The Warlord's Secret (CHAPTER ONE, page 1 of 14)

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Excerpt from The Book of the Damned,

First Warlord of Tiyan

We found the demon when we took this land near the great cliffs. The local barbarians told us of its power, how it can heal a man from death and stop a storm from destroying a village. After so many years at war, I knew the demon alone could stop the wars that drove us from our home of Karyan across the sea to this barren strip of land along the cliffs.

I went after the creature, captured it, and forced it into many hosts. It killed them all - -or we did when they went mad. This morn, when we'd given up, the demon told us of the perfect host. Mayhap it was tired from our trials, or mayhap it was trying to deceive us. Its words, however, were true.

The demon is too strong for a boy under the age of five summers. Those of age to become pages were too old, for the beast twisted their impure hearts and made them attack us. It is evil and would destroy us if it could, but in a host who is pure, it can do no harm. Girls were too weak to hold the demon at all. Even the purest and strongest of them, to include my brother's daughter, went mad and were killed.

After several seasons and seventeen children, we discovered the right age for a host. This boy is between six and ten summers, when his body is strong enough to contain the beast and yet still pure. The boy we chose last season survived and can wield the demon's powers. We'll kill him when my heir, the second Tiyan ruler of my bloodline, reaches six summers in age. He will become the demon's host, and will use the demon's power to defeat our enemies. The demon will be passed to each heir of Tiyan.

As long as a male from my bloodline is the warlord of Tiyan, the kingdom will never fall to its enemies, and we will use the demon's magic for the good of all people. The demon says a female heir cannot hold it. If a female heir is ever born, she will fall to the demon's evil nature, and it will use her weakness to destroy my kingdom. The gods have long favored my line with male heirs - -we have never had this female warlord as an heir. To be sure of it, all females born into my line will be killed. I entrust this duty to none other than my brother, whose sons will forever guide the Warlords of Tiyan.

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