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Arun grew up an outcast. He was a Yeoman’s brat whose intelligence caused The Dawn to bring him into the ranks of its upper class, but he was never truly be accepted. Though he might live in the genteel world of the nobility, a genteel slave is still a slave – one who exists only for the advancement of his betters. Baran is a true Son of the Court with lofty military ambitions: he has set his heart set on becoming a Warden, the Son of Bälech’s elite fighting force and personal guard. Baran’s academic struggles nearly caused him to be cast out of the Academy – along with his military hopes. Early in childhood, the two had formed an alliance of mutual survival: Arun served as Baran’s tutor; Baran as Arun’s guard against his maliciously prejudiced classmates. Over the time, the two developed an inseparable friendship, raising the eyebrows of adults and the ire of their classmates.
Both are now set to graduate from the Academy, needing only to complete their Graduate Task before beginning their respective careers, which will keep them apart for most of their lives. The need to have one last adventure together, and avoid a boring thesis, lead to the friends choosing a field graduate task. Arun’s unquenchable thirst for histories left only one option: The Ruins of Lacris, birthplace of The Dawn.
But the Ruins of Lacris are a place sacred to the Bewildered, nomadic pockets of peoples that reject and rebel against the rightful rule of the Son of Bälech. Many in The Dawn would like to rid themselves of this problematic, curious upstart and his friend that have embarrassed them with their antics. And higher still are unseen powers that do not wish for secrets long buried to ever see the light of day again. If only a tragic end would unexpectedly visit these two while investigating such a sacred site to the violent Bewildered, The Dawn would be better off…
Soon, Arun and Baran will find themselves swept up in a much bigger adventure than they bargained for. In a chess match between powerful enemies, they are merely pawns. But, as every good chess player knows, it is often pawns that decide the outcome of every endgame.