Caredale Tales 1: The Sundered Light Chapter One

March 28th, 2016  |  Published in Dragon Wars  |  1 Comment

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A/N: This is a spinoff from The Dragon Wars Saga and will be serialising on Mondays and Fridays for the foreseeable future. It should stand alone but will read slightly differently if you’ve read Dragon Wars.

The morning Ophelia Keswick woke sweating from a nightmare wasn’t unusual. For longer than she could remember, her dreams had revealed the future – and since the Pulse they had only worsened. Terrible visions assailed her in waves of sight and sound which shortened her breath and made her heart pound.

Sometimes she jolted to wakefulness in the dead of night, her eyes opening to a blackness that filled her with trepidation. Other times – like today – she awoke to find her eyes filled with a daylight that seemed incongruous after the dark images she had witnessed. Read the rest of this entry »

Dragon Wars Saga Arc Four: The Torn Sky Chapter Sixty Part Eight

March 25th, 2016  |  Published in Dragon Wars  |  1 Comment

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A/N: Sorry I didn’t post Whisper on Wednesday. I’ll be posting it tomorrow. Also this is the last installment of Dragon Wars for a while. Check out the spinoff  “Caredale Tales – The Sundered Light part 1“.

“Interesting,” Sarah said after she had finished examining Draylian. “I’m not quite sure what to make of this.”

“Well, did it work or not?” Lydia asked.

Sarah frowned. “Yes and no?”

“Surely it must be one or the other, Sal,” Matthias said.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dragon Wars Saga Arc Four: The Torn Sky Chapter Sixty Part Seven

March 21st, 2016  |  Published in Dragon Wars  |  3 Comments

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After Andrew’s friends had left, Lydia sat in the lounge and watched television. For once it wasn’t the news she was watching; after the last few weeks she felt the need to unwind and she’d found an old episode of Star Trek playing on one of the more obscure channels.

She looked up as the door opened and her father came in with a mug of hot chocolate, which he pushed into her hands. “You look like you could use this,” he said. “Hopefully things will calm down for a bit now.”

“Hopefully,” Lydia agreed. She glanced to where Draylian was lurking outside the door and back to her father, who was looking slightly tentative. “Was there something?” Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday Blog: Updates and more about Shattered

March 20th, 2016  |  Published in Shattered

Firstly, sorry for skipping Whisper again. I’ll be posting it next Wednesday as it’s nearly written and the eext installment of Haventon isn’t. Next weekend is Easter so I have four days and am going to do lots of writing (if I don’t get distracted by blowing up the moon – see below).

Secondly, this should be the last week before hiatus for Dragon Wars. I am really looking forward to sharing the Caredale Stories with you all.

And now on to Shattered.

The map is developing slowly. I’ve swapped out the ugly mountain brush for my attempt at hand drawn mountains and added in some rivers, forests and hills. I so don’t like those hills but the terrain where the Saleika live is hilly but  not mountainous and I have to show that somehow since the vast majority of the characters are Saleika.

The Saleika are the immediate southern neighbors of the Arissi and thus bear the majority of their tribute demands. Just before the story opens they have been through a long, hard winter where they barely survived food shortages caused solely by the Arissi stealing so much in the Autumn. It may well have led to war but events are about to intercede and  make things much worse.

shattered map 8

 

And finally if you’re wondering what all that was about blowing up the moon. I’ve been working on an idea for a trailer for Shattered and ended up animating the first 10 seconds. No sound yet, but yes the moon goes boom in it. It’s a bit jerky but not bad considering I’d never animated anything I my life before last night. (Software used Synfig, Gimp and paint.net).

Dragon Wars Saga Arc Four: The Torn Sky Chapter Sixty Part Six

March 18th, 2016  |  Published in Dragon Wars  |  1 Comment

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Lydia stayed curled up on Carrie’s lap as they discussed how Andrew’s friends were going to regularly sneak in and out for their lessons. Her father seemed fairly certain he could stop anyone noticing and given how well he had concealed their family for fourteen years, Lydia was inclined to believe him. Read the rest of this entry »

Dragon Wars Saga Arc Four: The Torn Sky Chapter Sixty Part Five

March 14th, 2016  |  Published in Dragon Wars  |  5 Comments

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A/N: The most recent Sunday Blog is about Worldbuilding and Maps and gives you the chance to laugh at my sadly lacking cartography skills.

Lydia was helping her mother wash the dishes when Andrew’s friends began arriving. George and his father were the first to arrive and came into the kitchen to say hello since George considered Lydia a friend as well.

