Featherheads is a fantasy novel that my father and I have been collaborating on for years. I don’t read much of the fantasy genre, but Dad devours these books.
There are five kingdoms in all of Cort. The lands are split like the compass rose with Central City at the heart of it all. First City lies to the north, Second City lies to the east, Third city lies to the South, and Fourth City lies westward. There are towns scattered between the cities like the spokes in a wheel, and each town is governed by its closest neighboring city.
It was 1247 when civil war broke out between the cities. Townships fought against Central City over the unjust taxation they received. The war ended with the banishment of the three powerful witches who were accused of controlling the king through magical means, and the death of the king himself.
The soldiers returned home to find their lands taken over by the lords who managed them while they fought. With nowhere else to turn, many soldiers turned to crime to provide for their displaced families.
As with any community, there is a need for law enforcement. Bandits roam the woods on the outskirts of the cities and the new king of Cort, Roderick, created two groups of men and women who would patrol the woods and townships in search of the root of the problem.
The rangers were sent to patrol the forests and given the privilege to fly griffons. Not only were the animals excellent transportation, but they offered a ranger a partner in his lone duties. The griffons choose their riders during training and remain life-long companions. They speak better than most men and have a deep sense of integrity.
The sheriffs were sent out to patrol the townships and cities on the backs of pegasus. They, too, chose their riders during training. Whereas the griffons spoke verbally, the pegasus relied on a telepathic link with their riders in order to communicate. Whether one became a sheriff or a ranger depended entirely on the choice of the two intelligent species who met them.
The cities themselves were powered from beneath the cobblestones by dragons—five in total. Each dragon was kept happy with feedings of goats and the occasional marauder or bandit that the Featherheads brought in for their crimes. No one questioned their existence and no one dared think what might happen should they become unhappy with their treatment.
It is this reason why one unfortunate man named Ron and his conjoined twin, Nor, organized their group of bandits to steal Central City’s dragon.