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Turns and Chances

A Novella by

The country of Lescar was carved out of the collapsing Tormalin Empire by ambitious men who felt entitled to seize power. Now six rival dukedoms are ruled by their descendants, each of whom feels entitled to the crown of high king. Dukes pursue their ambitions through strategic alliances and strength of arms while their duchesses plot marriages and discreet pacts. As long as the battles stay inside Lescari borders, neighbouring powers are content to buy up whatever the dukedoms can produce and sell their rulers whatever they can afford by way of luxuries or necessities. Amoral opportunists come from far and wide to seek their fortunes in the mercenary bands who ride the successive tides of warfare. All the while the ordinary people struggle to raise their crops and families amid the turns and chances of uncaring uncertainty. Some have had enough. Common cause unites a duke's beautiful mistress, a stable lad, a goodwife, a priest and teacher, the bereft mother of an infant son and guild masters weary of seeing apprentices drafted into brutish militias, often never to return. Conflicting loyalties set a duke's dutiful bastard son on a deadly collision course with a journeyman blacksmith with most unexpected skills.

Genre: Fantasy

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