THE MACHINE 3The Killanjo started out life as “evil spirits“,  conjured by certain people with the usual intent of doing harm. Lady Sammidoran, the heroine of the Temple trilogy, was, in the first draft, a Killanjo spirit whom Countess Sygillis captured and held prisoner in a bottle. I didn’t like the direction that storyline took, so a got rid of it, transforming “Sam” into a Monama instead.

The Killanjo also changed. I needed a really nasty, creepy, and just plain gross group of henchmen-style villains, so I turned them into the bleeding, skulking creatures they became.

Here’s what I came up with:

KILLANJO: A mythical creature that has, according to gossip, been plaguing Xaphan space for decades. A Killanjo is said to be a hideous corruption of a loved one: a son, daughter, brother or sister who is then turned loose upon their own families to create grief and chaos. Killanjo are said to be able to cast spells that render Elder-Kind helpless. It is also said a Killanjo cannot bear to see their reflection, one that does awakens from whatever spell they have been placed in and, unable to bear the horror of their own form, kill themselves.

As I love to hear myself talk, I did a short video on them:

 

copyright 2019: Ren Garcia

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The House of Bloodstein

July 22, 2015

Riding fast on the heels of Book 9, Stenibelle is Book 10: The House of Bloodstein.  It is comprised of two volumes: the first being Perlamum, and the second Mentralysis.

Cover mockup for the House of Bloodstein, volume 1 (artwork and lettering by Carol Phillips)

Cover mockup for the House of Bloodstein, volume 1 (artwork and lettering by Carol Phillips)

ZOMBIES AND DRAGONS AND GODS, OH MY

I wrote the Bloodstein books to be fun, to be exciting. I tormented my imagination until truly weird and amazing things popped out of my head. Using the previously introduced House of Blanchefort characters, we embark on a journey across the League and beyond.

In the past, I’ve tried to avoid monsters that have been covered by other authors–vampires, witches, werewolves, etc. I was also going to avoid zombies--too over-done, too formulaic.  But then I had a bright idea–I figured out a way to use zombies that hasn’t been tried before, so you’ll find the zombies in The House of Bloodstein as breath of fresh air–dead air.

I also decided to tackle everybody’s favorite fantasy monster: dragons. Again–I never do the expected and well-trodden, if I’m going to have a dragon, it’s going to be a weird dragon. ‘Nuff said.

Here’s the current blurb for Volume 1:

THE HOUSE OF BLOODSTEIN: PERLAMUM

Mysterious and elusive, Lady Chrysania of Bloodstein calls from the ruins of her castle. She dwells in the dark, hiding her face, ravaged by an ancient curse. The only way to break the curse is to win a game called Perlamum. If she loses, she dies. She looks to her Vith kin in the west, begging for help acquiring the all-important pieces she needs to play the game. 

Lord Kabyl of Blanchefort, his Ne-Countess Sammidoran, and his cousins answer her call. However, collecting the Perlamum pieces for Lady Bloodstein is a deadly game. They must face a host of perils:

-The terrible Black Hat in the city of Waam, who knows their every move.

-A hated rival on the planet Xandarr and the bewildering labyrinth of Gods Temple.

-The man from Shook who cannot be killed.

-A family of vile bravos from the south, and, worst of all, the Dead Men of Mare, nigh invincible creatures straight from an insane nightmare.

To even the odds, Kay and Sam turn to a forgotten graveyard deep in the Telmus Grove, and the great eminence resting there.

Can Lady Chrysania of Bloodstein be helped, or, for that matter …

… can she be trusted?

 

The House of Bloodstein. Perlamum will be out September 2015 from Loconeal Publishing.

copyright 2015 Ren Garcia and Carol Phillips

StG: The Tempus Findal

July 25, 2014

There are many legendary creatures walking the fringe of rational thought, spoken of in whispers and discussed in the yellowed pages of ancient books.

The Tempus Findal, by Fantasio

The Tempus Findal, by Fantasio

The creature known as the Tempus Findal is one of them.

In the old Vith, Tempus Findal loosely translates as: The One and Only. Most League knowledge of these shadowy and somewhat tragic beings comes from a single person named Mary of Falconer who wrote extensively of them. Mary’s mother, a talented and beautiful woman of the shield known as Samartine of the Falcon, suddenly grew sick and languished. None of the various Hospitalers and learned sages brought in to assist her could do anything correct her failing condition. At some point in the process, Mary received an odd letter in the Posts. The letter was written by someone calling itself the “TF” or “Tempus Findal”. It went on to say that it was an insane supernatural beast of great power, that it had killed many people throughout its existence, and that it was masquerading as a trusted member of her mother’s vast court. It also wrote that it enjoyed select moments of conscience in between bouts of murderous madness, and that was why it had written to her. It claimed it was feeding upon her mother’s energy, and, if it wasn’t stopped, it would destroy her. As a final word, it advised her to arm herself by venturing out to Lake Venera, a lake in a volcano caldera located on the Xaphan world of Midas.

