Sneak Peek: EURUE

Final edit done, cover ready – EURUE will be available soon!

Meanwhile, here’s a peek at the title (Font and effect that I love!) and the blurb …

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The universe is populated and many worlds are far-flung, forgotten. Until the day Gabryl, a man both alive and dead, his body reposing in a sarcophagus, his spirit roaming as a shifting being, bellows a call to arms. Eurue, as world and civilisation, after ages of isolation, will now step into the ultimate arena.

Tristan and Alusin of the Kaval hasten to answer the summons to where tentacled miasmas are consuming people body and soul. Savier, as Keeper of the sarcophagus, sheds light on an ancient legend. Tianoman, Vallorin of the Valleur, brings the Valleur host to Eurue, and Emperor Teighlar of Grinwallin pledges his army.

But how does one fight miasma?

Who is the true enemy?

Meanwhile, as the spaces become frantic, a woman in a turret somewhere, elsewhere, plans her revenge. The schism between what went before and the reality of the present presents to her the power to control the fate of all.

Who will stop her?

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Sacred Contradiction

More Reaume concepts:

Sacred: worthy of reverence or respect; venerable

 Profane: showing contempt or irreverence towards sacred things; blasphemous

Land: Territory over which rule or control is exercised; Domain, badlands, kingdom, realm, terra firma; Bring into a different state (verb)

Brinkmanship: The policy of pushing a dangerous situation to the brink of disaster (to the limits of safety)

Contradiction: Opposition between two conflicting forces or ideas

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It’s about PEOPLE

Most tales have a number of facets to them. A Romance may delve into the horror of war. A funny story may have a profound undertone. A Historical may contain battles, romance and the political climate of the day. Science Fiction wouldn’t work if everything was about the tech; always there is the human element. All of it centres around people, though.

Fantasy goes there, too. The tales are not just about incredible creatures and fantastical landscapes. In fact, the best Fantasy is sort of ‘normal’, set in places familiar to us (with a tweak or three!) and characters we are able to identify with (with a bit extra, of course, such a heroic, reluctant, powerful, evil and so forth – they are identifiable, but occasionally larger than life also).

The Lore Series, whether you read one book or the entire series, would not hold attention long or stand the test of time if everything was fantastical and put forth battle good after battle evil. A good tale needs people in all their weaknesses and strengths, their soul-searching and their terrible resolve, in order to shine. The reader (you!) wants to identify with the main character, fall in love with the sidekick, absolutely despise the bastard causing so much grief, and feel sad with the man in his grief, laugh with the woman happy in her own skin.

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As writers we are readers also, and therefore, over the next few weeks, I’ll tell you about the people in Lore. I will share with you the romances blooming, love failing, family dynamics, the questions they ask themselves, where they come from and what they hope for. Some of this will be in excerpt form, a moment where one pauses and wonders, and some will be the reader in me simply sharing my viewpoint of interwoven personalities.

My wish is for you to fall in love with the people populating my universe! Do come back and discover who they are!

ejd

Prelude to War

This excerpt is the state of things as The Sleeper Sword commences. It functions as backstory now, for I removed it during an edit.

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The Dome of the Guardians

Buthos stood at the raised white dais ignoring the flashing lights upon it. They were familiar to him and he no longer noticed them, and had no need to remind himself of what they signified.

Knowledge, Communion, Sorcery and Recognition. Part of him, part of all the gathered, taken for granted.

He was looking up, staring. The vaulted ceiling was transparent and he could discern the many stars that filled the void of this region, but he was not seeing that beauty. No, he looked with memory upon what once graced the ceiling, the beauty and horror that adorned where now transparency did likewise. Reflections of the participants in ancient battles, good and evil. A work of incredible artistry removed, for they no longer needed reminder of those times. Other times had come, and no rendition could ever do justice to those.

He sighed inaudibly and lowered his colourless eyes to the sacred ogives. More memories there. He closed his eyes, seeing snatches of coming and goings. He truly missed old friends who had entered and exited, and now never would again. So many gone. Fourteen ogives, and once thirteen were in frequent use, but that dwindled to just seven … then, abruptly, it had been eight. The fourteenth doorway, never before used, had glowed for a brief, too brief time. The Dragon ogive. Now there were only four, and one of those four was his personal entrance as leader.

He sighed again and opened his eyes. In reality, therefore, only three active doorways. Three races. The final three to recognise and acknowledge the magical presence of the Dome, the Gatherers’ Circle of the Immortal Guardians.

He turned his gaze to the gathered on the tiered stone benches, and for a moment a profound sense of loss overcame him. He was not generally given to great introspection – after so long he knew himself – but there were so few left that it hurt. It was only a matter of time before the Dome winked out forever, and it and they would truly be no more.