“Are we starting the classes tonight?” George asked.

“I don’t think so.” Lydia put the stack of plates she had just dried into the cupboard before turning to look at them. “We’re just discussing scheduling today, right, mum?” Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday Blog: A bit about Worldbuilding and Maps.

March 13th, 2016  |  Published in Shattered  |  1 Comment

I am not a cartographer but I’m trying to learn the skill because lets be honest a traditional fantasy needs a map. I mean who doesn’t love a map in a fantasy novel.

So I’ve started by attempting to draw a map of the region where Shattered is set.

My first attempt was… hum….

Scan_20160312

 

Well the coastline is okay but I kind of went a tad overboard with the mountains.

Okay, a lot overboard with the mountains. So now I’m trying again. (And I’m cheating because I downloaded a set of map brushes for Gimp but the mountains look better then my by hand attempts. I’ve also re-orientated it so North is now at the top. One thing to bear in mind is that this is a Southern Hemisphere landmass.

shattered map 2

In an ideal world I’d hire one of the excellent fantasy cartographers out there for to do a professional job but that requires money I don’t have, so I’ll do my best for you all so we don’t get lost.

Some  key points on the map to hopefully whet your appetite.

  1. Those square dots in the north are the Arissi City States. As you may gather from the name this is a group of generally politically separate but culturally united cities. They are around the bronze age technologically but this is because they lack a reliable source of iron ore rather than lack of knowledge of iron working. They are aware of iron and import some iron. While generally politically independent they have made a military which means they share a standing army, one of the first professional armies in their world, to which each state contributes a proportion of the troops. The Arissi are currently over populated and in order to feed their population the army is sent out to gather tribute from their neighbors. As you can imagine their neighbors aren’t too impressed by this behavior.
  2. In the south of the map you will see a lagoon and plain surrounded by mountains. That is Cursed Anvalei. According to legend the Anvaleika were the chosen children of the Anvrin, the eldest of the gods. He blessed them with magic and longevity beyond normal humans and they prospered in their temperate and fertile home. Unfortunately, say the same legends, he fell, and when he fell they fell with him becoming tyrants and monsters and conquering a vast empire at his behest. The other gods made war upon him and eventually he was stripped of his power and imprisoned. His name is no longer spoken and he is referred to only by titles such as the Empty One. The Anvaleika for the most part refused to repent of the evil they had committed in his nae and the gods destroyed them. Most died – only those who were too young to bear guilt and the few adults who repented were spared and even they were driven from their home. No one has been there since. Anvalei is forbidden to all humans by the gods. Ghosts haunt the mountain passes and tear apart any who dare them and a malestrom destroys any vessel that risk the narrow passage to the lagoon.

There we go, a bit of stuff about Shattered. I hope you like it.

Dragon Wars Saga Arc Four: The Torn Sky Chapter Sixty Part Four

March 11th, 2016  |  Published in Dragon Wars  |  7 Comments

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Lydia was a bit puzzled to find Darya and Alban standing on the stairs to the attic together. Alban had his ear pressed to the door.

“What’s going on?” she asked.

“Keep your voice down,” Darya said quietly. “Kaz just dragged Kyle in there and shut the door in our faces. We think they’re talking about their relationship and if they still have one.” Read the rest of this entry »

Lord of the Wolves Chapter Fifteen

March 9th, 2016  |  Published in Haventon Chronicles  |  3 Comments

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Anna stood in the empty outbuilding on Michael’s farm, closed her eyes and concentrated on the form of a wolf. Sarah, Daniel and Tanya were trying to teach her to shift consciously, and she’d be lying if she said she wasn’t a little nervous. She’d wanted to study photos first since she’d never actually seen a wolf and didn’t want to end up looking ridiculous because she got it wrong. She was also more than a little irritated when she expressed that fear and Sarah and Daniel had laughed. Tanya hadn’t, instead she’d scowled at the other two and shaken her head. Read the rest of this entry »

Dragon Wars Saga Arc Four: The Torn Sky Chapter Sixty Part Three

March 7th, 2016  |  Published in Dragon Wars  |  3 Comments

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Lydia couldn’t follow the next thing Sonia did at all but after a few moments, the white void above their heads began to shimmer and gradually turn blue. At first it looked very artificial, more like a blue painted ceiling than a sky, but as she tweaked it, it began to look more and more like a summer sky. There were even a few wisps of clouds drifting across it. If she looked at it carefully the colour was still slightly off but otherwise it was indistinguishable from a real sky – except for one thing. Read the rest of this entry »

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