Captains and Capers

These tales of adventure await within--

The life of Masarad the Sun-Flash! Whose scales of polished armor dazzled his foes, whose ribbons of firebird-red arced like his enemies' lifeblood, so drawn to the clamor of battle that he chose an outlander's life, far beyond the Sundom! In the north, he crushed the helmets of clashing Oseram warbands with the very scrap they battled over; in the south, he stood in sunset against the plains raiders, plucking their arrows from his body and firing them back. It was only the lure of the greatest battle of all, for holy Meridian, that drew him back to his homeland-- and in the Liberation he died gloriously, so that it took many hours to reveal his still-shining armor beneath the heap of kestrels piled above him.

Of Sadeva, the Desert Rain--once a daughter of the Sun-Court, but who cast aside noble silks and paints to run with the mercenaries of the Long Burn. She of eyes like smoke and a flashing blade! Her band only struck with the sudden storms, for the sight of blood never sat well with her, and the rain washed away its traces as quickly as it spilled. And so the sighting of rainclouds was feared from Sunfall to Brightmarket lest she might appear with them for many seasons, until they were finally betrayed by one of their own to a blazon patrol! For her noble birth, Sadeva was permitted an honorable death, and buried up to the neck in the Valley of the Lash to await the Sun's judgment. On the first day she endured in silence, yet on the second, clouds gathered, and broke with a great downpour, and in its passing--she was gone!

The metal conquests of Korgund, the Oseram blacksmith who would hammer gauntlets into shape while wearing them, and bend barrel-iron around his waist! He was seen to wrestle the cargo from the backs of Shell-Walkers, claiming the lightning blasts to be "good for the constitution"; and overcame a Sawtooth by blunting its jaws, and shaking it so soundly that its core fell loose. He claimed to have gathered a charging Trampler on his shoulders and slammed it upon the rocks, and sure enough there were marks left by its furnace blasted lividly across his well-haired back. As the Derangement worsened, bringing ever more terrifying machines, so grew Korgund's desire for greater feats of strength. He was last sighted astride a rampaging Thunderjaw, grasping its neck tight as a hawk to prey, and some say he remains there still!

And continued from previous volumes, the exploits of Okera One-Eye! By this point in the telling Okera had lost his left hand for stealing the Songcores of Estuki, and so traveled to the Claim, seeking an Oseram forge-smith who would affix a Ravager's claws in its place. Of course, the only man crazed enough to undertake such a melding of metal and flesh would be the leader of the Three Chains Uprising...

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