It’s 220 B.C. The ancient Western Empire is crumbling. In a desperate bid to save his throne, the Greek king over Babylon sends his son, Antiochus, a dishonored warrior, into the mysterious land of the Far East to capture a mythical creature that will give him absolute power: a dragon. What he finds is an exotic world ruled by a brutal emperor on a mad quest to find the elixir of immortality.
Character Images created by Cam Harless and Brian Godawa.
© Copyright 2023 Warrior Poet Publishing.
Antiochus the Younger (Xeneotas)
Xeneotas in China
Disgraced general of the Greek Seleucid army in Mesopotamia. In order to redeem himself, and rescue his king’s failing power, he embarks on a journey to the Far East to capture a dragon. He is haunted by his own identity as a man without a country or a religion. His journey will force him to face his own beliefs and survive in this exotic and dangerous new land.
Antiochus the Great
The king of Seleucia in Babylon. He is older and weary of all his conquering. And he longs for his past, a Chinese concubine with whom he shared forbidden love. When Xeneotas, his most trusted leader, disobeys an order of the king, Antiochus must make the terrible decision to execute him. But he has an idea that may save Xeneotas’s life and the kingdom.
An Asian maidservant in the house of the Seleucids when King Antiochus was a young man. She became his secret love and the mother of Xeneotas. The king is tormented by the forbidden love he could never allow to blossom to marriage because of her identity.
Magus of Babylon, priest of Marduk, king of the gods. Close friend of Antiochus the Younger (Xeneotas). He is trained in the occultic arts of alchemy and astrology, as well as the sciences. Because his order of magi was trained by an ancient Hebrew prophet, he carries a secret prophecy that could destroy the plans of the emperor of China, a tyrant who thinks he is a god.
The eldest of the magi triple brotherhood. He is the next in line for the high priest of their order. He is an intellectual who has studied the mysteries of knowledge only to come up disillusioned by the fact that the world is ruled by power, not wisdom. And he argues incessantly with Gaspar, who seems to offend him constantly.
A jolly magus, a bit too light-hearted, and a bit overfed. He likes his food. But his sense of humor may be the very thing that saves the trio of magi from their own self-importance. Gaspar is a man of science, who secretly has trouble believing his own religion. But when he meets Shang Di, it changes his life forever.
Leader of the rebel Median forces against Seleucia. If he successfully invades Babylon, it will lead to the domino falling of the entire Seleucid kingdom. But he has not ye encountered the brilliant strategy of Xeneotas (Antiochus) and his Babylonian Magi.
Bodyguard and aide to King Antiochus. He will protect the king at all costs, even with his life—even if it requires killing the king’s bastard son, Xeneotas. And that is exactly what he’s been ordered to do.
Chinese academic scholar captured while invading Babylon. He teaches Xeneotas (Antiochus) his language and acts as a liaison for the Greeks in Tianxia. But Chang hasn’t translated every secret he knows. Some of those secrets may cost Antiochus and his Greek comrades their lives.
The high god of Babylon. This marauding storm god does not know when to stop when it comes to ambition and power. But he will meet his match in the gods of China.
Ch’in Shi Huang Di
The first emperor of China. He is a man with absolute power, who seeks to establish a unified China that will last forever. And if he finds the elixir of immortality that he is seeking, he will be the god he already claims to be. When Antiochus arrives in China, Huang Di sees an opportunity to use him and his crew for his own purposes. If they don’t obey, he will kill them all.
Beautiful concubine of the emperor. She carries the secret answer to Antiochus the Younger’s quest. A secret, rooted in the ancient past of the Chinese people, and the royal priesthood of the one God, Shang Di, worship of whom is now outlawed by the emperor. When she falls in love with Antiochus, their forbidden love could bring down the entire empire or get them all killed.
Chief advisor to the emperor of China. He is a Legalist, a believer in the power of strict law created by the emperor, and the elimination of the ancient wisdom of the past, such as Confucius. Why? Because such beliefs question the ultimacy of state power. Li Ssu is grooming one of the royal sons in his philosophy to take over when the emperor dies. So the emperor must die.
Mighty warrior general of the emperor. A eunuch who has known Mei Li since they were children, so he is secretly and hopelessly in love with her. He will do anything to protect her, but if he cannot ultimately have her, then no one will.
General of the emperor. He is a man of honor, a true soldier who avoids politics and sticks to what he does best: war. The problem is that there is no neutrality in politics, and Meng Tian will soon find out that he must make a choice for what side he is on — that of the all-powerful emperor, or the common people, who seek liberation from that oppression in a rising revolution.
A general for the emperor who is given command of the forces on the Great Wall to stop the invasion of giants. But when he becomes leader of the rebel forces against the emperor, he has one last chance to stop the tyranny from destroying the people—or be hanged for treason.
Crown prince, eldest son of the emperor, and next to inherit the throne. Over 20 years old. He is hungry for his birthright and training to wield its power, even if he has to take it by force. And he will.
Crown prince younger son of the emperor. Though he is not next in line for the throne, he is being groomed by the cunning Li Ssu in the way of Legalism to use law for the achievement of power. And he is not about to let his older brother have that power.
The chief magician at the college of scholars in China. He seeks to create the elixir of eternal life for his emperor using alchemy. But unbeknownst to them all, he is creating the source of madness to their god ruler.
Li Bu Hai
A high priest of Shang Di and father of Mei Li. If he can get to the Altar of Heaven before the emperor’s forces crush the rebels, he can perform the Border Sacrifice that will restore the priesthood of Shang Di and crush the power of the Dragon over the land. But the Dragon has sent his mightiest giants to crush Li Bu Hai first.
The Jade Emperor. Supreme head of the Shining Ones of China. He is the Watcher of this mystical land. He secured his spiritual power and authority in the distant past at the Tower of Babel. He has supernatural plans that no one knows about, and he is not the only one.
Yu Huang turning into a Dragon
The Three Pure Ones
Each of the Three Pure Ones represents both a deity and a heaven. Yuanshi Tianzun rules the first heaven, Yu-Qing, which is found in the Jade Mountain. The entrance to this heaven is named the Golden Door. “He is the source of all truth, as the sun is the source of all light”. Lingbao Tianzun rules over the heaven of Shang-Qing. Daode Tianzun rules over the heaven of Tai-Qing.
On the other side of the Great Wall of China are the barbarians called the Xiongnu. They are mysterious warriors who have giants (juren) in their midst. These giants have six fingers and six toes, elongated skulls, two rows of teeth, and are called by a foreign tribal name: Nephilim.
Terra Cotta Warriors
The army of thousands of warriors that Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di created to guard him in the after-life.