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An orphan discovers he can wield ancient, mysterious technology but will pay a terrible price if he uses his wondrous skills to fight for his benefactor. As winter settles in an old man sits down to pen the tale of his youth. A sense of melancholy, of love lost, and the disappointment of labors performed in vain cloak his shoulders as he leans forward, the quill in the weathered knuckles of his hand hovering over parchment. Asking himself where it all began was unnecessary ... time could not erase the flames that leapt in his mind's eye. Herein contains Patrin's complete first mission, Greater Things than Thou, All Things Ruin, and That Which Remains From his early childhood memories, kidnapping, salvation, and finally, the betrayal of his best friend.