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Cadence is, quite simply, the first part of a novel of the same name. Of course, as a novel of the fantasy genre, this portion of the novel spends the majority of its time establishing key details such as plot, setting, and cast.
This is especially true with Cadence. Because the cast consists of players of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game—or MMORPG—there are a large number of individuals and organizations who take part in getting the various plots—of which a few are begun in part one—from their initiation to their completion.
In Part I, the government of “the country” has been sponsoring a set of virtual gaming worlds as an alternative to life in the real world. This was done in an effort to stem the ever-growing human population and combat rising unemployment and food shortages.
The server on which this particular cast of players...well, play...has begun experiencing a sequence of strange issues—an administrator disappears from the game after admitting the first new player in months, rumors spread of people dying outside of the game after their deaths in-game, and monsters appearing outside of their spawn zones—resulting in considerable conflict between a world that has become accustomed to disciplining its own citizens and handling its own affairs while those in the normal world try to cope with a virtual world that strains against the regulations placed upon it.