Metaworld Chronicles



Chapter 407 - The Meek and the Mighty


A note from Wutosama


Be swift.
Be unseen.
Be unheard.
Be nothing.

Strun, Shadow Runner of Clan Jildam, hid in the buried rubble, repeating the Pack Mantra taught by his elders. He was near-invisible and scentless, his small, malnourished body well dug into an excavated, breathable chamber he had spent weeks preparing. From a waxing moon to a waning one, he had subsisted on nothing but nuts and drips of water that fed through the ceiling, collected from the frosty dew that melted each morning when the Fire Sea grew warm.

Branching from Strun's burrow were paths, some natural, some excavated, that barely allowed his flexible body to pass. It was lucky then that Strun was skin wearing bones, for his elder would spit blood if their best scout became stuck between two plates of shale because he ate one too many fungi-balls in a single sitting.

Weeks ago, Strun had arrived at the ruins known as Bautino to pursue his rat-napped kin. A moon cycle before that, the hated Djinns had come to the lowlands, rounding up the starving men and women of his tribe like cattle. Unable to escape their troops, their venerable elder had made a difficult decision— to abandon the weak and feeble kin who could not survive hiding in the Murk.

The MURK! Strun's whiskers twitched with agitation. There was no food there and little water, and yet, there was an abundance of pale-skinned, eyeless monsters, flesh-eating fungi, carnivorous Weta, and rat-hating bewhiskered stouts.

Damned Djinns! More than once, when his thoughts turned to his surviving kin, Strun's teeth met so hard that they struck flint-sparks as his metallic enamel met in the dark.

Usurpers and tyrants, these otherworldly demi-Gods had proven to be. Since the arrival of these "Elementals", as the Horse Lords called them, the grasslands had burned to cinders, whirlwinds ravaged the Rat-kin's maise farms, and vast tracts of tableland became roving deserts. Worse yet, the wars with the Horse Lords had meant the Golden Pavilion's taxes grew from crushing to impossible.

Their Elders had pleaded with their Khans for compassion, but the Nayzağay Qanı Shamans had accepted no excuses, only bales of fodder.

Thus rebuked, the Rat-kin could only tighten their belts.
As Tasmüyiz, starvation and suffering was no stranger to his kin. Far from it, hunger had been a fact of life for the plains folk since before the time of Strun's ancestors. What made the Elemental "Masters" different was that their Khans at least acknowledged his seed-bearers and grain-growers. In contrast, the Elementals showed no indication they saw the common folk as deserving of life, hearth and home. From what Strun had observed, his Clanmates were merely material to these immigrant usurpers.

For a whole moon cycle, from all around the lower Steppes, from where the meadows met the Salt Sea, the Elementals herded their kind like chattel the season before the Shamans predicted a cold snap. From Ashbat and Nukus, Shival and Beynue, from every direction his kind had their homes, they were lead by leash and whip to this Bautino, thousands of them at first, then tens of thousands.

Taking advantage of the chaos, Strun had fled from the group and hid, making sound his promise of surviving so that he may tell the soon to be forgotten stories of the damned and deserted.

At first, Strun had imagined that the Elementals were sick deviants trying to breed his kind for some nefarious army to battle the Horse Lords. Within the week, when his kin was neither watered nor fed and began to perish by the hundreds, Strun realised his most wicked imaginings had been grossly naive.

In this encampment, the Wind Elementals, these brass-bound creatures of unnatural air, had made boreholes in the ground, then drove in the starving survivors as a boiling torrent of bodies pleading for mercy. The survivors of that great fall then huddled in the dark, uncertain of their fate, not yet sick enough to eat each other but already tittering on the edge of insanity.

Far from the hole, nestled in the night, Strun endured the slow insanity of the Elementals' ploy, allowing the wails of his kin to slowly creep through the compacted dirt to reach his drooping, trembling ears.

Then the larger of the Djinns arrived, bringing a Centaur Jagun who frothed yellow bile at the mouth. The captured Horse Lord was weak and sick, but still, he fought the Djinn with hoof and teeth, biting at their bangles, kicking at their ethereal bodies, expending the last of its life force.

Strun recognised the illness afflicting the Horse Lord. Blood Sickness! A disease that the Horse Lords themselves always eradicated with extreme prejudice! It was an illness that Strun knew almost too well, for a decade ago when the same disease had ravaged the Great Khan's herds, it was the Rat-kin who bore the blame for spreading the disease.

