Deacon Shader is a child out of time, removed as a baby from his ancient-world parents and raised on the Isle of Maranore. On his seventh birthday, the philosopher Aristodeus arrives to commence the boy's training with sword and mind. Nothing short of excellence will suffice, if Deacon is to fulfill his destiny and avert the Unweaving of all things. But as Aristodeus pushes him to the limits, reavers are spotted approaching the coast, and a cloud of horror descends upon the village. For these are no ordinary pirates. They sail under the Impaled Man, the grisly flag of Verusia, land of the undead and realm of the Lich Lord. Ward of the Philosopher is a novella of 15,500 words introducing the character of Deacon Shader as a child. The novella serves as an introduction to the bestselling Shader series.
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For centuries no one had heard a peep out of Verusia, the dark stain at the heart of the Templum's empire. But when a messenger arrives in the Holy City of Aeterna, bearing news that the fortresses along the border have mysteriously been abandoned and the 300 men of Trajinot's garrison have been impaled outside the city walls, word is the Lich Lord is on the move again. As an army of the dead waits within the shadow-black trees of the Schwarzwald, the Templum gathers its troops for war.