The author of the League of Elder series is looking for you! We’re collecting stories for an anthology focused on the Fiend of Calvert, a Jack-the-Ripper style killer featured in LoE Book VI: Sands of the Solar Empire.

Exterior of Fiend Pamphlet (Art by Carol Phillips)

What we want: We’re open for cool, atmospheric stuff. We’re open to poetry, to standard science fiction/fantasy, to gothic horror and steam punk and even Bizarro fiction–it simply needs to pertain to the Fiend in some way shape or form. Above all however, submission stories must fall within the genres of fantasy, science fiction, or a combination of both. Word counts should range from 250 (short-shorts) and up to 10,000 words for stories.

What we don’t want: Stories with excessive profanity, erotica, splatter horror or hate fiction. Illustrations depicting explicit frontal nudity will not be accepted.

Interior of Fiend Pamphlet (Art by Carol Phillips)

Source Material: We’re looking for all things Fiend. Look at the attached pamphlet–it contains a wealth of material to draw from, use it as a well-spring of inspiration. Submissions can be about the Fiend himself, about one of his victims, the places he plied his trade, witnesses to the murders, the Evidencers sent to discover his identity, or about the Mad Lord of Walther who finally stopped him. He a pretty shadowy character operating in an equally shadowy area of Kana, so extensive knowledge of the League of Elder Universe and established characters is helpful, but not required. In this exercise you have a remarkable amount of creative freedom. The actual identity of the Fiend has not been revealed yet (that’s in Book VII) so the sky’s the limit. Make him what you want him to be.

Map of the Calvert Region of Kana

Submission Dates: We will be accepting submissions until March 30, 2013, 11:59:59pm eastern standard time. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT

Payment: Payment for accepted submissions will be made in the form of a check within two months of publication. If preferred, payment may be made through a PayPal account. Authors of an accepted short story will be paid at the rate of 1¢ per word, up to a maximum of $100 US for stories and $50 US for poetry.

Rights: We purchase exclusive worldwide print and electronic rights. These rights exist from the point of contract to a period of two years from the date of publication. It is also understood and agreed that Ren Garcia may retain the right to archive the Work for reprinting use only in the anthology format. The author shall retain all other rights to the Work not specified here.

How to submit: Send us via email a short 150 word or less blurb (written in third-person) describing your story along with your planned final word count (approximating is fine) and what sort of story it is (sci-fi, horror, steam punk, etc). Please also include the first few pages so we can get a feel for your writing style. We’re flexible about silly stuff like spacing, font, justification and all that, however, if you turn in an overtly unprofessional submission it probably won’t go very far.

Multiple Submissions: Only one story, or up to 3 poems per author will be considered. Illustrators/artists may submit up to two illustrations. All submissions must be submitted separately (one submission per email).

Simultaneous Submissions: Simultaneous submissions are not permitted due to the fact that the Fiend of Calvert and associated characters/environs are League of Elder trademarks.

Response time: 1-4 months depending on your submission date. Our responses will come in the form of a simple form letter via e-mail.

copyright, 2012, Ren Garcia and Carol Phillips

The Fiend of Calvert

July 9, 2012

The mass murderer and psychopath who came to be known as the Fiend of Calvert terrorized the southern portion of Kana for well over thirty years. The Calvertlands of Kana have always been considered the lowest and meanest on the planet and the specter of a mad killer loose amid the crooked streets and seedy wharves wasn’t surprising to both the Sisterhood of Light and the League Ex-Commons–why they assumed such things were common in Calvert.

Map of the Calvert region of Kana

Calvert, though not overly wealthy or picturesque by Vith standards, was a tight-knit place. The three main cities in Calvert: St. Edmunds, Bezzel and Calvert were all the same: full of hard-working people who all knew each other, often dined in each other’s homes and went out of their way to assist a neighbor or passerby. What was wrong with Calvert, they wondered, why was it thought to be such a poor place: warm breezes, calm seas. Nothing was wrong with Calvert.

