Fantasy

Please note, you are free to use these story ideas however you so desire. You can take them in their entirety and build on them, use them as sources of inspiration or even cannibalize them for spare story parts.

If you do this, all I ask is that you mention it somewhere on your blog, social media or in your book.

Stormbreaker

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Tells the story of Stormbreaker aka Erik Hathow, a renowned soldier who enters into the service of Queen Tria and the Queendom of Tirn. Erik is unwilling to fight and is actually a shy pacifist, but he was asked by his dying father, Mika (who was an exceptional soldier known as Stormbreaker, who was blessed by the gods with eternal youth, but whose blessing has disappeared for an unknown reason) to travel to the Capital in order to protect the young daughter of Tria, Trish. Mika made a promise to Tria that he would always protect her and her family in their time of need. Mika explains that he made a deal with the gods at Mount Bane, an extinct volcano, for eternal youth, exceptional fighting ability and speed in exchange for swearing his soul and life to the Gods and the Queendom, but for some reason the deal has been broken.

 

Although he is scared and does not want to go, Erik does not want to disappoint his father, and therefore travels to the Capital in his father's old armour, pretending to be Mika in order to scare off bandits and gain renown along the way (he hopes that this will cause others to avoid challenging him). He is also given Sunset, his father’s sword, but is unable to draw it from its sheath. On the way, he meets a strange man, Alexx, who claims to want to join the army out of a desire to be famous, although in actuality he is a god in disguise, who was sent to find out why Mika broke his promise. We are then introduced to The Earl of Frinder, Sevik, the ruler of an outlying yet wealthy province, who was the one who broke the vow in order to remove the Queen's most powerful bodyguard, Stormbreaker, so that he could marry Queen Tria and then have her killed. In order to get rid of Trish, he arranges to have her kidnapped by a man pretending to be Stormbreaker (real name: Adras Lateil, a dangerous bandit leader and swordfighter). However, Erik arrives just as Trish is being kidnapped, and, by accident, manages to beat Adras and rescue her.

 

However, it is quickly announced by Sevik that Stormbreaker has kidnapped Trish. Sevik then goes to "comfort" Tria in her time of grief. Realizing that Sevik will kill Trish before she returns to her mother, Erik, Alexx and Trish set out for the province of Maran, where the old general of the army and her tutor, Dwight Ironheart, lives. Along the way, Erik tries to impress Trish by acting as Stormbreaker, but she sees through it as she is better at fighting than him and tells him that she met Mika when she was younger, and that he loved Tria, but was duty-bound to protect her from afar.

 

Meanwhile, Alexx constantly tests Erik, while training him in combat. They are constantly harassed by men looking to claim the bounty on stormbreakerer made by Sevik. They eventually reach Malan, where they find a disillusioned Dwight, who tells them that he can no longer fight. However, he agrees to help them after Trish makes him see sense, and they plan to start a fake rebellion between the castle guards and men still loyal to Dwight and Stormbreaker which will allow Erik, Alexx and Trish to sneak into the throne room and rescue Tria from Sevik’s clutches. Hearing of the plan, Mika, despite having no powers, goes to the Capital to fight alongside Dwight. During the assault, Erik confronts Sevik, who reveals that he used Adras, impersonating Mika, to break the promise to the gods and rid stormbreaker of his powers. Meanwhile, the fight outside is going badly, with Dwight and Mika cut off from their men and surrounded. In the throne room, Sevik brings out the Queen as a hostage, who, according to him, "will be killed by stormbreaker along with Trish, before Sevik arrives and kills him in vengeance, after which he will be forced to assume the crown in order to crush the rebellion”.

 

Adras appears from nowhere and kills Alexx, to Erik's horror. However, moments later, Alexx is brought back to life, revealing his godhood and killing Adras. He tells Erik about his purpose, before restoring Mika's powers. Erik makes a deal with Alexx for the same powers, and finally becomes strong enough to draw Sunset. Together, Trish and Erik are able to defeat Sevik and save Tria, who then calls of the revolution and tells both sides to stand down. While Tria and Mika talk about the past and express their long-held feelings for one another, Trish and Erik say goodbye to Alexx, who returns to the heavens after stating that he will be around for as long as Erik keeps his promise. Erik and Trish kiss, before he rides off with Mika, as Stormbreakers, the crown’s eternal protectors…

The Witch and the Lich

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Tells the story of Magdalin, whose real name is Daisy, and Lich whose real name is Lich, a witch and Lich who are unhappy with their respective lifestyles. After being beaten by three overconfident, greedy and un-heroic heroes: Mark the Mage, Francois the Rogue and Barry the Fighter, they think up a plan to become the good guys by defeating the three "corrupted" heroes and win the people's affections. Traveling together, Mag and Lich learn more about each other.

 

Lich learns Mag's real name and the fact that she became a witch to rebel against her parents, who are a pair of overbearing hippies; while Lich reveals that he was pressured by his father, Lich Sr. to uphold the family tradition of being the Lich of the area. As they encounter the heroes who want to retire with their wealth and are tired of having to solve the peasant’s problems; they make a deal: the heroes will pretend to go evil and Mag and Lich will "kill" them and become the new heroes.

 

However, after defeating Mark and Francois, who surprisingly behave in manners opposite to their respective roles, with Mark preceding to fight up close and Francois always attacking from the front, they confront Barry who is actually highly intelligent and who he reveals that they planned the whole thing.

 

They explain that they will defeat Mag and Lich, claim the large reward and then "die" from their injuries, escaping to a new region to do it all again. However, Mag and Lich are able to expose their scheme using their respective skills and defeat all three, becoming heroes in the process. In the aftermath, Lich's father grudgingly accepts his son’s life choice, while Daisy's family are insufferably happy for her.

The Time-Keeper

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Tells the story of the Time-Keeper, a mysterious figure who was charged by the gods to maintain the timeline and prevent temporal disturbances. Our protagonist is Ashe, a girl born with an inherent immunity to temporal changes that means that she can remember how things actually happened. One day, whilst returning from a hunt she witnesses the destruction of her village at the hands of a barbarian army, which occurs after the Time-Keeper changes history.

 

It is later revealed that originally a temporal anomaly destroyed the army, saving the village. Ashe, seeing the Time-Keeper as responsible for the destruction, attacks him, demanding he change things back to how they were. Intrigued by her ability to withstand the temporal changes, he takes her with him, to the Nexus of Time, despite her protests. While there, she discovers the Chronoverse, a pocket universe filled with all of the temporal anomalies that the Time-Keeper has fixed and removed from the timeline, including the anomaly that originally saved her village.

 

Under the pretence of training under him, Ashe hopes to learn how to control the Chronoverse and use it to save her village. Ashe and the Time-Keeper visit several different time periods, fixing the anomalies they find and witnessing the resulting changes to the timeline. Eventually, Ashe gains the Time-Keeper's trust, and he shows her how to access the Chronoverse. After a talk with the Time-Keeper in which he admits that he wanted to retire from his eternal and lonely job, Ashe sneaks away and uses the Chronoverse, trying to find and restore the anomaly that saved her village. However, she makes a mistake, and releases every anomaly the machine has ever held, which wreaks havoc on the timeline.

