be exposed prepares to unleash his sorcery, but Geshrunni produces a Chorae, a small anti-magic sphere. Achamian realizes that Geshrunni is on his own at the tavern and admits to being a spy for the School of Mandate and asks Geshrunni what he wants, to which the Captain replies that he wants “Truth.” In the end, Geshrunni releases Achamian and agrees to spy for him on the Scarlet Spires.

Geshrunni reveals to Achamian that ten years previously, the Cishaurim, the Sorcerer-Priests of the Fanim, assassinated the Grandmaster of the Scarlet Spires, Sasheoka. The meeting ends and while Geshrunni is walking home he realizes that he’s being followed and tries to ambush his follower. He throws a Chorae at the man thinking that he’s a Scarlet Spires sorcerer, but the man catches the Chorae and is not affected by it. Geshrunni is struck and falls down hard. He watches the man’s face loosen, then flex.

Back at his room, Achamian is having a Seswatha’s Dream, he is witnessing events from 2,000 years prior. Seswatha fought the No-God during the Apocalypse where he witnessed the death of Anasûrimbor Celmomas II, High King of Kûniüri. With his dying wrods, Celmomas prophesied the return an Anasûrimbor “at the end of the world.” Achamian awakens weeping.

Geshrunni, having been tortured by the skin-spy and confessed all he knows, now seems to be missing his face and gets thrown him in a river to drown. The next morning, Achamian uses the Cants of Calling to communicate with Atyersus, the citadel of the Mandate. He’s ordered to return home due to a matter involving the Thousand Temples.


Point of viewEdit







  1. Only referred to as ‘my son’.

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