December 27, 2013
The next book in the League of Elder series, “The Shadow tech Goddess” deals with extra-planar activity, the crossing of one plane of reality to another. A key concept when dealing with “reality-jumping” is a place called The Hall of Mirrors. The Hall of Mirrors is heavily featured in the book.
The Hall of Mirrors is the threshold from one plane of reality to another. If one wishes to cross into another plane of reality, one must first cross through the Hall of Mirrors, and that is not a simple task. Jumping from one reality to the next is dangerous to the well-being of the universe as a whole and the Hall exists to actively prevent such a thing, and, possibly to punish or eliminate those attempting to do so. It is not a naturally occurring phenomena, however its creators and custodians are unknown.
SUMMONING THE HALL:
It is possible to summon the Hall of Mirrors to oneself via technological, arcane and telepathic means. Those consciously seeking to pass through the Hall tend to draw its wrath much more than those who unconsciously summon it via telepathic means.
AN UNFASTNESS IN SPACE AND TIME:
It has two specific parts, the Hall of Mundane and the Hall of Possibilities
THE HALL OF MUNDANE:
The Hall of Mundane (HM) is the entry point to the Hall. It is where one came from and almost always where one exits. Given the changeable nature of the Hall, it is very difficult to know when one is inside the HM and when one is not. Some people, be it intentionally or unintentionally, have the ability to summon the Hall of Mirrors to them and spend a great deal of their lives rolling about within the HM, blissfully unaware of where they are. People with his ability are known as Mirrorbrugs and are valuable commodities to those who actively seek to penetrate the Hall.
The HM is a safe portion of the Hall of Mirrors. Moving about in it does not trigger the potent defenses lurking in the second part of the Hall: The Hall of Possibilities.
THE HALL OF POSSIBILITIES:
The next section of the Hall of Mirrors is the Hall of Possibilities (HP). Like the previous Hall, it too has no set appearance and can look like anything, however, those actively seeking to pass through it often describe the HP as looking like a dank stone corridor running to the left and right. To the left is the next plane of reality and the exit of the Hall. To the right is the chamber of a destructive entity known as the Shadow tech Goddess. The Shadow tech Goddess is the main defense of the Hall and those entering the HP invariably stir her up and draw her ire.
THE ANATAMETER:Guarding the intersection between the two Halls is a device known as the Anatameter. The Anatameter is the key, the locked door preventing passage from the HM to the HP. With it in place, almost all attempts to pass are thwarted, most do not suspect they were ever in the hall or Mirrors and encountered the Anatameter in the first place. It is not completely foolproof as certain Extra-Planar Entities are able to pass it without notice. The Anatameter devices are created by a skilled set of craftsmen known as the Anamatics. It appears to be the case that the Anatameter takes on the intent of the Anamatic who created it. If they are kind, then the Anatameter will behave in a kind fashion and not harm those trying to pass it. If they are cruel, then bad things will happen to those encountering it, including the unleashing of the Shadow tech Goddess.
An Anatameter may be created specifically for certain individuals. Anamatics sometimes do this, though the payment they require is said to be quite steep. In such cases, the Hall of Mirrors will be drawn to that person at their peril.
Within the Hall of Possibilities are alcoves cut into the stone at regular intervals, these are the Nodes of Reality. The function of the Nodes is not well understood. They are thought to be a Minor Defense of the Hall and are invoked when ones gains access to the HP. Some scholars, like Hannah-Ben Shurlamp, EVoR of the University of Dee, speculate that one’s true love or one’s greatest enemy emerge from the Nodes and serve as a passive distraction to those entering the HP.
THE SHADOW TECH GODDESS:
Possibly the least understood facet to the Hall of Mirrors is the entity known as the Shadow tech Goddess. She inhabits the right-hand portion of the Hall of Possibilities and is meant to destroy any attempting to pass through the HP. She is like a coiled-up trap, waiting to strike. There is no known method of defeating her, though it has been speculated that discovering her true identity disarms her to some extent. Occasionally she has been known to continue on out of the Hall of Mundane and destroy everything she encounters, making her a Destroyer of Universes as well. She had been known to become interested in certain individuals and draw them to her–her reasoning behind this is unknown. She is said to wear a helmet completely covering her face and a robe of living Shadow tech.
The Hall of Mirrors appears in LoE Book 8, “The Shadow tech Goddess”, due out February 2014 from Loconeal Publishing.
copyright 2013, Ren Garcia, Ewelina Dolzycka, Fantasio, and Eve Ventrue
December 17, 2013
I’m proud today to celebrate the amazing creations of author Cas Peace and her vivid Artesans of Albia series.