 

The Time-Keeper appears and tries to fix the machine, but it has been irreparably damaged. After checking to see if Ashe is okay, he tells her that everyone makes mistakes, and that she made his lonely job bearable, before using all of his power to rewrite history, destroying the anomalies and fixing the timeline. In his dying breaths, he makes Ashe the new Time-Keeper, confident in her abilities and that she will continue to learn from her mistakes. Using her new powers, she creates a new Chronoverse containing a separate  timeline in a pocket dimension, in which her village and the Time-Keeper can live in peace for all eternity, as she begins her long watch of the timeline…

A Boy and his Centaur

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Tells the story of Andrew Dale, an eleven year old boy who lives with his scientist mother and physics professor father. Andrew is unusual as he has absolutely no imagination and likes to break down everything into its scientific and physical causes. While the rest of his class thinks that rainbows are magical, he gives them a lecture on light distortion and refraction - the scientific cause of rainbows; as a result, he has no friends and spends most days reading scientific journals and doing experiments.

 

One day, while trying to escape from a group of bullies (he explained why Father Christmas, the Easter bunny and the Tooth Fairy could not possibly exist, calling their parents liars in essence), he finds himself magically transported to the land of Mundia, where animals can talk, magic roams free and a variety of mystical creatures exist. There, he is welcomed by Roan the Centaur, who was sent to find a human capable of defeating the Wretched Warlock, who has begun kidnapping citizens of Mundia to use in a diabolical scheme to take over. Expecting to find a courageous and imaginative human, Roan is shocked when Andrew dismisses him as a symptom of a yet undiagnosed brain tumour, or a hallucination brought on by a mental breakdown.

 

After proving himself to be real, Andrew demands to be taken to the Council of Elders, who rule over Mundia, where he will explain to them that they cannot exist and should therefore cease to do so. Along the way, Andrew learns about imagination and courage, while using his rational know-how to defeat the minions sent by the Warlock. Arriving at the council, they find it destroyed, with only a handful of fighters remaining. Andrew, deciding that the quickest way home is to defeat the Warlock, agrees to help, but only if the creatures use physics and logic to win.

 

At the final battle, Andrew faces against the Warlock, and, using logic, manages to convince him to abandon his evil plot. However, The Warlock, having faked his resignation, attacks Andrew, but Roan arrives and saves him, becoming wounded in the process. While he is recovering, he apologizes, stating that he moved according to his heart and not his brain, as Andrew had told him to. Andrew, in response, states that he is grateful to Roan for teaching him how to use his imagination. Andrew then uses his imagination to create a portal home, something that was always possible but which Andrew lacked the belief to realize. In the aftermath, Andrew apologizes to his class and, as an apology, uses a prism to create an artificial rainbow for his them, while saying that it only works because of magic.

To Kill a God

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Set in the Gravelands, a mystical collection of three provinces: The Cradle, a series of rugged mountains known for their unending snowfalls; The Scar, a network of chasms and faults that are constantly assaulted by acidic dust storms, and The Abyss, a massive, circular hole into which an endless lake drains. The land was said to have been made (and cursed) by the death of God, who once ruled humanity with an iron fist. Using stolen magic, humankind rebelled against the tyrannical God, and, with a magical Lance, Gungir, killed the deity. When He fell to earth, His blood ran forth and formed The Scar, while His bones piled up and became the mountains of The Cradle. Finally, His soul burned a hole into the earth, forming The Abyss on its way down to the underworld.

 

A thousand years later, the descendant of the blacksmith who struck the killing blow, Zeke, lives on the canyon wall of one of the smaller chasms of The Scar. He lives in a cluster of homes dug into the chasm, as the surface above is inhospitable, and rope bridges stretch across the chasm for transport; and works as a Roper: someone who helps maintain the bridges across the chasm, which are in need of constant repair. Lately, numerous weak tremors called Heavings have ravaged the Gravelands, causing many to believe that the God's return is drawing near. One day, while Zeke is repairing a small, secondary bridge, a massive Heaving strikes The Scar, dislodging the villages from the Chasm walls and sending the people within to the depths. Zeke manages to survive by hanging onto the bridge he was repairing, and spends several hours climbing up.

 

Reaching the top, he sees that his entire village has perished and realizes that his family’s souls will not enter into the underworld due to such a sudden end. For in the Gravelands, one must perform the Rite of Farewells before dying or have a close family member perform it immediately after death, so if many die at once with no one to send them off, a representative must travel to The Abyss and perform the Rite of Sending; where someone picks a luminescent, White Thorn flower for every soul lost, and sends them over the Eternal Fall into the Abyss. Still grieving over his loss, Zeke travels to The Cradle, looking for a pass into the Abyss. In the frozen mountains, he meets A-lo, a fierce and proud warrior of the Vaa-ti people, one of the many clans of The Cradle. She is on her way to join King Orich's army for their descent into the Abyss. King Orich’s family has spent the last three hundred years building a stairway down the Abyss so that they can enter the underworld and kill God once and for all as his ancestor, King Oruk, was supposed to have been the one to wield Gungir and defeat the God, but he was injured while trying to hold him back.

 

It is later revealed that King Oruk attacked before the Lance had been completed, forcing his army to defend the Forge for seven days, with thousands dying each day. The novice blacksmith sent to deliver the Lance was then forced to fight God, and ended up killing him, causing King Oruk and his family to swear that they would restore their reputation and finish the God off when he returned. Heading in the same direction, the Zeke and A-lo travel together. Upon reaching the Abyss, they part ways, with Zeke going to perform the Rite of Sending and A-lo going to join the army. However, while placing the last White Thorn flower, Zeke hears a voice calling out to him, and he falls into the fast current, before being swept over the edge.

 

At the same time, King Orich reaches the bottom of the Abyss, finding a sealed door to the underworld and Gungir embedded in a crystal spire. Ignoring his officer's advice, he removes the Lance, causing the crystal to shatter and the Door to open. God's soul walks out, followed by a horde of Underworld guardians who attack the army. It is revealed that Zeke’s ancestor, knowing that God would return one day, had used Gungir to seal the entrance to the underworld. Meanwhile, Zeke wakes up at the bottom of the Abyss, just in time to watch King Orich attack the God and fail, and then turn and flee up the staircase, destroying it behind him and abandoning his army. Zeke hears Gungir calling to him, and manages to grab it just in time to save A-lo from the God's wrath. He tries to fight the God, but the Lance has lost most of its power. Suddenly, all of the people from his village burst forth from the Door, holding the White Thorn flowers that he picked for them.

 

They thank him for remembering and grieving for them, before helping him to drive the God back into the underworld by infusing themselves into Gungir, restoring it to full power. Using Gungir, Zeke is able to finally destroy the God and sends the underworld guardians fleeing back through the Door. Before they return, Zeke's family tell him how proud they are of him. They tell him that God's curse has ended, and the Gravelands return to their true form: a flower filled paradise. Back on the surface, the army’s support staff have found and caught King Orich (who confesses to his cowardice) and are about to kill him. Zeke appears on a spire of rock as the Abyss is filled in once more, leading the soldiers, and asks the mob spare him, explaining that he does not wish to continue the cycle of revenge. With A-lo at his side and King Orich repentant, he looks out at the restored Gravelands, and smiles, finally seeing it’s true beauty.

