THE VENGEANCE SPEAR: First Look

I am proud to show off the first page of The Vengeance Spear, a new fantasy collaboration between another author and myself. He’s fairly new to writing, but has a incredible talent for making great storylines and fun characters. I’m something of a ghost writer for this endeavor. This is the raw and unedited first page of that project.

There are a few hints to this being a fantasy project rather than an early 1900s era historical fictional piece. See if you can find them while reading.

His hammer clanged hard against the railroad spike. Sweat fell down his face like a rushing brook. He hammered a second and third time before taking a quick breather, and then pounded again until the spike was in place. He grinned before continuing on to the next spike.

Kayd had been working here for some time now. The job was hard and the weather was hot, but the pay was good enough that he had a place to live, so he stayed. He’d been a short but strong boy since he was young, so it didn’t surprise his parents when he left the house saying he wanted to help build the intercontinental railways. It was supposedly one of many steps in bringing all the continent’s diverse groups together. It would make a real nation out of them, the government said.

He hoped they were right this time.

He moved to another railroad spike and began pounding it as hard as he could. This time he got it in in only three swings. He laughed to himself.

“What’s funny?” asked another worker right next to him. Kayd was just amazed he’d heard him over the din of the hammers.

He caught his breath quickly before responding, “New record. Three swings.”

“Near the end of the work day?” The worker laughed. “Maybe you should tell those arms of yours to calm down. You’re making the rest of us look bad.”

“Mikk’s gotten three before,” Kayd pointed out.

The worker sighed before starting on his own spike. “Yes, and you’ve been here about half the time he has.”

Just as he’d finished speaking, Kayd caught a glimpse of his boss walking up to the area. The boss looked out over his crew with a cigar in his mouth and a furrowed brow. Kayd instinctively began hitting his next spike as hard as he could.

The boss took his cigar out slowly. He then blared a trumpet, and the crew slowly stopped what they were doing. His gaze softened. It was slight, but Kayd noticed.

“Don’t know how many of you boys were looking at your stop watches, but it was the end of the work day as of about five minutes ago. Now, normally I would be letting you all go home by now, but we’ve got a bit of an announcement.”

The boss rubbed his moustache profusely before continuing.

“With how long and hard you wonderful gentleman have worked, we are now approximately a week way from completing this area of railway. After our team and the next one meet up, that’s going to mean you fellers won’t be working on the railroad anymore. That is, unless you want to travel about a hundred miles to meet up with the next crew. Basically, you’re going to want to find other work.”

The crew stayed silent.

“You’ve been a great team. I’ll be sorry to see you all go. “

The boss smiled, trying to pretend to wipe away a bit of sweat. Kayd knew it was the beginning of a tear. “Well, that’s all I got. You all can pack up now, no dawdling.”

Kayd put away his things and began walking home. As he entered the outskirts of the town, he looked up at the sign above him. UNION CITY, said the sign, and just below it, THE PILLAR OF THE NEW WORLD. It greeted him every day he came and left work. He wondered how it would feel when he saw the sign for the last time.

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The Fantasy Genre Returns

So apparently my blog is very popular over this past week due to a post of mine called “A Little List of Lies about Leprechauns”. It’s gotten over 400 views, something I considered impossible for any of my posts. So with this in mind, I’ve decided to discuss the thing that birthed such creatures in the first place: the fantasy genre.

It seems like the fantasy genre is finally making a comeback. With shows like Game of Thrones, the Shannara Chronicles, and the recent success of The Hobbit, the general public is eating up fantasy as intensively as the upper class is eating lobster. But where does the booming interest in fantasy come from?

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INFORMATION REGARDING NOGGARDS: A “Dark Soldier” Promo

APPEARANCE
Noggards are most similar to serpents, except for their proportionately short, stubby legs. However, they are not the typical size of a serpent, not even for Vaelan standards. Their adult form can sometimes grow to a length of about 12 meters. If these same adults lift their head, it will be over 3 meters tall. Noggard queens are said to be even longer, occasionally growing up to almost 20 meters.

They have something of a covering like scales. However, the tips are sharp at the end. They can sometimes become long enough to make tracks from their belly as they walk. 

Continue reading “INFORMATION REGARDING NOGGARDS: A “Dark Soldier” Promo”

Dark Soldier’s Fantastic Fictional Religions!

After I found some awesome info on building fictional religions, I thought I would share some of the ones I have planned for the Dark Veil books!

Followers of the True King

The followers of the True King believe that many years ago, a powerful sentient being arrived from the sky along with four other beings: Mother Autumn, Father Frost, Mother Earth and Father Summer. This sentient being, known as the True King, created the planet and placed the four other beings as rulers over the planet. However, many years later, a being by the name of Laecon, Father Frost’s protoge, made war with the True King and took control over the entire planet in a 400-year-war, including the four other beings.

Nobody has heard from the True King since, but the True King’s followers believe that the King will return to make war and defeat King Laecon once and for all.

Followers of the Universe 

These people believe that the sky, the sun, the moon and the stars are the body of a giant one-eyed goddess. During the night, the goddess is open to prayer and suggestion. During the day, the goddess begins her work from suggestions the night before or her own will. This goddess is fickle, and it is often hard to tell if she will actually listen to the people’s suggestion. The more open her eye is (the moon being her eye), the more interested she is in listening.

When a person dies, if they are good enough, they will become one of the stars in the sky, a part of this goddess.

They are firm believers in allowing change. Like the tides, they flow with the situations of life, as they do not believe that people can change their situation.

