Dragon's Gambit

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Dragon039s gambit.jpg
Title: Dragon's Gambit
Cover Artist: Don Semora
Genre: Christian, Scifi, Survival, Adventure
Series: The Offworld Chronicles
Publication Date: February 2018
Media Types: Print (paperback) and Ebook
ISBN: 978-1370129478 (ebook) 978-1940155456 (print)
Preceded By: The Race
Followed By: Gold Rush

Dragon's Gambit is book 2 in the Christian Survival Adventure series, The Offworld Chronicles and continues the story of Simon, his team, and their travels, adventures and experiences through the territory of the Four Kingdoms, the Westlands, and onward to Kestrel Weyr in the company of the courageous, yet reserved Maggy as the team pushes onward towards the finish line.

Back Cover Blurb

Hunted by the armies of the Four Kingdoms, harassed by the controllers, and caught in the middle of a war between good and evil the likes of which they have never seen, Simon's team must push forward through it all to reach the wintering grounds before the first snows begin to fall. But with dragons, demons and angels involved, nothing is as simple as it seems. With threats of death on every side, reaching the wintering grounds may be the least of their worries, as surviving what lies ahead will be their greatest challenge of all.


After dropping them off in Subton, Clifford wishes Simon and his team good luck, then heads back out to continue scouting for salvage and floundered ships. Simon's team then heads out into Unity territory to resume their journey. However, on their first night out they stumble across a patrol of Unity soldiers, resulting in a brief firefight. This encounter then forces them to retreat to Subton where they're given a boat in trade and use it to go up the river to escape their pursuers. General Amaroth, having heard the news, gives pursuit. After dodging Unity boat patrols sent to hunt them down, the team lands in Drak Mardin, which soon comes under dragon attack, forcing them to flee. During the attack, Simon is taken captive by a dragon, who it turns out is Weyr Master Zek. He then introduces himself to Simon, and the two talk for some time. In the midst of this, Fallon contacts him and they discuss Simon, causing Zek to suddenly realize that, while he had saved Simon, he'd left his team behind, not realizing they were the ones his grandson had asked him to protect. Frustrated, Fallon goes off in search of the rest of the team in hopes of saving them, despite the odds against him.

Back in Drak Mardin, Alex and the others have successfully fled the city, while unfortunately suffering severe injuries in the process, and escaped to a nearby hill for safety. Down below them in the city, Amaroth and his men arrive and begin searching for Simon's team, much to Alex's dismay. Seeking to flee to safety, they quickly descend down the backside of the hill, but their forward progress is hindered by their considerable injuries. Realizing that, if he doesn't do something, they're all dead, Alex leaves the team in Trevor's hands and heads back to the city to buy them some time. He's able to successfully hold off Amaroth's troops for a time. However, he eventually runs out of ammo and dies while trying to withdraw. Amaroth's troops then catches up to Trevor and the others and prepares to execute all of them. However, before he can, Fallon appears and surrounds the entire team with his force field, protecting them from a powerful hail of Unity gunfire. This leaves Amaroth enraged and he orders his men to keep shooting, no matter what. As they do, Fallon struggles to keep his shields up as they are slowly running out of power and will soon fail. However, before they do, Zek and his dragons arrive and begin to decimate Amaroth's troops, wipe them out down to the last man. Zek himself, as the others are finishing off the Unity soldiers, lands next to Simon's team and surrounds them with his own shield, taking over for the now exhausted Fallon. He then turns his attention to Amaroth, whom he hits in the chest with an exploding fireball that launches the general into the air and through the trees.

Once Amaroth and his men have been dealt with, Zek sends his dragons in search of Alex while he busies himself healing Simon's injured team. However, shortly after this, Sheobaal appears and attacks Simon in a fit of rage, angry that his plans to exterminate him and his team had once again been thwarted. Zek tries to stop him, but is sent flying into the distance, along with Fallon. Sheobaal then returns to choking Simon to death, but is interrupted when Caleb reappears and demands that the demon unhand him. The demon at first refuses, but upon realizing he's outnumbered he obeys, then leaves. Fallon soon returns and takes over for Caleb. It's not long after this that Zek returns as well, relieving Fallon and allowing him to return to the weyr to recharge. Zek and Simon's team talk briefly about recent events, and then come to the horrifying discovery that Alex has died. They bury him and then spend the rest of the day mourning. The rest of the dragons soon begin leaving one by one, forced to depart on other missions and assignments, until only Zek remains. Soon he has to leave too, but promises to send another protector to them to help them in their journey. It's not long before Magendra Tallenon appears in the camp and introduces herself.