Mary diligently performed research and determined her mother was in fact being consumed by an Extra-Planar entity known as the Tempus Findal. Unable to uncover or thwart this creature alone, she hired a team of mercenaries known as the Sons of the Ram (The “Ramsons”), and together they vanquished it and saved her mother.

THE TEMPUS FINDAL:
The Tempus Findal (TF) is a lonely and contradictory being. It is, at times, relentless, remorseless, utterly insane, incredibly strong, and able to generate an all-encompassing Wall of Fear that cannot be withstood. It is, for all practical purposes, immortal and it may cross the Planes of Reality at will, all the usual controls and defenses in the Hall of Mirrors meant to prevent such crossings are ineffective against it. Once it has locked onto its prey, it will allow nothing to stop it. It will lie, cheat, steal, impersonate and murder to get what it’s after.

Admiral Pax, Lord of Adrastus and admiral in the Stellar Fleet was replaced by a Tempus Findal for a period of time (Eve Ventrue)

Admiral Pax of the Stellar Fleet was replaced by a Tempus Findal for a period of time (Eve Ventrue)

And, at other times, it is nostalgic and reflective. It is fully capable of feeling love, of feeling loyalty and remorse for the things it has done as it wanders from one identity to another. When properly sated, it can often “fall asleep”, forgetting what it is and believing it is simple a mundane person and living the life of a mortal.

But, sooner or later, it always “wakes up” and falls back into madness.

Depending on their mental state, they can appear either intensely beautiful, or singularly ugly.

THE FINDALMARCH:
The origins of the TF are tragic. These creatures begin life as an ordinary, mortal person. The Hospitaler Equation of Opposites states that, for every living being, a predictable number of alternate versions of that being exist across the Planes of Reality. This is also true for the TF however, an Extra-Planar event known as the Findalmarch happens at some point in its life that kills off all alternate instances of this person with the exception of one: one lone survivor. That lone survivor becomes a Tempus Findal, and their existence as an Extra-Planar creature and celestial vagabond begins.

THE KAIDAR GEMAIN:
The lone goal and mission of the Tempus Findal is to locate its opposite and feed upon its energy. A Kaidar Gemain (KG) exists everywhere, in every universe, and it is the energy of these rare, favored souls it seeks to devour. They can detect these individuals across the Planes, even across the seas of time anticipating their coming. Once they discover a KG, they will relentlessly pursue them. It is a “soft” pursuit. It can last years or even decades as they work their way into the KG’s life. They often become a trusted friend or confidant, sometimes they become a lover or a spouse. Like a cuckoo bird invading the nest of an unwitting host, they will kill and replace people as needed to get to the KG. And then they undetectably feed, taking the KG’s energy bit by bit, until they sicken and die. The process can take years. After it has fed long enough, the KG will “sour” and either die or, in worse cases, lose their status as a KG, becoming a Kaidar Gogol, The One who is Almost Everywhere, a raving, pathetic shell of what they once were. When that happens, the TF loses interest, turns its back and moves onto the next KG. During that transitional time, TF goes dormant, it “falls asleep” and forgets itself until it locks onto another KG. It can acquire a new name, develop an occupation, live like a mortal person. It is “happy” during this time, but it never lasts. Its hunger will invariably take it again.

The Findalmarch, the site where the Tempus Findal was created, can kill it (Carol Phillips)

The Findalmarch, the site where the Tempus Findal was created, can kill it (Carol Phillips)

COMBATING THE TEMPUS FINDAL:
Mary of Falconer detailed a number of ways that she and the Ramsons combatted the TF. Although TF’s are immortal, they can still be killed. The site of their Findalmarch, or items taken from that site, can kill them, thus discovering their Findalmarch site is key in combatting a TF. In Mary’s case, the waters of Lake Venera were like poison to it.

Sometimes the TF itself will willingly help bring about its own defeat. The TF is a tragic creature as it can go through periods where it feels great remorse for the suffering it has caused. They have been known, either consciously or unconsciously, to create charms and other trinkets that will allow a wearer to withstand their terrible Wall of Fear. They also brew a potion that, when smelled or swallowed by the TF, will restore their sanity for a short period of time.

Additionally, TF’s can be killed by other TF’s. They are extremely territorial, claiming whatever Plane of Reality they are inhabiting for their own. When two or more TF’s enter the same Plane of Reality, they will detect each other and fight to the death.

copyright 2014, Ren Garcia, Carol Phillips and Fantasio