Three short stories in one volume.
Imperiata: Ishta’eth, demon-slave of Eternal Imperium, has kept the empire safe for a thousand years. When an aging emperor dies without an obvious heir, an interregnum begins, and it is a terrible time of civil war and chaos. All is not lost, however. Ishta’eth is immortal, a ruthless fanatic, and has been organizing the world for longer than most peoples have a recorded history. Determined to ensure the throne is restored and such an interregnum never happens again, she will carry out her plans no matter what price the world must bear.
The Prince of Fey: Prince Ribeag is bored. His world is cruel and violent and bloody, but that is no longer enough for him. He is the most cunning ruler the Tr’nah have had in generations, but that simply makes everything dull. If he wished, Ribeag knows he could win his people’s eternal war with the dark Tn’trith, but cannot see a reason to bother. Instead, he torments his lords, and his subordinate and cousin Bahn, and keeps his royal sister’s fanatical followers at bay. Half-heartedly, he seeks a way to escape his life. Then one day he finds it, by undertaking a quest, but first he must force those around him to let him leave.
A Mote, Amidst a Tide of Darkness: I step from the cliff and fall and die and find myself somewhere new. Naked, cold, and alone. My gut is empty, as it always is. I have a raging thirst, and I am tired, as if desperately lacking sleep. Death for me is never death. I go somewhere else, somewhen else, to another life. I do not know why, and I do not know how, this is simply how it is.