Cover art by Robert Stein III.
When Chup's castle fell to the forces of the West, the ex-lord was reduced to beggary at its gates. Each day he faced the Black Mountains of the East to which he had sworn fealty – and where he hoped his unclaimed bride still waited.
Behind, the West plotted to assault the Black Mountains with their new weapons from the forbidden lore of Old Technology. Ahead, lay the three most powerful lords in all creation. One was good, one was Evil, one was immortal.
knew the East would not help him unless the could profit by it. Nor
could he refuse anything asked of him and still survive. If they
reached him in any way, he might be both blessed and cirsed. and then,
one howling, windy night, came the deformed luminescence of a demon...
Fred Thomas Saberhagen (1930–2007) was a Chicago-born American science fiction and fantasy fiction author most famous for his Berserker series of science fiction stories.
He also wrote a series of vampire novels in which the vampires (including the famous Dracula) are the protagonists, and a series of post-apocalyptic mytho-magical novels beginning with his popular Empire of the East and continuing through a long series of Swords and Lost Swords novels. Saberhagen died of cancer, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons.