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The Empire of Carinthia is not what it once was. A thousand years ago it stretched across the sea and ruled lands now all but forgotten, but now it is a shadow of its former self. Divided into a host of hostile successor states, it is an empire in name only. Now the final blow may be ready to fall, as an army of barbarians crosses the border and invades from the northlands.
In this final hour, a star crosses the sky – but not any star. This is a bearded star, an omen star, with a tail that burns so brightly the nights are like day and the sky burns with strange colors. And by the light of the star, some people find themselves transformed. Karana
is a junior archivist, a quiet girl who loves books and histories. Now she finds herself able to control the winds and call the lightning. Arthras
is one of the barbarian invaders, just one young warrior among many, but now he is stronger than any man and can cause the earth to shake at his command. Thessala
is a priestess of a healing order, dedicated to helping children and the sick. Now she grows stronger every day, and her skin turns to armored scales. Lykaon
is a hunter, a shiftless wanderer, and a drunk. Only now, when he calls upon his new power, he becomes a massive, unstoppable beast. Diomedes
is a thief, living hand to mouth in the slums of the imperial city. Touched by the star, he finds he can move faster and faster, and he is strong as ten men, or more.
None of them asked for these powers, and they do not know what to do with them, or how to control them. Each of them soon finds that power attracts power as rulers and would-be rulers try to gather them in, control them, and use them. War between them would have terrible consequences, but it seems unstoppable.
But then something stirs from a long slumber. Something terrible and legendary awakens, and in the midst of their conflict, these five people learn that there are things in the world stronger than they are, and that perhaps, in some way, this has all happened before...