Let me tell you about the boy who decided not to die. His name was Theden, and he worked as an apprentice for the old blacksmith in Umbret, a small town in the Shivering. If you haven’t heard of the town, I can’t really blame you, for not many have. It’s a speck of dust on the map, so small you’d be forgiven to think it was a mishap with the quill. Theden spent much of his life in the shop, polishing hafts and sharpening metal. He’d never used a sword against another man and he never intended to, but he liked making them. All things considered, Theden made a decent living working for the blacksmith, and his life was uncomplicated for the most part. So – what could possibly prompt a man like Theden to make such a decision? Who was he to challenge the gods, both old ones and new. Even the god above them all, Noman himself, died so new life could blossom. Why couldn’t Theden? Because of her, of course . . .