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Among the close-kin clans of western rural Malfesian Murians, farming and gelf ranches are long held traditions. Times are good…full barns, fat gelf calves and large families thrive among the sprawling grain fields and hamlets and the river from which they derive their name—the Feldon. Word comes with the trade caravans that times are not so good in the regions far to the east of the Feldon River: tumultuous changes stir among the remote province of Bleikovia. Old timer Feldovats shrug it off as one more squabble between clans over boundaries or water rights…too distant to affect the Feldovats.
The western clans learn too late, however, it is no local squabble. Outnumbered and unprepared, Feldovats resist a hoard bent on plunder and conquest. Days of battle along the Feldon River stain the riverbanks in green Murian blood. In the finals days of exhausted fighting, Judikar Klarvko Celo, leader of the Clan Klarvkon and the Feldovats, is fatally stabbed with the slow-acting sevon poison. The Judikar’s consort, Etikaa Klarvkaa, becomes Regentkaa, and with Celovat Field Commander Korvo Celo serving as her advisor, she leads the demoralized Feldovat survivors on a gruesome ill-prepared winter trek through high mountain passes of ice and blizzard snow in an attempt to elude the Green Dragon forces of the Bleikovats.
Etkaa’s only son, Klarvko Celo II, helps spirit Feldovat young across a remote mountain exodus to the west toward Eedov Province. The battered, starving Feldovats reach the Malfesian coast at Eedov City only to be confronted with their implacable enemy determined to destroy the remaining Klarvkon rabble. Taking passage on crowded lumbering Maalonovion freighters, Feldovats and Malfesian refugees set sail. On arrival in Maalon City they are welcomed among their Maalon hosts, and settle into a new life.
But famine and a pandemic pestilence stir old hates and nurse former ambitions. The enraged Overseers of Bleikovia move against the Klarvkons, this time bringing bloodshed to Maalonovia. The exiles from the Feldon must fight once again, but starvation and plague across the Planete Myr make it a different war from the battles along the Feldon…a na’ä blikovat…the Bleikovvat Phenomenon…an event with unexpected consequences and outcomes none could have foreseen.
Before the vendetta killing is exhausted, the Regentkaa Klarvkaa and her son are swept onto the Maalon throne, setting the Klarvkon Dynasty and the Murians toward an intergalactic golden age, and a star-flung destiny the once-agrarian Feldovats could never have envisaged.
Enjoy an excerpt:
Etkaa pulled back a canvas siding of the shelter. Distant dawnlit skies to the west glowed with billows of dull red already sweeping through the far provinces. She swallowed a sour distaste, knowing her part in the doing of this. There were no protests. Their last illusions going up in smoke…taking more than hope in the going. No longer could these exhausted bloodied fighters hold any hope to throw the Bleikovats back across the river…or return their lives to the ways they had been. The pale Murian skin of stunned faces washed red by the flames in the west saw the sprawl of war consuming everything. The dazed faces of the fighters said more than words.
One grizzled warrior’s anguish stabbed out, "...our crops burned, gelfs slaughtered…do those orders you hold show how we are to feed what families we may have left? Better we stayed on our farms.” Honest feelings spoke from a pained heart confronting the unimaginable.
Etkaa said, “We will share what food we have. Better that than crumbs from a Bleikovat table.”
From another Feldovat warrior, “Better we return to our hamlets and fields while we can.”
Etkaa said, “Those who would return may find much worse than ashes.”
“Yes…ashes…” the Feldovat shouted. “Burned by your orders. Not Klarvko’s.”
Etkaa fought the wash of sadness. Left her with nothing to say. Much of what the warrior said was true. A harried Korvo said, "There is another troubling matter. With nothing to relieve their pain, the severely wounded and those poisoned cannot be moved into the mountains."
"I do not care what is written in the orders,” someone shouted. “I will not leave clan kin to the Bleikovats.”
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