The Heirs of the World

The following is an excerpt of Dawn Sun, the first book in my epic fantasy series, The Heirs of the World. Copyright © 2019 by Jonathan Foster Littauer. All rights reserved.


Prologue

Memories, like men, lie.
Those words lurked inside Savien’s mind as he picked his way through the ruin of what had once been the greatest city in the known world. He stepped over the crumbling stones and moss-covered rubble, knowing that resting under the broken remains of Malsakane were the broken remains of the thousands of men and women who had once lived there.
Memories, like men, lie.
Those words whispered their way through Savien’s thoughts as he turned and followed the path of a long-buried road. He had never walked the road before, not physically—and yet he knew it well. He had seen it, many times before. The road, he knew, led to a grand, arching hall where once, long ago, five solitary chairs held the five imposing figures of five magnificent rulers.
Memories, like men, lie.
Savien walked on, alone, his mind sifting through the countless stories told around campfires at night—the ones that made even the bravest of men shiver and go quiet. The stories that told the tale of seven individuals—the seven men and women who had caused the kingdoms to fall and the Empire to crumble.
The seven Heirs of the World.
Savien reached his destination, and held his arms out in a welcoming gesture. He smiled. A dream was coming—he could feel it. Savien had seen the dream before, and like before, he knew that what he saw was more. In these dreams, he saw the truth of what had come before, untainted by the lies of men, untarnished by the falsehood of memory.
He sat down on the ground, closed his eyes, and images from the long forgotten past trickled into his mind. The dream showed the arched and oddly angled walls of that majestic hall. Savien could see The Five, sitting in their high-backed seats, their faces as dark and stern as the deathlands. A warrior—a Guardian—stood before them, fully armored, his red-hilted broadsword strapped to his back. Words were spoken, the command given. The man saluted and strode stiffly from the hall.
The images came to Savien faster, now, flowing to him like water escaping over a cliff. The dream changed, jumping forward to the north, to a small house at the base of four snow-capped peaks. Savien recognized the place. It was the very place where the sword-carrying warrior and his men would soon arrive. Their arrival would begin the events that ruined the word, like a single gust of wind that shifted the snowflake that caused an avalanche.
Our memories may lie, and we may deceive ourselves, Savien told himself. He furrowed his brow and set his jaw. But we can change. We will change.
Through his dreams, Savien had learned the truth that time and memory had all but erased. And if he could learn, then…well, then others could learn as well. The kingdoms that were rising once again were destined to turn into piles of rubble like the one under Savien’s feet, but that could be avoided. The mistakes of the past did not have to be repeated.
Savien took a long, deep breath, and for the sake of the truth—and for the sake of all the world—he let go of himself and allowed his dreams to whisk him away into the past.