Masks

Devotees aren’t born, they’re nurtured.  When Renjarro Palluri, a legionnaire in the God-Emperor’s elite guard saves a red-haired woman, he has no idea how much it will change his life …

masks

When he’d enlisted in the Averchai, Renjarro had dreamt of blood-spattered glory, of enemies begging for mercy at his knees, of hoisting a frosty mug to toast his mates and of Anele’s adoring kisses.  Solare burn him, he’d even looked forward to polishing his legionnaire boots, but not this.  Being a legionnaire was supposed to be glamorous, especially on Legionnaire’s Day, the holiday celebrating Handuri’s saddaka-maddened Grush ride to the capitol warning of an approaching barbarian horde.  The festivities began with a parade that marched from the palace to the games at the Coliseum.  This year, the program would conclude by re-enacting the legions’ victory over that same barbarian horde and the Averchai had spent months filling the dungeons with pick pockets, debtors, religious outlaws and commons criminals willing to fight for the chance of freedom, subject, of course, to the God-Emperor’s increasingly irrational discretion.  The games promised to be spectacular this year.

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