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he city of Sasserine is still finding its feet after emerging from a century of oppressive rule during which the traditional thieves' guilds were destroyed. Dozens of minor guilds now squabble for control of the city's underworld. One guild in particular has risen above the infighting, and is now poised to become a major player in city politics. This is the Lotus Dragons, a band of murderers, burglars, and smugglers led by a charismatic and ambitious woman named Rowyn Kellani - a woman who just happens to be the daughter of one of the city's noble families. When Rowyn enters an alliance with the scion of another noble family, a scoundrel named Vanthus Vanderboren, the final piece of her plan falls into place and she prepares to seize control of the city's sea trade.

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Yet for all of her scheming and plotting, Rowyn's capacity for evil and cruelty pales in comparison to that of her new lover. Vanthus, in an attempt to prove his value and worth to the Lotus Dragons (and to impress its beautiful guildmistress), recently committed a horrendous crime. Knowing his parents had just purchased a new ship and were planning on taking a relaxing trip up the coast, he smuggled a dozen barrels of alchemist's fire into the ship's hold and arranged for an “accident." The resulting fire burned the ship to the waterline and left its crew (and Vanthus' parents) dead.

Alas, his plan to inherit his estate (and then use its resources to bolster the Lotus Dragons) fell through when a reading of his parents' will revealed that the estate was to be passed along entirely to his older sister Lavinia. Seething with rage but unwilling to take drastic action against his sister, Vanthus did what he could to rob the family vault before she could claim its riches. Fortunately, he was able to make off with enough money to ensure his place in the guild-and after he abandoned the competition in a series of undead-haunted smuggler's tunnels, his position high in the Lotus Dragon's ranks was ensured.

Now, the Lotus Dragons are ready to act on their nefarious plans. The only thing they aren't counting on is Lavinia Vanderboren's concern for her missing brother…

Continue to Book 1 - There Is No Honor

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