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Contents Copyright by Bruce Durham unless noted otherwise
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Moirya cursed. “Ten day journey, bandits, and now this.”

 

Smiling grimly, Dalacroy ran a large hand through his mop of brown hair. He shared her fatigue and hunger.

 

Before them lay the slate-grey walls of Tenns. The imposing city-state was the lone outpost of civilization for one hundred leagues. And now its main road swarmed with hundreds of disparate people converging on its strongly fortified entrance.

 

Peering at a cluster of overworked guards, Dalacroy saw one of them glance their way. His narrow eyes widened with recognition and he rushed over, one hand clamped firmly on his pot-shaped helm. “Well I’ll be Selenne’s chambermaid. Dalacroy, Moirya.”

 

Moirya raised a thin eyebrow. Recognition dawned, and she flashed a mischievous smile. “Strat? Is that you?” She leaned across her saddle to poke his belly. “You’ve gained weight.”

 

The guard blushed. “Good pay. What brings you to Tenns?”

 

“We’re on to Tiro. Thought we’d stop here to rest.”

 

Strat nodded. In a hushed tone he said, “Look, I know this is sudden, but there’s a job here if you want it. It concerns the First Citizen.”

 

Dalacroy exchanged a look with Moirya. Five years ago, Strat had served under Dalacroy during the siege of Anticus. Trust was not a question. “What’s the job?”

 

The guard glanced about before answering. “The First Citizen’s daughter is missing.”

 

“And this First Citizen is...?”

 

“Salarko Naklos.”

 

“Who?”

 

Moirya nudged Dalacroy. “Love, you really should keep up with politics. Tenns is ruled by mercantile Houses. Every two years on the winter solstice they elect a new First Citizen. A First Citizen is like a king. A temporary king.”

 

“What’s the sense in a temporary king?”

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Abuse of Power
Excerpt
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...this is an entertaining pulpy romp, and I enjoyed the banter between the characters.

Chris Butler, The Fix
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Issue out of print.

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