Journey to the Slaves of the Horned God

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The Slaves of the Horned God is due to be released later this year. It is now in the editing stage but in the meantime, I am going to post a series of lead-in articles, just as I have done for The Heirs of Lydin and The Grey Mage.

These articles will cover places, themes and characters encountered by Polnygar and Bellaydin as they continue their journey.

First up is Polnygar, whose journey takes her to Selvarial, the fabled oasis-city of the Selvara and from there to the vast Infinite Caliphate, the desert empire whose borders touch the edges of the known world.

During her travels, she will meet people such as Celine de Lerid, Captain of the Leridian Chevaliers, Emir Omar al’Dazhi, ruler of Qar Arrid and Samir bin Adil, wealthy trader and old friend of Aelzandar.

Look for articles on these and more in the coming months.

Coming soon: The Slaves of the Horned God

2017 will mark the release of The Slaves of the Horned God, the second installment in The Ap’Lydin Chronicles.  Below is the cover and preliminary blurb: Watch for this book later in the year, and check back at this site for further updates!

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The battle for Wishapton has been won but for Bellaydin Ap’Lydin, the victory has come with a deeply personal cost. He will need all his courage to survive the trials ahead; the capital awaits him, and he must navigate the treacherous politics of the royal court. The Horned God’s minions may have retreated but, as Bellaydin will learn, they do not rest.

Meanwhile, Polnygar Ap’Lydin, still on the trail of the fugitive spellweaver Lord Ivellios, finds herself in the mystical desert empire of Qarld. In this unfamiliar place, she must decide who to believe, even as her trust in her own companions is shaken by unexpected revelations.  Do the Horned God’s followers still hunt her, or are there deeper and more dangerous threats beginning to surface?

Journey to the Grey Mage: Lord of the Spellweavers

In this the fourth and final preview for The Grey Mage, we meet the Spellweaver cadre and their leader, Lord Saegras li’Aelsar.

As Liderial labours under a brutal occupation, the free remnants of the Eldara nation hold court in distant Aderial. Without a King, the Eldara look to the Spellweaver caste for leadership. The greatest and most influential Spellweaver of them all is Saegras li’Aelsar.
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Saegras may be powerful, self-assured and convinced of Eldara exceptionalism, but he knows to acknowledge assistance when it is offered. An alliance with the Archmage Kelloccio put the resources of Qarld at Saegras’ disposal, a pact that would be vital when the time came to liberate Liderial.

Until then there were other pressing matters. Troubling news had come from the wild lands of Goriinchia, where a group of unaligned mages had taken possession of a Soldara ruin. Saegras and his fellow Spellweavers were alarmed by this development. There were Soldara secrets that could be dangerous in the wrong hands and when it turned out that these mages were led by Cassian, a known former pupil of the madman Rive, the situation became more serious. The Spellweavers journeyed to Goriinchia intending to remove these mages, one way or another.

Journey to the Grey Mage: Vengeance of the Goddess

vanaja_webIn our previous post on the setting of The Grey Mage, we met Cassian the Grey, leader of the unaligned mages who refuse to choose sides between Rive and Kelloccio. Now we turn to his second in command, confidant and lover, Vanaja of Tarishtia.

The Infinite Caliphate looms large in the anxieties of the people of Carurlonia, and its territories seem to stretch on forever, so much so that few realise that beyond the Caliphate, to the west, is an empire that rivals it in size.

The Tarishtian Raj has long been at odds with its neighbours, who regard the faith of the Tarishtians as a primitive form of idol worship. This belief was tested in a disastrous invasion where the forces of the Caliphate were shattered. While the faithful of Qarld is not ready to admit the existence of the Tarishtian Mother Goddess, the grandees of the Caliphate are wise enough to admit that something powerful dwells within the Forbidden City.

Wars as such ended between Tarishtia and Qarld, but raids and border skirmishes continued. After the Forbidden City itself was breached Qardleeans became aware of an assassin in their midst, one named the Vengeance of the Goddess, with a hatred of Qarld and all it stood for.

Few would have guessed that such an assassin was a young woman, scarcely more than a girl, orphaned by Qardleean raiders and using her newly discovered talent for the Art to wreak havoc across the lands of the Caliphate.

