The drums and horns of war still sound through the Middle Kingdoms, though the invading Empire of Thessid-Gola has been dealt a setback. The powers at play — the High King of Therapoli, his nobles and officers, the lurking Isliklid King, his warrior-servants, and the Sultan, commander of the Empire's armies — are all maneuvering for advantage, setting snares and traps for each other, with prisoners of war become hostages held in the balance. And through this den of vipers marches Artesia, self-proclaimed Queen of Dara Dess, with magic coursing through her veins, the whispers of ghosts in her ears, and an army at her back as she confronts the temptations, limits, and consequences of power.
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Mark Smylie has worked as a writer, illustrator, editor, and publisher in comics for over a decade. His epic military fantasy graphic novel series,Artesia, was first published by Sirius beginning in 1999. He was nominated for the Russ Manning Award for Best Newcomer that year, and for an Eisner Award for Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition in 2001. Over the years his illustrations have appeared in game books from Wizards of the Coast, White Wolf, and most recently Kobold Press, and in collectible card games from AEG. He designed and illustrated a role-playing game based on Artesia that won the Origins Award for Role-Playing Game of 2006, three Indie RPG Awards, and was nominated for six ENnies. He founded Archaia in 2002 as a self-publishing home for his graphic novels, and still serves as the company’s Chief Creative Officer.
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