The Tale of Krispos: Krispos Rising Krispos of Videssos Krispos the Emperor (The Tale of Krispos of Videssos)
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The dazzling story of a boy who rises from poverty and hardship to become the greatest leader his world has ever known
Born a ragged peasant, Krispos lives on the family farm until crushing taxes drove him from the land he calls home. With only a single gold piece to his name–a gift from a nomad chieftain who claimed it carried magic–Krispos heads for the imperial capital, Videssos, and into a world of peril and possibility.
KRISPOS OF VIDESSOS
Krispos’ reign as emperor of Videssos shows every sign of being brief and very bloody–for trouble is brewing. Civil war has erupted, and as rebel troops take the field against the untried emperor, outland raiders are sweeping down from the northlands in a tide of carnage. How long can Krispos hope to keep head and crown together?
KRISPOS THE EMPEROR
A strange heresy has taken root in the land and soon dissent flares into open revolt as Krispos faces his greatest challenge: To save his empire from tearing itself apart, he wages an evermore desperate war against an implacable foe, setting brother against brother and father against son.
shook his head. He walked the field despite the stench, to see if he could find Mavros’ body. He could not tell it by robes or fine armor; Harvas’ men had stayed long enough to loot. After several days of hot sun and carrion birds, no corpse was easy to identify. He saw several that might have been his foster brother, but was sure of none. The soldiers were quiet in camp that night, so quiet that Krispos wondered if pausing to bury Mavros’ dead had been wise. A sudden attack might well have
was more intricate than the first one he’d used. He needed both hands for the passes, and he guided his horse by the pressure of his knees. At the climax of the incantation, he stabbed down at the floating stick with a rigid forefinger, crying out at the same time in a loud, commanding voice. Krispos waited for the stick to quiver and point like a well-trained hunting dog. Instead, it spun wildly in the cup, splashing wine up over the edge and then sinking out of sight in the rich ruby liquid.
said. “It is a day. It is done. It is enough.” Phostis said, “I will give you two goldpieces for that boat, and another to forget you ever sold it to me.” The boat could not have been worth more than a goldpiece and a half. Phostis didn’t care. He had the money and he needed to be out of Pityos as fast as he could. He pressed ahead: “Does that make it a better day, if not a good one?” He pulled out the three bright gold coins from his pouch and held them in the palm of his hand so they sparkled
he knew it. The low-voiced argument stopped then, because someone else ascended to the platform: Iakovitzes, gorgeous in robes just short in imperial splendor. He would not make a speech, of course, not without a tongue, but he had served in so many different roles during Krispos’ reign that excluding him would have seemed unnatural. He smiled at Olyvria, politely enough but without real interest. As he walked past Phostis and Evripos toward Krispos, he managed to pat each of them on the
Tanilis and Mavros ate with theirs, he imitated them. By the time he got to the bottom of the bowl, the soup was cold. Maybe the nobles didn’t mind that, but he did. His breath went out in a silent sigh. He was more used to his fork and was reaching for it when he saw Tanilis and Mavros pick up asparagus with their fingers. He imitated them again. Manners were confusing things. The food kept coming: broiled duck in a glaze of candied berries, mushrooms stuffed with turtle meat, pureed