Monthly Archives: November 2012

Background added: The Great Faiths of Chalandris

Hello, everyone. Still feeling ultra-jazzed about getting Gorman’s storyline started and posted last night. I took a short break to flesh out the two primary faiths on the world of Chalandris: The Golden Rule, and The Greenway. It has been added in its proper spot in the left-side menu under the Setting section, but I’ll include a direct link here: Religion in the World of Chalandris

Enjoy!

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It’s HERE!! It’s HERE!!! OMG, It’s HERE!!!!! Come see!!!!!

Hey everybody! It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! Can you believe it! I finally got it written!

Yes, it’s Scene THREE of Chapter One! Gorman’s introductory scene! With this scene all three central storylines have been introduced and it’s all uphill from here. *lol* I’ve also updated all the links so people can simply click through from one scene to the next if they want to read the scenes in order easily. I can’t wait to hear what y’all think. 🙂

On to Chapter Two, Scene 3!

The Order of the Golden Sovereign

Several centuries ago, when the Kingdom of Arcadia was still mostly confined to its southern territory and encroachments from primitive creatures in the north were more common, the Great Faiths responded to the situation. The Greenway founded the Clover Fellowship, common folk who pledged to respond at a moment’s notice whenever the alarm was raised. The Golden Rule founded The Order of the Golden Rule, a fraternity of knights and lords who built and manned many of the defensive fortifications seen in the north today.

Once the north was more settled and incursions into the civilized lands became much less frequent, it was decided that the Clover Fellowship would be sufficient to deal with the occasional hostilities, but the expense of maintaining the Order of the Golden Rule was no longer warranted. The defensive fortifications were sold to local lords and the order’s charter was revoked by the Supreme Hierophant.

The Grand Master of the order at the time was Earl Sir Brendan Anguy. He believed that by fielding a permanent army many valuable fighting techniques and tactics had been learned by the order. The Earl believed also that these methods should be preserved, fearing their loss if the order disbanded. He also believed that the north still required defending. Thus, after reading the Supreme Hierophant’s missive himself wherein the order’s charter was revoked, the Grand Master refused to allow the missive to be read by or to anyone else, allowing that as long as the Supreme’s Hierophant’s words were never actually read aloud, those who favored continuing the order’s mission could not be held to account for disobeying the writ.

Reagardless, without ecclesiastical charter, the order could no longer continue as a military and religious order. A Grand Council was convened to discuss the order’s future. It was decided that they would continue without the charter, in open defiance of the Supreme Hierophant. It was also decided that the expense of maintaining the order would be provided by hiring out their services to local lords who had need of more men to defend their lands but, while lacking soldiers, had no such lack for coin to purchase them. They would also exchange their services for present and future political and legal considerations. The name of the order was also changed to The Order of the Golden Sovereign, an obvious play on words, considering that the gold coinage of the realm is colloquially referred to as the “gold sovereign”; but it was decided that the change reflected well the order’s change in focus and allegiance.

The Supreme Hierophant was furious. He responded by declaring the order and all its members heretics, tools of the evil Bacchus and Morrigan, and thus unclean in the sight of Gideon and Bethany. In light of this, King Reynald II had no choice but to strip the heretics of their titles and estates, leaving the lords, knights, and all their retainers and men-at-arms homeless. In protest, some of the members converted to the Greenway. Others were determined to remain true to their faith, regardless of the Supreme Hierophant’s pronouncement against them.

A century or so ago, a successor to the Supreme Hierophant would absolve the order and its membership, providing that they had not “gone over to the green”. Most members offered the absolution, accepted. The order, however, remained a commercial enterprise, unwilling to return to ecclesiastical authority. And why should they? After more than a hundred years as a commercial enterprise, the Order of the Golden Sovereign had grown influential and wealthy; and to be deemed a “sovereign knight” often held as much clout as a “knight of the realm”, if not more so.

The current Grand Master is Sir Dunstan Molle. The order’s present membership numbers approximately twenty-five thousand (about twelve-hundred of them trained as sovereign knights) comprising units of infantry, cavalry, archery, artillery, plus other units in irregular and support roles. Still primarily used in the north, it is not unheard-of for the order to to operate anywhere in the kingdom, including the south. Famously, King Harald III caused quite a controversy in his court when he hired several units of the order’s renowned bowmen to supplement the royal levies for several months while waiting for his vassals to marshal their forces after a difficult winter.

As No Redemption for the Wicked begins, The Order of the Golden Sovereign is encamped in the field for its annual “crucibles”, a period of intense military training where nearly the entire order is present to perform drills and practice maneuvers for hours on end, day after day. The action will quickly settle upon a particular Knight-Commander Gorman in command of the order’s irregular units. Despite the order’s long and distinguished history, Gorman is about to change everything.

What I’m thankful for on Thanksgiving

Hello, everyone!

This Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful for. I have a wonderful family; and while I’ve always been aware of how richly I am blessed to have a family that openly loves and supports each other, as each annual Thanksgiving comes around that blessing becomes all the more precious to me as I see how rare that blessing truly is. No matter what, our family has always been there for each other whenever any one of us has needed help. Now, we have all the same disputes and arguments and frustrations and irritations of any family. Sometimes we get downright furious with one another, rightly or wrongly. But if any one of us is in trouble, none of that matters – the “Berry Patch” as we call ourselves rallies and comes together, knowing that here will be plenty of time after the crisis to resume our petty disputes once the more important business of being a family, of being good to each other and doing good for each other as a loving family should is taken care of. So, for that I am so very grateful.

