Fidelyon: ‘B’ 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. Be is a short one…

Blue and silver! No, using a color isn’t cheating, at least that is what I was told. Blue and silver are the royal colors here in Elentisa. You find them ever where. The walls of Almathea. The silver gold and sapphire studded crown. The silver and blue royal cloak. The sapphires embedded in the hilt of the Sword of Kings or in the rim of the Prince’s horn. The livery of the soldiers and the even richer armor of the Kingsguards. They are royal colors and they are beautiful colors as well.

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Fidelyon: ‘A’ 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’s plenty of words here in Elentisa which begin with A, but two stand out.

Firstly, there’s Almathea, our great capital. Based on the banks of the Shimilver River, Almathea is ringed with great walls which appear blueish from a distance, but up close they also reveal specks and lines of silver.

It’s a bustling city, with trading sectors, a wide open forum for daily markets, Sanctuaries of the Prince, the quieter twisting streets of the living sectors… Smoke hangs in the air, along with the scene of flowers and ripening fruit. The splash of fountains slip through the shouts of messengers and vendors, and water pours along the gutters at least once a day, keeping the city clean.

Overshadowing Almathea’s eastern walls looms the castle bluff where the king lives. Bad news if the castle is ever taken while the city still holds out against an enemy. Still, all in all, it’s an ideal city. Of course, Almathea is the only great city I’ve been to, but Ard has been to many cities, or so he claims. And even he grudgingly agrees that Almathea is one of the the cleanest, liveliest city in Elentisa.

Ard, of course, is the other ‘A’. He rescued me from a village destroyed by Volandum raiders when I was very young and raised me even while he ran a messenger outpost. There was never any question of what I’d become. I was one of the youngest runners on the force, and in my spare time Ard’s teaching was detailed, with an intensity it took me years to understand. The swordplay I caught on to well enough. The books and rules of governing…less so. What would a messenger need with such information anyway?

Firm, sometimes stern, yet always with a ready laugh, Ard was always there. Watchful. With an air of expectant waiting. I knew he harbored secrets, and he never denied it. What I didn’t know was how deep those secrets ran. And how closely they concerned me.

 

 

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Mission Accomplished!

Scarlet Rose is completed! Well, the first draft anyway. It is 53 chapters long; 83,144 words.

Now, it is true that I have quite a bit to add to the book; ideas I’ve come up with during the writing. It might be nearly twice the length after my second draft is finished. Right now it’s a bit of a mess. But it’s done! The rough draft is done and I am so happy about it.
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King’s Armor: Prologue

Back in August I posted the prologue of King’s Armor. I’ve since been working at deepening and adding to the whole draft (yet again). A quick look at the prologue will give you an example of how far I have (or haven’t) come.
Seventeen Years Ago:

“This is a waste of time,” Draygan growled. The dim fire glinted dully off his subtly patterned, scale-like skin as his black hair splayed over his bare arms. “One name, Tharib. One word.” He limped about the fire and glowered at the prisoner held in the iron grip of two of his Maligents. 

The man glared back, panting through clenched teeth, sweat and blood streaking his face in the stark moonlight. 

Draygan hefted his barbed flail from one hand to the other as he leaned close. “Where. Are. Lysander. And. His. Family. Lodging.” 

Tharib; picture from Pinterest

The Auloran didn’t reply. 

Draygan whipped his flail over his head, sending the weighted ends slashing across the man’s chest. Tharib gasped as he buckled forward, only keeping his feet because of the tight grasp of his captors. 

The firelight sparked off the red flecks in Draygan’s eyes as he crossed his arms, waiting.
“You can’t win.” The man raised his head, his lips tight but his eyes defiant. “You’ll never win. The Prince has already defeated you.” 

“Then why are you here?” The red flashed in Draygan’s eyes and he snarled out the words as he struck at the prisoner again. And a third time. “Why hasn’t He saved you from me?” 

“He already has,” Tharib gritted his teeth. “The worst you can do is kill me.” 

“Indeed?” Dragyan sneered. “Saved you from what? That will be the question soon.  Doubt will replace the faith in your land. And if the people don’t call to Him for aid, then what aid will He be able to send, I wonder?” 

The prisoner’s jaw clenched. “You have no power over the faith of the Prince’s people.” 

“And you, Tharib, have very little understanding. Surely you’ve heard of the new interpretations on your sacred Declarations.” Draygan leaned close, hissing out the words. “Surely you know the implications of what they say. Your precious accounts of that ancient history will vanish. And without them the Prince will be nothing more than a legend to your children. Which brings be back to our purpose here.” He straightened, twisting the flail in his hands. “Children…or rather, your son. You seem to think you can bear any pain we inflict…doubtful, really, but I haven’t the time tonight to test the theory. The real question is, could your son bear as much as you?” 

