Okay, time for a slightly embarrassing authorial confession...out of the roughly 600 pages which make up this manuscript, exactly 7 are lost to history. Those seven consist of the first three chapters, and part of the fourth.

     I could try to recreate them, but won't, both because I don't have time right now, and (more importantly) because I'm offering this tale up as an artifact of my youth. I won't be revising as I post, and I don't think I'm capable of accurately capturing what I wrote then from my increasingly lousy memory.

     Were I a painter, and this a painting I did when I was young, this short gap might be a tear in the canvas, or the oracular ring of a coffee cup stain. But the painting is still here, you just get thrown a bit more en medias res than intended.

     Here's what you should know:


  • Lee, a shadow warrior (okay, ninja) from the icy lands of Karoja has arrived in Drogath after serving as a caravan guard for a merchant he has now had a falling out with.

  • Aubrey, a gypsy fortune-teller, did a tarot reading for Lee. Or tried, anyway, as the cards whirled violently into the air and the painted figures on them crawled into reality and attacked them both. Lee fled.

  • The local thieves' guild has just mounted a bloody attack on some non-guild competitors. Hengist, a pox-scarred, surly thief, has just returned to the guild's HQ after the fight.

And we take it from there....

...Chapter 4...