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This is the story of a hero and a villain.

Birdcage is a web-serial fantasy novel written by Eugene Conard. Birdcage tells the story of Ernest, a young hero who dreams of freeing his world of darkness. After a powerful warlock destroys his home town and kills his mother, Ernest dedicates himself to growing strong enough to avenge the fallen, eventually joining a squad of royal knights. Over the course of this tale, Ernest faces threats to his life and his ideals on his journey to become a legendary hero.

Table of Contents

Chapter I: Darkness, or: the death of a mother

Memory is a fickle thing. I cannot imagine how many things I have forgotten over the course of my life. Entire days, good and bad alik... Read Chapter

Chapter II - Dreams, or: the driving force behind my actions

I was born in a village called Vox in the country Cieleta on the continent of Magpur. Cieleta was a decent sized country centered arou... Read Chapter

Chapter III - Tested, or: the part where a dream comes under fire

The exam to become a knight was split into two distinct parts: a written exam and a combat exercise. Before the Purge, only one in twe... Read Chapter

Chapter IV - Downswing, or: the wager that should not have been taken

Cross and Firebrand led us into the castle throne room, a large open hall filled with golden pillars and crystal chandeliers. Hanging ... Read Chapter

Chapter V - Rescued, or, the unexpected meeting in the dark

My heart thumped a thousand beats a minute as I ran from the Ogre. I bolted out of the cistern and into the unrelenting darkness of th... Read Chapter

Chapter VI - Return, or: the time my legs wouldn't stop moving

MacDonald and I pulled the body out of the river and looked it over. Much to my dismay, I recognized the corpse’s scraggly beard, re... Read Chapter

Chapter VII - Recover, or: the pact I made

A few days later, I finally woke up. Every inch of my body felt like shit. Fortunately, I wasn’t in the crypt. Some knights had foun... Read Chapter

Chapter VIII - Gate, or: the meeting of future friends

“Would you rather have really big feet or really big hands?” I asked.   Sterling leaned back against the gate and ... Read Chapter

Chapter IX - Window, or: the part where expectations are thrown out

“My name’s Roland Rice,” the injured man said. “I’m a traveling merchant.”   “A merchant?” I asked. ... Read Chapter

Chapter X - Protector, or: the battle by the fountain

While Eric was busy breaking into the palace, Sterling and I were doing our normal job guarding the castle gate. Like the previous day... Read Chapter

Chapter XI - Cold, or: the love of a father

Pollux and Castor Gemelo were born in Forenz, a small country to the west of Cieleta, six and a half years before the Purge. Forenz wa... Read Chapter

Chapter XII: Origin, or: the man who killed God

All of Squad V stood at the gate, weapons in hand, ready for the fight of our lives. In the distance, the sun slowly disappeared behin... Read Chapter

Chapter XIII - Mistakes, or: the story told at winner

A few days after the night we stood waiting for Camazotz to attack, the Knights gathered at the palace to receive a speech from the ki... Read Chapter

Chapter XIV - Nightmare, or: the old man at the mine

I was alone in a dark cave. A single candle sat in front of me, the only source of light as far as I could see. Its dim flame glowed w... Read Chapter

Chapter XV - Stone or: the battle with the rock monster

When I saw Jericho Darkholme’s eyes, a fire roared to life within my heart. Years of anger came flooding back at once, flowing throu... Read Chapter

Chapter XVI - Disappointment, or: the warrior duel

I crawled out from a pile of rubble and wiped off the dust. I looked at the pile of rocks that covered the entrance of the mine. “Th... Read Chapter

Chapter XVII - Tea, or: the cursed child

I had mixed feelings about the events in Stonecage. The mission was, on a technical level, a success, in part thanks to my actions. Th... Read Chapter

Chapter XVIII - Princess, or: the cage in the sky

The four of us climbed the winding spiral staircase of the tower, inching towards our new mission. “Are we close to the top yet?” ... Read Chapter

Chapter XIX - Wildfire, or: the locked door

Late one night, the scent of smoke filled the small room at the top of the tower. I woke the others and we unlocked the princess’s d... Read Chapter

Chapter XX - Freefall, or: the freturn of a friend

I slammed into the door with my shoulder as hard as I could. It didn’t budge. “Damnit!” I shouted.   Inside the ... Read Chapter

Chapter XXI - Sacrifice, or: the fate of the prisoner

Cross and I stood in the throne room. It was the day after Eric’s latest break-in. Pollux was at the temple recovering, and Knights ... Read Chapter

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