The long-awaited founding of Valdemar comes to life!
Within the Eastern Empire, Duke Kordas Valdemar rules a tiny, bucolic Duchy that focuses mostly on horse breeding. Anticipating the day when the Empire’s exploitative and militant leaders would not be content to leave them alone, Kordas’s father gathered magicians in the hopes of finding a way to free the people of the Duchy from tyranny.
Kordas has lived his life looking over his shoulder. Under the direction of the Emperor, mages have begun to harness the power of dark magics, including blood magic, the powers of the Abyssal Planes, and the binding and “milking” of Elemental creatures. But then one of the Duchy’s mages has a breakthrough and uncovers a way to put the Duchy, and its people, beyond the Emperor’s reach forever.
But time is running out, and Kordas has been summoned to the Emperor’s Court. Can his reputation as a country bumpkin and his acting skills buy him and his people the time they need to flee? Or will the Emperor lose patience, strip Valdemar of everything of worth, and send its conscripted people into the front lines of the Imperial wars?