His elders had told him that the Great Khan gave the command to exterminate every living Rat-kin within lands ravaged by the Blood Sickness. The Jildam scout knew not if this was true— for Rat-kins served in every stratum of the Horse Lord's Golden Pavilion from the fodder-gathers to the grain-growers— but that's what his elders had told. And so began the dark age of the Rat-Clan, whose numbers fell from the multi-million multitudes to the mere million that exist today across the endless plains, hidden out of sight, eeking out life as the Horse Lord's unseen Tasmüyiz.

Then, to Strun's confusion and horror, the laughing Djinns threw the Horse Lord into the pit.

There must have been a moment of complete chaos as the Horse Lord landed in the borehole, his legs snapping like twigs, his monstrously large body crushing Rat-kin by the dozens. All around the Horse Lord, Strun imagined— the starving rats and their bloodshot eyes must have glowed red with hunger while the Horse Lord attempted to stand on his shattered stumps.

The sounds Strun had to endure that night, the whinnying, the chittering, the wet gnashing of teeth, first on flesh— then on bone, made Strun dream of ending his life. He had covered his ears, but even so, the tremors transmuted through the compact dirt told him more than any Rat-kin should have the right to know.

Yet, that wasn't the end.
It wasn't even the beginning.
As expected, the rats who feasted first grew sick.
Then, his kin grew mad.
They attacked their surviving kin and ate them.
Most of his kin perished, or were eaten, or had themselves attacked others, fueling an endless cycle of rat-on-rat ultra-violence.
Some of the rats fed well and grew strong enough to escape the pit. The Djinns did not pursue these but instead pushed back into the pit Rats who had refused to eat the tainted flesh. In this manner, day after day, more of Strun's kin, other rats from Clan Jartas, Clan Qum, Clan Söp, arrived and joined the pit. Moonrise after moonrise, Strun endured until his senses grew numb, and his heart turned the consistency of stone. All Strun could think of was when this horror could end, and he could return to warn his Clan.

Knowing what he had seen, he would advise the elder to take the Clan deep into the Murk.
Damn the danger! The Rat-kin would learn to love the Murk!
It was better to die a dignified rat in the darkness than die a monster, created from diseased horseflesh by these aberrant, arrogant Djinns! In the Murk, they could fight, they could forage, his Clan would die as Rat-kin, unlike here on the surface— where they couldn't even eke out a living as Tasmüyiz!

Paralysed by despair, Strun had hibernated in the crisp, damp dark, praying to whatever Gods that rode upon the stars that the Djinns would soon be satisfied with their morbid task. Strun had melded with the land while he endured, becoming nothing. He became entombed within the earth's bowels, barely breathing, barely moving, conserving every mote of the meagre mana in his hollowed-out frame, bearing witness to the end of his people.

Then, in between bouts of delirium and painful cognisance, came an earth-shaking burst of thunder.

Strun had been crushed by the sudden fulmination until vertigo-inducing bursts of enervation stripped away the debris that had served as his cover, making it easy for Strun to raise his enfeeble head.

Then, he saw it.

Or more correctly, he saw "Her".

A living demi-Goddess of flickering light and shadow, vivid with emerald viridescence, radiating life while encircled by a halo of death.

She was battling the Djinn.

And there, in the split-second between the jadeite lightning visiting judgement upon the hated Djinn, Strun's glassy pupils captured the disintegration of a being that was to his people a living nature God.

In the aftermath, the victors drifted closer to the pit, evidently dismayed by their discovery.

There were two of them, a male and a female, accompanied by a shadowy bird and a white stag, both of whom made Strun's reproductive organ shrivel up inside his belly.

What were they discussing? Strun wondered. Perhaps, the Rat-kin prayed, these avatars of entropy and death would have the good grace to put an end to his wretched, disease-ridden kin.

To Strun's shock, the pair performed the mercy without being asked.

From a dark slit in the sky, the male Mage conjured forth a white worm the likeness of the divine Afaa al-Halak that ruled the glittering Sand Sea of Sawahi; opposite, the Goddess summoned the same in obsidian.

Be these emissaries of the great Deities of Death that dwelled in the desert? Strun's heart filled with impromptu worship, thinking of the old world beyond the rolling knolls, of the badlands his folk once crossed in their Exodus from the frozen north. Who else could command the Lords of the endless sands, Masters of a domain with no horizon?

