Fidelyon: ‘M’ and ‘N’ with Ethaniel

‘M’ with Ethaniel:

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

 

So we come to the middle of the alphabet. And there is pretty much one man who stands out to claim the letter ‘M’: Moritz.

Moritz is the Army General under King Kystan. A Volandum by birth, he traveled back from Voland when Kysten returned nearly twenty years ago now. One of the few survivors of the ambush which struck the king, he has served him faithfully and loyally ever since.

Firm with soldiers, Moritz is known for being a strict general with a touch of harshness. He is not a man I particularity care to run up against. Of course, as a messenger, that shouldn’t be a problem since his authority lies elsewhere…

 

‘N’ with Ethaniel:

The Northern Wastes. Hey, it starts with N. And it’s not a place I particularly want to visit either, though Drexin is keen on exploring there. Even the fact that it lies over the Galatea Mountains in Voland isn’t enough to deter him.

 

 

Frozen leagues of snow and ice, mixed with ravines and stony hills, present a fairly forbidding aspect. I’ve heard the cold recedes during the summer, revealing sparse grass and beautiful golden flowers. But, for myself, I’d not go there for all the flowers in the world. Not with the wolves which are rumored to live there, trained and ridden by fierce riders…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Basically, if you want to visit the Northern Wastes, take Drexin or Jagger. I will be quite happy to listen to your adventures in the shade of a tree or beside a crackling fire when you get back.

 

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Fidelyon: ‘K’ and ‘L’ with Ethaniel

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

‘K’ with Ethaniel

 

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Keros would dream of wearing something like this, but still…

Keros is the natural choice for ‘K’. A fellow messenger, he has also grown to something like a friend during the times he’s been posted nearby. Generally stationed at the neighboring Messenger Outpost 8, Keros had moved up and down the messenger line more than once, filling in for sick or hurt messengers.

 

He is quiet and keeps to himself, though Drexin sometimes manages to get him talking and even laughing. Keros is steady, determined, and quick.

His past is a bit of a mystery although, considering he appears to be a mixture of Volandum and Elentisaren blood, it’s little wonder he doesn’t speak of. He doesn’t speak of himself much at all, really, except to occasionally mention his father who he says he will rejoin one of these days. There are some messengers who doubt such a man really exists, but they quickly learned to keep their mouths shut on such a subjected if they valued their further wellbeing.

‘L’ with Ethaniel:

There are two men who sprang to mind when I was given the letter ‘L’.

The first is Lasher. First a ranger, then a jester in King Kysten’s court, he must be in his 50s at least. Short, wiry, with sharply cut graying hair, he carries himself with preoccupied purpose. He has a dry sense of humor, but not enough to make a good jester. How he got the position is beyond me. Though I am told that he is great at juggling. Especially when it comes to knives. No surprise there.

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Lathen is cloaked in this picture, followed by a close friend and helper, Serin.

The other is also an older man by the name of Lathen. A Volandum Follower, he lives across the border near the main pass between our two nations. A healer and a leader of the Followers of the Prince in his village in Voland, he also has a wry sense of humor and a commanding presence whenever he enters a room.

Both men are very loyal, though Lathen takes a more relaxed view of duty than Lasher. Still, the two could almost be brothers. (They aren’t. I’ve looked into it.)

 

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Fidelyon: ‘J’ with Ethaniel…ahem, Jagger

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

 

Hello, everyone. Jagger here. Ethaniel told me he was doing these post thingys and that he planned to write about me. I told him he’d do no such thing, so now I’m stuck writing about myself…which was my original grand plan, of course.

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I am – or I was, a jester’s apprentice. Besides the awful clothes, the job wasn’t half bad. Juggling is cool enough, as is playing with fire. And one can always get a little extra food by entertaining the maids or serving boys. My preferred choice of occupation is swordsmanship though. And my preferred method of swordsmanship is to fight with twin blades. Double the damage and besides it looks cool. Most who see me fighting say I should be a soldier. I think not. A ranger like my father and uncle, maybe, but not a soldier.

Here are two likenesses someone got somehow. Don’t ask me. They aren’t perfect, though the second one is decent. And I love the clothes…

Why am I living in the palace with my uncle, the jester, and where is my family, you may ask? Quite frankly, you don’t need to know. All that need be said is that I’ve sworn vengeance on the Volandums for the suffering they have caused. But…yes. Moving on.

