Warning: This page contains spoilers
This is a summary of the events and characters in Fate Of The Slayer, book 3 of the Rakkan Conquest series.
Fate Of The Slayer continues following two related plotlines that converge at the finale. It’s therefore easier to explain them separately here.
The first is with the rakkans in Viridia and Warlord Hadrian’s ambitions as he vies to overthrow the Torian Empire. The second follows Darius in his journey, which is closely linked to the humans in Toria. The King has captured Selene and used his cogi to warp her mind in order to infiltrate Darius’s party for reasons which do not become clear until the end, and she is with Darius as he slowly becomes more like the warrior he once was and steps up to accept his fate.
After the destruction of Laltos at the end of Viridian Legion, Warlord Hadrian is forced out of the ruins by the Xavalans but has mostly achieved his revenge. He is now at war with both the rakkan city of Margalvia (the Black Legion and the humans from Laltos residing there) as well as Xavala (the Silk City) and Toria.
As the book begins, we learn that Hadrian’s first priority is no longer conquest but hunting for the Waif Magician in order to get the Staff of Arria, and later, we discover he intends to use it to take control of two fabled swords. Whoever wields these weapons, known as the Twin Blades of Trogus, is deemed worthy of becoming Overlord of all the rakkan cities and legions, and Hadrian’s plan is to use that power to rule the other rakkan legions, then continue his war against the humans.
The plot begins with a meeting called between the four rakkan warlords—the Black Warlord, Viridian Warlord, Azure Warlord and Branz Warlord—in neutral territory, and the discussion is around whether the Urukan Treaty was broken when the Viridians attacked Margalvia’s tunnels within the mine. Warlord Hadrian has already bought off the Branz Warlord, so nothing is achieved at the meeting, and it is adjourned with Margalvia saying the Treaty is over and the rakkan war will continue.
After that, Hadrian goes back to hunting the Waif Magician, and we learn more of his strategy for killing her. He’s been capturing algus from the Empire’s west and breaking them through torture to become loyal servants. They are now known as the Subdued, and will be able to fight in the presence of the Staff of Arria when his rakkan legionnaires will be unable to.
While Warlord Hadrian is hunting for the Staff of Arria, the Black Warlord launches an attack on the Urukan Mine and tries to drive the Viridians out. In the process, he discovers that the Branz Legion is also there and mixed with the Viridians. Seeing that the two are now working together, the Black Warlord orders the attack to continue, and in doing so, puts Margalvia at war with both Viridia and Branz.
Hadrian does not respond to this, but continues his search and finally finds the Waif Magician in the Cliffs of Aphatos behind the ruins of Laltos. When he meets with her, he finds that she is willing to help him, so rather than take the Staff by force, they agree to work together to get him the Twin Blades of Trogus. Now with everything he requires, Hadrian and a small army march to Mount Psilos, the last place the Twin Blades were ever seen.
It is here that the plotline converges with the second one.
DARIUS & SELENE / TORIA PLOTLINE
Darius begins this book exiled from Margalvia and wandering the land, fighting the raiding Xavalans and Torians wherever he chooses as well as continuing his hunt to kill Hadrian for destroying Laltos and killing Brutus. He’s also conflicted as to whether to hope Selene is alive or not. He never found her body but doesn’t want to give himself false hope.
Darius ends up going south of Margalvia to meet with his grandfather for the first time, who fills him in on some of his past as well as encourages him to step up more and not accept his fate as a nomad. It is there Darius also meets his mother for the first time since he was a boy. She is a cruel woman that lays the blame for the death of his brother on him, and his grandfather sends her away when it’s clear she cannot be civil. Darius is a little shaken by the encounter but soon shifts his focus back onto the war.
He’s still in close contact with Lex and learns of the meeting of the warlords, deciding that this is his best chance to assassinate Hadrian. So he travels to the Urukan Mine and meets Lex there. Here he sees for the first time how poor in health Lex has become, crippled by chronic pain and still devastated over the destruction of Laltos and death of Selene and her father.
But unknown to them, Selene is alive and is in the hands of the King of Toria, under the care of the King’s Sword, the King’s Orator and Nikolaos. At the beginning of the book, she is being trained by Nikolaos to act exactly as she once did, as well as hide the signs of her mind blocks at work. During this time, we also learn several things: the King is actually a goman in disguise (with the former king remaining as merely a puppet for show) and the King’s Sword is actually one of the Waif Magician’s brothers and has cogi of his own, but he’s been warped by the King like a Numbered so that he remembers nothing of his past. But it explains why he is the most feared fighter in the Empire.
After the warlords’ meeting, Darius’s attempt at killing Hadrian fails, but he does manage to rescue some children from a Viridian Camp as well as Gorgias, who had been captured months ago and had become a Subdued. The man is clearly broken and a ghost of who he once was, but Darius grows to trust him more the more time they spend together, and Gorgias sees Darius as his new master.
Lex is frustrated at the failure but insists on continuing the hunt for Hadrian, so they travel through the mountains and towns in search of him or the Waif Magician. It is here that they meet Aran, the Chief Priest of the Diagathic Order, which is the adopted religion of some in the Empire. Aran is the only man that can bond escorts to algus, and Darius witnesses a bonding ceremony for the first time. But he later discovers that the man has been following him via a pteron escort (reptilian flying animal) for months, and seems to have spies throughout the Empire that give him information. The Chief Priest begins insisting they head to Mount Psilos and will find Hadrian there, but Darius is preoccupied with the arrival of another person.