The Dark Queen

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What happens to the Princesses who aren't saved? Princess Amelia has been sitting in a ruined tower for six years awaiting her Saviour, but when she finally gives up hope, she decides to escape on her own and get revenge, both on her captors and those who forgot to save her. She has learnt black magic from ancient books hidden in the tower, and uses it to escape and subjugate her captors, who reveal that her younger sister, Princess (now Queen) Morgana, was the one who hired them to kidnap her.

 

Vowing revenge, she goes off in search of an army with which to take the city. At the same time, one of the guards has sent a message to the Queen telling her of Amelia's escape. She sends her elite guard, led by Sir Gareth, Amelia's childhood friend and crush after the evil sorceress who has taken the form of the "dead" Princess Amelia, while also insinuating that the sorceress was behind the princess's murder six years prior. Meanwhile, using her powers, Amelia has amassed an army of mercenaries and thugs and has begun her march on the city.

 

That night, while reflecting on her life, she is attacked by the elite guard and Gareth, but subdues them and is able to convince him that she is the real Amelia. She learns that Gareth searched for her for four years, unwilling to accept that she was dead. Swearing fealty to her, he becomes the Black Knight, empowered with her magic. At last, the armies of the sisters meet on the battlefield, with Gareth leading the charge against his former Queen. Outnumbered, it appears that Amelia will lose, until the citizens in the city rise up against Morgana, tired of her years of cruelty and high taxes and catch her forces by surprise, after which they surrender. Morgana flees to the top of the castle, pursued by Amelia.

 

When confronted, Morgana admits that she had Amelia kidnapped and told everyone that an assassin had killed her so that she could become Queen. She had disagreed with Amelia's views about equality and sharing their wealth with the downtrodden, preparing to rule with an iron fist. Using her magic, Amelia is able to defeat Morgana and uses her old tower as her prison so that she might finally feel how Amelia felt. Amelia is crowned Queen and marries Gareth, promising her people that she will use her powers for the good of the realm, whilst warning the neighbouring kingdoms of what will happen if they mess with The Dark Queen…

The Gambling Spirit

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Tells the story of Noel, a young man living in the world of Roulette, where gambling is king and bets are made daily that forever alter lives. Before being born, Noel existed as a spirit in the World Above, spending his days playing with another spirit called Sancti while waiting to be born. Upon learning that they were to be separated in the real world, Sancti secretly tried to steal the ruler of the World Above's sacred orb.

 

It is revealed that one's life on Roulette is decided by a giant roulette wheel upon which the ruler places an orb representing the spirit, and where this orb lands determines a person's fate: e.g they could be born a king, a beggar or anything in between. Sancti stole the sacred orb so she could secretly alter it in order to fix her and Noel's outcome. The ruler is known to fix the outcome of her favourite spirits so that they end up with easy lives, and vice versa, and Sancti knew that she and Noel were not well liked. However, Sancti is caught and the ruler prepares to erase her, but Noel proposes a bet between himself and the ruler.

 

If he can retrieve the three Sacred Sigils (777) that fell to Roulette a century earlier, within 20 years, Sancti will go free and they will be free to choose their own destiny. Noel is then sent to Roulette and is born as a human, however he still retains all of his memories from the World Above, unbeknownst to the ruler, and grows up as the son of a beggar. As a young man, he embarks on a quest to obtain the sacred Sigils, anticipating events in his life to a level bordering on precognition. He even defeats the last enemy guarding the final sigil using a gambit he set up when he was only 5 years old. Returning to the World Above with all three Sigils, he asks the ruler to accept his win, but she becomes enraged at having lost, which is a first for her, and tries to erase them both.

 

Noel then reveals that the sacred Sigils allow one to become the new ruler of the World Above, and that he himself had hidden them away on Roulette a century prior. He reveals that he had to wait until the next cycle of rebirths as the Sigils can only be used once the previous ruler has lost a bet and that Sancti had allowed herself to be captured on purpose to create an opportunity for the bet. With the oppressive ruler vanquished, Noel and Sancti begin their rule, making all bets fair and proper and allowing spirits to have an equal chance for receiving favourable lives on Roulette.

Our Father

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Tells the story of Father Benedict, a quiet, rather boring old priest who often falls asleep in the middle of his sermons. One day, his new apprentice (who will replace him after Benedict retires), Simon, arrives. Simon, a rebel by nature, scoffs at the doddering old priest and makes fun of how boring he is perceived to be.

 

However, one night, while cleaning the church, Simon witnesses a battle between Benedict and a horde of demons, who are after a shard of Longinus' spear hidden beneath the church. When questioned, Benedict reveals that he is the best exorcist in the church, and that he was chosen to guard the sacred relic from the dark forces. He begins training Simon in the ways of exorcism, who gradually learns about Benedict's tragic past and definitively not-boring lifestyle.

 

It is revealed that he would fall asleep during his sermon due to his fatigue from his nightly battles. Simon, believing himself ready to face the demons, attacks their lair, but is captured. In the end, Benedict is mortally wounded by a chief demon while rescuing Simon.

 

He tells Simon to take care of the church and sacrifices himself to destroy a large horde of demons. After holding a funeral service for Benedict, Simon, the new priest, takes up Benedict's mantle and prepares to face a new horde with a smile on his face.

No Honor

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Tells the story of Radolf, a Viking who is forced to leave his clan after his mistake costs them their winter food stores. He is told that he will be forgiven if he defeats the dragon, Ouroboros, the spawn of the World Eater, who lords over the fertile valleys of the highlands. Radolf meets Loki, the trickster god, who decides to accompany him, finding the whole concept of honor humorous. They face several obstacles together, eventually arriving at Ouroboros's cave, but find it empty.

 

However, Loki reveals that he is in fact Ouroboros, and that he had initially wanted to fight Radolf, but he has grown to favour him. He also reveals the truth: the chief's son, Bryn, caused the accident and framed Radolf. Radolf travels back to his clan, challenging Bryn to a fight. When Bryn uses trickery to gain the upper hand, he taunts Radolf for his cowardice and lack of honor, for returning to the clan after failing to kill Ouroboros.

 

However, Radolf tells the clan that he never lost his honor, and that instead of killing the dragon, he befriended it. He whistles and Ouroboros appears from the clouds, scaring the other Vikings. Radolf tells them the truth of what happened to the food stores, but refuses to kill Bryn, telling him that he has no honor, and living with that is worse than death.

 

The chief offers Radolf a position of surrogate son, with the implication that he would become the new chief one day but Radolf refuses. Instead he rides away on Ouroboros, his friend, saying that his world has become too small, while Loki tells him that it is actually bigger than Radolf can imagine, as they soar above the vast landscape.