Cas is celebrating the re-launch of her series with The King’s Envoy under her new imprint Albia Publishing. Cas has weaved a world of mystery and adventure that is rooted in magic and in nature. There’s a new surprise around every corner, and, if you’re able to put the books down, you’ll wish was has unfolded before you wasn’t mere fantasy, but a real place full of good friends and unspoiled landscapes to get lost in. But, don’t simply take my word for it:
“One of the best fantasy books I’ve ever read. The balance between background story and action is just perfect. I’m very glad I found this author. You won’t want to miss this series!” ~Denyse Cohen, author of Witch’s Soulmate, Book 1 of the Living Energy Trilogy
“Splendidly written in a wonderful voice, drew me in immediately. Ms. Peace’s imagination alone gets 5 stars. Spectacular worlds and enchanting scenes. Anyone who enjoys losing themselves in a world of a charming fantasy with plenty of layers and a host of intriguing characters won’t be disappointed!” ~Rosary McQuestion, author of Once Upon Another Time
“As soon as I finished this book I was eager to start the next. I highly recommend this book. Great Job!!” ~Janus Gangi, author of Elizabeth Rose and That Morning After
Series Synopsis: On a foolhardy foray into a foreign realm, Taran Elijah is attacked by a terrible weapon known as the Staff. Killing its wielder, he escapes into Albia, inadvertantly carrying the Staff. Concerned by the vicious raids that follow Taran’s actions, Major Sullyan of the High King’s forces crosses into Andaryon to seek diplomatic resolution to the crisis. She is captured and tortured by Lord Rykan, aspirant to the Andaryon throne.
Slowly dying, Sullyan escapes his clutches. She offers her skills to the Hierarch in defense of his throne, finally confronting Rykan on the field of battle.
Her handsome Captain and lover, Robin Tamsen, embarks on a desperate quest to recover the Staff. But Rykan’s greedy General, Sonten, is two steps ahead of him. If Robin cannot lay hold of the weapon before Sonten does, Sullyan’s life and the lives of all Artesans are forfeit.
The race for the Staff has begun.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cas Peace was born in Hampshire UK, in 1957, and has lived there most of her life. Her first career was as a horse-riding instructor, and horses remain very close to her heart. She then spent 13 years working for the British Civil Service before leaving the UK to live in Italy for three years, 1991-1994. She speaks passable but by no means perfect Italian, and loves to return to Italy whenever she can.
Cas’s other great loves are anything to do with animals, especially dogs and horses, (she supports many animal charities) and also singing. Cas loves folk songs and along with her husband, who plays guitar, has performed in many a Southern England folk club. Sometimes they even asked her back! She writes folk songs to accompany her fantasy novels, and offers them as free downloads from her website.
The Giveaway ends on December 19th, so do hurry to join in.
Here is the link for the giveaway: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f0acc32/
AN INTERVIEW WITH ROBIN: Robin Tamsen is a captain of the manor under Major Sullyan. He is just one of the many fascinating characters populating the domain of Albia. Let’s hear what he’s got to say:
Q: Where are you from?
A: I come from a small village called Lychdale. That’s in Garon Province, in south west Albia.
Q: How has your home village shaped who you are?
A: It’s not so much the village that shaped my life as what happened to my family. I lived there with my parents – my father was a thatcher, my uncle the local smith – and my younger sister, Jessy. I suppose I would have either followed my father’s trade or my uncle’s if not for Jessy’s illness. She was always frail, and when our healer told us she had the wasting disease and would not recover, I applied to the local garrison to be accepted as a cadet in the High King’s forces. My father’s earnings as a thatcher were not enough to provide Jessy with everything she needed to make her life bearable, and becoming a Kingsman was the only way I could think of to help her. What I have achieved, and what I have become, all stem from that first decision, made to help my sister.
Q: In a single sentence, sum up your thoughts on Garon Province.
Garon’s a great place to grow up if you like a quite life; it’s too far away from Port Loxton, the capitol, for anything interesting to ever happen there. And I didn’t mean that to sound as dismissive as it did. Many people live happy and fulfilled lives in Garon. Sorry, that’s more than one sentence!
Q: What is your occupation?
A: I am currently a Captain in the Kingsmen, based at the Manor in Loxton Province, mid-Albia. My immediate superior is Major Sullyan, and we all answer to General Blaine, General-in-Command of High King Elias Rovannon’s fighting forces. I help lead the Major’s unit, and we carry out patrols, peacekeeping duties, and occasionally repel raiders when necessary in Loxton Province. I am also an Artesan, of Adept rank, and I stand for Major Sullyan whenever she needs me.
