When I first penned Lore of Arcana (Yes, penned! Pen and scrap paper was how it all started!), I wrote it with the word ‘fuck’ in its various guises. When initially published, it went to press as is.
Later, though, in the interests of a more general readership, the f-word was taken out, replaced with other colourful expletives, and holds true for the four Lore of Arcana volumes and the four Lore of Reaume.
The last four books (Lore of Sanctum) do have them swear words. If you have read to the point of picking up The Nemesis Blade (Sanctum 1), you will understand the agony and anger, and will no doubt agree some emotions are better expressed using a decent f-word. Lore of Sanctum is much darker than what went before, and also has a few surprises I refuse to reveal – absolutely knowledge those in the know will, well, know after having undertaken the journey.
This, therefore, is a head’s-up. When you get to Nemesis, know it gets brutal, raw, and so much more. In a manner I did not envision, Lore of Sanctum is the pay-off, a reward for readers who ‘grew up’ with this Lore Series. Conversely, it is also very bright, because it is about sanctum, after all, which is both sanctuary and sacred space.
Another head’s-up: The final book of this epic series is about to be put up on pre-order. Cover reveal coming soon!
The Shadof of Pendulim
Augin whirled around. Four forest creatures – dark skin tinged green, black eyes slanted downward, noses small but spread – leered at him from crouched positions, two-digit hands lifted into claws, sharp teeth exposed in silent snarls.
The first and second went down via daggers – he always kept a blade in each boot – and the third had his teeth knocked out before he even had opportunity to look down upon his fallen companions. The fourth rushed forward and took a hit in the jaw that laid him out cold.
Swift they were, but small and easily knocked about. He felt bad about killing two of them, but four against one? Even a priest might offer absolution for those odds.
Torrullin whistled. “Palace Guard, indeed.”
Elianas raised his arms high and flung his head back. His dark hair trailed downward and his great Shadow Wings soared out.
They were beautiful.
A Siric held glory in wings, a Centuar arrogant style, and many other races likewise proved their worth in wings, some feathered, others scaled and others more leathery, while a few were mere decoration, a prettiness that was useless.
The avian species, naturally, used their wings as a necessary tool, and beauty and prettiness was immaterial to that, and therefore was their beauty the greater.
Elianas’ wings, as Torrullin’s, were something unique. They were created by personality, by will, by power, by desire and by necessity. They were there to be utilized and were thus beautiful in practicality. They were beautiful too in the power their creation implied. Yet it was in substance where true mastery lay, therefore true beauty.
Shadow Wings were exactly that, shadow. They were not tangible, yet could be seen. They were not real, yet could beat the air and be felt in the movement of disturbed currents. They were because they had been made in the imagination.
Wings of power.
Elianas flapped his wings out, held them wide, and for a brief time the whole of all universes held a collective breath. In his hands then lay great power, the clay to shape every future … and he turned his back on it.
“Between planes, parallels and realms are spaces filled with energy and they attract and repel each other simultaneously. Every spark is awareness. Spark is light in dark and awareness is the energy created by that light. It is never random and it learns moment by moment until it becomes, and once it has become, it is. All it needs then is a vessel to open its eyes and see.”
Light Beings sing for freedom
“… in the time of discovery to enforced isolation, one other sentient race made Valaris their home also. I cannot say who they were or how many or how long it was before they realised Valaris could never be a home, but that day came and they retreated to this Forest; it was even larger then, and proved a haven for a time. They built this Well.”
It was an ordinary, round, stone well. Looking in, the water was a stone from overflowing, the liquid fresh; there was no bucket, no handle and no rope in sight.
“They built it with only four left. Who they were, as in a race name, has been lost, but an inquisitive little boy one day spied on them and the tale has lived on. The four gathered around their well and linked hands, peering deep into the depths to infuse the water with all magic they possessed. The liquid – water being pure and life-giving – became a medium for their song, and when the story was told and retold over the ages since then, all shook their heads and sighed in deep regret. As the story goes, one could see magic made music, and the music, the song, the harmony, the sound and purity of vibration gently lifted out, droplets pure and beautiful, sad and filled with longing. One could hear magic as it soared out on gossamer wings, filled the Forest and rose into the air, the atmosphere and beyond; crystal sound, astonishingly lovely and terribly haunting. They were calling home, sending crystal harmonies to penetrate the warp.”
“We don’t know if they succeeded, but hope it came to pass, for when the music was at its purest, they simply vanished. The sound slowly dropped back into the water and it retains magic to this day. Dip your fingers in and you feel it; drink it and your ailments of mind and body disappears. Sadly, no one has made it sing since, and that, my friends, is how this came to be called the Well of Crystal Sound.”
Yes, it is true many fantasy series include an orphan who becomes something or someone greater than the circumstances of his or her life determines at the point the tale begins.
Or the ‘chosen one’ may be from a family in dire need. Perhaps someone is whisked away into another realm and has to stand up in order to return home.
Many will say the above is ‘cliche’ , while others will talk about ‘heroic fiction’. It depends entirely on the readers viewpoint. From a writer’s POV, it either works or it doesn’t.
There is an orphan within the pages of ARCANA (there’s the ‘cliche’) but you will meet her as an adult. While she certainly has a mighty role, she may be someone other than the ‘chosen’.
If you read between these cliche lines, there is, point of fact, someone else you need to focus on – Rayne. Rayne chooses himself, in fact, and is a flawed individual. Love or hate him (an emotional conundrum the orphan struggles with), he is the glue.
When you have met Rayne, do let us know whether you love or hate him!
Fantasy is by nature about destiny and fate and the great and grand designs, and I believe one cannot entirely avoid inserting a telling a two to create an air of both mystery and expectation.
I do, however, understand that knowing what will happen is not optimum for readers. How did I avoid revealing too much?
I do not reveal the prophecy until after it’s fulfilled, and then I employ the fulfilling to explain how much the characters have grown. Prophecy thus flows in with the tale … and creates Destiny.
And now I break my own rule in revealing one to you!