"It's Not The Power That Makes A Hero..."
The universe grows cold, its energy diminished, it is stagnant, dying. "Creator" and "Mentor" discuss the current declining state of the universe. Mentor suggests a plan to break the stagnation. Creator should 'mark' a single individual on each world with a touch, leaving a sign (the Sigil) and incredible power... and see what develops. Each sigil-bearer will be given no warning, no direction, and no guidance. Their individual choices and use of their power will result in breaking the balance of power, releasing energy through conflict... and conflict forms leaders...
Next stop in the CrossGen Universe is Tanipal, ruled by the Sultan Ronolo. It's a world on the brink of interstellar war with a fragile truce in place between the Saurians and the Planetary Union. Samandahl Rey ("Sam") and his partner Roiya Sintor are there looking for work and entertainment. Sam jumps to participate in an illegal game called 'tooth 'n claw' where six contestants electronically control living, fighting pseudosaurs in a fight to the death - winner takes all. During the fight, Sam reveals disdain for someone he refers to as "Loser"! While Sam is occupied, Roiya is approached for a dinner date by a stranger with orange eyes.
Meanwhile, Mikel, a representative of the Planetary Union, is pressing for a formal alliance with Ronolo and guarantees protection from the Saurians if their Vesper Accord is approved. During their discussion, the Sultan realizes that one of his thirteen wives is missing, suspends negotiations, and sends his guards out to search for her.
After winning in the pits, Sam sees an attractive woman hiding in the shadows. At first, he mistakes her for a lady of the night, but immediately realizes this may not be so. He tells her that this is not a good place to hide and says, "Go home. Please." The Sultan's Guards soon storm the arena and declare they are hunting for any information regarding the Sultan's kidnapped wife, Zanniati!
Suddenly, a Saurian assassin squad drops into the arena under orders from Saurian Prince Tchlusarud, the one Sam had called "Loser"! They have one mission - to capture Sam. "All others are expendable." In the ensuing fight, Sam is tackled by an extremely strong Saurian who is not a part of the assassin team... a Saurian, with strange glowing orange eyes. He touches Sam's chest and says, "You will find them, gather them, and lead them." then literally disappears. While Sam is distracted by this encounter, Roiya is dealt an apparently fatal blow.
The mysterious woman, the orange eyed stranger (revealed to be a Tanipal Security Agent), and Sam's pseudosaur help Sam retreat back to his ship with the severely injured Roiya! However, they appear to arrive too late even for the advanced medik station on his ship, the Bitterluck! As Roiya tells Sam to let her go, he cries out in grief and rage! On his chest, where the Saurian had touched him earlier, a red and yellow symbol (Sigil) appears, seems to activate and explode, destroying part of the city and leaving Sam unconscious on the deck of his ship...
Note: Each of CrossGen's titles is a self contained story line, presenting stories in a particular genre. "Sigil" represents science fiction and space opera. You do not have to read all of the titles to understand what is going on. However, there IS a very interesting back story which ties all of the books together. Each story contains clues and ties to the entire CrossGen Universe and a much richer, bigger story.
Next book for the 'big picture' of the Crossgen Universe: Scion #1
Previous book for the 'big picture' of the Crossgen Universe: Mystic #1