A: Hal Bullen, also known as Bull, is Major Sullyan’s aide. He used to be Blaine’s sergeant-at-arms before the civil war which saw Blaine become Elias’s chief General. Bull’s a bit old these days for regular soldiering, although he still trains. He usually sees to the cadets when he’s not with Sullyan. Bull and I get on fine. He loves Sullyan, he’s known her and loved her for longer than I have, and he has a very special place in her heart. He does sometimes treat me like a cadet, which is annoying, but he’s also good at stopping me making a fool of myself when I get a bit hot-headed. I guess you could say I love the old ox, too!
Q: Tell me about Taran. What do you think are his greatest strengths/weaknesses?
A: Taran is also an Artesan, rank of Journeyman. I like him, he has some fine qualities, and he’s not a bad swordsman, either. He’s very loyal, and very honest, although he can be a bit earnest now and then, if you know what I mean? He didn’t have the best of starts in life as far as learning the Artesan craft goes. His father was a strict and uncompromising taskmaster, by all accounts, and I’m not surprised Taran ended up with flaws in his training. He tries very hard, but he has no confidence in himself. I suppose his greatest strength is his refusal to give up on his dream of achieving his potential as an Artesan. This stubbornness did land him in a whole heap of trouble, though! His greatest weakness is definitely a lack of self-confidence, or self-belief. Sullyan’s working hard to help him change that.
Q: If you could visit any place in Albia, where would it be?
A: I think it would have to be the Torlands, in north-east Albia. I’ve never seen true mountains. We did have some large hills to the east of Lychdale, and of course, there are the Downs to the west of the Manor, but the Torlands are reputed to be some of the highest mountains in the world. They are said to be quite specatcular, although how the Torlanders live with all that ice and snow, I can’t think! I’d probably freeze to death, but I’d love to see them someday.
A: Cal is a good friend of mine. He came here with Taran when Taran was looking for help with that Staff business. Cal is Rienne’s lover, and at first he was a bit quiet, stayed in the background. But when he helped us fight the invasion, the lads realized how useful he was with a sword. He’s one of us now, and I expect him to make Captain one day. He’s great on that little silver whistle he carries, too. And he’s very protective of Rienne. He’s quite dark-skinned, so it’s not always easy to tell what he’s thinking, but you can rely on Cal. He’d never desert his friends. He is a bit too ‘pretty’ though – Rienne’s always mooning over his dark eyes and long eyelashes!
Q: What, if anything, have you learned from Sullyan?
A: If anything? Are you kidding? I’v learned practically everything from Sullyan! Mind you, I was already a Captain when she found me in Garon, and I already knew something about my Artesan powers. I guess the first thing I learned from her was never to judge by appearances. When she and Bull turned up at the Garon garrison, and my commanding officer told me that a Major Sullyan had come from the Manor to speak to me, I though the Major was Bull. Well, he was in combat leathers, while she was just in a shirt and breeches. And she was female! I think it was an easy mistake to make… Still made me feel foolish, though. And I’ve been learning ever since. She’s taught me combat, how to increase my metaphysical strength, how to control my hot-headedness, and also what it feels like to love someone so deeply, you feel you will drown in it. I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning from Sullyan!
A: Good gods! There are so many … I probably ought to say allowing myself to be drawn into that duel with Parren. That really was a grave mistake, and it could have cost me my career. I still wish I’d—no, never mind—least said about that, the better! I suppose I would change the way I behaved when I first arrived at the Manor. Our little garrison in Garon was so tiny that I guess I got an inflated idea of how important a Captain was. My family were so proud when I was promoted, and I was often in sole charge when my commanding officer was off duty. When I came to the Manor, I became a very green yearling in a huge herd of trained stallions, and I should have kept my head down. Instead, I often behaved quite stupidly. Why Blaine never got rid of me, I don’t know. Well, I do. It was Sullyan who convinced him to keep me. I owe everything to her.
Q: Who stirs your heart?
