At the Queen's Command

The First Book of the Crown Colonies
by Michael A. Stackpole

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1763: The Crown Colonies of Mystria are in turmoil, trapped between warring empires and facing insurrection from natives and colonists alike...

Captain Owen Strake, a wounded and battle-weary Redcoat of the Queen's Own Wurms, has come to this untamed land. At the Queen's command, Owen's mission is to survey this vast, uncharted territory, performing reconnaissance of rival Tharyngians and the savage Twilight People of the wilderness.

Prince Vladimir is a Norillian noble, nephew to the Queen. Though he has little real political power, he struggles to ensure the colonists' interests are represented back in Norisle. The one thing he does have is a wurm... one of the few existing dragons from a clutch of eggs discovered in the old world, hundreds of years ago.

As Mystria swirls into chaos, Owen becomes prisoner of a Tharyngian necromancer. Meanwhile, Vlad is to be married off to an old world princess, an alliance supposed to help supply money and mercenaries to put down the various insurrections. But, nobody suspects that Vlad's wurm is about to undergo a change that will impact the world's delicate political balance...