Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Almost three thousand years after an extinction level event on Earth, mankind seeks to regain its former glory, in a new world where magic and technology collide.
Laney Herder, a commoner in the realm of Wexbury, finds herself thrust into the world of nobles and knights. At the side of her Lady Celeste, Knight of the Realm, she goes on an epic journey from being a simple chicken farmer to one of the greatest heroes of the realm, while helping the Lands of Sparo avoid a second Great Mage War.
Can kindness and innocence, defeat the oncoming storm?
- 1 To Be Read list
I yawned as I stepped out of my family's stone cottage with my little brother, Jace, the steel pin hinges groaned in protest. I closed the old wooden door as quietly as I could as to not waken mother. Her health had been deteriorating and we didn't like her exerting herself.
We walked to the pig pen and I grabbed my wooden cart by the handles and started toward the portcullis of the defensive wall around our village. I called back, “After you feed the hogs, bring Matilda to the butcher. She isn't laying anymore, and we could probably get at least two pennies for her or trade for a half sack of grain, she has some good meat on her.”READ MORE
He nodded as he grabbed the bucket to get some of the castoffs from Castle Wexbury we had traded some eggs for. Our feathered ladies were some of the best laying hens in the village and the lords of the castle were partial to them. I smiled. He was only seven but was a godsend around here. With mother down, he was all I had to help me with all the chores while I was out scavenging.
I was not about to marry myself off just to maintain the household, I don't care if I was of age of consent last month or not. No man would have me, ever, and I don't understand why any woman would ever betroth herself to one. I shivered at the thought.
I looked back at the door then added, “Remind me when I get back to grease the door hinges with lard or bacon grease would you? I don't want that noisy door waking mother, she needs her rest.” He nodded in earnest. I smiled at him, he was such a good boy, I was proud to have him as a brother.
I started wheeling my cart to the cobbled road in the twilight of the morning. He called back, “Do you think you'll get enough today Laney?”
I smiled more confidently than I felt and crossed my fingers at him, “Let's hope this batch will get us enough for the medicines.” He crossed his small fingers too and smiled and went back to the morning chores.
I walked down the lane, the village was waking up. I started passing people getting to their jobs and had to move for a couple chargers trotting gallantly past as the morning patrol went to replace the night patrol outside the walls.
I looked at them with awe and amazement. To be a noble would be so glamorous. They protect the village and we tithe them so that they can concentrate on that defense. I blinked. One had the crest with a lightning bolt crossed with a sword on her sash. A Techno Knight! I noticed my jaw was hanging open as she passed by and snapped my mouth shut. She noticed my admiration and she winked at me as she trotted past. She looked a year or two older than my nineteen years.
I blushed, she was not only a knight, but a Techno Knight. Her red hair flowed back over her armored shoulders like a cape draping over the studded leather and metal. Her emerald eyes were sharp, and they glowed with the magic potential of a Techno Knight... they seemed to swallow me whole. I looked down in embarrassment when the other knight said loudly, “Looks like you have an admirer Celeste.”
She hissed at him, “Don't be such an ass Bowyn.” I kept my eyes down but I could feel her eyes on me. I had a little affinity for magic and could tell when it was focused my way. Her eyes were overflowing with it.
She kicked her horse and gave it some rein and shouted, “Hyah!” And galloped off toward the gates. I looked up to watch the other knight urge his horse to catch up. I grinned, being a mere Knight of the Realm, he was subordinate to that Techno Knight. What did he call her? Celeste? He was subordinate to Lady Celeste.
I noted the street lamps in the row I was passing were flickering. I looked at the electric filaments in the globes and they were intact. I stepped over and kicked the ceramic containment vessel which held the magic potential that powered the little copper wound generator. With a scree that was just beyond all but the hearing of the young, the bulbs brightened and remained steady. I grinned.
I absently wondered how the wizards of the old realm of the Before Times powered their tech. I have heard so many ludicrous theories. Like chemical reactions. The old buffoon who proposed it called it batteries or some other nonsense. That would be terribly inefficient, and what would you do with these... batteries... once the chemical reaction was exhausted? Throw them out and build new ones? Non renewable resources were in such short supply and that would be a waste.
But that wasn't as funny as the Techromancer who was laughed out of the conclave for suggesting that his interpretation of the old writings of the Before was that it was with water from rivers. How can water power electricity? The two do not mix. I chuckled at the thought.
No, the wizards of the Before were so much more powerful than us. Just look at all they had accomplished. We unearth more every day. They had to be so far beyond our abilities. It was only the Great Impact that brought down their civilization. I imagined all the wonders I would have seen if I had lived in their time.
As I approached the huge gates at the portcullis, I glanced back to the east, to Castle Wexbury. The great castle with it's soaring towers and waving standards. It was so large it formed two thirds of the east wall of the village itself. Well over a half mile of stone.
There, hanging above it in the sky, were the Three Sisters. The three pale white moons and the ring of debris around Earth. I tried to imagine what it would be like to see one huge moon in the sky in ancient times, before the Great Impact. A rogue astral body had collided with Mother Luna and tore her in half. I looked at her oblong egg shape and the two smaller sisters, Athena and Freya, which formed afterwards.
They say that Mother Luna will again be round one day as gravity reshapes her as she spins. She appears to be always looking down on Earth with her red eye. The pale red glow of the vast magma fields on her broken edge will eventually be swallowed. Much like the vast magma fields on the Dark Side of the Earth.
It is rumored there were billions of people in the Before. Over three quarters of the population was wiped out when the debris storm and shock wave had hit the Dark Side. And even more died in the early years. There were rumored to be huge bodies of water they called oceans that covered most of the surface of the planet. I would not have believed it if I had not seen some of the old writings that they have in the castle. The Techromancy Scrolls.
There was a picture in one, of the Earth as a blue ball, covered in water. The language looked so much like English, and I could read most of it, but the old English from the Before was so different than now. Now all villages were built by the few lakes and small rivers that came down off the Whispering Walls Mountain range in the center of the habitable lands.
The young chamber maid, Resme, who cleaned the library had been punished for letting me in to see the forbidden writings. I still feel bad for putting her in disfavor with the lords of the keep. They traded her off to another realm. She had been my only friend here.
I had to take ten lashes at the whipping post for my part. The punishment for trespass into the library was usually twenty, but the magistrate did not wish to be so harsh on a thirteen year old child. I believe he did not strike me with the enthusiasm I have seen in the past, the blows barely left any scars. He explained why the nobles were so strict with public floggings in regard to the library. The scrolls and tomes there are invaluable, and the kingdoms greatest treasure. I did not cry out, I was strong like mother told me to be.
The library had tens of thousands of scrolls and tomes that were falling apart with age. They have had Techromancers working diligently over the centuries to restore them or make modern records and reproductions so that the knowledge would not be lost to the ages.COLLAPSE