FOREWORD

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We are a people living in the shadows of ancient and forgotten histories. The cities of Es’Annon are points of light in vast and unforgiving wilderlands full of natural wonders and ancient horrors. These frontiers often mark the borders of our world’s fiercely independent kingdoms—kingdoms that maintain an uneasy peace.

A great many ruins cover the world; they are hidden in woodlands, high atop mountains, under hill, and under sea. They are both monuments and reliquaries of our shared and forgotten past sought by scholars, treasure-seekers, and rulers alike. Their number tells a murky tale of formidable but forgotten empires, their struggles and triumphs. We are the heirs to this legacy, and I have spent my life in the Winding Halls in an effort to better understand it so that we do not follow them into ruin.

An ancient calamity has caged our world—that much is known. What befell those mighty peoples that came before and exiled our world from the cosmos is the greatest mystery of our age. Uncovering how this came to be, so that we might undo the damage done, is my life’s work. I fear I will not see it to completion.

It is my sincerest hope that those of learned minds and courageous hearts will succeed should my quest outlive my flesh.

Alar, High Scholar of the Winding Halls

FOREWORD

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