The Returner

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Set in a kingdom which revolves around death, the main character, Phain, has just come back to life. He is first met by Alail, an apprentice gravedigger, who digs him up. Alail, seeking purpose in his life, follows Phain as he journeys to the capital in order to fulfill the prophecy of the Returner, a legendary being who will start the Return, an event in which all those who died will come back to life and death shall be banished. Phain starts to amass a following as people come to him in the hopes that their loved ones will be returned. At the same time, King Lothal’s burial service is almost upon the kingdom.

 

His former advisor, Malerine, is leading the kingdom in his stead. She hears of Phain’s growing movement and becomes restless. Eventually, Phain confides to Alail that he is actually not the Returner. Instead, he and his father worked in the capital as funeral planners. They were tasked with overseeing the King’s burial but discovered that Malerine is actually a con woman who plans to steal the King’s tribute and flee the kingdom.

 

She ordered her bodyguard, Nail, to kill Phain and his father. Phain was badly injured and fled the capital ending up in Alail’s graveyard. He is faking being the Returner in order to gain enough power to oppose and dethrone Malerine. Alail agrees to help on the condition that as soon as Malerine’s lie is revealed, Phain will tell the truth as well. Phain agrees and they reach the capital. Upon reaching it, Malerine appears and exposes Phain’s true nature.

 

She then tries to kill him, but fatally strikes Alail instead. Nail then appears and reveals the truth: he did in fact kill Phain (he stabbed him in the heart) and buried him, which means that Phain truly is the Returner (the shock of his death wiped this fact from Phain’s mind). Phain uses his newly realized powers to restore Alail to life, starting the Return. Phain’s father is the first to Return, followed by thousands more. Nail then kills Malerine as penance and Phain says that, as the Returner, he is duty-bound to bring her back to life... eventually...

The Unfortunate Tale of Bad Luck Brendan

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Set in the fantasy land of Urbos, where certain people are born with an absorption ability, for which they are called Accreters. The things that they can absorb are numerous in nature, including Bad Luck, Age, Strength, Intelligence, and Speed. Brendan, unfortunately, is an Accreter of Bad Luck. He lives at the outskirts of his village, and once a day all of the villagers gather in the village square and he absorbs all of their Bad Luck, resulting in their continued prosperity.

 

However, this results in Brendan being constantly assaulted by strings of accidents and happenstances that injure or humiliate him, but never kill him because then he would be free from his misery, which is considered good luck. One day, a woman arrives who calls herself General Ingram. The woman claims that she is searching the land for Accreters in order to recruit them to her cause: stopping the King of Novah from conquering the Free World. The King is an Accreter of Strength, and has been slowly amassing power as he conquers more land, leaving behind men and women too weak to even feed themselves.

 

Brendan eventually learns that General Ingram is actually the girl’s father, who fought against the King of Novah and lost, having his strength stolen. The woman, Isadore, is using his name and reputation to gather allies, also revealing that most of the Kings are ready to surrender to the King of Novah in exchange for sending him their strongest soldiers to be accreted. During their journey, Brendan comes to understand his power and how to use it.

 

During the final battle, as his allies face the King’s army, he reaches the King of Novah and uses all of the Bad Luck from his life in addition to all of the Bad Luck from the allied soldiers to create a massive Bad Luck storm that causes a nearby mountain to crack in two, sending a massive rockslide that defeats the King of Novah and his army. Brendan’s good luck, having been suppressed all of his life, emerges all at once and saves his life by moving him to the only spot the rocks miss. In the aftermath, Isadore reunites with her father, who has regained his strength, and invites Brendan to live with them, finally free from bad luck. It is also revealed that the people of his village who exploited his power for their own gain experience several misfortunes in his absence.

The Monster that is Man

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Tells the story of Trainee Magician Saul Solomon the Second, who lives in the fantasy land of Avidorea. While training with his master and father, Saul Solomon the First, he learns of a spreading plague that is transforming people into monsters called Darkspawn, which once lived below the earth and terrorized the world above until they were exterminated by an unknown force. Master Solomon leaves to investigate but does not return, and Saul sees the first sign of infection (a patch of black skin on his hand) which he slows down with a magical rune.

 

He is then approached by Thayla, an elven messenger from the Elven King looking for Master Solomon. Passing himself off as his father, Saul accompanies her to a camp where all of the transformed Darkspawn have been captured. They learn of a cloaked figure, The Dark Master, who has been traveling across the land and spreading the plague. They chase after him, as Saul’s infection slowly spreads. Eventually they corner The Dark Master, only to discover that he is a partially transformed Master Solomon. Master Solomon explains that three thousand years ago, the Darkspawn lived in fear of the above world, being hated for their appearance and supposed evilness.

 

They made a pact with the Goddess of Beauty, Avidora, which would allow them to take on more beautiful forms for a set time. Thus the Darkspawn became Humans and took their place alongside the other races on the surface. In the present, the spell has begun to decay, reverting humanity back to the Darkspawn. Master Solomon discovered this and started traveling the land, instructing the afflicted to hide from the humans until the spell completely decayed. Thayla reveals that the Elven King is planning to execute the Darkspawn held in captivity in order to prevent the “plague” from spreading. They race to the internment camp and arrive just as the executions are scheduled to begin.

 

Saul makes a speech in which he explains everything, asking the people to be true to themselves before purposefully breaking the rune holding back his transformation, which has the effect of transforming him completely into a Darkspawn. He shocks the humans by continuing his speech without pause, telling them to be proud of who they are, beautiful or not. They cheer for him and release the captives, with Thayla telling Saul that she will stand by him no matter what he looks like. (A potential sequel could deal with the Elven King and the continued fight to recognize the Darkspawn’s rights as sentient creatures)

The Science of Magic

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Story is set in a world of magic, however, over the last ten years; magic has slowly been fading from the world, replaced by the equivalent of 1950s era technology. Mera Mystos, a recent graduate of the Southern Academy of Magic, is sent to complete her training under a mentor. However, she is accidentally placed with Alvin Ducaine, an Ordinarian (non-magical person) who builds tools and devices for both magicians and other Ordinarians. Mera is initially disheartened, having been expecting to be placed under a great magician.

 

She tells Alvin that she comes from a long line of great magicians, and she was expected to be the best. Alvin tells her that he is researching the decline in magic, which was at 1000 magi-parts per million 10 years ago, and has dropped to 100 magi-parts per million, barely enough to cast the most basic of spells. He later reveals that he is studying this because he wants to know exactly when magic will disappear as he is planning on selling tools that magic currently makes obsolete.

 

Alvin explains that magic works like the water cycle, going from the air to magicians and then being expelled back into the air during spellcasting. However, something has disturbed this cycle, keeping the magic particles from re-entering the atmosphere. At the same time, the world is getting ready for the Weakening, an event that occurs once a millennium during which the ancient spell which holds back the end of the world weakens and must be renewed. However, the time of renewal has come and gone, with the magicians discovering that they now lack the magical power to reseal the cataclysm, which is the remnant of an ancient spell cast by one of the ancient magicians.