I’m also thankful that I have been blessed with some innate talent to write. Whether that talent will be sufficient enough to provide some sort of living for me once I’ve learned to pair that talent with sufficient skill at the craft remains to be seen, but I’ve been blessed nonetheless and it remains up to me to do all I can to take fullest advantage of whatever measure of talent I’ve been blessed to receive.

And I’m thankful for each of you who are following my progress as I learn this craft of writing. I’ve said this before, but when I used to read on the Acknowledgement pages of novels that writers were thankful to certain people who believed in them at the beginning and that it was that early support that got them through the difficult days of learning the craft, and furthermore, that without that early support they might not have been able to make it. I couldn’t imagine then how that could be, that such an obviously good writer could doubt themselves or their ability. But whether I ever receive that commercial nod or not, I can certainly attest to the truthfulness of those sentiments. Without you who are reading my blog now, without your support and encouragement, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am now; so if I’m ever blessed to become published commercially I will be all the more grateful for all of you who will have made it possible.

But today, as I am reflecting upon all the things I am thankful for, all of you are very much a part of that reflection and I cannot allow this day to pass without saying so, without making certain you are a part of my Thanksgiving because I am so thankful for each and every one of you who have made this lonely journey so much less lonely for walking it with me.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

I’ve been BUSY, BUSY, BUSY! – – – Writing!

Hello all! Greetings and salivations!

I’ve posted TWO scenes tonight! Scene 2 to Chapter One and Scene 2 to Chapter Two. Both of them incorporate Serena’s storyline and are meant to blend in with Kara’s storyline. Next, I’ll be working on Gorman’s storyline. He’ll be Scene 3 in both Chapters One and Two, just as I did here to introduce Serena.
I’m looking forward to the feedback from you all. What I have is far from perfect as far as the writing. It’s actually quite raw and far from polished, but just because I’m aware of that, don’t hold back on the criticism. I’m sure you folks will not only ind the things I’m aware of but other things I missed, and that makes me better. I do think I have a good storyline, though, and once it’s polished it should be very good.

It sure has been nice to be productive. Sorry about the lack of blog posts but I wasn’t feeling very well again this past week. But I did put the time to the best use possible, and when possible, I worked on the novel.

Oh! Since these scenes are out of order, you may prefer to read them IN order, but that’s up to you. The links are posted on the right-hand menu if you want to read them in order, but I also included them here just in case you prefer to read them stand-alone.

Thanks for hanging in there!

World-building update, or ‘Learning from Past Mistakes’ and an informal POLL!

Got a LOT done last night and I feel GOOD!

Before I dive too far in, first I want to give a more detailed explanation on why I’m pausing to focus more on world-building right now than the draft:

As I’ve said, I’m bringing in a companion storyline to Kara’s, being a sort of amalgam of parts of the original ‘Jezebel Diaries’ story and parts of Zsaka’s storyline in ‘Mortality Interrupted’. At the beginning of No Redemption for the Wicked, I’ll be introducing this new character, Serena, right at the beginning along with Kara and beyond that, I’ll also be showing the primary antagonist right at the start. That’s three central characters whose stories start in entirely different places with their own goals and motivations for doing what they do, and I need to kick off the first novel being able to show all three of them and portraying the setting they’re in and the people around them convincingly.

To pull this off, settling for a vague notion of people and places is dangerously negligent. One of the things I know at this early stage is that, to set up big plot events later in the story, I need to show a marked difference between north and south from the very beginning, the north being rugged and adventuresome, and even dangerous frontier borderland; the south, by contrast, being comfortable and complacent, accustomed to wealth and luxury, and a culture and society past its peak, drunk on the successes of its storied past, and on the verge of decline.

In order to be able to start visualizing the specific settings and secondary characters that will be moving the story along, I need to have a more concrete view of my world. So much has changed since I started and now I have to reshape that world so that it can tell the story I’m trying to tell. That’s why I spent last night naming feudal estates and detailing how feudal society in the Kingdom of Arcadia works. Next will be drawing a rudimentary (trust me, it will be rudimentary *lol*) map of the Kingdom and its surrounding lands so I can place some of these estates within the kingdom and start to establish more clearly the various families, determine who they are and what their likely motives will be, and how they will affect the story.

(Don’t worry, I’m not going all ‘Game of Thrones’ here… 🙂 )

I know a lot about Kara and I’ve already written her storyline for the first two novels, the same for the antagonist although his storyline is a little less detailed. But to get started on Serena’s storyline and to flesh out the rest of the antagonist’s storyline, though, I need a much fuller picture, and I’m working on it with Serena and Gorman in mind so that, as soon as I have enough level of detail to get back to their outlines and begin incorporating their storylines into the draft I’ll be able to jump right on it.

Now, in addition to the feedback I always hope for when I post, from writers and readers alike, I also have a question:

When I do a lot of world-building stuff like I did last night with putting down in concrete terms how the feudal system works and who the more prominent families and nobles are, would you like me to post that here on the website?

Think on it and let me know. 🙂

Thanks, everyone!