Eventually, she chose a target beyond her – the great wizard Kelloccio. Though Ralomish by birth, Kelloccio lived in the Caliphate as a guest of the great sorceress Fatima al’Naif. It was indicative of Kelloccio’s great charisma that he was able to turn Vanaja from an enemy into an ally and so she joined his retinue at the same time as another wizard, Cassian, arrived after breaking from Rive.

When Kelloccio would not allow Vanaja to continue her private quest of vengeance against her perceived foes, Vanaja left the wizard, taking Cassian, her new paramour with her. It was to the Tower of the Magi in Goriinchia they went. Here Cassian promised Vanaja the power to see her dream of revenge come true.

 

Journey to the Grey Mage: War of the Magi

At the time that The Grey Mage takes place, two and a half centuries before the Heirs of Lydin, two great wizards stand opposed to each other and other practitioners of the Art find themselves forced to choose a side.

In the frozen wastes of Skurj rules the great Archmage Rive, also known as Rive the Unholy, or Rive the Unspeakable. With his unspeakable armies and his unfathomable power, he casts a long shadow on the world of men, and his might has proved unassailable.

Only one wizard dares stand in opposition: Kelloccio the White, champion of the Resistance and protector of the innocent. Kelloccio’s ally, Fatima al’Naif, puts the considerable resources of the Infinite Caliphate at Kelloccio’s disposal, but even that might not be enough to stand against the might of Rive.

But what of those who would stand apart? What of those who would choose neither the darkness nor the light?
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Those who have chosen neutrality in this great war have retreated to the wilds of Goriinchia, and taken up in an ancient Soldara ruin. Here they pursue their own agendas, without the complications of Rive and Kelloccio’s conflict.

The most powerful of them, and acknowledged first amongst equals, is Cassian the Grey. Of privileged upbringing in Lerid, Cassian speaks little of his past, but rumors abound. It is said that he once served with Kelloccio, but more ominously that he was originally the favoured pupil of Rive.

Whatever the truth of these stories, Cassian is now a man who looks only towards the future and places the pursuit of knowledge above all, particularly knowledge of the Art. What secrets he is searching for in this tower, however, are anyone’s guess…

Journey to The Grey Mage

The Grey Mage is almost complete, so over the next few months I am going to do a series of posts that will preview the story that the novella will tell.

250 years before The Heirs of Lydin, the lands of Emparia are a different place. The Ran-Tyrons hold the crown, unchallenged by any rival, and the lands of Goriinchia are a primitive, barbaric place. The faith of the Horned God does not yet exist and Goriinchians themselves feel no unity amongst themselves above that of their own tribe.

A group of foreign mages has taken up residence in an ancient Soldara ruin, a ruin which has become known as the Tower of the Magi, thanks to the current inhabitants.

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It is into this world that will enter our protagonist, and one familiar to readers of The Heirs of Lydin: Aelzandar.

Though centuries later he may be known as the great and powerful Archmage, during this time Aelzandar is nothing more than an escaped slave, having spent years under the brutal yoke of the Qardleeans after fleeing his own homeland.

With the Qardleeans in pursuit, he flees to the Tower of the Magi, hoping to find refuge there…

In our next preview, we will look at the new character of the Grey Mage Cassian, and his followers.

 

 

Coming Soon – The Grey Mage

While The Slaves of the Horned God is not due until 2017, I will not be completely quiet in 2016.

In addition to the Ap’Lydin Chronicles I will be releasing a series of novellas, the first of which is planned for a 2016 release and will be titled The Grey Mage.  It is set 250 years before The Heirs of Lydin and features one of the major supporting characters of the Ap’Lydin Chronicles, Aelzandar.

Below is the cover and a preliminary blurb.

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Before he was the Archmage, he was the Exile…

Driven from his home and made a slave, Aelzandar flees his captors in an unknown land.  As the natives turn against him and threaten his life, he is saved by a mysterious cadre who dwell in the Tower of the Magi.

Welcomed into this brethren, he is introduced to their enigmatic master, the Grey Mage Cassian. In this place Aelzandar feels at peace for the first time in decades.

Aelzandar’s tranquil new life is short-lived when a discovery in the tower destroys this utopian society and drives a wedge through Aelzandar’s
new comrades. Deserted by his students and friends, Cassian looks to Aelzandar for help, but what can one slave do against the power of the divine?