And I’m cursed!

Not that I had much choice in being cursed. That can be blamed on my great-great-great-grand ‘something or other’ ancestor who messed things up for all my family when he opened an inter-dimensional gateway to Dunari and annoyed the wrong sorcerers.

I was thirteen when I was tricked into passing through the inter dimensional gateway. I really don’t like talking about it. But I guess a little background is useful.

Like I mentioned earlier, the curse requires the first born of every generation of the Keyes family to enter Dunari and serve the Imperator. This is a secret passed down through the centuries from first born to first born. My Uncle Peter, the first born of his generation, should have told me this secret on my eighteenth birthday. He should also have spent the following five years training and preparing me for my ‘term’ in Dunari.

That was, of course, if he’d fulfilled his role, and spent his time in that world.

Unfortunately for me, my Uncle Peter is a coward. Instead of entering Dunari when he was twenty-three, he waited until my voice broke before tricking me into taking his place.

And, worse than unfortunately for me, the curse didn’t mind who came through, as long as it was a Keyes.

I couldn’t pass back through that gateway for another eleven years.

Actually, if Ganhook, my mentor, hadn’t been waiting on the far side, I’d never have returned. I’d have been dead within minutes.

Ganhook is a kind of scientific sorcerer who works for the Imperator. Ganhook taught me everything Uncle Peter should have taught me. And much, much more. I’ve being working for him on and off ever since.

I’m mostly based in the City of Bones. It’s one of the safer cities in Dunari. Constructed within the bones of a monster’s graveyard, and protected by the spirits of those monsters, the City of Bones is the capital of Sevenoath, one of the easternmost Dunari kingdoms.

Or, should I say, of the ‘known’ kingdoms.

Dunari is endless.

I was supposed to serve the Imperator. But I refused to follow the protocols. The curse had stolen a chunk of my life, but at least I was free enough to spend that chunk of my life my way.

I’ve worked as an explorer, spirit catcher, a baker, and more. I’ve raised great beasts from the bottom of the Bodenless Sea to harvest shellfish from their hides. I’ve piloted cloud transports through ice storms, talked with sentient forests, and fought spirit storms. I’ve eaten raw bones, and I’ve lain motionless for days amid the intoxicating scent of deep sea fire gardens.

I have seen things you people wouldn’t believe.

A Scyan gateway implosion . . . a galux horde feeding under a blood moon . . . the Algoth Mountains garden stairs in spring bloom . . .

Now it’s time to document it all.

My ‘term’ is long up. Instead of returning permanently home, I’ve opted to stay awhile. This place grows on you. And there’s a chance I could break the curse once and for all.

It’s ironic that they call me a Dawnhunter. I’ve never, ever liked getting up early.