Fantasy. Tyrannical Henry Highridge of the Fief of Clayborne, whose ambition is awakened by the death of High King Adams, is rebuked and then humbled by the Undying Singer. With fellow Triond author Jack Shepherd.

THRONE WARS 02

Fantasy. Tyrannical Henry Highridge of the Fief of Clayborne, whose ambition is awakened by the death of High King Adams, is rebuked and then humbled by the Undying Singer. With fellow Triond author Jack Shepherd.

*****

Sept-Ternia was one kingdom divided into seven provinces, five of which were ruled by dukes, two of which were ruled by the Crown. However, the old and sickly King Zachary Adams was nothing more than a figurehead. The dukes held all the real power, and the old king had no male heirs. A powder keg was about to explode and only the Lord of the Realms knew how it would play out – or rather, how He would allow it to play out. Mortals had free moral agency and that threw the future into a tailspin sometimes. Power plays were about to be made and wars were coming. The Snowflake Banner of House Adams was about to be thrown to the ground and a new kingdom would be forged to replace the old.

*****

A group of horsemen rode up into the mountain pass. The Blood Mountains rising before them were dry, hard and rugged. Legend had it that House Highridge had fought so many wars that the mountains were covered in blood. In truth, there were many clay deposits in these lands and these gave the mountains their ominous blood-red color.

The ten riders were lightly armoured, wearing brown leather and light chain mail. They bore swords, bows and arrows, and small shields, all well-suited for guerilla warfare and fast hit-and-run missions. They flew a red banner with a yellow, flaming star: the sign that their last mission had been finished successfully.

Thirty-five-year-old Henry Highridge of the Fief of Clayborne was a white-skinned, black-haired, black-bearded man. He was muscular but athletic, and able to move quickly. He was riding the lead horse, which was brown. The drawbridge that he and his fellows approached was at least one hundred feet over the canyon that helped isolate Castle Clayborne. A watchman was in charge of sending the all clear message to drop the ten-foot drawbridge, which was a marvel of engineering for its time.

“What’s the password?” The watchman shouted down from his clay brick tower, which was secured from the inside and had only one door and one window.

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