 

Mera convinces Alvin to investigate a solution to the fading magic problem, which takes them to the Great Crystal, a massive magic Crystal created by the ancient magicians in order to decrease the amount of magic in the atmosphere. They discover that the magic in the atmosphere was originally 100000 magi-parts per million, and was reduced using the Great Crystal to 1000 magi-parts per million. This was done by the ancient magicians due to the countless wars being fought by the super powerful ancient magicians which left horrendous scars upon the fabric of reality. While there, Alvin discovers that someone has taken samples from the Great Crystal and done experiments on it.

 

He recognizes the tool marks as belonging to his former apprentice, Chuld, who left over a disagreement. They head to his lab and discover that he has rediscovered the method of trapping magic particles in crystal, having been doing this for a decade and causing the drop in magic, with the end goal of selling magic back to the magicians once they become desperate enough. Chuld is an Ordinarian himself, and he sees the cataclysm as a myth. Alvin and Mera are able to shatter his crystals, freeing the particles, but realize that it will take too long for the magic concentration to reach a level high enough to power the renewal.

 

They head back to the Great Crystal where Mera shatters it, absorbing the full amount trapped within using a “magical lightning rod” device that Alvin developed. Mera is able to use her supercharged magic to destroy the cataclysm spell once and for all, and, with the last of her strength, is able to recreate the Great Crystal. However, in the aftermath, she discovers that she has lost her magical ability, becoming an Ordinarian. Instead of being depressed, she reapplies to be Alvin’s apprentice, telling him that there is more to the world than magic…

A Disease Called Love

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Set in the medieval world of Hapt-Harra, where for decades a mysterious disease has ravaged the land. It seems to only affect those who have sinned or turned away from the leading faith: The House Of Hapt. The Disease is known as the Sinner’s Remorse, and it appears without warning and kills in one month, creating a crystal membrane across the victim. There is a rudimentary cure, however, the success rate is 1% and even if one does survive, they are left with scars and partially crystallized limbs. It is thought that many choose death over the cure, as it is a painless and beautiful death that, in the eyes of the church, grants redemption from any sins, allowing entrance into The House of Harra (the afterlife).

 

However those who take the cure are seen as dirty and worse than sinners, choosing life over salvation. It is said that with death they shall be flung down to the lowest depths of the Abyss, never to know peace or joy again. Nole, a young boy of 15, from an outlying village, is undergoing his rite of manhood. During the journey he has flashbacks to his childhood and his old friend Celisia, whom he loved but before he could tell her how he felt she was chosen by a passing Seeker to become a Priestess in the House Of Hapt. He goes on to the testing site, however, shortly after completing the rite he sees the first sign of Sinner’s Remorse. Heading to an outlaw healer he heard about who is 15 days away he barely makes it in time.

 

It is revealed that the thought of him finally being able to leave his village (due to being a man) and traveling to the capital to confess his love to Celisia, a High Priestess-in-waiting and his childhood friend, kept him strong. Enduring the agonizing cure procedure which leaves scars across the body and several crystallized pieces of skin intact, he returns home to find that his entire family has succumbed to the disease, choosing to die instead of attempting to undergo the cure. Refusing to drown in his grief, Nole decides to travel to the capital and find Celisia. At the same time, she is chosen to become the next Scion of Hapt, the leader of the church. This infuriates High Priest Virec, who had been all but promised the position.

 

Nole stays overnight at an inn, hiding his condition, but is overheard by a Seeker that he is planning on visiting Celisia. Once word reaches Virec, he orders his Seeker to capture Nole and bring him to Celisia, hoping that the scandal of having him declare his love for her will ensure that she does not become Scion. During his capture, Nole sees that the Seeker has a crystal in his chest. In the capital he meets Celisia but is too ashamed of his appearance to confess. Instead, she treats him with kindness and her popularity amongst the church rises even higher. That night, she tells him that she has found about an expedition to the Forbidden Lands 40 years ago that correlated with the appearance of Sinners Remorse.

 

She helps him escape and he heads off to find out more. Arriving at the Forbidden Lands, he finds a journal written by Virec who tells of their discovery of a field of crystals with skeletons inside them. They read the ancient glyphs and discover the truth: centuries ago the people were ravaged by a plague, a disease that crystallized its victims. A husband and wife team, Hapt and Harra, worked tirelessly to find a cure, eventually noticing that people who ate the local Flamebourne Fruits did not get sick. They made a cure from the fruit and saved the population, migrating the survivors to a distant land to escape the disease.

 

They were deified for their actions, and the Flamebourne Fruit became a holy symbol over time, leading to it being planted all over the capital. Virec noted that he could reintroduce the disease using Seekers who have been exposed but who take incomplete cures to keep the disease from spreading as carriers; and afflict those who he perceived as sinners or enemies of the church, with the priests drinking a serum made from the fruit daily to keep themselves safe and the disease at bay.

 

At the capital, Virec realizes that he needs to take drastic measures and infects Celisia with the disease, knowing that her condition will mark her unfit to lead the church. Heading back, Nole heard about this and races to the capital, stopping to make the cure on his way. He fights his way through the capital, confronting Virec and curing Celisia at the last moment, showing the people both Virec’s deceptions and that there is a cure. Afterwards, Nole plans to leave and live as a hermit, confident that Celisia is better off with someone pure and beautiful, but she stops him and confesses that she has always loved him, asking him to travel the land with her and spread word of the cure, a task he happily accepts.

Once I was a God

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Story of a lazy and arrogant god, Roth, who is sent to Earth to learn a lesson about worthiness but instead spends 20 years living as a human, starting a family and climbing the corporate ladder until events back home reach his front door. The story begins with Roth stealing the Horn of Valor (an artifact which can summon the souls of fallen heroes) to use as a drinking mug. After being discovered by his father, Nido, the Horn is destroyed in the ensuing argument and its pieces fall to earth.

 

In punishment, Roth is stripped of his divinity and sent to Earth, unable to return to The High Halls until he has both learned responsibility and found all of the pieces of the Horn. However, upon arriving on Earth, Roth (taking the human name Ross) finds it to be a paradise and decides to stay forever. 20 years later, Ross is married, has two teenage children and is a manager at a local brewery where he used his knowledge of divine drinks to get the job and create the drinks on Earth. However, Ross' peaceful life is shattered when a messenger from the gods arrives and informs him that a war has begun in The High Halls between the gods and the denizens of the underworld. The battle is locked in a stalemate due to the god's immortality and the denizen's undead nature as neither side can permanently injure the other.

 

The gods thus need the Horn of Valor in order to turn the tide of the war as the summoned heroes will be able to defeat the denizens. When the messenger discovers that Roth never actually restored the Horn, he gives him one week to do so otherwise he will throw Roth into the underworld in order to use him as an offering of peace to the denizens. Ross, worried about losing everything, agrees and seeks out the Horn with his family. He lies and tells them that he has won a trip. During the journey Ross is attacked by denizens who are also seeking the Horn, forcing him to fight them off while also keeping his cover.

