Chapter I

Absent Without Leave

A civil war rages on the frontiers of the human empire of Westiron. What started as civil unrest over heavy taxation by the Westiron Senate in the western tribal lands of the Esseng Wilds, two years have passed and more blood is spilled every day. Quietly ignored or mitigated by the Senate, Westiron continues to draft young men from every village, town and keep in the Wilds it yet controls, and the rebels have fought back with ever fiercer resolve, wielding primal magics long thought lost to slowly turn the tide of battle, pushing Imperial forces back inch by inch.

Thunce and Baldor are two such Imperial soldiers, drafted from their childhood villages. After a year of skirmishes, they have been both tempered by war and made weary by it. Finally, on a fateful day in late summer, their unit was suddenly defeated by magic far beyond their ability to defend against. The rebel hill people descended upon them quickly, and the Imperial forces were decimated, either fleeing into the heavy fog, or lay dying. Thunce and Baldor escaped, and fled aimlessly until the roar of battle became but a murmur in the distance, and for the first time since they donned their Imperial tunics and marched to war, they began to discuss what other purpose there was for them out there in the world.

Thus began the unlikely adventures of the most murderous hobos to ever walk Aerynth…



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