The Cauldron: A Novel by Russ Morrissey

Feudal Houses vie for power across the vast depths of space.

When House Brotharion instigates a siege of Concordant, the galaxy is thrown into turmoil. Old alliances are broken, and ancient grudges resurface. The Ministers of the Sapphire Star scheme and plot, and the singularity known as The Burn starts to awaken.

As starfleets move, gangsters collude, and pirates find themselves unlikely saviors, something evil stirs. Something from the very dawn of time. 

Amongst the ambitions of archdukes and princes, heroes and villains will rise and fall as the destiny of the galaxy is played out. The galaxy known only as The Cauldron.

A large cast of characters and a plot full of intrigue, horror, and political machinations, The Cauldron is a novel of epic sci-fi fantasy.

A novel by Russ Morrissey. Coming soon.

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“You’re telling me that Jaine ‘Jackhammer’ Devries, the woman who cost me two million jots, the unofficial heavyweight champion of the Cauldron, who took down the Monocee Bruiser in three rounds, to a galactic audience of billions, has simply … disappeared?”

Annalist Willem turned the page, grunting as a drop of foul-smelling water landed on the ancient text. He glanced up at the rusted pipes, part of a centuries-old coolant system. The lower chambers of Trissic Avn University were hundreds of feet below the surface of Lambda U, far from the gilded libraries above. These texts hadn’t been read by human eyes in a thousand years.

   The annalist’s finger traced the antique script, penned by chroniclers long-forgotten. He muttered aloud under his breath, struggling to make sense of the unusual calligraphy. It was written in an old dialect, as far from Cauldron Cant as could be.

   “Sapphire… Star…” His eyes widened. Hurriedly he reread the paragraph he had just finished. Yes, he’d read it correctly. 

   Slamming the book shut, Willem stood, almost frantically. He glanced around, and hurried out of the room, the book clutched to his chest with both arms. Down the old hallway he ran, up the steep, metallic, quarter-mile staircase, stumbling and almost falling to his death at least twice. Up, higher, into the light, where rusted coolant pipes did not drip.

   He burst into the Chief Annalist’s elegant study, slamming the ancient tome down. Dust flew everywhere, and the Chief Annalist coughed, stepping back. Sunlight filtered through the holoblinds, creating long beams of floating radiance.

   “Willem.” The man frowned down at the book on his desk. “Is that from the archives? I thought you were assigned to 73rd Millenium Durasian agriculture?”

   “Yes, my lord.” Willem cleared his throat. “I came across this while researching the … never mind. Look!”

   He stabbed his finger down at the page.  The Chief Annalist peered downward, then balanced a pair of vintage spectacles on his nose. An affectation.

   “What is it, Willem… oh.”

   There was silence for a while. 

   “My lord, this changes everything.” Willem’s voice was trembling. 

   “Yes, yes. I suppose it does. Unfortunate.”

   Willem stared at his superior. “Unfortunate?”

   “Unfortunate that you saw it.”

   “What do you mean?”

   The Chief Annalist touched an intercom toggle. “Gentlemen, you’d better come in.”

   Willem looked around, confused. “What’s going on? Who was that?”

   The heavy door slid open, and two Ministers of the Sapphire Star entered, their long robes trailing.

   “Huh? Ministers? What are they doing so far from Minotaur?” Willem stepped back nervously. Ministers had a reputation. 

   One of the Ministers looked at the Chief Annalist, who nodded his head. The holy man made a gesture with his hand, and suddenly Willem was struck by a wave of intense fatigue. 

   “I don’t feel so…” he managed to mumble, before crashing, unconscious, to the ground.

"Save me, oh Sapphire Star, light me in the dark.
Keep me safe from demons' eye, bless me with your mark.
Light of life, light of hope, hear my plea, my prayer.
Light of love, light of faith, deliver me from despair."

ISBN 978-1-912007-73-8