Gathering his courage, the Rat-kin regarded the female Mage, whose visage and aura was entirely superior to the male beside her. There was something reverent about the female, an unspeakable presence that made Strun desire to kneel at her feet and humble himself. So strong was the impulse vivifying his cold blood that strength returned to his limbs, and he momentarily forgot his hunger.

But before Strun could move, the Goddess acted once more.

With a gesture, she beckoned her eagle of living grotesqueness. Her pet was a hideous thing, the exact opposite of the noble Sky-kin; a faceless fiend with a serpentine neck, while below its crow-black body, stark white fingers extended like pale, pretty blossoms of some midnight cacti flower.

"Cali!" the sorceress gave the command. "Give these wretched beings peace."

In the next moment, Strun's enfeebled, sugar-starved mind rioted.

O Lord of the Badlands! O Afaa al-Halak! The little voice inside his skull screamed. May the Old Ones forgive his doubt! Strun fervently prayed. How could he have known that the sorceress could command a Lord of the Sand in its entirety? His brain grew suddenly feverish with the legends and stories of his people, even as gut-wrenching vertigo delivered liver-blows to his innards with every inch of the Great Worm's materialising body.

With a wet thump, the Afaa al-Halak slithered into the pit, susurrant with purrs of "Shaa— Shaa—", its carapace clashing like tossed shekel-shells collected from the Capsian.

Strun had no idea how many of his kin survived the crushing worm's descent. He only knew that with the Afaa al-Halak's appearance, the wailing of his kin, that incessant, unending chittering, that scratching and scribbling of claws against polished granite soon came to an end.

Blessed silence! Strun wept freely, powerless to fathom the joy of hearing only the sound of shifting sand and sloshing sea. It was like someone had struck a red-hot scimitar into his brain and left it there for a month, and now by the grace of the Great Worm, its priestess withdrew said blade, brain and all, then quenched it in the blue-dark silence of the salty surf.

"Jesus—" the sorceress invoked a prayer to her companion. "Christ Almighty."

"Let's go." The male appeared hesitant to lay hands on his companion, even as a gesture of comfort. Strun chuckled. So he was right; the inferior male was not her mate but a supplicant.

Without another word, the two Human Mages ascended.

Strun watched them go, then reached into his pockets and fed himself as much as three berry balls, instantly feeling energised as the densely packed mana dissolved on his parched tongue.

Invariably, the Djinns would come again.

Mayhap they would gather the Rat-kin once more. Maybe after this, they had given up. But that wasn't something for a peon like Strun to identify.

Gingerly, his chest full of delicate hope as fragile as sand-spun glass, Strun raised his nose to the air and tasted the breeze.
The winds were changing.
He had a feeling the priestess of Afaa al-Halak would soon arrive at the Golden Pavilion to discuss countermeasures with the Horse Lords.
As for him, the humble witness, he must make haste to spread his tale across the hills and warrens.

Too many of his diseased kin had fled into the dark, their minds inflamed with fever and their tongues hungry for horseflesh. What that meant for the war or the Horse Lords, Strun guessed, was that his fellow Tasmüyiz's lives would soon reach new depths of impossibility.

"No way that was all the rats," Gwen flew half a meter behind Jean-Paul in deep thought. "If those Rat-kin prove to be plague bearers, we have to let someone know."

"That's why we're headed for the Golden Pavilion now," Bekker's voice echoed across Taylor's Message relay. "Is your Divi-Orb's course properly set for Aktau? We'll need to rest and meditate, then set out for overland travel in the morning. Finding an encampment of Centaurs, even hundreds of thousands of them in a landscape as flat and vast as the Steppes is fishing for needles in the sea."

"Orb's active," Gwen concurred, reassuring the Meister. "I still can't believe the Djinns did that to those poor Rat-kin. No one, no animal, no living being deserves a fate like that."

"I am sure you can bring it up with the Khan," Bekker's tone grew sardonic. "They say he's a great listener, at least when he's not out conquering."

"Have you meet the Khan of the Centaurs?" Gwen replied. "I don't suppose you've been to the Steppes before, Meister?"

"Not me, but Taylor's our resident expert— he was assigned to the Steppes twice. Why not ask him since he seems to like you."

Gwen turned to look at their Diviner, who needed no visual confirmation to ascertain her hunger for knowledge.

