Guardiancs of the Flame The Heroes Author:Joel rosenberg It had begun as an evening of fantasy gaming--college students passing the time. Then the impossible happened: The players found themselves transported into the bodies and personae of their game characters--trapped in an alternate world where magic worked all too well, dragons were a fire-breathing menace, and only those quick enough with a sw... more »ord, or their wits, survived.
Karl Cullinane, a warrior in that fantasy game of long ago, had become a warrior in fact on This Side and won himself an empire. But the peace he'd recently established in his territories was uneasy.Certain members of the Wizards' and Slavers' Guilds would gladly destroy it, he knew--master slaver Ahrmin in particular--unless some of his own less-than-loyal subjects wrecked things first.
There had been insidious rumors that Karl meant to gain possession of a fabled wizard-killing sword--though, of course, the sword was meant for his son, Jason. The emperor understood such suspicion; it wouldn't have surprised him to hear that his old friends Walter Slovotsky and the dwarf Ahira were checking out the rumors--for their own reasons, and in their own ways. One never knew where trouble might start.
The slavers' raid on one of Karl's baronial capitals, for instance--elves, humans and treasure taken. Was it an isolated incident or part of some larger plot?
News of the slavers' raid reached Home just as Walter and Ahira were settling down to a nice reunion with Lou Riccetti, the Engineer from Earth whose genius was slowly modernizing This Side. The three figured it wouldn't be too hard to find the caravan, dispatch the slaver and free the prisoners. Walter, master of recon, would then determine whether or not there were more slavers around in need of similar attention.
But then young Jason Cullinane, who happened to be in the vicinity, insisted on going along for the experience. And what should have been a routine sortie turned into a fiasco that might very well give Karl's enemies the leverage to destroy him.« less