From the popular creator of Recluce and the Spellsong world of Liedwahr a whole new fantasy world to explore. This is the third volume of a big fantasy epic, after Legacies and Darknesses, in a new fantasy world that differs from Modesitt's earlier works in that it has creatures, as well as humans. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
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March 14, 2005
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Excerpt from Scepters by L. E. Modesitt Jr.
Light fell upon the priest. That single ray of illumination, shaped by the ancient master-carved lens in the ceiling of the long and narrow chapel hewn out of the red rock cliffs, bathed the celebrant. His green tunic and trousers, trimmed in purple, shimmered. So did the alabaster makeup that covered his face. The blue-silver threads in the black short-haired wig picked up the light, creating a halo around his face. The black boots, with inset lifts, reflected light as if they too were burnished mirrors.
A long chord echoed through the temple, but the priest did not speak until all was silent.
"When our forebears turned their backs on the True Duarchy, then the One Who Is turned away and let the Cataclysm fall upon Corus ' " The celebrant's voice seemed to come from everywhere, yet nowhere.
More than a hundred worshippers stood with bowed heads, heads covered with black scarves of mourning. Only a handful dared to look from lowered heads toward the front of the temple.
"The Cataclysm did not have to happen. The misery and suffering did not have to come to pass. And why did it come to be How could so many be so blind "
The only response to his questions was silence.
"The Duarchy of Corus bestowed peace and prosperity upon all the world, for generation upon generation. Never was there so fair a realm, so just a world. Never were so blessed the peoples of a world. Never had so many benefited so much. And then, in an instant, it all vanished ' "
In the next-to-last line of worshippers stood a dark-haired figure in gray. He was a head taller than those around him, and his face paler. The weave of the wool of his traveling cloak was somewhat finer. His head was bent slightly less than the heads of others, and his eyes never left the celebrant. The faintest hint of an amused smile appeared from time to time at the corners of his thin lips.
" ' as the Mantra of Mourning declares ' Ice flowed from the skies. The air that had been so fair, and perfumed, became as thin and as acrid as vinegar. Streams dried in their beds, rivers in their courses, never to flow again ' All that had been beautiful and great perished and was lost. And for what reason "
After a momentary silence, the priest answered, "Because people were selfish and thought only of themselves. They turned their backs on the True Duarchy, and when they did so, they turned their backs on the One Who Is ' for the Duarchy was indeed His creatio.