Category Archives: The City Under the Mountain

Updates and Major Changes

See that up there?  I doubt I have to explain what it’s supposed to be.  I’ve been out of touch much longer than I expected to be–in fact, book four is supposed to be here, you scream at your computer screen.  Let’s get into it.

So, yeah–book four is delayed quite a bit.  Not by choice, but by necessity.  There’s lots going on, so let me fill you in on what’s happening on my end of things.

There is some very exciting things (hopefully) coming down the pipe for Child of the Flames.  I don’t want to jynx anything, but there’s a possibility that an audio version may soon become available.  Keep your ears peeled for more on that in the near future.

This means there’s a bit of work to be done on my end, though.  New covers, new paperbacks, new everything.  I won’t get into the nitty-gritty business language, but this turn of events has necessitated a redo of a lot of stuff, which has taken a considerable amount of time.  Expect to see some major changes filtering down within the next few weeks.

That’s the first reason The City Under the Mountain is delayed–lost time to reworking things.  The next is that I’ll have to wait for the new artist to finish the covers, which I’m really excited about.  You guys see that picture up there, right?  It’s hand-painted.  The new covers will be nothing to sneer at.  He’s got to redo them all, though, so it will take a little time.

The next reason isn’t so fun–I’ve got to go to court against the wailing protests from the depths of my soul.  I’m not in trouble or anything, it’s just legal stuff that needs to be taken care of.  I’ve got a lot of meetings with lawyers in my near future, and that’s never fun.  Anyone who’s been through it knows what I’m talking about.

So, all that said, expect The City Under the Mountain be released in mid-December.  I know it sucks–believe me, I wouldn’t sneer at the money it would bring–but it’s necessary.  Lots of stuff is happening, and at the moment, City is caught in the whirlwind of activity.

If you’ve tried to get in touch with me and received only silence in return, that’s why.  In the meantime, though, I’ve got another recommendation to tide you all over.

Those of you who got my email about my friend Jacob Peppers will remember him.  He released A Sellsword’s Compassion a couple of weeks ago, and he’s seeing some good reviews from it.  The guy is a madman (and has a substantial backlist of books) and so he’s just released the first book in his second series, The Son of the Morning.  Also, The Silent Blade–the novella in his Seven Virtues series–is currently FREE.

So head on over and check him out.  Drop him a love letter and let him know I sent you there.  It’ll put a smile on his face, and I can use the fact to strong-arm him into buying me beer.  Much love and respect to you all, and I’ll be sending you something soon.

Also–The Ballad of the Outrider is similarly delayed for the same reasons discussed above.  I was halfway through the second installment when I had to turn my attention away, so it’s coming within the next two weeks

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Updates on The City Under the Mountain

So, having pushed out a bit of news on this subject weeks ago to my mailing list, I realized–somewhat belatedly–that I had yet to update everyone else.  This is why I need an assistant.

With brevity, City is going to be delayed.  I have someone very close to me who is very sick, and it has put a wrench in my planning.  I had hoped to get three books out before the end of the year, but now it’s looking like only two.  I wish things could be different, but some things in life are more important than work.  I know that’s not anything people want to hear, but life sometimes (always) gets in the way of our plans.  Every now and then you have to enjoy the time you have as much as you can, and this is one of those times.  I will not go into much detail, but the delays are necessary and inevitable.

I’m putting the release of The City Under the Mountain off until mid-October.  As of right now, that’s the earliest I see everything getting done.  With that being said, I have made some arrangements to try and complete it sooner.  I’ve hired some help around the house–most of you know I’m a single dad, which takes up a lot of time–and arranged my schedule in such a way as to give me ample time to complete the book before outside elements can have more of an effect than they already have.

I’m working on the final draft now, so hopefully these changes will be helpful.  We’ll see.

Also, if you’re a Conclave member who has subbed in the last few days, check your email for the first installment of The Ballad of the Outrider: Season One.  New subscribers should now have access to the serial in the final welcome email, so if you haven’t subscribed, it’s a good time to start.

Don’t worry.  I won’t tell your mom.

All for now.  More later.  Much love.

World of Eldath: Magic, the Blessed, and the Learned

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Many scholars throughout the years have attempted to discern exactly what magic is and where it came from.  Its effects have been studied by the School of Magical Arts, the Conclave in the Sevenlands, and even the Minsdurim Academy, upon occasion.  There are multiple books on the subject, the foremost among them being Garland’s Song of the Fabric of Creation.  Still, at the time that this report is being written, this scholar has found no invention, scientific method, or even a magical device that can test the essence of magic and tell us what it really is and where it came from.

