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Dragon Hunters

Book One: Out of the Ashes

© 1999-2001 Draconus and Stratadrake of NEWST


According to the books of history and legends, the world as it is now began approximately three thousand years ago. History tells of a war, a terrible war. A war so devastating, that it was as if God, and the universe itself, had pointed a finger at the world and said, "Die." And, succinctly put, the world did just that; almost nothing survived the ancient devastation. Only recently have the academics been able to guess at exactly how much was lost; they estimate the loss of life at 99 percent and higher. And if asked what could possibly be higher than 99 percent, the academics proudly point out that 99.9% and 99.99% are indeed higher.

Yet somehow, life had survived the devastation, and in the processes of time leading up to the present day, began rebuilding. According to records, human survival was attributed to the very dragons that are so often mentioned in myth and legend. Modern scholars doubt whether dragons could even exist in the world or not, but without any counter-theories of their own to offer, those dragons stand as an item of history rather than myth.

Rebirth was accompanied, naturally, by exploration. Compared to the wilderness and animal kingdom, cities and humans are a minority in the world. Powerful, predatory species such as lion, tiger, griffin, and wyvern, make travel from one city to another a risky prospect that was best countered by travelling in groups and/or enlisting the aid of the local city guards.

The legacy of the Ancestors remains, in the form of scattered, underground "Catacombs". When a group of explorers recovered valuable tools and artifacts from one of the Catacombs, the period now known as the Restoration began. Museums were built in the major cities to display the artifacts, and a high price was often paid for valuable items successfully recovered from underground. Many an intrepid explorer dared to venture into the uncharted wildernesses, in hopes of finding a segment of Catacombs that would contain something legendary.

It is now the 120th Year of the Restoration. A group of brigands, known as the Dragon's Fist, have begun searching through the Catacombs sites on with their own, militaristic goals in mind. People fear that the Dragon's Fist is searching for something specific; something even more legendary than the Catacombs itself. Whatever it may be, if they find it, the world will never be the same again . . .

Chapter One: Letters from Home and Afar

Welcome to the city of West Falls. When a letter to Hunter Antare arrived from his brother in Norset, he requests time off to pay a visit. Everything appears normal, but the foreshadowing has just begun.

Chapter Two: A Friend in the Rough

After a day of travel, a night in the woods, and an attack by local wolves, Trouble blows in with a capital D when the Dragon's Fist mercenaries attack the city of Norset.

Chapter Three: Foreshadows of the Past

Hunter and Marcus talk to their new comrade, Katra de Nathos, about the reasons why the Dragon's Fist attacked Norset. Evidently, the mercenary leader Strato was looking for something....

Chapter Four: The Avalanche Has Started

Hunter and Marcus are shocked when King Leonardo formally declares war against the Dragon's Fist and prepares to attack them. They don't like the proclamation, but their only chance to stop the war from developing is to capture or kill the mercenary leader, Strato.

Chapter Five: The Discovery

While the Lancaster Royal Military engages the Dragon's Fist in combat, Hunter's group infiltrates the Catacombs near their encampment. Among the discoveries is a horrible revelation, and the team soon finds themselves in over their head.

Chapter Six: The Siege of Lancaster

While the Dragon Fist's next move is clearly obvious, will Hunter and his group be able to reach the capital city Lancaster in time to stop an assassination attempt on the King?

Chapter Seven: On the Trail

After the siege, King Leonardo's declaration of war is withdrawn so that the city can be rebuilt. The search now begins as Hunter, Marcus, and Katra are given permission to hunt down Strato and bring him to justice.

Chapter Eight: Mission Accomplished

Hunter, Marcus, and Katra make a trip through the country of Danverse in their search for Strato. Their only clue is a long shot, but tables turn with a sudden streak of good fortune.

Chapter Nine: The End of the Beginning

Strato is traced to a Catacombs site outside the desert city of Border. In hot pursuit, Hunter, Katra, and Marcus enter the Catacombs to find Strato; and what ensues is a complete and total surprise.

Chapter Ten: Like Father, Like Son

Strange things happen when Strato is captured, his trial finished, and himself being placed in prison for his execution.

Chapter Eleven: And Its Name Was Andrake

Katra survives an unexpected night raid through sheer miracle (and five days in a coma). During this time, Marcus and Hunter strive to figure out exactly what happened in the city of Border.

Chapter Twelve: A Date With Destiny

When Andrake sinks their ship, Hunter, Katra, and Marcus find themselves washed onshore of an island somewhere in the middle of the vast ocean.

Chapter Thirteen: The Keys of Legend

When a legendary key--said to unlock the Ancestor's greatest achievement--is given to Katra, Hunter decides to negotiate with Strato for the second key.

Chapter Fourteen: And So It Begins

Hunter, Marcus, and Katra finally discover the very item of legend that Strato has been searching for. However, Strato is not far behind, and almost everything they know about the world is about to change....

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