"The Khan you refer to—" Taylor confessed his deference for the young sorceress. "Isn't just the Khan, but the 'Khan of Khans'. Tomorrow, when you address him, make sure to add the prefix 'Great' or use his formal title, Temir Khan. His hoof-name, Temir Khitan Tengri, must never be mentioned in front of his lordship, lest you profess to be a member of his patrilineal line, or if you wish to be the Horse Lord's foremost Consort—"

Bekker chortled. "Knowing Gwen's history of charming Demi-human leaders, I wouldn't be surprised at all if such an event was to occur. In merely a year, she was hand-in-pocket with Norfolk AND the Tree of Tryfan, and word has it that she and a Deepdowner have become famous chums."

"Having charm is a curse sometimes," Gwen replied with a hint of sarcasm, unappreciative of Bekker's suggestive presumptions. "But yes, Meister. I'll do my best to refrain from 'charming' the Khan."

"All jokes aside, you should hold your horses," Taylor's retort took on a more serious tone. "The Centaur Marauders under Temir number about a hundred thousand, with at least ten thousand trained warriors— though the Beastkin Demi-humans are unique in that most of their population can arguably contribute to their combat potential. The Khan's Nayzağay Qanı, his Thunderblooded Shamans, empower his rule with fascinating sorcery. For example, when charging toward a foe, the stronger members of the tribe can draw vitality and strength from their lessers. How interesting is that?"

"Just like vampiric Life-link," Gwen drily remarked.

"Exactly!" the Diviner appeared delighted by her clarification. "Their magic makes for in-depth anthropological papers. For example, did you know that the pyramidal structure of their social stratum is the reason why the Golden Horde was untouchable before the advent of Spellcraft? Let me explain. Imagine a pyramid— yes? Now the broad base is made up of basic calvary; free horsemen called the Nokud, ruled by an Arban, commanding ten Nokuds. Above that, a Jagun draws strength from ten Arbans. A Mingat reigns over ten Jagun, and beyond that, the lauded Tumen takes his power from the Jagun under his command. Finally, the leader of an Ordu, lead by an Orlok who draws strength from his Tumens. At that tier of power, an Orlok can challenge other Orloks for power and control of their Ordu. When several Ordus form into a Great Herd, their leader is called Khan..."

"Nokud— Arbanu— Jagun— Mingat— Tumen— Orkok—" Gwen rapidly processed the nomenclature, understanding the general gist that Centaurs warriors grew exponentially more robust the more warriors they held under their control. With what she knew of Sympathetic Life-Link, or shamanistic Blood Bonds, a herd leader could arguably be near-immortal, provided his pyramidal base of "supply" remain unexhausted. If so, there was little wonder the Elementals had to raze the Centaur population from the ground up.

"… and when the Khans meet to deal with an external threat or go Marauding for resources— you get a Great Khan or the Khan of Khans." Magister Taylor finished with a flourish. "Any other questions, Gwen?"

A few of the others, also first-timers, thanked Taylor for the information.

"Ask anything, don't hold back," Major Kott, their hired Abjurer and her tutor, unexpectedly cut into the silence left by the others. "You and Jean-Paul are the only persons here for whom all information is freely given and without the burden of future favours. Opportunities like this will not exist after you graduate, so use this time wisely."

Kott's helpful prompt immediately put her back on track.

"Yes, I do have a few more questions," Gwen confessed. As Kott said, she needed more anecdotes to digest the book learning she had carried out in London. "If you don't mind, Magister Taylor— Can you explain how the Tasmüyiz, and the er… Şöpter factor into the hierarchy of the Golden Pavilion?"

"Not at all; these are valid questions." Taylor's tone remained patient as he continued. "Though there are no simple answers, I am afraid."

"Sorry to be such a Neophyte," Gwen apologised. "I found scrolls on the Centaur of yore, but virtually nothing on contemporary Steppe states."

"Nonsense." The Magister laughed. "You deserve to know if you're going to be of use in our subsequent operations. Let's begin with the Tasmüyiz, shall we? There's a curious word root for the Beastkin diction— originally meaning 'leashed' or 'bound'. The title is itself a corrupted maxim descended from ancient times, referring to the servant population living under the Horse Lords of the Steppes. During the apex of their history, all manner of races, Elves included, were subjugated by the Golden Horde and dubbed the 'Tasmüyiz'. Most were conquest slaves, but some willingly positioned themselves to avoid destruction, such as the Han Chinese, who bore the brunt of the Horde's conquest for a whole century. These days, Tasmüyiz refer principally to the Demi-human serfs that gather under the Golden Pavilion— such as the Rat-kin, the Kobolds, and occasional tribes of Greenskins. They're all refugees of the Tide, races that fled from their original habit-zones, hoping for a slice of the Steppe's grasslands."

