People all experience the world differently. That's just a fact of life. Like the sun rises and sets each day. But some chase that difference. Others choose not.
Tonye Zhunsolf finds herself in the house of her father's old friend, having been cast out. But rather than cooling her heels, it enflames them. And there's a whole lot to be angry about in this new and changing world.
Prim Invimz. Similar station. Very different set of circumstances. His place in the civil service was bought for him. But he might actually be a semi-competent man with some shaping. Problem is, he's more a scholar or mystic than a servant to his Majesty, the Emperor.
The dark-skinned Chiruba Geganfi's always been a foreigner. Yet she'd never step foot in her homeland before this past summer. She made a bet, took out a loan and charged straight for the target. Even if that target was a position at the principal Yapani Univeristy. A place not exactly known for equality. So, she sulks, and remembers part of her loan; she must go on a fool's errand for 15 items. Of her benefactor's choosing, all quite strange even in the Yapani Valley. Let her copies of anthropology texts keep her content.
Venad Sistolfyi's always been a restless man. He joined the army, worked many trades and joined a missionary organisation. What was meant to be a year at best in the cold mountains of northern Tihan Country became 6 in which he married a local and began to question all. When there's a war waging a week south-east of you, missionaries from every direction and your own perceptions are against you, a quiet life with Chershe is hard to find.
Every ill fortune came to Oskeru Froya's door, a pretty unremarkable man, if you ignore his indifference to danger. He lost his wife and one of his daughters and even his beloved bottle could not comfort him. So rather than sulk into the gambling dens and drown his sorrows in vices, he takes a boat. A boat and then multiple days inland to the heart of Tihan country. Currently embroiled in civil war. The plains are turned red as 30 years of conflict spill out further and further. The unremarkable journalist must get front row seats.
Pani Puri calls to Anolf Oshtafan, the tiny protegee of Lady Chosna Zilshirmrin. He's always wanted to visit, especially since his partner comes from there. But when he's given a box, a small fortune and strict instructions to get on the next boat out. He does as his told. What comes next? A whole lot of chaos. Wealth and joy bubbles but gives way to immense grief. Anolf adjusts his spectacles. He must get the box where it goes. There's something important to be done. And duty rules his world.