The accepted view by most laymen is that magic is the “fabric of creation” or the “material of creation” left over from when the Gods forged the world.  Such a simplistic explanation can be credited to the Epics of the Gods and the mythology that most religious texts perpetuate.  The general idea, explained by a Devlan Devotee, is that Evmir shaped the world and everything we see from a magical base material.  The phrase so often repeated is that he  “commanded the world come forth from the ether”.  When asked exactly what magic is, or what the “ether” is, most religious explanations fail to satisfy, as they so often do.  If one wants to learn of magic, one must go to a wizard.

According to representatives of the Conclave of Wizards, children who are born with an inherent connection to magic, referred to as “Blessed”, begin to show signs of the power between the ages of seven and fourteen years.  This range is not as accurate as it could be; the Conclave admits that some children may go for years using magic undiscovered by their scouts or their parents.  The manifestation seems to correlate directly with the children aging into sexual maturity, though there have been cases which seem to show no correlation.  Sometimes trauma has been shown to be a direct factor as well, though those cases are rare.  Findings from the School of Magical Arts directly support the information from the Conclave.

Magic is described by wizards as having an empathetic nature.  It apparently responds to emotions felt by magic users, and those emotions can either intensify, confuse, or entirely null the effects of their intended spells and evocative castings.  By their own admission, the use of magic can be a very dangerous undertaking.  Wizards have been known to lose control of their powers and kill themselves–or others–because of the emotional factors at play, though the Conclave assures me that such things are rare and easily controlled and prevented through proper training.  Strenuous mental discipline is the best deterrent, according to those who traffic in the use of magic.

Magic apparently responds to outside stimuli as well.  It has been shown to resonate differently with different materials, such as brass, stone, various gems, and even water.  Mathematical and geometrical formulas seem to evoke a response from magic, as do certain shapes in nature, the most common of which is the circle.  This scholar had heard rumors of a great circle constructed in the bowels of the Conclave called the Crux, but any reference to it, or request to see it, was met with denial.

The most interesting magical reaction seems to be with music.  Apparently musical tones have an intense effect on magic, and the Conclave has studied the phenomenon for a long period of time.  They have found that the most interesting reactions seem to come from entire compositions of music rather than individual tones, as if the music produces an emotional response from magic, as ridiculous as that sounds.  The theory seems to hold water when compared with the earlier knowledge that magic responds to emotions from those who use it.  The two phenomenon seem to be intertwined somehow, though sufficient time and effort would be needed to study it further.

Magic seems to be able to perform almost any action the wizard can imagine, though the boundaries of such power are blurry and undefined at best.  Most wizards seem to operate on their own preconceived notions about nature, and such a thing can be a serious deterrent to studying magic’s full potential.  Some of the more mundane uses for magic, such as moving large objects or producing a small light from nothing, can be as simple or as complicated as the mind of the wizard wielding the power.

This scholar personally listened to two different explanations on how one would move a rock with magic.  One wizard preferred to simply seize the rock with his “Kai”, as he put it, and move the thing a small distance.  He explained that in his mind, he pictured carrying the stone in a large, invisible hand.  The second spoke of an invisible force holding the rock to the ground already, and he simply pictured himself coaxing the force to let go for a small amount of time while he moved the rock.  The results were the same, though the methods were clearly different.

Wizards do seem to have a limited amount of endurance for using magic.  Each person would appear to have a different threshold for holding a certain amount of power, and it has been determined by the Conclave that every wizard grows slowly stronger over time.  Exposure to the power also seems to lengthen the lifespans of all wizards, though it is said that most older magic users retreat from society in order to better commune with the strange energy.  It is also said that wizards heal faster than normal people, and are more resistant to disease, though the factor by which this happens is minimal.  It has been demonstrated to this scholar that magic also cannot heal any ailment with reliable results.  The two things may be connected, and that subject may warrant further study in the future.

It is possible for those born without the ability to touch magic to gain it through careful study and training.  In the Sevenlands they call those wizards the “Learned”.  The differences between Learned and Blessed magic users stop at the method by which they gained use of the power.  There appears to be no correlation between the method of training and the final ability and strength of any wizard in question.  This would suggest that physical properties and breeding do have some effect on these phenomenon, though those effects have yet to be studied.

From A Treatise on Magic and its Effects, by the Magister Sir Umril Genhardt, of the Tauravon Archive.  Written in the year 1066, archived in 1067.

Hope you guys enjoyed that little tidbit about the setting.  I’ll be uploading little blogs like this to help flesh out the story for you guys, as the World of Eldath will be an ongoing setting for stories long after the Seven Signs is finished.  More news on this to follow, and I’ll talk to you guys soon.

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