“In the race for total power, only chaos reigns.”
The King’s Glory is the name of the ship which carries refugees from the war-torn Winter Realm to the continent of Temeria in the west. Amongst the passengers on board are people from every level of society – knights and nobles, peasants, priests, cut-throats and sell-swords – and with them the three Templar Knights from the Temple of Occido, the war god. They have been sent by their Grand Master – the demon half-breed, Fulk – to find the child called Sorrow, but they are not the only ones looking for him.
Sorrow Part 5: the King’s Glory continues the epic fantasy tale of Sorrow, the child reputed to be the sole remaining survivor of a nomadic tribe who are descended from the very first people to have walked the World Apparent, and so possessing great power. A struggle for power rages in Temeria, a land ripped to pieces by warring generals. The Winter Realm is sliding into chaos following the murder of its infant queen. The insane leader of the bloodthirsty pirates of the Western Isles, the Raven Queen, has not missed the opportunity to cease something which could bring her even more infamy.
The race is on to find Sorrow.
“Lord,” murmured Hoshea, halting at the proper distance from his master’s desk. He bowed his head and placed his hand over his heart in formal salute.
“What do you want?” Saqr snapped, making a show of sifting through the heap of papers on his desk. “Your master is in a purple mood, verging on black. I am extremely busy, I cannot sleep, and my arm aches as though devils gnaw on it.”
Hoshea smiled thinly. He had been in Saqr’s service all his life, over forty years, and took little notice of his moods. “A letter has arrived, lord, carried here by a sergeant of cavalry in the employ of General Anma. I believe it is a reply to your offer of co-ruling. A somewhat unwise offer, if you will permit me to say so.”
“Yes, yes, give it here,” Saqr blustered. He disliked Hoshea’s habit of commenting on his decisions. In his view, a commoner had no right to be opining on high matters, especially when the wretched man was always right.
The secretary withdrew a cylinder of smooth white paper from the satchel slung round his neck, and laid it carefully on the edge of his master’s desk. Saqr snatched it up, tore away the binding, and eagerly read the contents.
“To the most high and honourable General Nasheem Saqr, greetings,
We have given due consideration to your intriguing offer to divide the land of Temeria between us, with myself as Overlord of the East and you as Overlord of the West, and herein is our response.
You know me for a cruel woman, and you have often upbraided me for my cruelty. Know now that I intend to give free rein to all my cruelties and practice them on you and yours, Saqr, until all your cities and palaces are as dust and all your soldiers, servants, bondsmen and livestock so many burned offerings. I am raising all my hosts and we are coming, like a storm, to wipe your name off the face of the good earth.
However, do not be in any doubt that your name will be forgotten in Temeria. Generations to come shall whisper stories to each other of the terrible fate of General Nasheem Saqr. Mothers shall frighten their children into weeping fits with the details of what the Empress Anma did to him with her bare hands. Of how she wrestled his entrails from his living body and wrapped them, like so many bloody snakes, about a lance, of how she twisted his foolish head off and placed it in a pit to be shat on by slaves. Further details I shall not go into, for I have no wish to frighten you into taking your own miserable life before I have the opportunity to rip it out of you.
In short, I decline your offer.
Signed, with respects, the Empress Anma, First of Her Name.”
When he had finished reading the terrible letter, Saqr set it down, leaned back in his chair and steepled his fingertips. In this way he hoped to look calm and thoughtful, but Hoshea knew him too well.