The Diviner paused while checking Gwen's Orb for bearings against his mental map. Once satisfied, their guide continued.

"Comparatively, the Şöpter are, I suppose, as the Träälvor to the Hvítálfar or Svartálfar. Demi-human Beastkin to the Centaur nobility. These are bipedal Beastkin, whether the Goatmen of Aktobe, or the Ram-kin of Zabol, or the Fauns of Kokand. What unites them is their servility, I suppose. The Şöpters share an existence that the Horse Lords have subjugated since the Old Dynasties rose from the Nile. They see their subjugation as natural, a part of their culture and history, something bred into their bones."

"There's an interesting saying in Khitani," the voice of Angela Hughes interrupted Magister Taylor's. "If a Khan cannot trust his Şöpters, then he has no allies at all. Sad, no? Imagine being born into slavery and never experiencing freedom or free will."

"Angela isn't wrong, but she's misconstruing things as well. It isn't as though the Şöpter are without power," Taylor explained. "As you shall soon see, the vast majority of Temir Khan's Thunderblooded Shamans are bipedal Şöpter. I suppose the stranger thing is that each Şöpter possesses little to no regard for their Clan or herd. Each individual, tasked with raising the young of the Horse Lords, follow their Masters for life and offer their entire existence in devotion. It isn't unheard of for a Horse Lord to prefer the company of their Şöpter servant over that of their wives or children. Therefore, within the Golden Pavilion, the more potent a Horse Lord's achievements, the more significant his Şöpter entourage. The Şöpter servant of a well regarded Orlok could command Mingat without protest from the proud Horse Lord. At the same time, the Şöpter of a Jagun would think nothing of maiming or butchering the Şöpter of a Nokud for the slightest perceived insult."

"It's a horse-eat-sheep-eat-goat-eat-horse world?" Gwen felt her head had grown to twice its usual size. Social observations such as these were absent in the lore and statistics of her college's prized scrolls.

"It's a world where pure power reigns," Bekker simplified the proceedings for her with a longing sigh. "An unsullied world without half the complications of politics, backstabbing and betrayal. Prove your mettle to the Khan as a War Mage, and you'll fit right in."

"But on that front, do refrain from incensing the Khan or his rank and file, or their Şöpter followers," Taylor added.

"I am to fight... but not fight hard enough to piss them off?" Gwen furrowed her brows.

"No, not that," Taylor's speech grew hesitant. "Let's say you will see Humans in the Pavilion serving as a Tasmüyiz or Şöpter. Whether they serve willingly or otherwise, it's not YOUR place to intercede."

"My place?" Gwen cocked her head. "What does that mean?"

"It means Magister Taylor's mission, in addition to securing the alliance of the Golden Pavilion in our common suit against the Elementals, includes the possibility of extracting wayward Human labour unwittingly wrapped up in the war," Bekker said. "Assuredly, there'll be Necromancers mixed in as well, appearing as they do in the manner of vultures and vermin. If Jean-Paul knows you half as well as I think he does, some of us are going to have to keep a scroll of Hold Monster handy and not for the Horse Lords."

"Our War Mage is a pacifist?" Magister Pietersen, Bekker's Abjurer, made his incredulity known. "You're telling me, Meister, that the Devourer of Shenyang is a Humanitarian?"

"That's wonderful. Someone should have passed the Juche Necromancers that memo," Angela Hughes, their Fifth Cabal observer, provided a sliver of dark humour. "From what I've heard, what remains of Shenyang couldn't even grow moss. Not even microbes remained where our War Mage's anger passed."

"That's…" Gwen found that she didn't have a retort— at least not without giving away Shoggy's mystique.

"Look, rest assured you're going to see some shit," Taylor emphasised the expletive to placate what Meister Bekker promoted as her impractical ethics. "BUT— don't lose your shit. Agreed?"

"Okay," she said. "I'll do right by the mission."

