|First printing||September 2001|
Odyssey is the first novel of the Odyssey Cycle and the Mirari Saga, the first new storyline to take place after the epic Weatherlight Saga. This story is continued in Chainer's Torment and then in Judgment. The Mirari Saga continues in the Onslaught Cycle, which begins with Onslaught.
Odyssey was written by Vance Moore and published in September 2001.
The journey begins anew.
The apocalypse has come and gone. The landscape is blasted, and civilization has been torn asunder. The world has turned to pit fights and blood contests where quick wits and a good grip on the blade may keep a man alive for another age.
Amidst this life-and-death struggle arises an artifact of compelling power. None can resist it. All desire it. But only one can hold it.
The action takes place several years after the Phyrexian Invasion on Otaria, one of the least devastated regions during the conflict. In the south of the continent, the Cabal controls several cities, the most important being Cabal City; its main activity is to organize gladiatorial pit fights to entertain the population and to finance its slow bid for power for the entire continent. Its members summon nightmares and monstrosities to fight, and resort to extortion, trickery, and backstabbing to reach their goals. It is led by the Cabal Patriarch.
The Order is a military organization which controls the north of the continent and loathes the Cabal's black ways, but is too stretched to fight it. Trying to bring peace and law to the land, they're forced to fight in the pit fights to gain recognition while they secure their other territories. Pianna is its leader.
Other relevant regions include the Pardic Mountains, home to dwarves and proud barbarians, and the Krosan Forest, which has seen a worrying increase in the savagery of its beasts, threatened both by the Cabal and the Order.
Kamahl, a strong warrior-mage from the Pardic Mountains, arrives at Cabal City at the beginning of the story, lured by a mysterious call that spurs him to fight in the pits. There he befriends a young cabalist, Chainer and a centaur from Krosa, Seton, who has come to plead for his forest, ravaged by the encroaching civilization. Other characters fight in the competition, mainly Lieutenant Kirtar, representative of the Order, and Turg, a frog slave controlled by the merfolk Ambassador Laquatus. Laquatus is plotting against everyone at the same time, smuggling cephalid troops in the city but preparing to backstab the Emperor. His goal a sphere whose lure has also drawn Kamahl to the city.
Before the main event in which the winner can ask for any prize, a Krosan dragon attacks the city, prompting a response from all the pit fighters assembled. Despite Kamahl being he who dealt the killing blow, he remains pinned down underneath the carcass, and Kirtar takes the glory instead. He is offered a reward, and he takes the sphere that is calling to him. He can see in it great visions of battlefield valor and decides to leave for the Order's headquarters to show it to Pianna. Kamahl and Seton follow behind him, as does Laquatus.
The merfolk ambassador, with the help of a brainwashed Order knight, reaches the Lieutenant and his Captain before the duo can, and is greeted in the Order encampment. Kirtar shows the sphere to Pianna, claiming that it can bring them victory, but she is suspicious and commands him to hand it to her. The aven reluctantly complies but plots a coup as Laquatus also schemes to steal the artifact.
When Kamahl finally infiltrates the city after leaving behind his friend to nurse an injury, the several plans unfold at the same time: Kirtar tries to gain control of the Order with the sphere, but its power is too much for him and devastation ensues, leaving him and Pianna dead, and the city in ruins. Kamahl struggles in the rubble to recover the artifact, but Turg takes it. With no other choice, the barbarian tries to follow the trail of the sphere.
Laquatus, however, doesn't have it yet, as his slave was forced to relinquish it to a cephalid soldier who immediately left to go to Aboshan, the Emperor. The Merfolk returns to the capital seemingly as a loyal subject but waiting for an opportunity to betray his sire. He plays into his fears, creating a state of crisis and panic as Llawan, the estranged empress, appears to challenge Aboshan's rule. In the meantime, Laquatus frantically searches for the sphere in the imperial treasury with the help of Fulla, a Cabal dementist he had already met while in Cabal city. Kamahl, realizing that the sphere is underwater, has momentarily settled in Borben, a coastal town, waiting for the situation to develop.
One day, Aboshan feels an unknown call and gets the sudden urge to visit his treasury. There he stumbles on the sphere, which is revealed to be named the Mirari. The artifact gives him a vision of a landless sea, and he attempts to make it true by unleashing its power. Like Kirtar before him, he cannot control it and causes widespread disaster and devastation, submerging a third of Otaria and destroying his capital. Laquatus and Fulla manage to stop him before the damage is too great, at the cost of Turg's life. The seat of Mer's power in ruins, the cabalist, and the ambassador leave for Cabal city, carrying the Mirari with them. Kamahl, who survived the inundation, also set for the same destination. The story continues in Chainer's Torment.