1000 years ago, in the land of Eselia, the ruling class of greater men called the Ringmen ordered for a Lady of the people of Fate to bare the head of the Craftsmen Fraternity, called Craftsmaster, four sons. They married, as was tradition, and left for the lands west of the capital. When the Craftsmaster found a valley to his liking he built the Shadow forge, so that he could continue his life's work.

Eventually, the lady did have the first son. When he was born the Craftsmaster called him Izodir. The Craftsmaster and the lady both loved him and cherished his life. In his youth, Izodir took after his father, and dedicated his life to learning everything about the blade, both how to wield and work the steel. The second son came four years after Izodir. They named him Magirim, because he was born on the Centennial of the last wizard's defeat. Naturally, Magirim found his talents in magic. He could move great stones, command water, and even speak fire. Magirim was known as the Lady's favorite son, and he took after her compassionate ways. The third son was born two years after Magirim. He refused his name after he learned what it meant, and later in his youth he took on the title of General. True to his name, the General devoted his time to the tactics and leadership found in wartime. He was not favored by either parents but was given respect and admiration by his brothers. Ten years after the General was born came Eloki. Eloki spent his days pestering his older brothers, and sneaking around all of the time. Intelligent and sharp witted, he always knew the news before anybody else, and was always too quite.

The family was happy in their days and stayed together for some time, until the Lady and the Craftsmaster were laid to rest. The brothers agreed to abandon the Shadow forge and go their own ways to have their own adventures. Izodir went to the south to start his own forge. Through his life he brought peace and advice to the people of that land, and taught them how to smith great weapons. For a time they prospered with him. Magirim's adventures took him to the great northern mountains. At the end of his travels he rescued a village from bandit attacks and raids. To honor him they built his Mages tower and there he stayed and lived. The General went were ever there was war; which was constantly in the barbaric regions of Sadoc Min. There he established himself as a warlord and brought order to the confusion of their battle. Eloki went to the cities in the east. There he did what he did best, amusing himself with sneaking and stealing from the richest and highest, only to give it to the people in the lows.

The brothers lived their lives as they set out to do, but when they felt the end of their time coming they set out for the shadow forge. When the brothers reunited they agreed to set their lives knowledge into a single great weapon, each responsible for their own piece. What they forged was a mighty blade they named the Steel of Greater Fate. On the eve of their death the Ringmen were assassinated, and the great Capitol was razed to the ground. The Craftsmen disappeared when the empire asked for help and the People of Fate fled to back to their origin, where none could find them. This night was remembered in history as the Dread Night.

The Steel of Greater Fate could not have come a better time, but alas, it was never found. Many men searched for the master sword, and all lived their lives in failure of their endeavors. 100 years later a new nation was born of the people of Moc Arden. Governed by the Valen Council, an Academy was built to train the army, officers, smiths, and politicians that would keep the Dread Night from happening again. And for a time it was good.

For a time.

Book 1 Ashes


"How do I know you are who you say you are? Hmm? Your people are forgotten even by our scholars, and historians. Your race hasn't been seen in nine centuries! How do you a peasant girl know of these things?" Chancellor Kanen could keep his cool under any circumstances; he was after all, a politician. But what this girl had just demanded smacked of disrespect and disregard for his office, and he could never tolerate this kind of nonsense.

"It doesn't matter if I am who I say I am. What matters is the chance you're taking by not listening to me. Are you willing to risk and entire kingdom, bathed in peace for almost a thousand years for one village of smith's? My word is the fate, the future set in stone. Watch out for that window." As soon as she said it the window to the chancellor's left flung open and smashed on his desk, glass everywhere. She turned her back to him and said, "It's your choice."

If it had been any other village, the chancellor would have signed the order and slept like a fat cat that night. But sending his best men into this village would mean death for many into them. It wasn't that their lives meant anything to him, but the soldiers took precious time and money to train, and the chancellor was, if anything, frugal.

This village wasn't the run of the mill farming town, or trader stop. This was D'mont. This village supplied the military with weapons before the castle forges were created. The best and brightest Smith's, Swordsman, Metallurgists, and Chemists lived there making the newest and best weapons in the continent. Forget that the village was almost big enough to be a township. Forget that every boy and man grew up knowing their way around the blade. These people had pride for their land and they would fight, and fight well, for it.

The only other option was to send the best of their military hand. Men that lived to end lives. He had seen their action when he had travelled to the academy for its inspection. In those days he was the senator in charge of military funding. During his visit to the only seat of learning in the country, he had learned of the elite unit, and their special talents.

"If I'll ever need a fist to crush my enemies with, it'll be them." He thought.

When he had returned to Raima, the country's political capital, he put in his report and the unit was given three times its annual budget to train the men, with a special missive to be sent to the academy.

"Start them younger. Train them harder. Name yourselves."

They did, and for twenty years the name Nocturne Special Unit was feared in the continent of Eselia. Whenever the chancellor, through the council of course, needed a problem solved, he made sure that the Nocturnes were sent. Used in the chancellor's disputes, and others that actually warranted sending such force, they had made a name for themselves as the most efficient, brutal, and feared unit of soldiers in the world. The barbaric tribes of Sadoc Min fled at the coming of the nocturnes when a council member was kidnapped. The mountain villagers, the harbor townies, even the Keth pirates feared and hated the Nocturnes.

The Chancellor sat at his desk and picked up a handful of broken glass. "Even if this was a parlor trick, she's right; I can't afford to not listen to her. She did knock out my guards, after getting past all five sentry posts. Curse her! Now I have to replace a window and my guards." He called for his secretary to come back into the room.

"Yes Milord?" the assistant asked.

"Sevik, draft a ledger to order the Nocturnes to D'mont with an order to raise the village and kill all the townspeople, with a post script of the village's threat. Get Regnus, Donin, Albern, and the Dommer brothers to sign it. Write a letter to each explaining our involvement in having their infidelities with young men kept secret."

"Yes Chancellor."

The Nocturnes were now heading for D'mont. A village where swords were a plentiful as water and air.

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