 

Eventually Ross is able to recover all the pieces, however the armies of the gods and denizens appear on Earth and begin to fight. Ross sacrifices himself to save his family and, having finally completed his divine tasks, returns to godhood. Using his powers he is able to get his family to safety and blow the Horn, ending the war. Ross' family accept him as a god and prepare to see him off, however he reveals that he has decided to stay on Earth. Going to Nido, he deliberately breaks the Horn once more. Nido, after stating that he is proud that his son finally learnt to be responsible, condemns him to spend the rest of his natural life on Earth, with his family…

The Memory Thief

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Tells the story of a young man named Pramat Fotia, the titular Memory Thief. Born into a family in which every person has the ability to steal something immaterial such as hope, desire, fear etc. They have this ability from their lineage to Prometheus, the greatest thief who stole fire from the gods. The family competes annually over who can steal the most valuable things, with Pramat always coming in last place as memories are seen as worthless by his family.

 

Determined to prove his family wrong, he steals the memories of a young woman named Emily. Specifically, he steals the memories of her mother, who died of leukaemia 3 months prior. Emily’s father does not bring her mother up and becomes angry when her name is mentioned as he is trying to forget about her in order to move on. However, after sending the memories off to his home, Emily confronts Pramat and forces him to retrieve her memories which are now stored in the family vault until the contest ends.

 

Together they infiltrate the household where the family is preparing for their year-end celebration to determine the best Thief. For twenty-four hours before the contest ends the family members are allowed to try and steal each other's most valuable possession. Pramat manages to retrieve Emily's memories but she is stolen from him by his father, who saw her as Pramat's most valuable possession. Going to save her, he admonishes his family and tells them that memories have value, just like hopes and dreams, before stealing all of their memories of him.

 

No longer able to perceive him, Pramat is able to rescue Emily and return her home, where he returns her memories while also giving a few to her father, who breaks down in tears and tells her that he will never forget her mother. Pramat attempts to steal Emily’s memories of him, but she refuses, stating that they are her treasures, and that he is not the kind of thief that steals treasures. In the epilogue, Pramat visits a troubled soldier experiencing PTSD and steals his dark memories, putting him at ease before disappearing into the night, eager to steal more painful memories…

The Ashes of Love

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50 years ago, the sun suddenly vanished from the world. In desperation, the Church of Light (who worship the God of Light, Solbrahim), located in the prosperous nation of Mihrab, went to their ancient texts and discovered a long forgotten myth that the world was given light when the first people sacrificed one of their own to the gods, the sacrifice became the bride of Solbrahim, igniting his heart and transforming him into the sun.

 

The Church, facing civil unrest, sacrifice a young woman by burning her at the stake, offering her ashes up to Solbrahim. Moments later, the sun returns, however it is much dimmer and only provides light to Mihrab. The following year, the sun vanishes once more, and is again brought back by a sacrifice (and is again weaker than before). Thus a tradition begins of annual sacrifice to keep the light alive. 30 years later, in the village of Olsa, located in the Dimlands (the region where the light is weakest), two children are found wandering the streets alone, after the rest of the village died (either of hunger due to lack of food or by willingly wandering into the Darklands due to madness and despair).

 

The children, named Foren and Alia, are taken to the capital and raised by the church. 20 years later, the time has come for the sacrifice, with the reborn sun now only having enough light for the capital and the surrounding areas. Foren, now a priest in training, has proposed to Alia, a librarian, and the two are to be wed. However, tragedy strikes when the woman who was to be sacrificed escapes the capital and flees to the Darklands. With the day of darkness drawing near, the priests decide to sacrifice Alia. Unable to stop them, Foren is forced to watch as she is burnt at the stake. Escaping, he collects her ashes and flees into the Dimlands. At the same time, the head priests convene and reach the conclusion that at the current rate of dimming, the sun will not return the following year, even with a sacrifice.

 

They plan to organize a mass sacrifice in order to strengthen the light. Almost a year later, Foren re-emerges, leading a rebellion composed of people from the Dimlands and Darklands (its core is made up of people who lost loved ones due to the sacrifices), wearing Alia's ashes in a bag on his hip. The story follows his journey towards the capital, during which he receives visions from Alia who is with Solbrahim, she explains the story of Solbrahim and the woman he once loved but who departed to the afterlife after they fought, leading to the disappearance of the sun. After that, the sacrificed women were forced to become his companions, however, he could not forget his first love and eventually grew tired of them, leading to the annual dimming of the sun.

 

Eventually, Foren reaches the capital and manages to stop the mass sacrifice, lighting several fires which consume the church and its leadership. While the people flee the burning city, Foren allows himself to be burnt by the flames, wishing for his and Alia's ashes to become one so that he might be with her once more. Afterwards, he is taken to the God of Light and is reunited with Alia. Speaking to Solbrahim, he explains that no woman will ever fill the void left behind by his first love (a truth that he himself discovered after losing Alia), and that he should leave the world and depart for the afterlife in order to find her. In order to keep the light alive, Foren and Alia pledge to become the new sun, powered by their undying love. In the end, the new sun rises above the world, restoring light to every corner of the globe while Solbrahim makes his way to his lost lover…

The Traveller

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Tells the story of The Boy and The Traveller. Set in the world of Sadara, two powerful nations, the Kingdom of Nord and the Crimson Empire, have been waging war for decades, but with two new rulers in charge, they are finally able to sign a peace treaty. Avenomorana, the captain of the guard of his highness, King Friedrich of Nord, has lived a life of dedication, never once giving into her desires for a family or love.

 

This all changes with the arrival of Jacob, an enigmatic and charming young man who manages to woo her, and begins courting her. Eventually, she falls in love with him, and their relationship begins in earnest. However, tragedy strikes when Jacob reveals himself to be the leader of Wareign, a secret multi-national organization dedicated to keeping the war going due to the financial, political and militaristic advantages gained by its members; which comprises of merchants, mercenaries and foreign officials.

 

Wareign also charge an exorbitant fee to the neighbouring countries in exchange for keeping the war away from their borders. Jacob infiltrates the palace thanks to information gained from Avenomorana and assassinates the King of Nord while wearing the uniform of a Crimson Empire diplomat, thereby reigniting the war. Avenomorana is blamed for allowing the King to die and is exiled from the kingdom. She becomes The Traveller, a near mythological figure who travels the world, helping the needy and fighting Wareign wherever she finds them.

 

Eventually she comes across Boy, a young boy from a neighbouring country that could not afford to pay Wareign and thus was invaded by the Crimson Empire in order to circumvent the Kingdom of Nord’s defensive line. Boy’s parents were killed and he was enslaved for two years, before being found by The Traveller. Seeing his resolve for revenge, she agrees to train him, and she becomes his Master. They travel through the neighbouring countries, where the Traveller mysteriously goes to meet with people while the Boy trains. In the end, The Traveller reveals that she has spent the past ten years convincing the leaders of the neighbouring countries to band together and forcibly stop the war. While they do this, the Traveller and Boy head to Wareign's headquarters, where the Traveller and Jacob finally face off.

 

Despite a difficult battle, the Traveller wins, but suffers fatal injuries. The Boy is tasked with destroying the headquarters and all inside, which he does even though he is outnumbered 1000 to 1. After finally learning the Traveller’s name and burying her, he is found by the neighbouring countries leaders who ask him what happened. After telling them, he decides to travel to the other countries in strife that the Traveller was unable to help. When asked his name, he replies that he is simply "The Traveller".

