One hundred years of peace and prosperity. War changes everything.
On the world of Zaria, Elves, magic and mythical beasts coexist beside rifles and railroads. The futures of two nations hang in the balance as rebels and revolutionaries trade gunfire with loyalists and tyrants.
Eadric Garrard was raised to believe that as the rightful King of Ansgar, his loyal nobles and fearful subjects answered to his every whim, no matter the cost or consequence. His decision to send his troops thousands of miles away will test that fear, and loyalty.
Raedan Clyve was ordinary until an Elven ritual involving a griffin’s heart turned him into something more. Twenty years later, he still struggles with the magics that rage through his body. His mentor holds him back from his full potential and he faces pressure to find a suitable wife and father an heir.
Hadrian Clyve has picked up where his father left off and works to expand his family’s influence amongst the Ansgari nobility. His aggressive negotiation of alliances and shrewd choice of marriage agreements has earned him respect, and resentment. When his King calls his troops to arms, Hadrian has other things in mind.
After a century of scheming and decades of preparation, Magnus Jarmann is ready to bring his family’s plans to fruition by launching a war of independence that will free his people and return his country to its rightful place among the nations of Zaria. The King’s call to arms creates an opportunity that Magnus cannot afford to miss.
In a war, little is held back; in a revolution, nothing is safe.
The crackle of musket fire drifted up from the trenches; only a few quick shots at first, but quickly followed by full volleys. Flashes of light marked the battle in the trenches and Raedan listened carefully for the command to push his troops forward. He glanced behind him quickly.
The color guard stood resolute, the banners of Arndell and the North Griffin Cliffs at the front of the formation. A half-company of infantry had been assigned to protect the flags should they come under attack.
Wounded began to drift back out of the trenches. Some retreated under their own power; others were carried between two of their fellows. Raedan tried to count the men fleeing the battle, but quickly lost count.
Finally, the trumpets sounded again, ordering him forward.
“How's it look in there?” he asked a retreating officer. The man wore the gaudy orange of Sea Watch and the stripes of a captain. He had taken a round through his shoulder and was supporting a corporal that had taken a shot to the leg.
“The artillery did a job on them,” the captain said. “But they've still got some fight left.”
“All right, men! Let's take it to them!” Raedan started toward the trenches at the double time and his men started to trot after him.
The earthworks twisted and zagged one way and another, slowly leading the infantry closer to the fortress that loomed large above. The sun had finally set and flares were exploding high overhead.
Joshua will be awarding .mobi copies of his short stories (details available at www.gunpowderfantasy.com/products) to one commenter at every stop. Grand Prize for one random commentor and host with the most comments: The Chesian Wars collection (all published 3 short stories and an additional prelude short story exclusive to the collection).
Joshua Johnson is the author of "Gunpowder Fantasy" The Cerberus Rebellion (due to release in early July) and the creator of the Griffins & Gunpowder universe. When he isn't working or spending time with his family, he writes novels, short stories and novellas.
He currently lives in Northern Illinois with his wife and young son.