Coming of the Fiend
The murders began quietly enough, with various stumblebums and drunken sailors falling victim to the killer, sometimes out in the alleys and docks, sometimes in their modest rented rooms. The usual method of death: strangulation. The occasional death of a bum or sailor wasn’t unheard of in Calvert and not much attention was paid. But then more and more sailors and bums turned up dead, turned up missing. The Night of Unheard Cries in the city of St. Edmunds officially began the hysteria when ten sailors were found strangled to death in various sections of the city. The posts proclaimed: A Fiend Walks The Streets Of Calvert. The faceless killer now had a name.

There were plenty of clues to follow and it was assumed a simple genetic scan would bring the killer’s reign to a swift end. But, while the Fiend left a tantalizing abundance of clues: bits of cloth, shoe prints, partial fingerprints, his genetics were never found, not once in over a hundred murders. Another aspect of the Fiend’s work: he never harmed a single woman in thirty years, only men.

Lord Plaid, one of the Fiend’s more well-known victims

Investigators pursuing the Fiend would have to discover him the hard way, by observation and old-fashioned detective work. They created a profile of the killer they thought reasonably accurate: A man of some means to keep his genetics hidden (possibly wearing a bio-suit), strong and possibly well-connected. The early image of the Fiend wearing a bio suit and tanks hit the posts, soon replaced by the more iconic cloak and hat image that would capture the public’s imagination.

The Spirit of Calvert Dies
When the investigators from Calvert found the case too daunting, they brought in Gifted investigators from the west and the North, from Remnath and Vithland. Even they, however, could not stem the growing tide of death and mayhem and one of them, Lord Plaid, fell victim to the Fiend himself, found strangled to death in his room.

A result of all this was a pronounced change in Calvert. The locals began locking their doors at night, they began walking the streets with eyes down-cast and refusing a strangers’ needs. The greatest victim of the Fiend of Calvert was the spirit of the region itself.

The Mad Lord of Walther eventually put an end to the Fiend’s reign of terror

After twenty-five years of murder, abduction and failed attempts to capture the killer, the people of Calvert had had enough. They rallied on Calvert Square and held vigil there for a week, demanding justice. A vigilant from the north known as the Mad Lord of Walther heard the Calverts pleas for help and came to subdue the fiend.

The City of the Dead
With the Mad Lord’s help, the rate of murders in Calvert plummeted. His presence appeared to hinder the Fiend and kept him in check in the final five years of his reign. The Mad Lord eventually made a key discovery. He located a vault near the Ruins of Woodward where a great many men from Calvert, assumed to be victims of the Fiend, were imprisoned. They seemed to be in a trance of some sort from which they could not be roused, and the posts called the vault the City of the Dead.

Harvesting a trove of clues from the Woodward vault, the Mad Lord successfully engaged the Fiend in St. Edmund’s and defeated him in battle. Wounded, the Fiend fled across the rooftops of St. Edmund’s with the Mad Lord in close pursuit, and he was not seen again.

And so passed the Fiend of Calvert.

Grand Dame Miranda of Rosel is a noted historian on the Fiend of Calvert

In time, the wounds left by the Fiend would heal and some of the spirit of Calvert would return. As with many things, the Fiend became an iconic, romantic face of the region and became synonymous with Calvert itself. Books would be written about him, plays enacted and a whole cottage industry with the Fiend at its core sprang up in Calvert; tours, inns, merchandise. Now that he was gone people couldn’t seem to get enough of this horrible killer. The fact that he was unidentified made his allure all the more potent.

The Mad Lord, the man who stopped the Fiend, often wrote about him in his memoirs. The Mad Lord was always known to spin a good tale and his claims regarding the Fiend were particularly spectacular. He claimed that he saw the Fiend not as a man, but as a powerful woman dressed in gray.

None took the Mad Lord too seriously.

See the Fiend of Calvert in LoE Book VI: the Sands of the Solar Empire, coming July 2012

copyright 2012, Ren Garcia and Carol Phillips