Kazi Boku doesn’t know he has an enemy more powerful than the Duke of Vissing, or any other Duke, for that matter. His adversary is Tyrus Hammersvold, The High Seer of the Temple of Kaal, and creator of the Crystals of Power.|
Tyrus keeps the crystals capabilities a close secret, only partially shared with his highest Captains, who support his methods and agree with his view of Empire. The crystals can heal the terminally ill, give sight to the blind, and restore severed limbs. The entire life force of one sacrificed subject can be transferred to each crystal. One such ‘charge’ allows multiple healings on many others, even allowing the relocation of appendages from one creature to another. The patients do have a price to pay but who wouldn’t pay dearly to have their sight restored or a son’s limb replaced? Any favor asked by Tyrus is acquired by the promise of life restored. His raiders ‘cleanse’ small villages of Dun worshippers on the frontier, whose now vacant land he gives as a reward for the dark services of those who supply him with ‘donors’ and provide him opportunities to help victims who suddenly have need of his services by way of misfortune or accident.
Kazi Boku’s life is propelled beyond the existence of a young farmer growing in a frontier settlement when his nap in a tree house is suddenly disrupted by a group of blood covered mercenary warriors marching under him. Kazi grimaces in terror, but quietly stifles his sobs and gut twisting screams of shock, as a laughing raider with a fresh, bleeding slash across his face, flaunts a wedding ring Kazi recognizes as belonging to his mother. Terrified he cowers and hides until the raiders pass. After they pass he descends the tree filled with guilt and fearfully runs home to fully realize the nightmarish massacre of the village. Only his friend Tsian, wounded and left for dead, remains alive. They surprise and skirmish looters left behind from the main column and manage to steal the raider’s coin box, but Kazi is sorely injured in the scuffle. They use a small cart and draft horse to successfully flee chasing mercenaries by racing out of the wilderness and over the mountains. New friends guide them to the relative safety of the city of Barta where a Dun worshipping conclave heals the young refugees. Kazi and Tsian naively hope to establish new lives and use the bandit’s loot to attend university and establish a residence.
Both are unaware that they are sought after as witnesses by an enemy they do not know and it is only a matter of time before Tyrus turns his attention upon them with disastrous effect.