Jack Pepper is dead. Good for the plot, but not so good for Jack. By happy coincidence, Crum and Ampit—ambitious grinfangs of the planet Dirt—need a dead engineer. With a stolen spell, the grinfangs make sure Jack doesn’t stay dead. A win-win situation for everyone, perhaps, but Jack, far from being grateful, goes on the run when he finds out what the acquisitive pair want of him More
The highest form to which matter can aspire is the star; everything else is mere rubble, and the universe is littered with it. Or course there is also a lot of emptiness through which the fast-moving interstellar traveler can safely move, but tearing through the universe at relativistic speed and encountering a piece of space debris can be really annoying. Rather like taking a power boat out on a lake and hitting a submerged log—only more so. The result can be seen for a very, very long way.
The binary pair, Rufous and Albula, in common with most stars, have their retinue of orbital slag and hangers-on. One such piece of failed star-stuff consists of a lump of magma, surrounded by rock, water in its liquid state (yes, really!), mud, and decomposing vegetable matter.
Nobody lives on the water part, though a few hardy souls venture there on occasion, but quite a lot of people while away their entire existence on the decomposing vegetable matter and think nothing of it. Long ago they decided they would need a name for the place they live on so they would have a ready answer if anyone should ask. They didn't need to think long and hard about it because the answer was just too obvious. They named it Dirt–what else?
Everybody needs a hobby…
Meet Crum and Ampit: ruthless, spellcasting grinfangs who cast a stolen spell to bring them the wizard they need to achieve their ambitions.
Meet Jack Pepper, a dead engineer, soon to be resurrected. Jack never met a wizard. He doesn't believe in them. Soon, he'll find out he is one.
Meet Leo DaVince, a spellcasting graduate of the University of Koven Tree. Leo wants nothing more out of life than to produce the perfect ambrosia—until his masterpiece is stolen, then he's off in hot pursuit.
Meet the beautiful Castra. She lures men to her isolated and oh-so-neat cottage and murders them. But she does it very nicely. She's running out of space to bury the bodies.
Meet Morgan Blight, master of the sailing vessel, Howler. If you want to see Captain Blight you have to look quite a long way down, but don't be deceived by appearances—he's a lot bigger than he looks.
Meet Frankie Duck, master of the Gilded Retral. Fwankie has twouble with his 'r's, but that doesn't stop him practicing his new hobby—piracy.
Meet Merlina, the petite blonde wizard, disguised as a tall dark stranger. She's not a witch, she's a wizard. Where she comes from they use witches as tree ornaments—which tends to reduce their life expectancy somewhat—and she has other plans.