Old Blood

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Old Blood tells the story of an elderly vampire, Jökal, who is seeking out an apprentice so that he may pass on his experience and memories. He lives in a retirement home and is taken care of by a suicidal, depressive orderly, Thomas. Sensing the man's potential, Jökal begins cultivating Thomas as his successor whilst teaching him about life using his past experiences.

 

Unbeknown to Jökal, an old rival of his, Victarios, is in town and is hoping to steal the old man's memories (as he had been the strongest and most renowned vampire of their generation) in order to inherit his skills. After realizing this, Jökal decides to keep Thomas safe by pretending to hate him and drive him away, whilst slipping a phial of his blood into his pocket. He then goes off to face Victarios, who proceeds to beat him mercilessly as Jökal does not have the will to kill him.

 

After biting the old man, Victarios discovers that he has not inherited any power or skills. Thomas then arrives and states that he has already inherited everything by drinking the blood phial and he defeats Victarios with his newfound powers. Thomas takes the dying Jökal to the hill where they had first met two decades before.

 

It is revealed that Thomas witnessed the old man bite a woman who had just been shot, saving her life, which caused Thomas' obsession with death and fate and led to his suicidal thoughts. Jökal dies as the sun rises, finally able to enjoy its beauty as it would have caused him immense pain before and asks Thomas to succeed his will. He agrees, hoping to become a new kind of vampire, one who saves others with his gifts.

Silent Sonata

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Tells the story of a mute swordsman, Dalgarno, who is searching for a woman, Euphony, who has the power to heal him of his condition. It is later revealed that he offered up his voice to the God of Blades in exchange for prowess with the sword so that he could win the heart of his beloved, who still refuted him and married another.

 

After meeting Euphony, a court singer, she explains that her tribe once guarded The Well of Wishes, but she ran away from her duty as they were forbidden from using the well, no matter how much disaster befell their tribe, which she disagreed with. She agrees to travel with him as the master of the court, Warlord Tser, has forcefully tried to marry her against her will in order to gain access to the Well. They travel to the mystical Well, pursued by Warlord Tser who wants to use the Well to become powerful enough to conquer the land. Dalgarno and Euphony gradually fall in love as they travel, and he communicates through song via a small violin on his back and she provides the lyrics.

 

Along the way, they encounter others, each heading towards the well for their own reasons. After reaching the well, Dalgarno is forced to confront Warlord Tser while Euphony discovers that her tribe had been destroyed by the warlord after they refused to help him. She discovers that the Well only has enough power for one final wish. Returning to Dalgarno, Euphony is fatally wounded protecting him, while Tser is killed. Rushing to the well so that he can use his wish to heal her she reveals that she wished for his voice to return before passing away. Before he can tell her that he loves her, she dies.

 

Dalgarno, full of regret and anguish, calls out to the God of Blades, who is revealed to be the creator of the Well who made it as a test for humanity to see if anyone could be completely selfless with their wishes. He asks the God of Blades to exchange his prowess with the sword and his voice for her life. The God states that both of them made completely selfless wishes, and thus agrees to the request. He takes Dalgarno's sword skills, stating that he no longer needs them, but leaves Dalgarno’s voice intact. Shortly thereafter, Euphony awakens and he properly states his love for her. He throws away his sword and they head off into the sunset, singing a duet about their newfound love…

The Nowhere War

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Tells the story of Eliza Bluegren and Stanza Ellraizer, two soldiers fighting for the Kingdom of Alsar. After an incident involving the prince, a barrel of wine, 30 cats and a porcupine (the incident is gradually unveiled throughout the story), they are placed on duty at Desolation Outpost, located in the frozen, uninhabited North. Eliza and Stanza have been friends since childhood, and while Eliza has always secretly loved him, he has had numerous girlfriends and flings, making her think that he does not reciprocate her affections.

While stationed at the Outpost, they meet its strange inhabitants, from the insane cannoneer who spends his days using penguins for target practice; the vain commander, Dullan, who orders his officers to follow him around with mirrors 24/7; and the mysterious old man living in the boiler room who claims that he is from the future. As the days go by, Eliza and Stanza grow closer and muse on their relationship. However, while on a routine patrol, they encounter the enemy, soldiers from the neighbouring Parian Republic.

After a narrow escape, they return to the base. Following this, they spend several days trying to track down the Parian scout team.

One night, while waiting out a sudden winter storm, the Outpost is attacked, and Stanza is taken by the enemy. Eliza rallies the other soldiers and follows after him, braving the storm and the dangerous terrain. Arriving at the enemy camp, she is ambushed and captured. Before she is interrogated, she is visited by Stanza who reveals that he is a spy for the Parian Republic. The Republic are fighting the war due to an unprovoked attack by the prince of Alsar, who wanted to show off his military strength. Also, in general the leadership of Alsar treat the people unfairly, and after seeing this the Parian Republic decided to intervene and destroy the cruel and vicious royalty, thereby freeing the people.

At that moment, Dullan appears with reinforcements and launches an attack on the camp. Before Eliza can confront Stanza about his betrayal, they are separated by the fighting. Making her way to the camp's centre, she sees Dullan attack Stanza, wounding him. Before he can finish Stanza off, she pleads for Dullan to spare him, gaining his attention using a mirror. Approaching Dullan, she surprises everyone by knocking him out. As the soldiers gather to finish the fight, she openly declares her allegiance to the Parian Republic, stating that she has been spying for them since she was young. Immediately, the other soldiers start saying the same thing, as Eliza realizes that everyone had been a spy without knowing that the others were too.

In the aftermath, the Parian Republic use Desolation Outpost to stage a surprise attack on the kingdom, swiftly moving into the capital city and defeating the royals. Stanza and Eliza, now heroes of the newly reborn Alsar Republic, muse on how they had both been spies all along. Stanza confesses that he had always loved Eliza but had held back from telling her due to thinking that she was a supporter of the royalty.

 

The incident with the prince had seemingly confirmed this, but in reality the prince had tried to badger Eliza into becoming his woman while Stanza had misheard and believed that she liked the prince. In a fit of jealous rage he had caused the incident which sent them both to the North. Eliza tells Stanza that she loves him too, but makes him promise that they won't keep any more secrets from each other. Together, they decide to make the new republic a better place for all.

The Lost Arts

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Tells the tale of Aaron Tellamun Erridar (his name means Lost One in the Broken Word), the third son of the exiled King of Nilead who was outed after a coup by his best friend Viris, after he framed the king for starting a war with their long-time allies: the Safrim Empire. The king and his family were stripped of their titles, possessions, magic and home. They were sent to the Frozen Wastes in the North of the Kingdom to live out their days in seclusion. Five years pass and the first son, Loc, leaves the manor in search of The Lost Art, a legendary magic that was lost when the kingdom was founded, which has the power to change fate.

 

He takes the Sword of the Firstborne and the bloodoath (which allows his family to know how he is doing). However, after six months, the bloodseal fades (indicating that the bloodoath has been undone), and he is declared lost. Three years pass, and the second son, Dian, takes up the challenge, determined to find the Art and discover Loc's fate. He takes the Shield of the Secondborne and the bloodoath. Despite his mother and younger sister pleading with him not to leave, he does so and three months later the bloodseal fades. A year passes and Aaron, now 19, tries to take up the challenge.