The three remaining Centuar. The three Sylmer. And his Siric, now a mere seven including himself, after the long strife with the Murs of the Forbidden Zone. The gathering call had gone out and they came as ever, unable to ignore the summons, for it was felt within and was not issued unless there was need.

His lips tightened briefly. Only one additional ogive was still open to entrants, but they had not responded. The Q’lin’la were in the Forbidden Zone and had either not heard through the enchantment there or assumed their current tasks superseded the summons. Most likely it was the latter, for the feathered magicians had bound themselves elsewhere.

His eyes flicked again to the Dragon ogive. In all the ages it alone had remained dark but for that one stretch of time when its master breached the defences. He was himself inside the Dome that day and petrified to see a legend made real … and now he wondered if it would glow again, ever. He prayed it would and that he would live to see it come to pass.

“Buthos?”

He started, still unused to his name, and then relaxed. Buthos. The Dome Dragon had named him true that day and it shattered him for a time. He then reassumed his real identity after that Dragon left into the invisible realms, an honour, a private homage offered to a departed friend.

He was taking a long time to say anything, he knew, but it was a long time since the Gatherers’ Circle had convened … and the memories were fresh again and he could do no other than accord them due reverence.

He smiled, cleared his throat and waved a hand. “It’s still beautiful, is it not?”

“It’s been a fair while,” Belun, the Centuar leader, returned with an answering smile. He and his two companions were in humanoid guise, a form they employed more often than not now, for reasons Buthos was unaware of.

It was five hundred years since their last gathering and that time had been to release the Sagorin from their oath to the Guardians. No longer Immortal and with a growing population on Glorium, their homeworld, they asked to be released and it was granted. The universe experienced unprecedented peace, and the Guardians’ tasks now were of policing against exploitation of new and old worlds and their natural resources. Not a darkling in sight and the dark-inclined races had retreated to war only upon their own, and who desired to change that? The Sagorin were not called to duty in a thousand years and therefore allowed to go.

The Light had come. In the guise of a Dragonne Queen and a sword and a legend.

The Gift of Torrullin.

Buthos sighed once more and Belun rose to come forward. “I know you not like this, old friend; what is it?”

“I miss it all, Belun. Old friends, Taranis … Torrullin. Peace is a wonderful thing, yet I hark to the fire of yesteryear.”

Belun inclined his magnificent head. “I know exactly how you feel. Yet something is a-foot for you recalled the Circle. Fireworks, perhaps?”

The Siric leader chuckled and his eyes sparked. He put the memories away and faced the present. “Ah, yes, I’d say something is decidedly on the brew.”

Belun tapped the dais as if to say ‘well, let’s get on with it then’ and returned to his seat.

Buthos raised his voice and began to speak. “Welcome, friends. It’s good to see you all together.” All nodded and smiled; there was a sense of anticipation. “We’ve been scattered for some time – this is the first time this century the Siric are in one place – but I believe any of you here would’ve recalled the Dome in the near future had I not done so now. The same disquiet has come to you, if I read you correctly.”

One of the Sylmer rose. He was newest to the trio and was spokesman for the other two. Those two were fixtures to the Dome and excruciatingly shy. He jumped down to stand at ease in the open circle. He was bright of colour and very self-assured, unlike his companions. This Sylmer had not a shy hair on his head.

“Canimer was attacked two weeks ago, the first time such calamity has befallen our homeworld.”

Everyone stared at him. The Sylmer were virtually defenceless unless the antagonists entered the water.

Cristor held his hands high to forestall questions. “Nobody succumbed and the attack was short-lived, but it was unforeseen and we don’t know why. And further, we can’t determine origin. Canimer is on alert and the stress already exacts a toll. Yes, we were of a mind to call the Guardians in a matter of days.”

“What happened?” Belun asked. The Centuar ever regarded themselves as protectors of the shy Sylmer.

“Our floating island,” and Cristor indicated himself and his two companions, “was blasted out from under us. Luckily we were in the water at the time, but what really concerns us is that the blast erupted from below, from the ocean herself. Combing the seabed has revealed anything. The only thing we have with certainty is that no mortal Sylmer initiated the attack.”

“Hell and damnation,” Belun muttered. Then: “Do you have a place to live?”

“Thank you, yes – we put the pieces together.” The Sylmer were a water people and lived out their entire life spans needing no land. Canimer had no land, thus when a Sylmer attained Immortality – thereby losing his or her tail – that Sylmer had to leave the homeworld. Due to the long peace these three opted to return and, while they could comfortably reside in water for spells, they also required something solid for those times water became too much for altered biology. The Siric had assisted in erecting a floating island for their comfort, as had the Centuar, bringing the necessary materials in from other worlds.

