Michael R. Lowe, author
This is the first part of The Empty Throne Series, named What Lies Beneath. When darkness stirs far in the north and the sins of man once more emerge from the shadows, an evil long forgotten will rise once more. A dark dream manifests within the mind of a man, devoid of his memories and past life sending him seeking answers to his lost way. His name, Arturius. Along his journey, he meets with a company, a company of a dynasty long since diminished to the flames. A ragtag company with but two missions to accomplish; restoration of the Farrosian dynasty and revenge against the one who orchestrated its fall, the Masked One. In this company representing the exiled Farrosians: Selwyn Alvast, leader of the company and 2nd sword of the dawn, Silas the young, Robbard IV of his name, Karlan the outcast, Burak the brute, Kezin the silent and Garton the undying; for the Verdenese were the brothers two Dovan and Jorik; and for the Rekesh, Ozark the withered man. A great many secrets lay within the darkness that consumes such a company; such secrets that will surely become known in time. Together they journeyed to the village of Riftmyer and bore witness to the horrors inflicted by the hands of the dominating Rekeshi war machine, all at the behest of the reclusive Masked One. Here they uncover news that the gates to the ancient kingdom lost for thousands of years have opened, leading a path to Nordellar, city of the extinct Akaviri. Kezin departs to spread the news to their allies and the group begins their journey. They are led deep into the ancient city, taking a prisoner along the way; a Rekeshi by the name of Eskiel. It is here they face a combined threat; the Rekeshi war machine, hell-bent on retrieving one of the lost crowns, the crown of the mountain; and a nameless shadow that stirs deep within the darkness. For now, all becomes clear, they seek the Empty Throne and the untold power to which it possesses. Born from the bowels of the abyss the creature of the shadow is released, taking with it the lives of Selwyn, Robbard, and Dovan. But Arturius here suffers a grievous wound, near mortally losing his left arm to the creature. Yet a light shone on the brave warrior as he was blessed with an artefact of the old age and from Selwyn receives the mark of Farros and named leader of this new Fallen Order. However, the light is still far from the tunnel, for in a flash beneath their nose Burak is slain, revealing one last horror in his dying breath, ‘traitor’. Along with the disappearance of Silas and Karlan, the group is in tatters, unsure of how to proceed in such an abysmal state. Already they have become aware of the emerging darkness that they must also battle whilst retaining a fight with the Rekeshi overlord. Something follows them, lusting to claim the company for reasons unknown. Before they can escape from deep beneath the mountain they are set upon by a large Rekeshi force, seeking to recover the lost crown and claim the lives of such rebels. A final journey to sanctuary takes a peculiar turn, unearthing an elder tree long since believed extinct. Here they find themselves faced with a task all but impossible, retrieve the captive buried deep within the dungeons of the black keep, and seek out the wolf knight; a warrior of untold strength and skill believed to be dead.