She then takes up guard duty as Simon's team continues to grieve. The team then moves on. During this time, while talking with Aria, Magendra gains her nickname "Maggy", which the team ultimately prefers to use over her real name, as it's too hard to remember or say. The team eventually reaches the border of Unity territory, after suffering a few brushups with Unity troops, and eventually moves out into the Westlands. After hiking a ways, Simon's team enters the town of Ruby. However, their reception, upon entering, is somewhat frosty due to the presence of Maggy and Yurg, and they are rejected by every inn and tavern in the town. Eventually they meet up with Adam and Martha, a local farm couple who invite them out to their farm, of which Simon's team gladly accepts. Back in Unity, Emperor Kildron, ruler of the Unity Empire, discusses their current situation involving Simon and his team with representatives of Gak and Sheffield. It is at this time that it's learned that Amaroth survived his encounter with Zek, although he came away from the experience heavily injured. After learning from Sheobaal where they went, the combined nations send troops to aid Amaroth in exterminating Simon's team. Back at the farm, a team of bandits approach and are captured. The next morning the team takes the four men into the sheriff of Ruby and hand them over.

The next day Simon's team prepares to leave. But, before they go, they're gifted the four horses of the bandits, who become the four core original members of Simon's horse team. They each take a horse and give it a name they like and feel is appropriate. Simon names his horse "Caesar", Trevor "Spirit" and Birash "Tiny". Aria names their sole pack horse "Trick" as a joke, claiming that she got "tricked" into taking the bags. Meanwhile, over at Trond, Zek learns from Fallon that Amaroth has survived, much to the elder dragon's dismay. They also discuss how this can be used to their advantage. Back on Adam and Martha's farm, a bandit gang show up and threaten the two farmers. However, they soon find out that Maggy secretly stayed behind, to their horror, after which she wipes them out. She then disposes of the bodies, while giving the spoils to Adam and Martha to pick through and use. In gratitude for what she did, Adam and Martha take the newly acquired horses, and gives two of them to Maggy to give to Simon's team, who later names them "Elliot" and "Peddle". Aria ends up making Elliot her horse.

Eventually the advanced force sent out by Amaroth catchs up with Simons team and a battle ensues. Aria is critically wounded in the initial attack. The team then fights back, with Maggy joining in the fray. However, she soon realizes that they planned for her being there and have put considerable thought into how to keep her busy while they exterminate Simon and the others. Just then Garloond arrives with his men and exterminates Amaroth's men, saving Simon's team. After the battle, the two dragons introduce each other, and Simon's situation is explained to Garloond, who has his men gather them up and carry them away to the safety of Kestrel Weyr. As they're being flown to safety, Amaroth catches up with his advanced force and and finds they've been decimated. He then discovers that the dragons have saved Simon's team and taken them away from the area. He resumes pursuit. Back at Kestrel Aria awakens finally, and is rejoined to her team. This entire event has a huge impact on the team. Amaroth continues to give pursuit while the dragons discuss what they will do about it, and what he's done.

Later on Zek meets with his masters, the controllers, and requests two things from them. The first is the destruction of the Four Kingdoms, while sparing those within their borders who aren't part of them, and thus are innocent of their crimes. The second is permission to fulfill their right of revenge against Amaroth's army. The controllers agree to both of these requests, and then return Zek to his home. Zek then contacts Weyr Master Akhur and tells him that he's clear to begin his revenge against Amaroth. The dragons then hunt down and wipe out Amaroth's army while the controllers exterminate the entirety of the Four Kingdoms. After this Garloond and Maggy begin to talk and a love interest grows between them. Winter soon sets in and everyone begins to take note of the fact that nothing has died, no leaves turned or fallen, etc. Everything is green. The others find this strange, but simply contribute this to being one of the oddities of the planet of Offworld. The team then spends some quality time together as a family of sorts as the book ends.

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