Arcana has never encountered another intelligent species while exploring scores of other worlds. No cities, no vast empires, no civilizations, and no equivalent of their own dragons, gryphons, spells, and wizards. But all of that is about to change. It seems there is intelligent life elsewhere in the multiverse. Other human intelligent life, with terrifying new weapons and powers of the mind...and wizards who go by the strange title of ''scientist''.
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It began with two men. They came from very different worlds - entirely different universes, in fact - and they met in a virgin forest on a duplicate planet Earth. Neither of them had expected it, but both of them realized how important the first contact with any other transuniversal human civilization might be. But something went wrong. Neither side knows who shot first. But both the magic-using civilization of Arcana and steel-and-steam age Sharona, with its psionic Talents, think it was the other side.
The war between magically gifted Arcana and psionically talented Sharona continues to rage. The dragon-borne Arcanan assault across five universes has been halted at Fort Salby by a desperate defense, but at atrocious cost. One of those costs was the life of Crown Prince Janaki, heir to the newly created Sharonian Empire, who went knowingly to his death in the tradition expected of the House of alirath.