When I first saw Ethaniel stumble into the courtyard, dusty and with no idea where he was going, I’d no clue I’d have to save him from an assassination attempt later that very day or that we’d be off on a wild race into the depths of legend. I’m still not sure I believe all of it, but my eyes keep telling me so, so I suppose it is true.

Ethaniel is a good friend, whatever he may say or claim. Since – well since two years ago, and the burning of my village and the debasing of my family name, I’ve received pity but not much friendship. Who wants to be the friend of the coward’s son anyway? Ethaniel was never like that. Not that he had much of a choice about whether I was with him or not, but…yes. He’s a good friend. And I’m a good friend to him if I say so myself.

 

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Fidelyon: ‘I’ with Ethaniel

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

 

isen

Picture from Pinterest

Isen claims his position as my ‘I’ word. Not that I’d argue with him about that (or anything else, frankly. He can be quite stubborn). A messenger captain at Outpost Eight, he’s been around for as long as I can remember. Always he has a cheerful word or some random historical fact to share. He also so happens to be the father of Drexin, my best friend, and fellow messenger. And yes, I am sure that Isen’s friendship with me has nothing to do with my own reports about his son’s adventures, skills, scrapes, and determination to travel.

Though not allowed to operate directly under family members, Drexin does see his father quite often. Isen’s wife and daughter live several hours further away in Almathea, but they all meet regularly and, as often as not, I join their family parties.

 

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Fidelyon: ‘H’ With Ethaniel

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

 

I have two friends whose names start with H.

The first is more of an acquaintance since I’ve yet to get to know him better…something I do hope to do one of these days. His name is Haytham and he is one of Elentisa’s oldest councilmen. Don’t for a moment think that ‘oldest’ signifies decrepit in any way. His grip still makes my arm hurt and he claims to be as strong in battle as any younger man. Do I believe him? Yes, I do.

Haytham and Hilith

The name of my other friend is Hilith. Originally a guard in the king’s castle, he was one of the first men Ard recruited while assembling a new Kingsguard. Of course, Hilith grumbles about the hours he’s made to stand in the cold or the late nights on guard, but he enjoys the position and always has a ready quip and flashing smile for every occasion.

 

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Fidelyon: ‘F’ with Ethaniel

‘F’ with Ethaniel:

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

This is the letter you’ve all been waiting for, isn’t it? Admit it, you want to know what Fidelyon means. And if you don’t, then I’m going to tell you anyway. Well, as much of it as I know anyway, which frankly isn’t as much as I’d like to know.

Fidelyon is the word emblazoned on the Shield of the Prince. Gold letters on green in the ancient language…it looks pretty cool. As for its meaning, as far as I can understand, it stands for ‘a faith that gives all’. That seems clear enough, but I’ve a feeling there’s something more, or that the word ‘fidelyon’ is part of a clue.

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You see, in the prophecy about the shield and the spear and the clash, there’s a line that talks about discovering the riddle of the nameless shield. Since it bears the word ‘fidelyon’, I’m assuming that ‘fidelyon’ has something to do with the riddle…whatever the riddle exactly it. I guess that’s why it’s a riddle, because if I knew it then there wouldn’t be much glory in solving it. Still, the shield could give me some help.

For now I’m waiting, hoping that something will happen to reveal the meaning. Until then, let us all keep the faith with fidelyon.

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Fidelyon: ‘E’ with Ethaniel

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

So, I didn’t want to do this…there are plenty of things in this world which begin with ‘E’, like my home country of Elentisa, divided as it is into twelve provinces, or Erathrane Forest, with its dark legends of an Archeress who guards its depth’s with a silver bow, but no… *sighs* Hope says I should talk about myself, Ethaniel.

So here I am. *bows*

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How they get these…photos, they call them, I’m not sure. But I guess it’s a good enough likeness if my friends are to be believed.

Don’t ask about the clothes in these pictures. They are…I’ve never seen them before.

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And that…that is a picture that is not only colored but it moving. Hope says you like that sort of thing.

What, pictures aren’t enough? I’m supposed to talk about myself?

If you insist.

My home is Outpost 7, where Ard is Captain. Seeing as he’s the one who rescued me when I was only three from a Volandum raid, and raised me when no one knew who my family was, it was only natural that I should become a messenger. But I enjoy the work, for the most part. Three leagues in two hours; life could be worse. And with no family, this occupation is a good one. Still, I’m 19 now and may one day join a border outpost or even become a ranger. I’ve not spoken to it with Ard yet, but I think he suspects. I suppose we shall see.

