The Weaver's Forge
|Title:||The Weaver's Forge|
|Cover Artist:||Don Semora|
|Series:||Earthfleet Extended Universe|
|Publication Date:||November 2022|
The Weaver's Forge is one of several books in the Earthfleet Extended Universe and is a prequel to The Oort Perimeter that covers the adventures of Mike Clayton, Sarah, the young Eric Rogers and a whole other cast of other characters who are fighting hard to save the galaxy from an evil threat that is more powerful than they have ever faced before.
Back Cover Blurb
There is a mystery brewing in the galaxy: Rumors of a powerful enemy moving among the stars, conquering, destroying, and subjugating. But they're only rumors, and flights of fancy, right? That's what Mike Clayton, and the crew of the Sergenious, are sent to discover before rumor becomes reality, and the galaxy is plunged into a nightmare of titanic proportions.
The book starts out with then Captain Mike Clayton being called into the Grand Admiral's office and given a task to take out the newly overhauled starship Sergenious and investigate a growing mystery in the galaxy. However, first he has to gather together a crew for the ship. Of these, he picks Bob Jakes, the young, then Lieutenant JG Eric Rogers, tactical officer Rodney Evans, and several others. Joined by Jordan Decker of the SIC, they strike out into the galaxy in an effort to solve a mystery of why certain people in the galaxy are developing unusual super powers, especially among the Juinah.
Elsewhere, a group of Yettish monks, led by Hector, and assisted by Drod, have a similar mystery to solve, surrounding a strange, rune covered egg that they encounter as part of an archeological discovery at a crystal mine on a distant world. While they are traveling about, trying to discover the truth behind this strange artifact, they are attacked several times, including by greedy Juinah lords, each one of which is fended off by Drod, ultimately resulting in his discovery by Hector to be a group called the Akurakim, a race of battling monks (sorta like the Shaolin) that were thought to have died out centuries earlier. Eventually, for his safety, and to allow him to do his work in peace, Drod takes him to a secret planet, controlled by the Ahurakim, where he can study to his hearts content, slowly unraveling the vast mystery surrounding the Forges.
In the midst of this, a third group, made up of a two man team of Nyuishian Red Paladin agents embark on a mission to steal a mystery device from another Juinah lord, which they succeed at, only to discover that it is a sentient artifact, and eventually that it is a mythical Forge, created by the Weavers. It is initially surrendered to their superiors. However, Jalc and Flake decide to steal it and initially get away with the Forge. But are later tracked down and cornered by Shanomar who initially scolds them for doing this, but later releases them to continue their investigation while carrying the Forge with them.
Meanwhile Mike's team, trying to covertly gather intelligence via the Yandian Master Database discover that the secret location they thought they would find had already moved on. Instead they acquire the services of a Yandian secret agent by the name of Loki who, being as equally curious of the mission that Mike's team is taking on, joins their crew. Using Loki's knowledge, and intelligence, they're able to track down the mystery Juinah lord who was displaying strange super powers, eventually identifying him as Lord Jescar, an infamous, and highly wanted Juinah lord.
After tracking him down, they board his ship, at which point a brief fight ensues, and he's killed. After escaping with his dead body, Mike's team begins to examine the body, only to have it crumble to dust. Shortly after this his clothes liquefy and join themselves to Rodney, revealing at that time that the clothes Jescar was wearing were actually a Weaver's Forge that then merges itself with Rodney as its new host. Realizing the depth of this new discovery, they go back to Earth to report in and update the Grand Admiral on what they'd found. Peterson, the Grand Admiral of Earthfleet at that time, then sends them back out to research this issue further.
Elsewhere, following a clue, Jalon and Flake enter an abandoned temple on a dead world and undergo a series of adventures, almost like a fantasy dungeon crawl, where they are forced to survive against a multitude of obstacles, including two unknown assailants. These are used to test the two Red Paladins to ensure they are worthy to wield the Forge they possess. Having passed the test, they are greeted by a Weaver named Gahal. He then explains who he is, and the purpose of the Forge that they possess, and its importance to the multiverse as a whole. They also learn that every race, plant, animal and species in the universe is descended from Earth thanks to the creative intervention of the Weavers back when the universe was brand new. He then sends them out with their Forge, which has taken Jalon as its host, to defend the galaxy.
In time the first elements of the Murg begin to enter the dimension and wreck havoc across the galaxy, destroying entire planets, and their populations, and exterminating their inhabitants. Eventually Mike and his crew stumble onto a Murg carrier and engage it. And, while the carrier is able to stop Rodney, despite his enhanced abilities, provided by his Forge, which he calls Jed, the Sergenious is able to take advantage of this brief opening to destroy the now defenseless carrier. Jalon and Drod also encounter the sentient, robotic combat forces of the Murg and engage them, successfully destroying each one they find with impunity. Mike reports this to the Grand Admiral, who then sends reinforcements. Rodney soon learns about the other Forges and the team then cooks up a plan to draw in the Murg forces and defeat them. To help with this, Peterson sends shipkiller reinforcements to help.
The three Forge wielders, and their companions, soon gather at a remote, uninhabited planet where they plan how to draw in the Murg capital ships to keep them occupied until they can come up with a way to win this fight, as they all know they're outmatched. This will also draw in, and tie down the three Murg Forges in one place and keep them from causing harm elsewhere. The battle soon begins and the three Weaver's Forge holders battle it out with the three Murg Forge holders, eventually leading the battle into a stalemate. Up in space Mike and his fleet are doing everything they can just to survive their fight with the Murg capital ships. But just when the fight gets its darkest, Gahal shows up. This, however, also draws out the Murg, who outnumber him four to one, and trap him, demanding his surrender.
This, however, was planned for by Gahal, at which point his reinforcements, a group of Benoi warriors, lead by Azom, show up and force the Murg into surrender. The Murg are they forced to recover their Forges, and withdraw their ships. In exchange, Gahal withdraws his Forges as well, leaving the dimension entirely under the capable protection of the Benoi. He then leaves the dimension, never to return again. However, as one last parting gift when he leaves, he returns everyone to their homes, where their lives return to normal again.
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