Tharib clenched his jaw. 

A footstep whispered from the shadows beyond the small hollow and another Maligent appeared. Draygan glanced toward him, and the Maligent nodded. 

“Shall we fetch him?” Draygan questioned, turning back to his prisoner. “Your Havrain is what…ten? Eleven? He’s sleeping not far from here, I believe, but it would be a pity to wake him for no reason.” 

The man gritted his teeth. “You don’t know where he is.” 

“No?” Draygan beckoned to his scout and the Maligent tossed him a pendant. “How about the lad in a small dwelling a league away?” Draygan dangled the medallion from the chain before Tharib’s face. “The place we found this? Think carefully, because I assure you, if we are forced to take the trouble of bringing him here, your Havrain will face the lash whether you speak or no.” 

Even in the darkness, the man’s face paled and he grunted, jerking against his captors. 

Draygan bent closer, his eyes burning. “Where is the Captain camping this evening?” 

Tharib closed his eyes and bowed his head, breathing heavily through clenched teeth. 

“The Captain!” Draygan demanded, catching the prisoner’s hair and jerking his head back up. “Or shall we fetch your son?” 

“No…” The man’s voice broke and he let out a low groan. 

Draygan tightened his hold. “Lie to me, and we’ll kill your son before your eyes.” 

“By the Gihon.” Tharib’s voice was barely a whisper. “Where the Blackwood and the river meet.” 

Draygan’s eyes glittered as he stepped back and sheathed his flail. “Thank you, Tharib.” He considered the man thoughtfully then nodded to himself. “Bind him and leave him for the beasts,” he ordered, turning away. “Then meet me with the others. I have an oath to fulfill.”

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What Am I Doing?

I’m somewhere between ‘this is a great story’, ‘why did I even start this’, and ‘I’ve no idea what I’m writing’ in Scarlet Rose. I didn’t outline this book as much as some of my others and that is not a mistake I’m making again. Every writer works differently…and I work best with an outline. I’m on building up the climax of Scarlet Rose right now and almost every chapter I’m tweaking a few things or making more changes.
Still, the good news is that the rough draft will be finished in early December (probably). The bad news is that it’s 72,000 words long already. It will probably be around 80,000 by the time I’m finished…and when I go back though for the second rewrite I might add up to twice as much content as I pick up various subplots and add a whole other section to the climax itself.
Originally I hoped to have the rough draft of the first book finished by the new year and I write the next two books next year. I can tell you right now that’s not happening. I’ll probably spend the first six months of 2016 rewriting Scarlet Rose and outlining the next book, Gideon’s Sword. The second half of 2016…well, I suppose we’ll see.
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Maligents

In my book, King’s Armor, the villains of the story are a race known as Maligents (formerly known as Daklins). They are former servants of the King who rebelled and are now locked in a bitter struggle with the Valirs…a struggle most people of Aulora don’t see and which they only experience when the Maligents try to invade their land every generation or so. Simply speaking, the Maligents and Valirs are my allegorical equivalent to demons and angels.
Originally, the Maligents were giants, with rough gray skin, black hair, and ugly features. But I was never quite happy with that look…it was too stereotypical. But I wasn’t sure what else to do until a friend gave me a suggestion; scales.
From scales, the idea swiftly grew to snakeskin type of look. Finally, a way to make the Maligents unique, ferocious, and evil at one time. The Maligent skin is very much like the scales pictured to the side, except it ranges in black to pale gray with snakelike splotches and patterns. They are large, humanoid beings, with long black hair and gray eyes flecked with red.
The Valir, on the other hand, can appear as human if they wish. In their true form, their skin is also scalish, but with a much more wholesome look…golds and browns with underlying designs. Their eyes are blue, flecked with gold and their armor a melding of green and gold-brown.
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Oliver Pent

Time for another character profile from Scarlet Rose. This will probably be the last full one you’ll get for while, unless I’ve forgotten someone (not an unlikely happening).
Oliver Pent is in his 50s, and he’s the one who takes charge of Anna, posing as her father after her memories have been replaced. He’s an interesting character (though currently underdeveloped in my first draft) and a bit sad as well.
He was instrumental in bringing Jasper and the Doran brothers (Preston and Jenson) together and has known Jasper ever since he was young. Oliver has his own hopes for Enigma and, even though he’s worked for the Reasoners his whole life, he frankly doesn’t care if they continue in power or are overthrown. What he does care about is his own position in whatever government is in charge.
But the older he gets, the more Oliver discovers that power does nothing to ease the gnawing loneliness. And the one thing he wants most is the one thing that consistently eludes him…the love of his daughter.
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Sign of Kings