 

However, his mother, distraught at having lost two sons, forbids it. Despite this, he escapes during the night, after telling his sister to be strong. He is stopped by his father, who tells him that he cannot fight fate, and lets him take the bloodoath. He gives Aaron the Gauntlet of the Lost, a relic from the founding of the kingdom which has a mysterious being sealed within and a link to the Lost Arts. Setting out, Aaron traces his brother's trail and winds up in Safrim, where he encounters Princess Safrina, the third daughter of King Sall, who initially attacks him.

 

It is revealed that Aaron had a crush on Safrina when they were younger, and were expected to wed. However she disliked him because she wanted to choose her own husband out of love instead of obligation. After he explains his situation, she grudgingly agrees to help him. A traitor in Sall's court reports this to Viris, who sends out the royal guard and his general to capture Aaron who is accused of kidnapping the princess as an act of revenge for his family’s exile. They escape thanks to the aid of Milos Quickfeet, a legendary thief who uses baseless boasts and intimidation to get what he wants.

 

He has fallen onto hard times and wants to steal the Lost Arts in order to restore his reputation. He is followed around by Kiki Saliz, a long time stalker who was saved by Milos and wishes to marry him at the cost of his thieving ways. Together, they seek out the Keeper of the Chronicles, a woman who is said to be the keeper of the Lost Arts. After a series of adventures, the group reaches the mountain stronghold where the Keeper lives. After passing a trial to prove his worthiness, Aaron meets with the Keeper who explains that the Lost Arts represents the power of order, and that the fifth king of Nilead gave the Arts to the Queen of Safrim because he wanted peace between the two nations. She also reveals that she met both of Aaron's brothers, and told them the same thing. Safrina recalls a tale her mother once told her, of a mystical light kept in the deepest chamber in the castle.

 

The royal guards assault the keep but the Keeper helps them escape, though Kiki is captured. Through torture, she reveals the location of the Lost Arts. King Sall hears this but the traitor in his court tells his master, Viris. Using the reclamation of the Lost Arts as an excuse, he musters the army and marches of the capital city of Safrim. Meanwhile, Aaron, Safrina and Milos enter the city, with Milos heading towards the royal guard barracks to free Kiki and Aaron and Safrina entering the palace. Outside, Viris attacks the city with his mighty army while Sall leads a counter-attack. Inside the hidden chamber, Aaron finally finds the Lost Arts, though it is guarded by his possessed brothers whose hearts weren't strong enough to deal with the power.

 

Aaron fights Loc while Safrina fights Dian. Both are victorious and Aaron is able to approach the light. It shows him the history of the world, and explains that the conflict between Nilead and Safrim is disrupting the order of the world. The light deems him worthy and he temporarily gains god-like powers. He teleports outside and stops the battle, while Milos frees Kiki and proclaims his love for her. Aaron is soon overwhelmed by the massive amount of power and begins to destroy everything in order to restore "perfect" order. Safrina appears and pleads with him to stop, using a childhood promise of marriage to convince him. He calms down and the power disappears. Viris tries to kill him while he's weakened, but he is struck down by Aaron's father, who declares Viris' reign over.

 

Kiki and Milos arrive with the traitor who planted the evidence against Aaron's father. Sall states that he has been foolish, and hopes to rekindle the bond between two kingdoms. Aaron and Safrina announce that they have a way to do that, and kiss. The Lost Arts ascend into the sky, creating a new star that will watch over both kingdoms forever. Milos tries to escape back into his life of thievery, but Kiki announces her intention to make an honest man out of him. Loc and Dian awaken and greet their father, who welcomes them back with open arms as both kingdoms rejoice.

In the Lair of the Serpent

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Set in Medieval England, the story follows the adventures of Percival "Percy" Dumont, a young squire who longs to be a knight. He is in love with the King's ward, the lady Teresa Aldaine. However, she is a shallow woman, and has eyes only for the most popular knights. Helping Percy is the blacksmith's daughter, Margeaux Adrens, who also wants to be a knight, but is unable to as a result of her gender. Their mutual friend is Richard Flairmaine, who was abandoned as a babe, and has been under the care of Maladious, a healer who was exiled from the city after he failed to save the King's wife.

 

While cleaning the knight's armour, Percy happens to overhear that a dragon has been terrorizing the local countryside, and that none of the knights are willing to face it. After proclaiming that he will face the dragon (in exchange for Teresa's hand in marriage), Percy receives armour and a sword from Margeaux and a burn salve from Richard, before setting out to the dragon's last known location. He quickly comes across the dragon's cave, littered with the bones of dead dragons.

 

Further inside he finds the dragon, however, it is only an adolescent, and cannot defend itself. Realizing that he does not have what it takes to kill the defenceless creature, he drops his sword. Instead, he gives it food (Margeaux's hand-made lunch which it seems to love) in the hope that it will keep the dragon (whom he names Weiss - the name of his younger brother, who died in a fire when he was a kid) from attacking the farms. Taking a dragon skull from the cave, he returns to the city. There, he is given a hero's welcome, and he is embraced by Teresa (much to Margeaux's annoyance, while Richard observes that she should have been the one to embrace him). The King knights him Sir Percival the Dragonslayer, and holds a great feast in his honour.

 

For the next few days, Percy gets accustomed to his new duties as a knight, which keeps him away from spending time with Margeaux and Richard. They grow suspicious after watching him leave the city every day at dusk (to feed Weiss) and eventually decide to follow him. They catch him in the act, and force him to admit the truth. Although they are at first angry for being lied to, they decide to help him keep his secret in the end. However, on the eve of Teresa and Percy's wedding, the kingdom hears news of a dragon rampaging through the land, heading straight for the city. Percy reasons that it must be another dragon since Weiss is too young. The King calls upon Percy to ride out and face the dragon, and slay it like before.

 

With everyone pressuring him, he vows to kill the dragon. The next day, after a tender moment with Margeaux, he rides out to face the much larger, much fiercer dragon. However, midway through his taunt, he realizes something about the dragon and rides off, leaving the people bewildered. Richard and his father help them evacuate while Margeaux rallies the knights to distract the dragon. Percy rides to the dragon cave, and lures Weiss out, making him follow him. He returns with Weiss in tow, just as Margeaux is about to be killed by the dragon. He saves her while Weiss distracts the dragon.

 

Before the knights can attack them, Percy stops them, and explains that the dragon is Weiss's mother which he realized after noticing that they have the same markings on their chests and that he never killed the first dragon. Weiss's mother had lost track of him after being attacked by hunters, and she had laid waste to the countryside in her rage. With the two dragons reunited and calm, Percy approaches Weiss and says goodbye (both to his brother and the dragon), the two dragons then fly off into the sunset. Afterwards, Percy is forced to explain his deception, which causes him to be stripped of his titles. However, for his courage and quick-thinking, he is knighted Sir Percival the Brave. He also rejects Teresa, telling her that she is not the one for him, before embracing Margeaux tightly, as the people cheer.