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The Prince of Luster and Decay by J. D. Brink

*Not all fantasy heroes are wizards or royalty. Some of them stand unrecognized on the front lines and dig graves with their shields. J. D. Brink joins the likes of Glen Cook in telling stories of uncommon valor among common soldiers.*

There’s nothing Sergeant Jacob Knox would like more than to go home. But if he does, the war might just follow him there.

Knox leads the Head Knockers, a unit of scout-saboteurs in the war against the Dread Duke and his armies. They are the favorite squad among Captain Brighton’s Stormwalkers, until an ambush by shapeshifters kills the Captain, half the company, and Knox’s best men. Now the new Captain has new orders: he’s sending the Head Knockers to investigate an abandoned village, the possible source of the attack. It’s just Knox, his sword, and a handful of boys barely old enough to shave against an evil force burrowed deep beneath the dirt streets of an empty town. Waiting for them there is the Prince of Luster and Decay—the demonic embodiment of greed—and it’ll take steel and heart to defeat it.

This sword and soldiery novella is a prequel to the novel Tarnish.