“No signature?” Buthos asked.

“Not a trace,” Cristor returned, and made his way back to his seat.

“Belun, you want to say something?” Buthos asked when the Centuar again rose from his seat.

“Pleses was attacked a month ago and again no obvious instigator. Recently the Dinor declared an internal truce to investigate incidences of violence not of their doing. No trace of cause found. Two days back an ethereal dome dropped over Shanghai Metrop on Xen – they’re still investigating. Now we hear Canimer too has suffered an inexplicable event …”

Declan, Buthos’ deputy, interrupted. “Beacon’s power was mysteriously severed for nine days. It’s currently harsh winter and seventeen people died as a result.”

“There are other incidences,” Buthos said. “They appear random and were it not for our ability to overview, they’d remain unrelated. Some are natural catastrophes, on a small scale, and some come in the guise of technological fault. Others are in the form of attack and a smaller number have the appearance of sorcery.”

“And what links them is the blatant lack of how, who, why or what,” Belun grumbled.

“Precisely.”

“And each incidence speaks to the greatest fears,” Declan said. “Beacon will certainly succumb without power, Canimer can’t absorb the shock of an attack from the water, Xen has an understandable horror of returning to a domed existence …”

“Declan has a point,” Buthos murmured. “Something is a-foot and we need to find out what that is.”

Belun rubbed his hands together. “Excellent.”

A few chuckles.

They understood. Peace was wonderful, but this was why they were Immortal Guardians. Sentries against evil. And it had been a while since their particular talents had been put to the test.

Interview with Cat Dalrish

My name is Blue River Frond and I am from Charikian. We are people watchers and we are scribes. Every being in all time and space has a place and a purpose and to that end we record the words they speak, for posterity … and for insight into the past. Please call me Blue and read my dialogues:

Catalina Dalrish

(I met with Cat in the bar at the Launchpad of Xen III’s largest spaceport)

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Blue: Hello, Cat, please to meet you. Why do people call you ‘Cat’?

Cat: It’s short for Catalina. I like it better anyway.

Blue: I believe you are of the Dalrish family.

Cat: I am, but I prefer not to talk about my family. Nothing good comes of discussing the Dalrish.

Blue: Even your brother Matt?

Cat: Matt is the only good thing in this family.

Blue: I sense your reluctance. Shall we then talk about your talents as a navigator?

Cat: Anytime!

Blue: I hear you studied at Xen’s Navigational School.

Cat: One thing you must say about Xen – it has the ability to instil knowledge and the Navigational School is considered one of the best in the universe.

Blue: Would you say your charts are up to date?

Cat: Absolutely. In fact we discovered some old charts from pre-dome days that have helped our understanding tremendously … but I’m not really allowed to talk about it. We also have the latest duplicates from Beacon’s exploration ships.

Blue: Exploration ships is a bit of a misnomer, wouldn’t you say?

Cat: Yeah. Beacon isn’t known for its benevolence, more exploitation than exploration, in my opinion. Maybe you shouldn’t print that.

Blue: Your brother is a pilot, not so?

Cat: The best. Can fly anything.

Blue: Is it chance that both of you chose careers that take you away from Xen?

Cat: Did we decide together to study in a field that enables it? No. But it isn’t chance either. I think both of us simply understood that was the only way to experience freedom.

Blue: Freedom from what?

Cat: Family, of course, but mostly the domes on this diseased world. If you want to know what real sunlight feels like, you have to leave. Or to feel rain, breathe fresh air. None of that here.

Blue: And yet you return after every journey. Why not simply slip away?

Cat: It comes down to family.

Blue: What do you mean?

Cat: Families always place a sense of duty on your outlook. Sorry, that’s as much as I’m going to say.

Blue: Your next trip is to Valaris, I hear? You and Matt are flying together this time.

Cat: We often fly together, but, yes, we’re on our way to Valaris in two days.

Blue: Have you been there before?

Cat: A few times now, a beautiful world, loads of fresh air and sunshine.

Blue: Easy to slip away there.

Cat: Maybe, but I wouldn’t do it without Matt.

Blue: He wouldn’t want to stay?

Cat: He’d stay in a heartbeat, but has too great a sense of duty to family to simply leave.

Blue: What’s on Valaris that takes the Blue Domian Nine there so often? Nice name, by the way.

Cat: We call our ship the Blue Dom, and it’s produce mostly. We swap solar gear for fresh food … and there’s the tourist aspect, of course. Many pay huge amounts for a few days in clean air.

Blue: Ah, yes. Matt’s actual name is Le Matt, isn’t it? Most Dalrish have a ‘Le’ something – do you?

Cat: The Dalrish women don’t get it.

Blue: Your uncle …

Cat: I’m not discussing my uncle.

