Aiman Shearer and his family are content to live on the edge of their world, far from the empires of wizards and the cities of young industry, slowly building a prosperous farm after decades of plague and fire. But marauding dunters are exploiting steam power to seize land, and the cities of wizards are determined to consolidate influence in this new age of rails and cannon. Neither can ignore Aiman’s flourishing alpine village of Emmervale. Aiman and Emmervale must seek allies where they can find them; this may mean reclusive dwarves or eccentric outlaws.
The dwarf clasped my hand. I am sorry to say that I jolted, somewhat, because I realized he was missing a finger. He held up the hand; the smallest was indeed gone.
“Lost in the trade,” he said. “Hope you don’t mind.”
“Of course not,” I said.
“We were diggers, once. Now we are blasters as well. I could greet with my left, but that’s no improvement,” he said. He held up that hand, and it too was short a finger, or most of one—the pointer in this case. He nodded down toward his explosives. “There’s the problem. But they have not taken the rest of me yet.”