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What Has Gone Before

Under the CoDominium, under the Empire of Man—for six centuries Haven had been a place of exile, a dumping ground for the unwanted, the inconvenient, the dissident, and the criminal. There the weak died and the strong, the clever, the hardy survived; just barely, for Haven was among the harshest of all the worlds settled by man, a world described by its discoverer as a place where life had, not precisely a niche, but a loophole. The last survivors of the gene-engineered warriors of Sauron found it a haven indeed, fleeing the burning wreck of their world and the shattered chaos their attempt at conquest had made of the Empire of Man. Civilization was nearly dead among the stars, and wholly dead on Haven—destroyed in the Saurons' initial bombardment. Technology was ruthlessly suppressed, lest the Empire of Man find the last Sauron haven. A priestly caste, hidden from all but the highest ranks, tended weapons and equipment that no soldier understood.

From the Citadel and their lesser Bases the soldiers of Sauron began to breed their Race anew, and struggled to subdue their new home. From it they took tribute, most of all, the tribute maidens for their breeding program. The best of their children were bred back into the soldier stock, the rest exposed on the culling grounds.

Three hundred years later, two children were rescued from the culling field of Angband Base, a brother and a sister. The sister became Judge of the Bandari; the brother, Juchi, later called the Accursed, rose to be war-captain and khan among the nomads. Together they cast down Angband.

Juchi is dead, but his children and his sister live. Together they have raised the valleys and the plains, nomad and farmer, Turk and Americ, Russki and Jew—united for the first time. United in Holy War against the Citadel. For three hundred and fifty years the Saurons have ruled Haven. Now is the time of . . . Blood Vengeance.


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