They do not wear shining armor, nor do they carry colorful banners. Their names are unknown to the average citizen, but their commands carry weight over all but the king. They are the world's masters in warfare and magic. They are the Knights of Alcea.
The days of warfare and Darkness were supposedly over, and the Knights of Alcea had scattered across the huge nation, returning to their private lives, their services no longer required. Unknown to them, a storm is rising over the horizon. When seemingly senseless acts of violence erupt across the breadth of Alcea, the Knights of Alcea are drawn back into action, but their enemies are shrouded in secrecy as they move forward with a diabolical plan designed to crush Alcea forever.
Volume One of the Demonstone Chronicles.
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Fantasy Author Richard S. Tuttle
For years the Darkness shrouded the world causing fields to wither and die. Forest growth halted and animal life grew scarce and lean. The bounty of the sea diminished to the point where fishermen had trouble feeding their families. To add to the misery of the peoples of the world, rogue armies took control of the lands as governments fell and perished. Banditry ran rampant and people kept to their homes in fear of their lives.
Out of this era of desperation and misery arose the son of a fisherman, a seemingly simple lad born in a small village on the coast of Sordoa, but the future of the world had been waiting for him. After seventeen years of being a fisherman’s only son, Arik Clava was thrust into a world of danger and set on a perilous quest to destroy the Darkness. Accompanied by others his own age, and guided by a strange pair of gypsies, Arik would grow into the Warrior King, and his companions would become the Knights of Alcea.
Arik was given the Sword of Heavens, a magical artifact that would vanquish a portion of the Darkness with each gem restored to its hilt, but the gems did not come easy. The Knights of Alcea were constantly hunted by the minions of Sarac, an evil mage with vast powers, but each gem also brought new allies sworn to the boy king. Fairies, unicorns, dwarves, elves, and even dragons eventually swore allegiance to Arik, but Sarac’s forces were even greater in number. Huge armies of men, goblins, ogres, and yaki swarmed over the land to prevent the boy king from fulfilling the ancient prophecy. As the great armies of Sarac swept across the continent, the fragile land was further beaten down until food became a precious commodity.
In the end, King Arik and the Knights of Alcea won the day. All of the land was united under the banner of the Warrior King, and the evil Sarac and his minions were destroyed, but the cost was great. The land was barren and bloodstained. Fishermen had no boats, and farmers lacked implements to coax life into the soil. Tradesmen had no shops, and merchants had nothing to sell. It seemed as though the only profession with a steady stream of customers were the healers, and they had more than they could handle.
For three years the people of Alcea toiled to reclaim their lives, and many were well on the way to recovery, but others were not. While peace reigned over the land, and the skies were no longer tainted by the Darkness, many people were lured to a new religion. The Temples of Balmak began to appear, and the priests offered a vision of paradise that proved tempting to many. It didn’t matter to those who sought refuge from misery that Balmak was an unknown god. What mattered to them was the thin sliver of hope for a better existence.
In Tagaret, the capital of Alcea, King Arik and Queen Tanya worked tirelessly to rebuild the kingdom. Prince Oscar’s vast fortune was spent trying to help the provinces get back on their feet, but even he did not have enough gold to cure all of the ills of the devastated kingdom.
The Knights of Alcea did not disband, but neither did they still exist as a group. Each Knight went his own way, trying to rebuild his life after years of continuous battle. Wylan and Sheri moved to Southland, the boyhood home of Wylan. Tedi and Natia spent all their time with the gypsies, and Alexander and Jenneva retired to Atar’s Cove. Prince Garong returned to the elves of Elderal, and Prince Darok settled back into the dwarven caves of Lanto. Bin-lu returned home to Lanoir. Only Fredrik and Niki remained in Tagaret with the king and queen. Fredrik was appointed the Royal Sorcerer, and his wife, Niki, became his assistant.
Little did anyone know that storm clouds were massing on the horizon, and that the hard years of rebuilding Alcea were about to look like a short interlude of peace between great wars.