Blue: Fine. After Valaris, what’s next for Cat Dalrish?

Cat: Another journey, another chart, who knows?

Blue: If someone were to offer you change, would you take it?

Cat: What kind of change?

Blue: Employment on Beacon, for instance?

Cat: Ah, I don’t rightly like Beaconites, but yes, I’d take it for the cleaner way of life, if Matt did so also.

Blue: Would you do it for Valaris?

Cat: Without thinking twice.

Blue: Have you met any Valleur on Valaris?

Cat: One. His name’s Krikian. He teaches me magic and I teach him science. A great guy!

Blue: Magic?

Cat: Oh, nothing like the big stuff the Valleur can do, just tricks really to entertain the crew on long journeys. Blue, I must go …

 

An alarm sounds and Cat is on her feet and running.

(Next I hear of Cat, she and Matt are both employed by the Valleur on Valaris. One wonders what a techno-poor world wants with a navigator and a pilot able to fly anything, doesn’t one?)

The Life-Wheels of Pendulim

The second LORE short!

This one did form part of the original version of The Dragon Circle, but I removed it after beta readers told me it detracts from the main tale. Some of this, in a truly shortened format, does appear, but what happens in the book is now different from what happens here, particularly regarding Augin, the Palace Guard who accompanies Torrullin to Pendulim. Augin’s fate in this short is very different!

Read, therefore as an aside 🙂

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Blurb

To ward Valarian souls against soul-snatching, Torrullin Valla, along with Augin, Palace Guard, journey to Pendulim. They need a flame-wright able to fashion a Life-Wheel, a device able to protect the innocent and their souls.

But there is more to the mission. A Champion from Pendulim is being prepared to invade the Dome of the Guardians, wearing a Wheel able to confer immortality. The Dome will not survive. The Champion must be stopped.

Together, Torrullin and Augin negotiate the dangers in the forests of Pendulim.

The Life-Wheels of Pendulim

The Worlds of Lore and the Author

A few words from the author today!

The Lore Series has been the ultimate mission, and to that end the main story is now complete. 3 separate series, yes, but all part of the whole, ending with the 12th volume, The Master Mechanism.

And yet, there is more to say.

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Firstly, much was taken out of the grander tale in the interest of a smooth reading experience, and those inserts served as a greater backstory to enrich the telling. I knew, and could therefore draw on them to flesh out the story. These inserts are now being collated as short stories, and will be published one by one. They are not integral to LORE, but you may find the extras intriguing.

The LORE Short Story Series! 

4 shorts stories are ready, the first of which has just been published (see next post!)

So far:

The Rainbows of Pilan

The Life-Wheels of Pendulim

The History of Ardosia

The Wolves of Valaris

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Secondly, having completed the series, I realised certain characters have their own tale, and the moment I thought that … an added new series was born 🙂

LORE Worlds Series!

One full volume is finished and the second is underway. As soon as the cover art is complete, I will tell you more.

So far:

EURUE – The Forgotten World

FAROCHIN – The Terraformed World

Here’s hoping you will come with me on these journeys also!

ejd

 

In the Realm of the Dispossessed

“How do I open it?” Sabian asked, rolling the metal orb over.

“Drop it,” Elianas muttered, staring fixedly at the sphere.

Sabian dropped it.

Torrullin stepped away a pace, a mask slipping over his face.

The petals appeared as expected and there the green sparking commenced.

Sabian leaned over it. “Intriguing. My experience tells me of wisps of white smoke, sometimes colourful flower designs, but a moving sphere is quite rare. One cannot usually see souls; it is more a sense of sight. This one is pretty established.” He looked up. “It is either long held, in which case, innocent or not, it will be most unhappy, or it is newly harvested and therefore still maintains clear presence.”

Neither man said a word in response.

Sabian shrugged and kneeled. “I shall now breathe on it.”

Torrullin cleared his throat. “Breathe? As simple as that?”

“My ancient breath was not given me via simplicity, Torrullin.”

“True.” Torrullin swallowed. “Go ahead.”

Sabian leaned in close. Elianas abruptly hunkered to see more clearly, while Torrullin remained unmoving. Sabian blew on the swirling emerald orb. Torrullin became as stone. He understood he now guarded his heart against whatever came next. The kneeling man opened his mouth wide and exhaled forcefully.

The spinning ceased.

Sparks snuffed out.

Elianas braced with hands flat on the ground beside him.

The circular shape curved outward and then elongated into an impossibly thin thread reaching into the sky. Green sprinkles erupted as if exploding, and then they vanished. The metal device disintegrated, until only dull glitters remained.

“Direct to Aaru,” Sabian murmured, sitting back.

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THE MASTER MECHANISM