FEBRUARY 2017 PROLOGUE, WORLD PLOT, PART I
IN THE NATION OF HOLT, FAR FROM EVERMOORE
Prince Justin, heir to the throne of Holt, sat on the cold, damp stone floor of his prison cell where he had lived for these past few years, ever since the Guildsmen of Evermoore had foiled his plot to kill his sickly old father and seize the throne of Holt.
As he pulled a crust of bread from the jaws of a rat, Justin cursed those wasted years and the loss of luxuries he once took for granted. His beautiful hair had grown wild and tangled. His nails were black and crusted with dirt, but under the grim and disarray his body had remained strong through the long incarceration.
Every morning he performed exhausting calisthenics and practiced swordplay with a broken mop handle. During the afternoon he exercised his mind, designing grand plans for the nation of Holt. And in the Evening he repeated the Litany of Eldin, the one true God and prayed for revenge against the Guildsmen of Evermoore.
The lock clanked as the cell door was opened. It was too early for the evening meal. Justin rose to stare at the entering soldier, not recognizing the white bearded face, but clearly recognizing the heraldry he wore, the Order of Eldin.
Despite the dim light of the room, the Blood Cross on the knight’s surcoat shimmered brightly, a beautiful symbol, representing the purity of humanity and the on true faith of Eldin. Justin’s heart skipped a beat. He loved that symbol.
The old knight was crying, tears streamed down his grizzled face, and when the veteran spoke, his voice trembled. “The King of Holt is dead.”
The knight dropped to his knees before Justin, and swore his featly in a passionate voice that resounded through the dank prison, “Long live the King of Holt.”
Justine’s lips curled in a wicked smile, “Rise my Knight.”