"Dragon Precinct" is the first original novel written by
Keith R. A. DeCandido. It is a Medieval fantasystory published by Pocket Star Booksin 2004.
A group of legendary heroes arrive in the city-state of Cliff's End with plans to buy passage on a ship to go on a quest. One of the members, Gavin Brightblade, is mysteriously killed in his room while undressing for the night. When his body is discovered, lieutenants ban Wyvald and Tresyllione of the Castle's Guards are sent to Dragon precinct to discover the cause and bring in the murder. The guards, as well as the M.E. are unable to find any clues to the cause of the murder, mundane or magical.
Meanwhile, rumors are being heard that Chalmraik the Foul is planning to make a return and start trying to take over once more. These stories cause some to worry, trying to learn ways to defend themselves from the legendary evil sorcerer. Others are caught up in the rush and excitement, believing to go out to defeat the well known villain, thus becoming great heroes that are have songs and stories written about to spread through out the land.
Also the Cliff's End Castle Guard also have to work to find a serial rapist who can walk through walls, hobgoblins appearing from portals in yards, and the black market sales of insufficient magic. While this is all going on, ban Wyvald and Tresyllioone are being pressured to find the killer, who is working to kill the other members of the part Brightblade had been a part of.
Torin ban Wyvald: A red headed male with a beard and green eyes. He was born in a town of Myverin to a family of philosophers. He found the life boring as it lacked any sort of physical exertion. He eventually left and joined the army. He found it boring as while he got the physical effort, he found the lack of mental work boring. He eventually found his way to Cliff's End and joined the Castle Guard, finding the physical and mental work just what he was looking for. Torin was assigned to partner with Danthres Tresyllione with the understanding that it would be the only way he would be able to be a lieutenant in the Castle Guard. He tends to be an upbeat calm person. Able to be patient to talk to others, no matter how bad their memory and one of the few who can get Danthres to laugh or calm down.
Danthres Tresyllione: a half-elf female. Born in Sorlin to an elven father and human mother. During her teens she discovered that most half-elves did not live past their first day. Eventually she ended up killing an elf and being forced to flee. She eventually found her way to Treemark and found the relatives of her mother, the Cambri family and taken in by her aunt, the Lady Cambri. While at Treemark with the Cambris, Danthres found herself more comfortable with the servants the her family or members of the same social status. One night, during a party for her cousin Sicund who was visiting, a servant by the name of Harra was nearly tripped by his walking stick and accidentally spilled the drinks. Sicund flew into a rage and started to be Harra, which was stop, and he returned to Iaron. Harra died days later. Lady Cambri covered up the murder, and when asked by Danthres, seemed to show no idea what was being talked about as she was more worried about the scandal then justice. Since then, Danthres decided to try to bring a voice to those who could not speak for themselves. She eventually found her way to Cliff's End and joined the Castle Guard as a rookie assigned to Goblin. She managed to work her up to the rank of lieutenant, and went through several partners after. She was finally assigned to work with Torin ban Wyvald with the understanding that if she could not work with him, she would be fired. Danthres is extremely uncomfortable about her appearance, having gotten what she feels the worst attributes of both races when combined and has been made of most of her life. She tends to be harsh, abrasive and direct, losing her temper and many times risking her job with it. Torin ban Wyvald is one of the very few she has let her guard down with, feeling comfortable enough with him to even have an occasional sexual relationship with him.
Boneen: A human wizard assigned to assist the Castle Guard by The Brotherhood of Wizards. He works as the Magical Examiner, dubbed M.E. for short. His main job is to cast an Inanimate Residue Spell, nicknamed "peel-back." The spell is made to show the events in the recent past of an object, up to a full room. He is very old, kept alive by his work with magic most of which slows the aging process, and tends to be irritable.
Osric: A human assigned to be captain at the castle. Born in Iaron. He became a soldier and eventually lost an eye. He became the captain of the guard and assigned Torin ban Wyvald and Danthres Tresyllione together.
Jonas: A sergeant in the guard assigned to the castle. Instead of field work, he reads the scrolls to the other guards and helps to assign the cases. His wife bakes goods for the morning shift, of which Torin tends to miss out on because he tends to be late.
Ep: An imp. Ep is the archivist at the castle for the guards. When a file is ready, he appears as a head with a beard in what had been a window. The files are then stuck in his beard, which is the gate to the extra-dimensional space where the archives are kept, which he then files it away, though apparently he normally does not put it in the right folder.
Gan Brightblade: A human soldier, legendary hero, and first murder victim. He was part of the party that defeated Chalmraik the Foul years ago. He was one of a group called and assembled with the belief the threat had returned and was going to stop him before Chalmraik could take over once more. Gan died mysteriously in his room while undressing. It was described as his neck broke then he collapsed. it was revealed that Gan bathed more than most soldiers and that he had been using a glamour potion to look as young as he used to be in his prime.
Precincts: Cliff's End is separated into sectors called precincts. Each precinct has its own police force, marked by the symbol of the creature on the armor. The precincts include
Gryphon, which is the castle of the Lord and Lady themselves, Unicorn, which is the richer up-town portion, Dragon, which is mid-town and business, Goblin, the poor portion, and Mermaid, which is the docks.
The Brotherhood of Wizards: Formed after the defeat of a villain known as Chalmraik the Foul, the brotherhood is the governing force when it comes to magic. Most spell casters are to be registered with them. The Brotherhood also is responsible for catching anyone committing crimes with magic as well as regulating the sale of magic. The turning over of crimes by magic to the brotherhood is a point of irritation with many of the guards.
Getting The Chair: A short story appearing in
Murder By Magicthe same year and apparently set shortly before Dragon Precinct. Torin Ban Wyvald and Danthres Tresyllione are called to Unicorn Precinct to investigate a murder. The only witnesses were a couch, a lantern, and a chair which the victim, a wizard, brought to life and made able to speak.
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