by Jackson James
Cover by Jae Bell
Copyright 2013 Jackson James
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The throne was his.
His great-great-uncle's throne. In his honor, he would assume the name, Duke Conrad Cithauer the Second, Duke of Crossroads, Protector of the Bridge and the Golden Bay.
The ducal throne was the seat of power for the City-State of Crossroads, the main route of trade between the kingdoms on the Western side of the great river and the empire on the Eastern Side. This trade was its source of wealth and power and the source of wealth and power for the Duke.
There had been no duke in almost a century. Duke Conrad Cithauer the First had died leaving no clear declaration of succession, sparking a war for the throne between his three sons, two brothers and a half dozen nephews. During that time the City Council had ruled the city while the candidates traded influence for support from the guilds that kept the great city running.