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Street conjuror Yasha Alukov wants only one thing, to get even with the rival who put him in prison but when he's released he discovers Djisi City's magical underworld overrun by demigods--and all of them want a piece of him. "Sounds interesting!"
Preach on, My Brother
‘Remember my brothers, we are the gods own chosen soldiers,’ Preacher hollered, arms raised toward the cafeteria roof. ‘For we have been granted great gifts that we might use them for their glory—‘
‘Get off the Pit damn tabl...
‘Sorry to keep you.’
A flustered young man with a head of cinnamon curls and a prominent cleft chin and a long aquiline nose hurried into the room. He wore a blue striped white shirt with a high Kitviker button collar and his wide blue tie loose a...
The Lay of the Land
Processing took the rest of the afternoon. The screws dragged things out deliberately in places and were simply incompetent in others. Yasha bore the wait with equanimity. He was getting out and in hours he’d be back in Djisi.
‘Where to?’ Ludo asked as they hit traffic on the way through the city’s south gate. Two miniature pylons stood on each side of the gate, each emitted a cheerful green-blue light, flaring like a camera flash as each vehicle passed through the barri...
Enter the Vanguard
Krystof arrived back in the city around lunch time. He flashed his credentials at the Raderi checkpoint and made his way to the Cave, otherwise known as Vanguard headquarters in the northern Rodniya suburb of the city.
Holes in Empty Air
Ludo stopped the car at the curb in front of a derelict building site. A broken retaining wall, rubble and a skeletal framework of metal beams was all that remained of whatever building had once stood on this spot.
The Butterfly Club
Reunited with Mati, Yasha felt rejuvenated. He dropped into the passenger seat and grinned at Ludo in the driver’s seat.
Ludo rolled his eyes and started the engine. ‘Go all right then, did it?’ he asked drily.
Yasha hummed in the aff...
‘Sit,’ Mladin gestured expansively to the low couch set against the back wall. The couch was black, like every other damn thing in the room. Yasha was really beginning to get sick of the depressive aesthetics.
‘Do you need a torch to find th...
The Mad Grenadier
‘What in the Pit…‘ Mladin leapt to his feet, an ugly scowl twisting his features. He snapped his fingers and a host of butterflies gathered around his head, forming a protective halo.
Ludo was sitting at a corner table with two other men when Yasha entered the smoky pub. The two men stood and left without making eye contact as he approached. Yasha turned and watched them leave. Ludo gave him a funny look as he sat down.
A Meeting of Scions
Phantasma smoke hung heavy in the air, sooting the surfaces of the tables and booths filling the Butterfly’s barroom. Krystof hung back loitering by the beaded curtains, just inside the room.
A little over ninety minutes ago he’d been in the Vangu...
‘Would you stop that, man? You’re making me nervous,’ Ludo grumbled as they walked toward Rogier’s.
Yasha’s hands stilled. He’d been fiddl...
‘Crap,’ Ludo swore stuttering to a stop on the pavement, car keys clasped loosely in his hand.
The man was huge. At least six and a half feet tall and built like a barrel thro...
Missed Appointments and Unexpected Encounters
The excesses of the temple’s exterior continued inside, but more so. The domed ceiling arced upward impossibly high and a framework of gilt overlaid wooden beams created a floating ceiling supporting enormous faux chandeliers. Shafts of sunlight spilled down f...