And no, Hope, I’m not telling them about the dreams and nightmares; why would they care about that?

Anyway, I guess…Oh yes, there’s this personality typing thing that Hope likes. I don’t understand it, but these pictures she’s found do describe me, so enjoy them, if they interest you at all for some reason.

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And…that’s it. I’m done. If you really want to know about me more for some reason, you can read Fidelyon whenever Hope gets that account done.

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Fidelyon: ‘D’ with Ethaniel

Ethaniel, the main character in my novel, Fidelyon, has taken it upon himself to introduce you to his world by going through an alphabet of terms and names.

There is only one obvious word to go with ‘D’…Drexin, of course. One of my best friends, Drexin and I ran messages from the same outpost for over four years together. Under Ard’s observation we learned swordsmanship and all manner of fighting techniques, both with and without weapons. Away from Ard’s sharp gaze, we sometimes fell into all manner of mischief. Generally it was Drexin’s fault, whatever he may claim, but together we always worked our way back out again. Normally without anyone being the wiser.

drexin

Drexin (picture from Pinterest)

Drexin comes from a long line of messengers, and his father runs a nearby outpost while his mother and sister live in Almathea. But Drexin himself is determined to travel and explore…in both Elentisa and Voland if possible. Right now he has his eyes set on being a merchant and occasionally interrogates Cedric on what business entails. But that won’t be until after the war, if we’re not able to talk him out of it. Until then, he’s managed to get himself a position as a Kingsguard where at least I can keep an occasional eye on him.

 

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New Fantasy Times: Musings of a Minion

Musings of a Minion

Heroes have overwhelming expectations placed upon them, and villains are pressed into stereotypes, but the one character who no one seems to expect much of are the minions. They work hard too, and they’d appreciate some recognition as this anonymous letter from a minion, delivered by Kirin testifies.

To whom it may or may not concern,

Everyone has a trade or craft or position of some sort, from smiths and bakers, to farmers and soldiers, to architects and sailors. I so happened to choose the path of a minion. Not, of course, that you should ever, ever, use that term. It’s a great inside joke, but do you know how demeaning it is when someone address us as a mere minion of some great leader? No? Well, try it sometime to our face and just you wait. You’ll be sorry.

Because honestly, face it, you use the term minion as if it is degrading. As if we are less than the one we serve, less than other people, and sometimes less than human. Is a soldier in the army treated as less than a person just because he’s under a great general? We are people, same as anyone else. We’ve loyalties, duties, likes, dislikes, families…we aren’t some brainwashed mass who does a villain’s bidding. I’d best add here that villain is just another term bandied about. To us, he is our employer. Perhaps a master. Perhaps a friend. Yes, there are some who might serve him out of fear, but then he’s little more than a slave driver. Generally ‘minions’ work because they choose to for money or for other rewards.new-fantasy-times-pins

We might have ambitions to become like him someday, or we might just be working to put food on the table, but either way where do you think he’d be without others like us? No one, hero or villain, can do everything. So they hire helpers and others volunteer for the job. You don’t see the people helping heroes called minions, do you?

Though, frankly, the gross underestimation that generally comes with the term ‘minion’ does help us out quite a bit. I mean, how do you think we got our jobs? By shooting at a target and the one who hits the least gets promoted? We work to earn our way. If we deal in security, then we are at least a notch above the average shot or swordsman. If we work indoors, we are constantly on the alert. Our rise and fall is intimately connected to that of our employer (do you know how hard it is to find a job after working for someone termed ‘villain’?). This is also the reason a good villain will hire his helpers, not enslave them. But we aren’t just going to look the other way or fall asleep while guarding prisoners (there are severe penalties for that anyway) or (generally) accept bribes. Well, I take that back. It depends on the quality of our employer and what we think the long-term damage will be and how it affects us. The best course of action is to acquire the bribe then go to our employer. Hey, you don’t expect us to act honorably anyway. Why should we?

One thing we don’t do is fight among ourselves. There is a certain code among us, which we all follow for our own good. Sometimes, I admit, some man or woman gets ambitious, but such uprisings are generally put down from the top. Because no house will succeed when ripped apart from the middle. Now there is one exception. If faced with ‘minions’ from a different villain, insults and then blows might fly. But who can blame us? The others are generally insufferable.

