The story thus far…
13-year-old Star of Rin once lived a normal life, though she has always known without a doubt that she is destined to do great things in time. Her father, Rowan, was once an unlikely keeper of the bukshah; he is now a famous hero, and the Titan of Earth—one of four keepers of deep, Dragon borne magic. Her mother, Zeel, was once captain of the Traveler forerunners, and a lost child of their people's feared and ancient enemy, the Zebak. Star is their only child, and a brilliant writer. She has tasked herself with writing down the adventures her parents shared as children, and hopes to write of their land's great histories.
While Star was away on a trip to Maris, ten Zebak warriors appeared in the village under cover of night, and abducted her mother on the orders of their vicious queen, Zadina—Titan of Fire, who is called Dragon Lord. In their haste, the warriors left behind their youngest member, a boy named Zan Garased. While under arrest, Zan offered the people what information he could, but could give them little comfort. He also spoke of his eldest brother, who had a plan, but could tell them no more about it.
Upon her return, Star was grieved to hear of what had happened, and desperate to rescue her mother. Through the power of the Earth sigil, her father's source of power, she came upon a prophecy that could help her. It spoke of freeing Zan from prison, and letting him lead her into the Zebak lands. But the people were shaken, and would not hear her. Her father, determined to keep her safe, left the Earth sigil in her care and ordered her to return home.
Instead, Star put the Earth sigil around her neck and followed the words of the prophecy. She freed Zan, and together they formed a plan to journey to Habaharan, the Zebak capital city, where her mother had been taken. Before they left, they were suddenly joined by Star's three cousins, who refused to let her go without them. Alanis is the daughter of Strong John, and hopes to be a great leader one day. Forley and Leah are the children of Allun and Marlie—Star's godparents—and have been her constant companions since she a baby. Zan was less than pleased to be in their company; but Star has never known life without them, and gladly let them come with her.
With Fate on their side, the five companions made their way across the Silver Sea on the back of Unos, a working grach who had been taken from the Zebak lands years before, in other tales. Star and Forley were able to disguise themselves, and fit in easily among the people of Habaharan; Alanis and Leah were forced to remain hidden while Zan led them through the city, to the house he shared with his two brothers.
On their way, they encountered a wicked general named Zared Azan, the master of the Garased family, who was surprised and nearly disappointed to see Zan alive. He found the boy's reappearance strange, but seemed to believe the story Zan had to tell him. The general went on his way, leaving them alone; but Star knows it will be far from the last time they will meet.
They also crossed paths with a ragged thief child, who managed to steal the Earth sigil. Star was able to follow her and take it back, though having the precious medallion of her people stolen so easily was a terrible shock. She had forgotten she was wearing it, and brought it with her by accident on her journey. Already, its mystical powers are beginning to change her, and she knows she must now guard it with all her strength. She has resolved to wear it always, and never let it out of her sight.
When they finally reached Zan's house, they were greeted by his eldest brother, Zamiel, who is captain of squadron C-57. This was the team tasked with abducting Star's mother, though it had pained them to do it. They have since freed Zeel from imprisonment and death, and have hidden her in a safe house somewhere in the city. Despite their pleas, Zamiel will not tell them where she is. He is also the leader of a hopeful rebellion to free all the Zebak from the Dragon Lord's tyranny, and guards all his knowledge with painstaking caution.
He has also informed the four children of Rin that there is no escape from Habaharan. The city is like a terrible trap—easy to enter, but nearly impossible to leave. They are now trapped in the Zebak city, with the rest of its people, with little chance of leaving anytime soon.
And so, for now, Star, Forley, Alanis, and Leah are in hiding, biding their time, hoping for a time when they, too, can go free.
Now, read on…