Time for a little teaser from my upcoming book, Bloodlust: Red Glory.
The last thorn in his side over the lead-up to the Grand Championships had been trying to take control of the trade in Kirifan narcotics. These had appeared in Krass shortly after the announcement of the coming championships. The most popular of these, Greensalts, could be mixed into food and drink, and was now the drug of choice among anyone who could afford it. Corvian had given up trying to gain control of Greensalts after every person he sent to investigate either disappeared or ended up addicted to the stuff. It was better to cut his losses, for now.
The crowning use of the information had been to inform one of the Chosen. To many Chosen, nothing was more important than the Great Games. They vied against each other to influence which Gladiators would become Champions. To them, the knowledge that an unexpected Grand Championship would soon be held was worth much to them.
Corvian was a Red at heart. He’d grown up in the shadows of the East Shallows Tallhouses. His father had been a Red and his grandfather had been a Red. Corvian stayed true to his roots, even if he was now a wealthy man and the East Shallows streets were long behind him.
Of course he was also a businessman, and although he favoured the Reds for sentimental reasons, the Blues were more realistic about the value of information.
Two of the Ungifted (no magic) characters in the book are involved in organized crime. One, Corvian, comes by this as honestly as one can — it is the best way out of poverty and into wealth for him.
It occurs to me that politics and the underworld are great venues for “normal” people to gain power in an Empire where most of the positions of strength are awarded to the few Gifted who earn the people’s trust. It bears further examination, at least.
After Breaking Bad, it seemed natural to have one of these Characters introduce a new Drug to Krass.