We come from all walks of life and for all kinds of reasons. Adventure. Love. Revenge. The need to provide for a family. The experience. If we fail, there are standard punishments like anywhere else. If we betray, we die. But if we work hard and use our skills, we are able to obtain a view from the shadows that very few can see.

Remaining nameless to protect myself,

A Sharpshooting ‘Minion’

 

Have any questions, legends, or trending cliches you’d like Kirin Quillblade (or Elena) to address? Please comment below; he promises to at least read what you have to say between his realm leaper’s missions, even if he holds the rights to choose what to write about and what to ignore.

 

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Fidelyon Beta-Readers!

So, if any of you guys remember the blog schedule I wrote up last month, you’ll see that I’m already off track. I know. *sighs* I’ve given up. Kind of. I have the caption challenges on Monday, some steady posts on Wednesday (like the serial story, New Fantasy Times, and articles on publication and Christian writers), and wip and such posts on weekends. Anyway, a pattern might emerge eventually. But…yes, that’s where I’m at in blogging.

Now onto the main purpose of this post. I’m opening up Fidelyon to a select number of beta-readers! You might have read bits about it in the A-Z list Ethaniel is going through. And, finally, I’ve written up a teaser for the book:

Ancient sign, bitter fate,

Scar and oath and quest

Revealing name, brought to light

Power from destroyer wrest.

Ethaniel knows the first stanza of the well-known prophecy by heart. What else could he expect with it repeated in nightmares year after year? As an orphan, with no family name in a land where the exploits of ancestors are as important as a man’s own actions, Ethaniel longs for a chance – any chance, to prove himself.

When a grueling messenger run brings him before the king of Elentisa, a quest Ethaniel never imagined offers him that chance. An oath to the king and an assassination attempt later, the messenger finds himself fleeing through a pathless forest.

Alongside Jagger, a jester’s apprentice from the palace, Ethaniel follows ancient riddles through some of Elentisa’s most treacherous terrain in search of a weapon concealed by the Prince. A shield, the finding of which heralds the end of the age and points to the deliverer who can save Elentisa from her greatest danger. Ethaniel’s duty to his nation and friends is clear. Besides, what else could earn him a name of such honor as the task of finding the shield?

But it doesn’t take long before Ethaniel discovers the greatest dangers are not those he faces on his quest. Deeply laid plots and treachery run further into his misty past than he ever dreamed. The name he is given appears nearly impossible to live up to, no matter what he sacrifices. Prophecies, blackened by his own mistakes, weigh down on his mind. And the promise of the nameless shield he carries hovers just out of reach – the promise of the word, emblazoned across the muted metal.

The promise of Fidelyon

Fidelyon

Collage pictures from Pinterest

Now, onto beta-reading. Here is how it (hopefully) will work

1. Signups will be open for a week (I’ll close them Sunday, September 18th)

2. On Monday, I’ll send out the first part of Fidelyon. The novel is around 150,000 words and is divided into five parts. I’ll be sending it out part by part…you have to deliver the previous part before getting the next one. Unless I’m feeling merciful. *evil laugh* Don’t count on it. I’m working through corrections of my own which will be done by the end of September, but hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with you.

3. I’m dividing beta reading into two parts. At least that is the plan. The first wave will focus on the plot, theme, and characters. The second wave will focus on grammar, spelling, and can also give me overview type comments on particular spots which I’ll have heard about and strengthened from the first wave. You can choose whichever wave you think you fit best. (and, just because you sign up to deal with grammar, that doesn’t mean you can’t comment on the plot too, and visa versa.) Here’s the deal…if you are part of the first wave, it would be nice if you could get me each part back 2-3 weeks after receiving it so that I can incorporate your corrections and send it off to the next batch. And if you’re in the second wave, you won’t get the first part until the beginning of October, but you will have a more relaxed schedule to beta-read. That being said, it would be nice to get all the corrections back by the end of the year if possible.

4. *takes deep breath* So…after having said all of that, this is the first time I’ve tried to organize beta reading this way, and if you think you’ll take longer or something in this schedule doesn’t fit what you are able to do but you still want to beta-read Fidelyon – well, you probably still can. There’s a place in the form below to detail what you need.

5. Andddddd, I think that’s it! Sign-up if you are interested in beta-reading Fidelyon. I’ll send out an email next Monday or Tuesday to everyone chosen to beta-read Fidelyon and we’ll go from there.