Selene is eventually taken to be tested in the Silk City before travelling further west to reunite with Darius. When she finds him, he feels he should have searched harder for her. Lex is suspicious of the woman almost at once due to small irregularities in her behaviour, but when she discusses it with Darius, he’s reluctant to believe they should be suspicious, instead believing Selene’s cover story—that she was captured by the Viridians and tortured.
But as time passes and they travel together, more irregularities become evident, and they eventually confront Selene to find out the truth. Selene then switches to another cover story, that she had stayed with the Waif Magician, and that makes them suspect her mind has been tampered with and gives them another reason to find the Magician before Hadrian.
But when they finally reach the Waif Magician, they are too late, and Hadrian has already brokered a deal with the woman. They must now rush to Mount Psilos and cut him off before he gets the Twin Blades.
On the way, they pass through the town of Menara to find the Chief Priest has unwittingly instigated a slave rebellion to overthrow the algus there. Darius isn’t sure how to react, but will not allow the slaves to fight with him in the battle to come; they are too outmatched.
Meanwhile, the King’s Sword is sent to Mount Psilos with a command of his own, which is relayed to Selene. They must take the Staff of Arria during the forthcoming battle, then kill Darius once it’s secured.
The Black Legion joins Darius at Mount Psilos and they journey to the crater on top of the mountain, where the Twin Blades rest protected by a ball of ferven that kills anyone that approaches. Here they meet the Viridian Legion and Waif Magician, and battle ensues.
During the battle, the King’s Sword takes on the Waif Magician, soon joined by Lex, Selene and other algus. But, apart from the King’s Sword, they prove no match for the Magician’s cogi.
In the Staff’s presence, Darius and the other rakkans cannot fight her, but he sees Lex take a nasty wound and seem to stand no chance against the woman. So Darius does the only thing he can. He decides to take the Twin Blades and use them against the Magician. He uses his algor to battle through the ferven protecting them and finally manages to take hold and control their power.
With them in hand, he finds he’s less weakened by the Staff and rushes to join the fight with the Magician. With him there, the King’s Sword finally kills the Waif Magician, but Darius manages to push the algus into a crevice, leaving only him, Selene and Lex. At this point, Selene reveals her true intent and tries to kill them and take the Staff for herself. Darius is forced to kill her and her body falls with the Staff into the crevice also.
Although the Magician is dead, the battle still rages, and Darius realises he must use the Twin Blades to invoke rakkan law and control the legions, ending it.
Once he brandishes them on the battlefield, he kills Hadrian, using the Blades to slice clean through the warlord’s kuraminium armour. He then finds the Viridians obey him through fear of the power within his new weapons, and he orders the Viridian Commander Rufus to become the new Viridian Warlord, the only rakkan from the city he’s met that wasn’t a savage.
The book ends in Toria. Although the King’s Sword and Staff of Arria fell into a crevice and are thought lost, the King’s Sword survives and makes it back to the capital with the Staff. The King’s plans have succeeded if only in part.
Darius is forced into positions he is at first uncomfortable with in the story. He gradually takes on more responsibility and leadership under the insistence of others, but is always reluctant to until the end. After taking the Twin Blades of Trogus, he finally begins to see himself as a leader but is also deeply affected by Selene’s death.
When he learns it was the King that warped her mind, he vows revenge, and now has armies to help him get it.
Lex is instrumental in helping Darius to step up and become the leader she knows he’s capable of being. She’s always seen he was a man that could unite humans and rakkans, but he just needs a nudge in that direction.
She is broken in spirit and body at the beginning of this book, after the destruction of Laltos. But she soldiers on and refuses to give up. Eventually, she finds a tea that helps with her chronic hip pain thanks to the Chief Priest, and also finds herself being more attracted to Darius as he does become more powerful and confident. But she will still not risk a relationship with him beyond their friendship.
The Chief Priest is a mysterious man, and we find out that he has bonded multiple escorts to himself and uses them to keep abreast of everything happening in the Empire. He says that he’s tired of watching the people slaughtered in war and will help Darius to end it, and indeed does so throughout the book.
Rufus is introduced in this book and is the viewpoint from which we see most of Viridia’s storyline. He is a Viridian Commander, son of Hadrian, and one of the most brilliant military minds that Hadrian has at his disposal. However, Hadrian is not always receptive to Rufus’s ideas and looks down on him because he is physically weak and rarely engages in combat himself. Rufus and Darius meet at various points in the story, and Darius is impressed to finally meet a Viridian that isn’t purely savage, yet it is also clear that Rufus is just as pitiless as his father when striving to achieve his ambitions.
When Rufus is instated as Warlord at the end, he doesn’t care that his father is dead and is only thinking of how he can hold onto the position he’s craved for all along.
The King’s Orator is the closest confidante of the King and is behind many of their plans. She’s also very attached to the King’s Sword, and although there is no romantic relationship between them, she cares for him more than anyone else.
The King’s Sword is effectively a Numbered, but also returns the care the King’s Orator shows towards him. He is unaware of his relation to the Waif Magician, even when he kills her, and although he falls into a crevice at the end of the book.
Sulla is keen to get Darius invited back to Margalvia, and when that doesn’t happen, he goes out to help him and Lex. He’s continually loyal to Darius and never afraid to back him with the help of the warriors under his command as Militia Chief.
Nikolaos is once again a pawn in the schemes of those in charge in Toria. After helping the warped Selene to act more like she once had, the King has enough of him and executes him.
Hadrian is the main antagonist. He still has a narcissistic belief in his own divinity, courtesy of his links to his grandfather (Hadrianus the Great), and his main aim is to punish the humans in a bloody campaign. But he is brutally killed at the end by Darius.