Creating symbols for fantasy worlds can be fun. Trying to describe them in a book can be a little trickier. The Sign of Kings, in The Shield and Spear, is a case in point. I’ve drawn it, but had a hard time describing it. Hopefully, whenever the book is published, I’ll have a picture of the Sign in there. But, for now, here is a picture of it…I twisted the Sign in wire and then used a nature photograph from one of my friends as a background.
The Sign here isn’t perfect; the center part should be slenderer, but it was
the best I was able to do.
Also, a piece of good news. I finished my current correction of The Shield and Spear! All major corrections are taken care of, characters and emotions have improved well, and other bits have been straightened out. I’m going to start reading the book out loud to myself for a ‘final’ polishing (as if any correction is every final) but maybe I’ll be able to submit the book to a publishing house by the end of this year after all!
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Jasper Cornelius Wyss

Jasper Wyss; found on Pinterest
Jasper Wyss is 29 and an interesting character. He’s very smart and fascinated by the brain, emotions, and controlling both. Currently he’s working with the Doran brothers on a top-secret project called Enigma which contains layers upon layers of secrets. His choice of employers isn’t completely free, but they know where his family is and how much he cares for them. And they will, and have, used his love against him.
Still, regardless of working conditions, Jasper does enjoy his research. Even more, he enjoys his own plans to use his processes against those who now control him. Control the mind, control the person. Control the person, and he can do whatever he wishes.
And he knows by personal experience that fear is a great way to control the mind. Jasper dreams of gaining enough power that he’ll no longer have to fear for himself, his mother, and his siblings. Already he has gained quite a bit such power and that’s why he has also slowly grown to hate Christians…they aren’t afraid of him. He can’t control them like he can control others.
On a more personal note, Jasper likes modern tools…everything modern. actually. He likes to put new conveniences to work for him and, as he’s paid well for his work, he lives very comfortably. He dresses nicely, but doesn’t focus too much on clothes or hair. He listens more than he talks, though he is very coherent when speaking. And he thoroughly enjoys poking fun at those around him. 

 

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King’s Armor Prologue

I’m correcting and deepening King’s Armor again. Though I have a feeling it won’t be done by the end of the year like I’d originally hoped, every draft is getting a little better. Here is a prologue I wrote to help deepen the backstory of my most recent correction.
Prologue: Seventeen Years Ago
“This is a waste of time,” Draygan growled as he rose. The dim fire reflected dully on his hulking figure, rough gray skin, and long black hair. “One name, Tharib. One word.” He limped about the fire

and glowered down at prisoner two of his Maligents half held, half supported.

The man glared back, panting through clenched teeth, sweat and blood streaking his face in the uncertain moonlight.
Draygan hefted his barbed flail from one hand to the other as he leaned close. “Where. Are. Lysander. And. His. Family. Lodging.”
The Auloran didn’t reply.
With a snarl, Draygan swung his flail, raking the man’s chest. Tharib gasped as he buckled forward, only keeping his feet because of the tight grasp of his captors.
Draygan grunted and tilted his head slightly. The man raised his head, his lips tight but his eyes defiant. Draygan nodded to himself. “Very well. So you think you can bear the pain. But could your son, I wonder?”
Tharib clenched his jaw.
A footstep whispered from the shadows beyond the small hollow and another Maligent appeared. Draygan glanced toward him, and the Maligent nodded.
“Shall we fetch him?” Draygan questioned, turning back to his prisoner. “Your Havrain is what…ten? Eleven? He’s sleeping not far from here I believe, but it would be a pity to wake him for no reason.”
The man gritted his teeth. “You lie. You don’t know where he is.”
“Are you willing to take that chance?” Draygan beckoned to his scout and the Maligent tossed him a pendant. Draygan dangled the medallion from the chain before Tharib’s face. “Because I assure you, if we are forced to take the trouble of bringing him here, your Havrain will face the lash whether you speak or not.”
Even in the darkness, the man’s face paled and he grunted, jerking against his captors.
Draygan chuckled mirthlessly, then bent down, his eyes steely. “Where is the Captain camping this evening?”
Tharib closed his eyes and bowed his head, breathing heavily through clenched teeth.
“The Captain!” Draygan demanded, forcing the prisoner’s head up. “Or shall we fetch your son?”
“No…” the man’s voice broke and he let out a low groan.
Draygan crossed his arms. “Lie to me, and we’ll kill your son before your eyes.”
“By the Gihon.” Tharib’s voice was barely a whisper. “Where the Blackwood and the river meet. They will rest there tomorrow night.”
Draygan’s eyes glittered and he sheathed his flail. “Thank you, Tharib.” He considered the man thoughtfully then nodded to himself. “Bind him and leave him for the beasts,” he ordered, turning away. “Then meet me with the others. We have a Captain to kill.”
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