'The Desert Tower' is a working title, first of all; some day I will be struck by something more specific to the story, I hope. I've just been calling it that ever since I started to write it, since a tower does figure prominently in the storyline.
The central action here takes place in a small desert kingdom called Shantiis, on a fantasy planet named Septerra Celinae (it has seven moons). Shantiis is a young, small, but extraordinarily prosperous kingdom, and it has existed in relative isolation ever since its foundation some centuries ago. According to legend, several wandering tribes came together to create Shantiis after they came upon its central structure, a palace-temple, already built and waiting for them. An oasis surrounds the palace-temple, and the country's thirty-mile radius contains numerous valuable resources, including a pure well-spring of aether, the magical substance that powers almost every engine of science and magic on this world.
Damayanti is a citizen of this kingdom, unknown to anyone except as the child of a murdered woman. He has been away from his home for six years, studying in a prestigious academy on another continent. While there, Damayanti spoke to no one of his true home, fearing its exploitation, but he cannot stop the inevitable--somehow, some way, Shantiis is discovered by the outside world. Referred to as 'Concordia' by outsiders, foreigners with many interests soon descend upon this unsuspecting, unprepared kingdom. Shantiis practices a religion named after their masked god, the Path of the Harmonious Deity. This religion prescribes strict pacifism, even when to respond non-violently may mean violence to one's person. As a result, the palace guard is merely ceremonial; their training exercises meant for spiritual expansion, not war. No other formal military exists, nor any concrete notion of how to deal with overseas interests that may mean the kingdom harm.
Thus, when Damayanti returns home after his years away, he is determined to protect his homeland--regardless of what it costs.