Followers of the Dark Veil

This, depending on who you ask, is either an offshoot or the precursor to the True King religion. The Dark Veil believers believe that there is a being even older than the True King known as the Dark Veil. Their ways are mysterious, their gender and appearance unknown. The Dark Veil, according to this religion, created the True King. The True King wanted to make their own creation apart from the Dark Veil’s universe. Therefore the Dark Veil allowed the True King and four other gods to do their work. But the True King would also reap the suffering of a corrupt world.

Many believe that the Dark Veil has a direct contact with King Laecon, who fought against the True King in a 400-year-war. Laecon has no problem with toting this belief everywhere he goes.

Followers of the Great Void

These people believe that there are gods, but that they are uninterested in their creation after they create them. They believe that all bad things that happen are a result of their feuding amongst themselves. As such, their only consolation in the world is to either accept the bad things of life or to die – to go into the void of nonexistence and never return.

They avoid having children and will often recruit orphans. Angsty teenagers often try to join but the priests insist that they consider their decision a while before doing so.

Getting Out Of A Writing Rut

I was actually in a writing rut for a while. Bad time to be in one, since I’m on the last draft of a book I’ve been working on for some time. But something brought me out of that rut. Well a few things, really.

The first was the desire just to get it finished: to hold in my hands a hardcover book with a nice ribbon bookmark and a gorgeous cover and realized that all that work meant something.

The second was the thought that maybe someday I would be signing books and that someone would come up to me, place my own book in front of me and tell me how much they loved it, that it was their favorite. I would love to see someone fanboy / fangirl over my book just as much as I do.

The third is really just an extension of the second. I made the things that I’ve struggled with in life a key facet of my writing: depression, rejection, bitterness and loneliness. But though the characters I wrote struggle with many of these same things, I also made a light at the end of the tunnel, a happy ending, if you will. I would love to see someone come up to me to tell me how encouraging that book was for their own personal trials and struggle. I would love to hear that the book gave them the courage to press on even when they didn’t want to.

And finally, I would love to see some people come to faith in Christ through it. Although this is a fictional book in a fictional world, faith and trust make themselves key aspects of the novel. Faith is the very frame, the cornerstone for the entire book. I am not ashamed of this in the least. Now, I suppose you can read the book and see it as just a very nice story about sacrifice and faith and trust. But I would also add that it’s probably not going to be as intricate and interesting a story if you are not seeing it through this light. So hearing someone tell me that it changed their life would be fantastic.

Perhaps I have my expectations too high, seeing as it’s my very first book published. Only about a third of writers get their first books published, maybe less. But I’m obnoxiously hopeful! So I guess we’ll just have to see how big this project of mine gets.

Magic Systems

blackwingedgabriel:

It’s 2am when I’m writing this and I can’t sleep, so allow me to tell you in detail about the magic system for my upcoming book Dark Soldier.

In Vaela, magic is a very tangible thing. The most common form of it is called crystal magic. In this form, one can actually buy magic by purchasing crystals. You can open up the locked magic inside by reciting phrases depending on the stone you buy. Also depending on the spell that you are in need of, magic can be very, very pricy… unless you are one of those crazy people who actually go to crystal sources to find them. That’s a bit of a risky operation, so most people don’t do that. Instead, the poor are just far less protected than the rich. Due to the fact that the rich are just generally more powerful, especially having powerful magical stones, there’s not much the poor can actually do about it. The stones are often color coded to define their specific trait. For instance, an air-based stone will be colored differently from a fire-based or protection-based stone. The more tumbled, polished and/or purified the stone, the more powerful it is. Thus, the bigger price for the bigger amount of work involved.

Now, there is another way to get magic in Vaela. This form is called beast magic. It means that the user does not actually need crystals to perform magic, but instead has magical energy inside their soul. It is generally more powerful than crystal magic. This type of magic is not very common, and those who have it won’t often use it due to its energy-draining nature. A very powerful spell could make the user lose consciousness, go into a coma-like state, or occasionally, depending on the power of the magic, even kill the magic user after they say the spell. This is not a coveted ability, especially since beast magic users have a hard time using crystal magic.

That’s all I’ll give away for now! Thanks for reading this long spiel and let me know what you think! Also, tell me the magic systems for your fantasy novel! I love to hear this kind of thing.

Magic Systems

It’s 2am when I’m writing this and I can’t sleep, so allow me to tell you in detail about the magic system for my upcoming book Dark Soldier.

In Vaela, magic is a very tangible thing. The most common form of it is called crystal magic. In this form, one can actually buy magic by purchasing crystals. You can open up the locked magic inside by reciting phrases depending on the stone you buy. Also depending on the spell that you are in need of, magic can be very, very pricy… unless you are one of those crazy people who actually go to crystal sources to find them. That’s a bit of a risky operation, so most people don’t do that. Instead, the poor are just far less protected than the rich. Due to the fact that the rich are just generally more powerful, especially having powerful magical stones, there’s not much the poor can actually do about it. The stones are often color coded to define their specific trait. For instance, an air-based stone will be colored differently from a fire-based or protection-based stone. The more tumbled, polished and/or purified the stone, the more powerful it is. Thus, the bigger price for the bigger amount of work involved.

Now, there is another way to get magic in Vaela. This form is called beast magic. It means that the user does not actually need crystals to perform magic, but instead has magical energy inside their soul. It is generally more powerful than crystal magic. This type of magic is not very common, and those who have it won’t often use it due to its energy-draining nature. A very powerful spell could make the user lose consciousness, go into a coma-like state, or occasionally, depending on the power of the magic, even kill the magic user after they say the spell. This is not a coveted ability, especially since beast magic users have a hard time using crystal magic.

That’s all I’ll give away for now! Thanks for reading this long spiel and let me know what you think! Also, tell me the magic systems for your fantasy novel! I love to hear this kind of thing.