"No— you'll do what's best," Bekker reinforced the point with a hint of steel. "IF you're incapable of staying cool-headed, do the bare minimum. Shut up, stay quiet, do nothing. The consequence of failure this time isn't an issue of diplomacy— it's the collapse of the Kazakhstani Frontier and every flesh-and-blood being within it. On this mission, Magister Taylor and I alone determine what will be the best practice. Understand?"

"Yes, ma'am!" Gwen assured her instructors with as much confidence as she could muster, glancing at her glum student-partner as they neared their destination; she saw an able role model. "I'll be as quiet as Jean-Paul!"

Once upon a time, the City of White Cliffs possessed the name "Aq Jarlar Aktau", a name given by the wandering Faun bard, Kobzar Taras. Even during the heyday of the Mageocracy, Aktau was a city predominantly catering to the Horse Lords. In antiquity, it was founded by Scythian Demi-human Centaurs. In the aftermath of the Golden Horde, the town became a way station for the Steppe's folk traders and a place of poetic beauty. Then, as with every region touched by the Elementals, it fell into ruin.

Now, with the Fire Sea so close, its white cliffs grew scarred with the charred remains of its sister cities to the south, their carcasses washed up by warm currents to dash against Aktau's abandoned shores.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we've arrived," Magister Taylor announced with relief after following some localised Divination beacon only he could see.

Gwen followed her superiors, landing atop a host of Soviet-era Brutalist structures that seemed to have defied the elements, resting now as skeletons of a once-thriving port, made desolate by the eternal dusk.

As before, Mages stationed within the way-station received the august party of Maguses and Magisters, settling them into furnished rooms deep underground for a few hours of meditation before their journey continued.

Their present residence was once billed as the jewel of Aktau, a bunker-cum-hotel built for the Mageocracy's bureaucrats to socialise. The Grand Majestic Riviera Palace, it was called, once an ivory wonder of monolithic sandstone clad over a concrete skeleton— six storeys tall and six deep, with thick, warded panes staring straight into the cobalt depth.

Two storeys down past the basement, most of the Hotel's amenities, such as the ocean rooms, the kitchens, bathrooms, filtration engines and boilers, remained intact.

And it was in one of these rare rooms that Gwen found herself arrested by an unexpectedly awkward prospect— listening in to her superiors' magical equivalent of Netflix and chill.

"Frank! Here? NOW? What would the others say? "

The voices were barely audible, but Gwen's hearing while meditating commanded Almudj's bodily boons.

"They'll say nothing—" The assurance of Frank Taylor quickly followed Angela Hughes' protest. "Why do you think I put Gwen and Jean-Paul next door to us? Those youngsters must be tired to death, and with their rooms as buffers, the others won't hear us."

"You've been planning this—"

"I've set this ploy in motion the moment I saw your name on the list…"

"You hand-picked the list, Frank…"

"Such a smart songbird you are..."

"You're not interested in the girl-next-door? She seemed plenty interested in you."

"Be careful, my dear— I wouldn't describe a tier VI War Mage as a girl, much less a woman, whereas you, my beautiful Angela..."

"How do you even kiss your wife with that mou—Mmmnnn—"

Miss Hughes' protest abruptly grew muffled.

Gwen exhaled, clearing her mind and purged herself of all external thoughts. Heedless of the adulterous distractions playing out next door, she pictured in her head the Golden Pavilion, at the centre of which, Temir Khitan Tengri, Khan of Khans, a monstrously large Centaur with the strapping body of Conan the Barbarian and the lower half of a platinum-maned Percheron, dreamed atop a golden chaise. There in the Khan's pleasure dome, beside the white waters of a sacred river gushing into an emerald chasm, sat the Khan's favourite Şöpter, a pretty Faun with Mithril-dipped horns, cradling an Elven dulcimer, her clawed fingers strumming the strings while wailing at a flaming sea.

"Ah— AH—" the Şöpter sang, her throat-song deep and long. "—Ah— ahh— AHHHHHH—! "


A note from Wutosama

Chapter Ref :: 

Volume 1 Amazon (US) the book is in all markets as well.
Volume 2 Amazon (US) the book is in all markets as well.
V1 Google Play, iBook, Kobo, Nook and Playster Link
V2 Google Play, iBook, Kobo, Nook and Playster Link

Paper back in near future


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Once more, the Map 

Volume 3 is sent to the Editors, Chappies 98 - 124 largely re-written. 

150k words in total 


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