The Empire was disintegrating. There had been no communication with Parison for years. People reported that strange creatures had been seen. Sending troops to investigate was proving futile. As soon as the soldiers crossed the border nothing was heard from them again. The plan was to ho;d to Rombuli while somebody found out what was happening in the rest of the Empire. Edward Eastland was given the task of finding the Walloonian army at a place called Bryant's Ridge. He has to leave his new wife Kitty behind as he sets out with her brother Boric and his friend Tag. In the event they become cut off from Rombuli. They set out to find a way back to Rombuli to help with the war effort. Edward wonders whether his powers will help them find a way back and keep them safe. As they search desperately for a way back, Edward learns more about his magic powers. Will his friends keep following his lead. As they set out they face the possibility that the Empire might not exists when they do return.
Here is an example from Chapter 5 where Edward Eastland engages the enemy with his power.
" Taking the reins of his horse from the attendant, Edward mounted, made sure his sword was loose in the scabbard and started forward. Tag grabbed the reins and stopped his horse.
" Are you mad," Tag shouted his eyes wide with fear. " I have warned you before about this mad course of action."
" Let go my horse, Tag," Edward ordered in a flat hard voice which brooked no opposition. " This is something I have to do. There is some deep down compulsion telling me what I have to do. Let go now before I force you to let me go."
Boric's voice came from behind Edward. " Let him go Tag. I believe him. I think his time is here for this deed and we must let him have a go. Come on. We will escort him out onto the field."
Edward grinned at his friend. " Thank you Boric. One thing. When we get out there and get the attention of the rider, you must stop and let me go on my own. Just be on hand to pick up the pieces when this is all over."
" Very reassuring," Boric muttered to Tag as he nudged his horse forward alongside Edward.
Together the three friends rode through the ranks of the army looking neither to left or right. The archers and the pike men opened a path for their passage, all faces looking on apprehensively. When Edward reached the sergeant, he paused.
" See, I am not running away. Get your men ready to cover my back. It could get very sticky out there," Edward grinned.
The sergeant saluted and turned to his men. " Get ready to fire when I instruct you."
They rode away from the flank of the army, three small figures on the landscape. The opposing army appeared huge at the bottom of the slope but Edward did not look in that direction. His eyes were focused on the creature with its rider hovering above the field. As he rode forward, he was judging the distance between him and the rider. When he was sure they were close enough, he paused again.
" Well my friends," he said his eyes still on the creature. " This is as far as you come. Get ready to act if there is any chance that I can be rescued."
Leaving Tag and Boric sitting apprehensively on their horses, Edward rode away from the army on his own. Boric watched as though not really there, unable to help his friend. He heard
Tag gasp by his side but did not look round. Slowly Edward was being enveloped in a silver light. It shone faintly around him like a translucent barrier covering his horse as well.
When Edward stopped a good twenty metres from his friends, he raised his sword above his head and sat motionless on his horse. Suddenly a shaft of silver light shot skywards from the tip of his sword and the creature bellowed his acknowledgement that he had seen.
The rider on its back turned the creature and it flapped lazily in Edward’s direction. Edward did not move and Boric found it hard not to yell to his friend to ride away.
While the creature was hovering a short distance away from where Edward sat motionless on his horse, the rider on its back lent forward as though to ascertain who was defying him. Raising an arm, the rider sent a beam of intense white light towards Edward. Boric watched detached as the beam smashed into Edward and his horse. The barrier surrounding Edward started to glow until the light was so bright Boric and Tag had to shield their eyes. Brighter and brighter it became as the rider poured energy into Edward's protective barrier.
As Boric started to feel that nothing could survive in that intense light, the glowing corona surrounding Edward started to move. Slowly at first and then faster, the white corona twisted until it was like a mini tornado. Faster and faster it turned while the creature roared its defiance. Then Edward flicked the end of the sword and a bolt of light smashed into the side of the creature making its hide smoke. Again and again the sword point flicked away and more bolts of light smashed into the creature. Turning away, its hide smoking, the creature tried to retreat. The rider was trying to steady his stead and to raise a barrier against Edward's assault. Too late. More bolts left Edward’s sword point but now they hit the rider almost knocking him from the creatures back. As the creature started to fall from the sky, one last bolt left the sword, smashing into the rider, setting his clothes on fire and he fell backwards from the creatures back to plunge smoking and burning into the ranks of the enemy army. The creature gave one last scream and tumbled to earth behind the enemy's ranks.
The light surrounding Edward flickered, faded and went out. Tag smashed his heels into his horses flank and rushed forward. Edward was slumped over his horses’ neck, his sword dangling from his hand almost touching the ground. Tag grabbed Edward and heaved him back into a sitting position, taking the sword from his hand and putting it back into its scabbard. Tag noticed the sword was shining like silver but he had no time to think about that. Hauling Edward's horse around, he started back towards the army accompanied by Boric."
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