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Shifting Stars

The Salvation of Tempestria

Shifting Stars

Shifting Stars

The Salvation of Tempestria

Book 1

Gary Stringer

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2020 by Gary Stringer

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any manner without written permission of the copyright owner except for the use of quotations in a book review.

First paperback edition December 2020

Cover Design by BespokeBookCovers.com

ISBN 978-1-8382777-0-3 (Paperback)

ISBN 978-1-8382777-1-0 (eBook)

Published by Gary Stringer

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Gathering Storm

Chapter 1

Chapter 1

My name is Arshes Megane and I present this in defence of my actions. As I write this, at my behest, Aunt Mandalee has already gone to fetch my father from a critical moment, a thousand years ago. I understand that this Time Intervention is illegal and dangerous. Potentially catastrophic. Yet, I maintain I am right to do this. To me, the choice is simple: sit here, meekly playing by the rules while the world burns, or throw the rulebook on the fire and save…everything. Or try to.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, or possibly behind myself. That’s the trouble with Time manipulation: it can be hard to tell. Either way, let me take a step back, or forward, take a breath and begin to compose myself.

The moon is but a silver sliver in a starry sky, as I gaze out of my window. Hence, my desk is littered with lighted candles aplenty and an oil lamp for extra illumination on this page. Of course, I could simply speak a word of magic and light up this room as brightly as if it were Midsummer's Day. Indeed, in this age of magical wonders, there are commonplace spells with which I could transfer my thoughts directly onto magical recording devices. But tonight is not a night for magic.

These days, there is a small but vocal group of individuals who believe we have become lazy in this modern age and desensitised to the non-magical wonders that have surrounded us for who knows how long. Aunt Dreya would call that ‘sentimental nonsense.’ For her, magic is all; even more so since Ascending to the higher planes. Oh, how I miss her!

Me? I take a more balanced view of magic. While I appreciate its place in the world and all we can do, tonight, as I say, is not a night for magic. So, I sit at my desk, armed with nothing more than a pen and inscribe the words onto paper, as it was done in ages past – simpler times, when the dew of Creation was still fresh upon the world.

Please, gentle reader, forgive my ramblings. I sometimes get so caught up in the simple pleasures of this form of non-magical creativity that I forget what it is I am supposed to be writing about. For the record, allow me to introduce myself: I am the only daughter of Daelen StormTiger and Catriona Redfletching. These are names that are remembered with honour in times past, present and, I trust, in the future as well, if you will forgive such crude temporal terms. In case there is ever such a time that the old legends fade and are forgotten, however, let me write further.

My name is Arshes Megane and I am immortal.

Perhaps I should have led with that, but there’s a fine line between dramatic and pretentious.

When I say immortal, I do not mean merely long-lived, but nor should you imagine that immortality is the same as omniscience or invulnerability, though I do possess unique powers and natural defences that I use to protect myself and those I care about. Immortality means that my ageing process stopped more than nine centuries ago and will never restart, leaving me with the appearance of a young woman of around nineteen or twenty. Barring some grand cosmic accident, or unless I fulfil my final destiny, whatever that might be, I shall exist until the end of eternity. Does eternity have an end, or does it go on forever? I do not know. Moreover, it occurs to me that true immortality is something that cannot be proven. Who but another immortal could be around to verify it? Philosophy aside, however, proof or not, I know that it is true.

How this came to be, I cannot say. A consequence of being born within the Guardianship? The Guardians exist out of Time, and I am so far the only child to be born in its embrace. A legacy of my father? He did originate from one of the higher planes of existence, where Time flows differently. Heritage from my mother's Faery blood? To the Faery of Quarthonia, I am Emryse Amrosia – Ever-Living – the latest of several immortals that feature in song and story, if one is to believe such things. (As a corollary to my earlier musings, I can’t help but wonder, if there have been other immortals before, why have I not met them? By definition, they must be alive somewhere!) Maybe it is a combination of all these factors. Perhaps it is none of them. Once again, whatever the reason, all I know is that it is true: My name is Arshes Megane, and I am immortal.

Accepting this fact, you will appreciate that I have a unique perspective on the world. That is why I am sitting here, preparing to write this story: no other could.

I am choosing to call these ramblings, ‘The Salvation of Tempestria’ in desperate hopes that events yet to come will match the title. If anything goes wrong – perhaps the smallest mistake – then as far as this world, this reality is concerned, the events I relate to you

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