It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. They had everything before them, they had nothing before them.

The Last War was over. For the first time in a century the fields of Khorvaire were not watered with the blood of its sons and daughters, and the guns and golems and wizardy machines of death stood quiet in their berths. An armistice had been reached. But still there was seldom enough bread on the table, enough soup in the pot. The rulers in their engineered towers looked about them to find their cities in decay, their power shrinking from advances on all sides, and the people they ruled over to be little more than the naked and the dead. But given a choice to rebuild or to scheme, the hidden faces of power must inevitably choose the sword over the ploughshare, and everywhere in this armistice blood falls anew on furrowed ground before the first seeds have begun to sprout. And all the while the unseen wheels of the Draconic Prophecy turn, pulling even the most powerful behind it in its wake.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Five men emerged onto the stage of this cold, ashen, destitute, gleaming, gay, fabulous ruin of Five Kingdoms, and they were all going direct to Heaven, and they were all going direct the other way too. This is their journey.

Image generously licensed under Creative Commons by Flickr user ToNToN CoPT

Open City, Bleeding Heart

edbury Jondowner