The Father of Lights

By Jave Harron

Prologue: The Fall of Dublin

The Redcoats came at dawn, as they had always done. The desperate, entrenched troops around Dublin were outnumbered by the Royal Thaumaturgical Corps and their Samsaran auxiliaries. Within a matter of days, the British had surrounded the city. Redcoats, backed by Welsh and Scottish magi, lead the charge. Samsaran behemoths followed behind them, with mahouts manning the cannons mounted on the beasts. Samsaran skyspears and British artillery filled the air. The familiar shriek of Congreave rockets caused the already disheartened defenders to lose morale. The steel walls of Dublin, the trenches and bunkers, surround the city, and the anti-aircraft defenses around the city held out for a number of days.

After the third week of the siege, the British forces pulled back. The citizens of Dublin, cautious at first, came out of their bunkers and trenches, and some started celebrating. A perceptive few ominously noted the increase in dark clouds. After a day of such phenomena, the storm began. British thaumaturges could be heard, chanting over distant hills. Thunder cracked, and lightning bled the gray sky white. Rain poured down, and the now-shivering citizens found few shelters from the storm. The River Liffey began to overflow its banks, and the annihilation of Dublin had begun.

Far away from the dying city, a last ironclad escaped into the North Atlantic. Onboard were a handful of political refugees from Eireland, and two young children. The two terrified youths had been taken from their parents, and stuffed into a cramped steerage full of pitiful refugees. Bonnie and Sean Ó Conaill had been taken from Dublin several nights before. Now, without parents, on a ship full of strangers, they were content to fall asleep in a dark corner of the cargo hold. Unknown to them, a former privateer was watching them sleep. Having rescued the youths at his late President's bidding, Edward Teach knew it would be a long and distant voyage. The fact all they likely ever knew had been destroyed would be a fact they would find out soon enough.