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Copyright 2013

Martin V. Parece II

Smashwords Edition


All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be printed, scanned, reproduced or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.


To my children, for who I do everything.

To my wife, without whom I could accomplish nothing.

Prologue



In the southwest of Aquis, there lived a commoner by the name of Pel. Approaching the middle age of thirty, he was a farmer and lived on the land his parents before him had owned and farmed. He was a good man, relatively unremarkable for his race, and he worked his land tirelessly. The land in Aquis was bountiful, and his farm provided him an ample living, despite its small size. Though a commoner, he was not a peasant; he owned the farm wholly, and during harvest he always hired help to reap and carry his goods to market.

He kept all that he needed to make through to the next harvest and gave a quarter of what was left to the nearby village to distribute to those who needed it most. The remainder of the harvest he took to Martherus, the second largest city in Aquis, to sell at market for a fair price. He used his cash to purchase whatever dry goods he needed and tithed most of what was left to Garod, the ruler of the western gods, and Hele the goddess of fertility and the harvest. Pel did this without fail every year, as he knew it would always pay him a dividend.

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