A: Well, I guess I’ve already answered that one! But I’m sure she’ll forgive me if I say I do have other loves. Sullyan aside, nothing stirs me so well as a damn’ good sword fight. But I also love singing marching songs with Bull, and drinking with the lads after patrol. And I have a very soft spot for Rienne. Not only is she pretty, and very kind, she’s also our healer, and empathic as well. Everyone loves Rienne!Apart from that, the only other person to really stir my heart was my sister, Jessy. I still miss her terribly, and wish she had not been taken from us so young. But I know that “soon the Wheel will turn again, and Love unite the past.” That line comes from “The Wheel Will Turn”, the song Sullyan wrote for Jessy at her passing. To think I will one day see her again helps comfort me when I feel sad.
copyright 2013, Cas Peace
December 10, 2013
The history of the peoples making up the modern-day League is an extensive one, going back almost a million years into the cloudy veil of the ancient past. The great bulk of most of that history is lost to the ages, it is a difficult task to remember the past just a few years old, much less a million.The Sisterhood of Light, as prime historians of the League, maintain a narrative of those many years past. Per their accounting of history, the League has been a vagabond people for the bulk of their existence, drifting across the cosmos in servitude to their masters, the eponymous Elders–25 beings of colossal power. The peoples of the League served the Elders, did their bidding, fought their battles and scouted out food for them. The Sisters have broken down the history of the League into six distinct sections, or Epochs of Time. Each Epoch details a different homeworld which housed the Old League for a time and a significant event that occurred. FORCED MIGRATION: The 25 Elders fed upon starlight and could only remain in a certain area for so long before the need to seek new sources of food forced them to move on. The League scouted the starways, looking for suitable places for them to feed, and, once a location was discovered, they would up stakes and migrate across the cosmos leaving everything they had behind.
NOTE–None of the previous League home worlds are currently known, other than what the Sisters have written in their histories. The stellar locations of these fabled places are lost, though various scholars vigorously seek them.
All years measured in Kanan Standard.
AX EPOCH–The Beginning: The Sisterhood tells on an ancient place called Earth where the peoples of the League originated from. Some say the eclectic fashions of the League, the languages they speak, and a smattering of other traditions are hold-overs from mythical long lost Earth. The Sisters recount that the Elders took the peoples of the League from Earth and journeyed with them across the heavens to a place called Lemmuria where they served the Elders for 200,000 years.
BX EPOCH–The Age of Riches: The Elders journey to the fabled world of Emmira to begin the BX Epoch. The Sisters recount that Emmira was a paradise and the League matured and grew in its light. The Sisters as a sect first formed on Emmira. They remained there for 90,000 years.
CX EPOCH–The Age of Youth and Health: After Emmira was Cammara, a place of towering clouds and cities in the sky. While on Cammara, the Elders rewarded their League servants and engineered out the ravages of age and sickness, essentially making them young throughout their lives. It is rumored that the Elders also made them immortal as well, though the Sisters dispute that assertion. Darker texts talk of the Gods of Cammara, the people who live forever guarding the gateways of the Universe and the oceans of the dead. The League remained on Cammara for 157,000 years.DX EPOCH–The Weakening of the Elders: After Cammara was Eng, a cold and somewhat hostile place. There, the Elders grew weak and sick, seeing their time coming to an end. One Eng, the Elders once again attempted to bio-engineer the League, this time with the alien Haitathe race plucked from an unknown world. Their goal was to create a larger, stronger League Elder. While on Eng, the peoples of the League spilt into the Seven Tribes that exist today. An Eighth Tribe was said to have existed and been banished by the Sisters for chaotic behavior. The Old League shivered on Eng for 188,000 years.
EX EPOCH: The End of the Elders, coming of the Xaphans: After hostile Eng came golden Kana. Here the Elders died and passed into lore. With their passing, the League was lost and without guidance. The Seven tribes fought against each other and the Haitathe hoards feasted on their flesh. The Sisters managed to calm the League, to focus it, forging the roots of the modern star-faring League.
Several millennia after the passing of the Elder, the Xaphans came. The Xaphans were creatures similar to the Elders, though they were cruel and bizarre, demanding sacrifice and death. The League vowed to fight the Xaphans and thwart them.
The EX Epoch lasted 145,000 years.AX EPOCH: The Great Betrayal and the Modern League: In the Great Betrayal, 20 Households abandoned the League and went to the Xaphans, becoming their servants. The Sisters decided to end the EX Epoch and start again with the second AX Epoch. The years have seen much strife with the League pitted against the Xaphans, constantly engaged in warfare. Still, in the AX Epoch, the peoples of the League, and the Xaphans as well, have blossomed as a collective entity, growing and finding their own way. On Kana and the surrounding League worlds, they have built a home at long last.
copyright 2013, Ren Garcia, Eve Ventrue, Carol Phillips
December 2, 2013
Production on LoE Book 8: The Shadow tech Goddess is well underway. Featured heavily in the book is the concept of multiple universes/realities and how they interact together.
The Hospitaler Theory of Opposing Mirrors states that, while mass is finite, the number of realities mass can inhabit is infinite. Reality is simply a partitioned, defined reflection of a Common State and, therefore, an infinite number of realities can exist. The farther away a reality exists from the Common State, the more variation will occur.The threshold from one reality to the next is guarded by a fractional place known as The Hall of Mirrors. The Hall of Mirrors actively prevents passage from one reality to the next. (See future blog post: Hall of Mirrors).
Extra-Planar Entities go hand in hand with this concept. Extra-Planar Entities are, in most cases, beings from a different reality. They can also be beings who have been assigned a special status in the grand scheme of the universe, these select individuals are known as Planarites.
Wvulgrom: A Wvulgrom is an alternate version of yourself from a different reality. A Wvulgrom is not a copy of you and nor is it a changeling or doppelganger. A Wvulgrom is you, it even shares your atomic mass, it simply exists in a different reality. They can be of a similar note in terms of wants and needs, or they can be completely different. It is possible for a Wvulgrom of yourself to be either dead or not yet born. Vast gulfs of time can elapse between the lifespans of Wvulgroms. In some instances, your Wvulgrom might look completely different than you do, or, in rarer cases, might be a different gender or might not even be human.
PLANARITES: Planarites are individuals who, knowingly or unknowingly, enjoy a special Extra-Planar status across the various realities.
Kaidar Gemain: The Kaidar Gemain or “The One Who is Everywhere” is a person who exists in all realities. This is a very rare circumstance as most beings do not exist in all realities but only a small percentage (The Equation of Opposites determines how many Wvulgroms of oneself may exist throughout the realities). The Kaidar Gemain commands vast extra-planar powers. People are drawn to him or her. They are often highly lucky, often gifted in unusual ways. The Kaidar Gemain is the pinnacle of extra-planarism.
Merthig: The Merthig is an unusual entity. “Merth” is the old Cammarian word for “soul“, therefore the Merthig is the soulmate of the Kaidar Gemain. The Merthig is most often the pre-selected mate of the Kaidar Gemain, and is with him or her the most (but not always) across the realities. In realities where the two are together, they are both much more potent than they would have been otherwise. The Merthig often displays astounding skills, Gifts or other talents–this they derive from their association with the Kaidar Gemain.Merten: The Merten is almost a Merthig, but not quite. Mertens often times carry encoded messages within their very bodies. The method of extracting the information often times leads to the death of the Merten.
V Dogan: Possibly one of the most bizarre of all the Planarites, the V Dogan is a type of demon that has escaped its universal shackles and exists within the Nodes of Reality. The V Dogan has no fixed place of universal residence and can appear out of any Hall of Mirrors. They attempt to get past the Anatameter and exit via the Hall of Mundane, though they are normally unsuccessful. In cases where a universe had become a Spiralata, the V Dogan is more likely to be successful in escaping. V Dogans are spreading, multiplying like a virus and, just when one has been destroyed, another pops up again elsewhere. They tend to create chaos and are generally quite destructive to the fabric of the universe it has contaminated, often leading to destruction by the Shadow tech Goddess.
A V Dogan can look and act completely different, depending on the Node of Reality they appear from. They can, on occasion, be reasonable, other times they can be mindless and demented. They are persistent and extremely difficult to be rid of. The cybernetic creature Bellathauser is a known V Dogan demon.Tempus Findal: Much has been written regarding the odd, lonely creature known as the Tempus Findal, the One and Only. This entity exists in only one reality. It is the soul survivor of a Planar Event known as a Findalmarch in which all but one aspect of itself dies. This lone survivor becomes a creature of immense destructive power. It is immune to the Hall of Mirrors and can cross the planes however it wishes, it can appear fair or foul. It can create heart-stopping fear and has the strength of twenty men. The only way a Tempus Findal can die is either at the place of its Findalmarch, by an artifact of the place or by the hand of another Tempus Findal.
It, more than any other creature, is drawn to the Kaidar Gemain. Once it detects one, it will travel across the universe if it must to get to him or her. It will kill any in its path, especially the Merthig whom it takes great delight in killing, and then it will latch onto the Kaidar Gemain and bleed him or her dry, feeding like a parasite though it can appear charming and benevolent. Once it becomes gorged with power, it will sometimes forget what it is and believe it is a simple mortal again, but always, its hunger will grow and drive it mad afresh. If two Tempus Findals enter the same reality, they will locate each other and fight to the death.
A Tempus Findal, if allowed to feed unchecked, will drain a Kaidar Gemain such that they fade out of existence in a reality and, therefore no longer exist in all realities. They become a sad, forlorn creature called a Gogol and fade from existence.
These Extra-Planar Entities and many more appear in The League of Elder Book VIII: The Shadow tech Goddess coming soon from Loconeal Publishing.
copyright 2013, Ren Garcia, Eve Ventrue, Bea Kimura and Fantasio